Play Want Bin Expense: 2016-02-08

Finish up in 5 minutes or you’re walking home to your cake and candles.

This week brought new PS+ shinies. Some of which I actually played for once. That’s right: literally once.


PS+ first then:

Lemmings Touch (Vita)
No. Just no. So disappointing.

Nom Nom Galaxy (PS4)
Quite fun, I thought. It sits somewhere between Terraria and a tower defence game, and although I’ve only played the tutorial, I can see it being something I’ll play some more.

Nova-111 (PS4)
A lot of people seemed down on this. It’s a simple maze game with turn-based direct fighting, if that makes sense. I’ve put over an hour into it and I’m not really getting why people don’t like it.

I also played a little of previous PS+ game:

It’s no Amped 3, but it’s not a bad game. I finished the first mountain and played a handful of events in Siberia, but I’m not sure I’ll play it much further. If I didn’t have loads of better games to get on with, then maybe I’d stick with it some more.

And the non-PS+ stuff:

Lego Jurassic World (PS4)
See here for this week’s progress. Getting close to 100% now!

Bayonetta (Wii U)
Platinum nonsense, in the best possible way. None of it makes sense but I’m loving it anyway.

Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)
Grind grind grind grind grind.


Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4)
Still, of course.

No Man’s Sky (PS4)
It’s soon, right? Right?

Firewatch (PS4)
I didn’t realise it was a budget priced game. That just makes me want it more!


Lemmings Touch (Vita)


I bunged £5 in Humble’s direction for the Focus Home Interactive 2 bundle, which came with a load of games I’ll never play and Pix the Cat, which I already own. Erm.

Actually, Cities XL and Yesterday will probably get played. (They won’t).



Millions of peaches. Peaches for me.

(this utterly ridiculous suggestion from @taowplayer, I think he was drunk)

what makes a good bum

Aside from its obvious purpose, the main use of the human bottom is to make sitting down comfortable. In order to be comfortable, there’s a balance between the weight of the person in question and the amount of fat making up the buttocks, acting as a form of cushion. The simple answer to the question, then, is “fat enough to comfortably support the person when sitting down”.

Of course, what the person is sitting on also makes a difference. A foam-filled sofa cushion naturally supports you much more than a hard bicycle seat, and so a cyclist would perhaps benefit from more bottom fat than their weight would suggest. This is why most cyclists opt to wear padded cycling shorts and people who sit on beanbags wear bikinis.

Perhaps a more quantitative answer would be useful. In the UK, the average weight of a person is 76.9kg 1. If we use this figure, we can calculate how much bottom fat is necessary to support the average human. Of course, we need to make some assumptions: the person is of average weight, they’re sat on a hard surface, all of their weight is transferred to their bottom (that is, they’re not leaning on anything or have their feet on the floor) and they have buttocks of equal size.

The Young’s Modulus of any material is the ratio of the stress on the object to the strain (the ratio of deformation over the initial length), and is in effect a measurement of the “squeezability” of the material. It is generally considered that pigs have a similar makeup to humans as far as adipose tissue (that’s fat to you and I) is concerned, and luckily for us experiments have been done 2 on pig fat to determine a Young’s Modulus, which we can borrow for this purpose:

Young's Modulus of Adipose
Young’s Modulus of Adipose

The Young’s Modulus, E, can be calculated using this formula:


Where F/A is the stress (force/area) and dL/L is strain (change in length/original length). We can see from the graph that when stress hits about 0.6kPa, the strain stops increasing much more – this is the point at which the fat is about as squashed as it’s going to get, and so can be suggested to be the point at which natural bumfat cushioning stops working. So we know that the maximum E is 0.6kPa (600Pa), F is 754.1N 3, and strain is 0.25. In the formula:


Which can be rearranged to show that A = 5.03m2. Therefore, a posterior with a surface area of 5.03 square metres is ideal for the maximum amount of comfort. That’s quite large. In fact, it’s 2.24×2.24m in size.

