Saturday, December 31, 2005

Haven't written for ages!!!!!

Hello hello I haven't written for ages! Well the big news is that it is nearly 2006 and the first New Year's resolution must be to actually blog once in a while!

How is the job going? Well after a distinctly hellish first 4 months due to my boss being actually worse than the Burns, we have at least made use of the relocation package and put an offer in on a house in Epsom. So that is it, atomicyoghurt is leaving the city (well almost...). Epsom is inside the M25, but let's face it, it is practically in the country compared to SE1.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Burmese python eats aligator and explodes

No Way!!!!

Take a look at this BBC news report. (make sure you enlarge the image!)

No wonder this guy is a professor:

"Clearly, if they can kill an alligator they can kill other species," Prof Mazzotti said.

now we all know that Burmese pythons are potentially deadly.

yum yum

I really wish I had a camera phone. I went to tescos on the way home last week and the man in front of me bought:

3 tins of home brand cat food
1 packet of 6 mini naan breads

yum. he didn't look to bad on it though...

Sunday, September 11, 2005

annoying comments

Blimey no comments for ages and then three in one night! Two of which may well be from robots. Had to implement that text authentication thingy to try and stop that. How annoying.

One of them was rather amusing though. That heavenly credit money on earth thing. You know who you are...

Harry Potter blah blah blah

At last I have read the new Harry Potter. Brill. Actually I read the back and saw he was meant to be in his 6th year at school and thought "hang on he is about 11 isn't he?" so I had to read all the others before I could read this one to remember what happened. Actually, by read I mean listen to Stephen Fry reading them to me. I wish I could hire Stephen Fry to read to me all the time, he is amazing! Really one of the best audio books I have ever heard, he does all these voices and accents for all the characters so they are instantly recognisable when they speak, and when there is an arguement between to characters with different accents it is amazing. So when I read this one, all the characters had those accents it was wonderful. Highly recommended to anyone.

I won't say anything about the book to spoil it, just that I am soooo pleased XX turned out to be eviiiil!!!!!!!

On another note, whenever I think of Harry Potter I hear that voice saying "Hairy Poe-tar" from that terrible advert a couple of years ago with the American voiceover putting on an English accent. Why do they do it?

R.I.P. Guardian Life section

Tragedy has struck the Guardian once again and they are reformatting and getting rid of the Life section (a science supplement in collaberation with Nature that comes out on Thursdays). Of course it was a bit rubbish in the main, and all the jobs were actually in IT (which is not a science I would hasten to add), but the first couple of pages were an excellent read, excellent enough for me to actually buy it! They do say that they will do a page a day to replace it, but I am still too tight to buy it every day.

Sadly it has gone the way of the Editor, the old Friday supplement that was even better and gave a weeks update of the news from all the papers. That died a death about 3 years ago and was mourned greatly by myself. It was good enough for us to get someone back home to buy it every Friday and send it to us when D and I were travelling. Way better than the Guardian Weekly was. They said they would do a page a day to replace that one too, but that didn't last so I imagine that the promises for the science page will not be fulfilled for long.

Also it is rumoured (as in the editor said it, and then denied doing so) that they are taking a step to the right. Oh deary deary me. What will I read now?!?!

Speaking to Aliens

Apparently we should all be carrying around a bag of small onions and luminous watches so that we can communicate with aliens when they get here. I was watching an informative clip from a TV show of the past this morning...

It seems that in 1966 the Tomorrow's World boffins had considered the fact that aliens may not speak English, or indeed any earthly language. One of them suggested the use of luminous dial watches to emit "hard radiation" which may well be detectable to them. He even was helpfull enough to construct a picture of the plough constellation using said watches, as an attempt to determine the origin of these aliens. Of course he noted that they may well communicate by smell, and proceeded to exchange the watches for... onions.


iPod nano

My iPod mini crashed and died the day after the iPod nano was launched. Coincidence? I think not...

Thankfully after wiping the whole thing and restoring the factory settings all is well. Hoorah.

I personally think they are making a mistake downsizing the capability of the iPod. But I suppose this gives them the opportunity to bring out a new iPod nano maxi super smashing great in the next few years.

Nice that you can get a white one that is small though...

Wednesday, August 31, 2005


at last, a small picture of a supermalt can (not a stubbie, which would have been my container of choice). This is just a discarded can on the Old Kent Road. Adverts to follow hopefully.

There is no denying this is a sinister drink. Try it at your peril.

Rajesh Mirchandani (part 2)

You notice since my expose of Rajesh, there has been less news from the midlands...

Coincidence? I think not.

Saturn and Its Crazy Moons

First Mimas the Death Star, and now we find Enceladus is just a crazy, with half of it pock-marked and clearly old as old and the other half spurting out hot water, all in a moon apparently too small to have a hot centre. The boffins will be thinking that one over again, then...

Isn't it pretty though!

Close up of the Saturnian ski-resort:

Rather nice zoom-in movie here (of course the little alien skiers aren't visible to the naked eye...)

Would you credit it?

What is TV coming to?,14173,1559697,00.html


commuter commuter

blimey it has been a while.

and I have so far failed in my supermalt quest. sorry about that. If only I had a camera on my phone, I would have been able to bring you more news on the subject, but alas no.

