Lies, Damn Lies
Wednesday, May 31, 2006
Thursday, May 25, 2006
My SpaceGood god, have you ever browsed My Space? I mean, really browsed it? It's like they had a compeitition to see who was the best with html and then made sure no-one who was any good went anywhere near my space. Backgrounds with incoherent text, random movies and songs imbedded at completely inexplicable points? My space has got it! Check it out
Seriously.. what are these people on? These are hardly the worst examples ever. Some people should be kept away from the internet....
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
ExamsHave gone quite well so far, I feel I did better than expected on both papers, although I shall have to wait for the actual marks to find out if my intuition is remotely accurate. I still have an exam tomorrow, which I imagine will be super fun, we even get a calculator to play with. I am always both annoyed and amused by people who claim standards are slipping because kids are allowed calculators in maths exams. Of course, mathematics has little to do with the adding up sums, just as English is not really all about excellent spelling and grammar. Both are, of course, important, but there are some things it is frustrating to do without a calculator- logs and square roots spring to mind. Of course at degree level you mostly just leave those things as they are, rather than right a numerical approximation, but for some subjects, they just love to make you calculate things!
At the start of my first exam we were all told not to read our exam papers after sitting down ( we normally can look at the questions before the exam begins). They then proceeded to collect them. Apparently, due to a bizzare mix up, we had been given the answers! They actually wanted to reschedule the exam for a different day- we suggested the more reasonable course of us just waiting the half hour it would take for the real paper to be copied. This was far more agreeable, although we did get home later....
Recently, on an unrelated note, I've been getting emails to my bath address who have found it on the bathstudent website for Amnesty. Bizzarely, they are just adverts for various stocks... this is a bizzare method of trying to raise one's stock price...
Sunday, May 21, 2006
Avoiding revisionI've actually been fairly good with not avoiding revision this time around, although I suspect I would not have played word sandwich quite so many times, or indeed word wiz, where I display my distinct lack of mastery of the english language. I understand a lot of words, but I'm not sure I can necessarily bring them to bear on command. Which makes me wonder how exactly one measures average vocabulary. I have heard random large figures been given, which can surely only be an estimate, as there is no way I can think of to get a reliable census of the words someone knows. I guess you could read out a whole bunch of words and ask them to define them, but other than that taking absolutely ages it's probably not the best judge. Ask the average person to define the word "the" ad they'll have a bit of a problem. I don't even know what type of word it is, to be honest, but I certainly know what it does.
This reminds me of times when Ive been heard statistics about illiteracy levels, which gives me amusing images of sending out a letter saying "Can you read this? If so- respond!", and seeing how many they get back. It leaves me suspicious, the idea that some large number (I think it was something like 10%) are illiterate when they reach secondary school (11). In a country with compulsary free education this seems highly improbable. Unfortunately the article with that statistic is long gone, and I'm feeling too lazy to google it.
Anyways. First exam tuesday. One day of revision left.
10 things I hate about commandments10 things I hate about commandments. Also, a cool little fan made batman movie.
PandoraA friend recently sent me an excellent link to this site called pandora. Type in a band name and it will start playing songs by them, and also other artists it think's you'll like. It's pretty neat- and pretty good at finding good songs, at least in my experience.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
WalkingI've recently taking to walking at about 4 every day, as a way to get out of this house which I am mostly trapped in revising, and just to become a little fitter, being a rather sedentary character. It seems the weather has taken note of this decision, raining at about 4 every day, an unfortunate coincidence. I have mostly managed to just about avoid rain most days as I wonder around Bath, in a desperate attempt to discover more walks. Somehow, despite my best efforts, I seem to end up going in exactly the same direction each time.
It's kind of interesting, to explore bits of the city that I have not before (so far discoveries include... a riverside walk and a nice view from one bit...), although less so than one could suppose. There are only so many suburbs one can see really...
As one would expect, the main company I find on these walks are dog walkers, the most bizzare example being one man who was cycling his dog. In that he was on a bike and the dog was walking. Now admittedly this is not a bad idea in theory, but his dog kept stopping to sniff things, forcing him to stop, and in some cases to turn back and get it to move. This led to one of those awkward social situations where we kept over taking each other, and had to make some kind of comment each time, eventually settling into embarrased smiles before we finally parted ways.
