chairman_wow: (Babel fish.)
The weather is wet and work was exhausting, but hey, yesterday I spent two hours in the same room as Buzz Aldrin.

We went to see a recording of The Museum of Curiosity yesterday, and their special season finale guest turned out to be DR BUZZ ALDRIN.

He was really sharp and had some snappy putdowns ready and talked about his Mars colonisation plans!

What a cool guy.

Buzz Aldrin.

chairman_wow: Sign from the game Portal 2: GLaDOS EMERGENCY SHUTDOWN and CAKE DISPENSARY (seems legit)

Mudsplattered: the new professionalism.

This wouldn't be a problem if Surrey was cool enough to have proper footpaths in its villages.

Yus, I've finally got some work, and the balance on my bank account is steadily moving into positive numbers! The job's only part time, but it's still been pretty draining. I hope I'll get used to the change in pace soon, though. Co-operate, brainssss.

I've been making some very vague plans for the future, too. After a discussion with my mum last week I decided that, depending on how things go health-wise, I'll probably do some study at the Open University next year to ease myself back into academia. I'd love to get some more economics and sociology knowledge under my belt especially. Plus more background knowledge on European archaeology/history. Give me every social science, I want them all!

OU is apparently restructuring it's social science department at the moment, though, so we'll see how that goes.

I'd been putting off writing a post because I was hoping to include a video I've been editing, but with work being so tiring for now, that might not get finished for another week or two. I did make a blog on tumblr for my insect photos & videos, though, if you wanna have a look at those! Eventually I'll build up a queue over there, too, and then there'll be more regular posts.


chairman_wow: a stylised brain in rainbow coloured stripes (rainbow brain)
Two recs for you guys:

OA Podcast #23: Bart Leib and Kay Holt talk Crossed Genres
I really like the interview with the Crossed Genres editors in the most recent Outer Alliance podcast. What a great press/magazine. I have one of their issues, the LGBTQ one, but I haven't actually read most of the stories in it. I got it out after I listened to this, though, the rectify that! I saw on their blog that they're considering offering print/ebook subscription for the revival of theri magazine and I hope they do. I'd love to give them my money, now that my employment situation is looking up a bit. (I got a part time tutoring job!)

In Between
A really cute short French animation. (I'd watch it full screen, makes the subtitles easier to see.) Debilitating shyness has never been this adorable!
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)
Spending a week in Amsterdam at the moment. I've been enjoying myself! Amsterdam is a very fun city to just wander around in. It's coat of arms, though, from what I have gathered from seeing it everywhere, looks like this:

Which inspires me to do that commiserating wince you do when someone has a name that suggests terrible puns, because XXX just makes me think of this:

(Sorry Amsterdam.)

Good thing it's a city, and not a child who has to go to school. At least it's a nice strong graphical motif to put on every single thing that exists in the city or in souvenir shops.

There are a lot of pretty places and really great museums here, but my favourite part, I think, is the language. I can't say anything about actual Dutch, since I speak about a sentence and a half of it, but to me everywhere I go here there are wonderful little language puzzles to solve. Because to my ears, Dutch is the weirdly skewed merging of English and German. I mean, look at this:

"Ontdek de wereld in 1 week"

Ontdek is pretty easy to figure out (entdecke - discover), as is week, but don't try to tell me wereld doesn't look like the botched merging of Welt and world.

I'm really fond of the emergency exits signs on the buses and trams, too.

"Nooduitgang - Bij gevaar ruit inslaan"

I can't help but parse that as "Notausgang - Bei Gefahr ruhig einschlagen" -- "Emergency exit - in case of danger, do feel free to break glass."

I'm sure everything doesn't sound charmingly silly in actual Dutch, but it sure does to me.
chairman_wow: a dragon spitting fire (Dragon)
I went to visit [personal profile] lullula in the North this week! It was a lovely time. Here's some things we did:

Read more... )

Tomorrow I have a job interview for a part-time tutoring job and then THE DAY AFTER Tim & I are going to Amsterdam for a week SO MANY THINGS PLEASE STOP THE RIDE I NEED A BREATH.

Amsterdam should be a lot of fun though.

While travelling I've been amusing myself with a pixel art app on my phone. I think I've been improving! These are my two faves I've done so far.

pixels )

And now, to bed!
chairman_wow: medieval illustration of a fox biting a duck. It's saying 'queck'. (queck)


(Trying out my camera's macro settings. Pretty pleased with how this came out!)


