Friday, 16 November 2007

Mmmm.... fox

I wish I took nice pictures like this. Foxes are so pretty.

(The colours in that picture look even more amazing on a dark background, I first spotted the picture here).

Threading in Java

Today I wrote what is probably my first real threaded Java (where by real I mean not just a simple "look I can do it" coursework tasks). It's not very exciting but I am sort of pleased with it because it's new and because what it fits into is actually sort of pretty.

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Lancashire Peelers

Why is a Lancashire peeler so named? What about the peelers that aren't Lancashire peelers, what are they?

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

Image Manipulation in Java

I've been writing some quick tests for image manipulation in Java. I found this page very useful with some nice and clear simple examples.

I'll put my code on here if I don't use it in my coursework but I've basically got a test application that either pulls an image from file using or grabs a screenshot (based on this example). I've then got functions that allow me to alter the colour of the image, to flip the image or to graffiti it with a selection of coloured shapes. Once the image has been manipulated, it's written to a new file.

I'm quite pleased with my test app (the graffiti is pretty) so here's hoping I can work out how to use it in the courswork.

Friday, 9 November 2007

"Every BODY Is Beautiful" - Pretty Spoons!

I thought I'd read a couple of the blogger featured blogs today (since my coursework's roughly done). This mostly involved scrolling down the page and taking a quick look at the pictures whilst maybe reading five of the words. I'm not really a girly fashiony kind of girl, but I quite liked The Glam Guide (it does have lots of picutres after all). For an especially pretty picture look at the entry '"Every BODY Is Beautiful" Charity Auction for NEDA' (Nov 7th 2007), or just look here:

(Image taken from the original Glam Guide blog entry, here)

Pretty spoon necklaces! They're apparently made by jewelry designer Karin Collins and these three have been specially (uniquely) crafted for the National Eating Disorders Association (that's US national).


I finished my coursework stuff about twenty minutes ago and have been lying in bed since with my mind going and going like an enusiastic 'I think I can'. Sleeping after late night work is always close to impossible.

Anyway... there's a helicopter outside my window somewhere. I don't think it's heading to the hospital because it seems to have been flying about for ages!

There, wasn't that exciting?

Monday, 5 November 2007

The Trials Associated With Submitting a Piece of Coursework

Today I almost failed to submit a piece of work I have already handed in.

Courswork for the MSc. is due on a Friday at 3pm with a grace period that extends to midday the following Monday with no penalty. I didn't want to have to panic over the weekend if I could avoid it, so worked hard on Thursday night to ensure it was fit to hand in on Friday. Friday morning I got up, went to campus, printed the essay (and a cover sheet) and handed it all in before doing anything else. All done!

Only it wasn't :)

Today at my group meeting for the AISD coursework I was chatting to Bernie. He'd finished his last night and electronically submitted a copy before printing it off and handing it in this morning. With that rather timely reminder, I nipped down to the labs to submit the work electronically at 11:15am - rather closer to the deadline than I intended!

Still, at least I did get it in before twelve. A mark of zero is awarded for any work submitted without a cover sheet or submitted without an electronic copy!

Thursday, 1 November 2007

Books I read in October

Total: 11 books.

Dead Sexy (Kathy Lette)
Snoopy's Little Book of Style (Schulz)
Dinner For Two (Mike Gayle)
The School For Husbands (Wendy Holden)
Life on the Refrigerator Door (Alice Kuipers)
Behind With The Laundry and Living Off Chocolate (Lynette Allen)
The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy (Polly Williams)
The Perfect Thing (Stephen Levy)
The Apologist (Jay Rayner)
Atonement (Ian McEwan)
When God Winks (Squaire Rushnell)

One of the many trashy library books, Dead Sexy really is rubbish. I sort of like reading trashy chick-lit books as long as they're well written and have some sort of plot because they are nice and easy to read, but this book was just pretty tedious. I read it in a couple of days, finishing on the 31st October, but only because I desperately wanted to finish it and move onto something better.

I'm not sure Snoopy's Little Book of Style really counts as a book (having less than 100 comic book pages) but I did read it front to back so it's going in the list anyway. Snoopy rocks. I read this just before bed after working hard on the 30th October. I'd picked up the book only a little while before in a birthday package from the lovely Lizi.

Dinner For Two is a male-written girly book which means it's bound to be pretty good. Some how men seem (largely) to do chick-lit well. I liked this book and it had a happy ending - hurrah!

The School For Husbands is yet another chick-lit library book. It was OK, a nice slightly-different idea, better than many.

Letters on the Refridgerator Door is a fantastic book: a really clever idea, beautiful, real and a bit sad. I borrowed this from the library and read it wandering around town before returning it. If you see this somewhere, read it.

Behind With The Laundry and Living Off Chocolate is probably the first self-help book I've ever read (it's a library book and it's good to try everything once?). It's roughly everything I expected - lots of semi-meaningless stuff telling me to 'have confidence' and 'take control of your life' that mostly don't say very much at all. On the plus side, this book is full of lots of nice happy look-what-someone-else-in-this-situation-did which might be sort of encouraging, maybe.

The Rise and Fall of a Yummy Mummy was a perfect easy library read. It's not anything clever but it's well-written and nice and light.

Another library book, I read The Perfect Thing in lots of little bits finishing on the 16th October. I found the book whilst scouting the computing section for books on an earlier trip when I'd forgotten my card and so didn't actually borrow anything. The book follows the impact of the iPod on "commerce, culture and coolness". I really liked this book - it's easy to read and I found it very interesting. I don't have an iPod :(

The Apologist was a book I actually borrowed from the library on the day I read When God Winks. I'd actually first come across the book in the same library a couple of years before on a day when I had dropped by just to escape the world for a bit. I read the first chapter or so then and thought that on this visit I'd see if it was still there and if I still wanted to read the rest. I started re-reading the book on my way home from the library and spent a week or so enjoying the odd chapter here and there.I enjoyed reading this book; a light read without having to resort to the realm of chick-lit.

Prompted by the release of the film, I picked up a half-price copy Atonement from Waterstones, Lancaster. It took me ages to read in lots of short sessions (I don't seem to have big long book moments at the moment) but it was well worth it. I really liked this book and will now have to find a way to see the film before it disappears. I'll keep onto this one for a reread another time (perhaps after watching the film) and will look out for some others by the same author as I'd not read any of his stuff before.

When God Winks is a nice short book I pulled off the shelf in the library. It's easy to read especially with all the nice short story illustrations (I read it on the floor immediately after pulling if off the shelf and probably didn't take much over half an hour). It's sort of nice to have a read through books like this now and again and be reminded that people do have those moments they can attribute only to God.


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