I'm not a huge fan of socially awkward moments- I suppose not many people are. I imagine those that are generally walk into the middle of people and say things like "my wife died recently." And here I stress that their wife has NOT died. Becuase if she has they're probably not gunning for socially awkward situations, they're probably just quite depressed. Or pleased, if they had some kind of set up where they would get a lot of money out of it.
Anyway.... revision continues apace. First exam on the 23rd of may. But I'm pretty sure i've already said that.
Friday, May 12, 2006
I just don't get itI've recently been reading The Steampunk Trilogy by Paul De Filippo. It was initially quite amusing, with a tale for a search for the real Queen Victoria as a newtlike substitute took the throne. There were some slightly unpleasant misogynist and homophobic tones, but it is a period piece after all. However the second story features as it's protaginist a racist- Louis Agassiz. Now I understand that this is probably supposed to be satire, but what am I honestly meant to do with "And the worst component of the mix, the vilest, most polluted stream feeding into the muddy river that was America, the most offensive taint i any putative white man's blood, a contamination which reeked to heaven and violated all moral order, was-
Frankly, I find that kind of revolting, and this continues, with our lead mistaking a black woman for an ape later in the tale...
OK, yes some of our scientific ancestors were racists.... what exactly is the point in satirising it exactly. By making Louis our lead I suppose we are meant to sympathise with him as he recoils in horror from black people, but you can count me out. The oddest element of this is that in the reviews that I googled for, there was little mention of this. Maybe everyone else gets it... I don't.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
InaneIt always irritates me when any program asks me what company I come from, because obviously everyone who uses that program is going to have a company, but it just confuses me when a GAME does it? I mean, I'm pretty sure most work places aren't meant to be running games....
On another, completely unrelated note, on the radio this morning they were talking about the new supreme court the government intends to create. At one point the interviewer asked something along the lines of
"So what will be the title of these new judges- will they be lords?"
"No- they will be supreme court justices."
"Won't that seem like a demotion?"
"Um...no I think they will be able to work out that becoming a supreme court justice is a promotion."
Incisive questining there radio 4.... Won't that seem like a demotion indeeeed. Idiots.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
Retro coolOne of the earliest things that brought myself close to the people I met at university were shared memories of childrens programs. This is not a unique phenomonomomon (I got carried away), to the point that you can buy a lot of these series on DVD- I own Bucky O Hare, in fact, a series about a rabbit leading a crew that fight the evil toads. In space. Does television get any better than this? Of course the best of all these was Knightmare, a wonderful show involving virtual reality and dungeons, as 3 kids led another through a virtually generated dungeon. As they aged from 8-11ish, there were some hilarious moments where they got left and right confused, leading in death (of the virtual kind) for the contestant. Sadly this does not exist in DVD format, a missed opportunity to be sure, possibly because the people who own the licence are short sighted. It is repeated on Challenge TV- but who watches challenge TV?
I have no real point to this, only to say that anyone who acquires for me all of Knightmare on video./dvd will have my undying gratitude.
Saturday, May 06, 2006
A post, of sorts.So, spring is finally here in the UK. Well it was for the last two days, in which we managed to slot a quick barbecue, with my cunning inviting myself to someone else's house. I'm clever like that. I have now truly conquered the high seas, although unfortunately there is still much revision to do. My exams shall not be over until June 1st, a date so far in the distance it might as well be imaginary. Well never mind.
My favourite thing about revision at this time of year has to be the beautiful weather outside while I am stuck indoors, pretending to myself that I will begin work any minute now while I board yet another spanish galleon. You see, if I left the house, that would be me ADMITTING I wasn't going to get any work done, and that would simply be unacceptable.
In the news recently, at least in the UK, have been a set of scandals which have discomforted the government, followed by a very poor showing in local council elections. These have been followed by more calls for Mr Blair to step down, which he has bravely chosen to completely ignore. Apparently this country needs him for vital reforms, and even though none of them even WANT him anymore, that does not lessen their need to any extent. At this rate, the only way he is going to be torn from power is through assasination or a vote of no confidence, and we all know one of those is never going to happen.