Archive | November 2008

Last Week In pictures

My week started off with my Monday evening astronomy class at the botanical gardens… we actually got to go observing! They have a few of the trees there lit up for Christmas, looks quite nice and its not too light polluting:
On Tuesday I took a quick trip out to the University Observatory to fix an issue with our imaging camera… all sorted. It was a lovely day, unlike today (I was intending to do some observing out there tonight):
I also went to the IoP public talk here at the University of Birmingham on Tuesday night (the talk was excellent and it was on the “Star of Bethlehem”) and there was a lovely sunset beforehand:
Ok so maybe not a full week but I’ve not gotten around to sorting out the rest of the pics from the week as I’ve got a cold….

Night of a thousand telescopes!

The Largest Astronomy Lesson in the World EVER! This event is aimed at being the biggest star party ever and to promote the start of the International Year of Astronomy. So if you have a telescope and fancy taking party get over to and register. The event is to take place over the Malvern Hills in Worcester, so you probably have to be fairly local for it (I’m not sure if I will manage to get there yet) with it taking place on the first good Saturday in January…. should be interesting and who knows a new Guinness World Records might be set!

Anberlin Gig

Last night I got to see one of my favourite bands, [Anberlin], at the [Birmingham Barfly]. They were supported by Data Select Party and Furthest Drive Home. Data Select Party were really good and I think I will have to buy their CD – I probably should have last night but I wasn’t really thinking when we left the venue.
Anberlin Gig 6Data Select Party Warming up the crowd.
Anberlin did a storming set. I very much enjoyed myself. I’ve not been to gig in a while and it was really good to be at a gig with a good atmosphere and not too many people along. The Barfly is much smaller than the Birmingham Academy and so you get a more intimate feeling. Anberlin seemed quite overwhelmed by the response of the crowd – to the point that they did 2 encores! I’m not sure I’ve ever seen that before (I guess I may have at a big festival, but I can’t pinpoint a moment). I was worried at the start of the gig, the typical american band not being able to voaclise well live was going through my head… but after a couple of songs he really got into it and the sound engineers obviously noticed it and sorted it… either that or I just stopped bouncing… probably a bit of both. It was a great gig – if they are coming to a venue near you – go see them. If they are not and you haven’t heard them, go listen. I personally like quite a range of their music but I think that their second album “Never Take Friendship Personal ” is their best. Here are a couple of shot of them during the gig…
Anberlin 3
Anberlin 5
We walked back past St. Martins and the Bullring to the bus stop and I took a couple of shots of the Christmas lights in Birmingham, I really like the blue and white.
St Martins
Birmingham Lights 3

University of Birmingham Lions in action

Last Saturday I got the chance to go down and watch the [University of Birmingham Lions] in action – this is the University’s American football team. I’ve been meaning to go down and watch them play for a number of years now but never managed it. Well I decided that this year would be different and I actually got down to see them. It was a good game with the Birmingham Lions clear victors with a 29-0 win over the Bath Killer Bees. A full write-up of the match can be found on the [University Sport pages]. Some pictures can be found below… (not the best, it was a bit too low light level for my little camera)
The marching band:
The team’s emerge:
and the half-time show by the [Birmingham Pussycats ]

Emulators in Ubuntu

I love playing games. I also love playing around with linux… so what better than playing around with old games by getting them to work on Ubuntu? How about instead of just getting PC games working we try and get old console games working? Even better. Shame that lots of people have already been doing this. That’s ok – I just get to use the end product, probably better in terms of the amount of time I would waste on this….
The first one I will mention is zsnes, a great little emulator for SNES games (well doh! it say it on the tin). Anyway, its simple to install in Ubuntu, just type: “sudo apt-get install zsnes” at the command line (or look the GUI repository software installer) – assuming you have the universe repositories setup. It works pretty well and I’d recommend taking a look [here] for further guidance.
Another emulator I have tried is DeSmuME – which is an emulator for the nintendo DS… to install “sudo apt-get install desmume”.
Anyway, I’m going to go and have a play with those… and I’ll post more back when I get chance but for a few excellent guides on lots of emulators I’d suggest you take a look at: and []

Vale Fireworks 2008

I’ve finally gotten around to sorting through the photos I took at this years University of Birmingham Vale Fireworks. This is a really nice free event that takes place every year in the student village around the Vale (the lake). Its always great fun and has a fun atmosphere, I’ve been to way too many now though.
The rides before the fireworks…
The wonderful fireworks (a few of my favourites – as you can guess I took quite a number…):
and the fun of the crowds afterwards… seems like a bit of riot (did I hear some start a chant about freeing Nelson Mandela?? :-p)