Now let us assume that a bottom is roughly shaped like one quarter of a sphere. It isn’t, but that’s a close enough shape. To find the surface area of a sphere, we use this equation:

areaofspherewhich means that the surface area of a quarter sphere would be 1/4 of that, helpfully just Pi x r2. We know A is 5.03m2, and Pi is 3.14, so can rearrange to show that:


Making r = 0.79m

Now, we can calculate the volume of the quarter sphere. The volume of a whole sphere is this:


Which would be 2.07m3. So a quarter of that is about 0.52m3. Our final step is to use the density of adipose tissue (which is 0.9g/ml 4, or 900kg/m3) to calculate the mass of fat needed to fill this sized bottom.

This is simply mass = volume x density, making mass = 0.52×900 = 468kg.

So the answer to the question “what makes a good bum”, is “have one that literally weighs about half a ton”. That, and the ability to balance a wine glass on it while still standing upright. Apparently.

Disclaimer: The maths and physics demonstrated here are mostly sound, but so many assumptions were made and actual figures were not properly checked, so the outcome was essentially nonsense.

(Featured image is from here, is unmodified, and used under this licence)


  1. According to this BBC article, which is a little old now. I averaged the male and female weights.
  2. Here, in fact.
  3. Force = Mass x Acceleration, so 76.9kg applies a force of 76.9 x 9.807 (standard gravity at is 9.807m/s2) = 754.1N
  4. From here.

Podcasts I Listen To

Podcasting: P O D C A S… nobody is going to get this Knightmare joke.

Podcasts were a really big thing once. They were the future of radio or something, and everyone had one. Or, at least, actual radio shows were chopped up and then regurgitated as a podcast. Then, for a few years, their presence and popularity seemed to wane, perhaps due to the rise of YouTube, which gave podcasters a different sort of platform to broadcast from. Thing is, people still wanted to listen to stuff on the bus, and more recently podcasts seem to have become a thing again. Maybe it’s just me that saw this change. I don’t know.

I now travel by bus a lot. This gives me an hour or more a day to listen to something, as I rarely listen to podcasts at any other time – mainly because they’re too full of swearing that isn’t appropriate for work or home and using earphones in those situations isn’t going to happen.

What do I listen to, then? That is the point of this post, after all. Firstly, let me tell you what I use to listen. Like many folk, I used to use the iPhone’s built in Podcasts app, once part of iTunes itself but separated out at some point. It was alright, but I had issues with some of the podcasts being very, very quiet using it and couldn’t hear them properly even with the volume up full and the “high volume” limiter turned off. Someone recommended Downcast instead, which cost actual money (I don’t like spending money on phone apps – there’s probably a whole blog post about that topic) so I was reluctant. I’m glad I bought it though, as it’s much better laid out than the iOS default app, and has a “volume adjustment” setting which can boost the volume a different amount for each subscribed podcast. It made those quiet ones much easier to hear without the loud ones burning my eardrums out. Then I bought some much better earphones and the volume problem went away completely. Pff.

Podcasts I listen to

Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast
Where Richard interviews a guest each episode, but things usually rapidly deteriorate into nonsense. Appears weekly, but with breaks of a few months every so often.

Friday Night Comedy from BBC Radio 4
This weekly podcast rotates between The News Quiz and The Now Show, sometimes with odd episodes of other shows.

Comedy of the Week
This is also a Radio 4 podcast, and picks an episode from a different show each week. Sometimes it’s a sitcom, sometimes a sketch show. I sometimes skip them if they’re a single part of a larger series though.

Rhod Gilbert’s Best Bits
It’s basically his BBC Radio Wales show, with all the music scooped out. Rhod usually has a guest co-host, and subject matter is unexpectedly random audience participation.

The Adam Buxton Podcast
Adam talks to other people. It’s more like a chat in a pub garden than a radio interview. Apart from the odd special, it’s sadly missing Joe Cornish.

Midnight Resistance
Mainly hosted by three regulars, Andi, Sean and Owen, and usually joined by a games writer or host of another games podcast, Midnight Resistance talk about what they’ve been playing and then answer surreal listener questions. My questions have been used a few times too!

Pig Ignorant Indie Gamers
A mostly monthly podcast where Graham, Dave and Mark (all game devs) talk about games news, (mainly obscure indie) games they’ve played, terrible Kickstarter projects, and Graham’s bottom. A lot about Graham’s bottom, in fact.

