Today I start a new job at the Natural History Museum London. For the next two years I’ll be working on Pan European Species Infrastructure as the project officer for Work Package 4 – which is all about standards for exchange of taxonomic data between databases in Europe. I’ll still be keeping an eye on…Read More Now PESI Project Officer
I am an ethical vegetarian who perhaps one day, when the kids have grown a little, will become vegan or nearly so. I also have an allergy to fish. Back in the days when I was a flesh eater I would throw up and have a histamine reaction within thirty minutes of eating even white…Read More Fish – I wish I could see this in myself.
When I was impressionable and even more naive than now I was warned not to trust anyone who started a story with “When I was in …”. This was tremendously good advice. For some reason the society I swim in rates travel above all else and fails to see it as just another form of…Read More John Simpson: Not Quite Arrogant
Back in April when I knew the RMS was going to close for three years for renovation I decided to do some panoramas to capture its pre-renovation state. As with many projects it reached a set level then sat on my hard drive without being launched. A chance conversation reminded me of it so I…Read More Royal Museum of Scotland – as it was in April ’08
Joscelyn (8 years old) came home with an assignment to write a poem about Scotland because it was near St Andrew’s day. The instructions on what was required were a bit confusing. She has a piece of paper with SCOTLAND written vertically down the edge so each line began with a letter. She had to…Read More St Andrew’s Day Poem
I spent a fun evening recently helping Jo Barker photograph her tapestries for an upcoming catalogue and exhibition. Her work is amazing. This one is my favourite of the session. Jo’s exhibition is at the Scottish Gallery and opens on 7th January.Read More An evening with Jo Barker’s Tapestries
I wonder if it is more satisfying to zoomify this kind of image rather than have it as a panorama.Read More View From Scott Monument Zoomified
On my way to work in the morning I often walk past the Scott Monument. Usually the guy who sells tickets to go up the monument is just opening up. Each time I think I’d like to go up but never do – until today. It was glorious I had the whole thing to myself…Read More Scott Monument on a Winter Morning
I have been doing some thinking about capturing images of herbarium specimens so as to facilitate the “taxonomic process” – whatever that might be. The trigger for writing this down was a quote from an excellent series of papers on digitisation of specimens: “Plant sheets are usually scanned at somewhere around 1000 DPI (600 DPI…Read More Herbarium Digitisation: Is 600dpi Evil?
There is no doubt that Globally Unique Identifiers (GUIDs) are important and not just because I have been hammering on about them for the last few years. It is hard to imagine a world where biodiversity data can flow from one application to another without some kind of tagging of that data to show its…Read More UUIDs may be Dangerous
Here is a story on the BBC about a USB device that you plug into your PC to enable it to be put to sleep at the touch of a single button. It is incredible that some one is selling a product to do that. For starters my Macs do it by default. Just close…Read More Eco PC Nuts?
The nice people at Julian Graves wrote straight back to my email and sent me a post paid envelope so that I could send the nuts back to them for analysis. Lets wait and see what they say. BTW Julian Graves has be bought by Holland and Barrett. The bitter taste remains especially after eating…Read More Nuts sent off
The bitter taste in my mouth continues so my investigation goes on. The suspect ‘baby pine nuts’ came from Julian Graves store in Livingston a couple of weeks ago. I remember they had both regular and small pine nuts and we bought the small but as I quickly discarded the packaging I don’t have any…Read More More Nuts
I started to get a bitter taste in my mouth after eating. At first I thought I was going to die so I Googled on it – how many people a minute go through that process! My scatter gun approach to diagnosis came up with a series of suggestions. I either had jaundice or I…Read More Bitter taste after eating for days – caused by pine nuts?
Well I got a link to a US political on line test and I am just another bleeding lefty – ah well no great surprise there then though I would describe myself as a liberal… Take the test if you like. Link at the bottom. You are a Social Liberal (66% permissive) and an… Economic…Read More Another bleeding lefty
This is just an amazing 20 minutes.Read More Jill Bolte Taylor
On a recent BBC documentary about bird mimics wildlife sound recordist Chris Watson told a wonderful ghost story that has that great quality of raising questions in the heart about our place in the world and the nature of causality. Have a listen: Starling Ghost Story (5 min MP3 3.6mb) The original documentary is available…Read More Starling – a ghost story
Last year Channel 4 declared Edinburgh the best place to live in the UK according to a comparison of facilities, house prices and jobs etc. But today the BBC news website reports a study that says it is the least cheerful place in the UK. Does this mean living in the best place makes people…Read More Edinburgh goes down hill?
Just stopped at a motorway services on the way ‘down south’. I had to ask the lady who sold me coffee where I was because from the inside it could be any service station. This isn’t globalization this is regular human homogenization. It is Keel apparently.Read More Where am I?
Well I wrote a basic application that would allow people to sit together virtually and I tried it out on my own. I logged in and logged out at the beginning and end of a couple of sessions and the whole thing seemed really unsatisfactory. This means I must break the first precept and kill…Read More iZendo – Let’s shelve it.
The meadows is being abused through over use for corporate events. I walked through the rain this morning passed two circus big tops (Lady Boys of Bangkok and Chinese State Circus) plus a fairground joined on to them with a series of big rides. They are erecting corporate type marques at two other places. There…Read More Meadows Mangling
So I start writing iZendo from scratch and make quite good progress in simplifying it down. Just four pages and some AJAX to update the lists. All looks good till my crisis of faith! Could I do this with twitter? Could I ‘just’ have a Twitter feed that is the virtual zendo? It would certainly…Read More Twitter as a virtual zendo?
Expressing gratitude makes me feel good. I believe others get similar pleasure form saying thanks. It could be that we have this response hardwired by our genes or that it is beaten in by our parents as a kind of important social meme. Either way it appears to lead to a more harmonious society so…Read More Thank you
This is the first post from my iPhone using the iphone app – but then edited on my desktop – I am not that fast at typing on an iPhone yet! I found that the problem I was having with connecting the iPhone was not with the iPhone WordPress app (v1.0) but with my WordPress…Read More iPhone first post
I have regular fantasies that arise when I am meditating – a little like recurring dreams. I am sure most meditators have similar distractions. The really cleverly distracting fantasies are about Buddhism and meditation. The train of thought goes from thinking of meditation to thinking about meditation to planning and scheming and rehearsing conversations and…Read More iZendo – a virtual meditation group?
I had hoped to post to the blog using iPhone but the iPhone app just keeps crashing on me. It won’t even connect. Many people seem to be having problems so I hope it is bugging some one with the time to fix it.Read More iPhone and WordPress no play yet.
The thing about blogs is they are for the author not the reader. If by chance you find this useful bully for you.Read More Hello Blog
What’s the Problem? Imagine you are a biologist looking at a group of organisms. You may be interested in these organisms because they occupy similar ecological niches or the same geographical region or for any other number of reasons. In order to study these organisms you need to gather data from different sources. As you…Read More A Case for LSIDs and RDF in Biodiversity Informatics