Getting distracted with a good use of technology
Posted 4 Weeks Ago
Okay, I'm not sure if it's a really good use, but I've found a website I really like.
This doesn't happen often.
Mostly because I build the things, so I see how badly done they are, or how useless, or usually how much they're purely trying to get your money, or your details to sell to people to get money.
However as part of planning for my upcoming holiday, the in-laws wanted to know our flight numbers so they could keep an eye on the flights and track that we landed safely. Apparently "there's a website that tracks flights", so thinking that it'd be something like a arrivals and departures board, I did a search and found http://www.flightradar24.com and boy is it good.
Initially you're presented with what looks like a messy map, but what they've actually done is plotted the position of about 60% of all passenger aircraft. They go into the detail on their site.
This isn't static data though, it's real time. If you zoom in a bit you can see the individual planes moving across the map. If you click on a plane, you get its flight number and details. Plus you can then see its route and, even better a "Cockpit View". The people who built this site have not only tied it in with Google Maps, but also with Google Earth.
This is incredibly, distractingly addictive.
Latest reply: 4 Weeks Ago
Subscriptions, Bookmarks and Blocked Users
Posted Mar 31, 2013
One of the features of Barlesque was a whole host of social/community based stuff that never really quite worked.
So now I'm trying to fix it, but it's hampered by the fact that because it never really quite worked, we don't quite know what some of the features are actually supposed to do.
Latest reply: Mar 31, 2013
Posted Mar 19, 2013
I don't enter competitions on Twitter. I don't really enter competitions at all.
Last night however someone I know retweeted a post from someone who shepherds herdwick sheep in the Lake District (https://twitter.com/herdyshepherd1) and herdwick are lovely creatures, and the Twitter feed seemed interesting, the photos alone are gorgeous. So I followed them. And, er, became their 3500 follower and can now name a lamb.
This is a big responsibility it seems!
Latest reply: Mar 19, 2013
Chocolate, Chilli and Singing Hare Krishna
Posted Mar 4, 2013
I've recently been looking into the natural ways that the brain releases endorphines. It's a lot more interesting that it sounds, and the basics are really quite basic, you can get an idea of what's happening quite easily and this makes looking into it more interesting as it's quite simple to understand.
Endorphines themselves are a sort of natural morphine. They mask pain and make you feel good. There's a few ways of getting the body to release these chemicals into the brain, Chocolate, Chillies, Exercise and Music. It's the music bit I've been looking into, along with the exercise a little bit too.
It seems that there's been quite a bit of research done about how music affects mood, and some of that has looked at how music can release endorphines. When you realise this, it makes a lot of sense. People who really get into their music are generally a lot happier than those that don't. And different types of music affect different people in different ways, to different degrees. Add dancing to this (which is a form of exercise) and you've got two methods to release endorphines and achieve this natural high. Which does explain why Krishna dancers are always smiling.
Slower, gentle classical music (some of Brahms work in particular) seems to get a brain from rest to gentle enjoyment and an openness to creativity and external stimuli. Then, light chanting style (including repetitive pop/dance) is seen to take the brain that step further from open to enjoyment. Which also explains a lot about why older religions used meditation and chanting followed by dancing and chanting to achieve states of "higher" thought.
Add to this eating chocolate and chilies, or other foods that do the job, you've pretty much got a recipe to cheer yourself up. So I'm going to try it. I'm going to put together a play list of music that I think from my initial, light reading on the topic should be able to take me from morning groggy to wide awake and raring to go by the time I get into work. Chili chocolate will also be involved.
Latest reply: Mar 4, 2013
A bit out of sorts
Posted Feb 26, 2013
In the last few weeks we've been burgled at work twice.
The first time they took the MacBooks, the Mac Minis and the iPads, along with the HD film camera. All easily portable stuff.
The second time they took the iMacs.
The doors were strengthened a bit after the first time, but they're internal doors and were easily kicked in. Fortunately we'd set the Mac facing the door to record and send off photos of any movement outside of office hours, and we got some very clear photos of the burglar. Unsurprisingly the Police know him and are trying to find him to arrest him. Seems he's not living where he claimed he'd be, and the longer it takes to find him the less chance there is of us getting any of our stuff back.
But it's the disruption that's the most annoying thing. Yesterday we were all working in the conference room while the police and then forensics were there. We were able to go back into our main office today, but most of the doors are boarded over and we have to walk through several offices just to go to the loo.
So, I'm a bit out of sorts with my routine disturbed.
Latest reply: Feb 26, 2013