The only reason I can give for my continued absence is the amount of time I spend travelling these days. The new job is all very well, but 4 hours is a bit much I must say. Even for the seasoned London commuter. But at least the mainline is actually air conditioned unlike the tube, God only knows how all those people survived today, with the supreme temperatures. 32 degrees they say. I do hope it is going to cool down a little for the weekend, I'm off to one of my bestest mate's weddings, and I only have rather unsuitable clothes. Wierdly enough, I have had a 4 weddings this year to attend, but there has been no overlap of friends, so I have been able to get away with the same outfit, but it is a bit hot, and every wedding has been on days of extreme heat.

Anyway the reason I am so verbose today is that I was sent home early. Can you imagine?!?! There was a power cut at the new company (haven't thought of a cunning name for it yet, but will do shortly) and they sent us home. Bit of a change from the old empire, eh! Other noticable differences include having to go through a right old rigmarole when I stuck a needle in my finger the other day. I probably did that a million times in the empire, but it is more frowned upon here! Mental note to take more care....

Things are going ok there, since you ask. Bit overwhelming, being expected to be all clever and knowledgable about chemistry, and unfortunately the old experiments haven't been going too well. I had to perform a quick switch when I first started too, as they put me in a job I didn't want to do, so I had to tell the boss which wasn't a great experience, but he was very nice about the whole thing and switched me over no questions asked.

Monday, August 08, 2005


Supermalt has been on my mind for some time now. This so called 'energy drink' is possibly the worst thing ever to have passed my lips. And I have chomped on some rank things in my time. I have no idea what it contains but the stench when you open the can or the stubbie is more than over-powering. Like a dead dog burping in your face. The taste is indescribable.

But it becomes more sinister. This is not a racialist rant, but the fact of the matter is that I have never seen a white person drinking it (except when I am my friends decided to try it, but that was only because it was free and we soon regretted it). A quick canvas of Asian friends has ruled them out too. In fact, the only people that seem to enjoy this drink are black. Is it something that we are missing?

Even stranger, there are NO PICTURES of this drink on the internet. Well not as far as google knows anyway. There is an advert in the Elephant that I will endeavour to photograph when I am next there (of course it contains only black people).

What is the supermalt conspiracy?

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Rajesh Mirchandani

I signed out of the empire today hoorah, but it did mean I had to give back the puter (boo hiss). So I am typing this on the old desktop trying to get used to it, and realising that I need to remember all my passwords that I just had Mozilla remember for itself before.

Anyway, that is not the point. The point is, Rajesh Mirchandani. Here he is:

Time was, we knew him only as a radio 1 presenter for his show called backstage or something, or for the Holiday program and that sort of semi-celebrity stuff. Now all of a sudden, he is everywhere. He has become the BBC's 'midlands' corresspondant. Now, is it just me, or has the midlands just become a news hotspot. I am starting to wonder if he is a criminal mastermind leading and gathering smaller-time rogues to prowl the streets of the midlands and get his face on TV.

Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, the evidence:

1) unusual flurry of activity regarding bombings, raids, terror suspects, bomb scares, evacuations, etc. etc. etc. all taking place in the midlands

2) freak weather. a tornado hits Birmingham.....? Per-lease! I realise I am suggesting here that he has some sort of huge weather machine, and is using it with a callous disregard for property and life, but let us not forget his quest for fame.

3) and most worryingly. Rajesh is always on the scene in a tailored suit, smart shirt, freshly gelled hair, and always always looks pleased with himself.

I rest my case your honour.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Description of the suspect

Brilliant, the description of the bombing suspect includes:

a blue jacket with wires hanging from it

not sure why I find that amusing, but I do.

More bombs

More bombs in London. Tube and bus again, but no details. The TV doesn't seem to be getting very excited, so I assume it is not too bad...

How Ridiculous!!!

This is an article about Wolverhampton banning the use of the song Land of Hope and Glory from its rememberance day service. Apparently it has political connotations. What??? Sorry but the very rememberance of those lost in war has political connotations. And Land of Hope and Glory doesn't say anything offensive, does it? A quick search reveals these are the lyrics:

Land of Hope and Glory, Mother of the Free,
How shall we extol thee, who are born of thee?
Wider still, and wider, shall thy bounds be set;
God, who made thee mighty, make thee mightier yet!

Truth and Right and Freedom, each a holy gem,
Stars of solemn brightness, weave thy diadem.
Tho' thy way be darkened, still in splendour drest,
As the star that trembles o'er the liquid West.

Throned amid the billows, throned inviolate,
Thou hast reigned victorious, thou has smiled at fate.
Land of Hope and Glory, fortress of the Free,
How may we extol thee, praise thee, honour thee?

Hark, a mighty nation maketh glad reply;
Lo, our lips are thankful, lo, our hearts are high!
Hearts in hope uplifted, loyal lips that sing;
Strong in faith and freedom, we have crowned our King!

OK, I understand that sometimes patriotism can be misplaced, and perhaps offensive when it involves slagging off other countries, but this song hardly does that. Is there something wrong with celebrating that we are Truth, Right and Freedom. As far as I can see the only thing wrong with that is that it sounds a bit Americanian.

Oh Lord our God arise,
Scatter our enemies,
And make them fall
Confound their politics
Frustrate their knavish tricks,
On Thee our hopes we fix
Oh save us all

I particularly like the bit about knavish tricks.

Ooooh I am going to get to say the most excellent's political correctness gone mad!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Yoghurt becomes professional!

No way! I've got a job! I can hardly believe it!!!!!

Great news as far as I am concerned, but it is outside the city, so that is that for London I suppose. We will see how I cope with the commute for a while, and move soon enough I expect. There is a relocation package so we would be crazy not to take it. D still has a few months to go, so we will stick around till then.

