Tuesday, January 28
Velcro: Vulcans or a rambling guy and plants? I know which story I
"One day in 1948, an amateur Swiss mountaineer and naturalist, George de Mestral, went on a nature walk with his dog through a field of hitchhiking bur plants. He and his dog returned home covered with burs. With an intense curiosity, Mestral went to his microscope and inspected one of the many burs stuck to his pants. He saw numerous small hooks that enabled the seed-bearing bur to cling so tenaciously to the tiny loops in the fabric of his pants. George de Mestral raised his head from the microscope and smiled thinking, "I will design a unique, two-sided fastener, one side with stiff hooks like the burs and the other side with soft loops like the fabric of my pants. I will call my invention Velcro® a combination of the words velour and crochet. It will rival the zipper in it's ability to fasten."
He thought that, did he? :p
"Mestral's idea met with resistance and even laughter, but the inventor 'stuck' by his invention. Together with a weaver from a textile plant in France, Mestal perfected his hook and loop fastener. By trial and error, he realized that nylon when sewn under infrared light, formed tough hooks for the burr side of the fastener. This finished the design, patented in 1955. The inventor formed Velcro Industries to manufacture his invention. Mestral was selling over sixty million yards of Velcro per year. Today it is a multi-million dollar industry."
What You Need To Know About...
Well, at least it was invented at about the right time. But my money's still on the Vulcans. After all, how would you ever discover that you had to sew nylon under infrared light
But he was Swiss, not American. The Vulcans should have landed in Switzerland. They could have gone skiing. And done.. other Swiss things. Eaten chocolate. :)
more interesting than the whole Voyager
causing the microprocessor revolution. One point to Enterprise
. Let's have more episodes like that. About... Velcro.
I keep wanting to blog and not being able to think what to say. It's kind of annoying. I think I need to do
more. I'm feeling strangely unfulfilled at the moment. *sigh*
I have spent an inordinately long time doing pointless things lately, like redesigning Jaffa Kree
. And designing that Broken Sword
cover. And translating The Two Towers
into loads of languages. And having my hair cut (although the hairdresser did
offer his opinion up on several Sci-Fi things: Stargate: Infinity
is rubbish, Enterprise
isn't great and Star Trek: Nemesis
is good fun but a bit of a cop-out with the whole Data thing). I mean, what sort of a strange life am I living here?! Ultimately, I suppose that question could be answered by the words "a geeky one". Ah well.
Anyway, this means I haven't done a lot of things to blog about. I did
go to the Noodle Bar on Friday with a bunch of people on my course. That was fun, although I can't work up much enthusiasm to describe how fun it was. We did wonder where they get their lovely Chinese music CD's from. I've never seen a "Instrumental Chinese Music" section in HMV
. And the CD got stuck at one point. Interesting remix.
I'm so boring...
I could talk about other people's lives, or what I know of their lives via their blogs. A nice person at Revolution Software
read mine and the people linked to mine and he seemed to think it was fascinating. He was particularly taken with Stephanie's
weblog. He wants to know what's going to happen next with "cute workplace guy". But apart from that, she's done lots of other exciting things. She's even written a play! And she's updated a lot more lately. Which is cool. She seems to be living the student lifestyle, something that I've never really managed. Lack of alcohol mars my "student lifestyle" score. And other things. :)
has been given his start date for becoming a policeman. He has to go and pick up lots and lots of uniform - so much uniform that you need a car to carry it all! And not only that, he's built himself a new PC and had his 21st birthday. Which all sounds a lot more exciting than what I've been doing.
I suppose Ali
hasn't been doing anything interesting, because we live in the same house and I would have noticed. But even she has managed to blog about things like... swimming. Scarily she wants me
to go with her! I can't really swim. I wouldn't sink
, but I never progressed past doggy paddle. Sad but true. Perhaps I should print out my e-mail from Olympic swimmer James Hickman
and motivate myself. Swimming is
extremely good for you, after all.
Who am I kidding? James
is just as geeky as me. Although he might be faking it - he is
on the other side of the world, so I can't check. Perhaps he goes out clubbing every night and that's why he doesn't have time to e-mail much. :)
He does write an interesting blog entry, though.
