All entries for March 2006

March 30, 2006

Users of the M42, watch out.

A friend of mine received an e-mail alerting her to the new traffic camera system on the M42 and that it was now live. I didn't know anything about it and still struggle to find any information about it, but Piston Heads have an article on it, along with a couple of other sources (including The Times). I've found no evidence to suggest that this is false. Summary: a new camera system designed to register number plates for checking tax etc is also to be used for speed detection, with one camera placed every 400 yards. It appears to work like the SPECS system. I suggest you watch out for them until a plan is formulated and carried out by some vigilante types to remove them.

March 26, 2006

A good walk

Just got back from a walk. Chris was right in a post he made a few weeks ago when he mentioned that places aren't as far as they seem by foot. My trip ended up as Tocil -> My car -> Crackley Lane -> Cryfield Grange -> Gibbet Hill -> Tocil Woods -> Costcutter -> Tocil. All in all, a distance of a few miles which took 1.5 hours. It's a great day for walking – Spring is finally just about here, it was breezy and overcast with the odd ray of sunshine, the air is warm but not too hot, everything seems fresh and crisp…

I find the odd good walk does no end of good for clearing your head a bit, like it did for me today. I feel a little more refreshed for it. I was actually only walking to my car to get something I left in it, then decided that I definitely needed a longer walk through some proper countryside, look at some fields and ponder a bit. Some things that make everything seem better:

  • The sound of birds in spring
  • The sound of old trees gently creaking in the wind
  • The smell of freshly turned earth and cut grass
  • The sight of rolling countryside and big green fields
  • The smell of fresh tarmac
  • The smell of burnt diesel from an uncatalysed exhaust
  • The sound of ducks and geese quacking in the distance
  • The smell of freshwater ponds
  • People walking their dogs
  • The sound of sports motorbikes being wound up