RVG Podcast
From the Retro Video Gamer forum, comes a mixed bag of short shows about a particular retro game, console or device and longer shows with a theme and discussion. Very irregularly updated though!

Now part of Gamestyle and usually monthly (but quite irregular), Dorktunes is helmed by “noob” and plays music from games, sometimes with interviews with game music composers. It’s the only podcast on my list I can listen to at work, as well, as it’s mostly vulgarity free!

Cane and Rinse
Weekly in-depth discussion about a different specific game each episode. I can’t say I listen to them all (I tend to skip episodes about games I’m not interested in) but where else can you get a two hour chat about Zelda II? Nowhere, that’s where.

Toku Podcast
Probably the most bizarre of all the podcasts I listen to. Holly and Kate talk about games, TV, films, and then each episode something else. Such as The X-Files, serial killers, ghosts, sex dungeons, and who knows what else.

Sadly lost and no longer updated are things like Joypod, The Official Nintendo Magazine Podcast, The Podcast and Sean Hughes’ Under the Radar.

(Featured image is from here, is unmodified, and used under this licence)

Let’s Play! Saboteur!

No, not the Xbox 360 game “The Saboteur”.

When the Spectrum was my current computer (which it was, for a long time), I had a lot of games. Not even a pile of C60 cassettes with a load of pirate games on (although like all computer owning kids in the 80s, I obviously had some of them too), just stacks of cheap games from cover tapes and car boot sales and so on. Loads of them.

Thing is, I completed very few. One, I recall, was the text adventure Red Door, and that was only as a result of following a guide printed in Your Sinclair. I think I finished Castle Master once, and one of the Seymour games, but that’s pretty much it.

saboteur (1)

Oh yeah, and Saboteur! The game comes with 9 difficulty settings, which was quite big news for games at the time. These days, most games come with at least two difficulty settings, but in the 80s not so much, and certainly not in this way: In Saboteur! the higher difficulties make your route through the game to the helicopter much harder by blocking off certain pathways and removing platforms, rather than just chuck more or harder enemies at you. I know I’ve completed it on every setting up to about 6 or 7, and I’m pretty sure I’ve done it higher too, but I could be misremembering. How high can you go?

Continue reading “Let’s Play! Saboteur!”

Photos that Google thinks are cars, Part 2

Vehicle. Four wheels. How hard can it be?

Remember when Google Photos mis-recognised a load of my photos as cars? It was hilarious, right? Well, things haven’t improved. The other day they rescanned them all or something and suddenly, I’ve a whole new gallery of not-cars to share! How exciting/tedious.

DFS related intermittent file share outages on Server 2008

Resolving the mystery of the excessive disk reads.

We recently had a problem where one of our two main Windows Server 2008 file servers (usually the same one, but sometimes the other) would suddenly stop responding to network requests. Ping was fine, and you could RDP in (albeit very, very slowly), but file shares appeared to vanish as seen from client machines.

It was intermittent, and even when looking at Resource Monitor on the server, it wasn’t clear what was causing it. No specific process was hogging all the RAM or disk access time, but disk reads cumulatively were through the roof. If felt like a failing hard drive, but every drive on the RAID had been replaced (separately) fairly recently, and disk checks threw up nothing unusual. Indeed, for most of the time everything was perfectly OK and a restart or just waiting for a while returned it to normal.

dfsrsThe usual suspects were ruled out – virus scans, backups and so on, and we were at a bit of a loss as to what it might be. Then I found if I sorted disk usage in Resource Monitor by Image Name (I’d been sorting it by Read, to show the most disk-heavy process first) I realised that one process appeared many hundreds of times – dfsrs.exe. This process deals with DFS replication, keeping folders synced between servers, and it seemed this was the cause. Unfortunately, I couldn’t just turn it off as we need DFS replication to keep user home folders on the server synced between the two main file servers, but now I could see where the problem lay, I could find the root of the issue.

Which was, of course, Google Chrome.

We use roaming profiles for our users, and to speed up logging on and off, some of the Application Data folders are redirected back to a folder on the network. It has worked well, only now, when we have fairly recently moved to having users on DFS shares, we’ve hit this snag. You see, Google caches a lot of stuff and constantly creates and updates a multitude of files in the user’s Application Data folder. Every time this happens, DFS has to sync it. With a few hundred users all using Chrome (it launches on login!) that’s one hell of a lot files to keep in sync – even if they’re very small.

