Today’s daily cartoon by David Sipress.

I have finally listened to more of Serial, the podcast that seems to have taken over the world, and though the above illustration was funny. I’m impressed by Serial, definitely worth listening to. This week concludes the 12 episode long series, so binge-listening is possible.

If you have no idea what Serial is, Fiona Sturges writes:

Researched and presented by Sarah Koenig, a producer on the long-running podcast This American Life, it concerns the death of a young woman, the high school senior Hae Min Lee in 1999, and her ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, who was convicted and jailed for her murder.
(Fiona Sturges, The Independant)

Playing around with rmate on TextMate 2.0 beta

I’ve always been a huge fan of TextMate and it was my go-to text editor on Mac for years. I slowly stopped using it when I started my previous job as I never really used my Mac for work purposes anyway. Now that I’m back at university, I’ve had a look at a bunch of text / code / all-purpose editors and decided to try out TextMate 2.0 beta, and so far I’m loving it. What I really love is this feature:

Remote mate

In the past, TextMate has suffered with editing files on a server, but that’s all changed now. If you regularly find yourself SSHed into a remote box and wanting to edit a file using TextMate on your own box, your ship has come in.

TextMate 2 now ships with an rmate (Ruby) script that you can drop onto servers. When you trigger rmate on a remote box, it will connect back to your box, allow you to edit, and update the file on the server with the changes.

(Find out more about rmate on the MacroMate website, including detailed installation and usage instructions.)

This is a great feature as lately I’ve been editing a lot of files on my RaspberryPi, so being able to work with these files locally on my Mac in a powerful editor like this is a huge bonus and something you definitely don’t get with nano. I know there are terminal text editors more powerful than nano out there, but the rmate feature is really great.

In order to get rmate working, you must first verify that you have TextMate set up to accept rmate connections. This is done through the Terminal preferences pane. Make a note of the default port (52698) or note down the port you are changing it to, as you will need it later.

In order for rmate to work, we have to initiate a reverse SSH session to the remote RaspberryPi:

$ ssh -R 52698:localhost:52698 pi@myRaspberryPi

From there, you can install rmate via gem on the remote server:

$ sudo gem install rmate
Fetching: rmate-1.5.7.gem (100%)
Successfully installed rmate-1.5.7
1 gem installed
Installing ri documentation for rmate-1.5.7...
Installing RDoc documentation for rmate-1.5.7...

That’s it! We can now use rmate to edit remote files. In order to test this:

$ rmate helloworld.txt

In order to easily connect to your remote server, I suggest adding an alias to your .bash_profile. In order to do this, open up your .bash_profile (usually ~/.bash_profile) and enter the following:

alias matessh="ssh -R 52698:localhost:52698 pi@myRaspberryPi"

That’s just one of the cool features, but I’m sure I’ll discover plenty more as I start using TextMate more often again. TextMate also just replaced all other writing apps on my Mac too – I just love its simplicity and power, including my half-a-dozen Markdown editors I’ve been trying.

Guy Fawkes Night

Why does Great Britain blow up fireworks every year on the 5th of November? Wikipedia knows why:

Guy Fawkes Night, also known as Guy Fawkes Day, Bonfire Night and Firework Night, is an annual commemoration observed on 5 November, primarily in Great Britain. Its history begins with the events of 5 November 1605, when Guy Fawkes, a member of the Gunpowder Plot, was arrested while guarding explosives the plotters had placed beneath the House of Lords. Celebrating the fact that King James I had survived the attempt on his life, people lit bonfires around London, and months later the introduction of the Observance of 5th November Act enforced an annual public day of thanksgiving for the plot’s failure.


I find stress a pretty interesting topic of research, and there are countless books on theory, tips, psychology, etc. At the end of the day, it all boils down to the fact that our body are machines that need to be looked after and fed.

James Clear:

The Theory of Cumulative Stress: How to Recover When Stress Builds Up

If you want to keep your bucket full, you have two options.

