Wednesday, 29 October 2014

WISE: Ada Lovelace

Ada Gordon, more often known as Ada Lovelace was born in 1815 and was an only child. She was the daughter of a poet, George Gordon, and a mathematician, Annabella Milbanke. Her parents separated just a month after Lovelace was born. Her mother feared that Ada would inherit her father's poetic temperament she raised her daughter on under an strict regime of science, logic and mathematics. From childhood Ada had a fascination with machines. She would design boats and steam flying machines, and would pour over the diagrams over new inventions that the Industrial Revolution brought about that filled all of the scientific magazines at the time 

At the age of 19, she married to William King who was an aristocrat. When her husband, in 1838 became Earl of Lovelace, Ada King became Lady Ada King, Countess of Lovelace. She had her husband had three children together. 

Lovelace was introduced to Charles Babbage in 1833 by her mentor Mary Somerville who was a a scientist. Babbage was a Professor of Mathematics who was famous for his visionary and unfinished plans for gigantic clockwork calculating machines. Both Lovelace and Babbage had unconventional personalities and ended up becoming lifelong friends. 

Lovelace had become deeply interested by Babbage's plans for an extremely complicated device that he called the Analytical Engine. It was to combine the array of adding his earlier Difference Engine. The Analytical Engine was never built, however the design had all the essential deigns of a modern computer. 

During 1842, Lovelace had translated a short article that described the Analytical Engine by an Italian mathematician for publication in England. Babbage had then asked her to expand the article as he believed that she understood the way it worked very well. The final article is over three times the length of the original one It contains several early 'computer programs' as well had strikingly observations on the potential use of the machine. These things included the manipulation of symbols and the creation of music. Babbage and his assistants had sketched out programs for the machine before but Lovelace's were the most elaborate out of all of these ans they were the first to be published. Because of this she is often referred to as the 'first computer programmer'. 

A the age of 36, Ada Lovelance died from cancer, just a few short years after the publication of 'Sketch of the Analytical Engine, with Notes from the Translator', and was buried alongside her father whom she never met, 

The Engine still remained a vision even after her death, that was until her notes had become one of the critical documents that inspired Alan Turing's work on the first modern computer in the 1940s. 

Although Lovelace herself was not able to carry through the vision that she had helped Babbage with, her thoughts and ideas carried on and had affected the way we use technology today.
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Friday, 24 October 2014

Fandom Confectionery: October 2014 - Tim Burton Edition

Halloween comes along this month, so I thought this month's Fandom Confectionery should be Tim Burton inspired. There are a few more of his movies that I want to watch but my sister and my auntie love his work! 

1) The Nightmare Before Christmas Phone Case
It's a hard shell phone case that fits the iPhone 4. I really like the look of this case because you can see Sally in the background as well. This movie has to be one of my favourite Halloween/Christmas movies! 
Buy - £20

2) Tim Burton Bottle Necklace 
Although bottle necklaces are something that I don't wear I do love the look of them and this one is absolutely gorgeous. I love the detail that's gone into making the scene that's inside the bottle. You can tell that it's taken a lot of time and it was definitely worth it. It's such a stunning piece of jewellery! 
Buy - £34.73 

3) Edward Scissorhands Watercolour Paint 
I haven't watched Edward Scissorhands but it is one of the Tim Burton movies that I really do want to watch. Someone has ended up going a watercolour painting of the characters which I think were done really well and would look really nice if they were all framed and put up on a wall. 
Buy - £13.00

4) The Nightmare Before Christmas Decorations
I love novelty Christmas decorations! They are some of my favourite things. For the past four years I get my sister a Christmas ornament so she can put on the tree and they're always fandom based. I think it end up making the tree a little more personal to our family. These look a little bit creepy but still look pretty amazing. They're from the Disney store and are Jack Skellington, Lock, Shock and Barrel. 

