Tuesday, October 31, 2006


It is clear that given a choice between being a ninja and a pirate, one should be a pirate. A surprising choice, I am aware, and it may be considered heretical. Yes, I am fully aware that in any fight, the ninja would win.... but is life about just fighting?

I have compiled a list of things to compare these characters on


The ninjas role is one of precision, of years of training turning one into a machine designed to do one thing- killing. As a result their killings are swift and deadly.

A pirate is a haphazard fighter, but a stylish one, with some magnificent swordplay to their name.


The Ninja wins, but the pirate has more fun.


Black is pretty much it. You can wear a fancy coloured bandana, to display your "wacky" personality.


Excellent, you can look extremely stylish, with a jaunty hat, vital to anyone looking to impress the wenches.


The Pirate looks awesome. The Ninja is, at best, a guy with a comedy tie. Except it is wrapped round his forehead. At worst, he's a goth.



The Ninja does have a wide range of weapons to choose from- the shruiken, the knife, the sword, the nun-chucks. The main problem with most of these is that they are lame. Pity.


Less of a wide range, but what weapons he gets! The cutlass and the pistol are the standard combo, and a great one they are, enabling one to have an indiana jones moment that I think we all long to do. Additionally, the pirates get cannons. Freaking cannons.


The pirate is less versatile, but his weapons take far less precision to use... Pirate wins



Takes a long long time, and you'll probably die during the process.


There are various methods. You could start out being a cabin boy, but you really don't want to be the Wesley Crusher of the seas. The best way is to join a crew after an exciting sea battle, then kill the captain in a brilliant mutiny.

Pirate's training involves less sitting round on rocks and pondering the nature of existence. That's just lame, ninjas!



They can run really fast....


Pirate ships


I think you can work out this one for yourself.



Solitary creatures, they shun the company of others, unless they are killing them, and that generally leads to very little conversation, other than the witty rejoinder said in the heat of batle.


As well as having a crew of well rounded social stereotypes, there will also be a fair bit of wenching done.


Well, if you don't like people, or women, then being a ninja is the life for you.



The certainty that you can kill anyone you want to.


Wooden legs, eyepatches, talking parrots, treasure, occasional curses associated with said treasure, and scurvy.


Eyepatches are awesome enough that they win every argument. If more people had eyepatches, there would be no war. Because no-one would have depth perception.


The ninja is a deadly being, but being one is much less fun than it first appears. Pirates are awesome, and I didn't even mention the rum!

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


There's a new head and shoulder's advert in which our heroine, who is probably famous for something, says, with a knowing smile, about all the things she does to keep her skin moist, looking at a glass of water as she does so. She then talks about how fantastic head and shoulders is.

I know normal human beings probably don't even think about this, but WHAT exactly does she do to keep her skin moist? In the advert she just looks at a glass of water.. I assume she is refering to more than just drinking lots of water, as most of us do that to, well, live. I suppose she could be talking about an odder form of consuming the water, although how that would effect the moistness of her skin, I do not know? Am I the only person this bothers?

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Veil

There has been a rather insane amount of talk in the British media of late as to the veil- that is the veil worn by some Muslim women for religious reasons. This was all started by Jack Straw suggesting that women should remove it before talking to him, presumably because he likes to look at cleavege like any other lonely lonely politician.

Soon after, however, this created an intense debate... in the media at least. Often with issues like this where it is pretty much a storm in a teacup (apparently only 5% of Muslim women wear the veil, although where exactly I got this statistic from I could not tell you), I get the feeling that the media is far more interested in the issue than the general public. Anyway, this led to some calling for an absolute ban on it, which is an intriguing notion- can I wear the veil if it is NOT for religious reasons? Am I allowed to wear it in private, or is this is a uniform ban? And do we have to prevent people from buying significant amounts of material that might well be used as a veil? The daily express put a headline claiming 99% of people wanted the veil banned, although admittedly this was 99% of people who voted on a phone poll, which might, just possibly, not be an accurate sampling of the population.

As to my opinion? Well admittedly there is some trickiness behind this issue- I have no idea whethere the wearing of the veil is always done by people consenting to do it- in the case of women being forced to wear it then it is probably a bad thing, but there have been many anecdotal cases at least of women coming out and saying they want to wear it. Ultimately if you want to be that bloody warm for your faith (and it must get boiling, especially in summer), then good for you. A ban is, as I said, a ridiculous notion, and if we banned every type of clothing that offended people, I'm not entirely sure what we'd all be able to wear anymore.

All in all though, with many serious issues effecting us, and at the same time as this was being reported, a new lancet study suggesting as many as 650,000 people have been killed in Iraq being published, I think there are more important things to worry about.

Although ironically I have now dedicated a fair portion of my time to an issue I claim is meaningless.....

Damn me!

Sigh, it is perhaps not productive to skip lectures. Two last week- one was realtively excusable: a 9:15 lecture for which I was certain I had done the sheet pretty much perfectly, which, when skipped, would lead me to a magnificently long lie in. The next lecture, a 2:15 on friday, was perhaps less excusable, considering that I was already on campus, and just couldn't be bothered to hang round campus the extra two hours. A little poor, considering there was work I could have done.

As a result I am now on campus with pretty much nothing to do for two hours, as the two problem sheets I could be doing were given out in the lectures I skipped. To be fair, if the lecturers actually went to the effort of making a decent website that would not be an issue, but one could probably argue that if I made the effort to go to the lectures this would not be an issue either. To be fair though, then I wouldn't have had three extra hours in which I did nothing at home. And that kind of time is important. Isn't doing nothing exactly what being a student is all about?

Friday, October 20, 2006


I have mentioned Elmo before, but for those of you who don't know, I hate him with a fire of a thousand suns. He is evil. And here he gets burned.....

