Japan 2015/early 2016!


I actually took this photo, I know get me! Very arty.

My next trip abroad will be probably the last time I go to Japan for pleasure (my arm can be twisted though!) since it’ll be my third time there. Hopefully after the PhD as a post doc I can get a grant to live there for 4-6 months, so fingers crossed for that.

Late last year British Airways had a short promotion running mid to late December, two business return tickets to Tokyo from Heathrow for £2014, thats £1006 per person! Putting that into perspective the same flights normally costs between £5000-6000 each!! Around £700 coach class normally. So I’m kicking myself for missing the offer, I would have gone between Christmas and New Year or just over. Speaking to BA they are considering repeating the same offer again this year so that is the time I’ll be hopefully going this year.

The main reason why I want to go back is to stay in a hotel I have longed to stay in. The Park Hyatt Tokyo, made famous by my joint favourite film Lost in Translation.


I was luck enough to visit the New York Bar in the Park Hyatt Tokyo last time I was in Tokyo in 2011 on one of the top floors. See photo below, kinda answers why I want to stay there, its simply luxurious. The views of Tokyo at night and Mt Fuji at sunset/sunrise make it even more special too.

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The irony being that the two times I have visited Japan, I have yet to see Mt Fuji! Taking the Shinkansen (Bullet Train) from Tokyo-Kyoto early morning was too foggy, and too dark on the way back.

So there is Mt Fuji then there is the snow monkeys! You can join a one day tour from Tokyo travelling to see the snow monkeys and a few temples. Nearly saw them last time but there is a reason why you don’t do everything.. gives you a reason to go back!



I could, and I will in future posts go on and on about how great Japan is and will post some guides/to do posts.

I will leave you with this though, many people say I’m lucky to go to Japan and that they have always wanted to go. To them I say just book it! Don’t worry about the costs once you are there, it isn’t as bad as you think.. if you know what to do 😉 Japan is a wonderful amazing and completely different experience than alot of places, so go visit!

For anyone that reads this and is tempted to go, what things would you like to know?


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Where has 4 years disappeared?

Ok, so this will be a post to sum up what I’ve been up to and what I want to do on the blog before I actually start posting properly. Firstly thanks to Catherine Lux (http://www.luxlife-blog.com/) for suggesting I should start a blog thanks to my travels. Since the last time I have updated this blog I’ve done a fair bit of travelling which includes:

  • Japan x 2.
  • US (NYC x3,Washington DC, LA, Sanata Barbara, Las Vegas, Grand Canyon, Philadelphia).
  • All over Europe (far to many places to mention).
  • Brazil (São Paulo)

One of the things I seem to be very good at is organising trips and giving out tips. So what I would like to do is write (probably very long) posts about tips and advice from these places!

Work wise I’m in my 4th year of my PhD (long long story) will probably talk more about it in subsequent posts again including tips and general progress. My Google Scholar link is here

I very clearly need to tweak/update the site so I’ll do that first before writing any posts. Which will be on my (hopefully) upcoming trip back to Tokyo again.


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Completely forgot this was still here!

Long story short, went to create a new blog completely forgot this one still exists!

I’ll post some updates etc very soon.

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Xcode 4

Today I decided to give in and download the beta release of Xcode 4 via the iOS Dev Center. First impressions are that I really am going to have to read the whole of the transitional documentation. All though all the components from the stable Xcode 3 release are there plus more, most the elements have been squeezed into the one application. This is a brilliant idea and makes the whole process concurrent but getting your head round the navigation is going to take some time getting used to. Looks like there are far more options regarding tweaking the app settings. I’ll give Xcode a more in-depth look once I’ve read the transitional docs and played around with it some more. In the meantime enjoy a screenshot I took of the app alongside the iPhone simulator.

Screenshot showing new Xcode4 interface with iPhone simulator

The new Xcode!

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MSc Final Result

Just realised that I haven’t updated the blog about the outcome of my research for my MSc project. It was awarded an A1 and overal I was awarded my MSc with Distinction. Now to hunt for a PhD post!

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New start for 2011!

As part of my plan for 2011, I’ve decided to post something at least once a week (this time I will!) about something related.

I’ve also decided that once a month I will see something from TimeOut London to mix things up too and to break the work up.

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End of MSc project plus future plans

The last few months have been very hectic but my MSc project has been handed in. Entitled “A study and implementation of stability controls
in humanoid robotics.” based on implemented two stability controls into the Simspark simulator. This work was part of my involvement in the RoboCup team, the Bold Hearts. My thesis can be found here MSc Thesis. Amendments will have to be made at a future date regardless.

Further work include optimising the stability controllers and adding more work to the Bold Hearts code such as a falling controller etc.

As part of my progress I will continue to implement different stability models and “brush up” subject areas which I am not as strong in.

For every model I implement and for general progress I achieve I will add a new blog post.

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