And…. Relax

March 24, 2006

The neverending world of memes

Writing about web page /cjehinds/entry/revised_for_men/

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

  • Played Spin the Bottle?: No
  • Toilet Papered someone's house: No
  • Played Poker with money: No
  • Gone swimming in a white T-shirt: Not that I can remember
  • Been tickled so hard you couldn't talk: Ashamedly yes, I'm horribly ticklish
  • Liked someone but never told them: Yup – I'm shy
  • Gone camping: Properly once with friends, never as a family activity
  • Had a crush on your sister's friend: Don't think so
  • Walked in the rain without an umbrella? Yeah, I quite like walking in the rain and getting drenched sometimes
  • Told a joke that nobody thought was funny? My sense of humour is at a tangent to most people's, so yes
  • Been in a talent show: Yes, when I used to play guitar
  • Started laughing at someone's bedtime: Yes
  • Worn somthing your mum didn't appove of: Yes but not in the way this question implies, only ever when mum thinks my clothes are too old/worn thin/disapproving of oil stains etc
  • Been to a nude beach: No
  • Drunk Jack Daniels: Yes, it's quite a good drink imho
  • Cursed in a church: No
  • Been called a slut for kissing someone: Ummmm… No!
  • Burnt yourself with anything at all that isn't cooking: Yes! Fire, engine blocks, hot metal from welding and machining…
  • Wanted to be a police officer: Only to do high-speed chase driving. I'd love to be an Italian one and get to drive one of their Gallardo's
  • Dumped someone: No
  • Been hit on by someone too old: No… I have been hit on by people too young though
  • Wanted to be a model: No, and nor would I want to look like one
  • Bought lottery tickets: As a good friend once told me "the lottery is a tax on people who are bad at maths". I hope my maths is good enough to not be taxed for it…
  • Made out in a car: Uh-huh
  • Wanted something you couldn't have: Daily
  • Had sex on the beach: No
  • Had the drink sex on the beach: No
  • Seen someone shoplift: No
  • Hung up on someone: On rare occassion where my patience has been tried to the point of my being that rude, yes
  • Yelled at your pet: Ummmm I don't think properly yelled. Scolded certainly, but not yelled
  • Bought a underwear when the cashier was a girl: Not that I can remember
  • Tried to strip when drunk: No, only gotten undressed to sleep
  • Gotten seasick: No… I remember getting carsick once or twice when I was young, but apart from that I've never suffered from any form of motion sickness
  • Had a stalker: Nope
  • Played a prank on somone that had them really scared: Yes. And much fun it was
  • Been embarassed by one of your family: I'm not an orphan, so of course I've been embarrased by my family!
  • Felt bad about eating meat: No
  • Protested: I protest many things. My innocence, for example.
  • Been to an island: Yes. And not just the Isle of Wight either.
  • Been in love: Yes
  • Eaten just because you were bored: No – what a silly thing to do
  • Looked at something everybody thought was unattractive and said "aww": Not that I can remember
  • Screamed in a library: No. I nearly killed a librarian once for trying to stop me from taking an important call in the staircase though.
  • Made out with a stranger: No
  • Been Dumped: Yes
  • Wished a part of you was different: Yes and no. I like being me, but I don't think I fit well into the world. Mostly I think I'd like the world to be different to fit me rather than me be different to fit it.
  • Asked a girl to dance: Yes, and god knows why I can't dance to save my life
  • Been asked out by a really hot girl: No
  • Laughed so hard you cried: If you haven't you're deprived
  • Went up to a complete stranger and started talking: No
  • Been sunburned: I don't ever remember getting much more than a tinge of red, and even then it takes a lot to achieve that
  • Physically assaulted a girl: No
  • Threw up in school: Nope
  • Recieved an anonymous love letter: Only suspicious valentines cards. Oh the embarrasment
  • Had to wear something you hated: Yes – I always used to hate being made to dress smart when I was younger for family occassions
  • Been to a luau: I haven't the foggiest
  • Saw your ex and wanted to kick her ass: No
  • Cursed in front of your parents: Most certainly have
  • Been in a commerical on tv: I have more of a radio face
  • Watched a movie that made you miss your ex: Yes
  • Been out of the country: A few times
  • Been honked at by some girl when you were walking down the sidewalk: No
  • Won at pool: Mmmm a few times
  • Went to a party where you were the ony sober one: Yes, and it doesn't bother me either. I prefer to be the designated driver, it means I don't have to make a prat out of myself and spend hideous amounts of money doing so
  • Went on a diet: No
  • Been lost out to sea: No – we have GPS for that
  • Cheated on your gf: Never
  • Been cheated on: Debatable
  • Tanned topless: I've worn nothing but swim trunks and tanned from that, yes. But not intentionally to get a topless tan, it just happens in sunny places!
  • Been attacked by seagulls: No
  • Been searched in an airport: Not properly searched, but I've had extra checks done on things like shoe scanners in the US before
  • Been on a plane: A few times
  • Thown a shoe at someone: Never at someone I think no. Unless I have at my brother. If I did I don't remember it.
  • Broke someone's heart: Possibly, not exactly sure it was my actions that caused the breaking though
  • Sung in the shower: Occassionally, not loudly though
  • Bought something way too expensive: I don't think so. Some people argue, for example, that £250 is too much to spend on a remote control. I disagree though. So no.
  • Done something really stupid that you still laugh about: I don't laugh at myself much
  • Been walked in on when you were dressing: Yes
  • Ran out of a movie theatre because you were too scared of the movie: No
  • Been kicked out of the mall: No
  • Been mean to someone then instantly wanted to take it back: Yes
  • Been given a detention on the worst day that you could get one: I've gotten detentions before (Chris P, I blame you)
  • Done something stupid when you were drunk: Not by most people's standards
  • Fell off your roof: Fallen off a Combine, but not a roof
  • Pretended you were scared so you could cuddle up with someone: No
  • Had a deer jump in front of your car: No, but I think Dad once had a Stag jump right on his bonnet of a new car when he was doing a fair speed
  • Threated someone witha water gun: Yes

I must stop doing memes!

March 23, 2006

Boys playing with toys

I've often thought the IMC to be a fascinating place. I don't know that non-engineering students can get access, but if you're ever free and know an engineering person who's heading that way I strongly recommend you go and take a look around if you're interested in manufacturing and machinery. They have pretty much every conceivable toy in there I can think of – numerous manually operated machines around the place as well as some beautiful 5 axis CNC mills made by Deckel Maho, CNC lathes, an injection moulding machine, a new laser cutter (they're replacing their current one with a much larger one which will be able to cut through material up to 30mm thick) and all other fun bits and pieces. If ever I had a ridiculous sum of money, I'd build a replica IMC all to myself to play about with making things all day, instead of having a shed at the bottom of the garden or whatever.

Anyway, I was over there today looking for an internal micrometer to accurately measure a job I was doing, and some technicians were playing about with one of the robot arms. In the gripper was a golf club, and they had a little table to hit the ball around on… So basically they're just pissing about playing golf with a robot. I'm sure there was some valid experiment going on or something, but really – talk about boys and their toys! What a laugh of a job huh? A couple of pics below taken on my camera phone (which are really really dire)

March 21, 2006

I. Need. This!

Writing about web page

Anyone who's seriously into performance cars has to check out that website.

