All entries for June 2005

June 30, 2005

The Joy of Hex

I sometimes wish that I am Samantha from Bewitched.

Which I discovered recently is becoming a new movie which is bound to be nowhere near as charming as the original tv show. Anyhow, Samantha's great power is to complete all the houshold chores with a simple wrinkling of the nose, which is not only highly effective and instantaneous, but very cute to boot.

Sadly for us mere mortals there is no such swift solution, which is probably why god invented Cilit Bang, the most suggestively innuendo implying cleaner on the market. As my good self, and fellow cleaning compadre Greg, toiled away at the Herculean endeavour of cleaning the Aegean Stables House In Coventry, at least we had this comfortingly garish packaging looking out for us.


Cilit Bang has been rated so good, that it may even be able to clean up James Hughes' sick and twisted mind.

However, I doubt this severely.


June 27, 2005

The Breakdown (or how a 2.1 was made)

The Figures

Firstly for my non-university readership a note about marks and percentages.

100% does not exist as an attainable mark in BA degrees in fact nor does 90% pretty much your realistic maximum for an arts essay is 80% and the marks drop down from there (I'm sure sure you have heard tales of legendary essays out there which have scaled into the hidden post 80 depths; but we all know they are lies). In BSc modules 100% is attainable but usually only by answering the part of the question that the lecturer just barely understands and getting lucky with the marking scaler/bell curve.

The scale for modules thusly drops down like this:

70 – 80+% – 1 (First)
60 – 70% – 2.1 (Second class, first division)
50 – 60% – 2.2 (Second class, second division)
40 – 50% – 3 (Third)
30ish – 40% – Pass

Further all marks are adjustable on a scale depending on how easy or difficult the module was thought to be his year, therby ensuring a good spread of marks.

Final degree marks are awarded in a variety of complex ways taking into account overloading (taking more than 120 CAT points of modules in a year), the feelings of the tutors, the way the exact grade boundries are set each year, the number of modules scored in each degree classification and the amount of ninjas that can dance on the head of a pin.

Second Year Marks

History of Modern Philosophy (30 CATS) – 61% ( A fair mark considering my effort in this module)
Philosophy of Logic (30 CATS) – 61% (Also fair)
Aesthetics (30 CATS) – 56% (I was slightly disappointed with this one at the time, my only module assesed by a long essay)
Average of Computer Science Modules (36 CATS) – 50% ( I really should have revised and learnt these modules a lot harder, but in my defence they bored the pants off me)

Year average = 57 %

Third Year Marks

Symbolic Logic (30 CATS) – 38% (Oops! It was very hard)
Post Kantian Philosophy (30 CATS) – 61% (Since I only read a single 'Introduction to Marx' book for my Marx essay in this exam, I really hope the marks were for my Nietzsche essays)
Computer Science Project (30 CATS) – 74% (I really like making games)
Artificial Intelligence (15 CATS) – 62% (not bad up against a hefty scaler I reckon in the region of 10 -15% mark deduction, it was a lovely paper)
History of Computing (15 CATS) – 67% (very pleased!)

Year average = 59.375 %

So year on year an improvement from second year to third year of 2.375%. both year averages lie at the upper end of the 2.2 boundry and yet thanks to the way the degrees are calculated I was awarded a 2.1 by the skin of my teeth.

If you don't score a clear outright 2.1 (average in the 2.1 boundry) then you can still score a 2.1 if your mark profile looks like mine.

I had 30 CATS of modules at a first level, 120 CATS at a 2.1 level, 60 CATS at a 2.2 level and 30 CATS at a pass level. As my marks were weighted towards the top end in a median style average I was given a 2.1.

For instance discounting the 38% for Symbolic Logic in the third year my Mark average for that year rockets to 66.5% the top end of a 2.1. Scoring a First in the project probably also helped my case.

Its interesting to note that in my essay based philosophy modues (HMP, PKP notably) I have made almost no improvement across the two years. 61% vs 61%, 61% and 56%.

Also to note, that I'm not very inclined to do well in highly mathematical logic (Though I think I was getting the hang of it in the end, just a little too late!) the computer science modules averaged in the second year conceal a 35% scored in Logic for Computer Scientists.

The most dramatic change though is my rallying fortunes in Computer Science. from a 50% average in computer science last year I have shot up to 69.25% an almost 20% leap in grade pointage. This may largely be due to the fact that the CS module engaged me a hell of a lot more this year (making a computer game thing for my project particularly, did I mention recently that I love games?)

Also making alot of friends who do CS meant I had study buddies and the shared information pool is bound to have nudged those marks ever higher.

Thats probably all that needs to be said about that.

I'm happy.


June 25, 2005

Good Riddance (Time Of Your Life)

Another turning point, a fork stuck in the road
Time grabs you by the wrist, directs you where to go
So make the best of this test, and don't ask why
It's not a question, but a lesson learned in time

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

So take the photographs, and still frames in your mind
Hang it on a shelf in good health and good time
Tattoos of memories and dead skin on trial
For what it's worth it was worth all the while

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.

A Green Day song that always seems appropriate at these times in life when everything is changing upheaval style. I look around me (in my minds eye) at where I am at in my life today and where the lives of my friends here at university and it seems like there never have been truer words.

It's something unpredictable, but in the end it's right.
I hope you had the time of your life.


