USA/Canada Trip: Part Four – Boston


This gallery contains 39 photos.

After four days in Florida I flew to Boston for a short two day visit.

After checking into my hotel, I spent the first afternoon exploring the Public Garden, Boston Common and CBD area. Boston is one of the birthplaces of the USA and has some amazingly old churches, buildings, and markets. In particular, there was a great mix between the old and the new.

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USA/Canada Trip: Part Three – Disney World


This gallery contains 90 photos.

The third and fourth days I spent in Florida were at Disney World.

On the first day there I went to the Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios – until rain brought an early end to the day. On the second day I began at Hollywood Studios and then went to Epcot and back to the Magic Kingdom for the Wishes Fireworks.

The video below shows the first minute of the wishes fireworks. The whole show was amazing. Additionally, the photos that follow are from across the two days – but photos and video don’t do the two days full justice, it was such an amazing and unique place to go to.

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USA/Canada Trip: Part Two – Kennedy Space Center


This gallery contains 28 photos.

On the second day in Florida, I went to the Kennedy Space Center. It was by pure coincidence that this was exactly 45 years to the day since man first walked on the moon.

The bus tour around the launch facilities at KSC is awesome. My inner child had such a great time, including getting a photoshopped photo of me as an astronaut.

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USA/Canada Trip: Part One – Orlando


This gallery contains 18 photos.

In July I travelled to North America to attend AAAI-14. Along the way I did some sightseeing which will be blogged about in the next few posts.

The first stop was a four day visit to Orlando, Florida where I met up with a friend who used to study in Sydney.

During these four days I went to Gatorland, Florida Mall, Downtown Orlando, Kennedy Space Center and Disney World.

The photos below are from the first day of the trip which was spent exploring around the Orlando area.

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New Zealand Politics and Dirty Politics

The more that I’ve lived away from NZ the less I’ve cared about the day-to-day political scandals – also the less I’ve been involved in student politics has also contributed to this.

However, the release of Nicky Hager’s latest book, Dirty Politics, has really opened up how personal and petty NZ politics can be.

The Dim-Post has a good summary of the key issues here.

My main issues with the behaviour it has uncovered are:

  • the hacking/stealing of data from Labour party computers
  • the smears against scientists orchestrated by big tobacco PR
  • the relationship between government ministers and staff and right-wing blogs.

The NZ General Election is four weeks away. The dirt that this book has dug up could have an influence on the outcome of it. I don’t think National will lose, but their sleep walking to victory has become a lot less easy.

Goofy Smiles and Slack Stairs


This gallery contains 24 photos.

Yesterday I went with two friends to Wentworth Falls and the Valley of the Waters in the Blue Mountains. It was near freezing and the winds were below freezing, but it was a beautiful day. 

Starting from the conservation hut we began on the short cut track, and cut through to breakfast point lookout. From there through to Wentworth Falls and down, down and down the slack stairs to Wentworth Pass, then back up through the Valley of the Waters. It took us 3 hours 45 minutes. This is the first solid hike I’ve done in quite a while and with the massive climb out of the valley my legs are so sore this morning.

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Tramping in Karekare


This gallery contains 18 photos.

While visiting friends and family in Auckland over the ANZAC day weekend, I went tramping at Karekare with some friends whom I used to work with. It was a beautiful walk, on a beautiful day, through the beautiful wild west coast of Auckland.

We started from Watchman Road and walked up Ahu Ahu Track before returning via Comans Track and cutting through to Karekare Beach. 

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Launch of Electric Trains in Auckland


This gallery contains 10 photos.

Last weekend I was in Auckland for the weekend. During this time I went to the launch of Auckland’s new electric trains – something of a major milestone in Auckland transport history.

Below are a set of photos from the day, they aren’t very good quality as I had my camera running in auto mode.

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PhD Examination

On Thursday I was officially notified that I had passed my thesis examination and been awarded a Doctor of Philosophy – PhD in Computer Science.

I still have to make very minor changes to the printed final copy, but the examination version was 165 pages, 43,451 words and took 3 years, 9 months, 13 days to complete.

Now the question is what do I want to do next in my life?