Okay, so the only person whose blog I regularly check that I haven't
mentioned is... Daisy
. I don't have a bad word to say about her - her life seems to revolve around doing nice things for people. At least, that's the impression I get from her weblog. I've always thought the internet provides plenty more opportunities for being nice to random strangers than the real world. She's certainly been nice to me!
I hate the word "nice".
Speaking of words, I don't want to sound like I'm being mean but I'd really like to know what this means: "I'm just too punctual to tell people that I'm not feeling well." I'm intrigued as to how you can be too punctual to tell people something. Part of me thinks it was probably the wrong word and I'm being mean about Daisy's excellent
English (much better than mine - look at the peculiar grammar all over the place!) but part of me thinks there could be a really exciting story behind it. :)
So many people speak English so well! And you meet them online and they apologise
for their English! Daisy does it, which is odd because her English is perfect. Not like mine - I know sometimes I rephrase things because I'm not sure about a grammatical point. That's awful, isn't it? I could give you an example. This partial sentence, which featured in this blog earlier: "he read mine and the people linked to mine". Originally it was going to be: "he read mine and my friends", but then I panicked. Should friends have an apostrophe? I'm saying their blogs
, so... my brain nearly exploded so I wrote an alternative sentence.
was actually good last night. Now we know that the Vulcans brought Velcro
to the Earth in the 1950's. Woo-hoo! Mum wanted to know whether the boy (Billy?) was supposed to be someone famous. Whether the Vulcans had unwittingly changed our timeline ever more than they did with the advent of Velcro
Ah, Star Trek
A particularly geeky note to end on. :)
Monday, January 27
Here's a question for you. Is it better to have:
- Framed web forwarding? The domain name is displayed in the address bar and the page title displays whatever you set as the domain title throughout the site.
and "Jaffa Kree - the Christopher Judge website!"
- Unframed web forwarding? The domain name sends you to the index, but all pages thereafter show their true location in the address bar. The titles of the pages are whatever you said in each page's html.
"http://www.jaffakree.pwp.blueyonder.co.uk/jaffakree/factbiography.html" and "Jaffa Kree - Biography"
I can't decide... although I know it annoys me when you click refresh on a "framed" page. Because it sends you back to the first page, which is in this case a splash page. Not the page you were looking at.
What do you experts out there think?
Saturday, January 25
Ali was complaining because no-one had updated their weblogs. So I'm updating. Although it hardly seems worth it, since I live in the same house. She could always talk to me. :p
I've spent the last few days scanning maps and drawing dots on them. And also working on an external style sheet type new version of Jaffa Kree
. The new version is online here
, although I haven't switched the domain yet. I thought I'd test it a bit first.
It's actually the second new version I've done. The first had inline frames and it kept going mad (what with Lycos's banner ads when you first load the page). It didn't look as nice as the latest version. Which works in Netscape and Explorer equally well, seemingly! Style sheets. Cool.
Also, I ordered this box set
of Jackie Chan films. Let's face it, they can't be any worse than The Tuxedo
I had nothing to say. Still don't. So I'll shut up.
Wednesday, January 22
Bit of a gap since last time I blogged. I've had... things to do. Like install loads of codecs, uninstall them, cause chaos within my computer and reinstall Windows. For a start. Thankyou Medion and your lovely support CD! Reinstalling the factory settings is so easy! And I could move things to my backup partition so they weren't deleted! Still, shame about the evil div-x codecs. :(
Even more impressed with the lovely Aldi laptop. Woo-hoo!
I had things to say. I'm sure I did. Can't have been important, though.
I went to see The Tuxedo
this afternoon. I went by myself, after picking up some maps from the university. I only went to see it because Jackie Chan is in it. I can't think why else anyone would want to see it, really. It doesn't look like it's going to be any good, and it is pretty awful. I can safely say that the website is more exciting than the film. Although it has less Jackie Chan in it. *sigh*
Any film that starts off with a urinating deer... you think it can't get any worse, but really...
He's always so amiably charming, and it's such a waste! :(
I'm seriously tempted to order some badly dubbed Cantonese DVD's. :D
Itchy mouse finger. Yikes!
Saturday, January 18
Tonight you can help me with something. If you want.
