Thoughts on the recent Mental Health reforms

There has been a lot of talk over the past few days over Theresa May’s speech about Mental Health reforms where she pledged about new initiatives to help those with mental health problems.

Having a look through her speech it seems like most of her initiatives seem to focus on younger people, once again leaving those over the age of twenty odd left to fend for themselves with services that have been slashed over and over again thanks to budget cuts by the Tory government. Theresa May also promised to take action to tackle the ‘stigma’ around mental health, I’m sorry? Stigma? I’ll rather take the funding.

Any hows

There are positives from her speech however. She pledged new support in schools such as Mental Health First Aid Training and closer links with schools and CAMHS. I do welcome these seeing that according to studies half of mental health problems start by the age of 14 and 75% by 18. She also said that by 2021, no child will be sent away from their local area to receive treatment for mental health issues. This will be an interesting one to watch seeing that it’s quite common knowledge that children being admitted to hospital can sometimes be sent up to 300 miles away from their home. Again what funding is in place to make this happen? The £220 million promised by David Cameron still hasn’t filtered down to  front line services as many services are using it to fund other services.

How ever research conducted by the Education Policy Institute Independent Commission on Children and Young People’s Mental Health in November found that a quarter of young people seeking mental health care are turned away by specialist services because of a lack of resources and that waiting times for treatment in many areas are also incredibly long. Which again is a funding issue.

Also in the speech, Therese May announced that just an extra £15m is to be pledged for creating more places of safety. This works out to be about £23,000 per parliamentary constituency. Which in the scheme of things isn’t a lot at all.

She also talked about Digitally assisted therapy. So treatment provided over the internet such as Scotland’s ‘Mind the Blues’ in what seems like an attempt to make overstretched services go even further. Maybe Therese May would like to introduce my Crisis Team Chat Bot?


Fallout Perks Timelapse on a HPC LS6840 PRO Lasercutter

So the local Makerspace (Swindon Makerspace) have recently had a HPC LS6840 PRO Laser Cutter on loan from the cool people over at Reprap Ltd, so after many questions (I really don’t fancy breaking a cutter worth a few thousand pounds), I got brave and loaded up the software and loaded up a vector of all the main pip boy perks from the Fallout world and set the cutter going, nearly three hours later, I got this….

Fallout Perks Laser engravement

Not bad going at all, maybe a little bit deep, could have put the speed up a bit as well, but for a first attempt, I  can’t complain.

The time-lapse at the top was shot on using a GoPro Hero 3 +  with around 1400 photos, with one photo every five seconds.


Making a simple Arduino temperature sensor

Recently I decided to play more with an Arduino starter kit that I bought from Amazon (Arduino Uno R3 Board Starter Kit) and make a simple temperature sensor from it. Now when it comes to using the Arduino kits, I had no idea where to start. After some research, I made one reading the temperature in C, F and also the voltage.

Heres a simple guide:

  1. Connect the TMP36/2N3904 temperature sensor to your arduino by connecting the sensor’s VCC pin to the Arduino’s 5v port.
  2. Then the ground pin on the sensor to the GND port on the Arduino
  3. Finally connect the temperature sensor’s VOUT pin to the Arduino’s A0 port.


And thats it on the hardware side, now for the software.

//TMP36 Pin Variables
int sensorPin = 0; //the analog pin the TMP36’s Vout (sense) pin is connected to
//the resolution is 10 mV / degree centigrade with a
//500 mV offset to allow for negative temperatures

* setup() – this function runs once when you turn your Arduino on
* We initialize the serial connection with the computer

void setup()
Serial.begin(9600); //Start the serial connection with the computer
//to view the result open the serial monitor
void loop() {
// {
//getting the voltage reading from the temperature sensor
int reading = analogRead(sensorPin);

// converting that reading to voltage, for 3.3v arduino use 3.3
float voltage = reading * 5.0;
voltage /= 1024.0;

// print out the voltage
Serial.print(voltage); Serial.println(” volts”);

// now print out the temperature
float temperatureC = (voltage – 0.5) * 100 ; //converting from 10 mv per degree wit 500 mV offset
//to degrees ((voltage – 500mV) times 100)
Serial.print(temperatureC); Serial.println(” degrees C”);

// now convert to Fahrenheit
float temperatureF = (temperatureC * 9.0 / 5.0) + 32.0;
Serial.print(temperatureF); Serial.println(” degrees F”);

delay(250); //waiting 60 seconds

Then hit verify, then press upload. Open up the serial monitor and you should start getting something like this….

If you do, then well done, you have a basic temperature sensor.

You can copy and paste these results into a text document and save the file as a CSV file to import into Excel to make graphs from it if you wish.


How strong is Steve from Minecraft?

In Minecraft you play as the chacter Steve (well unless you reskin him), and out of curiosity I decided to try and work out how strong he really is. 

So in the game you have 36 slots and in each slot you can carry 64 items. So the heaviest real world item I could find was gold. A cubic meter of this would weigh the best part of 19300kg and each slot can carry 64 of these and you have 36 slots, this of which would total out at around 44.467 million Kgs of gold. 

So in the game each block is made of 9 gold ignets, so based on that each ignet would weigh 2144kg. 

Now that’s a lot of gold to be carrying around on him. 

But yes I am forgetting that you can also make gold armour in the game. Right so a full set of gold armour needs (from memory) 24 ingets presuming there’s nothing lost during making it. This would weigh in at 51466kg… Now that’s weighty. 

Including the back pocket full of gold and the armour, this would be 44.519 million Kgs of gold… 

So cash for gold anyone?