3 July 2012 19:19
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)
At the suggestion of [personal profile] ilthit, I've made a DW feed for my art blog: [syndicated profile] therandomplanet_feed

I was going to make one on LJ, too, but you have to have a paid account to set up a new feed there. I guess if anyone on LJ wants to do that feel free. The URL is

Edit: Now with LJ version too, thanks to [ profile] mayhap! [ profile] therandomplanet

(Aside: my job interview today went pretty well, but they ended up giving the job to someone with more experience. At least I got an interview, though. Now I just have to keep doing that somehow...)
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)
My reactions, via Twitter in the car on the way back from the cinema:

‏@ChairmanWow: What I learned from Prometheus is that with proper excavation health & safety protocol alien murder death could've been avoided. #

‏@ChairmanWow: Also our current theory is that that entire thing is part of the Aliens aliens' convoluted parasitic lifecycle. Because parasites are cool. #

‏@ChairmanWow: No consensus on the significance of the very first scene, though. Wtf was that all about? #

‏@ChairmanWow: My other takeaway from Prometheus is a desire to wash my hands before I touch anything. #

Spoilers under the cut: Read more... )

Someday soon I really have the watch the original Aliens film.

PS: If you know what that first scene was about, please write your answer on a postcard and send it to PO Box the comment section of this post.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Layton)

I've stared at this poster while waiting for my train in the morning almost every day for the last three weeks. If you can't see the image, it's a poster for a new programme on Dave (a comedy tv channel) with Dara O Briain called The School of Hard Sums. It has this written on it:

You are waiting for a train.

It is 12:01 exactly. Trains arrive every time the minute hand lies on top of the hour hand.

How long do you have to wait until the next train (If it's on time!)?

I have had the following reactions to this poster, chronologically:

1:05. So a wait of 1 hour 4 minutes.

It's 1:05.

Dara, that isn't even "sums", it's imagining a clock face.

Is this a trick question? Am I missing something?

Ok, fine, it might be slightly after, but I don't think the hour hand would move far enough in five minutes to be significant.


Five minutes is 1/12 of an hour; five minutes divided by twelve is 25 seconds.

1:05:25, Dara, that's as precise as I'm willing to get.

Unless you want to count the little bit for however many nanometers the hour hand would move ahead in 25 seconds.

I mean, I don't even know the specifications of this hypothetical clock! Maybe it's one of those ones that ticks over every minute, instead of moving smoothly. And I don't know the width of the hands, either.

You have to give me more details here, Dara.




Just put a new riddle up already.



... I still don't really want to watch this programme.
chairman_wow: (Babel fish.)
Hey all. Been having a pretty good time at Eastercon! Twittering about it a lot, so check that out. Recording some vlogs, but won't get to show you guys until the week after next because I'm going to Cornwall with my family for a week after. Going to fall into bed now, so very tired.
chairman_wow: medieval illustration of a fox biting a duck. It's saying 'queck'. (queck)

Everyone on Tumblr has been posting Valentine's Day cards, and I wanted in on the action. Oh breakfast, you might not be the one accompanying me to the London Aquarium on Tuesday, but in my heart you are my true valentine. (I still don't really care one way or the other about Valentine's Day to be honest, but I like excuses for dates, and I really like aquariums.)

I'm afraid I still don't have much to report about my life; jut generally attempting to get out of bed at reasonable times of day and leave the house sometimes.

I do have some great short stories to rec, though! In audio and text form, for maximum convenience and accessibility.

The Ghost of a Girl Who Never Lived by Keffy R. M. Kehrli. Audio & text at Escape Pod.
A sad story about clones and identity and childhood and things like that.

Their Changing Bodies by Alaya Dawn Johnson. Audio at PodCastle & text at Subterranean.
And this one is an awesome story about puberty and vampires (no no, bear with me here), and girls being total badasses. Also in the end-- no, I don't want to spoil it, just listen/read.

The Magick by Kristina C. Mottla. Audio & text at Beneath Ceaseless Skies.
I guess this is a pretty standard coming out/oppression metaphor type thing (I admit I do enjoy those on occasion), but the worldbuilding is quite charming in a teasing way. Argh, no, tell me how your magic system works, show me what's going on outside this one community, I want to know more.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Got a cold)
The grumpy hours.

Read more... )

But then I woke up this morning thinking I want to do hourly comics again, that was fun!

