Chris Worfolk's Blog


Leonard Nimoy, 1931 – 2015

February 28th, 2015

Leonard_Nimoy

It was only last Wednesday when I sat in a Toastmasters meeting and listened to a speech about Spock. Little did we know that less than 48 hours later his illness would take a turn for the worse.

It only seems fitting to remember him the way I am sure he would want to be remembered…

Utilitarianism

February 27th, 2015

Utilitarianism is a book by John Stuart Mill defending the topic. I found it rather wandering with little structure. This made it somewhat difficult to follow. Indeed, I am not sure I came away from the book with any deeper understanding than I went in with.

I did not help that I had the audiobook which is narrated by Fleet Cooper. He speaks with an American accent and calls the author “John Stuart Mills”, which made it hard to imagine it being the impassioned arguments of Mill himself.

Utilitarianism

Making Money

February 26th, 2015

Making Money is the second Discworld novel to feature Moist von Lipwig. Published in 2007, it is getting dangerously close to the present – only four to go after this one :S. The storyline follows Moist as he takes control of the city mint, albeit against his will.

Moist is a cool character. I did not enjoy this one as much as Going Postal but it was still a very enjoyable read.

Making Money

Pedaltrain Jr review

February 25th, 2015

Recently I was looking for a pedal board and settled on the Pedaltrain Jr. If you are not familiar with a pedal board, it is exactly what it sounds like – a board that you put effects pedals on so that you can wire them in to your power supply and transport them around easier when you’re going to jam sessions, gigs, etc.

pedal-board

I went for the Pedaltrain Jr because everyone seems to be recommending. However, I have found the build quality rather poor.

power-sockets

It comes with two holes to connect the power cables through. However, the wholes are slightly too far apart. In the photo above, you can see that you can barely get the power cables through.

Of course you can argue that it is not their fault because my power supply is made by Voodoo Labs which is a separate company. However, the runners are another matter.

braces

You get two braces that you screw into the side of your power supply and then you screw those braces into the frame. However, they do not fit properly. This is Pedltrain’s own braces screwing into Pedaltrain’s own frame, there does not seem to be any reason why these would not fit without having to bang them into place.

velcro

Finally, after only a few days, the velcro has begun pealing off the top of the board.

Galileo Day Feast 2015

February 24th, 2015

galileo-day-feast-2015-a

galileo-day-feast-2015-b

Just your average dinner of roast pork, Yorkshires, ratatouille, refried beans, new potatoes, mashed potatoes, three types of vegetables, Asian inspired coleslaw, seafood platter, cheese and tomato tart, salad and five different types of bread.

The real achievement was that we managed to eat almost all of it. Or at least will have by the time this is published…

Wintersmith

February 23rd, 2015

A Tiffany Aching book that I actually enjoyed reading? Surely the world has turned upside down. I mean they were all okay, but this one I would upgrade to a full on “good”.

Maybe it just took a little time for Pratchett to build the universe (even though it is technically the Discworld universe). Discworld novels are like a sitcom, a lot of it is funny because you know the characters and situations. Starting again without many of the existing characters probably takes time to build up once again.

Plus it did have Granny Weatherwax and Nanny Ogg in it.

Wintersmith

Introduction to Positive Philosophy

February 22nd, 2015

This short book contains the first few chapters of Auguste Comte’s work, translated by Frederick Ferre. It gives a very brief and compact introduction to the ideas but nevertheless remains rather hard going.

Comte believes that all sciences can be broken down into individual classifications. Each can then be split into the theoretical and the practical, the latter of which can be disgraced. You can then use them as building blocks. What I mean by this is that you start with physics. If you want to study astronomy, you can, but only after you have learned physics. Similarly, if you want to study chemistry, you must first study physics and astronomy.

He also talks about “social physics”, now known as sociology. He puts this at the top of the pile, thus making it the most difficult science to study because you need to have a grounding in almost everything else in order to effectively study it.

Introduction to Positive Philosophy

Between the Bridge and the River

February 21st, 2015

Between the Bridge and the River is a novel by Craig Ferguson. Ferguson is an American, but was born in Scotland, and hosts “The Late Late Show” which as you might guess, comes on after “The Late Show”.

The plot is complicated. It follows lots of different characters winding in and out of each other lives. Religious themes are explored extensively throughout the story, generally in quite a satirical light.

Ferguson does that thing that Douglas Adams someones did in taking a meaningless extra from the back of a scene and going into extraordinary detail about their life. If anything, he takes it to a new extreme.

His writing blends a number of different styles. The sex scenes for example are very blunt and matter-of-fact to the point where they could be at home in an Irvine Welsh novel. Whereas at other times we move in and out of the surreal that James Joyce would be proud.

It is a book that I think you really have to commit to to avoid getting half way through and thinking “what is this nonsense?” It all comes together at the end though and forms some kind of coherent story.

Between the Bridge and the River

JavaScript: The Good Parts

February 20th, 2015

I’ve read Douglas Crockford’s book on JavaScript several time before, but it is always goof to have a refresher. It’s super-helpful and so short that you can easily get through it in a day if you try. I think the appendices are actually bigger than the text.

JavaScript-The-Good-Parts-cover

Online supermarkets compared

February 19th, 2015

I have been thinking about whether we’re using the right online supermarket. That in itself is a pretty depressing action. However, I’m doing it having spent last week in London and Birmingham, and tonight in Sheffield, so it’s not like I just sit at home thinking about these things.

I am using Sainsbury’s at the moment. I tried Morrisons last month, and it was very good, but I much prefer the ordering processing with Sainsbury’s and I can amend by orders until 11pm. This is key, because I usually do, whereas Morrisons cut off is 5pm.

I also thought about switching to Waitrose because they have such a good reputation for customer service. However, it is significantly more expensive and their minimum order is like £60-65. Plus their website keeps crashing my computer. They do sell Swiss chard though.

Today I’ve been looking at Ocado. They have won loads of awards of their experience, and do sell chard. However, they are super expensive. They consistently come in the top two most expensive in Which?’s rankings, alongside Waitrose.

I also took a look at mySupermarket which is a really cool service. You add everything you want to your basket and it tells you how much it would cost at each supermarket. Here is the example basket I made for myself:

supermarket-basket

I started with the Sainsbury’s product set, so I don’t know if this biased it in any way. However, Sainsbury’s does come out really well for price, and with the good service I have always enjoyed, it does not seem to make it worth switching.