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Thoughts from the Ivory Tower

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Sunday, March 28th, 2010
3:24 pm - 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.

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Thursday, March 11th, 2010
9:01 pm - I have internet at home!
So now I can talk to lovely people on the interwebs again!

In other news I'm off to Newcastle for the weekend for the Maker Faire. Should be fun (albeit tiring fun).

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Friday, February 26th, 2010
8:39 am - 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 ;)

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Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
8:14 am - Yesterday:
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.

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Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
6:38 pm - We are recruiting again at work
So, if anyone is interested in working as a Research Engineer for the BBC we're recruiting for next year's trainee scheme:

here

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Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009
10:51 am - 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.

current mood: numb

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Sunday, September 6th, 2009
6:49 pm - 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)

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Wednesday, August 5th, 2009
6:49 pm - I have a date for my viva
It is : 03/09/09

That is all.

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Thursday, June 4th, 2009
6:41 pm - 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.

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Friday, May 22nd, 2009
7:18 pm - 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.

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Tuesday, May 19th, 2009
9:36 pm - Pizza Making!
Making Pizza was a qualified success. I made the bread-dough base myself following a recipe, and ended up with a base which was a little too small, and a little too salty. I made the sauce the same way I normally make my own pasta sauce, and it was tasty, but there was too much of it. The multiple layers of cheeses worked perfectly.

Cooking the Pizza was tricky because I lack a proper pizza pan -- instead I put it on foil on a baking tray. Unfortunately the base stuck to the foil and the topping slid off whilst trying to disconnect it.

Next time I'll just put it directly onto a greased baking tray.

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Monday, May 4th, 2009
10:29 am - Been a while ...
Just to keep people up to date with where I am at the moment in my life (no clue how much various people know/don't know):
  • I started working for BBC R&D in September last year (Well technically I started working for BBC R&I -- it changed back to being R&D shortly after I joined)
  • Cat and I are still planning on getting married on 29/02/2012 -- so mark the date!
  • I submitted my Thesis for initial reading by the examiners a couple of months ago, but I don't know when my viva will be.
  • I've been going to the gym at work on my lunch breaks for a few months now, I think it's helping my figure a bit -- it's definitely helping my arm strength ;)
  • My long-running Exalted Dragon-blooded game switched over to using GURPS a few months ago -- and it's working much better. The rules notes can be found here.
  • I've started playing in a weekly D&D 4th Edition game run by gaspodog. It's going quite well, but I admit that the game sometimes feels a little shallow.
  • I'm pondering taking up some sort of after-work activity on a week-day, but have yet to decide what. Suggestions are welcome! Something physical would be good -- and any suggestion will be considered (though some may be dismissed).
  • I miss some of my old friends whom I don't get to see very often. Am pondering organising a party/drinks/some sort of meet-up.
So, all-in-all life is damned good :)
I like my job, enjoy my hobbies, and have a little bit of free-time which I am considering how to fill :)
How are other people doing?

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009
7:50 pm - Thesis Sent to Binders
flop

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Sunday, March 8th, 2009
7:22 pm - Custodivi ipsos Custodes
I watched the Watchmen. It was rather good.

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Friday, January 16th, 2009
12:07 pm - Health and Safety Myths Dispelled:
http://www.hse.gov.uk/myth/index.htm

Rather amusing in places. I generally feel very sorry for the H&SE who often get blamed for things which have nothing to do with them.

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Wednesday, January 7th, 2009
9:50 pm - Fraud!
Our joint account has been charged with multiple paypal payments, which are fraudulent.

This is being dealt with.

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Friday, January 2nd, 2009
11:17 pm
Did anyone else notice that Radio 4's comedy retrospective programme listen against had the thought for the day given by a satanist high priest named Vexen? Coincidence?

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Monday, December 29th, 2008
6:59 pm - New Year's Eve (lack of) Plans ...
I have been informed that we shall not be partying this year, but will instead be having a quiet evening in with films. I have also been informed that anyone else who also wants a quiet evening in is welcome to join us.

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Friday, December 26th, 2008
11:05 am


Hee hee hee.

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Thursday, December 25th, 2008
11:24 pm - Stardust :)
Still a great film :)

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