I’m a huge United Nude fan, so when it came to choosing shoes for my wedding day, I just knew it would be a pair from them.

I went with their awesome Eamz design; it’s sooo different and awesome:

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While they look cool, they were also quite practical: rather than having a pointy heel that could get stuck between cobblestones, the base of these heels are quite horizontal, making them much easier to walk in.

The shoes were £200, but they’re currently discounted at £159.

I bought this dress a couple of weeks back and it’s so nice! It pretty much ticks all the MissGeeky dress requirements: looks stylish, is comfortable, can be worn with different cardigans/blazers/tops and has pockets! As a nice little bonus it has the FutureLearn steps in them!

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You can currently get the dress from Joy for £30.

My 2015 book challenge isn’t exactly on schedule this year. From the 52 books I’m supposed to read, I’m so far only on 21 (while I should be around the 30). I still got 5 months to go though, so I’m going to try to catch up!

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The Martian – Andy Weir

I don’t remember who recommended this book to me (if it was you, please let me know!), but they described it as a science hackday in space. And it pretty much is: an astronaut gets accidentally abandoned on Mars and needs to combine all his skills of mechanical engineering and botany to survive. It does get a bit science and fact heavy at times, but I couldn’t put this book down.

It’s currently being made into a movie, but if you like the sound of it, go read the book first! And don’t watch the trailer: way too much is being given away in it. That said: I really like the casting – can’t wait to see it!

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Santa Olivia/Saints Astray – Jacqueline Carey

I’ve enjoyed Jacquelince Carey’s Kushiel/Terre d’Ange series, so I was curious to see how this series would turn out. It takes place in the titular Santa Olivia, a dystopian desert town in a no man’s land between the United States and Mexico, and is about the coming of age of Loup Garron, a daughter of a genetically engineered soldier with super strength, speed and sight. I really enjoyed these books. I love Carey’s writing and instantly fell in love with these characters.

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Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

I never quite realised how much I am a child of the eighties. Set in a not too distant future, Ready Player One is about the most epic video game easter egg hunt ever, with millions of people searching for the hidden will of the 80s obsessed creator of the OASIS, a virtual reality world/game (which has basically replaced the internet). This book is just filled with references and easter eggs to all things eighties; I didn’t get many of the video game references, but it goes beyond that – movies, music, comics, it’s just filled with them.

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The Witches of Echo Park – Amber Benson

I hadn’t read any of Amber Benson’s previous books, but saw that this new series might be a good place to start. I liked the characters and the backstory, but it didn’t feel like a complete plot. I get that it’s setting up the series as a whole, but I was expecting at least some conclusion to this part.

As I mentioned yesterday, I gave a talk at GORUCO, a one-day Ruby conference in New York. I did a 10 minute version of my Un-artificial Intelligence talk, trying to explain some basic concepts of human learning through machine learning:

I’m not a huge flower fan, so I decided quite early on that I didn’t want a traditional bouquet for my wedding. I mean flowers are pretty etc, but for someone who doesn’t deal well with keeping plants alive (and who has said in the past that getting me flowers is like the worst present ever), it just felt like having flowers as a bouquet would seem wrong. Via Pinterest I came across the idea of using book pages as flowers instead, and I completely fell in love with that!

I got my bouquet from etsy store theepapergirl, featuring pages from Alice in Wonderland:

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I love how it turned out! And it definitely felt more me than having a traditional bouquet. If you look closely you can see some of the character names from Alice in Wonderland!

I had several conversations with Lindy from theepapergirl to pin down exactly what I wanted, and she was super helpful and patient with answering all my questions. They have several listed books that you can choose from, or for $10 more you can have a book of your own choice.

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Check out theepapergirl for more options!

Oh wow, I can’t believe how long it’s been since I last blogged here! The last 2 months have been insanely busy, so before going back to my typical posts I thought I’d do a quick roundup of what I’ve been up to

Got married!

Back in May I got married to Cristiano! It was an awesome day, and I loved the little geeky touches we added. I’ll be blogging about the various things we did in separate posts.

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Speaking at events

I somehow ended up doing my Un-artificial Intelligence talk 4 times within 2 weeks. I love giving that talk though, and it’s great to see the conversations and discussions that come out of it!

  • 20th June 2015 – GORUCO: A one-day technical conference aimed at highly motivated programmers. Watch my talk.
  • 18th June 2015 – London Web: The meetup where people listen. We cut back the noise and focus on people who can teach us, interact with us, and help us learn from being around other like-minded people.
  • 13th June 2015 – OpenTech 2015: OpenTech 2015 is an informal, low cost, one-day conference on slightly different approaches to technology, experience and democracy.
  • 11th June 2015 – EmberLondon: a monthly meetup for anyone interested in Ember.js and building ambitious web applications.

Athens, Venice and New York

Cristiano had to be in Athens and Venice for BattleHack (an awesome global series of hackdays to find the Ultimate Hackers for Good), so I got to travel along and do some sightseeing. Next to that I got selected to give a talk at GORUCO in New York, and since it was cheaper to fly back a bit later, I got 2 extra days in the city! I’d never been to any of those cities before, and I love wandering around and exploring them.

I think I heard about Sense8 for the first time 2 years ago and so cool to finally see a trailer of it. It’s written and produced by the Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski: being a huge Matrix and Babylon 5 fan I can’t wait to see how this new show turns out!