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Model)
I probably wont have time to scan the rest before late tonight, so I thought I'd post the first half now

probably NSFW, idk )

Lunchtime now!
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)

- Embrace the fact that my typing over IM is always terrible and there’s no need to give an excuse for it in every single conversation.

- Figure out solution to the logistical problem of wanting to learn to play the drums when your flat is too small to fit any drums into.

- Learn to play the drums.

- Try not to shout at anyone who mentions the alleged upcoming Mayan apocalypse.

- Try not to be too sarcastic at anyone who mentions the alleged upcoming Mayan apocalypse.

- Ah fuck it, they probably deserve it.

- Continue to get better at the stuff I want to get better at. (The only way to lose is not to play.)

Mirrored from The Random Planet.

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (G00 - Nee)

Happy holidays, friends! I hope you all had fun winter festivities. I’ve been staying at my parents’ house for a week or so, having a good time with the traditional Christmas activities and feasting. Feasting is the main traditional Christmas activity, as far as I’m concerned.

I got some great presents as well:

picture of Christmas loot, iPod with headphones and exercise armband, books, new graphics card, DVDs, and an electronics kit

The thing in the box is a FEZ Spider Starter Kit, and I’m really excited to start playing with it, although I still have a few tutorials to go through until I do. I may try to convince my brother to lend me his music expertise and collaborate with me on some kind of cool chiptune-y project. No idea what it will be yet, but I think it’d be fun. Maybe we’ll build an instrument, kind of like those modified Gameboys.

The books are Der Hundertjährige, der aus dem Fenster stieg und verschwand; Steam-Powered: Lesbian Steampunk Stories; Machine of Death; and Guns, Germs, and Steel. I also got some colourful brush pens from my brother, which I forgot to draw. /terrible sibling

Unfortunately I’ve been incubating a cold all week which has chosen today to come out in full force, and so I’m off to drink tea on the couch and sulk about my hands being too unsteady to draw properly.

Mirrored from The Random Planet.

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (longcat)

crappy phone camera picture of my advent candle holder with three of four candles lit

What has happened to the year? I’m not really sure what I’ve done in the last three months. I did NaNoWriMo, and although I didn’t win, writing turns out to be a huge amount of fun and I’m going to keep doing it. Maybe my ~creative energies~ have recharged, or maybe I’m just getting my act together, but I’ve got a lot of ideas lately and I’m drawing again, and getting a start on some other things I’ve been meaning to do in my copious free time.

Endless leisure is still not my favourite situation to be in, though, and so far there’s been no success in the jobsearch. I am doing some German > English (and the other way as soon as my test gets approved) translation on MyGengo, and as usual it’s a lot of fun. Unfortunately the jobs aren’t really pouring in so far; in the last week I’ve done two, one of which was only a sentence long. Made almost $30 on the other one, though, and requested a payout (to make sure it actually works). I hear the experience from the customer side is pretty good, so if you need a translation you should consider them. And consider doing it via this banner, because then I get referral money. ;P

myGengo | Simple human translation

Something that has raised my unemployed spirits is that the library they’ve been building near our flat since before we moved in has finally opened. I still think it looks kind of like an ominous looming spaceship.

the strange trapezoidal shape of our local library from behind some bushes

The non-fiction section is a little lacking, but the fiction selection is good — they fit a lot more books into that building than it looks like there’s room for — and they have a nicely sized graphic novel section, too, so I’m finally getting around to reading all of those comics people have recommended to me.

The first time I visited last week I took out volumes 1 to 3 of Fables. It’s fairly good so far. The writing seemed a bit stiff to me at first, but I think I’ve gotten more used to it now. They get points for having their ladies drive the plot a lot, but I haven’t been able to really get into any of the characters, and I’m not sure why. They just seem a little obvious to me; it’s like they’ve taken fairy tale characters and turned them into the cast of a soap opera. Or maybe it’s because most of them are rich and US American that I get that vibe. The premise interests me enough to get the next few volumes, though, and maybe when more of the back-story is revealed I’ll become more invested in the characters.

I also got out a few volumes of Hellblazer, which is always fun in a creepy way. (Although the hippies in The Fear Machine annoyed me a lot, for various reasons.) I have no idea of what order they are meant to go in so I just got out two at random. That Wikipedia article probably has the publication order in it, doesn’t it. Maybe I’ll go with that from now on.

What other comics should I check out? I have a long list somewhere from various Eastercon panels, but I am always happy for more, since I know you guys have good taste.