Monday, October 16, 2006

The evolution of Beauty

Awesome video, even if it is a Dove advert....


Someone stole our gate the other night......

Friday, October 13, 2006


Apparently one in four of us are obese. This aticle makes a reeasonable point, one that it didn't really need to make.

Think about it for a second. One in four of us are obese? That means if you know one hundred people then about 25 of them will be obese. Or when you walk down the street one in four people are obese. Hmm.... Doesn't sound like reality to me. I am apparently just overweight- I am 5 ft 11 and come in at 14 stones (and a bit)- I would need to be at 15 stone if I was obese. Thing is, a few months back, I was at that level... yet I don't think I was really obese- obesity, surely, is something profoundly unhealthy, and while I was certainly not fit as a fiddle, I was hardly a monstrosity. I think this is kind of silly- if you set your definitions the right way of course you can frighten people, but surely they should have some connection to reality?

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

sperm donors

Sperm donation is an odd thing. It's something I feel I should be comfortable with doing- after all, you get some money, and help people who want some children to get some. After all, what makes a child yours? Is it purely the fact that you submitted half of their genetic material, or do you have to raise them?

This ties into a law which I really dislike in the UK, that sperm donors have no right to anonimity- so their children can track them down. This has rather led to a drop in donations- it is certainly a factor that would put me off considering it. I really don't see the link here- there is nothing there that truly matters. It is different in the case where, after sex, someone becomes pregnant, and chooses to keep the child- you probably should look after the child, if only financially, because after all you took the chance when you had sex, but in the case of donation, you have given that up as an act of kindness to someone who desperately wants a child and either has no partner to provide it, or a partner who is unable for some reason to provide it. Really I don't see why you should have any responsibility towards the child.

This is sort of why I find the whole "you're adopted" shock a bit odd- I'm not entirely sure I would be that disturbed- my parents are my parents, whether they had me the usual way or whether they adopted. I don't know, of course, it would have affected me when I was younger, but I like to think not, because I like to think of myself as the height of rationality at all points, despite a reasonable amount of evidence to the contrary.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


It's about the time when I finally have to make a decision on what I actually want to do with my life. Most of my decisions have kind of been an attempt to stave people off, indeed, when people ask me what I want to do with my mathematics degree, I normally answer, "haven't a clue." Sadly this is apparently not sufficient any more- well not if I want to get any of the delightful graduate opportunities offered to the lovely members of Bath University.

A friend of mine gives marvelous advice, by dissing accountacy (dull), actuary work (duller) and investment banking (a 90 hour week apparently, although I would have imagined such things to be impossible). I am already signed up to a myriad of various talks about this and that future option, and there is of course the lovely if bewildering careers fair, where hundreds of different companies vie for your attention, and give out leaflets that manage to carry absolutely no information about what on earth you would actually DO for them, making me suspect that they are simply a front for a human slavery program.

Still, I am nearer to decision than I was, in that I have ruled out perhaps a couple of options (for example, I will not be a knife juggler. Or any kind of juggler for that matter, unless I develop a sudden unknown amount of physical dexterity). Most decisions are not permenant, of course, although I know myself to be inertia man, with the amazing ability to steer on a chosen course even if he isn't enjoying it! Which is not the best super ability ever, but it's hardly the worst, on the level of unpleasent flatulence man, for example.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The lament of the lazy

Well, finally back to hard work after 4 months, and unsurprisingly I am rather tired. It does not help that I appear to have forgotten mathematics, although most courses keep refering to stuff I was doing over a year ago, which has long ago hidden from my mind, if it was ever there in the first place. Added to this I have managed to suffer additional annoyances, from waiting for a bus for half an hour in the cold, to my recent quest to get a new young person's railcard.

I recently lost my old one, but I was not too fussed, as it only had one month to go- it had more than made up the twenty pounds I bought it for. Meanwhile, I had to book a train journey, and chose to say I had a young persons railcard- after all I could get one before the journey. So today I went off to get my railcard. I needed a passport sized photo, and despite taking enough of these to sink a battleship over the last few years, I had none to hand. Not to worry- I knew of the location of one- in the station itself. It was broken. I asked the guard, and he suggested the coach station. There were two booths. They were both broken. There was one at sainsburys.... also broken. Not to worry (I thought, panicking ever so slightly), I will simply hook in my phones memory card into a boots photo printer- I'm sure it can do passport size. My phone CRASHED THE FRICKING PHOTO READER

All hope is not yet lost, as there is one at the SU that I have not yet tried. If that does not work however, I have no idea how on earth I will get a photo in time for friday....

Monday, October 02, 2006

Children of Men

I really loved this film. Along with Shaun of the Dead, this is another film, that while being rather British, does not feel like the usual fare that we pour out, and that can only be a good thing.

In case you don't know the plot, the film is set 20 years or so in the future, when all humans have become infertile, and the entire world is collapsing. However, a girl becomes pregnant, and needs to be escorted to the human project, where they might be able to save humanity.

What makes this film great is the very close up camera, which pretty much follows our hero, Theo (played by Clive Owen) for most of the film. It is often quite shakey, and this soon draws you very much into the action- one fantastic sequence in a car feels very real, and the intensity is drawn with it. This film is not a classic hollywood tale, and there are no guarentees that people you care about will make it through, which only adds to the unbearable tension as this film spirals to a climax.

Along with this, there is a delightful streak of black humour- some of the best would be ruined if I actually reported it, and it is best to see it. The film can be intensely violent in some points, and it feels more horrid because it feels so real. Still, I would heartily recommend this film to everyone who thinks they can handle it- you shouldn't be disappointed.