Obviously, most of this data is fleeting and temporary, but DFS doesn’t know that. Thankfully, there was a solution: exclude some of these folders from syncing. Sure, the cache won’t be the same between the two copies of the folder, but that isn’t important as it’s deleted when Chrome is closed anyway.

In the DFS Management console, find the Replicated Folder, right click, and choose Properties.


You’ll see this window, with the two fields “File filter” and “Subfolder filter”:


It’s here you put the names of all the files and folders you don’t want to sync between DFS servers for that specific replicated folder. Chrome specific folders that were hammering the sync and can be added include:

Application Cache, GPUCache, ChromeDWriteFontCache, Session Storage, Pepper Data, Cookies

While I was there, I took the liberty of adding some other, non-Chrome folders that also didn’t need to be there, like Flash Player and Distiller 10. I also put thumbs.db in as a file exception as that was coming up a lot too. Note that “~*., *.bak, *.tmp” is filled in as default.

Important: this system literally just matches based on the file and folder names. Yes, it’s stupid. If your users create a folder called “GPUCache” somewhere else in the replicated folder, it won’t get synced. So be careful what you do choose!

Everything is much better now, with the server barely being worried by disk reads, as it should be.



Clocked it.

(this suggestion from @WildCardZero)

I’m one of those people who frequently looks at the time at the precise moment it hits twenty-three minutes to two in the afternoon. Or 13:37, if you prefer. It isn’t that I look at a clock every few minutes all day every day, it’s just that somehow my brain knows it’s 13:37 and I look at a clock. I don’t know why this is, and I know I’m not the only one.

If I’m at my computer or on my phone when I notice, I’ll often tweet “13:37”. It happens usually a couple of times a week, sometimes more often, and occasionally a follower or two will retweet it. Or they’ll notice the time and I haven’t (or haven’t been able to tweet it when I have noticed) and tweet “13:37” at me instead.

It’s a silly game.

Thing is, it’s more than just 13:37. It’s 1337 in general that I notice a lot. You know how the human brain tries to see faces in more abstract patterns (like clouds or toast)? I’m like that with 1337 and numbers. Serial numbers, telephone numbers, barcodes, all sorts. Even file sizes (like 1337KB) and, more frequently than you’d imagine, number of unread emails. You can imagine my glee when I bought a video game on eBay for a winning bid of £13.37. I enjoyed that experience even more than playing the game. Probably. I can’t even remember what game it was.

Why 1337 though? Well, in ye olde internet dialect, 1337 is a corruption of Leet, itself a deviance from Elite. I never went in for 1337-speak in any way aside from ironically, but for some reason those digits stuck in my head and now actively look for exposure.

Play Want Bin Expense: 2016-02-01


It’s Monday! So that means it’s PWBE (no, not Pop Will Beat Eatself) Day!


Hmm. Much the same as last week, it seems. Only with less Batman. And more pigeons.

Lego Jurassic World (PS4)
Still working through it. 70%-odd complete now. I wrote a little about it here.

Puzzle & Dragons Z (3DS)
Grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind grind. But I’m enjoying it. Really must get it done though, as it’s holding up other games!

Grim Fandango Remastered (PS4/Vita)
To free up the TV, I utilised cross-save and cross-play to progress some more on my Vita. Sadly, it’s horribly jerky, and seems to have even more bugs than the PS4 version with sound cutting out. The crane section in particular crashed twice, once killing the game, the other not registering button presses. Annoying. It is completed now, and you can read my thoughts on my gaming diary.

Super Mario Maker (Wii U)
Mainly playing this with my daughter. I say playing. She creates impossible random levels which I attempt to complete while she squeals with laughter every time I die. If I do complete it, she then makes it harder. Pretty sure this is a form of torture.

Thomas Was Alone: Benjamin’s Flight (Vita)
Bought a while back, completed quickly. The end was abrupt. Fun though. More here.

Hatoful Boyfriend (Vita)
Only just started this. What the hell. It’s over already?