Mirrored from The Random Planet.

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Harmless)

World-building Wednesday is a thing that originated on Tumblr, I think. I like the idea, and I’ve been meaning to post something for it for months, but I kept missing the day and then forgetting about it until the next Thursday. But no more! I need something to occupy my time until I can find a job, so I’m going to try to post something every week; although I might take November off, because I’m planning to try NaNoWriMo. I’ve been making up worlds for ages, but I’ve never been very structured about it, and way too shy to post any of it online, so if anyone has any constructive criticism I would appreciate that. LET’S TALK ABOUT COOL FANTASY WORLDS, GUYS.

(By the way, I’m trying out a plugin to crosspost to LJ and DW from my website, hopefully this will work…)

This first post is going to be a little short, probably, because there are a lot of nuances for this place that I have yet to work out. Turns out it takes a lot more effort to construct a culture if you don’t know as much about their environment. Everything is going to be set in Mediterranean climates from now, ok? (No it won’t, that is a total lie. I have so many papers about Scandinavian prehistory open right now.) The world in general is a fantasy (or maybe alt-history? I might still put in some monsters or something) world, but prehistoric instead of pseudo-medieval. Because I think that’s super-cool and I couldn’t find anything like it in books. Although maybe the point is a bit moot now, since I’m ageing up a lot of the places to Iron Age – Early Medieval levels for my NaNo story…

The topic of this post is definitely at “prehistoric” tech levels, although a form of written communication does exist (it isn’t representative of spoken language, however). The place doesn’t have a language or name yet, but I’ve been calling it The Northern Island. It’s kind of my pseudo-Europe, at least in terms of climate (hemi-boreal), but hopefully it won’t end up hideously cliché! Here’s a rough map:

Read the rest of this entry » )

Mirrored from The Random Planet.

chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (G00 - Nee)
I have made a to-do list and am attempting to structure my life now there is no more school to do it for me.

Last weekend, Tim and I went to Hay-on-Wye to celebrate handing in my dissertation. It's a tiny village in a lovely countryside, and filled to the brim with bookstores. So basically heaven on Earth. I'd love to come back for a week sometime and mix the browsing with some hiking around the Welsh countryside, but for now I had an amazing time wandering from store to store.

I thought I was being relatively sensible with my book-buying, until it came to packing up everything for the bus and train ride home. Here's my pile of loot:

Including some that sounded cool, some I'd heard of and been meaning to buy, some which had pretty covers or interesting titles, and a few that sounded too hilarious to pass up. Like Less than Human by Charles Platt, featuring a cover illustration of a floating, glowing man in an Elvis-esque outfit, and the following blurb (in part):
HE WAS MANKIND'S LAST CHANCE. AND THEY WERE GOING TO KILL HIM FOR IT. Burt is a trillion dollars worth of robot — with a ten-minute gap in his programming that renders him virtually useless to his creators. Still, since coming to Earth, he was managed to find a snappy new set of clothes, a cure for cancer, and a sixteen-year-old girlfriend.
How could I not give that book a loving new home.

I also picked up a few pick-your-own-adventure books, what appears to be a prehistoric fiction novel that isn't the Earth's Children series (always on the lookout for more of those), and a very intreseting-looking volume of literary theory/criticism called Strategies of Fantasy. I didn't intentionally stick only to SFF — I was looking for more non-fiction of various kinds, too — but somehow it worked out that way.

Well, I've been procrastinating on writing a cover-letter for an application to an archaeology fieldwork job... so I'll probably go do something else from my to do list.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (longcat)
screenshot of Word, zoomed out to show all 56 pages of my dissertation
cut for images )

I have thoughts about the past year and plans for what I will do next, but for now I am gonna grab my book and read in bed.
chairman_wow: picture of my faaaace (Default)

Tim got me a little whiteboard and it calms my troubled mind.

I decided the other day that when I've handed in my dissertation, we're going to Hay-on-Wye for a weekend in celebration. Yeah, this place. It's going to be amazing.

I also finally saved up enough to buy my own 3DS, and this awesome decal so we can distinguish between the two that exist in this flat:

(I had this gif here, but looking at it makes my head hurt.)

Just one bossfight away from beating Ocarina of Time! And then I'm going to get A Link To The Past Link's Awakening (EDIT: I can't be expected to remember names at 1am after a day of dissertationing) from the download store, and I won't stop until I have all the Zeldas.
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