Favourite blogs for Nick's blog

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February 12, 2007

Paul Collingwood: The Owen Hargreaves of cricket

So, England have managed to win something in Australia, and the unlikely hero is that ginger bloke from Durham. A man who, before the Ashes had the reputation of being that bloke who would come in to the team if someone was injured, but nothing much was really expected from him. A man who, as Shane Warne pointed out in one of the better reported pieces of sledging this winter, got an OBE for scoring 10 in the final Ashes test in 2005. And now he’s scored a double century in the Test England really should have won and been instrumental in the one dayers with bat, ball, and in the field, and is probably now an automatic selection for the England XI.

Sounds very simillar to a certain Canadian and events in Germany last summer.

January 05, 2007

Exeter Christian Union suspended from their SU

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/6232869.stm

Didn’t something similar happen with Warwick’s about 5 years ago?

October 27, 2006

Today I met..

The Shadow Chancellor.

Our local MP, Robert Syms, came to visit our office and he brought his friend George Osborne with him. They watched a song about cheese.

September 14, 2006

Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink

Writing about web page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jan_Vennegoor_of_Hesselink

A group of us in the pub for the United-Celtic match last night were wondering how Celtic’s Dutch striker got his unusual surname. Wikipedia provides the answer. The word ‘of’ is actually Dutch for ‘or’, and so his name is actually Vennegoor or Hesselink, which is a Dutch equivalent of a double-barrelled name. So he’s really just Jan Vennegoor-Hesselink, which doesn’t sound nearly as interesting.

September 07, 2006

Lack of goats

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/5322302.stm

Has to be the strangest excuse for speeding ever, surely?

September 06, 2006

For the mathematicians

The Finite Simple Group (Of Order 2)

July 18, 2006

Someone likes me!

Writing about web page http://blogs.warwick.ac.uk/amcfarland

I just discovered in the About Me section of this blog a nice little link telling you who has your blog in their favourites. So I checked mine and the list looked pretty much as I expected, consisting of people I know, and then I found this one. Apparently my blogging has been good enough to persuade one person I don't know and have (probably) never met to add me to their favourites. Yay for me! And thank you to Andrew McFarland, whoever you are.

July 07, 2006


So, it's my 4th blog entry after coming back from tour, so maybe I should write a bit about tour. Photos can be found here.

So, tour. It started at a ridiculous hour early on Saturday morning, when after telling the man at University House that I was there to pick up a van for the Brass Society, he gives me the wrong set of keys. Of course, I didn't discover this until after I'd walked through the rain to the car park and tried to open the van with them. Five minutes later I'd managed to get the right set of keys and was able to get the van down to the Music Centre to start getting everything loaded on to it.

The journey down was fine. The roadworks on the M5 happened during the shift I wasn't driving, so I didn't have to worry about those. The roadworks on the A30 happened when I was driving, so I got stuck in a queue there for a bit, which was annoying. But we got to Nine Ashes eventually and met up with the Thora Hird tour before moving off to Launceston for the joint concert with Launceston Town Band.

Sunday was a fairly quiet day. Rehearsal followed by lunch followed by driving people to the pub to watch the England game. At this point I notice that changing gears in the bus I was driving is sounding louder than it should be.

Monday, the Eden Project. Preceded by the clutch going in one of the minibuses, the one that felt dodgy when I drove it on Sunday. Fortunately I wasn't in that bus at the time, so it wasn't my problem. Anyway, it got sorted out and shuttle runs were made to get everyone to the Eden Project, which was similar to how I remember it from when I went there previously, except that the man who talks about bananas wasn't there this time.

Tuesday. Down to Falmouth for a Symphonic gig at Pendennis castle in front of an audience consisting almost entirely of castle staff and groupies. Followed by some time in Falmouth and another minibus clutch going on the way back to the campsite. Fortunately by this time the garage had phoned Rebecca to say that the first minibus was repaired and ready to be picked up, so it didn't really put us in a worse situation to what we were in already.

Wednesday, St Austell. Brewery tour first, which wasn't as good as it was last time I went, probably due to the tour guide. the beer as nice, and the rum was as strong as I remembered (71% abv, nice). Followed by some time in the town itself, a lot of which was spent bowling. I managed to score an aggregate of over 200 in the two games, as well as getting a double strike, but congratulations are due to Kel for her 140–something in the first game, and Craigy for 150–something in the second game, which included not missing a pin until about the 7th frame.

Thursday: Bandstand gig in Newquay. Managed to stall the van four times reversing it up a steep slope out of the council office car park to take all the instruments down to the bandstand. After the gig we played Crazy Golf, and i won out of our group with 56, including a hole in one at the last. Then met Spooner, who'd finally managed to make his way down.

