The Future is Now

Hoverboard

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Happy Back to the Future day everyone! The future is here, that fantastical time when Marty McFly travelled to October 21st 2015 and rode the ever famous hoverboard. Oh how I wished I could have one when I was little and longed for the day they would be real (however considering my prowess on a skateboard I think i’d be more bumps and bruises and anything else)

So this is what I will be watching tonight and I am super looking forward to it!. I don’t have a long list of what has and hasn’t come true as I haven’t seen it for years (but lots of places already have)

The fashion however… I think i’ll prefer to go with the 1955 look thank you very much (Lorraine style inspiration here and here)

(although technically 4:29pm California time is actually 0:29am 22nd in the UK but thats too pernickety right… 😉 )

 

 

Reasons to get my ears pierced (again)

When I was seven I got my ears pierced. My only remembrance of this was at the Sunday School Nativity where I was one of the wise men (Score! This was way better than being an angel or a sheep like at school or play group). The wise men were exotic and this was something I was trying to emulate by attempting a turban with my shiny hairband and wearing dangly earrings with large bunches of plastic fruit. Anyway I assume that I didn’t look after my ears properly because within a year they had healed up.

The first thing I did when I left school was to get my ears pierced again (my friends were getting tattoos but I didn’t want one then – I mean I love the idea of tattoos but how do you choose something meaningful that will last you your whole life!?). Anyway then I got my nose done and then my ears a second time. For a long time dangly earrings were very much my thing, although unfortunately after about 8 years and some dodgy studs they went manky and eventually healed up.

I still haven’t got round to getting them done again. In truth its not the pain, but the uncomfortableness of having to sleep in them for around the first 6 months. This Autumn I am determined to get them done again (I have a recomendation of a good place) and THIS is why:

Death Star Earrings!!!!!! found on Etsy by Sudlow Jewelry

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Then Forbidden Planet has Portal and Dalek ones (although sold out at the mo)

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Etsy does seem a good place to find scifi related jewellery, from storm troopers to time turners, xbox controllers to 1up mushrooms and nuka cola caps. Now let us just see if I will walk through that door this year and say yes I want to wear earrings again, so that someday I can be walking about and others may think I am just wearing some pretty patterned circles, but I will know that its actually a moon sized military battlestation armed with a planet-destroying superlazer! (… it’s cultural ok 🙂 )

A note on ear health. I have been advised to throw out all my old earrings which may contain dodgy metals or become tarnished (remember this is an open wound in your body till the skin grows round – something which luckily happened for my mum but oddly not for me). This alas may have to happen for my studs and hoops but for the dangly ones I can just buy new hooks and jewellery pliers and do a bit of swapping.

 

Bath Hacked: Hacking for newbies

Screen Shot library stats

Playing with open data isn’t just for developers, theres lots you can do even if you aren’t a programmer. Yesterday we had an introduction to the Bath Hacked Data Store. Hosted on Socrata its not just a place to dump data, you can interrogate, analyse and visualise it too (even on a map)

After a quick overview of the capabilities we started having a play, between us we generated a map where the places with the worst hygiene rating,  looked at the trends of different car park usage throughout the day, crime and publishing. Apparently there was a boom in publishing books in Bath in 2006 (and also a peak in books published about Bath then too… coincidence?)

publishing per year in bath

Personally I’m interested in Libraries and books so i started to see what the lending patterns were in the county. The important revaluation is that YES PEOPLE DO USE THE MOBILE LIBRARIES. A LOT. So don’t cut their funding. When I was little and visited my Granny, the mobile library used to visit her and what a magical vehicle it was. If i was unable to travel I would hate to be cut off from a library. According to the data: Library Lending Transactions (Apr 2012-Jan 2014) – a summary of library loans in B&NES libraries from the period April 2012 to Januar 2014, people used the mobile libraries almost as much as they used Keynsham or Midsomer Norton (if you can’t see the label mobile libraries is the bottom middle lilac box)

Screen Shot mobile library

And finally its IDEAS which are important, even if like me you can’t code there are plenty of ways which you can interact with open data and always join together with friendly developers if you do want to build an app 🙂

pennys shoe app

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Bath Hacked: Liberate data and make cool things for your city

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Open data is data that can be freely used, reused and redistributed by anyone, however what is the good of data just sitting there not doing anything.

“Bath: Hacked is a joint council/community initiative that aims to put open data and smart thinking at the heart of the city. Our primary mission is to bring bright people and quality data together to do useful things for the community”

What Bath is saying is “what do you want to know?” “what problems do you want to solve?”. The next question is “is there the data out there that can help?” “are there people who have ideas?” and “what skills can you bring together to make something cool for your city?”

