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Quentin Stafford-Fraser's blog

Last Build Date: Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:31:10 +0000


Dem drones, dem drones, dem high drones…

Tue, 21 Feb 2017 10:30:08 +0000

Many of my friends have expressed surprise that I don’t have a drone yet. I’m rather surprised myself, actually – I’m very tempted by the DJI Mavic Pro. So far, however, I’ve resisted. Getting a licence to fly them anywhere close to humanity, or to use them for commercial work, takes a little while and Continue Reading

The ‘power’ of the Press…

Sun, 19 Feb 2017 17:10:26 +0000

You shouldn’t, of course, believe what you read in the papers. This is a good general rule, but recently we had a rather striking example. On Feb 11th, The Times ran an article entitled, “Electric cars mean UK could need 20 new nuclear plants”. Here’s an extract, talking about a Transport for London report: The Continue Reading

The problem of improved road safety

Sat, 18 Feb 2017 00:44:16 +0000

Now here’s a downside to self-driving cars that I had completely failed to consider: An article on Slate’s website points out that the current desperate shortage of organ donors is only going to get worse: It’s morbid, but the truth is that due to limitations on who can contribute transplants, among the most reliable sources Continue Reading

But soft, what light through yonder bottle breaks?

Thu, 16 Feb 2017 22:59:59 +0000

In Cambridge marketplace, there’s one of those installations that I presumed was supposed to be art, and as I walked by I pondered all the other things that taxpayers’ money could usefully be spent on… It was labelled, so I thought, ‘Litter of light’. Yeah, yeah, green eco modern art, blah blah… But then I Continue Reading

Electrons by the gallon

Wed, 08 Feb 2017 14:06:57 +0000

Rumours emerged last year that Shell were thinking of installing electric-vehicle charging stations in their forecourts, and they have now confirmed that the first ones will be rolled out in the next few months. This is great news, though I’ve complained before that having an electric vehicle means you tend to spend more time in Continue Reading

Understanding the Presidency

Sun, 05 Feb 2017 01:04:51 +0000

At a dinner at a friend’s house tonight, we finally worked it out. Donald Trump is Zaphod Beeblebrox. For those well-versed in late-20th-century literature, a lot of things then suddenly make sense.

Storm Rider, Grantchester

Sat, 04 Feb 2017 00:05:49 +0000

Speeding up evolution

Tue, 31 Jan 2017 14:02:53 +0000

Technology doesn’t only help humans move around in new ways: This project at CMU allows a goldfish to drive its tank around the room. Now they’ve done the difficult bit, all they need to do is work out how to explain to the goldfish what exactly is going on. I fear that may still take Continue Reading

Gold, Silver and Bronze

Sun, 29 Jan 2017 20:33:29 +0000

Holme Fen

Into Fairyland

Thu, 26 Jan 2017 10:09:31 +0000

A photo taken last weekend in Monks Wood, with a little processing. (To hide the fairies. They’re very camera-shy and wouldn’t sign a model release.)

Winter Walk

Sun, 22 Jan 2017 18:16:42 +0000

We had a rather chilly but very pretty walk on the Wimpole Hall estate this morning. Here’s the view from near the folly: If you really want to see the whole picture from here, though, there’s another of my scrolly-panorama things here. Then we walked back through the woods.

The Morning Bathe

Fri, 20 Jan 2017 10:06:15 +0000

Here’s a link to something you probably don’t know

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 23:53:07 +0000

I’ve always liked this particular link. I can pretty much guarantee that there will be at least something on the other end of it that you don’t know. How do I know that? Well, that link takes you to a random page on Wikipedia. Since the English version of Wikipedia has over 5 million pages, Continue Reading

Trying a tripod

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 21:54:41 +0000

I got a new tripod yesterday, and took it out to play today (just very briefly while I was ostensibly walking the dog). One thing I’ve been enjoying recently is stitching together multiple images to create a panorama, and a tripod makes this work very much better. But how to display the very wide images Continue Reading