Missed posting

I missed posting on the 19th. We are working our way through a box set of Game of Thrones and succumbed to ‘just another episode’. Not a lot to post today, it’s been a quiet Sunday all I’ve done is cook dinner. We had a beef casserole with mash potatoes, brussel sprouts and carrots.

An Inventory of the media consumed today is:

So although not that busy, I’ve learned quite a bit.

Chef Knife

Alec Steele has a Youtube Channel about black smithing. I’m not sure if this is a case of nominative determinism or the YouTube equivalent of a nom-de-plume. The image that comes to mind with the term blacksmith is Grizzly Adams style guy with a leather apron, streaming in sweat and covered in grime. Alec is more the typical motormouth high energy YouTuber. I thought it was running at 1.5 times speed, but no it was set at normal.

There is no denying the skill displayed in the creation of this chef’s knife. The first step in creating the knife is making the block of steel that the becomes the pattern showing on the blade.

There are 7 videos taking you through the process to the finished product. It is an incredible journey from a small pile if steel strips to the finished product, with some drama on the way.


Today a found a new YouTube channel, Dust. Basically the channel offers a collection of short Sci-Fi films, form my brief wander around their channel the films are generally less than 20 minutes and appear to have very high production values. This is how they describe themselves.

DUST is the first multi-platform destination for binge watchable sci-fi. We feature science fiction short films and other content from emerging filmmakers with stunning visual effects, captivating plots and complex character explorations. Robots, aliens, space exploration, technology, and human experience are all a part of DUST.

From the Dust channel description

I found the channel via the short film “FTL” by Adam Stern. About early faster than light flight.

Seeing the ‘presented by Dust’ tag line lead me to their YouTube channel (just search for Dust), then on to their website watchdust.com.

This evening I also watched the first episode of their series Glimpse exploring futurology.

If you could control all your devices from a tattoo on your arm, would you feel safer? What if that sense of security was an illusion? “Circuits” presents a glimpse into the future of…body modification.

Dust is somewhere I am likely to revisit when I’ve a few minutes to burn.

One of my earliest memories

I recall being very young, visiting my grandparents when I saw on television a man with his head trapped behind a pole. For years I had this vague memory, but it made no sense. Then about 10 years ago my wife bought me a box set of Laurel and Hardy movies. It turned out that my early memory was the film ‘Towed in the hole’ from 1932.

The scene can be seen here:


Having succumbed to the Christmas lurgy that traditionally appears this time of year, neither of us are in an acceptable state to celebrate the new year with friends (definitely not wanting to give this particular bug to friends, it would not be good way to start a year), we are partaking in a Game of thrones marathon. The perhaps ‘soon to be no more’ HMV were offering the 7 Disk Blue-ray box set in their sale and it proved to be irresistible (as it means not having paid for Sky for 7 years, it’s a bargain).

Given the opening scenes of Game of Thrones one of my Christmas presents seemed a particularly appropriate accompaniment to this new year’s eve activity, ‘Beheaded – strong ale -‘. This is a decidedly excellent Cornish ale. Keltek Brewey‘s own description of the beer is very accurate.

Beheaded. Our strongest ale; dark and deceptive with a smooth slightly sweet first impression and none of the alcoholic twang often associated with strong beers. It’s complex indulgent flavour is legendary.

Well I wouldn’t say legendary, that must be hyperbole, as according to the label the brewery has only existed since 1997. So not quite time to be legendary … yet; but it is damn fine beer all the same.

Chiron Beta Prime

Today I bring you Jonathon Coulton’s Christmas Song from 12 years ago ‘Chiron Beta Prime’. Jonathon Coulton is the original ‘Internet’s Musician’. He has built a professional career from giving away his music under a Creative Commons license.

This year has been a little bit crazy for the Andersons

Also take visit to jonathoncoulton.com to hear his other work. It’s all good but I recommend you at listen to: Creepy Doll, Skullcrusher Mountain, Code Monkey, nah.. I’ve stopped listing it’s all good. Then there’s a whole Christmas album ‘One Christmas at a time’ (which doesn’t feature Chiron Beta Prime).

