The Red Penguin

Is this burning an eternal flame?


Monday 2 November 2020

Video from the coronavirus curfew in Barcelona last night.

The juxtaposition of the man on the piano playing The Bangles' Eternal Flame, and the scene unfolding behind them is quite something.



Posted to Instagram by @pianolitopeter

New Gorillaz, new Beck


Saturday 31 October 2020

Big Blur fan - but found the Gorillaz to be very hit and miss. But when they hit, what a hit.

I found a lot of Beck to be very hit and miss too - although he was utterly fantastic in Futurama.

But this is quite special. From Song Machine Volume One: Strange Timez, which has just gone into no 2 in the UK album charts - the third Gorillaz album to do so.

And good God, that Futurama episode is nearly 20 years old!



On the scoresheet at last


Saturday 24 October 2020

Today Alex is in the squad for Burnham Ramblers' senior team for the third time. It's a home game against May & Baker in the Thurlow Nunn League First Division South (Step 6 of non-league or the 10th tier of English football).

Last night I dreamt that Burnham won the match 4-0. Alex came on as a sub with 15 minutes to go and scored. And then with 5 minutes to go, I was called on as a sub too and I got the final goal.

I wasn't actually aware that I was in the squad, even though I appeared to be wearing Burnham kit and was standing by the pitchside. I had to ask Alex what number I had on my back. (It was 19, and he was wearing no 13).

My goal was a classic too - I was standing about a foot away from the goal line, the ball came my way, I had a swipe at it and it hit my shin and went in. The rest of the team celebrated the goal but they didn't come over to me because they weren't really sure what I was doing on the pitch.

After the match I spent ages looking for a report of the game in the Daily Mail but couldn't find it. I went back to the club and found the sheet that goes off to the FA which confirmed the two of us as goalscorers.

I have never been more disappointed to wake up from a dream as I did today.


The Otford Solar System


Wednesday 7 October 2020

Otford Solar System

A typically British tourist attraction - a scale model of the solar system, created to celebrate the new millennium, showing the places of all of the planets on January 1, 2000. Except it doesn't actually show the planets, just concrete plinths (mostly). And it also has Pluto!

Sounds like exactly the kind of thing I need to go and visit, and it's only 35 minutes drive from darkest Essex so I headed on over to Otford in Kent today - a very autumnal afternoon - to see if I could find them all or whether they'd been stolen or vandalised over the last 20 years.

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

The sun and most of the inner planets are at the far end of Otford Recreational Ground - a couple of minutes' walk from the car park. So it was easy to find the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Earth and read up a little bit about the scale they used.

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

I had a lot of trouble finding Mars. It is the only planet not to appear on a plinth, as it sits between two football pitches marked out on the rec ground. I wandered around for a while looking for it, walking up to and around Otford United, who play in the 11th tier of English football in the Kent County Premier League. I'd have said it has the most picturesque views of any ground at that level, although I haven't seen the rest of the Kent teams ...

Otford United

I finally found Mars and then wandered out to Jupiter, which lies on the side of the rec ground.

Otford Solar System

By now I started to use the Ordnance Survey map on my phone - not the app, but the website here. All of the plinths are marked on the map as memorials (Memls for everything from the Sun to Mars, and Meml for all of the others). Some of them are also marked on Google maps, although I assume that the OS map is the most accurate.

To find Saturn you need to walk out of the car park, turn left and then left again after the roundabout into Leonard Avenue. Saturn is sitting in front of a doctor's surgery at the end of the road.

Otford Solar System

I decided to have some lunch before venturing out to the last three planets (or the last two plus Pluto, depending on how strongly you feel about that). I also wandered over to the duck pond, which for some reason has been a Grade II listed building since 1975.

Otford duck pond

Otford duck pond

Unfortunately I spent so long waiting for my lunch, I realised I wouldn't be able to walk down to the other three planets and back before my time in the car park ran out. So I decided to cheat a little bit and I drove down to Neptune, which is just over 1km away in Telston Lane, about 20 metres from Pilgrims Way.

Otford Solar System

Uranus is about 400m back towards the village centre, next to a bus stop by Frog Farm. Luckily this is almost exactly at the point where a footpath starts, which eventually takes you to Pluto 1.25km later.

Otford Solar System

The track was a little bit muddy in places and it was signposted a couple of times too, although you should make sure you have a map, otherwise you might not find the right turn which takes you on the final stretch to the last plinth.

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

Otford Solar System

The main information board suggests it takes 2 hours to visit all the planets. I took about 1 hour and 15 minutes - I missed a walking round trip of about 20 minutes by driving down the road to Neptune, but I also spent 5-10 minutes looking for Mars so I think the whole thing could be done in one and a half hours.

The Otford solar system claims to be the largest model of its type in the world, because it's added an additional plinth for Proxima Centauri - which is sitting in the Griffin Observatory in Los Angeles. So that's one for the list of places to visit one day ...



Add a component ID and converting between ints and strings


Thursday 6 August 2020

In the last post, we got as far as creating a button listener, which allowed us to trigger a function when the user clicks on one of the buttons in our playlist. If the user clicks on a button it prints out a message.

Now the problem is we have no way currently of identifying the button. So what do we normally do? Well, we look at the address.

We need to convert the ID number from an integer in a string to do this.

1. In the refreshComponentForCell function in PlaylistComponent.cpp add
juce::String id{std::to_string(rowNumber)};
btn->setComponentID(id);
This changes the integer into a standard string and then passes the variable back correctly.

2. We need to convert from a text string back to an integer to get the index in the track list vector. So in PlaylistComponent::buttonClicked we add:
int id = std::stoi(button->getComponentI().toStdString());

This shows we start with a JUCE string, we convert to a standard string using toStdString() and then stoi converts it to an integer.

Then in buttonclicked we can do something like
std::cout << trackTitles[id] << std::endl;
to get the name of the track with the ID index.

*** I didn't really understand a lot of this!