Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Blaming Java

I have always found java script annoying, it tends to break webpages, and for one reason or another I have been unable to access it. This has been the case recently, with certain applications refusing to load, and errors being uninformative. I tried reinstalling, downloading updates... nothing worked. Until I read an internet forum that suggested my firewall might be to blame.

No, I thought, because surely it would have warned me as to what I was doing when I installed the damn thing, to do something as invasive as block content without asking me. But just in case, I checked my settings, and there it was, an objective to block all imbedded java content. This was buried under privacy settings, and when I installed it, I was never asked about it. Also, because it blocked the content without telling me, or giving me a chance to unblock it, I had always assumed it was java's fault: after all, it was java that gave an error.


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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lift use

Working in an office on the 9th floor of an asbestos infested building, there is one thing that bothers me: Lift use. I have to admit that despite initial bold plans to climb all the stairs every day, I do end up taking the lift. However, I always take the stairs down. Thats the easy part, and it's extremely annoying to watch lifts head in the wrong direction all the time thanks to people (including the security staff) taking the lift down one flight of stairs.

As of such, here are my lift rules (note, these exclude people who have physical disabilities, infirmity, pregnancy.... any strong reason to avoid lots of physical effort)

1-Thou Shalt only ride the lift up.
2-Thou shalt only use the lift when you need to go up 3 or more floors
3-All undergraduates shall be confined to the staircase, which is their proper fate

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Collective responisibility

Can politicians please stop saying that we all need to take responsibility for the current financial crisis! No we don't! I haven't taken or given unwise loans, I have nor received or given absurd bonuses, I have not speculated or hedge funded or any other buzz word that gets thrown around these days. I suspect that I am part of a majority of people who had very little do with the crisis, but will undoubtedly by affected by it. I suppose I didn't see it coming, but then neither did anyone trained in economics.. well anyone anyone was listening to, to listen to the news these days apparently there were several hundred people who saw this coming, modern day cassandras.

I suspect what politicians are doing when they say everyone needs to share blame is to ensure THEY don't get any. I'm not sharing blame on this one at all, because I'm not to sodding blame, and neither are most other people. Also, blaming someone for the financial crisis because they took a loan they couldn't repay is one of the most stupid reasons I have ever heard. I could be wrong, but shouldn't banks check that sort of thing?

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Killing hitler

I got linked to an amusing very short story on this topic- check it out...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Those who can't do, teach.

Surely this presents a serious problem for teacher training courses?


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Literature Review

Ah, the literature review, something I am in engaging in at this very second. Well clearly not this exact second, as I am typing this. In this modern, enlightened age, the need to go to the library and look through hundreds of journals has thankfully lessened thanks to the internet, so thus far I have not needed to deal with the university's nigh on incomprehensible filing system. Until today.

I needed an article which seemed perfect for my purposes. I leapt to work, and headed to the library, and then got lost amoungst millions of journals when I realised I did not understand the filing system. There were various categories, which, just to throw me off, were letters, leaving me to think there was some alphabetical order. Of course within each category the books WERE in alphabetical order, although initially I was rather confused how both ethics and physics got under Q (I still don't know why really, clearly these are very similar in topic). Having mastered this, I found the exact right journal, turned to the exact right page... to find nothing. The article I was looking for was not there, and indeed appears to be nowhere to be found. It being refered to in only one place online probably should have implied something, but never mind.... 45 minutes of my life I will never get back...

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Friday, October 10, 2008

Phd time!

I have started my phd, an exciting time, I'm sure you shall admit. I have managed to miss one tutorial I was meant to be giving already, thanks to stupidity on my part, and have done a tremendous amount of marking already. I will get paid for these things of course, which is nice.

Marking undergraduate papers finds interesting results: students who believe that cubic equations can have no roots (it makes sense if you've done any mathematics), and one who wrote a huge amount of utterly incomprehensible and unexplained maths that possibly answered the questions set, but it was not entirely clear.

Now all I have do do is a literature search to discover some techniques to find optimal designs for differential equations, and also attend two seminar/training things on monday and wednesday respectively. So easy then....

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