Trust me, too late I have come across a rather hilarious site of comic strips about the thrills of a PhD. Very apt.

mood is: upsidedown over the moon!

Friday, July 15, 2005

health matters

Man have I been ill this week! Flu-belly-chest-infection-tastic. I have been stuck in bed for the whole week. My immune system appears to be triumphing though.

The worst thing is that Burns phoned me up on my mobile phone on Tuesday and scared the life right out of me. That has never ever happened to me before. He appeared to have absolutely nothing at all to say, so it gave me the willies.

Hoax Emails

WOW I have received my first hoax email with regard to the bombings in London. That took a long time! I honestly thought I'd be getting stacks of them by now! Apparently there is going to be an attack on the tube in the next week. Yeah right, whatever. D got an email today saying there would be an attack at Bluewater this weekend.

Who starts this rubbish?? Come on people. The whole point of terrorists is that they can attack ANYWHERE at ANY TIME. There is no point in being scared. Also, it is very difficult to protect yourself against terrorists as the whole idea is that they get you where you don't expect it. If we set up security on the tube they will just go elsewhere.

Let's just all go about out lives shall we? England has been a terrorist target since before I was born, so we all have lived with this for years. How many bomb scares have we all been stuck in over the years. Did we get all scared about it? No we did not.

Rather amusingly, one thing this old bombing lark has done is show how little people outside London know about it. People contacted me dispite knowing I was at home asking if I was OK, which is very nice but they obviously thought central London is a very small place. One of my friends lives just outside Croydon and was phoned up by people asking if she was safe as she "lives in London" dispite the fact that she is 40 miles away!!! London is a big place, and the part that is affected is tiny. Even the public transport system is mostly fine. I was going to travel right across London and up to Oxford today, and there is absolutely no disruption on that route.

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Who did it???

The Friday Thing are offering these odds on who is repsonsible for Londoners getting to work late on Thursday:

EVENS: THE FRENCH. Chirac hates us. We know that. He hates our food, he hates our cattle, and he is hopping mad that we got the Olympics. Also, in footage of Blair and the rest of the G8
delegates at around 1 o'clock, Chirac was standing to the left of
Blair and we swear, he was biting his cheeks so hard to keep himself from smiling, that blood was starting to seep out of his eyes.

10/1: G8. Things were getting just a little out of hand. People's
voices were being heard, climate change and poverty were
beginning to overshadow international terrorism as the world's
number one issue. Something had to be done to allow George Bush
to say this: 'The War on Terror goes on.' It was. He did.

50/1: RANDOM TERRORISTS. Jealous of the press coverage generated
by Edinburgh-based anarchists, random terrorists decide to win
back some coverage for the capital.

100/1: POVERTY. Depressed at the possibility of being made
history, poverty strikes back and attempts to make London

1000/1: POWER SURGES. Right.

My bro has drawn my attention to this hilarious site, it is perhaps slightly more mature than my old favourite popbitch, I shall certainly be visiting in the future, it is the funniest thing I have read in a long time. Shame you have to pay for the email updates...

This weeks Haiknews:

London Olympics
Transport regeneration
Off to rocky start

Today's mood is: relaxed relaxed

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Trapped Underground

Adam Stacey trapped underground near Kings Cross on the Northern Line. He is out now, suffering from smoke inhalation, but otherwise fine.

London Hit by Terrorists

Well the expected has finally happened, London has been hit in what reports suggest is up to 7 bomb blasts, although at this stage only 4 are confirmed. They were centered on the tube, with up to 3 on buses. I think the bus hits are the most shocking, as that is pretty unexpected, particularly since it looks like they hit the tube and then waiting for people to get on the bus and then hit the bus.

Pictures of the bus:

All respect to the emergency services who seem to have responded in excellent time, and dealt with the incidents very effectively. Also the good old London public have kept panic to a minimum. There was no warning, so it doesn't look like old style Irish terrorism, people have speculated that it is Al Qaeda, but that's not surprising really is it.

I was at home of course being an unemployed bum, but D works right where the bus blast was, so he is stuck in work right now, like millions of other people. There is no transport in the centre, so it looks like a lot of people will be walking home!

Obviously thoughts are with those that are injured or the families of those that have died.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

London 2012!!!

We got the Olympics! whoop whoop!

Good news as far as I am concerned. Currently optimistic that we will do a good job and sort out transport etc. Let's hope we learned from the Dome debacle.

The only bad thing is that the anthem we seem to have picked is by M People....

Just seen on the news that it started raining in gay Paris at the very moment the result was announced! In your eye Frenchies!

Friday, July 01, 2005

Reader, my life is uninteresting

Being unemployed is rubbish. I don't even read the paper these days so have very little to muse on. Today I bring you this: wierd lady bounces off cats

One thing that I have managed to do is get some reading done. I'm reading "The Bourne Identity" which is fantastic. It's long enough now that I don't remember the film that well, so actually the book is still holding a lot of suspense. I will definately read the sequels after this. Well as soon as I can find them in a charity shop I will!! Talking of which, this book was actually a bargain for once. I have noticed a worrying trend in charity shop for over-pricing second hand books. Personally I feel that these books should cost less than a quid, so I tend to be picky! Most charity shops seem to be selling them for 2 or 3 quid these days. Now that I have said that I am having a moral dillema about being tight where charity is concerned...

