Wednesday, 29 June 2005
Tuesday, 28 June 2005
Now I'm probably not the best person to ask about maths but I think there is a contradiction here - how can we meet the shortage of maths teachers if, as seems apparent, for whatever reason there are too few people studying the subject? And in the light of the number of physics departments that have closed are we approaching the end of maths as a recognised subject too? This isn't moral panic - it's pragmatism, once departments close it's a great deal harder to reopen them and the decline in "technical sciences" can only mean that in a few years time we will be a net importer of scientists.
Posted by Nogbad at 13:54:00
Monday, 27 June 2005
|The anniversary of Trafalgar sees ships from around the world gathering to celebrate Nelson's defeat of a larger French and Spanish fleet off Cape Trafalgar, near Cadiz. There is a local link, Victory was built in the Royal Dockyard at Chatham here in Kent.|
The ships assembled will represent the largest ever collection of warships, 174 will be present and with a touch of irony the largest vessel is a nuclear powered aircraft carrier - from France!
And the subject line I've used? It's from a Royal Navy recruiting poster.
Posted by Nogbad at 22:32:00
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Posted by Nogbad at 20:57:00
If anyone wants the feed click on the little buttony jibby-jobby on the right though why you might want to is beyond me. Do have a play with site feeds though as it's a great way of seeing what's new on the web.
Posted by Nogbad at 18:22:00
Sunday, 26 June 2005
'Home tutors are more likely to be educated and aware of the correct ways of doing things,' said the spokeswoman. 'For this reason, although the majority are honest, those who are not will be given no leeway when they are caught.'Now call me old-fashioned but there are bits that don't make sense to me. First up - being educated doesn't in any way equate to understanding the byzantine tax system in this country and secondly, being educated means you are liable to stiffer penalties or to less leeway! What kind of system is this??? Is there to be a formal sliding scale? Professors might expect summary execution for being late with their tax return because they are very well educated - in Philosophy or Music or Art in the 16th Century, makes no difference. Leave school with two GCSEs though and you are allowed to do whatever you want with regards to tax because you simply don't know any better! Of course the whole thing is thrown into sharp focus when we condier the enormous amounts in question - people are charging up to GBP50/hr - terrible, the tax being lost on that will have the country on its knees. Damn good job that we have tax compliance officers, who cost nothing, sitting round with nothing to do apart from counting the number of people visiting certain houses. Of course the amount of tax routinely hidden by large corporations isn't worth chasing or worrying about because many of them don't employ people with doctorates.
In a separate piece though it's clear that although academics understand the tax system they can't handle complex sums. It's worth checking out this article as it deals with the ID card and suggests that civil servants will cripple the bill to introduce them. But the Home Office is disputing the findings of a report by the LSE:
However, Home Office officials are thought to be unconvinced by a London School of Economics report, to be published tomorrow, which suggests the total cost of the scheme could be as high as GBP18 billion, more than three times the government's estimate.So there you have it - academics know the tax laws but not research principles or mathmatics - I hope that helps.
The Home Office minister Andy Burnham is due to meet the authors of the report at a meeting of the left-wing Campaign Group of MPs tomorrow. But Clarke's aides began to brief against it as soon as they received a copy this weekend. 'The IT and operational costs are fabricated,' said one Home Office source. 'They have spoken to 20 private IT companies, where we have spoken to 300. We just don't recognise many of their figures.'
The official said that the academics appeared to have simply multiplied the original government estimate of GBP93 per card in order to make the figures look as bad as possible.
Posted by Nogbad at 18:44:00
Posted by Nogbad at 03:28:00
Here's how I got to where I'm going with this one. I've been sitting here reading some terribly interesting stuff about blended learning and how different providers view it and use it when "The Eagle has Landed" came on TV. Now my immediate thoughts were that this is a fair romp to fill a few minutes, Jenny Agutter is in it, it's wonderfully naive and also that this was one of the first things said in July, 1969 when Neil and Buzz stopped off for a walk in the Sea of Tranquility (actually the fifth to eigth words spoken from the surface of the moon).
Of course this also ties in with technology, and from my point of view it's especially significant because of the computer errors thrown during the landing and thoughts of the difference that 30 some years has made to computing. In fact I often talk to new computing students about error 1202.