I was trying to design a Broken Sword 3
DVD sized game cover to enter this competition
. I found a cool picture of York Minster, a few screen captures of the main characters (George and Nico), one "Sleeping Dragon" logo with words and one without, and I messed around with layers and paint effects and smudge tools and magnetic selection things for ages. I came up with the following design, which I quite like, but it might be rubbish. I don't know.
The problem is, if it's not competely rubbish, I now have a "brightened" version and a spookier "tinted" version. They're both quite dark, but I can't do anything about that. And it's kind of atmospheric. But which one is better? Feel free to leave comments. About which one's better. And whether either are any good. :)
Click to see them full size:
Friday, January 17
has ranted about The Two Towers
. She reckons that Peter Jackson might have translated the book into Esperanto and then back into English. Having a bit of time to spare, I decided to investigate this with the aid of the Babel Fish
. (Sadly they don't translate into Esperanto. Aaaah.)
I tried all the languages there, and I like Chinese the most. So here is my new translation of The Two Towers
. Well, just the synopsis at the beginning of the third book. :)
Yes, it's the story of the rice natriums and tree waiters! A tale unlike anything you've heard before! (Okay, most of it just doesn't make sense, but hey.)
Two towers relate in detail all companies behavior after break the ring Fellowship. The book three tells Boromir is sorrowful and the behavior, and his funeral does in the boat to the Rauros autumn; Meriadoc and the Peregrin capture by the orc soldier, causes them impatiently toward Isengard eastern part Rohan the plain; And their pursue by Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli.
Rohan rider then appearance. The imperial Ma Zhe troop, leads the bailiff by Eomer, surrounds orcs in the Fangorn forest border, with destroys them; But hobbits escaped into the wood and there meets Treebeard Fangorn Ent, secret master. In his company they witnesses mixes the wrath tree waiter and they marches in Isengard.
Simultaneously Aragorn and his companion met Eomer returns from this battle. He provide them by the horse, and they ride to this forest. There when seeks is being proud hobbits, they met Gandalf again, from the death, now the white rider returns, still covered up by the veil in the gray. Rode with his them finished Rohan to the Theoden king hall mark, Gandalf heals this old king and rescues him from spells Wormtongue, his evil consultant, Saruman secret ally. They ride then with this king and his master oppose the Isengard force, with despairs the victory participation in Hornburg. Gandalf then leads their Isengard, and they discovered this great fortress laid in the ruins by the tree waiter, besieged with Saruman and Wormtongue in the Orthanc indomitable tower.
In refuses in before this gate Saruman to think the regret, eliminated him with the Gandalf discussion and breaks his staff member, left behind him gives Ents the vigilance. Throws the stone from one high window Wormtongue in Gandalf; But it think of he, with pick up by Peregrin. This is one three survives palantiri by the proof, Numenor sees the stone. Later will submit in evening Peregrin to the stone lure; He steal it and look in it, with so revealed to Sauron. This book finished with approaches one Nazgul in Rohan, Ringwraith mounts in the flight horse, imminent war symbol plain. Gandalf provides palantir to Aragorn, and adopts Peregrin rides rice natrium Si Tirith.
The book four rotations to Frodo and Samwise, now lose in Emyn the Muil bleak hill. How do it tell them escape from the hill, and overtakes by Smeagol-Gollum; And how does Frodo and nearly overcome by tame Gollum his malice, therefore Gollum leads them and ruins the land by way of the dead bog to Morannon, Mordor land black gate in north.
There it were are unable to enter and Frodo accept Gollum's advises: Seeks one secret entrance which he knows, goes south in the shadow mountain, west Mordor the wall. When they voyage there they adopt by the Gondor person's reconnaissance force by Brother Boromir Faramir lead. Faramir discovered their search nature, but resisted the enticement which Boromir submitted, and will send sends them from now on in theirs journey final stage to Cirith Ungol, spider's pass; Although he warned their it were the dangerous place, Gollum tell them compare him know. Since they arrive the intersection and adopt the path to rice natrium Si the Morgul ghastly and fearful city, the great dark issue from Mordor, covers all lands. Then Sauron delivers his first army, by this kind black leads Ringwraiths: Ring war start.
Gollum guides hobbits to to avoid rice natrium Si Morgul one secret method, and they comes finally Cirith Ungol in the darkness. Gollum there falls returns the evil, with attempts to betray them to this pass, the Shelob strange guardian. He by Samwise, beat his attack, and suffers damage the Shelob heroism frustrates.
