Showing posts from December, 2007

What's your tipple?

As I kick back with a Bacardi & Coke I'm wondering what my choice of drink says about me. If nothing else, it probably confirms what a lot of people fear - namely that I'm unlikely ever to play rugby for England. I don't care, however, because I'm rather enjoying it.

I do find it quite amusing that there are stereotypes based on choice of drink; what's your tipple and what do you think it tells the rest of us?

I'm less amused, however, by the increasing number of calls by various "do good-ers" to increase the price of alcohol. Why should I pay for the lack of self control displayed by so many?

Buon Natale! (Christmas part two)

Another year on, and the presents are again wrapped and beneath the tree. The cards and decorations are hanging and looking festive. Dinner with the family is about to start, and my Christmas Message* has been written. So, it's time to wish you all a



*I've been in the Blogosphere for three years now, so it's becoming an annual thing. Like the Queen's.

Christmas (part one)

Jesus said "I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No-one comes to the Father except through me" (John 14:6).

These words were uttered by Jesus Christ, who's birth I shall enjoy commemorating tomorrow. Although I'd imagine that few of you would doubt his actual existence, there are probably many who would simply pass him off as a 'nice man'.

Yet, once you examine the actual claims of Jesus and His eyewitness followers, there are really only three alternatives for who He really is - Jesus Christ was either a liar, a lunatic, or our Lord. So, as you doze in your armchair, glass in hand, and try and block out the sounds of the latest family row, you might want to give it some thought; especially since many of Jesus' outrageous claims aren't compatible with the nicey-nicey Universalist* model.

*Universalism is the idea that all religions lead to the same God anyway. Basically.

atheism at Christmas

A while back, Dave pointed me in the direction of this link, and I've been meaning to get around to responding for a while.

I thought that the general sentiment of the article was good, although Parmjit Dhanda's comments about "the importance being aware of the significance of Christianity" seemed at odds with the BBC News report at the time which focussed on how well known the Nativity is. I've not been able to find a link back to this article or the associated Have Your Say, but the bottom line is that a large proportion of the population do not seem to be clued up.

The amount of ignorance displayed in the Have Your Say pages was as usual fairly staggering. One chap seemed to imply that "Christianity is based on a lie because we all know that Jesus was not born on December 25th". Now, forgive me if I'm wrong, but Christianity has never been based on the actual birthdate of Jesus. John 3:18 talks about people who believe in Jesus, not people who b…

return of the railway rant

For those of you who eagerly visit this corner of the Blogosphere in anticipation of another railway related rant your boat has come in again.

Yesterday, I was returning from work and on arrival at Horsham, the train did not divide as planned*. Instead, after a bit of bumping around, an abrupt announcement told us without apology or explanation that the whole train was going to go fast to Barnham without stopping at any intermediate stations and that those passengers requiring said stops should "leave the train immediately". So, a large number of passengers were then thrown out in to the freezing cold with a wait of more than half an hour for the next train. One wonders if Southern Railway actually cares at all about the people who pay to use their trains.

Although I can appreciate that it was not directly their fault, the general attitude of most of the Southern staff on the train and on the platform left a lot to be desired. Initially no-one offered any sort of apology o…

"are you on Dave's Facebook?"

So, I was in a posh London winebar. I happened to have a plate of chips in my possession and when I stood up to offer them around the (fit) birds flocked to me. The 'Aircraft Simulation' line worked like a charm and the evening flowed on well. But did I get her number? For some reason "are you on Dave's Facebook?" was the best I could muster. At least she is, I guess.

The Metre High Club?

I couldn't help but notice yesterday that there is a condom machine in the Gentlemen's Conveniences on the Shop Floor at my place of employment.It's left me wondering what amongst the flurry of engineers and partially constructed flight simulators would put someone in the right frame of mind and situation to have need of it. And as realistic as the sims can be, they can't be used for entry to the Mile High Club.Admittedly I've not been looking for one, but it's also occurred to me that I've not spotted similar vending machines elsewhere in the building. I hope someone's not trying to say something about the difference between the engineers downstairs and the computer geeks who spend more time at a desk upstairs.Defined by user


Uncool.Adj. "Describes the man who, at the end of an evening in the pub with a member of the opposite sex, pays a visit to the Gents' and sees in the mirror that his shirt is just poking through the top of his zip. It is unlikely that he will have any idea of the length of time for which this was the state of affairs."Disaster.Defined by user

what do people do all day?*

Like it or lump it, what you profess to do says a lot about you; it's widely accepted, for example, that accountancy is synonymous with dull.

When I was studying physics, admitting to it was social suicide. It didn't take me long to realise that in normal (i.e. non-physics) company, saying that I was a physicist** was guaranteed to stop the conversation.

Perhaps surprisingly, being an applied mathematician in Bath didn't have quite the same effect, though I suspect that this was because everyone else in Bath also studies maths and I was therefore lulled in to a false sense of security. The response I generally got was "oh, another one then" followed by a roll of the eyes. At least the conversation continued normally***.

But now, it's all come good. When someone asks me what I do, I sometimes even enjoy responding with "Aircraft Simulation", As lines go it's not a bad one**** and if that doesn't clinch me the crown of most eligible bachelor…

Free As A Bird?

The title of The Beatles song I have just been listening to seems an appropriate heading for my reflection on what has been quite a week as far as the issue of Free Speech is concerned.

Last Monday saw a very controversial forum at The Oxford Union on this very issue, with Nick Griffin and David Irving. 18 months ago I lived next door to the Union and if I still did I'd have been able to give you a live and exclusive account of the goings-on (and to nail my colours to the mast, yes I probably would also have attempted to attend the forum myself). As it happened however, any account I could have written would have just been lost in a sea of high profile news coverage, such was the scale of the protest.

We all know that I harbour a lot of contempt for protesters on the whole, and I am not about to make exceptions here. Although the event clearly attracted generic protesters from further afield than within a mile of Carfax (the BBC News page spoke of someone who'd come all the w…