So, in my last post I remarked that for procedurally generated landscapes to be interesting, they would need features. But what sort of features was I talking about? Population centres, in particular, tend to to be found close to certain kinds of... things. The first of these which always comes to my mind is the "defensible position." Something like, say, Edinburgh Castle.

A lot of the truly great cities in Europe tend to centre around castles, but you don't tend to find castles just plonked anywhere on the landscape. Edinburgh Castle is a good example because:

  1. I think
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Brave New Worlds

If you were writing a taxonomy of stories you might choose books as a good place to start. Flicking your way through the world's libraries, time and the Dewey Decimal System would eventually bring you to the fantasy genre. There is a lot of fantasy writing out there, and you might choose to subdivide it further. A one potential way of cutting it neatly in twain is like so:

  1. Stories set in our world;
  2. Stories not set in our world.

Simple. Harry Potter, for instance, is set in our world. That's a big part of the appeal. Likewise so are

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What, in your opinion, qualifies something as a good advert? Answers on postcard, or alternatively in the comments section below, if you find that easier.

In the technical sense the main thing is surely that you actually end up buying the product in question. In terms of absolute results, I suspect that subtlety is probably key. If an advert manages to plant the suggestion that you want to buy something without ever making you feel advertised to, then it's likely to achieve its goals. The problem is that if a person realises this is happening then a fairly strong negative

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The Day Job Part 2: Let's get SAUC-E!

If you know when I started my PhD you'll be aware that it took quite some time for me to finish it. There are various reasons for this. One is that I spent quite a bit of time working and getting industrial experience during it. The other is that it took me something in the region of 18 months to figure out what it was I was actually going to do. This happens quite a bit at the Ocean Systems Laboratory, you don't actually start working on a particular project or problem, you just sort of find something which seems

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Spins a Webb, any size...

Okay, so there has been a shameful lack of posts here in recent weeks, and for that I apologise. I've had some stuff going on in both my personal and professional lives, and so this blog has really been put on the back burner. I swear to you that there is more coming, though, and soon. I have a fairly large and media laden post which is mostly written, but not yet bloggified, for instance. In the mean time, how about a small diversion?

Even if you know me in real life, you might not be aware of this small

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