Monday, June 20, 2005

JobSeekers Allowance

What a joke! Tried to sign on today at long last to get some dole and it turns out I am not eligible for it! Apparently being married is only an advantage if you are both out of work. D's income counts for me too, and I can't claim on my own. Turns out that the only claim I can make is based on NI contributions I have made in the last two tax years. Well obviously I haven't made any as I have been a full time student! So on the one hand we can't get a mortgage or insurance because our income is not a wage but a grant, and on the other had we can't get the dole because D's income is too high.

Tony B-Liar should try being a scientist one of these days instead of going on about how we need more of them. We can't afford to stick around and get a job in science when it takes more than a year on average. No wonder everyone is becoming plumbers!

current mood is: stressed stressed

Sunday, June 19, 2005

The Paradox of the Unexpected Egg

I have just got back of holiday (hence the recent silence) in the New Forest, one of my favourite UK areas. I thoroughly recommend it to anyone. Also, I love camping, so this was one of the perfect hols for me! The weather was pretty good, slightly cold at night for my liking, but at least we didn't get that horrid hot-tent-in-the-morning feeling.
A great laugh was had by us both, thanks for asking. We cycled, walked, read, and generally chilled out in a big style. Unfortunately now it is back to the grindstone for D and I've got to get down to getting a job....

As for the paradox of the title, it is a mathematical paradox that is not nearly as interesting as the great name suggests.

Current mood is: sleepy knacked mcknoo


I have been considering starting this campaign for some time now, and canvassing people's opinion has revealed that others feel like I do, that Bono represents a significant problem in this world. I know I have ranted about him before, but I wanted to make a TShirt/wristband statement on the lines of the worthy MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign.

So you can imagine that I was filled at once with joy and disappointment to find someone got there first! Check out the MAKEBONOHISTORY TShirts you can get from teefly. Let us rise up, comrades!

In the mean time, perhaps Bono will soon implode under the weight of his own ego.

Monday, June 06, 2005

The Fuel Bar, Covent Garden, London

DO NOT GO THERE! Here is the first review of a venue I will give on this blog, but I hope it will not be the last, or the flavour of things to come. However I feel I really must say something about just how bad this venue is. The Fuel Bar looks great on the internet, and on the phone the staff are friendly and helpful. However, I booked a room for 30 over the phone for my viva celebration party, and the staff indicated this was fine and they had just the room. A couple of days before we went the staff admitted over the phone that it was an "area" rather than a room, and that there was only seating for 18. This seemed fine, as I thought most people would be happy to stand, and the staff said there would be a DJ and dance floor after 9, for which we would not have to pay as long as we got in before that time.

On arrival we were greeted with a small alcove containing two tables and 8 chairs. There was standing area for approximately 2 people if they were happy to hug. When we complained the staff were dismissive and said we could spread out into the rest of the bar (which was full of people eating the average food). Although the drinks prices were average for this type of venue, we hit a problem at 9 when the DJ came on. He refused to play anything other than house music, and said the music would be more to our taste upstairs, however only half of our group made it upstairs before the bouncers started trying to charge us. Then the people upstairs were not allowed to come back down without paying. So we were stuck with half the group upstairs, and half down, and some people had coats and bags downstairs, while they were upstairs. The bouncers were all fools (no surprises there), and they proceeded to throw out 3 members of the party.

I've never had a great opinion of Covent Garden, or the bars there, but I had hoped the Fuel Bar would prove me wrong. It didn't. Do not go there.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Dr Me

Well it is all over I have finished the old PhD at last. What a palaver. Can't say I would ever recommend that experience to anyone, but I guess in a few years I will forget the pain and remember only the good times. At the moment it seems all a bit of pain for nothing as I still have no job, but I have some hopes on the horizon, and at least Burns' greasy claws can't get into me any more. I've got loads of corrections to do to actually finish the old thesis, and my examiners were terrible and had nothing positive to say at all about my work, so I don't actually feel too good about the whole thing at the mo, but you can't let yourself me defined by other people's opinions as my good mother says. So hoorah hoorah it is finished. I am waiting for the jubilant feeling to come upon me...

At the moment I am just knacked mcknacked as we went straight to the pub at lunch on Friday, then stayed out till the early hours. Straight up in the morning to Kew to see the family for lunch and the view the Chihuly exhibition, then out to C's for the birthday celebrations (exceedingly good BBQ chicken), then looking after the kids this morning, and a load of friends over for celebratory roast today!

Must start the corrections tomorrow....

mood is: tiredyawn tired

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Oyster Card

Today I wanted to see if the famed price capping on the old oyster had worked and tried to login to the internet site only to discover it has been so long that I have forgotten my username and password. Now normally this is not a problem (it happens to me relatively regularly), you know you just put in your email address and they send it.
Unfortunately things are not that simple with oyster (surprise surprise). I am in a queue on the phone right now trying to find out what on earth my details are. They are playing Pacabel's canon. Very retro. Goodness only knows what security questions I will be unable to answer when I finally do get through...

Saturday, May 21, 2005


Markets are brill. I went today having convinced myself that it would be much cheaper than Tescos and guess what? It was. Of course I had to buy two of everything to get the deals, but everything was soooo much cheaper and nicer looking. I shall be frequenting it again (and not the tourist trap that is Borough market either, but the wonderful East St. market, more commonly known as "down the lane").

I sold my sunglasses to someone on the bus several weeks ago (he was a bit strange, but he really wanted them and I made a major profit, let's hope he is not performing voodoo ceremonies with them). Although this meant I had a whole week of money in my pocket, it now means my poor eyes are exposed to the sun. I am determined not to pay more than 3 quid for a new pair, but finding one is proving more and more difficult. I will triumph though...

