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Dr Mike J Smith
Kingston University

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Boaty Floats... err, sinks
Well, as I noted last week Boaty McBoatface lost out to David Attenborough.... so Boaty was sunk. But NERC have now floated his boat... or rather they have sunk it! Yes Boaty will be the name of an ROV. Perhaps the most famous ROV in the world!

posted on: Tue, 10 May 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Pie on Boaty McBoatface
The whole process for naming NERCs new polar research vessel twists and turns through the media. The fact that naming a polar vessel actually made the news is pretty good in and of itself - how much the general public is aware of polar science is somewhat of an unknown, but it was great to see some coverage of the vessel itself....

posted on: Fri, 06 May 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Monopoly Map
Vaguely following on with the underground map meme, I thought it would be good fun to locate all the Monopoly squares on a map of a London and visit them....

posted on: Tue, 29 Mar 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

What are the British Isles?
A seemingly simple question but one that causes no end of confusion because it is both geographic and political and using it the wrong context can cause no end of upset!!! Is Northern Ireland in Great Britain? Or the UK? Is Jersey? Where does Ireland fit in? To bring some clarity the EUler diagram (below) from Wikimedia helps considerably and visit the Terminology of the British Isles page. In short its easiest to refer to the British Isles when thinking geographically of all the islands, whilst the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland (or UK for short) when talking about the commonly designated political entity.

posted on: Tue, 22 Mar 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Too good to be forgotten
Too good to be forgotten (from Radio 4 Analysis) talks about "corporate memory loss", that is the body of knowledge about how a company "does stuff" that is lost when people move companies or move jobs within a company....

posted on: Mon, 21 Mar 2016 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

[The Urban Age Project]
Wanted to point people in the direction of a friend of mine back from the dim distant days of my PhD in Sheffield - Paulo was on a funded PhD from Brazil and I distinctly remember working long hours in the remote sensing lab, with "After 8" breaks in the afternoon. Anyway, enough nostalgia!! Paulo works as an engineering geologist in the government, but has reduced the number of hours to allow him to work more as a musician. The soundcloud embedded player below links to his latest EP, URBANA IDADE. If you like Satana, then this is very much in that style. I particularly like tracks 1 and 4, with some cracking guitar riffs. Great for an evening of mellow chill.

posted on: Wed, 16 Dec 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Cardiff, England
....can always count on a good geography blunder from local government!!

posted on: Thu, 29 Oct 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Lies, damned lies....
and marketing!! I was asked to fill in a customer satisfaction survey today using a fairly normal 1-10 symmetrical likert scale. Except that below the scale values 1-6 were noted as "negative", 7-8 as "neutral" and 9-10 as "positive". This psychological bias means that if you are satisfied you should be scoring 9-10.... this will naturally inflate any averaged values which can then be validly used in any marketing. Clearly even big companies like Aviva aren't too worried about pushing the boundaries of acceptable.

posted on: Tue, 25 Aug 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Overcoming jet lag....
After my trip to Argentina over Easter I'd thought I'd briefly blog about jet lag, the bane of all travellers....

posted on: Mon, 15 Jun 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

The Ultimate keyring
Call me sad, but I've been on a minor mission searching for the "ultimate" keyring. The humble keyring has served its purpose but - sorry - it's not longer fit for use....

posted on: Sun, 10 May 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

!! 1000th Blog Post !!
This post marks the 1000th entry for the Spaced-OoooO-Out blog. My first post was on 12 September 2005 outlining a talk I gave at the Society of Cartographers annual meeting in Cambridge on the Journal of Maps....

posted on: Fri, 27 Mar 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Health and Safety Horrors
I was recently doing a health and safety talk to our second year students prior to a geomorphology field trip - nothing overly risky as it was essentially walking footpaths on parts of the UK coastline, but all this trips need to undergo a risk assessment and trip briefing. It's important to cover what can be quite dry material in terms of trip regulations so I was looking for some inspiration to drive home the point the seemingly mundane situations can lead to... dangerous activities!! Compliance training specialists Highfield have put together a great "House of Horrors" - my particular favourite was the window cleaner!

posted on: Tue, 17 Mar 2015 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

207mph bike
Totally crazy.... it beat the Ferrari!!

posted on: Tue, 11 Nov 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Ten truths for a PhD student.....
Fun article by Tara Brabazon - and if you haven't seen her speak then she's great value - well worth pondering upon for all potential and future PhD students, although don't necessarily take everything to heart as people and subjects vary across the academic world. Good advice though!

posted on: Thu, 06 Nov 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Life isn't fair....
These did the rounds quite a while back from the looks of things, but Bill Gates' 11 rules of life are still pretty pertinent: 1....

posted on: Sat, 01 Nov 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Best email of the day.....
Best email of the year actually... after some (slightly) slow customer service from Fast Lane couriers, they sorted my problem (well done!) and end by saying: We hope we have resolved this matter to your satisfaction, and we look forward to welcoming you back in the future. If I can be of any further assistance please don't hesitate to contact me. Heroic regards! Dan McGeoghan Fast Lane Support Top one Dan - heroic email!!

posted on: Thu, 12 Jun 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Brancaster Staithe Gigapan
A vista of the coastline at Brancaster Staithe looking north across Scolt Head Island..... the students we took on fieldwork won't recognise this view as there is no rain.....

