At The Turning of the Year (by )

This New Years Eve sees both a Lunar eclipse which is currently occuring - my camera is annoyingly doing the thing of deciding it's too cold to take photos :(

It is also by some definitions a Blue Moon! For real! I'm serious :)

The number of full moons in a year alters and if there is more then the 12 corrasponding to our months which all have names etc... the extra moons get the name Blue Moon. So if there are two full Moons in a month one of them gets called Blue!

There are other definitions of this such as the Lent Moon being the Betrayer Moon which sounds like blue in Hebrew or something but still we have a blue moon and an eclipse on the turning of the year and the start of a new decade :)

And yes I know that the turn of the year is actually at the Shortest Day but this is the night that everyones celebrating so ner!

The Oozy Decade (by )

So the first decade of the New Millenium is drawing to a close. Due to the the zeros involved in the dates it was dubbed the Nuaghties but I always prefered the Oozies instead.

And that is what this decade has done it has oozed - political wars shifted countries without the general public apparently noticing what the governments had done. Political parties in the Uk at least seemed to all merge into various forms of the same thing - New Labour=Old Conservative etc... Back paddling on polices.

I would say the banks and finiacial industries have oozed as has the printed book industry with plagerists getting short listed for prestigous prizes and those who should be getting the prizes rediculed becuase they are the wrong genre (like genre has anything to do with the power and talent of the writing?).

IT has oozed into all our lives - a process that started more in the nineties it is true but it is now ingrained and with this the degregation of geeks in the mind of the managers begain in ernest.

Spin doctoring has oozed its way into science and academia. And the apathy of the general public has oozed itself into discontentment.

Yes this is depressing but look where we stand at the end of this decade - look at the Copenhagen fiasco and ponder the future! Look to the fungus' and stuff hitting the Asian bread bowls and the vanillia plants due to greedy farming methods and think where we are dragging humanity in this 'New Millenium'.

One of the things I have discovered is that none of this is new - the more history I read as research for the Punk storyline the more I find humans have been oozing in their cesspits of civilisations for... well forever.

But I think it can be changed I think the oozing totalitarism can be stopped and humanity freed. And now the glitz of the nuaghties has started to tarnish perhapse substance will become important once more.

10 Year Ago (by )

Ten years ago I had just finished my first term at university - Imperial College London, Royal School of Mines, The Huxely School ect... and I had worked hard to get there.

But my first term had been foiled by me managing to get a weired virus (turned out to be glandular fever mixed with a very bad chest and water infection duo). So I spent the Millenium sitting at my parents house feeling like death warmed up and thinking I'd stuffed up my one chance at a career.

I wore a Hong-Kong Fooey t-shirt and red colderoy skirt and felt vague misgivings about it possibly being the end of the world but mostly awed and excited as I watched the different cultures around the world celebrate in their own ways.

Though I had by this point already damaged my first year at uni almost beyond repair with some help (called being allowed to repeat the year) I got my degree. The world is still here though I'm going to remain cuatious untill 2012 is over, a thought that rumbled through my mind in 2000.

In 2000 I was was also looking forward to going to Kenya which was a milestone as much as Uni was and was startled by the realisation that I appeared to have lots and lots of friends!

Alaric ten years ago I believe was here cooking leopard pie in a broken suacepan and setting off military surplus pyrotechnics with his extended family. He was wondering if NetBSD on his laptop was Y2K safe (I believe this is what geeks call the millenium bug) - it was.

I banged the New Year in with suacepans and watched fire works over the roof tops and lots of other people came out including one woman screaming at everyone becuase it was late and we'd woken her kids up :/ She even threatened us with the police!

Ten years on we are here with a throwing up Jean and lots of nice noms and me feeling that I've stuffed up my one chance of having a career... erm...

Cyclic?

High power LEDs (by )

I've got a few 3W RGB LEDs that I've been meaning to play with, so over the Christmas break, I decided to hook 'em up to the bench PSU and have a play.

3W RGB LED

As I have but one variable bench PSU with current limiting, I could only easily light one LED at a time. I didn't have big enough resistors to build individual LED current regulation circuits - I just set the current limit on my PSU to 0.35A and cranked the voltage up until it maxed out, hooked up to one LED in turn.

They are certainly dazzlingly bright:

RedGreenBlue

Since the green and blue LEDs both have the same forward voltage, I figured I might be able to drive them together by using a pair of resistors as a current splitter, and setting the PSU for 700mA, thus ensuring that 350mA went to each LED.

However, my 0.25W resistors started to smoke when I got to about 400mA, so I shut it off - if one of the resistors burnt out then the entire 400mA would go into the surviving LED, overloading it (until its resistor also burnt out), and possibly making the thing explode. I ended up with a nice pair of burnt-out resistors:

100ohm 0.25W resistors, all burnt out after carrying 200mW each

Which is a shame, because I'd love to see how bright the thing is at maximum, with all three LEDs going!

My lab partner was most impressed, and asked me lots of questions about current and voltage; I had to resist her demands to keep making things, so I could go inside and write this blog post:

Jean enjoys watching me do electronics

Falling over and bobbly knees (by )

I've been having issues with my knee randomly swelling up and being painful then something at the back went pop and it looks all bobbly. Bizarlly this is niggly painful and feels like there is a string being pulled in the back of my thigh. I'm assuming its a vien and am not looking forward to going to the drs again :(

The calf of the same leg is painful too.

Then in the last couple of days I have managed to fall down the stairs and then again in Cheltenham yesturday :(

I don't really know what happened - I'd got myself over tired taking Jean on all the fun free things in one of the parks and we had gone for hot chocolate to revieve us. Now I wanted to have another drink and sit for longer and maybe even sleep if I was at home but no - Jean still had fun things to do so we headed back (at my insistance - Al thought I was getting too tired).

I'm not sure if I slipped on ice, tripped over the curb or if like the stairs my legs just didn't do what my brain thought it had told them to do.

So I ended up laying on the pavement unable to get up with Al, and dad clustered around me and Jean telling passers bys that 'Mummy's fallen down'. The main problem being initially I couldn't say anything for pain - I'd put my hand out instinctively and had jarred it and my really bad shoulder. The arm, shoulder and my ribs hurt (not sure why the ribs hurt). Just rolling onto my back made my stupid pelvis go click.

A concernced lady and her duaghter stopped and wanted to call an ambulence - which sort of made me panic so I just said - 'No its just my stupid pelvis.' no thankyou or anything just dismissive behavoiur. On the off chance that she ever comes across this - Thankyou I was the lady in the rainbow jacket.

When I eventually got up right again I thought I was fine but could berarly walk :( And the pain got worse.

I hate this - this is one of the reasons I don't walk along the foot paths on my own anymore.

I spent the rest of yesturday in a little ball of pain on the settee, doing heat treatments and what have you, then in a warm bath for hours - on the plus side it ment Alaric made the house a nice temperature for me.

Of course now my left arm is being all rubbery and my pelvis is mobile again - This does not make for a happy Sarah.

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