Archive for the ‘fun’ category

On Juggling

September 11, 2006

When I was about 10 or so I taught myself to juggle using my dad’s Juggling for the Complete Klutz book. At the time I just wanted to be able to juggle like my dad and didn’t realise how much fun and practical it would be. Quite aside from being a useful party trick and excellent time waster when shopping, standing in the kitchen or in another location close to three similarly weighted things, it’s a great relaxation and focusing device. When I’ve been sitting at the computer for many hours or reading a book or something similar I like to stand up, put on some music, and spend five or ten minutes juggling away. I’ve never meditated but I imagine the feeling is quite similar. The throwing and catching get very rhythmic and soon the repetitive action and the sound of the catches just blanks your mind. It’s great!! Perfect if you need something to take a quick break from some serious concentrating. Another benefit is that all you need is three balls/bags/oranges and not very much space (although I wouldn’t recommend trying this in the library).

If you can’t juggle then check out Juggling for the Complete Klutz and The Complete Juggler – both books which I have found very useful. Also have a look on the web: Juggling Information Service, Internet Juggling Database and the International Jugglers’ Organisation all seem to have good sites although I haven’t used them extensively myself.

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Stumbles: Chumby

September 5, 2006

I stumbled across this new proto-type product on the net the other day and I think it’s just so wonderful that even though it’s not strictly related to student life I have to post it.

The Chumby has been described as a glorified alarm clock and I think that’s the best place to start with a description. It works as an alarm clock but also runs widgets which can gather information from the internet (via wi-fi), play MP3’s, access RSS feeds and e-mail and play flash animations and programs. You control the chumby by a squeeze mechanism hidden within the soft exterior.

According to the official website:

It’s designed to show pictures that your friends send you from their cellphones, and messages from your IM buddies, your blogs and social network sites. It can display your daily horoscope and the weather, and a whole community of artists and animators can send their creations around the chumby network to entertain you.

The best bit, however, is that the people who created it did what I wish more hardware manufacturers would do – create some really cool hardware and make it open so that users, having paid their money, can do what they like with it.

It’s not avaliable yet but they’re expecting a price of under US $150 and from what I’ve seen so far I’ll be picking one up when they become available.

Some interesting links:
Why the chumby was invented
A creators inside perspective
Home page
What is the chumby