Wednesday, 31 December 2008
Tuesday, 30 December 2008
The day before Christmas Eve I took big child and her brother shopping. We did Waitrose at Paddock Wood and then Sainsburys at RTW. While pulling into the car park there the car started making a most unholy noise from the front bit - technically I understand this is referred to as the "engine".
Rather than camp out in a barren car park for the festivities we collected some delectibles and headed for home. The racket from the front was so loud it was difficult to drown out with the radio; that must give some indication of how bad things were, but the engine wasn't showing any degredation in performance. Arriving home we noticed some smoke from the front bit so unpacked PDQ and locked the car up.
My limited technical knowledge suggested two things. Firstly that this wasn't going to heal itself and also that it might be terminal. Eeeek! No good time to have to replace the car but this is probably the worst given the lack of spendables and the weather and lack of opportunity to get round a range of places to get some tyres kicked.
Anyways - blokey came and took a look yesterday and it's not as bad as it could have been. He's going to get some parts and sprinkle magic "fixing dust" and I need not get a different car just yet! All should be well in a few days - just waiting in some form of sprocket (or rocket or docket or some such which).
I've not been out of the house since the car died though so I'm using Jam Cab to hit a supermarket so that I can restock on carbohydrates - going stir crazy here!!!
Thursday, 25 December 2008
Wednesday, 24 December 2008
Saturday, 20 December 2008
Sunday, 14 December 2008
Of course I might be overstating the effects - I've never watched the programme so I didn't witness the terrible act - but my conclusions are based on the news coverage today. If the BBC had been playing martial music between news broadcasts I'd have thought the Queen had died.
I only hope we can all pull together, the old Dunkirk spirit, and maybe we'll get through this.
Tuesday, 9 December 2008
Oliver Postgate has died. Postgate, working with Peter Firmin, created Noggin the Nog - the real hero was, of course, Nogbad the Bad. For those who don't know about these things check out this page about Noggin and listen to the first sound file. That's Oliver Postgate reading the intro. It's worth having a look round that site, it's lovely and includes a copy of a letter from Postgate giving approval for the site to be created on the understanding that he and Firmin could veto any parts they felt weren't accurate or in keeping with "the Noggin atmosphere". Check the disclaimer for the letter.
Sunday, 7 December 2008
Friday, 5 December 2008
I've mentioned Anne Stott's wonderful blog before but it's time to shout about it again.
Monday, 1 December 2008
Wednesday, 26 November 2008
I love webcams, they are one of the real joys of the web and Naughton uses a description of an early webcam - showing the Golden Gate Bridge - as an example of what the Internet means. This opportunity to do something which wouldn't otherwise be possible, i.e. whenever you, as the "viewer", chose to you can look at something somewhere across the world. You don't need to wait for an editor and film crew to be there - the feed is simply available to us.
Anyway - here is a webcam in Ottobeuren in Bavaria. The wonderful thing is that it updates frequently enough to watch people walk across the square - as I write this a couple of people are having a snowball fight! Thanks to George for sending this - it's one of his local towns.
Monday, 24 November 2008
Tuesday, 11 November 2008
Friday, 31 October 2008
Posted by Nogbad at 23:04:00
Sunday, 26 October 2008
If she wants to be taken seriously she should compete properly and that means wearing the same as everyone else.
Thursday, 23 October 2008
From here to the OU campus in Milton Keynes is just over 100 miles, most of them on motorways. That sounds great until one considers that the main motorway involved is the M25.
I set off this morning at 06:45 after a light breakfast of fruit and PG Tips. An accident between J28 and J27 meant a long, slow crawl round the top section - more hold-ups between 22 and 21 and then slow traffic on the M1.
At 10:05 I pulled into my reserved space and was under starter's orders for The Berrill Dash. The route starts on a gentle uphill slope to the first of three glass sliding doors - one is operated by a push-pad while the other two are automagic, none can be rushed. Then through reception and and a short flat section heading for the stairs. Careful here as it's downhill and there can sometimes be people heading up them and we're on the flat again in the Berrill Cafe. Timing is key here - arrive at a bad time and the people filtering away from the servery with skinny lattés form a mobile slalom and then it's hard right to the door. Through there at pace and hard right and the finish line - the urinals.