Current mood is: content content.

Yet Another Code for London

Can you believe that there is to be yet another telephone code for London, when the majority of Londoners (and visitors) still can't even handle the 020 one??? Apparently the new one is 020 3--- ----. They haven't actually explained yet what happens to the 7 or 8 that would be there, just saying that it is for new number that will be allocated shortly. So is it 020 37--- ---- or 38--- ----? Or do we just forget the 7 or 8?

Oh for the days when it was just 01...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Mood of the Day

So I have been a bit jealous of the mood icons you can get over at livejournal and have been looking for some to put on this blog...
At last I have got some!

Hopefully no-one will be offended by my blatant plundering of the net for items for the old blog, but there you go if you are let me know and we can fight it out.

Talking of which, I am finally winning my fight against and their mis-advertising. I don't think I have actually mentioned the trouble they have caused me, but it was all over a trip to Alton Towers (what a great place by the way) and some non-existant meal vouchers. Anyway this morning I got an email asking me how much refund I would like. That has taken over a month of emails from me so we shall see what happens. I also implemented slight abuse of the title Dr. in my emails, but I will be one in a couple of weeks, and since it hasn't done me any good in getting a job, it might as well be put to use elsewhere. Roll on the flight upgrades!

The Joy of Alton Towers

current mood is:energeticJubilant.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Finger Food

News story today from America as reported in the Graun:

"Fast-food lovers across America reacted with collective disgust when they heard how Anna Ayala had spat out a two-centimetre human fingertip after tucking into a bowl of chilli in a northern California branch of Wendy's earlier this year. Ms Ayala threw up, and then, this being the US, she consulted a lawyer.

However, police soon suspected something was amiss in Ms Ayala's claims of victimhood. With Wendy's pleading innocence, the police began a nationwide hunt for the owner of the missing fingertip. Wendy's offered a $100,000 reward for information leading to the identification of the short-fingered person.

Within a month, Ms Ayala stood accused of concocting the finger find in an attempt to extort money from the fast-food chain. Police arrested her at her Las Vegas home on charges of attempted grand theft, and this week added a conspiracy charge to the list. She has denied the charges.

Ms Ayala is accused of conspiring with her husband, James Plascencia, to force a settlement payment from Wendy's. Plascencia, 43, who has not been charged in the case, was arrested last month in Las Vegas on unrelated charges of failing to pay child support in a previous relationship.

But the fingertip itself, which forensics tests had confirmed as human, remained a riddle until last week, when the San Francisco Chronicle fingered him (sorry) as a nine-fingered former resident of a Las Vegas trailer park and acquaintance of James Plascencia. With no confirmation forthcoming from the police, Chronicle reporters rang the man's mother in Pennsylvania for a quote. In grand California tradition, they had struck gold.

The man worked with Mr Plascencia at a Las Vegas paving firm, his mother told reporters. She described her boy as a happy-go-lucky guy who lost his finger when his gloved hand was caught in a mechanical truck lift. According to his mother, her injured and cash-strapped son settled a $50 debt owed to Mr Plascencia by giving him the finger.

She denied her son knew anything of the alleged Wendy's plan. "It's like a man thing," she explained. "If a woman had her finger severed, she would never show it to anyone.""


Now here is another thing...wristbands. I have found myself wanted to get one of those Make Poverty History ones because I like the cause, and one of the Breast Cancer Care ones because I like the colour (and obviously the cause is a good one too). But there are just too many of them around now. Ironically, I read a report that said that kids wearing the blue Beat Bullying bads were actually being targetted for bullying.

I guess what I am trying to say is, wristbands are getting just a little bit toooooo popular now.

Oh dear, I have started thinking about Bono. The "every three seconds" advert says it all for me.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Computer Malfunction

The L key on my puter has just fallen off leaving a little rubber cylinder in it's place. It is not entirely unpleasant to type L's without the key there.

I have to give this puter back to Burns soon. Let's hope the key will stick back on...

A Threat to Anonymity

Is it wrong to want to be anonymous? Don't think so, but this morning I awoke to a break in my security, and a threat to my anonymity!!! Well I certainly don't mind my mates reading what I have to say, or complete strangers for that matter, but there are certain people that I would rather not. Burns has to be number one on that list, and who knows what his little spies have already found out. Let's just say that it's easier to talk about stuff if you know that those that might recognise themselves can't link it with you.

Also, the fact that I am trying to get a job (now approaching the 1 year of searching mark) means that I really would rather not have my name on the web linked with my bitter thoughts about the state of the Empire and excess of people with the same qualifications as me!

Talking about the Empire, I am already feeling that the new Star Wars will let me down. It is the same every time it promises so much and then poos on you from a great height. Why George, why! You could have left it as a peak of movie history and instead you have just ruined it. It's going to be a long time before I can watch the originals again without that bitter taste in my mouth.

Hmmm, bitter twice in one blog, am I subconciously trying to tell myself something...??

Thursday, May 12, 2005

The beginning of the end???

So much for thesis writing being an ideal time to blog to my heart's content. It turns out that I didn't have any time, but hoorah hoorah now I am revising for the dreaded viva it looks like I have all the time in the world to make up for my lack of blog action.

