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.

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…

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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 involveā€¦ 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…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

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…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

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…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

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…

Nick JohnsonNick Johnson

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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