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)

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)

I’m proud to say that 5 years later, I’ve managed to complete my degree – M.Sci Computing Science with Industrial Placement from University of Aberdeen! I’ll truly miss this place…

Note: In Scotland, any 5 year undergraduate degree is automatically classified as an undergraduate masters degree, in my case M.Sci. This is not to be confused with the post-graduate masters M.Sc! The reason my degree lasted 5 years is that I completed an industrial placement, adding an additional year to the standard 4 year Bachelors degree.