Anyway. From there it's a short hop to actually hearing the actors in that magnificent drama, the voices of people engaged in something that had never been done before, men on the brink of immortality. Listen to the voices at http://www.apollostory.com/voices.htm and you can also check out the conversation between Houston and Apollo 13 when Lovell said "Houston, We've had a problem" - changed for the film to "We have a problem".
And I am still in awe of the people who made that all happen and also the ease with which we have access to such historical records now. For many of us putting a man on the moon is still proof that mankind should be able to achieve anything given enough effort and political will. Der Adler ist gefallen oder?
Posted by Nogbad at 01:11:00
Saturday, 25 June 2005
I gave them a brief run-in reading the Guardian outside my favourite coffee shop in Canterbury so I'll soon be posting about some of the stuff I found :-)
Posted by Nogbad at 16:17:00
Off to collect my glasses soon and that should improve productivity - right now I'm severely limited in terms of when I can read small type, the light has to be very good and it's really getting me down. I'll let you know how it goes :-)
Posted by Nogbad at 11:27:00
Thursday, 23 June 2005
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Wednesday, 22 June 2005
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Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Monday, 20 June 2005
Posted by Nogbad at 11:17:00
Sunday, 19 June 2005
- "The rigorous exploration of concrete explanation combined with the organicism and messiness of real-world sociality seems a fruitful and potentially potent combination."
I'm not doing that to include something which might, at first reading, appear impenetrable but for just the other reason - this guy is looking at how researchers who model artificial societies might sensibly look at some of the virtual worlds already extant on the Internet - in some ways bloggers and blog readers form part of one of those virtual worlds. Read the full paper here, let me know what you think!
Posted by Nogbad at 20:12:00
Saturday, 18 June 2005
Friday, 17 June 2005
I really do have roses round the door and I can wake up and smell them! I've tied back the curtain downstairs and on the larger image (click this one) you'll see the screen of the laptop on which I'm writing this. Each morning the bedroom is full of the scent of the roses around the window. I've posted this especially for Pyk as she's a bit down right now and I thought I'd bung it up here to cheer up anyone else who likes flowers too.
Posted by Nogbad at 21:19:00
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Posted by Nogbad at 12:09:00
Wednesday, 15 June 2005
I love different views or ways of looking at things. So here's another one - a site dedicated to some superb photographs taken while walking the route of the Circle Line in London. Of course it's the route above ground but it's fascinating to see the range buildings and landmarks joined by the route of an underground rail link, something totally unconnected with the ground above. The photos are taken with a pinhole camera and are beautiful.
Posted by Nogbad at 20:56:00
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Tuesday, 14 June 2005
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Monday, 13 June 2005
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Sunday, 12 June 2005
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Saturday, 11 June 2005
I'm writing this from St Nicholas Gardens. High on the headland to my left is the castle and below is the harbour and the beach. Gulls are crying from roosts on The Grand and the ornately confected Royal with its fine, wrought iron balconies is behind me. Time for a coffee and then the motorway. The reason for the subject? On 10/06/1943 Lazlo Biro patented the ballpoint pen in the US - so don't say I never tell you nowt :-)
Posted by Nogbad at 08:57:00
I am clearly getting old. My favourite pub during the Scarboro visit is The Golden Ball. Why? As the sign at the door promises - No live music, No TV, No karaoke! I don't have a hangover but my ears are buzzing from the sound assault that entertains the fair folk of Scab - being blinded by the noise simply doesn't work for me.
Posted by Nogbad at 07:23:00
Friday, 10 June 2005
So I'm in a pub in Scarboro engaged in a wake for three people. There is a brilliant Elvis giving it large and we've toasted friends no longer here. It's not always easy going back, I lived here over twenty years ago, but oftentimes iteration reveals new understandings. Mebbe one day I'll understand it all - and mebbe one day I'll realise that understanding is really not so important. Anyone who tells you that you cannot go back is wrong! From a pub in Scarboro, signing off. Drinks are flowing and I'd like you all to say whatever you say for Margaret, Alan and Frankie.
