Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Body Image

The last time I felt really great about my body was in 2005. October to be precise. It was my first week of my undergrad at Imperial College, and there was the “Fresher’s Ball” coming up – a fancy, smart event for all the new undergrads to meet each other, make out, and catch Freshers Flu’. Clearly I needed a hot new dress, and so my classmate Kat and I headed over to Barkers department store on Kensington High Street. I remember picking out a cute dress in size 14 (US size 10) and heading to try it on. Kat grabbed me, and said, “you don’t need a 14, take the 12.” I looked at her, I’d never worn a size 12. I’d been 14 as long as I’d been buying my own clothes, but I took her advice, and headed for the changing room. It was a perfect fit.

Sadly, it’s been all down hill from there. I hit size 14 again pretty soon after that, then 14’s became tight. I wavered around the slightly loose fitting 14 for a year or two, then found myself needed a 16. Then the 16’s became tight. A story I’m sure many are familiar with. Around that time, I found my self with a Job, some spare cash, and a desire to get back into some of my former clothes, so I started personal training at Aegis in London. My trainer, Jenny, was phenomenal – I saw her twice a week, and she really pushed me on both the exercise and diet fronts. My body rapidly reshaped, and within a few months I was back to the 14s – not easily, but I could make most styles work. It was good, but I still had a way to go to hit that size 12. That summer with the Whuffaoke just weeks away I purchased far too many size 14 dresses (9, I think) from Karen Millen. With a hold of breath here, and a squeeze of body there I made them fit that entire trip. That was the second last time I was happy about my body.

After that summer I started expanding again. Back to a 16, and beyond. I resorted to baggy hoodies, free geek t-shirst (which are almost always huge) and jeans. Buying clothes above a 16 put me firmly in the “plus size” range – not something I wanted anything to do with. I had enough body dismorphia already. I never really broke free from here, I tried restarting my exercise and diet regimes over and over again, but with no success. It’s now almost 2 years later.

So that brings me to today. Or last Friday night to be precise. It was an ordinary night out with my room mate, Eris, boozing, flirting, and heading home for pizza, ice cream and Doctor Who. Shortly after Eris passed out, I found myself sliding the pizza box from under her for those last few slices. And then the Ice Cream, and the more pizza. And then it hit me. This *has* to stop, and it has to stop now. I couldn’t sleep that night – I hated myself so much – so as the sun came up, I rolled out of the bed, removed from sight all of remains of the previous night, and set about the tasks of setting myself up to hit my goals.

Is that size 12 dress my real goal. It could be – I still have it. But I know, from where I sit now, that is a long way off, possibly a year or more. Fitting into all of my size 16 dresses is my first goal. Then my size 14s shortly after. I want to walk into any store and know that I can buy any dress and not worry about the largest size not fitting me. I want to not worry about going to the beach this summer. I want to be tall and skinny. But most of all, I want to feel great about my body again.

Content Analysis is King

Notes for my presentation at DiBi Conference 2010.

Slides on Slideshare

Links

Single Table Inheritance with Sequel

I struggled with STI with Sequel as there is very little documentation on using plugins, let alone this specific one. It turns out it is incredibly trivial, but did require trawling through the code base to figure it out.

In your super class you need to activate the plugin (Sequel::Plugins::SingleTableInheritance), and specify the column name to be used to hold the name of the specific class for each object. In this case the super class is called Fruit, and the field I am using is object_type

class Fruit < Sequel::Model
   plugin :single_table_inheritance, :object_type
end

It’s really important that the field name is a symbol. If it is a string it will go bang.

Obviously you need to create the field object_type in your database table fruits as some kind of text field long enough to hold the name of the superclass and any subclass.

Your subclasses are trivial, simply extend your superclass.


class Apple < Fruit

end

Hope this helps someone!

Don’t Loose Focus on Women in Tech

Yahoo!’s recent atrocity of hiring lap dancers for geeks at their Taiwan hack day was the cause of a flurry of activity on the web and caused some people who don’t often talk out on women in tech issues to speak up. That’s a great thing, but did it really take this unbelievable event to get the world to sit up and listen?
What worries me more is that this may be the new bar by which the attitude towards women in tech is judged. Whilst the norm (outside of this event) seems to be fairly innocuous and less explicit (few female speakers / attendees, general hyper-masculine attitude, pink laptops, etc) this is clearly way out there. The danger is that by focusing on not doing such incredibly insensitive activities we loose track of where the real battlefield should be. That by focusing on not objectifying women we stop focusing on ensuring we feel more involved.

Yahoo!’s recent atrocity of hiring lap dancers for geeks at their Taiwan hack day was the cause of a flurry of activity on the web and caused some people who don’t often talk out on women in tech issues to speak up. That’s a great thing, but did it really take this unbelievable event to get the world to sit up and listen?

What worries me more is that this may be the new bar by which the attitude towards women in tech is judged. Whilst the norm (outside of this event) seems to be fairly innocuous and less explicit (few female speakers / attendees, general hyper-masculine attitude, pink laptops, etc) this is clearly way out there. The danger is that by focusing on not doing such incredibly insensitive activities we loose track of where the real battlefield should be. That by focusing on not objectifying women we stop focusing on ensuring we feel more involved.