I am a Geek

I love me some sci-fi, fantasy and super heroes, be that in movie, book, comic or TV form. I play board games, computer games and even sometimes D&D. Trying to pretend I'm not a geek would be silly.

When Apple (or Anyone Else) Really Gets a Product Right

Being British, I have a story about tea. It goes like this: For my entire life, it had tasted wrong. Not bad, exactly, but not quite right. I tried all different kinds, and just about every brand I could find. I drank it without milk which made it taste a little better1, and sometimes added lemon which pushed it a little more in the right direction. But still: tea tasted wrong and I had no idea why. Then one evening, my flatmate at the time asked me if I'd like a cup. I politely declined, explaining that it would

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The Lady Who Lives in the Tube on Top of The Fridge

In our kitchen is a short white cylinder. Inside is an array of microphones, always listening passively. Whenever someone says the magic word it starts actively listening for instructions. This might be to start a timer, it might be to add something to our shopping list, or perhaps to turn a smart light or socket on or off. Within moments a feminine voice informs that the instructions have been carried out. This is really, really convenient.

You might be thinking: "So what? My phone does the exact same thing," but you'd only be about half right about that. Your phone

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Goals for 2017

I don’t really do new years resolutions. They just don’t seem to work for me. I don’t see that there’s anything that special about January 1st. It isn’t even the first day of the year for a reasonable portion of the planet. Expecting to make sudden and positive life changes on that day just seems to silly and destined to fail. Especially given that I’m probably hungover. That said, setting goals for the year ahead does work for me, though I realise it’s a fairly arbitrary distinction.

Previously I’ve set vague goals,

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Some Thoughts on Gamification

If you're playing any sort of a game, the question "Am I winning?" is usually quite easy to answer. "Is my score higher than the other guy?" usually covers it (though if you're playing something like chess it might be a little more complicated than that). If you're playing a computer game the fact that your character is still alive may well be enough to settle this question in your favour.

In life, though, it is a much harder question to answer. It may well be true that, to the healthy mind, it's not something which should ever really matter,

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A (Very) Rough Guide to Beginners' Barbell Training Programs

As I promised in my last post, I'd now like to talk a bit about the different weight lifting programs I ended up researching. I spent a fairly silly amount of time here, so I'm hoping that you find it useful.

I'm going to talk about the three primary beginners lifters programs I read up on, tell you what they actually involve… and also what I think the person behind them is trying to sell you.

Disclaimer: I am not an expert on any of this. I am, at best, an amateaur of the sort who tends to read everything

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Do You Even Lift, Bro?

After I arrived in London I decided to take a second stab at Couch to 5k, having abandoned it the first time around. The problem now was finding a time and place. At first I tried running in the evenings around Wandsworth Common, conveniently close to where I was staying. That started to feel more than a little unsafe, however, especially on the evenings I got home safe enough to push me through -twilight- dusk and into full dark. I'm fortunate enough to work very close to Hyde Park, however, so I transplanted my runs here and started taking time

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Running, The First Time

When I decided to drag myself back on to the fitness wagon, it seemed to me that running was the answer. Getting myself to an actual gym clearly wasn't working, but I lived a short walk from a large and beautiful park (oh The Meadows, how I miss you still). I went out and spent what I still consider to be a fair amount of money on a pair of running shoes (Nike+ compatible, obviously). I've had knee issues in the past, which motivated me to err towards the top end of the range, I swear. The presence of the

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A Fitness Story

During most of university I was in pretty crap shape, but in the second year of my PhD my physical condition got particularly lousy. I caught a bus every morning which left from directly outside my flat and took me directly to the university. I did pretty much no exercise and ate an awful lot of takeaway. A few of my friends remarked that I'd gained weight. "Don't worry," they said "it's fine," in response to my mortified expression, I'm sure "You look well with it". But I knew I looked nothing of the sort. To paraphrase Eddie Izzard: when

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New (ish) Year, New (ish) Blog

2011 was an interesting year for me. A lot changed. I turned 30. After 10 years of residency I moved away from Edinburgh, a city I love dearly, and took a job in London. With Google. As a result, I no longer work with Autonomous Underwater Vehicles for a living. Instead I build web services. Quite the change, I'm sure you'll agree. In the early months of the year I finally completed the corrections to my PhD, and then in the summer: I graduated. It took 6 years (all together) but I am now Dr. Nick Johnson. I also lost

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Who Likes Short Shorts?

I think I love almost everything about this short film. That being the case, I'll quit my chin wagging and just get on with showing it:

{% include youtube.html video="4drucg1A6Xk" %}

Mucho kudos to Dan Trachtenburg, Danielle Rayne, and everyone else envolved. No get back to it. I want more!

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