Second part of conclusion and Samwise choice. Frodo, stings by Shelob, lies dies, because it seem: The search must end in the disaster, or Samwise must abandon him the master. He fully adopt the search which the ring and attempts to continue to despair. But he about will cross into the Mordor land, orcs come out from rice natrium Si Morgul and get down from guard this pass the crown Cirith Ungol tower. Hides by ring Samwise learns from quarrels orcs, Frodo is not dies but is the clothing anesthetic. His queen mother pursues them; But orcs delivers the Frodo body causes rear area their tower under the tunnel the gate. Samwise faints before it when it close and sonorously make a sound.
Interestingly, the Faramir thing and the Wormtongue thing are still pretty clearly not
how Peter Jackson wrote them! Aaah.
Some of the other languages produced some quite poetic sentences. For example:
"They have come to contact of Gandalf, still sent back from the dead women, hour laughing white man." - Italian
But all in all this has been a pointless and not particularly entertaining exercise.
Thursday, January 16
BTW, if you've had your head buried in the sand for the past few days you might have missed the fact that the fifth Harry Potter book The Order of the Phoenix
is coming out on the 21st June. Finally! If you preorder it from WHSmith
you can get it for half price. Yes, that's only £8.50! Bargain. :D
Okay, so Amazon
have the same deal, but we don't like them. :p
We have broadband!!! Zoom zoom zoom!!!!!!!!!
Well, maybe it's not proper
broadband, but it's ridiculously fast compared to the old phone line connection. Cool!
Wednesday, January 15
Ah, just updated my archive's descriptions
. If anyone wants to read old stuff. Can't think why you'd want to, but hey. :p
Two sticky out tongue emoticons in one night? Yikes!
is more highly evolved than the average human! LOL! :p
Tuesday, January 14
It's hard to get onto the internet lately. Ali's
on there all the time
! For crying out loud. :p
Following on from me answering other search queries that have led people here, I've asked Revolution
whether it's possible to make their game Beneath a Steel Sky
work under Windows XP. The answer is no, sadly... Although I couldn't make it work under '98, so...
Their complete reply is as follows:
Currently we know of no way to run sky under xp. The only suggestion we can make is to boot the machine with a 98 boot disk and cd support, and run the game from there, but we realise that is far from ideal. We would very much like to be able to get sky running under xp, but have not managed to do so yet.
I'm sorry I can't be more help.
That's such a cool game... They make the Broken Sword
games, too. Has anyone else talked to the goat in Broken Sword 2
? Mwahahahaha. Ah well. I do have their game In Cold Blood
for the PS1 downstairs, which I haven't played. I probably ought to be doing some work, though.
And I'm still trying to figure out whether I should buy this TV card
for my laptop.
Sunday, January 12
There is no snow
in Leicester. Not only that, but for the first time in ages it's warmer here than at home! Apparently the snow hasn't completely melted yet. Ah well. :)
So, yes, I am in Leicester. I would have blogged before, but when I went online last night I was rudely disconnected. And it wouldn't let me back on until... now, actually. Not that I've been trying constantly since last night! You know what I mean. :p
What have I been doing, then? I spent quite a long while unpacking things. I seem to have a lot of junk. Dad came with me to several shops in search of a cartridge for my C42UX Epson printer. Shops either seemed to have run out or be charging an arm and a leg for the things! Honestly, you can see how printer firms make their profits. Fifteen quid for a 10ml cartridge... the printer only cost about fifty and there were two cartridges with it! Bah...
I picked up some other things, though. I bought the Age of Empires
Gold Edition for £9.99. It's fun. Sort of like Civilisation
. But different. :)
Hmm... I went to the cinema with Mark
. We went to see Star Trek: Nemesis
, which was actually pretty good! After hearing that Wil Wheaton
had been completely cut from the film, it was sort of nice to see him sitting at the table at the beginning, and also getting a big mention in the credits. In some ways it's strange that he did, since he had no lines. Maybe there'll be a special extended DVD with deleted scenes. You might think it's odd to feel this way about Wesley Crusher, and I can't really figure out why he'd be there anyway, but reading his weblog has made me like him more. *sigh*
All in all it was a great couple of hours of entertainment. And it annoyed me a lot less than seeing The Two Towers
would have. (I haven't seen it, incidentally, I just know it'll annoy me if I get round to it. It's hard to explain... I won't bother trying.) It wasn't a bad
film, by any means. It was good. I didn't look at my watch once! :)
It made me realise two things: First of all, Enterprise
is bad, even if it does
star Mr Bakula; Secondly, I can't wait to see Stargate SG-1
on the big screen. Okay, I'm glad there's going to be a season 7, but it means that film's not going to be made for a while yet!