If you have played through Portal, then you are already familiar with Jonathon Coulton’s work as he wrote the Portal song ‘Still Alive’. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6ljFaKRTrI

Also, if you have been duped into serving our robot overlords you can ask “Alexa! play Chiron Beta Prime”.

Dr Who is back to its roots

Dr Who started the same year as me 1963, such was its impact, that before the second incarnation in 1966, even small children like me (at the time) knew about Doctor Who. Like most people my age I grew up with Dr Who. My Doctors were the 2nd and the 4th; I never really cared for John Pertwee’s Doctor, probably because the TARDIS didn’t really work for him, and 8 year old me really wanted one of my own (a real one not just the make-believe garden shed version).

Inevitably Dr Who has been changed over time as the society and technology we live in and with has changed. Multi-episode story lines have gone and stories have to run in single episodes with the very occasional two parter. In part that’s because it is now possible to fit a lot more story into 45 minutes, with the faster pacing typical of modern productions, the higher budget and slicker effects

William Hartnell’s original Doctor Who was intended to be both adventurous and educational; stories for children. Stories alternated between futuristic and historical. The early Doctor and his 3 companions witnessed many historical events and survived many futuristic foes.

Jodie Whittaker’s new Doctor is closer to the original Doctors than any of the more recent incarnations.This current series has many echos of the earlier series. There are 3 companions, there are alternating appearances of historical events. Some have criticised these for being ‘more like history lessons’. The potential for education was part of the original justification for the airing of the first series. There have also been criticisms that the show is ‘treating us like children’. Well yes, it may do, but it is after all a children’s show.

The ratings for this season appear to be holding their own against those for other recent seasons and the show has gone down well with the US audience. 

Unfortunately it looks like after the New Year special we will have to wait until 2020 to see what happens next. 

Today I’ve been mostly listening to . . .

Optimal Finance Daily “The Most Common Multiple Income Streams by Robert Farrington of the College Investor” – what did I learn? That I should have had this advice in my early twenties.


Market Foolery “The Golden Equation” – What did I learn? A bunch of US company results, pet food suppliers have been resilient in previous depressions, strangely I don’t recall the ‘Golden Equation’ though.

Smashing Security “Google Maps, Fed phishing, and Grinch bots” – What did I learn? – Archive.org have archive a bunch of old games running in jsmame at https://archive.org/details/internetarcade. MAME was the Multi Arcade Machine Emulator, ‘js’ is java script, so it looks like much fun can be had in the browser.

SFBRP podcast

SFBRP (Science Fiction Book Review Podcast) “#385 – Mary Robinette Kowal – The Calculating Stars – Lady Astronaut #1 ” – What did I learn? Luke Burrage is not the reader that Mary Robinette Kowal wrote this book for. Also apparently there are too many rocket metaphors in the sex scenes. Juliane does her best to moderate the discussion, but Luke will not be placated, and remains stubbornly disappointed. I suspect that most people would not be so disappointed, Mary Robinette Kowal is an accomplished author with many previous well acclaimed novels.

The Bugcast

The Bugcast is a weekly music podcast presented by Dave and Caroline from South Yorkshire. Each episode features 8 tracks that are usually available with a Creative Commons license. This means you will hear music that is not generally heard on Radio or the regular streaming services, but the artist is giving you for free.

TheBugCast Episode 540Every week on Friday Evening at around 9:30pm the live recording of The Bugcast podcast takes place. It’s possible to listen in live to the show via their livestream and interact with the hosts and other listeners on their IRC channel. If you haven’t an IRC client you can still join in via the web using thebugcast.org/live where there is web based client. I’ve often listened live, but recently I’ve caught up using the podcast feed.

You may well be surprised by the quality of music presented on the show. Over the 10 years of presenting the show Dave and Caroline have always managed to select from the best of free music. Very rarely is a track repeated although some favourite artist do recur from time to time. I’ve been introduced to some amazing artists through the podcast and many of the albums in my music collection have been downloaded after hearing a track on The Bugcast.

Dave is currently doing NaPodPoMo (National Podcast Posting Month) for November, which means you can hear a short podcast from him every day during the remainder of the month.