8 December 2016

9th December 2016

In 2005 the Creen Advent Calendar looked more like this, coded as it was in HTML.

And it was in 2005 that we put on "I Believe In Father Christmas" by Greg Lake. Now 11 years later, sadly, he died earlier this month, so in memory of him, here is his 1974 classic.

and the classical piece it was based on:

8th December 2016

We're pretty much done with our Christmas shopping, but there's some people it's really hard to choose gifts for. If you have a friend who is a headteacher, why not get them their school's aims and ethos engraved on a wooden cheeseboard? Here's the one I've made for Ciran Stapleton, Head of St Joseph's School in Slough. Happy Christmas Ciran!

7 December 2016

Reasons to love The Ipcress File

1. Dr Radcliffe reads New Scientist (geddit?) in the car

2. Dr Radcliffe disappears at Marylebone Station (and Taylor dead in the mailsacks)

3. Harry Palmer's out-of-focus POV shot before he puts on the famous specs

4. Ross talking to the pigeons (Palmer's B107 on the table)

5. Alice

6. "I don't have Ross's sense of humour." "I will miss that, sir."

7. Talking to Pat at Scotland Yard: "You dirty old man." (in Harry H Corbett voice)

8. Chasing Bluejay through Imperial College

9. "I need a TX82." "You need a 3H security clearance. What's your authority?" "CC1." "CC1? All right, Harry, if you say so."

10. Colonel Ross in Safeway supermarket (Champignons!)

11. "I'm working for Dalby. You're working for Ross."

12. "Tell me who wins."

to be continued another time ...

7th December 2016

Every once in a while, you come across the prefect nativity scene. In 2010, it was the now world-famous Sausage Nativity: http://adamcreen.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/7th-december-2010.html

You may have seen this next one before (with the rise since 2010 of Twitter, Instagram and Facebook) but we make no apologies. Look at it. JUST LOOK AT IT.

And what's more, its available to buy! https://www.modernnativity.com/products/modern-nativity-set

6 December 2016

6th December 2016

We hope you're enjoying this Advent Calendar, but also any real-world ones you have. Sarah has a BB8 calendar that lights up (and has chocolate) so that's very exciting.

One LEGO fan did a whole blog for every window of last year's LEGO Star Wars Advent Calendar, which had C3PO dressed as Santa Claus:

Here's the blog: http://www.thebrickfan.com/category/lego-star-wars-2015-advent-calendar/

4 December 2016

5th December 2016

So it appears a lot of you have been doing Christmas decorating this weekend. While we've got our wreath up, there hasn't been time for the tree. But maybe you've decided to go a bit arty with your tree this year, perhaps like Tate Britain has done...

Hanging upside down from the glass ceiling in the Millbank entrance, Shirazeh Houshiary’s Christmas Tree can be appreciated from different perspectives at three levels of the gallery. The tip of the tree from the lower floor, the floating body from the ground, and the glittering roots covered in gold leaf open into an abstract star formation when viewed from the upper floor.

3 December 2016

4th December 2016

Today we are in Italy on our European tour, and the news is ...


Imagine our delight to find, when vaingloriously Google searching our own names, that Adam is the star of an Italian book about a hungry pig. The only other Mr Creen in fiction is a minor character in an Isaac Asimov science fiction novel, so this makes things so much better.

Here's what the authors had to say (Adam's bad translation):

Lorenzo Naia, Roberta Rossetti

A child who eats badly will be an adult with health problems. Alternatively, correct nutrition
along with some good rules and habits, can prevent the onset of diseases and mental and physical problems.

But in a world in which "big" is the usual way to speak of food, how can a child learn to feed themselves in a healthy way? To find out, there needs to be a place where a child’s curiosity is stimulated through the meetings and emotionally important experiences between the characters,
which will become the occasion of internalization and learning.

Mr. Creen is a cute little hungry pig, ready to explore the world! His happy and affectionate character wins over everyone who meets him. And the same goes for the kids. They identify with him and would like him as a friend
The pig is an omnivorous animal and through meetings, learns about the world of food and nutrition.

"Crin" in Piedmontese dialect means precisely "pig". Furthermore, the similarity with the English word "green" refers to the sustainable philosophy of the project.

