Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Deceptive Drawings

Found this brilliantly simple, yet hilariously executed online game called "Drawception". It was made live last Monday, it's still in beta and the site is getting pretty hammered by requests due to linkage by, so be prepared for the occasional time-outs if you visit it.

Here's some of the ones where I have contributed (link, link, link and link) and if you doubt the hilarity of people and their lacking drawing skills (mine included) combined with miscommunication, then check out this one entitled "Sexy Old Lady". I rest my case.

Monday, 26 March 2012

Cutting Into The Swiss Design

Or... "How I thought I was smarter than Microsoft's Logo Designer".

I'm busy designing UX/UI Icons, which I hopefully will be able to disclose a bit more as it gets closer to completion. But this post isn't about that, but rather about me needing a small but well earned break from designing the icons. So what do I do? I design something else of course...

To my knowledge I am not the only one who has complained that Microsoft's upcoming "Windows 8" logo looks.. well.. "not so good" seems to be the general consent. It's one thing to criticize and complain about how something could be better, it's a completely different thing to actually do something about it. For instance, I respect the second one significantly more than I respect the first one. Maybe their logo is a "love it or hate it" -approach to design and everything in it is by choice, I sure hope so. I can respect a conscience choice even if I don't agree with it.

But I don't know.

And since I partly agree with some of the criticism that's been floating around I thought "Surely I can do better than that!". Not so surprisingly enough, that is actually where many of my projects start from. Well.. enough talk. This post wasn't go to be about my narcissistic tendencies.

The short version is: I don't like Microsoft's new "Windows 8" logo so I designed a new (ish) one using Microsoft's own Visual Guidelines for their Metro interface. Feedback and opinions are of course greatly appreciated, because I am actually very curious to hear what other people think.. Did I do a better job at it?

This Monday Sucks a Little Less

Some times Mondays just suck, don't they? Probably where they expression "Having a case of the Mondays" comes from. As a "fun" exercise, if you type in "mondays sucks" into Google you get about 130 000 000 (130 million) results. No try typing in "fridays sucks" and you're presented with a measly 5 370 000 results.

In fact...

Because I love statistics and will take any excuse to make a chart of any kind, here's a handy chart depicting the amount of "sucks" for every day of the week, so illustrate how much Mondays suck more than any other day of the week.

Fun fact, Monday is pretty tightly followed by Thursday.. I didn't expect that but I suppose it makes sense in a Western work week sort of way.

I wonder if xkcd has ever done this joke?

So why am I bringing this up? Well, because despite the fact that Mondays clearly "statistically" speaking sucks more than any other day, this Monday sucks significantly less. Why? Because of coffee of course, my dear readers.

Today my "long" — and by "long" I mean it got blended/roasted/shipped last Wednesday, but I am a very impatient man — awaited coffee arrived in our mailbox. Many thanks to everyone at eightpointnine, and more so to Kris and Jess. Now I want to make some things clear right of the bat. I am a single estate kind of coffee drinker. I don't want my delicious beans blended and diluted to form an incoherent drink that lacks character. That hasn't changed one tiny bit, it's just how I like my coffee not to say that there's anything wrong with liking blends or anything. It's just a personal preference.

But if I were to prefer blends over single estate coffee, by God I would order it from The reason I felt the need to point out my liking of single estate isn't because I am a pompous buffoon, it's because I have tried many blends and never liked a single one. It's always been something too wrong with them to make me want to include them in my repertoire of beans. I think I'm inclined to change my mind now, or at the very least, consider the fact that "Yeah, I could add a blend to my repertoire".

Itella however should really get their shit together.

The verdict: Wonderful sweetness. Excellent mouth-feel. Appropriate acidity (I like mine less). The figs had more of a side role, which is where I like my figs. The caramel-y butterscotch-y-ness was quite present through and through, very nice. The only drawback is the lack of character that I suspect is a bit of a curse and blessing with blends, for comparison I can easily recall the flavour profile of Monsooned Malabar even though it's been months since I drank any. I can imagine "forgetting" the profile of this coffee because it doesn't give me a tangible note to hang on to. But at the same time I am already wanting to have another cup of it. So maybe the lack of character is balanced out by it's stability in flavour instead. Because this feels like a consistent coffee. Having said all of that I am giving this a 4+ out of 5.

For those interested, my personal blend — You can design your own blend — consists of 96% Colombian, 2% Brazilian and 2% Costa Rican and packs a rich mouth-feel and sweetness to it. Eightpointnine recommends having a coffee-to-water ratio of .055 when brewing coffee, which is definitely a good ratio but I like mine at .066. Which means instead of 16,5 grams to 300 grams of water I use 19,8 grams. But out of curiosity I am going to try their ratio too.