Two things have been brought to my attention today:

1) You can buy Cillit Bang in Superdrug (BAKED-ON GREASE, DIRT ON FLOORS!). This strikes me as more than odd. Even stranger is that fact that it is stocked right next to men's deodourants. I have nothing really to say about Cillit Bang as I have talked it all out and can't be bothered to re-hash it all here. Suffice to say that limescale is not just "calcium that sticks", and calcium reacts with plain water so your demonstration is useless Barry whatever-your-name-is. And have you noticed that their amazing demonstration of how many buckets you get from one tub of "power crystals" adds up to the vast vast total of 9? Not exactly beating the Fairy liquid challenge, are they?

2) What I am actually writing this blog for: the amazing self-replicating robot. OK it is just a pile of blocks, but this may well be the beginning of the end for the human race. I read an article that rated the disasters facing Earth in the near (!) future for likelyhood and distructive power. AI taking over was rated extremely likely and highly distructive. Apparently it will happen in the next 75 years. I don't think I need to tell you where I read that, but it begins with M and sounds like Petro.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

Posh people's conversations

Overheard last night on the tube, from two guys in three-piece pinstriped suits (with accent handkerchieves), talking extremely loudly:
posh man A: "I'm meeting with xxx tomorrow, and the thing that I am thinking is....a really good tie."

posh man B: "Ooh yes, a good stripe, perhaps"

A: "Yah, but I have no idea where we used to get them, but mine's a bit mingey"

B: "Wuf,wuf,wuuuuf."

A: "Yah, wuf wuuuf, I would love to wear a paisley, but I don't think I could carry it off"

B: "Aah, no."

A: "So, will you have a Newfoundland in New York?"

B: "Well, I would love to they are beautiful beasts, but I am thinking more on the golden retriever line now"

A: "Hmmm."
I have been wondering ever since what sort of person you have to be to carry off a paisley tie.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Lazy Days

I have been pretty lazy recently with the old blog, just putting in funny things from the newspaper, but the fact is that is the most exciting thing in my day! I now have just one day left of chemistry, and then the writing, hoorah! I have pretty much done everything I wanted to (although my goals have crept down to near-nothing as time has gone on), but I am dreading seeing Burns tomorrow. Very scared that he will say I can't leave, and how I will deal with that. I think I am going to have to bite the bullet and go and see him instead of waiting for him to call, as I want to go to the pub for lunch, and would rather not have a meeting to look forward to.

Anyway the jubilant feeling accompanying the leaving of the lab is with me.

Tomorrow I also have the excitement of going to see a preview of "Downfall", a German film I know very little about. I am looking forward to it though it looks pretty good. I am reading "The Fatherland" by Robert Harris at the moment though, so going a bit Deutsche.

Still do not have a job. There is a wine reception after a conference here on Friday though, so I will try and smooch the industry bods. Problem is, there aren't actually any jobs out there to compete for.

Anyway enough of a downer on that one. I am going to a wedding at the end of April and in the rsvp we have to put our top three disco tunes. This is a hard choice to make and is delaying the reply. What a great idea though, you can guarantee that everyone will dance!

OK got to dash to nmr.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005


More exciting updates from the Metro. This time news from America:

Postal workers stopped delivering letters to homes after being terrorised - by a chihuahua. they were too frightened to visit part of a street because of the 4lb 8oz (2.5 kg) pet, named Bobo. It was running about trying to bite people's ankles, said officers in Hobart, north-west Indiana. Florence Page, of the Hobart Humane Society said "This little chihuahua was 10 ft (3 m) tall when he was on the street." Police have cautioned Bobo's owner, but said their biggest concern was residents not getting their mail.

Artist's impression of the giant chihuahua stalking Indiana

Monday, March 28, 2005

It gets spookier...

Hang on, hang on....big cats in England, and now great white sharks?? Clearly there is a link. Only a matter of time till we find dinosaurs alive and well in Shropshire.
This from the Observer:

Simon Greenstreet was in his element. As the sun sparkled off the sea close to Ullapool, on the west coast of Scotland, the marine biologist was enjoying a productive day's diving with his wife Wendy and two friends.

Then, at 2:30pm on 4 July last year, came the sight that no one present thought possible - a triangular fin slicing the water's surface. The shark kept approaching, sliding alongside their 19ft boat. From its size to its colour to its shape to the way it nudged up to their vessel, those on board were convinced of one thing - this was a great white shark in British waters.

That same day, 600 miles away, Richard Pierce was bobbing off the Cornish coast. The 55-year-old was hoping to encounter that dorsal fin so distinct to the millions who have seen Jaws . As chairman of the Shark Trust, Pierce had set sail from Padstow that morning determined to become the first man to photograph a great white in UK waters. Years of tracking the species across the world had convinced Pierce the predator had arrived in Britain.

The last confirmed sighting of a great white in European waters was in 1997 when a female was found in the Bay of Biscay, 250 miles from Cornwall. Tagging experiments show great whites can travel 7,000 miles in three months.'They are global nomads, travelling such a distance to Britain would be nothing,' said Pierce.

Despite this appetite for globe-trotting, the last fatal shark attack in Europe was 20 years ago. The most recent shark attack in Britain was in 1996 in the North Sea. However scientists now believe more are to come.

You have been warned.

Sharks and Cats

Is it just me, or does there seem to have been a rise in shark attacks recently? Are we to believe that is independent of the rise in Big Cat sightings? I think we should be told.

On the shark note, the hilarious reports of Mark Currie's (no, not the famed and adored Blue Peter presenter and one time Bugsy Malone star... this is another one) brush with death by great white did catch my eye last week. Here are selected highlights from the Times:

The terrifying incident began when two women in the cage spotted the shark and clambered back into the safety of the boat.