There were lots of things I liked about it. I'll make a list. (These are kind of spoilers, so if you've been hiding from all mention of the film's plot perhaps you ought to stop reading now!) The spoilers aren't going to spoil your enjoyment of the film though. Probably..!
- Picard got to be silly and fairly reckless, presumably because it's probably the last TNG film.
- Riker and Troi finally get married.
- Data sings, amusingly.
- It has Romulans in it.
- We see that Romulans aren't all bad.
- It has Janeway in it, but not for long!
- We meet the evil Remans, (Romulus and Remus, remember?).
- Picard trashes the Enterprise, again.
Personally I didn't think the "young Picard" aspect was too bad. He did look a bit like Picard, and he was a lot younger! So I don't have Mark's qualms about it. Although I agree that the "double glazing" thing was improbable. Sometimes I think Stargate
makes a lot more sense. There are points in the film that they'd probably have appreciated a grenade or two. Even the baddie aliens in Stargate
have grenades, for crying out loud! And they don't have glass in their spaceships. Glass couldn't withstand the pressures. They have forcefields. Aaah.
And the end was quite sad. I suppose that's the thing about "a generation's last journey". They can kill off anyone and it won't matter...
Dare I say that Trek will never be the same again?
Yeah, I dare. :D
Wednesday, January 8
We had more snow! Schools shut all over the south of Essex because of the snow fall. They didn't send the gritting lorries out until after
the snow had started falling, silly people. :p
So here are some pictures!
I may or may not be travelling back to Leicester tomorrow, depending on the weather. (Brr.)
Anyway, I thought that since it was a new year and all, I'd tie up some loose ends. First of all, since 35 people have come here looking for information on the Bulgari watch in Minority Report
, I've researched it.
The watch in the film is unique. On the Bulgari
website they say it is, "a futuristic Bulgari watch, created on purpose for the film". However, from what I can see, the Diagono Professional
is kind of similar. Just so you all know.
Now that's cleared up, perhaps I should examine how all my websites have been performing. This is more for my interest, really, but I might as well post it here. :p
Visitors in last six months: 5,264
Average hits per day: 29.41
Most popular screen resolution: 1024x768 (43.90%)
Most popular color depth: 16 bit - High Color (47.98%)
Most popular browser: Explorer 6.0 (41.83%)
Most popular O/S: Windows 98 (56%)
Visitors in last six months: 3,048
Average hits per day: 16.82
Unique visitors: 85.17%
Most popular day: 31 Oct, Thu, 2002 (41)
Most popular screen resolution: 800x600 (52.24%)
Most popular color depth: 16 bit - High Color (47.98%)
Most popular browser: Explorer 6.0 (53.96%)
Most popular O/S: Windows 98 (48.73%)
Most used search engine: Google
Most searched for keyword: Spacemonkey
Fiery Fred's Fantastic Fun Factory
Visitors in last 208 days: 4,686
Average hits per day: 17
Unique Visitors: 76.09%
Most popular day: 05 Jul, Fri, 2002 (40)
Most popular screen resolution: 800x600
Most popular color depth: 16 bit - High Color
Most popular browser: Explorer 6.0
Most popular O/S: Windows 98
Most used search engine: Google
Most searched for keyword: Stargate
Snow. Cool. :D
Tuesday, January 7
It snowed! Actual snow that you can play with! Cool! :D
I took a picture of my massive snowman. It's my new sidebar picture. My hair's getting quite long. I'm not sure that my glasses go with my short hair. I could try my other ones, I suppose. I do
have a different style somewhere.
Not that you care about my hair. You're probably enthralled by the snowman!