Posted by Nogbad at 00:13:00
Thursday, 9 June 2005
Here at Leeds airport waiting for a delayed arrival and sipping a large frothy one and mulling over stuff. Recently German TV showed 'The Longest Day' and John Wayne spoke perfect German. Now I'm prepared to bet that The Duke couldn't order a large beer in Deutsch let alone carry his part in a major film. Worse still - the subtle irony of having a passionate Scot playing England's most celebrated secret agent is also lost - Connery speaks German beautifully it seems. End of mull :-)
Posted by Nogbad at 18:42:00
Wednesday, 8 June 2005
Click on the photo to see some more images of Oyster Morris in full flow. Sharp-eyed observers may spot that some of the Morris team also feature on photographs taken at the cricket matches. The explanation is simple, this is a very small area with few people so some have to double up and do more than one job.
Posted by Nogbad at 12:36:00
Tuesday, 7 June 2005
Posted by Nogbad at 11:56:00
You might know that Bishopsbourne has a beautiful cricket ground in the Charlton Park estate. On July 23rd a touring team, Welford CC, will be playing there and I'm told it's a real carnival with the Welford players dressing up and great fun is had by all. Anyone in the area - or further afield but with transport - who enjoys a picnic and a glass of something cool in lovely scenery with enjoyable, friendly banter and the occasional diversion of leather on willow would be well advised to pencil that in their diary.
Posted by Nogbad at 02:03:00
Great news from the IOC though! London has overcome its transport problems! I wonder if anyone stuck in the southbound queue for the Blackwall tunnel tonight, or on the Embankment, or sweating on overcrowded tube trains has heard this yet!
Posted by Nogbad at 01:05:00
Monday, 6 June 2005
Sunday, 5 June 2005
Posted by Nogbad at 17:38:00
Saturday, 4 June 2005
Well I've run Spybot and Spyware Doctor, Sophos and Stinger, I've lighted incense and threatened next door's cat, I've sworn and raged against the dying of the light and I think it's hanging together - damn technology!
Posted by Nogbad at 18:04:00
Posted by Nogbad at 11:08:00
Friday, 3 June 2005
Posted by Nogbad at 18:23:00
The mother of all thunderstorms hit in the early hours and it's still rolling round. Rain of biblical proportions has been lashing down and it's as dark as night here right now. It's so dark that the flashing orange light of the rubbish lorry has just lit the room like a 70s disco. Any plans for gardening (okay - I didn't have any) will have to wait and if I can work out what a cubit is I may make a start on an ark. You really have to love English summers don't you?
Posted by Nogbad at 10:42:00
Thursday, 2 June 2005
|Grief - various email accounts with a range of queries this morning so here are answers to a couple:|
|So I hope that deals with some of the queries, I've done some others 121. Have a nice day one and all :-)|
Posted by Nogbad at 11:05:00
Wednesday, 1 June 2005
Shopping should always be nice but we had a smashing time today.
Instead of doing the boring local store we went to Broadstairs where there is a nice big Asda which means different stuff to prod and poke. We bought some DVDs, currently watching "Men in Black 2" (because both children like it) and I also got "The Shawshank Redemption" and "The Usual Suspects" - perhaps not children's viewing but just right for a glass of red! Just looked at the DVD collection and it's looking decidedly "blokey" - except I've also got "All that Jazz", "Cabaret" and "Casablanca" but other than that it's action or humour all the way! (Not unlike my life?? In fact not at all like my life :-))
From there we went to the Spitfire and Hurricane memorial at Manston. Anyone in the area should check it out - free entry and a small, compact museum which includes a Spitfire and a Hurricane as well as uniforms, medals, pieces of aircraft from around Kent and stories of many of the local men (and women) who played a part in WW2. Not the best photo I've ever taken but not bad given that I used the phone!
Posted by Nogbad at 15:44:00
So it's half-term and I have two of the children here. It's constantly amazing how the dynamics change when one or other isn't part of the triumvirate and this week the missing link is camping with the Guides so I have the "littlies". No real plans, the weather isn't that great and now that they've told me what they want to eat I need to get some shopping so we may trundle down to Whitfield for the shopping and then down into Dover to have a look at the sea and have a stroll.
First of June - where does the time go? The photo shows some of my neighbours over the weekend. They come down from the top field for a drink in that trough and then wander off again but it makes for a nice soundscape with their bleating and mewling in the background while working or chilling in the garden.
Posted by Nogbad at 10:57:00