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Why so serious ? Where there is a Will there is way …, Missed Connections

Posted on by Benjamin Southall

Hi everyone,

Long time no updates. That said…, I will probably be eventually starting a theme redesign of this blog / website, given that some parts of HTML 5 and CSS 3 haves started to catch up to some of the implementation ideas that I have had in mind.

Feedback about the Latin would be welcome as would suggestions for theme concepts, although I will probably keep the purple and the green colour scheme, albeit with a few modifications.

And now without further ado, updates, glorious updates, to paraphrase or parody Oliver Twist depending on your sentimentality.  Things I have been doing recently include, looking for work / job searching, working on various side projects including

  • a now PyQT (formally PyTk) CBZ (comic book zip) downloader that uses Beautiful Soup as the parsing tool in the backend.
  • Learning Perl 5 / Perl 6 by starting an ambitious project involving language templates and translation. (eg Language to XML, XML to Language) using various templates based on Language grammar and functional and object orientated programming constructs
  • Further developing a software tool for Computational Manga (apparently that is what the university in Hong Kong that does research about it calls it), the idea that the tool is supposed take raw manga / comic images in, and then automate various processes regarding manga digitisation and translation through image processing
  • Mathematical model for the dynamics of precorneal tear fluid with hard contact lenses
  • Various different website design and development projects , one of which involves customising chromakode’s xkcd-cli

In other updates, I have been meeting lots of strangers recently including a cute red haired toddler with an Elmo doll that likes falling on the floor, a nice old lady waiting for a bus to return home called Jackie, a retired? architect whose father wanted him to be a doctor, an economist that learnt SAS many many years ago, and was quite happy to talk about cost and benefit analysis required for fiscally responsibly deploying Information Technology Solutions, not to mention freely give career advice.

More recently I attended a 21st birthday (costume party) dressed in my suit (purple and green like the blog color scheme, I went as the Joker, my face was covered in white face  paint, and my lips and cheeks were stained red).

It was funny that the person that came as Batman was just over a quarter of my age and probably that with regards to my height. Despite that, being the villain I was supposed to portray (or perhaps not, given that some people think you don’t play the character when you dress up ), I had a merry game of hide and go seek or chasey with me trying to avoid the Tiny and Cute Batman at almost all costs.

That day and night held copious amounts of deja vu, almost as if certain circumstances were like a scratched mental record on perpetual loop titillating my sense of the passage of time. Then I was asked the question of what made me laugh, which in all its irony came with a quite detailed and serious response.

I met a few more strangers today on my way to the Mana Bar for the first time, to catch up with a few colleagues, including someone that was in IT project management (moving datacentres). He told me to get on linked in and gave me his card.  After I had finished my conversation with him on the train, the card took on a life of its own, and promptly disappeared like a magic trick, eg now you see the business card and it is in your pocket, now it is gone …. Hopefully it reappears eventually ….

UPDATE: The card reappeared….

On the way home, I met an inebriated environmental science student named Luke, that was very eager to offer me chips and talk about nothing, his closing advice of enjoy yourself and his attempt to classify me given his state was interesting in itself.

Upon leaving the train I also met another student, that was doing his anthropology PhD (his name was Will) and was also able to have a nice discussion about the nature of morphisms and the perceived human condition before parting ways.

These experiences leave me pensive and reflective once more contemplating the possibilities and dynamics of  one’s interactions with strangers and the circumstantial dance in envelops.

Given that I don’t drink, the Mana Bar was an alright experience over all, whilst console games aren’t my forte. (given that stochastic time constraints and changing consoles, generally cause me to resort to a combination of jagged movement with some combo focusing interlaced with high levels of pseudo random button mashing).The environment did seem friendly and the conversation at least with strangers was amicable (discussing the realism of bear fighting in Tekken).

Other slightly older updates include, my investigations in to cloth and weave density in the quest to find a natural microfibre (eg one that doesn’t generate toxic / carcinogenic fumes when it is burnt), after various level of research I found that silk is the closest I would get.

If I really wanted it microfibre, then I need it to be spider silk. Unfortunately there is only one garment on record in the world made from pure spider silk and that is in Madagascar.

I then looked into the various genetic engineering things to increase the production of spider silk. The splicing with goats in an attempt to use the goat’s milk production system results in coarse weave that is worse than normal silkworm silk. Currently I think that the research would have to focus on spider  size and fecundity in order to enable the mass production of spider silk for human consumable items.

Had another short discussion with a protester, this one was from Amnesty International, afterwards someone raised a good point to me , that it would be easier to say no thanks and walk on, rather than tell them my justifications why I wouldn’t arbitrarily sign petition X  for cause Y.Upon stating my reasons, I am asked whether they should quit their cause or why my justifications where justified in a manner different than their often overly simplistic righteous view.

It did however get me thinking about human rights…, as humans with human rights, do we have responsibilities we much do in order to have those human rights ?

There were some other programming and embedded things I was going to mention however, I will probably save them for later.

Thanks for your time,

Best wishes to everyone,

Benjamin Southall aka Appleman1234 🙂

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