5) Tim Burton DVD Collection 
If you're looking for a few of Tim Burton's films to buy in a bundle, this might be something that you'd want to get. I ended up finding it on 'Amazon' and I don't think that the price is too bad for it either. The DVD is suitable for 18 year olds. And the movies on there are: 
  • Batman  
  • Batman Returns 
  • Charlie and the Chocolate Factory 
  • Sweeny Todd 
  • PeeWee's Big Adventure 
  • Corpse Bride 
  • Mars Attacks 
  • Beetlejuice 
Buy - £14.60


6) 'We're All Mad Here' Long Sleeved Top 
I've seen this print on a couple of tops but I really like it on the grey and as a long sleeve because it would be great for winter. It's a cotton t-shirt and is available in different sizes. I'm really, really tempted to get this top and I'm going to have to put it on a 'Pinterest' board. 
Buy - £10. 86

7) Sweeney Todd Poster 
This is a 69x102cm poster which is great if you're  huge fan of the film and you're looking to decorate your room. It looks like a slightly creepy poster to me but that makes it look that much better. 
Buy - £19.99

8) Corpse Bride Runaway Groom T-Shirt 
This top looks amazing! It only comes in the grey but in a few different sizes. I love that they've got the tree that's shaped as a heart around the two of them. I love 'Corpse Bride' which makes me love the top even more. 
Buy - £12.89

9) Art of Tim Burton Book 
If you're a huge, mega fan of Tim Burton then this book might be worth buying for you. If you're in love with the artwork in his movies and are obsessed with his work then you're probably going to love this book. It features his pre-production drawings for his movies and an overview of his art. 
Buy - £49.99

10) The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy & Other Stories 
23 tales that Tim Burton has put together into one short book. It's been released for about ten years now and is not only filled with his stories but some sketches. 
Buy - £6.74

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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Book Review: Love... Under Different Skies

Title: Love... Under Different Skies 
Author: Nick Spalding
Publisher: Coronet
Series: Love... #4
Release Date: 31/01/2013
Pages: 384
Service: Ninja Book Swap
Format: Paperback
Buy: Book Depository
Author Twitter: @spalding_author

'Even on the other side of the world, problems always have a way of finding you. 

Sometimes, the hardest part of staying together is keeping a straight face...

Ever wish you could leave all your problems behind and make a fresh start somewhere else? Trade the stresses and the strains of everyday life for your own slice of sun-kissed paradise on the other side of the world? 

Jamie and Laura Newman certainly have. 

When Jamie's spectacular meltdown at work results in him being handed his P45, and Laura finds her working days end up with her rugby tackling defenceless pensioners in the hight street, a move ten thousand miles away sounds ideal. After all, it might mend some of the cracks that have appeared in their marriage over the past few months.

So when Laura is offered a new job in Australia. the Newman family think their dreams have come true. But as the old saying goes - be careful what you wish for, you might just get it. As the hapless couple soon find out, problems have a way of finding you, no matter how far you go to avoid them. 

Can love survive under different skies?
When I put this book on my wishlist, I didn't realise that it was part of a series and goodreads didn't seem to tell me either. That wasn't a problem though. As I started to read this book, it didn't seem to matter that I hadn't read the other books in the series, it seemed like I had all the information that I needed. It seemed to be that Spalding made it so that you could read these books as a standalone and you can read the other if you wanted to know more about the couple's journey. Sadly, I didn't manage to finish their journey this time around  The book has come a DNF for me. 

I didn't completely dislike the book. I did like the fact that the chapters alternated between Jamie writing in his blog and Laura writing in her diary. Laura's POV was the one that I enjoyed more. I think Jamie's character was a little too blunt for me and I didn't really agree with some of the things that he did. 

There is quite a bit of swearing in the book but that wasn't what really bothered me. There were some jokes in the book that I didn't agree with and I just really didn't like Jamie's character. I couldn't continue with the book, so I really had to end up putting it down before I got 100 pages in. 

Rating: DNF
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Friday, 10 October 2014

Admiral's Swansea Bay 10K

A few months ago I was sitting on the sofa when my sister tells me that she's going to be signing up for Admiral's Swansea Bay 10K and asked me if I wanted to join and I said yeah. Why not? I always see the signs for it and it seemed like something different to do. I wanted to do some races and with the sign ups for this one coming out, I thought I may as well sign up. 

So, on the 21st of September I went down to the Bay and lined up with at least 4000 other people ready to start this race alongside my sister and I had no idea what was going to happen. I'll be honest here, I didn't really train for this 10K :which probably wasn't the smartest idea in the book. There were people there from overseas and people a part of running clubs or who just trained regularly and then there was me. Majority of the people there looked so ready for this race and like they knew what they were doing when they were warming up but I was definitely not one of those people. 

I heard the start gun go and started to wonder what in the world I ended up getting myself into but there seemed to be no going back. So, I started off with some jogging and walking. And my and my sister managed to make it through the whole thing together. The course did seem to go on forever though and I was just waiting for the point where I would be able to turn back around and get towards the finish line because at least then I would have known that I was halfway there. 