No idea how long it takes but sometimes my vision is compromised and the footwork isn't good as everything is clenched but I'm sure I can't be the only person who speeds past the receiptionist with a resolute grimace.
Tuesday, 21 October 2008
On an allied subject - Chicken Kiev is a dish where chicken breast is stuffed with garlic butter, panéd in breadcrumbs and fried or - in these health aware days - baked in the oven. Chicken Cordon Blu is the same with ham and cheese instead of the garlic butter. Why does every breaded chicken dish with some form of stuffing masquerade as Chicken Kiev when found on the shelves of supermarkets? I know I should make it from fresh but sometimes these things are easier bought ready-prepared but we're raising a generation of people who can't tell the difference between a veloute, a bechemal and a jus lié and it's just not good enough.
Wednesday, 15 October 2008
In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up.
Niemöller's poem was written in a Nazi Germany where secret police encouraged neighbours to spy on each other and to inform on those who might have "anti state" views. This continued under communist oppressors in Eastern Europe until the fall of the Berlin wall and the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Despite our knowledge and understanding of this terrible history we're again seeing civil liberties being threatened by a government obsessed with collecting and storing information about the behaviour of its citizens.
The UK government is planning to create a database to store details of every telephone call, email and Internet visit in the UK. They plan to do this in our name and hide behind claims that it's for our safety.
Posted by Nogbad at 14:06:00
Monday, 13 October 2008
Tuesday, 7 October 2008
Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Monday, 29 September 2008
Sunday, 28 September 2008
On 28th September we remember the battle of Senlac Hill, without it we would all speak very differently.
Monday, 22 September 2008
Posted by Nogbad at 00:23:00 Folksonomy: clowns python palin world_domination granny_smith dry_blackthorn
Friday, 19 September 2008
prizes to be taken
And glory to be found
Cut free the chains
Make fast your souls
We are Eldorado bound
I will take you
For always,forever, together
Until Hell calls our names
Who'll drink a toast with me
To the devil and the deep blue sea
Gold drives a man to dream
No prizes fer finding what I've quoted yer lilly-livered doxies!
Tuesday, 2 September 2008
Digby (smaller chap wearing yellow) is a pie-eater and the chap with the large green head is The Mekon, leader of The Treens. Some might remember being caught like a Treen on a disabled spaceship........
Sunday, 31 August 2008
"Mrs Cottrell, 67, a former High Sheriff of Kent, drove six New Romney rams from the City side to the south side of the river on Sunday morning."And why not? My only concern is that the photo suggests that someone is driving the sheep on her behalf but as long as that's within her gift then that's fine. She's raising money to help support Canterbury Cathedral, a building which costs a few bob to keep going, and this looks like a far better way than some of those used in the past.
Full story on the BBC site
Saturday, 23 August 2008
A real gem of the Olympics has been the live text coverage on the BBC web site - the numbers are the time of the posting. Ben Dirs and his colleagues have been great value with some real dialogue between the BBC authors and people texting and using the 606 discussion boards. They've used a brilliant "light touch" and been joyously irreverent at times. Well done BBC and thanks for the coverage.
Friday, 22 August 2008
Sadly it took a furniture advert for me to get my head around this wonderful piece of rock music. Hearing this fills my heart with hope that this generation might outgrow Britney and turn out alright.
For those interested in the technical stuff consider this. It's very unlikely that there are many copies of the raw data sitting around outside Whitehall, it's certainly not available in a prison because they wouldn't be seeing the police data even if they had access to data about all the prisoners - and I sincerely doubt that they have that. It's also unlikely that it's on any single system, i.e. the database storing the offender records is linked to but not the same as the "prolific offender" data which are both a subset of the police national records. I'd bet a few quid of my own money that the police records aren't stored in an Excel spreadsheet but in a rather whizzy database system with posh front-ends and password protection and stuff. Whoever downloaded these records from wherever did so because they have access (or someone did it for them) to a system at a level where access to the clever stuff wasn't a problem - Whitehall or somewhere near the centre?
