Sunday, 29 January 2012

Sunday Times Where Was I ?

Near as I can figure it this week (29/01/12), the answers are:

1) Titchfield Abbey

2) Fort Rowner?

The second question is a bit tricky, from the satellite picture, it looks like there are two forts within the grounds of HMS Sultan, Fort Rowner to the north and Fort Grange to the south. The distance from them to HMS Sultan is less than half a mile, though the people that write this puzzle may not be too accurate with their measurements.It could be that they mean Fort Brockhurst, which also lies north of HMS Sultan and is nearer to the half mile distance specified. The puzzle says that the fourth fort is half a mile to the north and the other is half a mile to the south of HMS sultan, so if that is the criteria and they are using shonky measurements, then I'd plump for Fort Rowner as the answer to question 2.

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Buddy Holly and the Big 'Bocca'

The Eastender Himself loves Boccherini's Passacalle , 'Night music from the street in Madrid'. I first heard it in the film 'Master and Commander' and after listening to it a few more times, I realised that I'd heard the base line somewhere before. After much searching through my playlists, I found it, Boccherini's baseline is being played in Buddy Holly's 'Love is Strange' song.....If you have a musical ear, listen to the two pieces in juxtaposition, the baselines are almost identical.....

Boccherini Passa Calle

Buddy Holly Love is Strange

Thursday, 26 January 2012

E Books and Hacking Code

The Eastender himself has been busy writing his latest pot boiler and decided that it shall be an E-book. Writing a physical book which is made from paper and ink is difficult enough, writing an ebook means, that if you don't have the required word processing software, then you have to make like a code monkey and insert some html into your document so that a table of contents will appear in it, when somebody downloads it to a kindle or similar device. A sample of the TOC code lies below:

<p><a name="TOC"><h3>Table of Contents</h3></a></p> 
<p><a href="#Chapter 1"><h4>Chapter 1</h4></a></p> 
<p><a href="#Chapter 2"><h4>Chapter 2</h4></a></p> 
<p><a href="#Chapter 3"><h4>Chapter 3</h4></a></p> 
You also have to place an anchor at the chapter heading so that the hyperlinks work
<a name="Chapter 1">
<a name="Chapter 2">
<a name="Chapter 3">
This is not the end of it however, you also have to download the kindle development software (kindle previewer) so that you can verify that your book will look ok on the various devices that the book can be delivered to, to wit the kindle, kindle fire, kindle dx, kindle for i phone, kindle for ipad and kindle for pc. The save as html option on many wordprocessing packages leaves a lot of unnecessary code in the file and this can affect how the book looks on the various platforms, so I found it was better to upload the plain text and get the Amazon software to create the html and then check it on their simple viewer before downloading the file and checking it on the previewer to confirm that it looked ok on the various platforms it'll be ported to. Writing a book these days, means that you have to be part software engineer..... 

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Bear Grylls Fan Dies of Hypothermia in the Highlands

My earlier post about Bear Grylls giving people the wrong idea that they can 'live of the land' , has sadly come to pass. A 29 year old man, who watched the show and thought that he could survive on Rannoch moor in wintertime, by employing bushcraft, hunting and trapping techniques, was reported to have been found frozen to death in a bothy at Corrour in the west highlands. People need to get it into their heads that you don't challenge the mountains, you go there with an attitude of respect for the dangers that lie there and are thankful if they let you leave in one piece. As for surviving off the land in the Scottish mountains in winter, that would be difficult to do in summer time, even if you had a hunting rifle, a lot of experience and foraging, trapping, shelter building and fishing skills, there is also precious little firewood and even less shelter there, where the winds can blow at well over a hundred miles per hour,  so a knowledgeable person would not have picked that area as a long term winter survival exercise location. A coastal region has far more wild food available, firewood and shelter options on offer than the mountains, which claim around thirty victims every year...