Home of the Zen Cook

Film strip of Lola running

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Welcome to the home of the Zen Cook (or, in smileys - smiley - zensmiley - chef), or rather the new home of the Zen Cook because I've done a serious spring clean. Hopefully this will make it easier to use and will mean that my 360 site isn't full of odd h2g2 comments, and heaven knows what those reading the hub would have thought.

I've now divided my page up into sections more sensibly so hopefully people (or rather myself) will be able to find things more easily. The previous incarnation of this page had been built up incrementally since h2g2 started and was desparately in need of an overhaul, Brunel gave me an excuse.

Love it, or hate it, Brunel will be the default h2g2 skin soon as it is the only skin that meets the BBC requirements on accessibility and other such stuff. Unfortunately this means that a lot of h2g2 navigation is being shoehorned into a layout that isn't suitable for it and it makes the skin very cluttered. Still, there will be more skins and the first two (classic GOO and Alabaster) are still available for all of us who prefer a clearer view.

What I'm involved in on site

Mostly due to being online a long time, I've become involved in a lot of very surreal goings on. At one time or another I've been chased around a hospital by an orchestra, had a timeslide explode in a park and eaten many many mhCHUDs. I've also gotten involved in much pub based silliness, written some strange articles and founded some odd institutions. The following list is divided into things I've done, things I've been involved in and things I've followed from a distant point of view.

Some of these things deserve more explaination and have their own sections below. I'm also compiling a complete list of all the tags to my nickname (which whilst long now, has been longer before)

What I'm responsible for

What I've been involved in

Things I enjoy watching

What I do when not on h2g2

I'm currently a student at the University of Durham which is set in the extraordinarily beautiful town of Durham1 in the north-east of England. My course there is Artificial Intelligence2, and my academic interests and research includes logic, grammars, knowledge representation, natural language understanding, functional programming3 and cognitive science in general. I'm also a maths addict

In my free time up at university I go out with my friends to the clubs Klute (a dire place the size of a living room), DH1 (previously known as Rixxys) and (in Newcastle), Powerhouse, Baja Beach Club4, Foundation and Revolution. I am also a staunch defender of the Durham institution that is Cuths Bar (one of the players of pub golf) and can often be seen spending my money on really cheap drinks there and soaking up the pleasant atmosphere.

I'm also running my own business as a graphic designer and information architect, a job that means I work out ways to organise, store, manage, connect and exchange information between systems and people in the most efficient and productive ways.

People I know on h2g2

A list of those people who have prodded me and so gotten a shiny link on my page to their userspaces. Feel free to prod me as well if I have left you out.

  • U131651 - one of my bestest friends, she spent most of the term she was at university with me hidden away from her college
  • U161997 - a mad holedigger5 who goes to Durham too
  • U129295 - kind, mad and a good friend
  • U55669 - someone with a similar passion for functional programming and penguins as I have
  • U200650 - mad and very ticklish
  • U106694 - just graduated from Durham, the inventor of the h2g2 'donut'
  • U166393 - and...
  • U140459 - one of the nicest and sweetest and funniest couples on h2g2. Along with Tinkerbell and...
  • U40382 - h2g2's very own President bird of prey
  • U98816 - our Muse Mother smiley - biggrin

The tagline to my nickname - the Zen Cook - is from one element of my persona on h2g2, a website designed for strange people like me. My real life personality is as weird as my on site one, I just get more oppotunity to do things such as repaint the world silver here.

I don't currently use 360 much, although I'm hoping that will change with time. Until then, this page is going to be quite bare. I'll return once I start working on content for this site. If you want to find out more about me, use the h2g2 link at the top of the page to get taken to my h2g2 userpage.

1With its amazing cathedral, voted the most beautiful building in the UK recently in a Radio 4 survey2Although my opinions on AI and AI theory come from a 'strong AI' perspective of trying to model the internals of the mind accurately rather than model the outward look of the mind and I don't believe in the Turing Test's validity.3Completely and utterly different to procedural programming as found in languages such as Pascal, C and QBasic4A sort of upmarket Klute really5read: archaeologist


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Joe aka Arnia, Muse, Keeper, MathEd, Guru and Zen Cook (business is booming)

Researcher U28269

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University Researcher


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