Steam powered iMac – art installation

Posted by jerry on August 19th, 2006 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Steam, Technology

For those who remember travelling on steam trains as a kid and are surfing the internet now – here is a project that combines the two! Turner art prize-winner Jeremy Deller and Alan Kane have set up a steam powered internet machine to bridge the gap between the steam age and the digital age. This appeared in an article in The Guardian and was uncovered in the Makezine blog.

Steam iMac


Steampunk robots – I-Wei Huang and hi tech steam

Posted by jerry on August 18th, 2006 — Posted in DIY, Journal, Steam, Technology

Ever imagined an alternative future in which steam powered remote controlled centipedes walked the streets, or a steam-powered six-wheel-drive mars rover? Well Japanese artist I-Wei Huang has not just imagined – he has built them!

steam centipede

From a radio controlled walking robot to a trilobite steam tank to a truly amazing steam centipede, there seem to be no limits to I-Wei’s imagination – and ingenuity. His site is filled with his award-winning creations. Watch the videos – I love the one where his six-wheel-drive rover tows him on a skateboard šŸ™‚

Imagine someone from a distant planet sending this to Earth!

steam rover

A kind of Jules Verne meets Bruce Sterling – check out his site – and check out Makezine for more of this guy’s amazing work


Moon and fitness challenge week5

Posted by jerry on August 13th, 2006 — Posted in Journal

Digital cameras are certainly coming along – my recent purchase of a canon A530 – definitelyĀ  in the lower-mid range of cameras, still gives a good clear phot. One of the tests I like to do is to see what happens when you photograph the moon. With the recent full moon, I ventured outside on dusk and there was the moon somewhat above the horizon, so I zoomed in a little and snapped away. And here is the result – no telescope, no binoculars, just the camera.

full moon

Not a bad bit of detail – certainly the major ‘seas’ are in view, and a couple of bright spots, one of which could be tycho.

Also, despite a bit of fiddle practice – week 5 of my fitness challenge is still just a little short of the mark. But at least by blogging it, I keep the pressure on to consider how much or how little exercise I’m getting at the moment.

pedometer week 5

And it’s better than some of my earlier efforts


Full Circle at the Valley Tavern – and fitness challenge week 4

Posted by jerry on August 7th, 2006 — Posted in Journal, Music

Well Thursday was a great night at the Valley Tavern, Wanniassa – Full Circle and our friends GiLF (all-girl rock and roots band) played to a packed and enthusistic crowd. It was great to see everyone there and of course, in addition to the Kangaroo Valley Folk Festival (8-10 Sept) we’ll be back at the WanniassaĀ  – again with GiLF on 28 September.

Full Circle Band at the Wanniassa Tavern

Full Circle Band at the Wanniassa Tavern

Of course all this is great exercise and by Sunday my pedometer steps had crept over the magic 70,000 to show that 90 minutes of fiddle playing is equivalent to a whole day’s worth of steps!

pedometer week 4

Singapore Sling – at Raffles

Posted by jerry on July 26th, 2006 — Posted in Journal, Travel

Raffles, Singapore

Raffles is well worth seeing – for all that Singapore does surface glitz, Raffles is different. I suspect the place is far cleaner than in Somerset Maugham’s day. The Long Bar was full, but perfectly recreated in dark woods. Discrete signs say that you are welcome to sweep your peanut shells onto the floor – it is a tradition, despite Singapore’s stringent littering laws. It is all about ambience. The quaintly Victorian nude painting hangs above the bar and the ceiling fans sway lazily to and fro on their complex mechanism – despite the icy air conditioning: it adds to the atmosphere.


I found a seat in the Raffles courtyard. The floor singer was accompanied by electric piano and bass. She is good, even if the selection of material is ’60s Cobana style befitting an early Bond movie – but somehow it fits the setting perfectly.

A Singapore sling at Raffles is not to be hurried, but rather, savoured with friends. At SN$19.00 it is not a drink for the slaking of a thirst among the palm trees and white Colonial splendour of the inner courtyard.

Singapore Sling at Raffles, Singapore

The Sling is like a pink fruit punch with a dryness on the palette that tells you that somewhere beneath the pink froth and fruit lies a gin or vodka heart. It is served with a slice of pineapple and a glace cherry – which complements the fruity liquid. I suspect that one could easily consume several without realising the inexorable effect it will have
on one’s knees when you attempt to stand. But price will limit most people to just one.

I paid with a fifty – but had to ask later for the change. Interesting. Raffles is still a residential hotel, but in keeping with the Singaporean trend of squeezing some extra enticement for the Western dollar, the upper floors along the balconies are lined with
shops. Not just any shops either – Tiffany – the real jeweller, exclusive ceramic boutiques, and Georg Jensen are all there, along with some exclusive galleries.

As the clock swept closer to 11.00pm I decided to call it a night and walked back to the hotel. As I passed through the Marina Plaza shopping centre I found that Singapore does close at night – the shopkeepers were just locking up for the night – it would have been a
long day for them. Meanwhile another breed of Sinagporean came to life – the riggers and maintenance workers – mainly Indians – were stringing up tomorrow’s banners and festoons of lights.

Time for a quiet coffee in the hotel before sleep and the 0800 departure for the airport to catch the 0930 flight home.