mattp: (Default)
One of the projects I've been involved in over the past year or so is London Hackspace. Basically,a load of geek have grouped together and formed a social club with lots of cool kit - laser cutters, lathes, pillar drills, electronics stuff, etc.

Last night, one other member and I gave a series of talks on speech and language: etymology, forensic linguistics, conlangs, speech synthesis, BSL and IPA. It was awesome, awesome fun. For those of you who missed it but might like to have seen any of these topics then they were recorded and put online at . I'm hoping to get them edited and cut into topic segments, but for the impatient feel free to dive right in.

My mum (a fellow polyglot and linguaphile) and my sister (who took photos) both came along, and after we went out for a wonderful Vietnamese meal. I got in around 1am, not able to sleep due to buzzing with adrenaline and enthusiasm.

A++ would do again.
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It only took Virgin Media the best part of 13 days, but I now have a working Internet connection at home. As a result, I'm hideously out of date with recent goings on. Please direct me to entries you think I should see.

Apologies to those of you to whom I owe email; I shall clear my backlog over the next day.

Work fun

Jul. 9th, 2010 11:25 am
mattp: (Default)
I sent this email around the office yesterday afternoon:
Read more... )

Sorry I've not updated much. I'm back to my normal self - working hard, playing hard, burning the candle at both ends.
mattp: (Default)
Bring some water to the boil in the bottom tier of a steamer.
Prep some veg (I used mini corn and green beans). When the water has boiled add your potatoes.

In a frying pan, add some lamb steaks, turning occasionally.
Whilst the steaks are cooking chop an onion, some garlic cloves, some mint leaves, and a chilli. Add this to the partially cooked lamb, and then add the juice of a lime. Continue until the meat is cooked, allowing the onions to partially caramelise.

When the potatoes are almost done, add the veg in the upper tiers of the steamer.

The two pans should finish at around the same time; 15-20 mins from the start.
Drain the veg and serve. Garnish the meat with the onion-mix.

om nom nom lamb )

mattp: (Default)
Not so long ago I came up with the idea to make something at my place, in the name of SCIENCE!. Please could you confirm if you still intend to come, in particular indicating when. Space is available for 1 or 2 people to stay - but importantly I need to know numbers in terms of providing food.
(Please reply to that post in order to keep the comments in one place)
mattp: (freddy-lol)
mattp: (freddy-lol)
[ profile] ihavecake and I picked them up from the cat shelter on Friday afternoon. They are adorable and have settled in so quickly.

One of these cats is called LOLCAT (Lol for short, because we can pretend it's short for Lorraine). The other is called Freddy, after Mr Orange in Reservoir Dogs. No prizes for guessing who named which.
mattp: (color lisa)
I have a plan. Though I say "science", it'll probably just end up with a few of us larking about.
What are you guys doing over the Easter weekend - Good Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday (2nd-5th April).

Inspired by OK Go's latest music video, I wish to make a Rube Goldberg machine.

I have the space in which to build it - there's an old pigeon house at the back of my garden. Currently I'm storing junk in there (old furniture, an exercise bike)

My rough plan is to have the first 2 days for ideas and testing small sections, the next day to build in full and deploy, with the final day as contingency. Come and go as you please, no minimum or maximum duration. Come with some bits that you want to use and a rough idea how you'll lay them out.

This is all likely to evolve as I find out numbers of people. I'll also need someone to film the japery for uploading to youtube.

Who's up for it? (Leave me contact details if you think I'll need them)
House details:
Location HA8. (Details at - let me know if you need access to that)
I have two cats.
Sleeping space for 2 can be provided (spare bed and a sofa).


Mar. 8th, 2010 10:17 am
mattp: (Default)
I've had several awesome things happen recently. I should really make an update.
In the meantime: Ask me questions that you've always wondered
mattp: (rgb)
Yet another absolute... (at least there's only 1 more after this)

At the moment it would have to be "Introduction to number theory" by Martin J. Erickson and Anthony Vazzana. I bought it to learn about some techniques which have helped me to solve 100 puzzles on

In general though, my literary diet consists mainly of: dictionaries (whether English or not), mathematical theory, foreign language grammar reference books, autobiographies and the occasional pop-sci title.
mattp: (Default)
Rather late to the party, but I signed up to FormSpring last week. - ask me stuff. (No one has asked me anything yet; the one I've answered was supplied on sign-up)
mattp: (Default)
Another "absolute" question which makes it difficult for me to answer. It's probably QI - because Stephen Fry is awesome. I'm also quite partial to Have I Got News For You.

