Archive for November, 2013

Lady Gaga – ARTPOP

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 | Music, Reviews

I can’t stop listening to Lady Gaga’s new album. It is excellent.

It is a bit of a departure from her previous albums is that it is almost a rock opera. But that is probably being far too generous as it is nowhere near as polished as say American Idiot. But there is a loose journey that progresses through the album.

It is probably not an album for those that aren’t already Gaga fans. But for those that are, you won’t be disappointed.


The evidence for iPad

Tuesday, November 19th, 2013 | Tech, Thoughts

It’s difficult to discuss Apple v Android without everyone digging in their heels and becoming self-righteous. Of course we all really know that they have different advantages and disadvantages but it was interesting to see some slides from a recent talk by Benedict Evans talking about the growth of mobile.

When it comes to tablets, iPad make up around 25% of sales. But when it comes to internet traffic, iPad makes up 80%. That is incredible. What it shows is that even though people are buying Android tablets, they aren’t using them.

Based on those figures, you get this breakdown. For every 100 tablets bought:

  • 25 are iPads that people use
  • 6 are Androids that people use
  • 69 are Androids that people do not use

You have to factor in that it doesn’t work exactly like this. iPad users could simply be heavier data users, but even if this is a consistent trend, it doesn’t really change what the above represents – people just don’t use Android tablets. They buy them, then they put them in a drawer and don’t use them. People do use iPads. To me, that suggests the extra cost of buying an iPad is worth the investment.

Wendy House playlist

Monday, November 18th, 2013 | Distractions

Leeds based club night The Wendy House basically never change their playlist. It’s comforting. As Hugh points out, you don’t need a watch because you can tell what time it is by which rendition of Sweet Dreams they are currently playing.

The advantage of this is that I’ve been able to make a note of all the songs they played (although we didn’t arrive until 12:30) and published them on a Spotify playlist. It’s shared, you can find it here. Drop me a message with any songs I’ve missed and I’ll add them.

Division E speech contest final

Friday, November 8th, 2013 | Public Speaking

Having somehow won the area contest at the end of September, I headed over to Warrington for the Division E final of the 2013 humorous speech contest. It was held at a Masonic hall.

It was a flying visit as we were out at Wendy House the night before and had to be back in Leeds that evening to host Simon Singh. I had no idea of the result until 8pm when Chanaka texted me – to find out that somehow I had won this one too!

Most of the contest was a bit of a blur, to be honest. Part of my speech requires me to pick up a chair, and during this, I managed to hit myself on the head. I somehow finished my speech but the next thing I really remembered was being sat back down wondering when I joined the Freemasons.

Simon Singh at Leeds Skeptics

Thursday, November 7th, 2013 | Events, Foundation, Humanism

Last month, Simon Singh came to Leeds Skeptics to promote his new book, The Simpsons and their Hidden Mathematical Secrets.

Turn out was excellent, we had 85 people there, topping our previous record of 68. We had to move a lot of the tables out of the room, move extra chairs in and still had people queuing out of both doors.

Simon put on a very entertaining talk and it was a pleasure to host him.



It’s cold up north

Wednesday, November 6th, 2013 | Photos

Jacksonville is in Florida, so their cheerleaders probably aren’t used to British temperatures. Indeed, they had to put coats on half way through.


NFL at Wembley

Tuesday, November 5th, 2013 | Events

At the end of October we went down to Wembley to watch the San Francisco 49ers at the Jacksonville Jaguars.

It was quite worried before going in that the stadium would be so huge I would find it intimidating, but it was actually okay – I found it a lot better than the MEN, despite it holding four or five times as many people. The hot dogs were pretty good. The queues to get into the stadium were annoying.

The game ended 42-10, which was always going to happen given Jacksonville has lost all 8 games this season, and the 49ers went to the Super Bowl last year. It would have been nice if the game had been a little closer, but far more enjoyable than spending all that money to see San Francisco lose.

It moves quite slowly on TV, with them constantly stopping and starting. But that wasn’t the case in the stadium. Between every play there were a band, the cheerleaders doing a dance, scoring from NFL Red Zone or other distractions to keep you entertained. In fact, before I knew what was happening, the game was over!

Here are some photos, albeit taken on my phone:

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The Jaguars ran onto the field with flags twice. This is from the second time; the first time they spelt it “JAGAURS”.


Also a panorama, click for full size:


Belgrave Hotel, London

Monday, November 4th, 2013 | Reviews

On the Saturday evening we stayed at the Belgrave Hotel in London. Or at least one of them. According to the internet there are two in London with that name, so for clarification it was the one on Belgrave Street.

It was okay for what it was. It had a big TV that I was able to watch the Grand Prix on on the Sunday morning (luckily it was on BBC, as they only had limited Sky Sports like most hotels seem to) and the shower was nice. The room was what you would expect from a London hotel though – pretty tiny. The wifi was unusably slow when I tried it also.


Saturday, November 2nd, 2013 | Friends, Life

Before we disappeared down to London, I went for food and drink at Chaophraya to celebrate my birthday. Myself and Elina ordered one of the banquet menus, of which we ate about half and took the rest home in a carrier bag full of food.

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Friday, November 1st, 2013 | Photos

On our way down to London, we stopped off in Daventry to visit family. There are a couple of reservoirs nearby that I went for a walk around. Click for the full size panorama.