Lego Marvel Avengers (PS4)
Still, obviously. Because I haven’t bought it yet.

Firewatch (PS4)
I think. I wanted it a long time ago and it’s out soon. I’ve heard very little in the meantime so don’t know any more. Maybe?




Nothing! I’ve been very good this week. Although I nearly bought one of these.

What You Missed: January 2016

End of series clips show

Well, that was a month, wasn’t it? An entire month with a new blog post every single day. I didn’t set out to do that, but after a couple of weeks I thought, yeah, I can do a daily thing. Subject matter has been completely scattergunned, with all sorts of stuff both serious and silly, but here were are: 31 posts (including this one – think of it as one of those clip shows from US sitcoms).

You didn’t read them all though, did you. I suspect very few got read at all. What a waste of words! If you do want to read them though, here’s what you missed:


White Walls – A Short Story

He came to and blinked, slowly. The sun blazed in through the window and his head was pounding. He tried hard to focus, but his eyes refused to cooperate, a combination of the bright light searing his retinas and a peculiar bobbing sensation. Why was everything slowly moving by itself, he thought with much confusion.

He tried to get up, but his limbs flailed uselessly. His legs felt moist, the floor had a strange softness and he simply couldn’t coordinate his movement. Suddenly, the ground lurched sideways and swung back sharply, then rocked to and fro eventually slowly returning to a disturbing bob. This wasn’t right. How did he get here? Where even was here? He tried to think back but everything in the past was even more of a blur than what his eyes currently failed to see correctly. Had I been drinking, he ventured. Do I even drink?

Then he became aware of a noise. Something more than just the throbbing in his head, and something… wet? Slurping? With it came more movement, a spinning motion and he was sure he was also moving down. He held on to what he was decreasingly convinced to call the floor and hoped the room would stop spinning soon. Out of focus shapes rose up out of sight as he dropped down, and he opted to close his eyes and ride it out. The wet sucking continued however, and he couldn’t shut that out. It was getting louder and he was sure the spiralling was getting faster. He felt sick.

After a nightmarish age, everything ceased; the sudden jolt almost ejecting him from his perch. He opened his eyes again to a wall of white, no longer blurred vision but no more distinct. He ventured a leg off the side of whatever he’d been clinging to, and another joined it. Climbing down the large pink edifice, that he could now see had been his slightly damp and squishy ride, he reached a firmer but more slippery floor. White, like the walls, and wet – small rivulets ran here and there, all seemingly towards the same point – he found it hard to tell where the ground ended and the glossy cliffs began. What was he to do now? His head still ached and he was no wiser as to how he’d arrived in this predicament.

He investigated the walls. Three of them, which curved into each other at two corners, were unscalable. They were slippery and wet like the floor and were too sheer to climb even if they had footholds, which of course they had not. A large dark hole in the ground appeared at first to be a possible means of escape, but it was full of water and a grim sort of froth, neither of which were pleasant to his touch and besides, he couldn’t swim on the surface let alone submerged in a tunnel he had no hope of navigating in the dark – he would surely drown. A fourth wall was just visible in the far distance, perhaps he would fare better there? He reasoned he’d be no more trapped there than here, so began a trek.

The journey was hard going. It hadn’t seemed so at first, but the ground was actually a slight incline and because there was still wetness everywhere and he found it difficult to retain a footing, stumbling frequently and sliding backwards on several occasions. The fourth wall seemed forever away, and the sun’s glare reflecting off every surface was tiring his eyes and not doing his headache any favours. He struggled on.

Despair reached him as he reached the wall. It was less vertical than the others, but not much, and was just as slippery. He was tired, hot, ill and his legs hurt almost as badly as his still-throbbing head. He attempted several ascents, but just couldn’t get purchase on the sleek terrain and failed to gain any height, slipping down time after time. It was hopeless, but what now? Where would he go? Trapped on all sides with no way out other than a desperately unappealing hole barely bigger than himself, without any promise of freedom even if he could brave the water and unknown; that way seemed more like suicide. He was pondering his lack of options when without warning came a shout.

“Mum!” somebody yelled, sounding decidedly panicked. “Mum!”.

“What?” came the reply from another, more distance voice.

“There’s a spider in the bath!”