Archive for March, 2009

House letterbox

Friday, March 27th, 2009

One of the most annoying things about our new house is the flapping letterbox, we are quite high up (175ft anyway) on a relatively exposed spot and the wind makes it flap continuously.

Fortunately I ordered a big box of Neodymium-Iron-Boron supermagnets a while ago from wondermagnet :
Photo 0100.

I was able to affect a successful repair by supergluing two connecting magnets to the flap and the letterbox respectively:

Photo 0099

Prompt snubbing of those people who claimed that owning 100 assorted supermagnets would never be of any use for anything.

Plastering

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009

I do realise that decoration is very boring, but this will not stop me from inflicting my enthusiasm on you (and other people):

Dave the plasterer came and did a fantastic job on our fireplace :

Photo 0095

There is something about taking a bag of powder and some water and making things which are not flat or solid-looking, flat and solid looking which I am unnaturally excited about. Either that or I’ve drunk too much tea (plasterers seem to drink a lot of tea).

aspviz-3d

Wednesday, March 18th, 2009

Last year Marina and I converted a few hours of frivolous time-wasting into a paper about visualsing answer set problems in 2D.

I’ve had a 3D block puzzle (which has belonged to the lab since I have been here) sat incomplete on my desk for the last couple of months and after a couple of hours of tinkering with the original visualisation code, I can now visualise problem solutions in 3D:

from
aspviz-3d-1.png
to:
aspviz-3d.png

Much joy; I no longer have 6 pieces of randomly shaped wood sat on my desk. Hoorah.

Arabic

Friday, March 13th, 2009

I have always liked learning languages, I suspect that this can be attributed to a subconscious feeling that being able to communicate with everybody will some how make the world a better place. Unfortunately, my enthusiasm has not always been met with an equal level of ability or study and so far (at 29 and three quarters), my efforts have led me to have smatterings of French, German, Russian and Spanish. I speak none fluently but by my reckoning I should be able to buy a train ticket, order a beer or have a brief conversation about the weather in the native language of about 20% of the worlds population (English included of course).

and so on

Eating out

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I’ve just got back from dinner at Aqua on Walcot st., great place for a restaurant; in a converted (presumably methodist) church, high ceilings and all that, swanky modern decor, relaxed atmosphere, all good.

Shame that the service, food and wine were a bit crap really. There were about 15 people in the restaurant, being served by 4 waiters who managed to be both slow and, when prompted for service, rude. I had mussels which tasted of nothing and lacked the advertised crostone, and liver with a balsamic sauce which seemed to be lacking any ingredients other than balsamic vinegar, yeilding what I can only describe as pickled liver. Cost £30 inc 1/3 of a bottle of wine.

Tonight was the seventh time I’ve eaten out in the last nine days and it was probably the worst, which, considering that one of these places was at schipol airport, is saying something.