Just Me

We have a bed!

We now have a king-sized bed, and also a king-sized air-bed. This means that we can now comfortably accommodate guests who need somewhere to stay when they visit Manchester.

We're still not properly unpacked, so having people round for dinner (for example) would be more tricky.
Just Me

Manchester, here I come...

Tomorrow's Picocon will be the last social event I attend in London before departing for Manchester on Monday.

I first came to London in late September 2001 at the tender age of 18 in order to attend Imperial College (studying maths). Now after my degree, my PhD, and one and a half years of working for the BBC I'm finally leaving London again to head North.

Somewhat further North than I originally came from ;)
Just Me


1min til train leaves!

run run run run SLIP! SLIDE! CRUNCH!

Blood drips artfully onto concrete floor, shards of glass are visible and just out of focus

An ambulance is heard

Poking and prodding in A&E

X-Ray machine viewed still out of focus

RESULT: Mild Concussion, no glass in wound, glasses totalled.
Just Me

RIP Matthew "Smithers" Smith

This morning I received the news that my good friend Matthew Smith, known to us in London as "Smithers" has died in a road accident. I have tried to inform everyone who knew him by phone where possible, but if you were a friend of his and myself and Peter haven't been able to get through to you then maybe you'll see it here.

When people die their friends always say that they were amazing people. Matthew really was. He was a talented artist (though he never had confidence in that talent) as well as an excellent engineer. He was a vigourous advocate of nuclear power, and could explain at length with facts and figures to back up his claims precisely why it was the only option for power in this century if we want to avoid disastrous climate change. He cared about the state of the world, and acted on his beliefs. He chose to work for Ariva, the French nuclear power company, because of these ideals. He was also a massive supporter of manned space exploration and human colonisation of Mars and we had many long discussions comparing one technology or strategy to another -- from spaceship propulsion systems to the ethics of terra-forming. On top of all of that he was gentle and self-effacing. He never made claims he couldn't back up with evidence, and always underplayed his own achievements. He was a gentleman and a gentle man. He became a vegetarian for ethical reasons. He always went out of his way to help people. He loved to be clean and tidy, and wore a tie and sleeveless jumper even in casual situations. He loved Anime and all things Japanese. He loved technology, propelling pencils, his Macbook Pro, and his iPhone. He stayed up late to watch Steve Jobs giving keynote presentations every time just so as to avoid being spoilered on the new releases and announcements before he got to see the video.

We're all going to miss him.
Just Me

I passed!

For those of you who don't read facebook, aren't on Tangency, and didn't get a text message from me, I passed my viva (without corrections) and am now a doctor of philosophy :)

(Post delayed due to livejournal posting page repeatedly failing in Chrome on Mac)
Just Me

So, I voted.

I ended up voting for "Yes to Europe" because after eliminating the anti-EU parties (we need an international body to handle international issues) and the anti-nuclear parties (climate change is the single most important issue, and being anti-nuclear is much the same as being pro-coal) I was left with Labour and Yes to Europe.
Just Me

Election-time Leaflet-time

Today I had three election leaflets awaiting me when I got home. I shall describe them in ascending order of craziness.

The Lib-dem leaflet is full of name-dropping. It's also full of some very stupid policy ideas "Nick Clegg's Lib Dems want action for real tax cuts and job creation to get us through Labour's recession". Gah. It's hardly Labour's recession (the Americans are more responsible, and the last Torie government is at least as responsible as the current Labour one), and tax-cuts won't help in a recession -- they're one of the worst things one could do.

One of. There is at least one worse idea -- isolationism. Which brings me to the UKIP. They have Churchill on their flyer (for the record he was one of the first people to suggest a European Union, though he didn't actually want us in it) which means that they must be right. The back of their leaflet seemed very confused. They tell us that their candidates are not career politicians (that's supposed to make me want to vote for them!?) They also seem very confused about the difference between the European Parliament and the European Comission, and where each is located.

And then we fall of the edge of the crazy cliff. The BNP. Yeah, these guys are sickening. Their quote on the front is "Because it's not racist to oppose mass immigration and political correctness - it's common sense!" And that kind of sentiment basically sums it up. In big writing it says "YES to putting British People First". The racism is basically unconcealed. The back is more sickening, and I'm not going into it. I'll only point out that one line -- aparently unconnected to anything else -- reads "TRAFALGAR - THE SOMME - DUNKIRK - D-DAY - THE FALKLANDS". What the hell that last one is doing on there is anyone's guess.

Oh, and there is a Polish piloted spitfire on the front.