One other thing to note - PA Consulting, the jokers being blamed for this fiasco, are working with the government on the national ID card scheme.....................
Posted by Nogbad at 21:15:00 Folksonomy: Irresponsible wasters, lying barstewards, terminally bloody useless. scary jokers and the ID card scheme, would you let them run a whelk stall?
Tuesday, 19 August 2008
Are you using social software / web 2.0 tools with your students? For example, social networking sites, blogs, wikis, Flickr, YouTube, Twitter ... ? If so, we would like to hear from you. We are most interested in initiatives that have been running for some time (for example, more than one semester) and those which include a reasonable number of students.
We are working on a JISC-funded project to create case studies of social software use in UK higher and further education. The aim is to help the educational community explore the potential benefits - and problems - of this new domain.
The case studies and project report will be disseminated via the JISC web site in early 2009. These resources will be of significant interest to the HE and FE community, and should attract a very wide readership.
If you think your practice might make a suitable case study, please email Dave Roberts (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Open University. For further details of the project, see http://kn.open.ac.uk/public/workspace.cfm?wpid=8655
Many thanks & with kind regards,
The Project Team
The Open University, UK
Sunday, 17 August 2008
Wednesday, 13 August 2008
There is a cycle in blogging and I've reached the point at which most of us apologise because we've not posted for a while - so I won't.
I'm also considering applying to do an EdD (that's a Doctorate in Education) and bumbling around looking at what that entails.
So that's some of why I've been quiet - so there!
Monday, 4 August 2008
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Posted by Nogbad at 08:48:00
Saturday, 2 August 2008
A good time was had by all. Click the image to go to the Flickr photostream.
Pint of the week (for me anyway) has to be the King & Barnes' Sussex in The Bear in Horsham but an honourable mention goes to the Harvey's Sussex Best in The White Hart in Arundel (shown in the photo posted earlier). Pub of the week is The Bear - anyone in Horsham should visit it for the great beer and friendly folk. Cricket moment of the week was de Bruyn's straight drive over the bowler's head for a big six which landed among the children learning tennis on the courts behind the Church End. Stickiest Tables goes to the Bar Vin in Horsham. No need to wax your arms, lean on a table here and it'll do the trick - the bar is the same (I'm afraid).
Friday, 1 August 2008
Thursday, 31 July 2008
Sunday, 27 July 2008
These magnificent chalk cliffs were built by badgers some bazillion years ago. Why they created these cliffs is unknown but it's probably related to the need to keep the sea out and may have been motivated by the need to give bluebirds somewhere to fly (cf Dame Vera Lynn). Badgers are not thought to have been responsible for later work at Stonehenge.
It is no coincidence that they used chalk as the building material - this was before education so chalk wasn't being used in large amounts by schools, there was lots of it lying around with no real purpose.
Support for the badger theory is also offered by the way in which they inlaid bands of flint, these layers give a distinctive black and white pattern which is also synonymous with these nocturnal mammals.
I hope my writing this doesn't spoil SXR103 for any students yet to attend the residential school at the Uni of Sussex.
"Tulane and Johnny opened a novelty shop
Back under the counter, was the cream of the crop"
Saturday, 26 July 2008
Wednesday, 23 July 2008
Tuesday, 22 July 2008
Friday, 18 July 2008
Thursday, 17 July 2008
Wednesday, 16 July 2008
Sunday, 13 July 2008
Saturday, 12 July 2008
Friday, 11 July 2008
Saturday, 5 July 2008
Wednesday, 2 July 2008
For those who don't know where it is the LSE is in Holborn, Central London. It rubs shoulders with the Royal Courts of Justice and the BBC and is a stone's throw from Theatreland - one of the halls of residence is on the corner of Drury Lane and High Holborn. The photo shows "The Quad" which is an indoor area used as a concert venue and nightclub but I've stayed in larger bedrooms - that really sums up the LSE (phsyically) in that it's tiny. But it certainly punches well above its weight when it comes to reputation and it was claimed that the average starting salary for an LSE graduate is £26k - I don't suppose they are all working in McDonalds!.