I made a snowman on top of Mum's car, too. We drove to Safeway and it was still
on top of the car when we arrived! We had some funny looks from people who saw it. Mwahahahha. It didn't survive the return journey, though. His head fell off before long. And the rest of him followed...
What else have I done that's interesting? Not much, really. I've done a fair bit of clothes shopping lately, which is most unlike me. And not very interesting to talk about. I hate
clothes shopping. What I tend to do when I find something I like is buy the same thing in different colours. Ah well.
Oh, I've had some odd e-mails. One seems to be from an old friend of Christopher Judge
. I'm not sure what to say to him. Obviously I have to say I'm not actually Chris Judge, but I'm not sure how to phrase it! I hate it when people mistake me for Chris. I'm not a huge black guy, after all. :)
I also had an e-mail from someone who reviewed one of my stories at Fanfiction.net
. They said: "Wow, what a great story! You write well, grammer, punctuation. Are you a published author? I just wanted to say what a nice surprise and pleasure it was to find your exciting story." Quite a nice review, that. It was for Night Boat to Colorado
You know I was writing that fic ages ago, and I thought I'd finished it? I think it needs completely rewriting. I'm not happy with it, and once I've used the idea once I can't use it again. So I might change it all.
Not that you care.
Snow more, snow, snow!!!
I want SNOW!!!!!!
Monday, January 6
No time to write properly. Not that I'm doing
much. Well, I'm kinda watching Jeremiah
at the moment. I went to see my Nan and Grandad this afternoon. For tea. That was... interesting. They still haven't got the hang of those new fangled CD's!
I just wanted to say that this is a great
search request (and it led here):
hammond teal'c tea ceremony
I don't remember that
ever happening! But boy, I wish it had! It's a fanfic waiting to happen, that is!
Unless there is
a fic, and that's why the person searched for that. Hmm.
This is the number one site on the web for the hammond teal'c tea ceremony!!!
I am Gus Bonner. Squirrels are my friends.
Don't look like a nut.
Friday, January 3
Peter Serafinowicz. Yes, him again. The voice of Darth Maul. The evil Duane Benzie. Someone who's provided quite a few hits to my weblog, which is odd because I don't talk about him that
What about him, that's the question. On the "best TV moments" thing I was watching it mentioned a show I really really wish I'd seen. And it was written by Peter Serafinowicz. (Ah, now you see the connection.) The other writer was Robert Popper. They were the writers, producers and
The show was called Look Around You
. Peter's in a picture at the bottom of the page - he's the one on the right in the "sounds and visuals" picture. That
is what Darth Maul's voice looks like. (Cool, huh?)
The show was a spoof late 70's science programme. In one episode they used a computer to make a song. They had to give it a title ("Little Mouse") and it wrote them a song. This doesn't sound interesting, but this was in the days before widespread computers. This was an ancient computer. It was funny. Honestly, it was really funny. I'm not being convincing. I know, I'll paste in some of the stuff from the webchat they did.
Visitor_anton: Who originally came up with the idea of the programme?
Robert: We got the idea from a tramp we met in Chichester....
Visitor_Tobes: How did you pitch the idea for the show to the BBC?
Peter: We'd made this short film, like a 20 minute one, about calcium and we wanted to do a half hour show. We decided to condense it into the 10 minutes it's in now.
Robert: We took it to the BBC, but we were both dressed as wasps for the meeting. And that swung it really!
Strawman_special: What is the chemical symbol of cheese?
Peter: Big E little d. Atomic number 74.
Mister_Lee: How did you achieve the authentic 70s look to the show?
Peter: We made a time machine about a year ago, and filmed all of it in 1979. We were quite a bit younger then, so it took us quite a while because we kept messing around. We were schoolboys, essentially.
Visitor_cakeboy: If a kilogram weighs 1000g and a kilojoule is 1000 joules, does a kilo whale really have a 1000 teeth?
Robert: No a killer whale has 1000 legs.
Chortle chortle. :D
Thursday, January 2
2003, the year of rain...?
You know how much rain fell here on the 1st January? 22mm. That's a lot
of rain. There are flood warnings all over the place.
There are some flood pictures here
, poor man and his nice shiny Merc. :(
It could be worse though.
And it might be, if it keeps raining...!
Maybe we should build arks. :)