When we did get to that point, I was so happy! I didn't think I would be able to make it that far and the finish line seemed to be that little bit closer. So, we kept going. Pushing ourselves through and getting a bottle of water to the amazing volunteers who were on the side. Eventually, we managed to get to the point where there was only one kilometre left and I couldn't believe it! We were nearly there and then at 100 metres we decided to have a little race to the finish and in the end, we both had the same finish time of 1:39:38. For me, that's a fantastic time and I'm over the moon with it. 

This race has just made me want to enter a few more and try and beat my time. So, hopefully I'll be entering one or two of those but we'll wait and see what happens there. 
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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

My Month On Instagram: September 2014

September seemed to be a pretty busy month with me on Instagram. Here's what happened!

So I got through my first day of food and now I have amazing food.
First day back and history homework has arrived! 
I feel like I understand this but watch me get it wrong.
Currently Reading: Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List

My sister booked the Harry Potter Studio Tour for my birthday!
Currently on a train to get to Hogwarts with her!
Finally here!

Dream car

Mandrake in the house
The sketches that they used for the scenery and props were just amazing! 
So, my history teacher no longer has a door handle on his door... 
Please don't say I'm going to cry...

Starting with food theory.

ICT please be good to me
Can't believe that I managed to get through the Admiral Swansea Bay 10K

Two weeks down, another ten to go but it's an amazing course!
I glue things in the weirdest way just so they fit.
Kinda leaving the dining room table in a mess...
Screme Egg!

So, that's what I've been up to this month on instgram. The link to my profile is on the side if anyone wants to follow it and I'd love to know you're usernames so I can follow you guys as well.

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Saturday, 4 October 2014

Looking Back At: September 2014

September has been a pretty busy month as I've been trying to find my feet back in school. I came off of summer on the second and was thrown straight into the swing of things. Slowly, I've been getting used to going back to school and making sure that I'm ready for my lessons. Nothing could prepare though for the strange feeling that has come along with my being in my last year of secondary school. It's strange knowing that a lot of things this year will be my last things that I'll get the chance to do in that school but I'll be making the most of this. 

This was also the month where I turned sixteen, which was another strange feeling all in itself. It was a birthday that I was extremely excited about and it was such a fantastic day. Even though it was a school day, it was just lovely to have all the family down and go out for a meal. It was a birthday that I'm 100% sure that I won't forget! The cake was just fantastic. It was a chocolate cake with the Hufflepuff crest. Such a beautiful cake and it tasted amazing too! 
One of my presents for my birthday from my sister was to go to the Harry Potter Studio Tour which led to an amazing day out a London and you can read more about that here! 

My college application was started this month. Our courses don't open up to be picked until October 1st so at the moment we're filling things like our personal statement, personal details and qualifications out. The application process was something that I had been dreading but there's a lot of resources that the school has put online to help us out with our personal statement and sheets to help us with the qualification sections and everything. So, some of our Welsh Baccalaureate lessons are dedicated to filling that out.

September proved to be a month where I pushed myself to limits I didn't even know that I had and did the Admiral Swansea Bay 10K. It was a killer and I didn't think I'd be able to get through the whole thing at some points but alongside my sister we managed to make it to the finish line in a pretty good time of 1:39:38. I was pretty proud of myself and I'm hoping to do more races like this one. So, the next one that I want to sign up to in Swnasea's 5K Race For Life. 
I got through more books than I though I would this month. I thought at the very most I would be able to get through two. I just haven't felt like I've had that much time to read. I ended up being able to get through three books, I'm pretty happy with that. Those books were: 
  • The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin 
  • The 100 by Kass Morgan 
  • If I Stay by Gayle Foreman
At the moment, I'm getting through: 
  • 1984 by George Orwell 
  • Naomi & Ely's No Kiss List by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan 
  • A World Without Princes by Soman Chainani 
I've read 38 books out of the 50 that I've set myself to complete this year and somehow I've managed to stay two books ahead of schedule. I'm not even sure how that managed to stay like that but I think it's got to do with the amount that I managed to read last month. So, well done past Saira! 

This month has been a god one and I'm so glad that my initial nerves about starting the school year have gone away and now I've just been enjoying my last school year. 

I hope everyone else has had a good start to the academic year if you've already started back. For those starting Uni in October, good luck! And to those of you who aren't in education any more, I hope September was a great month and held a lot of happy memories.
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