Angelic Paranoia

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Wednesday 10th September 2008 7:45 pm

Someone at work today sent round an email from her boyfriend pointing out that what could be that incredibly exciting physics experiment isn't actually going to end the world.

Please tell me there aren't intelligent people in the world that thought it was serious. I might have to go and stick my head in a bucket.

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Lunar eclipse and Battlestar Galactica
Sunday 4th March 2007 8:41 pm

As promised, here are photos of the lunar eclipse. It did look a bit red once it was in full eclipse but sadly not bright enough to photograph. It looked really spectacular through binoculars, though.

I've now watched the first four episodes of Battlestar Galactica. I thought the mini-series was really slow and could have done with being ten minutes long. It didn't really improve appreciably. The episode plots are slow, the ones across episodes are even slower. The characters come across as really stupid and I can't bring myself to care about them.

It was all right, and if it was on TV I might give it another go. But the end of the fourth episode was a cliffhanger and I didn't feel any compulsion to see the resolution, which decides that, really. It was an alright program, and I'd watch it if it was on TV, but since it isn't, it's not good enough to make the effort to watch it on DVD.

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Catching up
Saturday 3rd March 2007 10:08 pm

I'm starting to feel a bit more caught up on my life now. Although when it comes to my friends list that's mostly because I'm marking them as read. I have a tidy house and a clean bathroom and kitchen. And am empty Dyson - which I did all on my own without doing it wrong! It was actually quite easy. I also have a working car and a clean windscreen.

It's very exciting that there's a lunar eclipse at the moment, and the skies are clear. That doesn't happen very often. It's supposed to go red later. I am taking photos, don't know how they'll come out though because I only have so much zoom. And it's cold out there.

I established an easy way to tell my American coins from the Australian ones and Euros in my mug of foreign money - the American ones don't have a number on to tell you the amount. Which is really helpful. And dad told me they're putting the clocks forward next weekend - when I'm there. So I'm going to lose an hours sleep, but there will only be four hours difference between them and us for a couple of weeks.

I've always been fascinated with time. When I was little I always used to wonder how it worked if you worked overnight and the clocks changed. If you worked an hour less or an hour extra because of it that didn't seem fair somehow. When I was in Australia two years ago it was when we changed the clocks. Except that although we went forward here, there it was autumn so the clocks went backwards. Which meant that for me that year the clocks went backwards twice. So my year was two hours longer than everyone else's. So now I'm going to lose an hour of that. Which is quite weird to think about.

The coolest thing about my The Avengers calendar: I turned it over for March and for mother's day there's a picture of Mother. How cool is that?

I really must try and get something in for Back to Middle-earth Month this year, since I don't think I've done anything LOTR related since last year. Don't know quite what yet, but it won't be till after I get back from America anyway.

And continuing on the subject of March, I noticed on the same day, that it was confirmed that the new series of Doctor Who was starting on 24th and 31st March. I feel disappointed there aren't more options. I'd point out that the second option is more annoying since it's Conference, but then I don't think I was in for many episodes last series anyway. At least now I can tape the Confidentials. Which means they'll probably put them back on the website, just to annoy me.

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Thursday 17th August 2006 7:28 pm

As today's A-level results day it meant I read through the Clearing list for Physics carefully and I see that, as usual, Warwick has no places. Reading did. I'd mention this to my sister but she doesn't care; it's just me and my dad being smug. Although sadly, when we looked last year we found they don't do my course any more. Can't imagine why - we certainly did our best to put people off doing when we were there.

There was the usual stuff in the paper about A levels getting easier and a piece on there being fewer people doing science subjects because they're 'hard': Sir, can we do something easier?

This is something that I can never quite understand because A level Physics has got to be easier than A level English Lit, for example. For Physics all you had to do was learn the formulae and the situations you applied them, and the definitions. That's it. English you have to read a load of books and write essays. The idea of essays without formulae, headings, diagrams and graphs is just odd to me now.

To illustrate their point (I assume) they've got a science quiz in there, which includes the easiest questions ever. For example:

6) What is Darwin's theory of evolution by natural selection?

Frankly, if you don't know that you should be taken out and shot.

7) In what order are the planets arranged in the solar system?

In all fairness, there's been a bit of an issue over this recently but everyone should be able to manage the basic nine. I remember in secondary school our class coming up with a mnemonic to remember it. The only way I could remember the mnemonic was to first think of the order of the planets. (The mnemonic was, BTW, Mark Versus Emma. Mark Jumps Sexily Undoing New Pyjamas - there was a girl in the class called Emma who was going out with a boy called Mark at the time).

I gave up reading them after that because I was too busy laughing.

The most interesting, and true, part of the article came at the end:

you shouldn't have to work that hard to make physics exciting, because [...] it is exciting

Too right. I mean, you get to find out how things work. You don't get that in english lit.

(It was so nice the other weekend to be with mostly physicists and mathematicians, I'm surrounded by arts students at work, it's terrible.)

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