Defining the Google Blink

Posted on February 06, 2015 in The Web.

This animated image shows the blinking text cursor on the Google homepage

I often arrive at Google and forget what I was planing to search for in the first place. I assumed there must be a name for this particular forgetfulness, but couldn't find one. So I decided to make one of my own. I give you the Google Blink.

Defined as:

The moment you arrive at Google, and stare blankly at the blinking cursor having forgotten your query. This phenomena is likely linked to having to check the time twice, because you didn't pay attention when you first checked.

E.g. I spent 10 minutes with a Google Blink. When I finally remembered what I was Googling for the moment had passed.

Rigging the AR Drone with head lights

Posted on January 29, 2015 in Tinkering.

This weekend I set about adding some bright LED strips to the front of my AR Drone's indoor hull. The large curved strips of foam seemed like the perfect testbed for adding some night time lighting to my drone.

The lights

I started with an LED strip that I bought from Amazon; these things are great, they run on just 12v, and can be cut into any length so long as the number of LEDs in the strip is a multiple of three.

Being careful to position the strip so that the LEDs wouldn't blind the drone's camera, and that they would include a nice curve to each side, I worked out roughly how long I wanted one piece. Where to cut was dictated by the convenient dotted line placed between every three LEDs. Cutting along this line provides convenient contacts to either solder to, or use small crimping connectors.

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Bookworm - My first Craft plugin

Posted on September 21, 2014 in Code, The Web.

Screenshot of code from the plugin

This weekend I finished writing my first Craft plugin. During the move of my site from Wordpress to Craft, I needed to replace the plugin I was using to list my books from Goodreads.

The Craft documentation was an invaluable resource to me whilst building my plugin. It needed to be able to provide a settings panel, and to allow templates to call multiple lists of books.

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Well there's your problem!

Posted on September 17, 2014 in Tech, Tinkering, Man Shed.

Damaged and torn gear from one of the AR Drone props.

I'm no expert in the dynamics of flight, but I'm fairly certain that the props are supposed to turn.

Last week my AR Drone took a nose dive into the curb of a pavement, before pirouetting through the air to land on its feet. It's not uncommon for the drone to bounce around a little if it crashes with an odd angle, the flexible props usually bounce it harmlessly off walls, etc.

As the drone sat there I thought how lucky I was that it finished on its feet, and that I didn't need to go flipping it over again. I presses the Take Off button and watched as three of the four props turned, realising there was a problem I stabbed for the Emergency cut off button, but not before it flipped itself over and onto its back.

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I am Groot

Posted on August 31, 2014 in My Life, Our Animals.

A photo of Groot at about 8 weeks old.

Meet Groot, our new little kitten. When we went on holiday we expected to bring home a few souvenirs, but I'm not sure a cat was one of them.

The day before leaving Sussex to drive back to Scotland we were told by a family member of some new born kittens that needed a home. In what was a very impulsive decision we agreed we should get one, and after seeing a tiny ginger ball of fluff that seemed to be channeling Shrek's Puss in Boots, we were committed.


Groot has proven to be a bundle of cuteness, and now has his own Twitter account. Follow @GrootTheCat for a constant stream of kitten goodness.