Wednesday, 27 September 2006

Elvis has left the building!

Finished! Nine months slog all came to a slight anti-clomax at 10:19 this morning when I submitted the final assignment on this year's course. I even had 101 minutes to spare! Worked late last night and early this morning trying to shoehorn in all the stuff that had suddenly seemed important and stripping out the padding and gumph and then waved it a sad farewell. Normal blogging might have a better chance of happening now that this is out of the way.

Tuesday, 19 September 2006

Talk like a pirate

Word is that it's "Talk like a pirate" day today and given all we know about pirates and global warming I think it's the very least we can do isn't it?

I was going to link to a page that had all sorts of pirate phrases but whoever maintains the site has learnt about clever stuff on right-clicks and I hate being treated like a 5 year old so that's not a link I'll be using - he should go out and find out about the Internet and girls and beer rather than sitting at home messing with silly coding stuff that we can all do but chose not to!

And then I find that the link TRT posted is broken! Avast there me hearties this ain't like it was in the good old days of scurvy and rickets!

Check out the world beating prize compo that TRT is running while I grab a beer and reflect on reflection.

Sunday, 17 September 2006

My name in lights

I write the occasional book review for FirstMonday and the latest is now online - am I famous yet?

Friday, 15 September 2006


This piece is loaded with interesting stuff, not least a photo which shows that the current education secretary must have been hit rather robustly with the ugly stick before that shot was taken. Those in traditional education might look at this with some concern. Others amongst us are far more relaxed and can't understand why it's taken so long to get round to this way of thinking.

The death of Tomorrow's World?

Raymond Baxter has died at the age of 84. Baxter had one of the jobs many of us would have loved, introducing new technologies, and a past some of us grew up dreaming about - he flew Spitfires.

To those of us of a certain age his voice was part of growing up.

Saturday, 9 September 2006

Art fer art's sake!

In a desperate attempt to motivate myself to complete and submit the last bit of work on my current course I've registered for a short course as a "treat". And it's an Arts course!!!! "Perspectives on Leonardo da Vinci" is the rascal and the intro reads
Painter, sculptor, musician, poet, architect, engineer, geologist, anatomist, botanist, physiologist, astronomer, philosopher - this course looks at Leonardo da Vinci, an adventurous polymath. It is a multidisciplinary course with contributions from arts, technology, science and maths and computing, and therefore offers a window on study in a wide range of study areas. Leonardo will be examined as inventor, artist and scientist, and in the historical context of Renaissance Italy.

Friday, 8 September 2006

Living history

Love this! Real living history and real heroes in an age which believes that fame is the route to wealth and working hard is something that only idiots might do.
It has taken 10 years and about 60 volunteers to rebuild piece-by-piece a replica of the Turing Bombe - the vital machine which cracked the Nazis' Enigma Code.

Widow Ruth Bourne, 80, had to wait until the 1970s before she could reveal to her husband Stephen Bentall what she had been up to during the war.
There is a clear link, a solid relationship, between the work there and the tool you are using to collect and read this message - and possibly the language you are reading it in too!

Sunday, 3 September 2006

I went on this

The Guys went on four times each except one chap who'd had enough at three so I took his go. This shot is part of the down bit taken from the ride up. It was great fun and they were disappointed that I didn't arrive at the bottom a shivering, screaming wreck :-)
Clicking the track photo should open a bigger version.

Birthday boy

Wicked wikis

Followed this link from the lobster's blog. The stuff below is from an early revision of a DEFRA wiki. I'd guess that the DEFRA admin guys are going to be a tad busy.

To deliver the environmental contract, we believe policy-makers need to use a range of different approaches and tools.

These tools need to:

  • Remove the Thames barrier and put in place a row of coracles
  • Create the right incentive frameworks to shape individual choices
  • Communicate and engage with people effectively
  • Utilise simpilisitude to congruate philiteens
  • Show that government practises what it preaches

Tools that remove barriers include:

  • Providing simple, trustworthy and timely hen attacks.
  • Offering convenient and well targeted personal advice and support for action.
  • Providing essential infrastructure
  • Equipping people with necessary skills
  • Hammer

Tools that create the right incentive frameworks include:

  • Environmental taxes and charges
  • Grant schemes for working towards environmental targets
  • Emissions trading schemes and other market based incentive schemes
  • Product standard regulations -- and a clear forward path
  • Voluntary and negotiated agreements
  • removal of subsidies to environmentally unfriendly behaviour
  • Big Stick
  • Owl magnet

Tools that communicate and engage with people effectively include:

  • Viral marketing
  • Working through NGOs and community based organisations
  • Well targeted advertising campaigns

Tools that show that government practises what it preaches include:

  • Sustainable public procurement
  • Politicians modelling good environmental behaviours such as using public transport rather than ministerial Jaguars, not visiting remote locations purely for PR (such as flying themselves and a load of journalists around the world to look at melting glaciers) etc.
  • Setting high sustainability standards when disposing of land for development
  • Adequate funding for information, advice and support services
  • A clear framework for assessing and improving the sustainability performance of local and central Government
  • Tony Blair mask
  • Full Tony Blair outfit
  • Hammer

Saturday, 2 September 2006


Cal's birthday tomorrow so last night he stayed over and we had a Chinese. Today we've done some boyz stuff. It's cool being a boy at times!

Proud to be a Brit

Some things just fill your heart with pride don't they?

Pride in coming from a country famous for tolerance, a country where all are given an opportunity to flourish, a country where healthcare and general education are free. And then you read crap like this!

I've included the photo (owned by Roger Donovan/PA) so that I'm continuing the religious theme and also so that you can see the face of bigotry in the 21st century. The clown in the fancy dress is a religious zealot called Conti and he belongs to one of the Christian sects. Of course his beliefs are mirrored by many imams so it's good to see at least some agreement between two of the groups who preach peace and love as an excuse for war and hatred. The sect he belongs to is also famously reviled for the number of sexual abuse charges levelled against its clergy around the world. From Boston, US and Scotland as well as further afield legal action has been brought against the group Conti speaks for. I really don't believe he can claim any moral ground from which to comment on the behaviour of others - do you? And even if he does make such a claim were he saying this stuff in the name of some of the other sects in this country he would be facing even more vilification. Conti "has previous" when it comes to gay rights.

Friday, 1 September 2006

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to my aging friend in Bavaria - he's lucky enough to have a young and beautiful wife to look after him as he enters his twilight years :-)

For those with an assignment or revision to be working on - check this out and thank LE2