101 Goals Day 100 Update

In the middle of the year I set myself another 101 Goals in 1001 days and added into my calender reminders to do updates every 100 days (this was due October 19th actually)


4 - Read Beowulf

I finally read all of Seamus Heaney’s translation, shortly after he died.

So. The Spear-Danes in days gone by
and the kings who ruled them had courage and greatness.
We have heard of those princes’ heroic campaigns.

There was Shield Sheafson, scourge of many tribes,
a wrecker of mead-benches, rampaging among foes.
This terror of the hall-troops had come far.
A foundling to start with, he would flourish later on
as his powers waxed and his worth was proved.
In the end each clan on the outlying coasts
beyond the whale-road had to yield to him
and begin to pay tribute.

Afterwards a boy-child was born to Shield,
a cub in the yard, a comfort sent
by God to that nation, He knew what they had tholed,
by long times and troubles they'd come through
without a leader; so the Lord of Life,
the glorious Almighty, made this man renowned.
Shield had fathered a famous son:
Beow's name was known through the north.
And a young prince must be prudent like that,
giving freely while his father lives
so that afterwards in age when fighting starts
steadfast companions will stand by him
and hold the line. Behaviour that's admired
is the path to power among people everywhere.

Shield was still thriving when his time came
and he crossed over into the Lord's keeping.
His warrior band did what he bade them
when he laid down the law among the Danes:
they shouldered him out to the sea's flood,
a chief they revered who had long ruled them.
A ring-whorled prow rode in the harbour,
ice clad, outbound, a craft for their prince.
They stretched their beloved lord in his boat,
laid out by the mast, amidships,
the great ring-giver. Far-fetched treasures
were piled upon him, and precious gear.
I have never heard before of a ship so well furbished
with battle tackle, bladed weapons
and coats of mail. The massed treasure
was loaded on top of him: it would travel far
on out into the ocean's sway.
They decked his body no less bountifully
with offerings than those first ones did
who cast him away when he was a child
and launched him alone out oer the waves.
And they set a gold standard up
high above his head and let him drift
to wind and tide, bewailing him
and mourning their loss. No man can tell,
no wise man in hall or weathered veteran
knows for certain who salvaged that load.

Goal 5 is to memorise the opening so I chose the above extract (not quite done it yet)

The Fight With Grendel

The Last Survivor’s Speech

Beowulf’s Funeral

These and other Old English readings are available at The Norton Anthology Of English Literature

Heaney’s own reading

His introduction is also online.

Nobel Lecture

Dramatic reading of the original

58 -Swim 100m

Sounds easy but I have not really swam for 20 years, managed to remember to breath enough to do this while on holiday in Greece in July. Some more swimming goals to come.

50 - Take part in Lisp In Summer Projects

I wanted to do an alife sim using Genetic Programming, while the sim itself is a bit raw I blogged about Genetic Programming and Cellular Automata work I did along the way. I loved the ‘hack month’ style of the contest, giving longer than the typical weekend to comeplete it.

44 - Go AI with Monte Carlo Tree Search

For the Clojure Cup, Jamie and I did one in the browser in Clojurescript. I am afraid I leaned on him quite a bit as I had to disappear and do the Shine London nighttime walking marathon. He bloged about it and later some optimisations.

I don’t think I am done with MCTS as it seems to be used in Computational Creativity and is in Coursera’s General Game Playing course.

45 - Start using Paredit

Trivial really but I just needed to sit down and do it at some point. Long overdue and if you paren and dont use it, you should, it’s awesome

40 - Seasoned Schemer

Great book, I just wish I came to it sooner as not much was new to me.

RasPiRobot to drive motors so I got one and did my first bit of soldering in years. Simon Monks book is excellent and describes pretty well how to build a robot with the Magician Chassis

Proto-pic in the UK.

I actually went for a 4WD Chassis

I went to NodeBots of London and it was an amazing day, the venue and the people were great. I arrived late so only had time to do the soldering of the RasPiRobot but did later get it hooked up to the Pi. I was lucky I bought both kits as the battery thing from the 4WD does not work with the RasPiRobot so I had to use the magician one.

Last week I joined the London Hackspace so should get this finished and be up to more roboty stuff in future.

39 - Finish 4clojure

I think Christmas 2011 I did my first 'hard’ problem after getting bored of the easy ones, took me an entire day to do it. I did it intermittently in 2012 and had ~30 left coming up to Christmas, I got it to 25 by December 1st so I could do it as an advent calender and got down to (I think) 6 left by the new year. Some have since been added and I had another push last month so I am down to 2 and have finally caught up with Jen (who had completed them all until the recent additions). I think this Christmas it’s getting done at last!!!

57 - Quarterly Wild Swim

I swam in the sea in Greece, bit scary after having only just swam again for first time in ages

5 - Memorise Beowulf Opening

As discussed above

28 - Watch all Teaching Company linguistics courses

Looking at the list there are even more than when I decided to do this. I am half way through Understanding Linguistics: The Science of Language, it is superb and I am very happy to see John McWhorter has 2 more new courses available.

27 - Read “A Student’s Introduction To English Grammar”

I did start this but abandoned it as I was too tired to really take it in (a common feeling for me this year)

29 - Finish 10 Online Courses

Well I did lots of Coursera’s Logic one, all of the Algorithms one most of the EdX Quantum Computation one and all of their AI one. Both the EdX courses were excellent

I have pretty much come to the conclusion that till I have more time I just cannot keep up with their artificial deadlines so have taken to watching them at my own pace. I don’t get much value from the 'massiveness’ of MOOCs (typically 'there is a forum over there and deadlines every week’) and lots of them I would learn more just spending my time reading as the videos are not particularly good. I do think it is worth finding the real gems though.

42 - 'Artificial Intellegence - A Modern Approach’ in Clojure

I started this a year ago, translating the Python and Common Lisp code examples into Clojure. I think having done the AI course I now know a lot more of the content of the book so I should revisit it soon.

17 - 100 Pressups

As I could not do one after breaking both my elbows I am pleased I can now do 20


65 - Play Harmonica

Well, I say 'planning’ - my sister bought me one at least ;-)

81 - Multi-day Canoe Trip

Keeping it simple for a first trip I will probably do the Great Glen Canoe Trail next year.


I am swapping a few goals, I have been doing kettlebell training lately so am swapping a few goals from Olympic lift ones.

14 - Squat 150kg -> Snatch 2x32kg Bells (simultaneously)

16 - Press 150kg -> Snatch 24kg 200 times in 10 mins

15 - Deadlift 150kg -> Farmers Carry 60kg each arm

What’s next?

Take a look at the full list, if you fancy any let me know.