Eightpointnine doesn't ship internationally.. yet. But as soon as they do, you owe it to yourself to try them out. You can even get the first box for free using either of these codes (8PT9FREE or GQ94BTN) so you what are you waiting for?

...right.. international shipping. Unless you live in the UK, in which case. Go! Order now! Let me know, what you thought?

Thursday, 15 March 2012

Sssh, They Might See Me

Journal, part I

I'm preparing for night two in this foreign land. I feel pretty confident at this stage that the local population had been made aware of my presence, despite my best efforts to conceal it. Fear not though dear readers as I have figured out the patterns by which they move and with the secret to blendning in.

It appears many of them use a sort of sub terrainial form of transportation, referred to by the local population as "ndrgrnd". And when using this transportation they all appear very.. well.. bored for lack of a better word, trying all forms of entertainment whilst in "transit" such as reading newspapers or listening to "music". It is in these observations that I have made my discovery, which I shall call "Carlosian Stealth", after it's great inventor.. me.

By appearing as indifferent as the local population I have managed to blend in, become one of them. Or so I hope because I can only imagine what would happen to me should they ever find out that I am not truly one of them. I may have tasted their local cuisine (an odd sausage looking thing with beans on the side, that I hope to never have to endure again) and walked amongst them but I have not yet become as they seem to call a... "Lndner".

As night falls I have taken refuge in my temporary shelter for I dare not try to walk amongst them at night. With time I will most likely be forced to venture out at night as well, but for now I have managed to make due with the supplies at hand.

Only time will tell... only time.

End of Journal, part I

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Up, Up And Away

Next week will be very exciting. On Wednesday evening I am flying to the UK for an interview on Thursday. Obviously I don't know how things will go yet, but I am very (very) excited about the prospect of landing a job in the UK before we move there. Oh, right, I don't remember if I mentioned that. We are moving to the UK regardless of my employment status. Besides, so far most of the rejections I have received have been based purely on the fact that I (and we) don't already live in the UK. Which tells me it shouldn't be that hard to get a job, aside for the recession and high unemployment, for me it's mostly been about geographical location. Which is easily rectified. Which is why we (as the collective whole) have decided that we will move regardless, according to our own schedule were are "out of here!" by the end of April, but obviously if I get a job before that, we will move before that.

I have never before noticed how many of my sentences start with "Which", I wonder if I do that a lot or if it's just a fluke that the three previous sentences started like that. Hmm.. maybe I  could research that with a word scanning algorithm of some sort? Oh, the things I do.. "For Science!".

Ahem, the side-stepping aside, point of this post is that I am excited, and whilst I am going for a casual and cool "Orlando Bloom"-ish excited look I am pretty certain I come across as more of a "Small Randomly Googled Giddy Girl with Crudely Photoshopped Rainbow Shooting Out Of Brain".. ish.. look. You get the point, right?

Interesting side fact, both of these pictures were a result of me typing in "excited" into Google's Image search. I use the term "interesting" very loosely, it's more of a "interesting" in the same manner as observing the current weather is interesting.. as opposed to "Oh, my god, this hot-dog is the awesome-est hot-dog I have ever eaten! I can't breath for how awesome this hot-dog is"[1] -interesting.

[1]. Eddie Izzard in his Stand Up Special "Circle".

Tuesday, 6 March 2012


The short teaser for the musical "Continue", a dear friend of mine is in it so of course I have to make a quick post about it. I hadn't actually been that excited about the musical — despite my general love for theatre — but now I am feeling like I should arrange time to go see it. And hey, maybe you should too?

Check out their blog for more information about schedules and purchasing tickets.. or just because you're curious.

Footnote: This post is not endorsed by anyone associated with the musical "Continue". I just write about things because I think they're kewl.

Friday, 2 March 2012

Three Point Three

I just finished updating our NHL Stats website to 3.3. What does that mean I hear you ask? Awesomeness a plenty, that's what.. and to shed some light on the matter here's a couple of new features (long awaited mind you) that has managed to finally become a part of our intricate obsessive statistical analysis.

 - "All Stats" added, including (not available anywhere else) statistics like e.g. Away/Home Win Ratios and Shots Against/Game. All of them displayed nicely in sortable tables, made possible by Stuart Langridge's sorttable.js.

 - "Edit Match" added

 - "In the Zone" indicator added. The player's avatar becomes entangled with mathematical symbols one hour every day to signal that this is the hour when the player has won most of their games. Edit: Thanks to beije for guiding me in the right direction when I was trying to extrapolate the new data (number of wins correlating to time stamp) from our db, GROUP BY is the shit in this case!

 - Rank symbol "Unranked" added