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James Birkett

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June 27th, 2006

09:26 pm: A bit of this, a bit of that
Since the last post, many things have happened. In summary:

May 2nd, 2006

11:28 pm: Life's lessons number 3472:

Sneezing while brushing one's teeth is supposed to be messy. Don't try to fight it. It's better than forcing toothpaste and saliva out through your nose.

April 25th, 2006

03:59 pm: I'm not sure if I'm insulted or amused...
I was talking to a lecturer here earlier today. The subject turned to Swindon, which he had just visited, and inevitably roundabouts, and hence The Magic Roundabout. He said it was clear evidence that town planners were the spawn of Satan. I pointed out that my father is a town planner - he looks distressed - I assume he was worried about having offended me, but no, he continues "Well, I guess that makes you the grandson of Satan. I'll have to be extra nice to you in future..."

April 4th, 2006

08:33 pm: Long time no post
The PhD continues - working on a paper with my supervisor and the Ecrypt Aztec working group about something called "WIBE" - it's like identity based encryption but with wildcards. I'd explain further, but there's a lot of terminology and stuff. I'll post a link to the paper when it's published. :-)

Anyone else digging the really fine weather we've had? I love this time of year. Sunshine, lolly pops and raindrops :-)

Anyone have any suggestions for entertaining myself without my usual mixed bag of society evenings, or the presence of most people who seem to have gone home for easter?...

February 6th, 2006

02:43 pm: violence
A European draws mohammed as a terrorist! That makes all Europeans evil!
A small proportion of Angry muslims get violent! That makes all muslims evil!

What exactly is the difference between adults and beligerent teenagers again?

I've been pretty upset by all this, not sure what to make of it. I do realise it's a minority making the rest look bad though, please don't flame me.

Update: if you look hard enough at the news, you will find some articles saying exactly how minor the beligerent minority is... I guess it's partly a matter of the press having no sense of proportion either.

February 2nd, 2006

05:15 pm: Geeky humour on IRC
< Slayeh> mew#
< dom> mew sharp?
< Slayeh> quite
< birkett> how does mew# compare with the Java-mew alternative?
< Slayeh> well its newer, steals ideas from other mono-syllabic noises and attempts
          to pass them off as its own invention, all the while claiming to be
          much better than it really is
< Slayeh> wow that was quite cutting
< birkett> :-)

Current Mood: easily amused

January 21st, 2006

06:32 pm: I rememeber normaility.
Discovered several interesting things while out with Andy and other former Bristolians in Woking. Firstly, if you order pernod and lemonade, and it tastes rather unpleasantly like pernod and soda water, it's probably because the lemonade pump has ran out. Took me two of them to figure out that. :-(

Secondly, even when the music is very loud, ordering drinks via predictive text and showing your mobile to the barmaid can be dangerous. For example "A shot of Smirnoff vodka" uses the same keys as "A pint of poisoned vodka". one to be careful of, that one.

Thirdly, the condom machine in the gents toilets at the Rat and Parrot in Woking displays unmistakeably a very large FreeBSD logo. We presume that it's running NetBSD and the owners just got the logos muddled.

Fourthly, Andy plays poker less well when drunk. Huzzah! Both lizzie and I felted him with J6 suited. Different occasions and different suits, but still, was entertaining :-)

and finally, I got bored on the train home, and really needed the loo. Obviously, south west trains don't clean the toilets on their trains anywhere near often enough, and there was no way I was going in there... So as the train sat on the platform at Virginia Water, I noticed that the departures board said it wasn't leaving for another 10 minutes or so. So I got off and tried to use the gents in the station which was locked. Then I decided to look at Virginia Water. It's very pretty. I didn't see much of it, but there are some pretty old buildings, and surprisingly, some new ones around them that compliment the old really well. I was very impressed. After having wandered for a while, I thought I'd just keep going, so I set off in the same general direction as the train line, hoping to find Saville Gardens, which are nearby, and I knew the way home from there. I found a footpath instead. I had been diverging from the train line somewhat, and it seemed to be heading back that way, so I followed it. It abruptly turned into a swamp. Ah well, never surrender, never turn back, so onwards until I find myself with very muddy feet and trousers in a field with horses. I decide that that's probably not where the footpath is supposed to go, eventually find an exit onto a little road. Wondering where I am, I meander along, admiring the scenery and watching dusk fall over the treeline. Which isn't a treeline at all, there's no way you can possibly mistake the roof of founder's building! Without trying I had apparently found a back entrance to Royal Holloway, with a big sign and everything. Win! :-) Only took about forty minutes too, and it's a much nicer walk that the twenty minutes up hill from Egham station.

That was a good day.

Current Mood: calmcalm
Current Music: Donnie Darko Soundtrack

January 18th, 2006

06:05 pm: Displacement Activity
I got my svg A4 go board down to 230 bytes!
A4 Go Board

Instructions for use:
Print out.
Play go using pencil.

January 16th, 2006

09:50 am: Gah.
Apparently the Anglican church is schisming over women bishops. Wasn't the idea that women could be priests sorted out in the mid 90s? What's the difference? Haven't they seen The Vicar of Dibley? All good theology comes from BBC comedy as they should rightly know.

"Are people like me to be driven out of the Church of England or not?" (quote from same bbc article). If "people like me" means sexist bigots, then sure, why not?

I love the idea of "traditionalists, who say there is no biblical precedent for women bishops"... Don't remember Jesus mentioning the idea of bishops at all, female or otherwise. Almost as good as saying "they would no longer be able to tell whether a priest presiding over Holy Communion was truly qualified to do so." Yeah, very biblical, "Do this every time you drink it, BUT ONLY WHEN SUPERVISED BY A PROPERLY ORDAINED MINISTER!"

January 11th, 2006

12:51 am: Sociability meme

Your Social Dysfunction:

Being average in terms of how social you are, as well as the amount of self-esteem you have, you're pretty much normal. Good on you.

Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

Please note that we aren't, nor do we claim to be, psychologists. This quiz is for fun and entertainment only. Try not to freak out about your results.

Huzzah! That means I win.

Current Mood: 30 degrees from vertical
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