Andrew V Parker's life one post at a time

Functional Programming Principles in Scala

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In September I enrolled in the course Functional Programming Principles in Scala, taught by Professor Martin Ordesky, the creator of the Scala programming language. The course was run over 7 weeks through Coursera.

‘Functional Programming Principles in Scala.’

I’d been wanting to learn more about functional programming for quite a long time. I had read a little about Lisp, scheme and recently Clojure, so I was well aware of some of the concepts (Immutability, Higher Order functions), but only vaguely aware of some other concepts (Lazy Evaluation). I had never written any code in any of those languages. This course seemed like the perfect opportunity to get me started, and it was.

50th All Japan Aikido Demonstration

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Last weekend saw the 50th All Japan Aikido Demonstration at the Nippon Budokan, Tokyo.

‘Poster for 50th All Japan Aikido Demonstration.’

There was a big crowd this year, and nearly 7500 people taking part. It’s great to see so many people gathering together for aikido. There were many fantastic demonstrations showing both great skill in technique and also excellent ukemi. I can’t wait to get the dvd. Sadly Kobayashi Sensei couldn’t give a demonstration this year due to injury, I wish him a speedy recovery.

This year I participated in the demonstration for the Shinjuku Sports Center Dojo, as well as the Aikikai Hombu Dojo demonstration. It’s a great rush to go out onto the main floor of the budokan with so many people, even if they aren’t really watching us – everyone goes to watch the teachers! I’d like to thank my excellent partners Daizo-san and Eric.

I rented a nice lens for my camera, in the hope of getting some good photos. Here are a couple of my favourite shots from the day.

‘Doshu performing shihonage (uke is Suzuki Toshio Sensei).’

‘Doshu and Waka Sensei.’

‘Waka Sensei performing nikkyo (uke is Hino Sensei).’

See many more in the photo album.


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Yesterday I went to see the sumo for the first time.

‘Flags outside the kokugikan.’

‘Hakuho, the only current Yokozuna, during the Dohyo-iri ceremony.’

The Rikishi (sumo competitors) look amazing in their ceremonial Mawashi.

'The Rikishi during the "Dohyo-iri" ceremony.'
‘The Rikishi during the "Dohyo-iri" ceremony.’

‘Shikiri pose - getting ready for the match.’

The crowd was really getting into it because the tournament is quite close – three rikishi were tied for first place on 10 wins, and Hakuko, the only current Yokozuna (grand champion) was one behind with 9 wins.

Here’s the final match, between Hakuyo and Baruto.

The leaders all won their matches so the tournament will be decided today.

More photos in the photo album.

Revamped web site

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Welcome to the completely revamped website.

This is now a static site generated by using Octopress. I made the change from Wordpress after my site was hacked (again). The site looks a bit different than before, but I tried my best to keep the structure the same (ALL the old links should work). I’ll probably continue tweaking stuff for a while, but if you notice anything broken please let me know.

Updated: Comments should be working now.

Aikido Training Summary 2011

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Now that 2011 is over it’s time for me to update my aikido training log.

Training Summary

After a strong start to the year unfortunately I couldn’t train as much as I’d have liked in the second half of the year, training only 114 hours.

"Training hours by month."
"Training hours by month."

I finished the year with 250.5 hours, having taken 199 lessons on 172 days. Coincidentally this is the same number of days as I trained in 2010, however I trained more hours, an average of 20.9 hours per month compared to 19.5 hours per month in 2010. Not bad considering I “lost” 2 weeks training due to the Great East Japan Earthquake, and another week to vacation at the end of the year. Overall I’m pleased, but still hoping to train more next year.