All entries for August 2006
August 23, 2006
Writing about web page http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/newsnight/5275914.stm
Yesterday some crazy russian mathematician rejected a fields medal. Crazy russian. This particular crazy russian claims to have solved the poincare conjecture. Newsnight wanted a story about it, and needed a mathematician to do some explaining. In stepped History of Maths lecturer and all round legend Jeremy Gray to explain Poincare to the general public. He even used baloons. Magic
In theory you should be able to see him by clicking on the link, although i've never tried a newsnight podcast so i'm just assuming it all works fine, he was on after about half an hour.
August 14, 2006
A Tribute to Scotty
Ever since year seven chemistry it was apparent that he enjoyed playing with things that shouldn’t be played with and mixing things which shouldn’t be mixed. At the end of year thirteen this unusual affection for pain and discomfort was demonstrated with his construction of a cattle prod made from a camera flash and some wires which he used as a staff for his Gandalf costume. And I suppose that had i pondered then upon which of my contemporaries might end up in a specialist burns unit for weeks having set themselves on fire he would certainly have been among the chief candidates. And so, when we turned up at his house in cambridge the other week to be greeted by gallons of ale and the smell of roasting pig, it was not with too much shock that we learned he was in hospital, I suppose it was going to happen eventually.
If it’s any consolation, your twenty first birthday pary which you missed was a really unusual event. The five of us from school didn’t know any of your other friends, we mingled a bit but spent most of the night sat in the back garden and got horrendously drunk before being entertained by your kittens who are very sweet. The roast pig was excellent. Get better soon dude, in the words of Pink Floyd, shine on you crazy diamond.
August 13, 2006
After a little bit of negotiation in which Caroline managed to convince me that Marakech would not be quite as awesome, we've decided to go to Dubrovnik. I finally booked the flights on Monday, we're flying from Manchester and going 12th to 19th September. It's going to be most excellent, the plan is to stay in Dubrovnik for the first night and for the last three and then for the other three nights we'd stay on one of the Elafite isles which have very few hotels and are sparsely populated, here's what the Rough Guide had to say about my preferred option of Sipan island.
The largest and least developed of the populated Elafities, the island of Sipan is a delightful combination of craggy hills strung out around a long, fertile plain thick with olive trees and vines and dotted with the occasional hamlet. If you're after some peace and quiet and gentle hikes, this is one of the best places on the coast. Ferries terminate at the island's main settlement, Sipanska Luka, a pretty little place buried at the end of a deep inlet at the island's northern end. The settlement contains the odd relic of former glories: best are the remains of the Magistrate's Palace, ten minutes along the road to Suduradj, and the neglected villa on the harbourfront, which boosts a balcony supported by carved lions, and seems to be crying out for restoration.
Sipanska Luka's main beach is about 500m away from the harbourfront, a tiny strip of sand pressed against a thread of rock that seperates the western side of the bay from the sea. More isolated spots for bathing can be found by following the path which extends beyond the ferry jetty on the opposite side of the bay, threading its way between rocky shoreline and shady olive groves before petering out in dense undergrowth after a couple of kilometres.
Incoming ferries are often met by locals offering private rooms – if not, just ask around. Otherwise, the harbourfront hotel, the Sipan (020/758–000, fax 758–004; April to mid–Oct, offers standard en–suites, of which the attic rooms on the top floor are the cosiest. Eating and drinking possibilities are limited to the hotel restaurant and the couple of bars nearby.
Heading south out of Sipanska Luka, the seven–kilometre walk to SUDURADJ takes you past some lovely inland scenery. Suduradj itself – little more than a clump of houses grouped around a bay – is overlooked by an imposing stone tower, all that remains of a summer palace belonging to the 16th century Dubrovnik shipowner Vice Stjpovic Skocibuha. There is a bar by the old port, a new restaurant/pizzeria and the local shop/supermarket
I can hardly wait!
August 02, 2006
Writing about web page http://www.racethetrain.comOllie Hambrey and I have just entered this awesome race, the basic premise being you have to run just under fifteen miles through the welsh countryside racing a steam train. I'm fairly sure i'm not going to beat the train but hey, it looks really fun. Anyway, entries have to be in by Saturday unless you want to pay £5 late entry so send them off today.