As you might have noticed from some of my recent tweets and blog posts, I’ve gotten slightly addicted to escape rooms… I love the idea and I’m working my way through the list of London rooms. Hopefully I’ll be able to add another to my list if this Kickstarter campaign is successful: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/enigmaescape/enigma-escape-the-live-escape-game-experience-in-l.

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I really like the sound of what Enigma Escape have planned. Here’s a snippet from their Kickstarter page:

Have you researched into your competitors? Yes. Most of the games we played were actually rather fun. However upon reflection, none of the games we played actually made any sense. They were really just puzzles hunts…find all the keys to open all the padlocks and you’ve escaped. Some games tried to integrate a story, but the story quickly became irrelevant and we were left with the same ol’ puzzle hunt. Don’t get us wrong, hunting for puzzles can be fun, but we feel that a live escape game can be so much more than this.

How are you different? We wanted to create games that are both fun to play and make a lot of sense. That’s why our games will be entirely story-driven. We’ll tell you a story of how your team became locked in, then whatever happens next is your story. All the puzzles that prevent you from your escape are natural, meaning that if you think logically, you’ll reveal the solution. Designing the puzzles in this way allows us to create a sense of realism to your scenario. Even if you’ve played live escape games before, you’ll definitely find our take on the game a real challenge. And what makes us the most different, is that we’ve created games that are immersive – see below:

Why are your games ‘immersive’? We want to pay tribute to the origin of live escape games (the escape video game), so we’ve created an experience with video game like features to make you feel more ‘immersed’. These include watching cinematic videos before and after the game to round up the story; background music to set the atmosphere; sound effects at key moments during the game; and other things that you’ll just have to wait and see…

I’ve enjoyed the other rooms I’ve done so far, but I definitely agree that the story is just a backdrop and not really part of the experience. I love the sound of having appropriate background music and sound effects, plus having puzzles that feel part of the story just makes sense to me.

They’ve only got 48 hours left to go and have so far reached £4,628 of their £5,000 goal. They’re almost there! There’s a range of different rewards, most of them offering 2-5 player games when the room has opened. I backed the 5 player one, but I’m so tempted to do the [SPY] level: you get to watch how the staff room works while another team plays!

This is going to be a short review, but I couldn’t resist writing up something about before it disappears from London. I finally managed to go last Saturday and it’s brilliant.

The title of this post says “theatre” review, but Grimm Tales is so much more than your typical theatre show. Their site describes it as “an immersive storytelling experience that will plunge adults and children alike into the subversive world of the Brothers Grimm“. And that’s pretty much spot-on.

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Five fairytales are told over several floors of an old, creepy converted warehouse, with the audience moving from room to room with each story. I loved the set decoration and the costumes: it’s the right balance of dark and twisty. Hallways filled with creepy portraits and paintings, stairwells filled with old wedding dresses, just walking through the venue gives you shivers.

I loved how the fairytales are told in actual fairy tale form. I ended up buying Philip Pullman’s adaptation on which it is based and the dialogue is lifted straight from it. Since the rooms are quite small, you also actually get to see all the actors up close and it’s awesome seeing their expressions from that distance.

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I was familiar with three of the five fairytales, but I have a feeling most people won’t know most of them. I liked that they didn’t pick the obvious ones though, and it really highlights how weird some fairytales can be.

If you’re interested in going, hurry! Tickets are only available until April the 11th.

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these posts, but I thought I should try to revive it again. Each month I’ll share some of the upcoming movies that are being released in cinemas that I’m looking forward to.

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Furious 7

Do I even need to explain what Fast & Furious 7 is? If you’ve been living without TV or the internet for the past 14 years, it’s the 7th instalment of the widely popular heist and street racing movie series. I’ve always enjoyed the movies; the plot tends to be rather silly, but I always like how they’ve pretty much embraced their over-the-topness.

Release Date: Friday 3rd April

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While We’re Young

This stars Ben Stiller and Naomi Watts as a middle-aged couple, who’s career and marriage are overturned when a disarming young couple enters their lives. The trailer had some funny moments in it, so really curious to see how the movie turns out!

Release Date: Friday 3rd April

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The Water Diviner

I’ve seen a lot of tweets from people who loved this movie, so definitely going on my to-watch-list. Based on the book of the same name, it’s set in 1919, after the end of World War 1. An Australian farmer, Connor (Russell Crowe), travels to Turkey to find out what happened to his three sons, who went missing during the Battle of Gallipoli.

Release Date: Friday 3rd April

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The Last Five Years

I’m a sucker for musicals, plus I love Anna Kendrick’s and Jeremy Jordan’s voices! I haven’t seen the Broadway musical the movie is based on (mainly cause it never hit London), but it’s about the five-year relationship between a rising novelist and a struggling actress.

Release Date: Friday 17th April

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The Avengers: Age of Ultron

Avengers! I’ve tried to stay away from most trailers of this, but I so want to see it. I’ve even already booked my IMAX tickets!

Release Date: Friday 24th April

Others:

  • The Duff – Monday 6th April
  • Hot Tub Time Machine 2 – Friday 10th April
  • John Wick – Friday 10th April
  • Lost River – Friday 10th April
  • Woman In Gold – Friday 10th April
  • Child 44 – Friday 17th April
  • Last Knights – Friday 17th April
  • A Little Chaos – Friday 17th April
  • The Salvation – Friday 17th April
  • The Falling – Friday 24th April
  • The Good Lie – Friday 24th April
  • Stonehearst Asylum – Friday 24th April
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