Week #375

Friday, April 20th, 02018 at 14:41 UTC

It is week #375, which shares its name with 375 Ursula, is a large (~200km) dark asteroid in the outer asteroid belt. It takes 5.5 years to orbit the Sun. In 375 weeks, that’s a little over 7 years, 375 Ursula has orbited once and a bit. This week also shares its name with the British Rail Class 375, a multiple unit electric train, which is a bit ironic given this other electric news this week. 375 is also a Harshard number. For recreational mathematicians, a harshard number is one that is an integer which is the sum of the multiple of its bases. For 375 = 3 × 53 which is interesting, but not immediately practical.

EU Grant

Last week we got a message from the EU saying our most recent application had been rejected. On Monday we managed to get their feedback. The application process, albeit cumbersome, does give you some very good feedback and is pretty transparent. There are three main section, of which you get a score which is summed-up. Scores over 13 meet their criteria, if you can reach a 14 then we are taking more about funding opportunities. Since we’re in this for the long game, we knew we’d get some feedback and readjust and improve our application as needed. So when we got the results we were taken back! We managed a score of 13.61! Every section was excellent except one. We need to better explain the impact of our project, but we’re floored with how well it went. Now, we’re far from over. We need to resubmit with changes. Since random judges are assigned, other sections might drop or go up more. So we are fully aware we might go down in score. If we manage to get a 14, all that means is a face-to-face interview with the EU in Brussels to pitch the project. At this point they still only accept 50% of the applicants. Doing so well, so early has given the team a boost, but it also means that this is a very real project.

Once we’re in a bit better place, we’ll devote a whole post to just this new electric bike concept.


We had another itch we needed to scratch. This is another “quick and simple” iOS app. We like to watch trends, and one (we are atleast hearing about) is people migrating to the iPad as their main computer. We do a lot of writing on the go, sometime scribbled into various writing apps on the phone. What we felt was missing some some text stats tools. Sometimes really simple stuff like word count, sometimes more complex writing analysis. Sometimes these were built into the writing app, most of the time not.

We created an action extension. Those are tiny apps that are initiated when you attempt to share some content. We’ve hooked into that to give you some stats about the text you have written. It is less than a week old, but we’ve had people say “I’d pay for that now”. Which is a great sign.

We spent 3 years doing text analysis many years ago, so it feels great to work those muscles again and see what can easily, cheaply, and quickly as an action extension on an iPad/iPhone.

As an experiment, we plan to document the process in a series of posts. We want to show how something so simple and “easy” actually turns out to be a lot of work. It will also (hopefully) be interesting to those who want to learn a bit more about language, grammar, and what it says about you.

First Day of Summer

Thursday was the first day of summer in Iceland. It is a public holiday so we enjoyed the overcast, rainy weather at home. The old Icelandic calendar is split into 2 major seasons, Winter and Summer. Thursday was the first day of summer and for the next six months. The first day of winter isn’t a holiday, but it is being celebrated in its own secrete way. The City of Reykjavik is trying to rebrand it as “Kjötsúpudagur”. It is working, but few realise that the original holiday meaning, but that’s basically every holiday usurped from the pagans.

The first day of summer is the first day of the Old Icelandic month of Harpa. It is hard to find the real names for these months, partly because months weren’t really used. They based a lot of their time periods on weeks until and weeks from. It is only recently that some of these months have been given names and Harpa is one of them.