But Mr Currie, from Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, decided that as he had paid his money he would have a go, believing the cage, kept afloat by four buoys off the coast at Hermanus, must be safe. The shark began to circle before heading straight for him. Mr Currie, a salesman, thought this was normal until the fish rammed the cage and bit through the metal bars.

Mr Currie said that he thought he was either going to drown or be eaten. Realising he had to escape he climbed on the top of the cage and, as the shark started what would have been his final, fatal attack, the captain hauled him into the boat while hitting the shark over the head with a metal bar.

Mr Currie, describing the experience, said yesterday: “When it started attacking the cage I thought I would be safe as long as I stayed inside — until it started breaking through the metal. It was so weird. I think the captain was rather angry because he had to buy a new cage for the boat trips because his had sunk to the bottom of the sea." Mr Currie added: “It was a real thrill! Scary, but it hasn’t put me off swimming in the sea."


Thursday, March 24, 2005

The Beast, The Beast!

Important info from the Big Cat Monitors:

Never approach a big cat, especially one that is feeding or with cubs. Most big cats will try to avoid confrontation. Always give them a way to escape. Don't run. Stay calm. Hold your ground, or back away slowly. Face the cat and stand upright, but don't look at it straight in the eyes. It may take this as a challenge. Do all you can to appear larger. Grab a stick. Raise your arms. If you have small children with you, pick them up. If the cat behaves aggressively, wave your arms, shout and throw objects at it. The goal is to convince it that you are not prey and may be dangerous yourself. If attacked, fight back!
This strikes me as rather complicated; All that picking up sticks and raising your arms and grabbing children, you think your chance at life would be gone by the time you worked out what to do first!
Actually I don't feel that scared after getting a look at the actual injuries The Beast inflicted....

The Scratch

I can also bring you exciting pictures of The Copse, now as famous in Sydenham as the legendary grassy knoll...

The Copse

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The Beast of Sydenham

Hoorah! It has been a good few years since someone has spotted a giant cat stalking the streets of England, but today we have reports of a black panther roaming wild in south London. Here is a classic quote from the Graun on the matter:

Billy Rich, 44, was looking out of his window at 5.30am when he saw a black creature leap across the road and bound south towards Mayow Park.

"I see a ... thing," he said.

"What's he supposed to have seen?" asked his ex-wife.

"The beast of Sydenham," your correspondent explained.

"The only beast of Sydenham is him," she replied, prodding a finger at Mr Rich.

"On the news they said it was as big as a Doberman, but it wasn't," insisted Mr Rich. "It was big and black and I thought, f****** hell, what was that?

"It definitely wasn't a pussy cat. It was too big. The way it jumped, you could tell it wasn't a dog. It definitely wasn't a fox, but it can't be a panther - where would a panther come from in Sydenham?"

Danny Bamping, the founder of the British Big Cat Society, warned that if the cat was a melanistic leopard or a black panther, it could kill. "They can be very, very dangerous," he said. "There have been incidents in North America where joggers have been killed by these creatures."

Parents said they would be keeping their children indoors. "The garden is secure but I wouldn't let my little boy Morgan go out and play today," said Kelly Wood.

"He's 19 months. I think he's quite an edible size."

Other people were sceptical. "I saw a little moggy lying in the path but that's about it," said Kim Kimberley. "I can't see it - unless he's the one from Bodmin moor and he jumped on the train and came up here."

handy guide to cats

Long may it continue...!

This article does however raise a few issues....why were they talking to Billy Rich's (great name by the way) ex-wife? Is Morgan Wood usually allowed to play outside on his own at 19 months, "edible size" or not? Who is Kim Kimberley? Is anyone else beginning to find these names a bit suspect?

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Meat Sauce

Why do we have specific sauces to go with meats? Is it the same in other countries? What is a Horse Radish? Is is one word or two??

Jolly Old Morris Men

There is not enough Morris Dancing in this town for my liking. I cannot remember seeing a single Morris Man since I have lived here, and to my mind that is a disgrace. It is May Day soon and will we see them on the street? Unlikely.

Jolly Old Morris Men

Look at them!! What a great English tradition! There should be more rural jollity brought to the city. Less protests about foxes and more Morris Men I say. Perhaps a petition is in order to see that all boys are taught Morris Dancing in school.

Talking of which, when I was at school we were taught "English Country Dancing". Does that still go on in school today? It's not like it is a life skill, but it shoudl certainly be on the national curriculum.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Text Language

I have been reading a couple of other people's blogs while waiting for the old experiments, and I do not think there is anything more annoying than blogging in text language. I would have written that in text language but I can only imaging what it is...

txt lngwge?
txt lngge?
txt lngwg?


The point is, this is very annoying. Does this feeling prove I am not down with the kids? Possibly. But if they are all talking like that then I don't mind one bit. I really hate it when I get texts with the number eight in the middle of words (h8 it!); I am the sort of person that uses semi-colons.

The Roebuck

Just like to mention that the Roebuck really is a rather wonderful pub. I am going there on Thursday and I am mightily looking forward to it. Shame it is not a bit cheaper, and that it is so close to Arrow where I failed magnificently to get a job. I am always slightly worried that I will see someone in there that was at my interview, but that's not for here. The whole job discussion can wait for another day.....

currently listening to Kelis - Tasty

Lemon Dog

Well I must say I have put the effort in today and yet have come out with every little. This counts as a revival break and hopefully I will be well up for it again in a minute and can get back to the hood-of-doom. I have 7 days left of chemistry now and still so much to do. If I end up staying here longer than the end of the month I really will lose my mind.