It all feels very end of movie–ish

If I was a director of 'Dan - The Warwick Years' I'm not sure where I would have the final scene, throwing the hats in the air at graduation is getting pretty cliche and everyone dancing wildly in an orgiastic frenzy is mostly not the way I'd like to end anything.

Whever it is though it'd definitely be some place around now, all the major revelations have happened, some of the main characters have made their exits and we've already had the final twist (2.1? I did not see that coming). So as I saddle up my faithful steed and ride into the setting sun, or enjoy that last silverscreen kiss, the credits begin to roll and its time for the usual 'So, what did you think?' conversations.

Somewhere, in a poorly lit room, a writer sits alone.

He's writing a sequel.


Today's Lesson: Balance

It seems today, that all you see, is violence in movies and sex on tv…

Actually I noticed a few months ago that I have entirely stopped watching tv. Sure, I've seen the odd thing on there for five minutes if someone else has switched the thing on, but my days of actually heading over to the box in the corner and flipping it on seem to be a thing of the past.

If there isn't an old adage that expresses the thought that 'you need to be happy with, nay love, yourself before you can truly succeed in having a relationship with anyone else. You can try, but oft times you will find that you are looking at finding a partner as a means to cure your own happiness and I'm sure I read somewhere in my studies of ethics that treating people as means instead of ends was the path to the dark side' then there should be.

Why is it that people feel that they need someone to make themselves happy? Is it that they feel unattractive without a doting partner staring into their bluey greens? Perhaps if you feel unattractive then you should use the power of logic to aid yourself instead. If you feel unattractive then there are too possible solutions:

1. Adjust your appearance to conform more to your current idea of attractive.
2. Adjust your current idea of what is attractive.

Unless you do one of these things the situation shalt remain the same no matter who is staring into your eyes. I've heard tell that its hard and such things, but in the end it comes back to the logic, somethings got to give one or the other or nothing changes. It maybe goes without saying but; feel attractive and you will be more attractive. These are my current thoughts on the magical rollercoaster of relationships and attractiveness, at least today.

Anyways that was a bit of a tangent, I'm putting it down to my advancing years, I'm losing that razor sharp focus. This blog has been something of a graveyard for a while now, I keep thinking of good blog ideas and then not finding the time, or making the time to actualise them to you shiny, pretty folk out there in blogger land. For example, almost an aeon ago I was interviewed by John Dale about blogging and I rambled on endlessly about my secret, forbidden love for the wiki. Detailed plans were constructed in my head about how to persuade the world of the might of this idea, but in my head they currently remain.

Somehow this year I managed to bring up my grades from last years performance and achieve my way to a 2.1 in my degree, instantly unburdening myself of a huge pile of stress I'd been carrying around since I realised pre-exams that I wasn't smart enough. Thankfully I was wrong and I am indeed smart enough, and now there is no more education planned for me and the world outside awaits. Your move Dan. Well thats not what I'm blogging about today either.

What I'm blogging about is balance, I think that this is one of the most important skills one needs to enjoy the fullness of life, and one of the hardest. People are generally pretty unbalanced to start out with and everything in life wants to encourage this situation. In our working lives we are encouraged to become ever more specialised, exelling to greater and greater heights in a smaller and smaller range of skills. Relaxing everything wants a piece of us, wants to consume more and more of your time. DVDs have hours of special features, Big Brother has 24 hour live feeds, newspapers are so long (with supplements up the wazzoo) that it would take you a week just to finish the saturday edition. Then there is the internet, holy grail of time wasting inconsequence, the great soother and information king.

Our friends and our lovers compete for our time, our own mental well being also demands attention, there are family commitments and cultural events. The multiplicity of competition for our time resource grows larger and more rowdy every day that we grow older. Yet time always seems to move faster today than it did the day before, as a child the days would stetch into infinity, more time in each hour than in an entire day today. Nostalgia makes the past seem better and we spend ages trying to recapture a perfect moment that really never was.

The only weapon in the fight for time are the holy scales of balance. That elusive perfect mix of activities where we feel all of the demands on our day have been satisfied and there exists no great mental 'to-do' list with an impossibly large number of items, all late on their due date. Balance holds the key to much of modern happiness and everything is against it. If you let it, almost anything in life will consume you, devour your life and leave you empty.

Everyone needs to fight for balance.


June 16, 2005

We flung ourselves from a burning bridge

Back from the final fling.

Was a good night in spite of the chilly weather. The organisation and setting seemed top notch to me, very impressive lighting rigs and good sound.

I really liked the Samba band (Bar Samba) at the start of the evening (after dinner ticket holder I was) and grooved along to them for most of their set. Ace.

Met up with lots of people I knew and a few I hadn't seen for a while, which was fantastiche. As an added bonus everyone was dressed fancy as you like and looked very nice.

I have photos which I'll add when I wake up.

EDIT 1: (I'm still asleep)

EDIT 2: I woke up. Photos are now online in the Final Fling gallery over to your left. Visit them, Sam wants you to.



June 04, 2005

Old today

Today, I have got older again, another 365-ish days have passed me by.

I decided to go and drink in the Graduate to mark this fact.

Quaint custom.

I'll be there all day(unless its not open due to some kind of freak lightning incident, in which case I'll be in The Bar), come say hello.


June 01, 2005

Give away your money..

Writing about Dive By Chuting from The Video Game Design Society

… to charity.

And get a free game?

Sign me right up.


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