That said, I don't actually watch a lot of TV; I don't think I've watched any this week, for example. When I do though, my taste covers political satire, panel comedy shows, and documentaries.
mattp: (flying)
I finally have the referral date - it's next week at St Thomas hospital.

It's closely becoming a likelihood that it'll all go ahead. Though I'm excited, truth be told I'm a little intimidated by the idea. But it's something I've been wanting to do for years, am I'm thoroughly looking forward to it.
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It seems I've been using Twitter in place of writing here in recent times. Here's a selection of what I've been up to.

Last weekend I went to Manchester for a birthday party and to see [ profile] msbhayvn. Though driving up gives flexibility in when to leave (and return), I find motorway travelling quite tiring, even as a passenger. Well, that, and it takes an age.

Self-directed maths learning is going well. I've mentioned on occasion the puzzle site ( that I saw a year or so ago which caused me to be motivated enough to start learning a bit more. Anyway, the Saturnday night of last weekend I solved my 99th and 100th puzzles. Current areas of research are Ramsey Theory, combinatorials, and Diophantine equations.

On Wednesday I went to the dentist. I've had an occasional toothache for a while now and so decided it was time I sought help. Turns out that some treatment I had when living in Manchester wasn't done well and it's failing and become infected. I've got some strong antibiotics and some work scheduled in a couple of weeks. 200 quid :-(

Thursday evening I went out for drinks with [ profile] saucy_goth who I met at Reptile a couple of months ago. As much as I like owning a place, it is a bit far out from town making it hard to socialise at short notice, so it's great to have someone relatively local with whom I get on well.

Friday night I was going to give some private Linux tuition but the guy cancelled. I was pondering going bellringing but dropped plans at the last minute to help a friend in distress, and we ended up going for sushi and cabaret. The cabaret was really quite awesome. One of the acts in particular
cut for the sqeamish ) I think the audience were unprepared, judging by reactions. (Other acts did not have the kink aspect, so I think they were lulled into a false sense of security). By a weird coincidence the place we went to took us past where I would have been ringing.

Yesterday I went to Borough Market for the first time ever. It's hard to believe that I've been living in London for something like 4 years and never managed to make it. I'm glad I did. I acquired some lovely chilli hot chocolate and some chilli chutney. Thanks to [ profile] _onlysmarties__ for the suggestion.

last night I went out to a charity quiz which was raising money for the Cats Protection League. It raised in excess of 650 pounds. Plus I enquired about housing one. I keep mentioning it but have decided that I'm ready for it. Hopefully by writing I'm committing myself!

Today was bellringing in Hampstead, and I was in charge, covering for the regular person who was away. It was a good session; I do so much enjoy being able to

Tonight I am off out to the Pembury Tavern, having not been there since Jan 1st. I shall be leaving once laundry is done. Who else is going to be there this evening?
mattp: (Default)
Because there's not enough love in the world:
Reply to this post, and I'll tell you one reason why I like you. Then re-post this and spread the love.
mattp: (Default)
ugh, yet another question that I can't answer with just one. The genres that I watch are Crime/Prison/Legal dramas, Suspense/Thriller, and Horror (gory/gruesome, rather than scary).

My choice of favourite happens to lie between two Stephen King adaptations:
The Green Mile
The Shawshank Redemption

I've seen them both numerous times, and know huge chunks of dialogue, but I can still watch them repeatedly.
mattp: (Default)
I don't think I get get this down to just 1.

Camera Obscura - Let's Get Out Of This Country comes close, because to me it's about taking action, overcoming obstacles and challenging adversity.

I'm posting just 1, to keep in the spirit of the meme, but I tend to have "core" songs rather than one I'd describe as being a favourite.
mattp: (Default)
Baaaaa! Here follows a year-by-year rundown of this decade.
2000 )

2001 )

2002 )

2003 )

2004 )

2005 )

2006 )

2007 )

2009 )

2009 )

I've probably left out loads of events. This is more meant as a selection rather than a complete history.
mattp: (Default)
I've seen this meme occasionally but am doing a slight variation of it. I believe the original idea behind the meme is to make a post a day, but I don't post that often. I'll get through all 30 posts, but as and when I feel like it.

here's the list of 30 )

Look out for the tag "30".

New Year

Dec. 30th, 2009 02:28 am
mattp: (Default)
What're you lot doing for New Year's Eve? I'm most likely going to the Pembury Tavern for an evening of geeking and gaming, having picked up my ticket earlier this evening.

October 2010

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