Refill your bucket on a regular basis. That means catching up on sleep, making time for laughter and fun, eating enough to maintain solid energy levels, and otherwise making time for recovery.

Let the stressors in your life accumulate and drain your bucket. Once you hit empty, your body will force you to rest through injury and illness. Just like it did with my professor.

(via The Theory of Cumulative Stress: How to Recover When Stress Builds Up – James Clear)

You’ve Got Mail

I thought this was a great quote from the movie You’ve Got Mail (1998). Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) says:

The whole purpose of places like Starbucks is for people with no decision-making ability whatsoever to make six decisions just to buy one cup of coffee. Short, tall, light, dark, caf, decaf, low-fat, non-fat, etc. So people who don’t know what the hell they’re doing or who on earth they are can, for only $2.95, get not just a cup of coffee but an absolutely defining sense of self: Tall. Decaf. Cappuccino.

Anyway, here’s me enjoying a hot chocolate in 1998. I was a kid, of course I had no decision-making abilities.

Do I have decision-making abilities now? Maybe, maybe not, but until I figure that out, I’ll let Starbucks help me feel like I do as I enjoy my 120 calorie short Pumpkin Spice Latte, no whip, easy on the syrup, extra warm. After all, they do say happiness is pumpkin spice…

BBC Academy – Journalism – Grammar, spelling and punctuation

BBC Academy – Journalism – Grammar, spelling and punctuation

GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits

GCHQ views data without a warrant, government admits

Northern Lights Conference 2014

I finally made it to [Northern Lights Conference]( “Northern Lights Conference Homepage”) this year! The event was last Friday 17th October. It was my first ever attendance at this conference, which was now in its fourth year. In a nutshell (as stated on their website):

Northern Lights is always a little different, this year is no exception. We have an exciting programme of speakers, open space sessions, and a couple of new surprises planned.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect from the day, but I was pleasantly surprised. I unfortunately didn’t manage to get a photo of the first speaker, Greg, but I’ve got a random selection of photos from the day posted just above. The speakers were:

  • Greg Hoyna Kozakiewicz, Head of Design and User Research at The Scottish Government (not pictured above)
  • Dave Hibberd, 57 North Hackspace
  • Laura Walker, IFB Wearable Tech
  • Rory McCune, Ethical Hacker
  • Kate Ho, Project Ginsberg

After lunch, Northern Lights Conf shifts its focus from presentations to Open Space Sessions. I really enjoyed these – there were 3 sessions I attended, each lasting around 30 minutes. The sessions were open for anyone to suggest a topic, and a time-slot/room matrix was filled with suggestions from about 15 people. All were great, but I ended up going to try out Google Glass and Oculus Rift, discussing the pros and cons of reinventing the wheel (i.e. when to take off-the-shelf libraries and when to write your own), talking about Hacklabs and Maker Fairs, and also talking about balloons and radio equipment. It’s really great to get such like-minded people together every once in a while and the discussions and talks were really great.

I can’t wait for next year – I’ll definitely be coming along again!

Adam Savage’s 10 Commandments for Makers

I love lists, and I particularly enjoyed listening to Adam Savage’s Maker Faire 2014 Speech in which he listed out his 10 commandments for makers. I sometimes require a little kick in the back and inspiration to get me going, which listening to him really did. I’ve got a couple of ideas he’s inspired me to work on, and maybe now’s a good time to join Make Aberdeen!

Here’s his list, but I’d strongly suggest heading over to and watching the whole video, as he goes on to explain each point quite clearly. (Don’t worry, although the video is just over 43 minutes, his 10 commandments are listed in the first 10 minutes. The rest is Q&A.)

1. Make something. Anything.
2. Make stuff that improves your life, either mechanically or aesthetically.
3. Don’t wait.
4. Use a project to learn a skill.
5. ASK. Ask for help.
6. Share your methods and knowledge and don’t make them a secret.
7. Discouragement and failure are intrinsic to the process.
8. Measure carefully.
9. Make things for other people.
10. Use more cooling fluid!

(via My 10 Commandments for Makers – Tested)