All entries for June 2008

June 26, 2008

Seminar Productivity

Does anybody else find they get their best work done in seminars they don’t understand? I mean obviously it’s really good to go to a seminar and know what’s going on all the way through, but if you can’t do that then letting your mind float for a forty minutes is also productive. I often come away completely understanding the problem I went in with, if not much of the material covered in the lecture, and am thinking of going to Algebraic Geometry seminars expressly for this purpous. We at Kempez’s blog asked our boys at the lab to come up with some kind of microscoft paint representation of this, and as you can see below they’ve excelled themselves once again.


June 19, 2008


Writing about web page

The guardian today has an article which suggests a prolific sex life can be achieved through the following three character traits.

  • narcissistic self-obsession
  • thrill-seeking and callous psychopathy
  • Machiavellian exploitation and deceitfulness

This week I shall be focussing mainly on the third.

June 17, 2008


Guess which piece of first year mathematics I used to resolve today’s four hour impasse. Living the dream…

June 07, 2008

Euro 2008

It’s going to be a bit strange watching a football tournament in which England aren’t playing. And I’m a bit stumped as to who to support. I think everyone should be allowed a big team and a little team. My big team is going to be Germany, partly for my flatmates and partly in hope that this will cause me to do well in my German exam this afternoon.

And then for a small team. My first thought was Czech Republic, until I read a bit more and found out they definitely couldn’t qualify as small, they’re ranked 6th in the world at the moment. To count as small I think you shouldn’t have been seeded in the last ten years, and my guess is that that gives us Austria, Poland, Romania, Russia, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey, possibly plus Croatia.

I think I’m going for Sweden. I like Sweden. Also if they get through the group stage it will probably be at the expense of Russia. This would be a good thing. I think the whole office is gonna start watching the games which should be really cool, I know England aren’t playing but I’m still excited like a four year old.

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June 06, 2008


Am finally getting around to booking myself a flight to Belgrade for my summer travelling and the cheapest way to do it is through Swiss air, stopping in Zürich. I’m sure it’s a lovely city and all but I can’t say I’m especially excited by another shiny busy capital city, particularly as I’ll be travelling alone and if I stay it will be just for one night, hence I won’t meet anyone (I’m deliberately ignoring the scores of romantic comedies that suggest otherwise). It’s cheaper if I stay the night on the way back, but the flight would leave Zürich at 7.05 the following morning, which is unpleasant. I’ll also be at the end of a two week holiday and possibly exhausted.

So which options do I take for the flight back?

Ignore Zürich, £117
Stay in Zürich from 16:35 until 07:05 the next morning, £72

I could probably get a hotel near the airport cheapish and then play in the city from about six till twelve before getting four hours sleep. Dinner and the Hotel would probably cost me the saving in the flight, is it worth doing? Any advice from anyone who’s been to Zürich would be welcome.

June 05, 2008

A View From My Window

The Sky At Night

I wish I had a camera that was both good enough that I could properly capture the sunset yet not so good that I became a pretentious idiot who’d bought an expensive camera which he didn’t know what to do with. Hmm.

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June 04, 2008

A Thought Process

  • Hence the theorem is proved
  • I’m quite pleased with this
  • I mean basically it’s just building on someone else’s work but I can widen the class of functions they consider
  • Which is good
  • I’m surprised they didn’t spot it
  • Ooh and if I plug the simple functions into my method I don’t even need their restrictions on the projection
  • Which is very pleasing indeed
  • Because they thought it couldn’t be done
  • In fact they even gave a counterexample
  • Bollocks

And forty minutes investigation reveals that it’s ‘the obvious bit’ that was false. Grrr.

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June 03, 2008

Donnie Darko 2

Filming has started on S.Darko, the sequel to Donnie Darko. Controversial.

But thinking about it I quite like it when people have the bravery to make sequels to very popular films. They’ll doubtlessly be accused of cashing in and the cult following are rarely entirely satisfied with the second installment, but if you have a very good set of characters and the opportunity to write another decent story involving them why not take it.

And we get to the point where it would be natural to list my favourite sequels here, but actually I can’t think of any, which kind of undermines my argument. Hmm.

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June 02, 2008

Kempez's Office

The Office

Look, I tidied my desk. Which shows it was a bad work day but hey, a tidy desk is a good thing to have. I use it chiefly as a storage place for food and work, but sometimes if no one else is in and it’s sunny enough for me to get some natural light I even work there. I choose to refer to it as ‘my office’, rather than the work room which I share with ten others, it sounds better. And since taking this photo I’ve attached a note to my picture of the monkey saying ‘check your working before you go to see your supervisor’, I think it’s good to be reminded.

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June 01, 2008

Happy Birthday

Have you every thought our Happy Birthday song to be so incredibly mundane. Fortunately I don’t have to listen to it more than once or twice a month, but it really scrapes the barrel in terms of musical or lyrical originality. I had the pleasure of being serenaded in Greek last week, it was far more upbeat and exciting. Below is a rough translation of the lyrics.

Long may you live Tom Kempton,
and may you live many years,
may you grow old,
with white hair.

May you spread out everywhere,
the light of knowledge,
and may everybody say,
there, he is a wise man.

Which pretty much sums up my hopes and ambitions too.

June 2008

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