Friday, Hidden Valley. Cue bad Richard O'Brien impressions as everyone went round the site trying to find all the crystals. The prize at the end was very nice. Followed by the end–of–tour meal in Wadebridge and a last night campfire back at the campsite.

Saturday. Pack up, leave, get stuck in roadworks on the M5, eventually arrive back on campus at 4, unpack the van and get to the Union at half time in the England–Portugal game, watch the game, come home.

As for what I've been doing this week, I've kind of already blogged that. I had a job interview on Tuesday and got offered the job on Thursday, see my previous entry for more details.

July 06, 2006


So, I'm finally sorted (almost) for next year. I have a job offer for a position as an Analyst/Programmer at a small company called Dorset Software, based (surprisingly enough) in Poole, Dorset. So, subject to suitable references, I will soon be earning £20,000 a year down on the south coast. Yay!

July 05, 2006


Writing about web page http://o.tearne.org/G103/

During the course of the second term, I was involved in the making of a film by the Maths Department to be used to show prospective undergraduates what an average day in the life of a maths student is like. This film, called G103 has now been finished and is available online here. My role is as an extra in the lecture scene and also in the scene labelled "Dance of the Mathematicians".

End of degree questionaire

Well, everyone else seems to be doing it and I don't really have anything else to do, so here's my answers to these questions.

Best day: Dunno. Can't really think of any especially good days. Plenty of days have been good, especially in the last two years, but I can't think of any that stand out as best. Possibly Gala Concert day last year when I wrote this entry.

Worst day: Again, nothing in particular springs to mind. This one's more likely to be something from the first two years, as they weren't nearly as good for me as the second two years were.

Best decision: Getting more involved with the Music Centre. I know I'm not nearly as involved in the Music Centre as a lot of you are, but in my first year pretty much all I did music wise was turn up to rehearsals. Starting to go to The Bar after band on Wednesdays (yes, Brass Band did used to go to The Bar and not The Graduate) means I now know a lot of cool people I wouldn't really know otherwise (despite my MC involvement still mostly confined to Wednesdays).

Worst mistake: Dunno. Possibly living in Coventry in my second and third years when most of my friends lived in Leamington. I still think Coventry is objectively a nicer place to live than Leam, but subjectively I think I'd have enjoyed my time more if I'd lived closer to my friends.

Craziest on–campus antic: I'm not really one for doing crazy things. I can think of some crazy things I've done during the last four years, but they weren't on campus, so they don't count. Marching round campus using glowsticks as our light source for the OWW carnival one year was kind of crazy. I wouldn't be surprised if I now get denounced as sad and boring by some of the crazier readers here.

Favourite place on campus: The Chaplaincy. Spent a lot of time there in my third year. It's a very nice place to revise, as there are plenty of people doing crazy things and/or offering to make tea to distract you, but not too many that you don't do all the work you were planning.

Most painful experience: Not really hurt myself that much at uni. All of things I've done that have left scars happened before then. At uni, it was probably the experience in Tae Kwon Do that taught me that wearing shin pads while sparring is a very very good idea. Or possibly Matt kicking me in the face.

Favourite lecturers: Colin Sparrow, Dave Wood, Colin Rourke.

Worst lecturer: Hmm. MacKay wasn't really a bad lecturer. He clearly knew what he was doing, although the rest of us generally didn't. So the worst lecturer award is a toss up between Dmitry Rumynin and John Moody. I'll go for Moody.

Biggest waste of time: Going to John Moody's Commutative Rings lectures in the third year. Went to pretty much all the lectures before I decided to drop the course.

Most valuable use of time: Either Chaplaincy or Music Centre socialising/dossing. Met plenty of weird and wonderful people in both.

Shortest time between beginning an assignment and handing it in: I've always tried to finish all my assignments the night before they're due at the latest. So probably about a day.

Average time spent awake during a one–hour lecture: About an hour.

Number of Pub Jogs completed: 0

Number of times drunk: Some, possibly lots. The time I was most drunk would have been the Friday of the Real Ale Festival in my second year.

Number of exams sat: Somewhere in the thirties.

Number of times expelled from Students Union: 0

Cars crashed: 0, but some extremely minor incidents involving Union minibuses which no one noticed.

Cars owned: 0

Friends for life: Some, and hopefully more.

Best Friends: A few.

Girlfriends: 0, unfortunately. I'm far too shy.

June 06, 2006

The strike is over

Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/5052730.stm

It seems that the UCU (new name for the merged AUT and NATFHE) are now actually balloting their members on the pay offer offered them by the UCEA. Thus the marking/exam boycott will be suspended from midnight. It may come back if the members vote against the 13.1% offer, but for now, the unionised lecturers are obliged to do the work they haven't been doing for the last few months. Personally, I reckon the ballot will go for taking the offer. Slightly lower than what the union would have been happy with, but high enough so that both sides can accept this as a fair deal.

