Category Archives: Random Things

Im Back with the Open University

Im BackIm Back !! Just a short post (I will do a more updated one in the next few days) but I have registered with the Open University for my next 2 courses starting in September and January. I have taken nearly 2 years out of my degree study but thats not to say I have done no study at all.

There has also been a new arrival in the Gibson house and the Gibson house has also moved so its been a very busy year all round but I will tell you all everything in my next post :)

I will have to do a bit of tidying up on the blog and make sure everything is working ok. If you spot anything please let me know so I can get it fixed ASAP.

So for now im happy to be back studying with the Open University and will update you all shortly.

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things

Sent Open University an E-Mail to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science

So it’s now done, I have sent an E-Mail to the Open University to withdraw from S283 Planetary Science. I have known for week that it would be happening but with TMA03 due next week I thought I should sort it out now. Having talked it over with student support last month, they felt the same as me, that its better to delay and try and get a higher result than just scraping through this year. So now I’m quickly downloading all the book and weekly activity PDF’s so that I can still work at my own pace for starting again next year. Should have really done that before contacting them !!!

Open University Transitional fees:

I know some of you including Phil from have mentioned about what could happen with my fees with withdrawing from the course. For me that isn’t a problem as I’m based in Northern Ireland and for the time being I’m still under the old Open University fee system. So hopefully I will be back up and running well before any changes happen.

On a happier note:

I have moved house in the last few weeks and that’s one of the reasons I haven’t done a blog post on a while. We moved from a 2 bedroom apartment to a nice big 4 bedroom house with big garden for Josh and the new baby to enjoy in the summer.

Also the garden is very dark with no nasty street lights and a good view of the sky so the telescope should be getting a good bit of use over the next few years, or I may have to treat myself to a new one like this Sky-Watcher Skyliner 300P ,  but only if Lisa allows me !!! I think I will have to be very very nice to her.


Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things, S283: Planetary science

Changed my site around a little

WordpressAfter using the free blog for the last year or so, I finally took the plunge and changed to the self hosting site. I know most of you probably wont know, or care about this but I decided to change over for two main reasons.


  1. I hadn’t realised it but wordpress free put their own adverts onto my blog. The reason I didn’t know about this was that every time I looked at it I was logged onto my wordpress account and apparently they don’t show up for the blogger. So over the past year I have probably earned wordpress a few quid. gggrrrr
  2. I had always known about the self hosting but was a little scared of it, I know it gives me a lot more flexibility over the blog but also makes it more complicated. However after looking through it the last few weeks I think the change over should be good for the blog.

So here we are, the blog has switched and hopefully you havn’t noticed any errors, fingers crossed. To be honest the change wasn’t that hard and anyone who has used the wordpress free should be able to use the self hosting version.

Google Ad Box

To pay for the new site (£30-£40 a year) I have added a Google Ad Box, now to me I don’t like it being there, but since you the readers have been seeing them all the time you shouldn’t notice any difference. Now for the good bit, every penny earned from the ad’s are going to be used towards my study and not into wordpress’s pockets :)


As for the last few weeks of study I have a few decisions to make but I will let you know all about that over the next few days, the pressure has been increasing with the workloads and something may have to give :(

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Filed under Random Things

You can now follow me on Facebook, who wants to Like me ???

I was playing around with the blog yesterday and noticed a new widget for Facebook, so after a little messing about I now have a Facebook page where you can follow My Open University Life.

All you have to do is click the Like button in the top right menu bar or just click on the Facebook logo and it will take you to my page and you can like it from there. It will mainly be for my blog posts but feel free to share it and post on my wall.

Ok its now time for study, I have a few hours today then a few hours tonight so hopefully get a good bit done. The cut off date for S283 TMA2 is 3 weeks today and by the looks of things im 3 week behind so its going to be tough, but not impossible :)

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Filed under BSc (Honours) Natural Sciences B64, Random Things

2011 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 38,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 14 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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We went to a wedding yesterday, so thought I would bring the camera

This is a little off topic, but yesterday we went to a wedding and at the last minute I decided to bring the old Canon 400D with me instead of the normal “Point and Shoot”. After taking a couple of hundred photos, (its amazing how many photos you can fit onto a memory card these days) I enede up with about 150 or so good ones. So with a little editing im actualy chuffed with the results. This is a few of them but the whole lot can be viewed here


Filed under Random Things

S104 on Facebook

I found the official S104 Exploring Science Facebook page yesterday. With the course forums pretty slow its good to get to talk with others doing the course and have a look at how they’re getting on with it. There is also a discussion where people are posting there results so I like looking at that just to see how im doing, and by the looks of it im not doing to bad :), certainly not top of the class but also not bottom. One thing I did notice is that a good few are well ahead of me but as long as I stick to my calender I should hopefully be fine.  So if your on the Oct 2010 course why not join in and see what you think.

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Filed under Random Things, S104: Exploring Science

Found a Good Astronomy Forum

After trying for a few weeks to find a good forum with plenty going on I finally found one Stargazers Lounge. Only been on it a day or so but have found the people really helpful and friendly.  With plenty of forums and sub forums you could say there’s way to much info on it but that’s no bad thing. I think most of the next week will be spent looking through the newcomers forums and the equipment forums.  With over 2,000 active members it’s not one of these forums where your waiting days for a response.  I posted on the welcome forum yesterday and so far I have had over 20 replies, so friendly place.

I have also finally been able to get good advice from some people who have been using the scopes that im looking to buy and some good alternatives that I am now seriously looking at.   I will do a blog on this some time in the next few weeks but needless to say, I have to raid the piggy bank.

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Filed under Random Things

Friday Update

I know I missed last Fridays update but it was a hell of a week. Lisa’s wee cousin died from carbon monoxide poisoning on the 3rd so obviously everything was put on hold for that.  Neil (Left) and his 2 mates where on a trip to Castlerock and the heating system was faulty, in the end It killed Neil McFerran and his mate Aaron Davidson and the other, Matthew Gaw just about survived. You can find the whole story here BBC. So with all this going on the business also got a little behind, so all our time has went into getting that caught up in the last week.

So study has been slow again all of it was DB123 and even though I havn’t done much the last 2 weeks im still a week or so ahead and have just started working on TMA03.  It looks harder than the last one but I suppose thats to be expected.  Hopefully this week I can get it done and dusted, even though its not due in until 3rd Sept, I still want it done as my material for S151 arrived this week.  Im wanting to be able to concentrate on that for the next few weeks and am planning to do it in the 8 weeks.

This is the study for the last 2 weeks, only a few hours on it but hopefully that will all change this week.

This Week

Tue 10th
DB123 – 2 Hours Chapter 7 / Tutorial 7

Total 2 Hours

Last Week

Mon 2nd
DB123 – 1 1/2 Hours Chapter 7

Total 1 1/2 Hours

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Filed under DB123: You and Your Money, Friday Update, Random Things, S151: Maths for Science