And so another year is passing into history, and it is time to rest and enjoy the holidays with friends and family. For me, that also includes all of my wonderful online friends who I have come to know through my science blog, my physics and mathematics projects, my robotics work and of course the Grandiloquent Dictionary website and spin-offs. I may not express my gratitude often, but I want all of you to know how much I appreciate your support and correspondences. I have met so many amazing people through the internet, and the numbers are growing every year.

In the virtual world, this year saw many new projects and improvements to my websites. In the spring, my experimental webpage got shut down after hackers launched an attack and overwhelmed the server. The host company is a small, volunteer run business and they couldn't handle the dedicated attack, and so with my full agreement we shut down the site. I have since rebuilt it with another service provider who should be better able to withstand the attacks. Otherwise my websites are still doing great, and the grandiloquent dictionary had a record number of hits this year.

In the real world, I have had the privilege of working on a number of interesting projects this year. In the spring I wrote a new neural network library for use in my robotics research, a new and hopefully more efficient algorithm for symbolic tensor analysis (which is part of another research project I am working on), and also rewrote and re-released several applications that I wrote in the 1990s and 2000s to demonstrate advanced topics in mathematics. I also received partial funding for an idea I am developing for a long range remote communication system for robotics systems, and which I will make open source once completed (unfortunately it got stalled later in the summer because of a hardware failure, but I will be replacing the burnt out parts in the new year and should have some results to publish on my website in the spring/summer), and along with some friends we have received funding to develop a new robotic platform design. 

Over the summer months I managed a couple of astrophotography trips to private locations away from the city, where I was able to refine my methods and equipment, and I have made significant progress in my photographic skills. I have started working with a portable equatorial mount attached to a photography tripod, with various infrared and deep red filters to cancel out light pollution, and the results are quite decent.

In the last month, I also have started writing two or three new books on various topics in physics, mathematics, and some interesting new research in technology. Already there has been some interest shown by publishers, in part due to the success of this blog and my previous book, and if all goes well they should be ready for the mass market in about twelve to eighteen months. Meanwhile the published version of my dictionary continues to sell well.

I am still working on my professional research as well, but other responsibilities and projects (as well as having two project ideas scooped by other teams) have delayed me from completing and publishing anything this year. I am hoping to have more time in 2014 to get back to it, and I am quite optimistic about some very promising preliminary results that I have recently obtained. There never seems to be enough time for all of the calculations that I want to do.

I am also hoping that in the new year I can move away from these smaller projects and into a fulltime position in either scientific research, medical physics, or engineering. As some of you are aware, I have been kept very busy over the past several years with family responsibilities, but they are easing up now and I am very eager to start a new life, and maybe do some of the travelling that I missed out on. It has been a rough road for quite a while now, but I am finally reaching the end of it and can look to a brighter future.

So that was the year that was. It was a year of highs and lows, and some wonderful new friends and new projects. I hope that all of you who have been so kind and supportive over the years are able to enjoy the holidays among your own friends and families, and in good health. May 2014 bring us all even great joy and prosperity!

Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year!!