I came across an article in one of last month's Professional Engineering that drew this to my attention. Freestream are a UK engineering consultancy, and to get themselves on the map they're desigining and building their take on a track car. Visually it's very striking, perhaps not 100% to my taste but I reckon in black it'd look like some future Batmobile. Prouction is expected to be limited to around 25 cars at a cost of around £150,000 each. But just look at the specification of the thing!

The engine, which is custom to the application, is a 2.4 litre 40 valve (so 5 per cylinder) quad cam V8. I'm guessing it's based on bike engine technology from that size. The engine is dry sumped and supercharged to deliver 500 BHP at 10,500 RPM. The car itself is going to weigh in at around 500kg, so this is the world's first car with a 1000 BHP per tonne power to weight ratio!!! Power is sent via a magnesium 6 speed sequential box with electronic shift paddles to the limited slip diff at the rear axle. Brakes are 355mm diameter steel surprisingly; I'd have expected ceramic or carbon discs to reduce the unsprung and rotating mass.

Expect 0–60 in under 2.5 seconds, a top speed of over 200 miles an hour, and excess of 3g in the corners and under braking. Unlike other cars of it's ilk, there seems to be quite a bit of aerodynamic work that's gone on as well as the usual fully adjustable suspension setup. Road legal and track day only versions are to be available. To put all this in perspective, modern F1 cars with their 2.4 litre V8 engines are only getting about 700BHP, and weigh in at 605kg minimum. So this is lighter and nearly as powerful as the current V8 F1 cars, and it's going to be road legal.

How MUCH do I need one of these!

March 14, 2006

Some more gender stuff

Writing about web page

At the above web page, which Craig has already blogged about and drawn to my attention, you'll find an article describing the differences between stimulating subjects for boys and girls in science lessons. Reading the list, I can completely connect with pretty much everything the article is saying. I disagree with the least favourite topics, which were shared by boys and girls (famous scientists and their lives, and modern farming methods) as I find both of those topics very interesting. But anyway…

The general theme of the article is an admission that boys and girls like different things, and that perhaps the time has come to acknowledge this, and adapt lessons accordingly to reverse the decline in the study of the sciences at a more advanced level. I quote directly from the article and the words of the author of the report, Professor Jenkins of Leeds University:

"We have had a generation or more now of promoting gender equality but the differences exist and I raise the question as to whether we should teach the two sexes separately for some of the time."

So, what say you people? Is it right that we embrace the differences between males and females, and teach them accordingly to their strengths and not force them through their weaknesses, thus turning them off of the subject in hand altogether? Or should we continue to force the notion that eqaulity of the sexes translates to us being identical in every respect, and thus there should be no need to teach differently?

March 08, 2006

Some generic sentence completion

Writing about web page

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

My ex was …
A fresher fling

Maybe I should …
Take some paracetemol for my mother of a headache

I love …
My family, my car, my dog and my amazing friends

I don't understand …
The stupidity and ignorance of people

I lost…
At dodgeball over the weekend with my team mates

People would say that I'm …
Old fashioned, stubborn and uncompromising. Damned straight

Love is …
The most beautiful thing in the world

Somewhere, someone is …
Looking down on the world from space

I will always …
Try my best and be defiant in the face of adversity

Forever is …

I never want to …
Lose my determination and inner strength

When I wake up in the morning I am…
Raring to go and do something

Life is full of…
Imbeciles and half-wits

My past is incredibly full of …
Memories of me with my family that I look back on more fondly than I ever thought I would

I get annoyed when …
Other's decisions make no sense to me, or are based on what I consider to be unsound logic and reasoning

Parties are for…
Relaxing with friends

I wish …
I could believe that the world wants me here

Kisses are the worst when …
the other person has bad breath

Tomorrow I'm going to ….
Hand in my Advanced Fluid Dynamics coursework, continue machining my axles and wheel hubs for Formula Student, go to some lectures and chill the hell out in the evening because for the first time in ages I can

I really want …
a winning lottery ticket

If I had a million dollars …
I'd buy a nice house, a couple of beautiful cars (ok so four or five – probably a Jag, an Aston, a Lamborghin, a TVR and a Radical), a Z4 for my wonderful girlfriend and put what I had left into the bank

March 03, 2006

Not sure I agree with this quite

Writing about an entry you don't have permission to view

You scored as Mathematics. You should be a Math major! Like Pythagoras, you are analytical, rational, and when are always ready to tackle the problem head-on!


What is your Perfect Major? (PLEASE RATE ME!!<3)
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