Certain people really are doing my head in. I mentioned that I was doing a blog to Homey and G has been sniffing round like a little dog to find out what my identity is. It is so obvious she keeps finding little questions to come and ask me when I am at the puter, and never when I am at the hood-of-doom. She used to do this with emails and read them over my shoulder but she seems to have got over that habit.

There is a weird smell of burned cheese around the place.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Black Holes

Yesterday's Metro claimed that this picture is a photograph of a black hole in the MCG 6-30-15 galaxy. This strikes me as highly unlikely but it was in the Metro, and must therefore be true.

"photograph" of black hole

Actually the Metro is a huge source of amusement for me early in the mornings. I will endevour to bring you more TRUE NEWS from around the globe if anything catches my eye.

Rent a German

Rent a German

I am particular fan of the "surprise" package.

that's not a moon...

Can't believe the pictures of the Death Star they have found orbiting Saturn. Uncanny or what...

The Death Star


Rumours that NASA are planning to drop a proton torpedo down a ventilation tube are rife etc. etc.

it's just so easy isn't it?

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Post script: Jeremy Rifkin... some sort of economist it appears from Google. This may explain his somewhat odd and sensationalist explanations of science.

Jeremy Rifkin's vital musings

Who is Jeremy Rifkin? I am sure Google may well tell me, and I might look at some point but this is an edited excerpt from an article he wrote in yesterday's Graun entitiled "Are you a man or a mouse" (additional bold text added to the most hilarious parts courtesy of atomic yoghurt):

Scientists injected human brain cells into mouse foetuses, creating a strain of mice that were approximately 1% human. A team headed by a distinguished molecular biologist, Irving Weissman, at Stanford University is considering a follow-up that would produce mice whose brains are 100% human. Weissman says that he would keep a tight rein on the mice, and if they showed any signs of humanness he would kill them. Hardly reassuring.

The first chimeric experiment occurred many years ago when scientists in Edinburgh fused a sheep and goat embryo - two unrelated animal species that are incapable of mating and producing a hybrid offspring. The resulting creature, called a geep, was born with the head of a goat and the body of a sheep.

What if human stem cells - the primordial cells that turn into the body's 200 or so cell types - were to be injected into an animal embryo and spread throughout the animal's body into every organ? Some human cells could migrate to the testes and ovaries where they could grow into human sperm and eggs. If two of the chimeric mice were to mate, they could potentially conceive a human embryo. If the human embryo were to be removed and implanted in a human womb, the resulting human baby's biological parents would have been mice.

Are we on the cusp of a biological renaissance, or sowing the seeds of our destruction?

Firstly, how come I never saw a picture of the geep? All that stuff with ears on the back of mice, and they had a sheep with the head of a goat! Secondly, how will this guy tell if the mice are showing signs of humanness? If they have 100% human brain won't they automatically be showing human behaviour?

The popular but underrated cartoon Pinky and the Brain may well have been based on this guy's research...


Even a meeting with Mr. Burns fails to destroy my mood today! Amazing! Obviously I spent the morning wondering what on earth to present, as clearly the chemistry gods have not smiled on me in the last fortnight, but I think I got away with it by presenting a fascinating paper...and sounding knowledgeable about the background area. I am never quite sure if I get away with this sort of blag as Burns could clearly know that I am bluffing and not let on himself.

Anyway tonight it is the great EU-funded biere night, and dispite the fact that many of my actual friends from the group will not be there I am well in the mood for it. Tried to convince everyone that we should make it fancy dress with people only allowed in if they are dressed as a European country, but no-one seems up for it. Met up with Dad for lunch as he was down in the big smoke for a meeting which was really nice actually, I haven't seen the folks for ages.

It is 28 degrees in the lab today, getting a bit over the top now considering that when it was cold outside it was freezing in here. We have turned off the heater, but there seems to be hot air coming out random places in the ceiling. Another foible of The Empire's strange grasp of technology??

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

The saga of the lifts

You would think that being a centre of science and technology, the Galactic Empire would be able to work some lifts. I mean, when were they invented for goodness sake. They endlessly break down. For two days now the lift to the 7th floor has been running without lights, which is bad enough, but since it has a strange habit of accelerating exponentially to the 5th floor and then juddering this is quite disturbing. The other lift sounds like it has a couple of pteradactyls nesting above it (although I notice that since the PM's visit last week the sign that had been defaced with "no pooh burgers" has been replaced).

Anyway we had to catch the other dodgy lift today and filled it to the brim as usual, but some people from the 5th floor got in too. When we stopped at the 5th floor several of the group dutifully got out to let the 5th floor-ers out, but we couldn't stop the doors closing, so several of the 7th floor boys got stuck on the 5th floor and the 5th floor lot ended up on the 7th floor. That is not funny at all, but how I laughed at the time.

What is a pooh burger?

what am I up to...

Basically saw D's blog and got all jealous and had to have one of my own. Of course my musings are terribly interesting, so I will have lots to say no doubt. As it is I don't have much to distract me from writing my thesis (except actually doing the work to go in the thesis) so this is perfect! I intend to record interesting things that people say and do to make myself laugh. And anything else that strikes me as interesting of course. This is so much easier than a real diary!

Life is a Cabaret

Quote of the day comes from The Good Life (what an excellent show)

"you are in one of your annoying 'life is a cabaret' moods"

detemined to have more life is a cabaret moods.