The Tale of Taking Down a Tree

At our place we have this very old apple tree. It did not look very healthy so, Nina got an arborist to have a look at it and give us some advice.

To Nina’s disappointment, the advice was to get a tree surgeon to take the tree down.

Being a megalomaniac, I decided I would take the tree down myself – roots and all. Let’s see how I fare.

The Apple Tree
The Challenge

And because why make it easy by buying a chainsaw if you already own a handsaw?

The Weapon of Choice
The Weapon of Choice

Four hours and a lot of elbow grease later…

End of Round One
End of Round One

Kota Creative: Penhaligon’s Times

The Penhaligon's Times

Yay! Another project with Kota – those guys are super nice to work with. And we were working with Penhaligon’s again. I really like their visual style – I hope this keeps going and we keep getting repeat work with them. I feel this project was an improvement from the last one in terms of workflow and execution.

I built nearly all the frontend and created all the animation (there’s not a lot there, I admit… But still, mine!)

Penhalingon’s Times

What makes you, you?

Let’s go down a very theoretical path.

Suppose the technology exists. Suppose humankind has developed all the necessary tools to achieve it and everything we shall discuss here is possible. Ok?

You are cloned.

Is this clone you? Or is this clone a new person?

Is it correct to state: “We are the sum product of all our experiences, together with how our brains process the information we perceive”?

How about: “Free will is an illusion. A powerful enough computer is capable of simulating your brain, predict every decision and reaction you would have in any given situation”?

Taking the above statement as true. What would an artificial intelligence, that is a simulation of your own self, be? Such being thinks exactly like you, reacts and responds to inputs exactly like you. Behaves in the very same manner as you would. Given it has been generated, and it has, your memory and experiences. Is this you? If not, why not?

Is it a new, different person?

If you say this simulation is not you. Wouldn’t you be saying that just because of your ego? Your own sense of self that refuses to be anything other than singular? Unique?

Wouldn’t this very simulation be saying the exact thing about you? It certainly would. Both of you would be completely convinced that you are the original one and the other, the copy. As sure as you are right now that you exist and are yourself.

Would deleting this simulation against its will, be murder? Why?

Now, suppose you have been involved in an accident. You went into a coma for a period of time. You eventually wake up. But you have total and complete amnesia. Nothing comes back. No memories, no experiences, nothing. A blank slate. Are you, you?

Another scenario. You don’t wake up from the coma. You are declared brain dead. But, the simulation we have discussed earlier is given control of your body. Who is this?


Lake Como: Last day

The plan today:

  • Have a lazy morning;
  • Walk down to the restaurant by the lake for lunch;
  • Have a stroll around the area;
  • Be back before 5pm because of a chance of rain for an early night.

We did have a nice lazy morning and went out at around 11am. We decided to walk along the Strada Regia for a little bit before lunch to open up the appetite.

Now into our very last day, we found a few entrances that we had missed on previous outings. There seem to be plenty of very long paths to follow up the mountain, it might be worth considering coming to this part of Italy again if only to trek those routes completely.

Some of it is through forest and Nina was obviously attacked by all the mosquitos in a hundred metres. We decided it was not worth it as our main mission at the time was to reach the restaurant without having to walk alongside the motorway.

As we walked up and down the paths following the signs, we ended up finding both public beaches that we had so far failed to located. Great, yes? Well, yes, except that we did not stay there for long. And that we now have no time to go back to them in this trip.

In our usual manner, we faff around trying to find a restaurant, the two obvious ones already visited, we march on down all pedestrian routes we can find only to get to the end of Lezzeno having walked past two bars, one osteria and two restaurants (both closed). The end result… by then is 14:30h and everything is now shut. Everything.

With no other options, we head back to our little apartment to scavenge some biscuits and instant coffee to keep us going until the restaurants open again (around 18:30).

But life was not to be that simple. Even though the weather forecast was of semi-cloudy skies for the afternoon with rain arriving at the tail end of it. Instead, the gods decided they would bring their schedule two hours early, opening the floodgates of heavens onto hour heads for thirty wonderful minutes we enjoyed nature cleanse our souls, soak our clothes and wrinkle our skin. At the same time entertaining the few locals on their varandas watching the two foreigners tread along under the rain.

Our memories of Como shall be of mad drivers in little roads by a cliff edge with a gorgeous view and walking home cold, wet and hungry.

Ah joy. Holidays. 😉

Giro d’Italia: Como edition

Thought of the day:

To drive alongside the mountains of Italy is an exercise of Zen abilities.

As you will have your passenger squeak because their face is two feet away from a wall of stone or a fairly significant vertical drop, the local Italians tailgating you so close you won’t see the bonnet of their cars and plenty of trucks/busses coming at you at full speed while you snake your way along the road that is about a car and a half wide with no pavement. The occasional cyclist or pedestrian on the road is a mere seasoning in this salad of emotions.