All entries for April 2005
April 27, 2005
The only words I can come up with to even remotely express how great, how majestic, and just superbly wonderful Faithless were last night. We went to the NIA, which none of us had been to before, seemed quite a nice venue, without the ridiculous lines for things of most places.
The opening act, Infadels, were ok, some nice beats, but they really need to decide what style they're going for. Warming the bass player up before the gig starts could be an idea too. He was practically asleep for the first half of their set, then woke up and was suddenly the best thing in the band.
Half hour or so sat around after Infadels finished, then Faithless come on. They get a much better response, just playing an instrumental track. Then Maxi Jazz comes on. Wow. I've never seen a crowd so completely in the palm of someone's hand before he's even said a word. They start off, and after 3 tracks, not the usual "save the best tracks for the encore", we had Insomnia. Incredible. The crowd went absolutely nuts.
Faithless kept their big, crowd-pleasing songs spread out through the set, which made it rather more even than your usual live show, although it made sure that nobody dared go to the loo.
One small quibble, the back-up singer, can't remember his name, is good, but he's no Maxi, and whenever he was on there was a slight feeling of "You're not bad, but not who we came to see". Sorry mate, but not quite there yet.
Brilliant show, but was kind of short, starting 7:30 ish and finishing about 10:45, which sounds ok, but Faithless didn't actually start till 9.
Also, getting back to Leam at 11 on a tuesday night is kind of a hassle, especially when none of you really know where you're meant to be going and you have 2 times for the last train (both were right, just one was from New Street and one from Moor Street.) Why exactly does Birmingham need 3 major stations in the centre? Especially when New Street is actually HUGE!
After an after party, kind of, ended up getting home at 9 this morning. Now have to somehow find the time to eat, sleep, watch the football tonight, do 101,000,000 things around Leam, and do some work for the Russian exam tomorrow (or at least learn how to use the dictionary).
April 22, 2005
Slightly more free time.
Well, maths exam yesterday was pretty horrible. Feel like I've probably failed maths 1, though maths 2 wasn't too horrendous. Oh yeah, and can any physicists who read this e-mail Rubens or Ulrika about how bad the QM exam was-who knows, the SSLC may be useful.
End of exams led to drinking, starting at 12, followed by picking up and then going back home to have a bbq. This then led to Wetherspoons (unfortunately-don't really like the place, the beer's cheap but the atmosphere's kind of crap) followed by Mirage. Can't really remember much of it now, but seemed like a good night at the time. Contributed to the death of my digestive system with help from Viallis-oh dear. Then tried to get the new South Park. So Ben turned his connection off half way through. Download stops. Damn
Now have a couple of days off before having to learn Russian. Should probably buy a dictionary at some point before the two hour translation paper. Then will have to revise for a Thursday exam the day after seeing Fathless in Brum. Dammit, why are things trying to make me fail the year?
April 20, 2005
What the Hell?
OK, where the hell are the notes for Quantum Mechanics. Not the ones I have, but the ones that must exist and contain all the information about everything on today's exam. No-one else seems to have them either, which is strange. Surely out of 160-odd phys & maths-phys students, someone must know where those questions came from.
It basically had one question with material that's come up before, so we'd revised that from past papers. The other 2, of which we had to answer either, were on things that I can't find anything about. Not in the notes, the past papers, on the website or in the textbook.
Our current theory is that the paper was so hard because everyone slagged off the lecturer-Don Paul, by the way-for being crap after the lectures, so he decided to make the exam harder. Genius! Don't know anyone who actually thinks they've done well on it. With luck, I should pass, mainly down to question 5 being identical to a past paper question that I did that morning. Did both the other 2 just in case, can't see it helping.
On the plus side, bought a wireless card for my laptop on the way home, and have discovered that one of the neighbours has a connection that I can get on to, so free internet.
On the down side, three hour maths exam tomorrow. Crap
April 13, 2005
7 Days left…
…till the Quantum Mechanics exam. Crap. I'd say that at the moment, despite 2 whole days of at least pretending to try to work, i know roughly as much about this module as an undereducated penguin. It might have helped if the lecturer was any good at all, but no, that would have made things remotely possible. My only consolation is that everyone else appears to know about as little of this as I do.
If that wasn't bad enough, have at least two exams the day after. Do any physicists know if we're actually doing the PDEs paper? Seems to be general confusion, with some saying they've revised it, some saying the format's been changed and it's part of the maths paper now, and people like me hoping like hell that we actually don't have to go near it. Or that the Panorama room is hit by a very small, accurate meteor which annihilates all copies of the exam paper.
Finally back in Leam and away from the bloody parents, though haven't actually sorted out where I'll be living in the summer. Likely options-Phils sofa for free, or Rach's spare room for "whatever you can afford." Seeing as by this point I'll probably have failed and be working at McDonalds this probably won't be much.
Anyone seen Dead Man On Campus? I'm hoping that the basic idea of:
1 dead housemate=a first,
applies here. Then just need to persuade a housemate to sacrifice themselves for the greater good of the rest of us. Hmm, not sure which one, though after the conversation last night I'm sure Ben & Aleesha have a suggestion.
Damn it, should probably try and do some work. The fact that I have no money in the world is the only thing keeping me in at this point though, as my interest in QM and maths is somewhere below zero.
And it's bloody sunny as well. not fair. Pretty much guaranteed to be snowing next thurs when we're planning a bbq isn't it? Ah well
April 05, 2005
Supervillians Dream Hideaway
Writing about web page http://www.theworld.ae/
Ok, the latest tourist scheme. 300 islands off the coast of Dubai arranged into the shape of the World, with most of the islands representing a country, or region in the case of larger nations like Russia and the US.
Investors are invited to apply for consideration to own one of these regions and it is supposedly intended to be "a balanced mix of private investment and commercial development"
Visiting and area of the site somewhat ominously titled "Master Plan" allows visitors to download pdf descriptions of each region. Each of these appears to give a diagram which "may be subject to change" and an estimate of the area of land which each region will cover. The UK is 4.0 hectares/9.88 acres apparently. Since the Falkland Islands are going to be 2.88 hectares, The World isn't exactly to scale, but when the entire thing is shown the general idea is visible. There are also "celebrity islands, which appear to go pretty unexplained.
If I'd noticed this a couple of days ago, I'd have written it off as an April Fools joke, but the site itself seems too serious and a little too professional for that.
As far as I can tell the "investors" are free to do whatever they choose with their island, and as the blog Boing Boing says, there's no reason why it couldn't be a perfect hive for a supervillian, complete with "hidden missile silos, or possibly a labroatory for breeding a race of superbeings."
I wonder how much these things cost, I've always fancied owning France, and surely it would appeal to our wonderful Vice-Chancellor for Warwick to own an island.
Update: Watch the video on the Home page of the site