2 December 2016

3rd December 2016

We hope you recovered from watching the Andre Rieu video yesterday. If you want to see it again just click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUKEOwM0F4s

On our holidays we travelled from Maastricht in the Netherlands to Brussel in Belgium, which brings us to the Word Of The Day:


Belgium is about to get smaller and the Netherlands bigger after the countries agreed to a swap of land. Each will cede small, uninhabited parcels of land to reflect a change in course of what is known in French as the river Meuse, and in Dutch as the Maas. The border will most likely change at the start of 2018 after both countries have ratified a treaty next week. The land swap, however, does not extend to the border village of Baarle-Hertog, aka Baarle-Nassau, which has non-contiguous part of the Netherlands in Belgium, and vice versa.

Yes, there's a Belgian village in the middle of the Netherlands, but just to make it extra confusing there are small areas of Dutch land in the middle of the village. You can see them marked N1, N2, etc in the map above. These distributions were ratified and clarified as a part of the borderline settlements arrived at in the Maastricht Treaty. No, not that one, the Treaty of Maastricht in 1843.

Read more about the enclaves at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baarle-Hertog

Here's a photo of the smallest one (H22):

Update: this great article

1 December 2016

2nd December 2016

So why was Miffy saying "Hup Holland Hup" yesterday? Because it's a football chant for the Netherlands team, with a catchy tune.

And just as Brits like to sing "Rule Britannia" at the Last Night of the Proms, the Dutch love to got to concerts given by Andre Rieu (think smug violinist) in Maastricht. When we were there at half term you couldn't move for posters about his Christmas shows.

So here you go: Andre Rieu and his audience sing Hup Holland Hup, and Viva Hollandia. You have GOT to watch it all the way through! And you thought the English were weird...

Hup Holland Hup
Laat de leeuw niet in zijn hempie staan
Hup Holland Hup
Trek het beesie geen pantoffels aan
Hup Holland Hup
Laat je uit 't veld niet slaan
Want de leeuw op voetbalschoenen
Durft de hele wereld aan

Go Holland go
Don't let the lion stand around in his undershirt
Go Holland go
Don't put slippers on the beast
Go Holland go
Don't let them defeat you on the field
Because the lion in football shoes
Dares to take the whole world on

And after that, you might agree with Austin Powers' father Nigel:

30 November 2016

Advent Calendar 2016

1st December 2016

Yes, greetings to one and all, and welcome to what we are calling The Official Creen Pro-European Advent Calendar of Novelty. This year, to celebrate the fact we are still in Europe, we are going to share some of our favourite memories and images of Europe, as well as tell you more about their Christmas customs. Today ... the Netherlands!

Miffy, the little rabbit, is from Utrecht in the Netherlands, where she goes by the name of Nijntje (a shortening of konijntje, which means "little rabbit"!)

We visited Utrecht on our recent tour of the Netherlands and saw the Miffy Museum, as well as its amazing Cathedral, and the underground Roman foundations.

Tomorrow we'll tell you more about this:

27 August 2016

Downloading ResultsPlus data

This is a step-by-step guide for downloading GCSE question-level data from Edexcel's ResultsPlus website. It is a companion to Mel "JustMaths" Muldowney's blog post "Results Plus – QLA – June 2016" which has instructions on what to do with the datafile once you have downloaded it.

Go to https://www.resultsplusdirect.co.uk/ResultsPlus/Default.aspx

Enter your username and password. These are the same as your EdexcelOnline username and password. If you do not have one, ask the Exams Officer at your school to set you up. If you have forgotten them, click on the link below the login boxes.

Click on the top option, "Results Plus Analysis"

Click on the bottom right option, "Downloads"

Using the + buttons to the left of 1MA0 GCSE MATHEMATICS, get the list of the 4 papers

To the right of each paper is Download CSV link. Click each one in turn.

If you are doing this within 12 hours of 6am on Results Day, you may have to wait a stupid length of time. This is not Graham Cumming's fault, but you can blame me, Mel, Seager, Fat Fonzi, and every other early bird desperate to download the scores (which bizarrely don't appear on EdexcelOnline, or on the students' results sheets). If not, you will see:

This is the CSV file you will open and import into Mel's amazing spreadsheet.

Any questions, just ask on Twitter: https://twitter.com/adamcreen