Bath:Hacked 2.1 is the second big 2 day hack event for people who are inspired by open data to create something for their city. It all kicked off yesterday and there are projects using planning data, council spending, heritage plaques, library use stats, literary identity and more!

Check out the website, meet up and twitter @bathhacked #hacked21

Eager for E Books

Personally i’m not a fan of e books for my personal reading however in principal I think that they are a wonderful thing. They grant people the ability to have instant access to thousands of books and to carry them on one tiny device. I myself have about 22 free e books on my phone but don’t find it easy on the eye (i have friends with kindles however who think they are wonderful with their special screen which i think looks like that thin bible or prayer book paper you got in church). Another reason I think they are great is it means it is much easier for an author to get their work out there without having to go though the big publishing experience (or self publishing) and production is always linked to demand so you don’t have to over or underestimate your audience.

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I dont really want to buy e books but recently there are two out there which are really calling to me. One of them is The New Hunger by Isaac Marion, a prequel to Warm Bodies which I have just finished reading and I am hungry to read more of the world he has created.

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The second is Bioshock Infinite: Mind in Revolt, a prequel to the new game giving the reader a further insight into the world of Columbia. I haven’t bought the game yet (as i have to wait till after my wedding when I may actually have some time – can you believe I havent played on the Xbox since January!) but I am very excited to play it. I loved the first Bioshock game as the plot and the graphics are fantastic but I didnt get too far in as it was too scary, so instead i read the wikipedia entries on it but to my absolute joy i discovered a few weeks ago that there is a Bioshock: Rapture Novel which I am so looking forward to reading soon  (somewhere in the line of thirty odd books on my to read shelf) as I bought the paper book as soon as I saw it.

I havent decided whether to buy these e books or not yet but I will just see what happens. It is unlikely Mind In Revolt will ever become a paper book but Amazon is promising a paper version of The New Hunger in October… can I wait that long.

bioshock rapture novel

Stuff I’ve not been getting round to writing about

As you can see I haven’t written anything here in AGES which is mainly due to being busy then getting tired and not feeling inspired to write. I have however got up to all sorts of things that i mean to write about so will summarise

  • Went to Mrs Stokes’ Secret Tea Party (sadly though my friend was poorly and couldn’t come)
  • Went to Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms with Becky
  • Went to Bea’s Vintage Tea Rooms again the next day with Hayley
  • Went to Amy’s wonderful Jubilee party, made a 3 tier red white and blue victoria sponge cake, met the lady who makes these amazing accessories, and drank cava in a hot tub!
  • Made a chocolate birthday cake for Nik, who I’ve recently started joining at rollerskating
  • My friend Maxwell has been named 6th in the world (that’s in the World!) at the World Barista Championships, following winning the UK Barista Championships. Isn’t that so amazing!
  • Read yet more Christopher Pike novels and started on the Northanger Horrid Novels
  • Went to the Prohibition 1920’s party with my new friends Eleni and Sarah (and more of their friends)
  • Made stoneground wholemeal bread (tasted too healthy) and white bread
  • Got a ticket for the Topshop Autumn collection preview in London
  • Started my new site West Country Vintage
  • Got to level 89 blacksmith in Skyrim (determined to get to 90 this weekend)…… urm could that be why i haven’t been blogging……

Bioshock is too scary (but oh so pretty)

When Bioshock 2 first came out I saw the cover and thought ooooh pretty, then I though oh its a first person shooty game and thought no more of it. That was until I borrowed the original Bioshock of someone and was mesmerised.

The whole look of the game is futuristic steampunkish gothic 1940/50’s art deco, all with that mysterious green underwater tinge. The setting is the underwater secret city of Rapture, built…. but descent into a dystopian society of mad genetically and surgically altered inhabitants. Its a beautiful (if dark and falling apart) place to explore and I was having great fun trotting through the scenic rooms …then I got scared… when the crazy party mask wearing deformed nurses tried to kill me. My record time for playing it alone in the evening was 10 seconds and its unfortunate that I haven’t touched it since. The plot is super and the artistic style so beautiful with that air of 40’s gothic which is so me. Ill have to tackle it again sometime, but ill need someone to hug and maybe some daylight.

On the other hand Bioshock Infinate is due for release sometime and that looks to be set in daylight so may be better for me…but who can tell just from the trailer?

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