Tuesday, March 21, 2006


You know when you’re just going about your daily life as normal, and then something small, but out of the ordinary, happens? The sort of thing that makes you stop for a second and puts a smile on your face? I love those moments.

They can happen for all sorts of reasons… deja vous, coincidences, anything. Well, I remembered one such moment today, and it brought a smile to my face. So I thought I’d share.

A few weeks ago my sister was flying up from London to come home for the weekend, and I was to go and pick her up from the airport. Now, our house is under the flight path out of/in to Glasgow Airport, but the thought that something like this could ever possibly happen had never crossed my mind before.

As is usual for me, I was cutting it pretty fine to get there in time to pick her up. As I closed the back door and turned round to lock it, I heard a plane passing over head. I looked up to see the BA flight my sister was on (it could only be hers; there are no other BA flights at that time of night) pass above my head, just as I was setting out collect her. I think that’s pretty cool!

That brought a real smile to my face. For me, it’s wee moments like this that make life fun.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Powerful Stuff

So the other night I was procrastinating (clearly, this was shortly before our Masters project was due a couple of weeks ago). And, as I’m sure every student knows, among the most Fundamental Laws of the Universe is, “If you have something to do, you will definitely find alternative things to do to keep yourself otherwise occupied, no matter how menial. If you have nothing to do, you will not find anything interesting enough to keep you occupied, no matter how fascinating”. I hate that Law.

Turns out, though, that it’s not all bad. Because on this particular night, it led me to Google Video. Which is generally quite cool. I ended up watching a 30-minute lecture entitled “All Marketers are Liars”, given by author Seth Godin (a Stanford MBA and business writer/speaker). The lecture was given at Google HQ, as part of some mad speaker series they have for their staff.

Now, me being as sad as I am, a bit of a business geek, AND having cause to procrastinate, I ended up watching it. T’was quite interesting, but I’ll spare you the details (though they do involve purple cows and a short man with a bald head [no, I don’t mean me]). My point is, that from this video I followed a link to Godin’s blog, from whence I followed another link to another page, which was entitled “10 Steps to Creating a Successful Web2.0 Company”. Again, I’m sad enough to find something like this somewhat interesting (remember also, that one is subject to the Fundamental Law of Procrastination, just as Gravity keeps one’s ass inescapably on the ground).

Having read this article, I thought of my Canadian friend who is currently starting up his own Web2.0 company (well whaddyano), and so double-clicked his name in MSN Messenger and sent him the link to the article. In an instant I’ve got a reply from him thanking me for the article, and we end up discussing the lecture I’d just seen, because it turned out he’d seen it too.

Bearing in mind how sad I am, I think that’s pretty cool, and a powerful demonstration of ‘The Power of the Internet’. I got educated, passed it on to friend thousands of miles away in an instant, and then discussed the material and our thoughts on it together. And that’s not to consider the fact that the Internet facilitated the sharing of the content in the first place, not just my accessing it.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

That was close...

Woomf. Our trolley fell apart four times in the two days before our final presentation for the Masters project. Instead of spending the last day taking pictures and videos of the completed trolley for the website, we spent it scraping adhesive off and them reapplying it - twice. Such a downer. Crap day all round - we ended up staying in until about 8.30 to practice our presentation for the following morning.

But then, on Friday, the presentation came off without a hitch. It was beautiful, and a real feeling of achievement for everyone in the team. The culmination of months of hard work and some very, very stressful days towards the end there! We had biscuits, tea and coffee for our assessors/project supervisors, a display of the adhesive technologies and testing we'd done, some samples of the shoddy technician work we'd had to find workarounds for, the old trolley and a spectacular unveiling of our new prototype, not to mention the slick presentation itself! The feedback at the end was very positive, and we all went out for a celebratory lunch afterwards. Good times.

The heartstopping moment was when one of the assessors picked the trolley up at the end and started shaking it about, asking us, "Have you tested this joint for fatigue? I'd really like to see how it holds up under some abuse." Our hearts were in our mouths - it was truly terrifying! Thankfully, the trolley held together and didn't fall apart!

I was going to write about some cool stuff (well, I think it's cool) I did on t'internet the other day, but I think I'll save that for another post.

Monday, March 06, 2006


Tardy. What a great word. I'm getting rather tardy with my blog posts, and it's unacceptable. Fortunately, it's not my fault. It's all Uni's fault. All of it. And until I get my life back at the end of the month, it's likely blog posts will continue to be rather thin on the ground. Which is sad.

My Masters project final report was due on Friday, and we managed (just) to get it in on time. We need to have the website finished by this Friday, and the final presentation is due on Friday as well. At the same time, I have a CFD (computational fluid dynamics)coursework to hand in by next week and a helluva lot of work to do on a business plan project for my entrepreneurship class.

But there's always time for TV! I watched Bremner, Bird & Fortune the other night. I've never really sat and watched a whole episode of it before, butI have to say they were pretty damn good at pointing out the unbelievableness (yes, I know that's not a word) of some of the stuff that goes on in our country.

I'm also loving The Apprentice, although last week's episode really didn't inspire me with confidence in the contestants. Three people broke down in tears and neither team deserved to win - they were both crap.

God - I've really gone downhill. From discussing the world's economic future and global politics to boring people with my uni assignments and thoughts on TV. Pretty sad!

Let me make it up to you. :-)