posted on: Mon, 02 Jun 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Kiev in the news
The video is just great!

posted on: Mon, 31 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Louisville Timelapse
Stunning timelapse from Eric Stemen shooting in Louisville. Great explanatory article over at DPS. Sit back and enjoy! Louisville In Motion. A timelapse tour of Louisville Kentucky. from Eric Stemen on Vimeo.

posted on: Fri, 28 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

The best part of life is...
....failing. Failing is absolutely vital to success and this is a nice piece picked up by Garr Reynold's in a recent blog (yes he of Presentation Zen fame....

posted on: Sat, 22 Mar 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Toilet Humour 2
And a second and final..... great to see that there is both a sense of humour in companies and a great way to communicate a message. It grabs your attention (because its long), makes you laugh and makes you remember.

posted on: Fri, 07 Feb 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Toilet Humour 1
Can't resist a little toilet humour every so often.... yes this is a real sign....

posted on: Thu, 06 Feb 2014 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Night skies....
Night skies by Mark Gee.... stunning. Make it wide screen, pump up the volume, get lost in the universe....

posted on: Thu, 07 Nov 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Back after the hiatus.....
Long summer and very busy start to the term.....but back with some posts!

posted on: Wed, 02 Oct 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Train Time: changing times
Love this side-by-side-by-side of the London-to-Brighton line shot by the BBC..... its a great social take on the trip and the article provides some interesting comments on the changes. Well worth a view

posted on: Wed, 28 Aug 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Danny MacAskill 1
And for those of you that missed his first episode way back in 2009......

posted on: Mon, 08 Jul 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Bike world speed record......
186 kph on a bike?? Astonish video clip below and nice write up over at road.cc...... and yes 186 kph, 48 year old frenchman, 1961 and a 130 tooth chainring!!

posted on: Wed, 03 Jul 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Danny MacAskill - Imaginate
A second stunning video from Danny MacAskill with a big budget to match...... amazing stuff.

posted on: Thu, 20 Jun 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

1926 London
Fabulous COLOUR film of 1926 London from the BFI..... what's startling (for me) about this is how little has changed in a lot of London, yet notice that there is no highrise and the streets are so clean. London in 1927 from Tim Sparke on Vimeo.

posted on: Mon, 20 May 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Word for the Day: Pareidolia
I came across the word Pareidolia at 500px yesterday which I didn't know, so looked it up on Wikipedia. This is what it had to say: a psychological phenomenon involving a vague and random stimulus (often an image or sound) being perceived as significant.... Common examples include seeing images of animals or faces in clouds, the man in the moon or the Moon rabbit, and hearing hidden messages on records when played in reverse. Perhaps one of the most famous remote sensing examples (below) is the face on Mars..... we've all seen them and the WIkipedia page has some great examples.

posted on: Tue, 07 May 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

CONFIRMED: CBC council officially provide no educational leadership
Well this week saw Central Bedfordshire Council organise an open meeting to "discuss changes to schools and academies in Dunstable and Houghton Regis" (something I've blogged about before)...

posted on: Fri, 03 May 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Clear explanation of changes to education in Central Bedfordshire......
Watch...listen....learn.... Did you understand that?? No, neither did I. As a follow-up to my blog on educational leadership in Central Bedfordshire, I wondered where we had got to in informing stakeholders of the (not) clear direction and structured approach to change that we have in Central Bedfordshire....

posted on: Wed, 20 Mar 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Burren in TimeLapse
A simply stunning set of time lapse photos taken with a Canon M5D Mk2/3 using a DIY rig to move the camera with a rising/falling rail. Make it full screen watch and be inspired.

posted on: Wed, 13 Mar 2013 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Light Painting Photos
A great series of photos for the Christmas season

posted on: Tue, 18 Dec 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Benugo Waterloo: great location, good product, service.....utter FAIL
What can I say, Benugo have a fantastic location at Waterloo for a coffee bar. For a station, its relaxing and peaceful, however can they get their act together to deliver their core product? No. Last week, one person ahead of me to pay for coffee, three people ahead of me waiting for coffee.... how long did it take? Ten minutes and in the process serving two people *behind* me in the queue. This isn't a one off and clearly they haven't got a clue how to deliver a rapid service in such a location. Maybe their restaurants are better, but at this location they are a complete failure. Go downstairs to Costa where they know their product, clientele and service.

posted on: Wed, 12 Dec 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Lack of educational leadership from Central Bedfordshire UA?
As a governor at a school in Central Bedfordshire the last few years have been exciting times..... central government have pushed through a breathtaking raft of changes with the Academies programme a central plank....

posted on: Fri, 02 Nov 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

New term, new students and.... new digs
Yes, that time has come, the first offspring departed for University and a new educational frontier (at Keele) awaits him....

posted on: Sat, 22 Sep 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Infographic: Olympic Budget
A great infographic from the BBC on the Olympic Budget through time....well worth a view

posted on: Wed, 27 Jun 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Wellcome 2012 Image Awards
Title says it all.... see science at its most stunning

posted on: Tue, 26 Jun 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry

Never Second - a soap opera all of it's own
Well the Never Seconds blog continues to make international headlines. It's hard to imagine how taking a photo of your school lunch can generate such interest, and indeed have such an impact, but it does....

posted on: Mon, 18 Jun 2012 | path: /fun | permanent link to this entry