2018 from a tiny island

It’s 2018 and apparently it’s ok to fund lies to smear another country but if it’s smearing our own then it’s a massive problem.

Exploring the Arctic – British perspectives

Nick Drake shares poetry and Professor Peter Wadhams who has led over 40 polar expeditions explain melting ice caused by climate change

Sustainable and urban living research at Surrey University

Students presented from UG research projects and staff also presented where they received internal funding for a project or to go and present internationally.

A big theme are their multidisciplinary research collaborations including across different sustainability themes.

I learnt what a vortex generator is (sounds like something out of Back to the Future) and also perovskite solar cells.

Other research included Vitamin D for northern & southern hemispheres particularly when hard for different social groups to get exposed to sunlight; blockchain & sustainable supply chains (tracing, tracking fraud / modern slavery), sludge management & anaerobic digestion.

One student completed a water audit onsite and now investigating infrared autoflush, water flow management and use of an unused borehole to help reduce water usage.


And on a Surrey note, I am going to be returning there – joining the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences on a digital learning contract later this month. I’ve already got another project to do from a conversation tonight.

I will miss Roehampton – will still be involved with DICATS and probably the follow up collaboration – maybe together with Surrey as it’s not so far down the road.

Carols – non political

I’ve been ‘teaching’ my piano student carols as many free sheet music arrangements available, they are great way to practice very repetitive rhythms with chords and both hands together.

I also used a couple of tiny clementines which I put under her hands during one lesson to help keep her fingers up. May get to Christmas chocolates next week.

She is going home to Ukraine then for Christmas and is ordering a piano so she may be able to perform them – so far (she mostly chose)

  • Good King Wenceslas,
  • I saw 3 ships (I thought she might like as she is from shipping city but actually a little underwhelmed, note to self…)
  • Hark the Herald
  • Coventry Carol

Hoping to do Stille Nacht / Silent Night next week as it’s also so beautiful too.

We haven’t found an arrangement yet but a Ukrainian carol below.

She is learning a french song from a Russian film, has self-taught herselfLa Laland and is currently self-teaching herself Bohemian Rhapsody. Amazing student – she does it mostly by sound and then writes (English letters)


Smartphone cooling for VR 360 recording and streaming

I am investigating overheating / cooling whilst we are running tests for VR and 360 recording and streaming because our personal smartphones get hot quite quickly even with an aluminium case and we will be streaming for four hours. You don’t have to use a smartphone for streaming and our tests were using a smartphone with the Vuze+ camera which we will be using with laptop instead of phone. But we are interested to know if there are options for smartphones. If we use something like an Insta360 Air we will need additional cooling options if recording / streaming motion of some kind for at least an hour. (Have not purchased Insta360 personally but may do in early 2019).

There are VR 360 portable cameras such as Vuze XR, comparison chart where this does not appear to be an issue.

A technical colleague suggested some kind of metal plate but this may be difficult if you want to hold the phone or an accessory stick. Some cases appear to be on or nearly available such as Optimal. If a mobile phone could be streaming / recording and doesn’t need to be held, then a mobile fan / radiator may be an option (again not tried but this would be interesting to see how much noise it makes and how it affects the quality). Research includes looking at graphene to cool and I guess manufacturers will continue to look at internal as well as external options as VR usage and streaming increase.

Depending on any fan noise, this looks like a nice idea for temporary cooling, if you are not outside and/or there is a lot of warm air circulation already because the USB powerbank looks quite small and light. Will ask around.


International day for Elimination of violence against women

Of course if you’re a female thug, a day like this is viewed as a challenge to their freedom to commit thuggery.

Here’s some good ones though

taekwondo sparring

One more session next week then we will be finishing, I aim to have done enough to help people who want to train at a club get a feel for what is involved as a minimum. One of ‘students’ kindly took some photos again today – beautiful but cold morning – nice backdrop. I was encouraging my opponent to come in and kick or punch – whilst it’s a little artificial with photos, it gives something of an overall guide.Half turn kick was good – they were kicking at or below knee height when they started last autumn.

I’m attempting to go back to training a couple of times a week from December onwards which may include running sessions or parts of them as well.

arms open wide encouraging student to kick chest student full turn kick circling getting ready to punch arms open wide encouraging student to kick ches


Please donate to Kemerovo permanent memorial

I was unable to visit in person in the summer but have interest from several people who wanted to donate financially. I read that the temporary memorial has been removed and they are hoping to build a permanent memorial / memorial garden. We received a nice reply from the local administration who have advised that there is now a fund for the permanent memorial construction. If you would like to donate directly to the fund they have advised something along these lines as a reference – provision of material assistance for the construction of the memorial in connection with the fire in Winter Cherry Mall, Kemerovo:

Details for settlements
Inn 4200000б30
PPC 420501001
the IBAN 97 4/0
OKPO 02286354
the RCM 32,101000
BIC 043207001
R / C 401 01 8 1 040000001 0007
Кемеровской области (главное финансовое у1rравление
Кемеровской области лl с 04392039400)
БК в шоле 104 платежного поручения 855 2 07 02030 02 0018 180
Euros EUR:
Beneficiary’s bank (Bankalararas) :
Corr.assoupt J\b 3 0Z 0 1 97895 0020000003
Krasnoyarsk Branch, SWIFT: VTBRRIJM2KRA
KEMEROVSKOY OBLASTI (Somerseta switch) : 40 6 03 9 7 89 1 2 03 02 0 00 5 2
Weightage’s bank (Bankpenalties):
Corr.account J\b 3 03 0 1 8403 5 0020000003
Krasnoyarsk Branch, SWIFT: VTBRRUM2KRA
KEMEROVSKOY OBLASTI (Noorsootootaja) : 4 0 б03 84 00 1 0200 20 3 0 5 1

Fossil fuel extraction near my house

There’s been a series of 12 earthquakes near and in my town between April and August where previously there were none for around fifty years. I don’t know enough details yet and there are several judicial processes about fracking raised by local communities here, one of which has produced an official British Geological Society monitoring station. This has obvious parallels with Lancashire’s multiple earthquakes at the moment. There is also separate oil drilling underway nearby in a tiny area and also under investigation. It is a case of wealthy people eating other wealthy people into their mutual destruction as many of them have houses, businesses and land in our region.

I am interested in the water aspects i.e. where fossil fuel extraction affects aquifers etc but will write more in the longer term. Our next module block is the Arctic – what people think it is and what is happening there. Individual countries are not covered in detail but there is a section on ownership and usage of resources later in December.

I have also been trying to find Russian climate scientists (not for this) but to join a twitter community of nearly 2k accounts (none of whom are based in Russia). Separate twitter accounts and writing in English not required. If there is interest I may be able to put up a rolling automatic twitter feed from one account which could link to the existing twitter list. Or whatever is considered to be useful.

How useful it would be on both sides – who knows but to try and set up an international social media network without input from Russia as it happens in Russia will severely limit the scientific thinking and result in yet another binary echo chamber.