I'm surprised no one (other than the RaW News blog) has blogged about this yet.

June 05, 2006


The university really are incompetent, aren't they? We book a minibus every Monday evening of term and yet for the second time this term they don't have one for us. That really is not on, especially when after the first time the exec went to the bus man up at Westood to make sure that buses were booked for all the other Mondays this term.

What is going wrong in the booking system? We know the booking system had our booking in it, we checked last time this happened. So where's our minibus?

May 03, 2006


Writing about web page http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QjA5faZF1A8&feature=Favorites&page=1&t=t&f=b

Check this out. Pachelbel's Canon on electric guitar. Awesome.

April 27, 2006

Message from the future

I just managed to get an e–mail that was apparently sent at 7:08pm today. Unfortunately, it didn't tell me if anything important is going to happen in the next 20 minutes.

April 24, 2006

Book list

Procrastination book meme
Book Meme!
1. Copy & paste.
2. Bold the ones you’ve read.
3. Add four recent reads to the end.
4. Tag!

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown
The Catcher in the Rye – J.D. Salinger
The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy – Douglas Adams
The Great Gatsby – F.Scott Fitzgerald
To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee
The Time Traveler’s Wife – Audrey Niffenegger
His Dark Materials – Philip Pullman

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter 6) – J.K. Rowling
Life of Pi – Yann Martel

Animal Farm: A Fairy Story – George Orwell
Catch-22 – Joseph Heller
The Hobbit – J. R. R. Tolkien

*The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time – Mark Haddon*
Lord of the Flies – William Golding
Pride and Prejudice – Jane Austen

1984 – George Orwell

*Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book 3) – J.K. Rowling*
One Hundred Years of Solitude – Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Memoirs of a Geisha – Arthur Golden
Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Book 4) – J.K. Rowling
The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
The Lovely Bones – Alice Sebold
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Harry Potter 5) – J.K. Rowling
Slaughterhouse 5 – Kurt Vonnegut
Angels and Demons – Dan Brown
Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Book 1) - J.K. Rowling
Neuromancer – William Gibson
Cryptonomicon – Neal Stephenson
The Secret History – Donna Tartt
A Clockwork Orange – Anthony Burgess

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Book 2) – J.K. Rowling
Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte
Brave New World – Aldous Huxley
American Gods – Neil Gaiman
Ender’s Game (The Ender Saga) – Orson Scott Card
Snow Crash – Neal Stephenson
A Prayer for Owen Meany – John Irving
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis
Middlesex – Jeffrey Eugenides
Cloud Atlas – David Mitchell
The Lord of the Rings – J. R. R. Tolkien
Jane Eyre – Charlotte Bronte
Good Omens – Terry Pratchett, Neil Gaiman
Atonement – Ian McEwan
The Shadow Of The Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemingway
The Handmaid’s Tale – Margaret Atwood
The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
Dune – Frank Herbert
The Unbearable Lightness of Being – Milan Kundera
Hey Nostradamus! – Douglas Coupland
The Nature of Blood – Caryl Phillips
Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules -Ed. David Sedaris
Testament of Youth – Vera Brittain
When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit – Judith Kerr
Are you Dave Gorman? – Dave Gorman & Danny Wallace
Earthsea Trilogy – Ursula Le Guin (surely Earthsea quartet?)
The Secret Life of Nuns- Pietro Aretino
Une Fille d'Eve – Balzac
Candide- Voltaire
Evelina- Frances Burney
Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Germinal – Zola
Like a Fiery Elephant: The Story of B.S. Johnson – Jonathan Coe
The Long Dark Teatime of the Soul – Douglas Adams

Mansfield Park – Jane Austin
Lieutenant Hornblower – C. S. Forrester
The Colour of Magic - Terry Pratchett
The Seven Crystal Balls – Hergι

4 more that I've read recently:

Evolving the Alien - Ian Stewart and Jack Cohen

*Going Postal – Terry Pratchett*
The Darkness That Comes Before - R. Scott Bakker

*Settling Accounts: Drive to the East – Harry Turtledove*

April 18, 2006


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

by all the
exercises in
Hyperbolic Geometry

April 10, 2006


Writing about web page http://www.thomhutchinson.com/

Is it possible to become famous in just one week? Thom Hutchinson is finding out.

March 29, 2006

Local news

Isn't local news great? Whenever I come home for the holidays I'm always reminded how much better Gordon Burns is than any of the Midlands Today people. And at lunchtime you get to play the Gordon Burns weather game, which is where the first letters of the place names on the local weather map spell out a word. Today's word was eclipse.

March 25, 2006


My parents have got a new computer this term, as their old one was too old, and as the new one uses a different kind of wireless card to the old one, I have inherited the wireless card from their old computer. So this is David Kelly, coming to you on wireless. Woo!