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A Christmas Day music video

A Japanese girl called Miko, dressed in a santa outfit (what more could you ask for?), who's pretty damn good, playing an "orchestral" version of Toki wo Kizamu Uta (from Clannad ~ After Story):

She used to have a channel on nicovideo.jp (this video is from 2008-2009) but it seems to no longer be active.

 

Maplin robotic arm

Oops.

I thought I'd sit down yesterday and look at the bits in the box and how they relate to the instruction booklet.

I did that.

A little more effectively than planned.

It all came about because I wanted to see if it was going to be complicated making a motor/gear box. A black/blue cog, a grey cog, another grey cog, and a brown cog. The hardest part, actually, was getting those little hex-bolts in the correct position.

After that was an identical model. Then a slightly different one, then another slightly different one. The difference being, mainly, the colour of the motor wires and one with a white cog.

Well, having made them, it seemed a bit silly to just stop. It really didn't take much at all to build up the body. The hardest part after the hex nuts was getting the gripper mechanism together. If you build this yourself, it looks a bit nonsense but it is all correct. The gripper has two arms that hold each side (so the gripping part always remains parallel to itself), one of those sides is a follower and the other is driven by the motor gearing. Don't worry if the screws seem to leave the mechanism loose, that's so it doesn't stick from being too tight.

All in all, it took about two and a half hours to build. I needed a pair of scissors, a medium sized Philips screwdriver (for most of the screws) and a smaller Philips screwdriver for screwing the casing of the 'hand' together.

You only need two D cells, hooked from the negative (spring) terminal to the middle plate with the orange wire. I wonder how many people have their batteries run out so they just chuck out all four even though only two were 'used'?

The NanoArm program in the RISC OS Pico archive works just fine on a normal installation of RISC OS. You may find it reports "**** Robot arm not found ****".
If it does this for you, load the program into an editor and look for the line:

SYS "XOS_ReadVarVal", "usb"+"$Device_00_00_00_1267_0000_-1*",device_buffer%,255,0,3 TO,,size%
and change it to:
SYS "XOS_ReadVarVal", "usb"+"$Device_00_00_00_1267_0001_-1*",device_buffer%,255,0,3 TO,,size%
That is, the final "0000" in the ID string should become "0001".
Then it'll work.

Note, by the way, to exit the program before you switch the robot arm off, or the program will throw a wobbly as it tries to stop the arm's motion upon an error (which will cause an error, which will cause an error... - use Alt-Break to force-kill the program if this happens).

I put together a short video. It's... a noisy critter at times. FullHD, if your machine/ADSL is up to it:


No sooner than I had uploaded this video, David Pilling commented on it: A malign force in an uncaring universe beyond his comprehension picks up a Playmobil man and drops him into a vat of boiling tea.
Sounds like an ideal Brexit metaphor...

 

Weird foods

I guess "you know it's Christmas in France when"... you can buy flavoured mustard:

Not to mention the ever-increasing selection of WTactualF-worthy "meats" to enjoy on the festive day. Because France is all about culinary goodness (even though pretty much every biscuit is dry as hell and half-burnt (they seriously need to be introduced to Nice and Garibaldi) and they couldn't produce a decent sponge cake if their lives depended upon it (Quatre-Quarts is nothing like a Victoria Sponge)). But, hey, where else would you see this:

Kangourou ought to be obvious, just as obvious is the fact that it is obviously a local delicacy. Yeah, we have loads of wild Kangaroo in this part of the world...
Dromadaire is a camel. Apparently prized in the Middle East, but I wonder if that's because camel is great or if it's simply because cows and sheep aren't able to live in a desert?
Zèbre is a stripy horse. As far as I'm aware, most Zebra are eaten by lions, especially when there's a BBC film team around.
Crocodile is basically a Wall Lizard with Godzilla pretensions.
Biche and Cerf - they're both deer. Depends if you like 'em male or female. Either way, you're eating Bambi (you bastard...).
Autruche could either be Ostrich or Austrian, maybe? Okay, it's a joke. Austria might have been the birthplace of a certain megalomanical nutjob, but other famous Austrians are Sigmund Freud (who gave the world psychoanalysis), Erwin Schrödinger (who gave the world a box with a cat inside), Siegfried Marcus (not Austrian, but lived in Vienna and gave the world the internal combustion engine), and Karl Kordesch (who jointly invented the alkaline battery), among others. Yeah, it's not an Austrian, it's an angry bird.
And, finally... Lama, spelled with two L's in English, is a sheep-like creature with a long neck.

Me? It'll be a Fray Bentos Chicken and Bacon pie...

While we're talking about weird things in the supermarket, feast your eyes upon this:

A coconut with a ring pull! Whoever next?

 

All that remains now is...

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

And, of course:

 

 

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VinceH, 24th December 2017, 23:33
Interesting choice of meats. ISTR you posting something similar last year. [Checks... yup] 
 
My lunch tomorrow will once again be ham sarnies... but for my evening meal, I will indeed be a Bambi-eating bastard. I bought a couple of "game hot pot" pies a week or so back, and I'll have one of those tomorrow evening when I'm watching Doctor Who. 
 
They contain three meats: 
 
Venison - that'll be Bambi, then 
 
Rabbit - I don't know the names of any of the bunnies from Watership Down, so that'll be Bugs Bunny. 
 
Pheasant - which we may as well ignore because I don't know of any pheasants in popular children's fiction. 
 

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