Air Ambulance Trip

Today, me and some of our first aid division did a trip up to Caernarfon to see the Air Ambulance, and the local ambulance station. Starting off from Aber at 7.40 (>.<) we trekked up to Caernarfon airport – a little air strip by the sea, very nice! As we got there, the Air Ambulance was just landing – and one of the gentlemen that flew in it very kindly showed us around the helicopter.

Me in the Air Ambulance

We saw that the space inside is actually very cramped, barely enough room to tend to a patient, despite having 2 sliding doors (one of which the stretcher slid out of and was held so a patient could be transferred to a bed outside) and a set of opening doors at the back too.

Air Ambulance

We also saw how the crew can easily work out the time it will roughly take them to get to an incident, using a very inventive magnet on a piece of string. You put the magnet/marker on the place to go, and the string draws a direct line from the air base – indicating the heading on a square compass. Above the map, the string continued passing through painting hanging loops, and along the straight top of the board were little markers for the number of miles the incident was away – and the marker was just a bit of red tape on the string. When the magnetic marker is pulled away from the base, the string travels along with it, and the red marker moves along the “miles” indicators. A very clever, but simple way of working out how far away things are, and on what heading!

Navigation Board

We then travelled to Caernarfon’s ambulance station – where Dewi (our trip’s organiser)’s Dad worked. We had a look round a couple of Mercedes Sprinter ambulances, as well as a new Land Rover Discovery.

The sick-bowls given to Miranda (suffering from travel sickness) appropriated as a hat

It was extremely interesting learning what they carried in their NHS ambulances, and how some of it worked. Whilst having a chat with one of the paramedics, I also learned the Merc ambulances contained 2.6 or 3 litre engines, could top 110mph, and weigh up to 5 ton.

Mercedes Ambulance

The ambulance was called out a couple of times whilst we were visiting, and I got a video of it leaving:

After – we visited Caernarfon’s town centre – and was not overly impressed by the absence of the sense of safety given by the violent behaviour from children and adults alike. We had a good look around the castle, and I had a great play with Liz’s Olympus metal SLR camera – having great fun with the wide-angle/fisheye lens, and managed to get some good shots (in my opinion, anyway).


A fantastic day out, and I really hope we can have another soon! Thank you so much to Dewi for organising the trip and driving the minibus, and thank you to Liz for some of the photos in this post, and for letting me borrow her SLR!


Interactive Web Programming – Ministar Galactica

Ministar Galactica is handed in and complete!

Since the last post, many things have been added including:


  • Health
  • Nuke
  • Super Laser
  • Shield
  • Ally
  • Stealth
These were great fun to think up, draw then implement. Really adds a bit of fun to the game.
Other things added:
  • Pause button / in-game help button that pauses the game and shows help to the user
  • Added some more hotkeys – “p” to pause, “o” to turn music off
  • Many fixes
  • Made the game get increasingly harder as the levels progress
  • A fading in and out “LEVEL X” indicator when a user goes up a level
  • High scores page
  • About page
  • End game stats such as powerups used, enemies killed, bullets fired, accuracy
  • New table “Accuracy” to the database, and it prints also to the high scores page
And much more. Anyway, if you want to go and play it, head over to: and post a high score!
Had great fun creating this assignment, and hope to work on it in the future!

Interactive Web Programming – HTML5 – Progress

Almost one week and over 1000 lines of code later, I have my little HTML5 (well JavaScript really) game in a presentable format. Features of my assignment now include:

  • Sign up feature to create an account
  • Log in feature (name and password) that checks if the user exists and the password is correct
  • High scores – the top 2 high scores are featured on the game page, along with the person that set them (got from their logged in account username)
  • Added the concept of levels and an increasing difficulty as the game went on
  • A mute button to mute the entire program
  • Volume fixes to make the sounds generally quieter and more consistent
  • Fixes to stop the enemies falling off the left edge so much
  • A website to contain the game
Its been tough, but fun at the same time – creating something that actually works and I can play with. All I have left to do is an “about” page and a couple of other small bits and bobs.
In other news, helped out with the ATC (Air Training Core) Cadets again a couple of times this week, had a great time helping teach them first aid with scenarios involving cars etc. Had a lot of talking about Weetabix allergies in their attempts to keep me concious, discussions of tea when a child’s teapot was found in the back of one of the cars, and the most memorable quote of the evening “I feel like treasure” said a girl who just had an “X” marked on her forehead to indicate an injury.

Interactive Web Programming Assignment – HTML5

I haven’t posted on this blog in a while, partly because the very interesting Human Computer Interaction assignment is complete and handed in, for which I was improving the Aber LINKS site, and many new assignments have now taken its place over Easter. One I am currently working on for a module called “Interactive Web Programming” involves making a game using HTML5 (and mainly the HTML5 canvas) with a lot of JavaScript.  After reading up on some of the new additions to HTML5, and following a couple of tutorials, I have been able to start making a game from scratch.

In my little game, you have control of a a little “Viper” spaceship, which can be moved around with the arrow keys. At the moment, you can just fire one type of bullet that will destroy the enemy Cylon Raiders, and in turn increase your score. There have been many challenges with this assignment, mainly just creating a 2d game in JavaScript – and learning how JavaScript does have a version of constructors, objects and methods for those objects. Other challenges have included getting the game to respond to 2/3 key inputs at once (e.g telling the spacecraft to go up and left, and shoot), having the enemy ships move around the screen randomly without falling off the sides, and only allowing so many bullets to be fired per second.

Space Game

Currently, I have a moveable spacecraft that can fire bullets to destroy enemy craft. The enemy spawn at the top of the screen and move down in a seemingly random fashion, with many random calculations, some deciding sets of movements so some enemies movements are much different to another’s. When a bullet hits an enemy, the enemy explodes (need to add sound clip) and is destroyed along with the bullet, whilst the player’s score is incremented.

I still have much I would like to do including adding more  guns/bullets, possibly getting the enemy to fire back, different levels with harder opponents, a help menu, and a high score leader board.

A fun week of JavaScript lies ahead!