Showing posts from November, 2006

Time for some more perspective

I see that University Christian Unions have made an appearance in the media in recent days, for reasons largely centred around exclusivity and the attitude of the Univeristy Student Unions.

The Cartoon Church contains some interesting comment on the matter, and thie article in The Times is well worth a read.

I particularly like this paragraph:

'It is bad enough that university students are anxious to censor others and deny them access to proper debate. That is to undermine the very nature of a university, a place where people can think and discuss the unthinkable.

What is worse is that the repression of Christian groups is the height of hypocrisy. For the most unacceptable of what many Christian students believe is pretty much what many Muslims believe, only Muslims go much further. There are plenty of Muslim students, not least among the activists that so alarm the government that it is asking university authorities to spy on them, who believe not just that homosexuality is an abomin…

Infamous in my home town

Originally uploaded by JP1984.
Thanks to Davey for unearthing this in the Newbury Weekly News

Mandriva Nil Ubuntu 1

Here's one for all you geeks out there.

I wanted to log-in remotely to the Linux computers in the office, and decided that I would try the Mandriva Linux Live CD which came with a computer magazine.

In one sense, it did exactly as it said on the tin - it ran Linux without any installation. However it would not use my wireless card (the files needed were not included in the free version, something which I think goes against the grain of OpenSource software). I could download them, but having found a wired network connection I was unable to save the files (it hadn't mounted my hard-disk).

I then tried installing the distribution, but having partitioned my hard-disk and made a fuss of copying files across it installed nothing in the way of a bootloader. So there was no way of actually running my shiny new Linux.

I then decided to download Ubuntu. Not only did it run successfully from the CD, identifying my wireless card and all, but when I opted to install it it turned out to be…

For once I want to be the car crash

...not always just the traffic jam.

After a largely pointless non-story, I feel the need to follow up the last post by talking about my day yesterday. It was great.

After a short but sweet visit to the East End I went to meet another friend in the centre of England's greatest city. We visited a mutual friend in Waterstones and didn't understand what epicurious* meant. We headed to the Strand, via Whitehall and the legendary Horseguard in search of a Starbucks** and what turned out to be a rather good Gingerbread Latte. We went to South Bank, and enjoyed the stunning views of the London skyline, the clear sky and the autumn colours. We saw a stack of unbelievably cheesy (and overpriced) postcards, some lads drumming effectively on some upturned buckets and baulked at the queue for the slides in the Tate Modern (another time, methinks...). We saw Southwark Cathedral and passed the London Dungeon. We had lunch by the river and bought some random fruit*** in the Borough Mark…

(signal) Failure

It was all going so well. I'd arrived in Paddington (my favourite gateway to London) on time. Despite some confusing signs, I'd not taken long to get the Hammersmith & City line, and I didn't have to wait long for a train.

Although the train terminated at Whitechapel, this was perfect. Coincidentally, my friends from Bath who were attempting to break the record for visiting all of the Underground stations in the fastest time were also headed for Whitechapel. I was on course not only to be on time to visit my friends in the East End, but also to say hi to the attempted record breakers as well. As I passed through Farringdon, a text from the guys from Bath confirmed that our paths would indeed cross...and then the train ground to a halt.

Eventually, citing "signal failure" the train was terminated at Moorgate. Nothing was heading east and I had to head to the Northern line and change. The platform was rammed and as I waited seven whole minutes for my tra…

The best things always come in pairs

Forming an inadvertant trend, I am once again pleased to be able to treat you to two posts in one day.

I was reading the Metro on the bus this morning, and was amused by the article about the unemployed bloke who, having already fathered 15 children has two more on the way. Apparently he has just got both his wife and his girlfriend pregnant and is "annoyed with himself" for this. Charming.

Bizarrely he is said to live with both women. I don't know about you, but I wouldn't have thought that "unemplyed" and "father of 15" are the things which appeal most to women, and yet this guy seems to be holding down not one, but two relationships, and under the same roof at that.

