Review – Trainers from space (a.k.a. Airia Ones)

Disclosure: I was sent this pair of trainers free of charge in exchange for a review of them

I’ve wanted to pick up running again after a bit of a lull since Summer 2014. I’ve got a bit fed up with long distance running and thought it would be a good idea to focus on improving my running times for 10k and below. This meant I was very pleased when I received a new pair of Airia Ones to review.

airia boxThe big deal about these Swedish shoes is that they have been designed with the goal of making you able to run faster. In fact, they give you a 30 day guarantee so you can test it out for yourself risk-free. I was immediately sceptical; it sounds like a big promise to say a shoe can make you run faster. However, as soon as you open up the box (which felt a bit like unboxing an iPhone for the first time) you can see that these trainers are different to your usual Nike or Adidas running shoes. They are so light when you pick them up it reminded me of the polystyrene blocks you get in packaging. The patented outersole (manufactured by Vibram) gives it the unique shape and is firm but flexible. The rest of the upper is made out of an airy mesh and when you put it on it hardly feels like you are wearing anything. 

Continue reading Review – Trainers from space (a.k.a. Airia Ones)

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My HeadSpace: 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog. They do this every year and it’s one of the reasons I love using WordPress as a blogging platform!

Here’s an excerpt:

19,000 people fit into the new Barclays Center to see Jay-Z perform. This blog was viewed about 110,000 times in 2012. If it were a concert at the Barclays Center, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

It seems like a long time since my last proper technical blog post, I blame OneNote for replacing my need to publish all my notes online! I intended to do at least one article a month but I was shocked to discover I only did 6 new articles in 2012, although I did update many existing ones. Even so, I’ve been getting impressive page views and glad to see the technical articles becoming more popular than fluffy ones (like my old 2009 Windows 7 theme packs posts from 2009)

As it is a new year, and I’m soon to be starting a new role, I thought it’s about time to share some of my problems to help others stuck in the same situation. Check back very soon for fresh, interesting and (hopefully) useful articles

The Return of Me: what I learned from my social fast

Last month I took on my wife’s challenge to abstain from any social networking over the six weeks of Lent. Some thought it couldn’t be done but I endured and think I may have come through it a little wiser.

At first, it was a real mental struggle. I can remember the very first day when I almost broke out in a sweat when not checking in to my train station on Foursquare. I could sense the long road ahead and could feel all my social clout slipping away from me. This was no joke and it helped me realise just how addicted to it I was.

Fortunately, the initial day was the only real struggle. I was occasionally tempted by a few notifications slipping through on my phone but once they were all properly turned off it was surprisingly easy to leave it all behind, refreshing in fact.

Continue reading The Return of Me: what I learned from my social fast

Addicted to Social Networking? I’m giving it up for Lent!

screenshot of how my profile now looksI’m sure a lot of us use social networking too much. By too much I mean using it,

  • for procrastination,
  • at inappropriate times and places,
  • first thing in the morning and last thing at night.

This is becoming the latest addiction for our generation, and although not as harmful as drugs or gambling etc, it can cause a disruption in your real life and actually make you less social with the people you see on a day to day basis.

Continue reading Addicted to Social Networking? I’m giving it up for Lent!

A social media fairy tale: How a mayor got a new job

And now for something a little different. The true(-ish) story of how I got my new job as a SysAdmin for LinkedIn …

LinkedIn London

Once upon a time, there was a country boy from the shire of Bedford. One lucky day he received a Windows Phone 7 smartphone from the wizards at Microsoft. It let him do lots of magical things. His favourite trick was to check-in using the Foursquare spell. He got so good at using this spell he managed to conjure himself into the mayor of Bedford train station.

Continue reading A social media fairy tale: How a mayor got a new job

21st Century Fundraising

I thought that raising money online would be a really easy way to support a charity when I ran the Loch Ness Marathon in 2009. It turns out that it was actually easier to raise it offline by shaking a tin under peoples’ noses. You soon realise that the odd nagging tweet or facebook post isn’t going to inspire many people to type in their credit card numbers.

In my first ever Saturday job as a Sainsbury’s BWS Replenishment Assistant (i.e. Beers, Wines & Spirits shelf stacker) I was told that a customer needs to hear about a product an average of 23 times before they will think about buying it. I guess the same goes for donating to charity, although I would hope it’s a bit lower! That’s why I think Comic Relief does such a great job with Red Nose Day. I’ve seen so much RND stuff this year all over the internet, TV and radio. Combine that with the ease of impulsive SMS text message donations and your on to a winner. Who would have thought that 2 DJs could have raised £2.4 million just by staying awake for a few days. I don’t think even the BBC had any idea of the viral sensation that occurred, enough to crash even their servers!  I’ve found myself shelling out on several occasions and I’m dedicating this week’s post to ask you to do the same this year.

Find out more by watching coverage on BBC1 & 2 tonight or by visiting bbc.co.uk/rednoseday

Get in the mood for Hallowe’en

The new version of Windows Live Writer Build 14.05… lets you insert videos from your PC or YouTube/Soapbox. It makes it a lot easier to add videos to your blog or just uploading vids to YouTube

It took me about 1 minute to add my Halloween home movie: Forest Fear!

Computers make me sidetracked

Today at work I had to remove a date from the school website.
I ended up spending two hours sorting it out.
Still, I found out how to get the latest news feeding on to the home page so that was something. Hopefully a gap student will be managing this from september WooHoo. See my changes at www.biddenham.org