Which poultry or waterfowl are you?

Someone has turned up in our office with a poster of Poultry and Waterfowl. Apparently if I had to be one of the birds on the poster I would be the "Old English Gamefowl". I am not displeased with that decision.

Since living in Bath I have noticed a large number of Nissan Figaros about the place. I was under the impression that this cult Japanese import was quite rare, so it must be that everyone who has bought one lives in BaNES. Maybe it's got something to do with the fact that Danny Wallace, who comes from Bath, bought one accidentally once (read his book Yes Man, it's great). Talking of cars-which in case you thought I was talking about kettles or something, I am-I've also noticed a large number of classic VW Campervans about the place. I want one, despite the fact that I can't drive, and will accept applications from those who wish to chauffeur me around in one. As a word of warning, although I think the campervan is cool, the topless guy I saw dri…

In Other Britain's Green And Pleasant Land

I am currently filling in a form, and it has one of these irritating 'ethnic origin' sections.

Under "white" I can be Scottish, Welsh, Irish, Other British or Other White Background.


"The world is full of fools, take wisdom to the wise"

Look at this - two posts in one day. Cashback!

I've seen lots of strange people in the last 24hours, this time beyond the boundaries of the Maths Department.

Firstly I was in 'Spoons last night enjoying a much needed drink, and the table we occupied was adjacent to one populated entirely by people dressed up as Smurfs. They'd painted their skin blue and everything. I think that perhaps our table was previously unoccupied for a reason.

Then, this morning I needed some bread and decided to sample the produce of my local baker. As I was leaving, warm fresh loaf in hand, I was passed by a guy who went "oooh bread" in a really high-pitched voice.

I didn't pay him enough attention to work out if he was the same guy that I passed later on along the river. This time the strange voice was mocking another bloke who was walking on the concrete blocks right on the very edge of the bank. To be fair, he had a point...

Finally, as I arrived on campus I found that it was…

Let's talk about trains and people from Kazakhstan

I've not blogged for a while - blame the intense nature of my course. It's not funny when having been one of those in the office beyond midnight finishing one assignment the next one is handed out without prior warning the following day. C'est la Vie, I guess. At least I enjoy what I do, although it would be nice if there was more to my life than maths.

Anyway, I promised you trains and people from Kazakhstan, so without further ado let's move on to my first railway rant since I've been in Bath. When I was in Oxford, a return to London was about £12, and a return to Bath was £7. So why is it that to go directly from Bath to London (and back) costs 50% more than Bath - Oxford - Oxford - London (and back)? Whatever the Department for Transport says, there is no logic or consistency to that whatsoever, and I am left mourning the fact that I currently can't justifably afford £30 to visit London. Grrrrrrrr.

Moving on, there are no prizes for guessing that I migh…

Bath, Baby!

Since the beginning of this week I've come across some very odd people wandering the corridors of the Maths department. (Don't make some wise-crack about all mathmos being odd, and let me instead get on with telling my story).

Firstly there was the short guy with curly hair, big glasses and a handle-bar moustache. I think he might have been foreign, though he may just have a habit of looking bemused when someone holds a door open for him.

Then there was the bloke who looked just like Mini-Me from Austin Powers - I kid you not.

Alongside him the bloke in the bright purple jumper looked somewhat normal, so we'll gloss over him and move on to my final "character" of the week, who was tall, bald and had the coldest, hardest stare I've come across for a while. I could almost feel myself shrinking up against the wall as he passed. He was probably one of the invading Russians, and I thought it best not to mess with him.

Today is Weird Hat Wednesday, and I am loving …

Road to Rouen (Track 7)

I was in the queue for the cashpoint behind "Hugo" yesterday. I don't think he knew who I was, though I know it was him because he had his name written across the back of his top. I learned that he was behind some bulk emails I have been receiving, which perhaps takes the mickey a little (but not as much as the fact that learning about "Dave" cost a phenomenal £7).