Thursday, January 25, 2007

religious hypocracy

I was going to write about the current hoopla regarding the catholic church and their adoption agencies, and the hypocracy of seeking exemptions to the anti-discrimination laws. But Alex Wilcock has written a few thousand intelligent words on the subject which pretty much cover it. (And its good to see him back blogging in such depth.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Police work unsocial hours

It was fascinating watching C4 news yesterday evening to see the director and Labour luvvy peer David Puttnam being rolled out to attack the police tactics of theatrics. He should leave the police to do policing, and he can get on directing films.
As to the charge that arresting someone pre-dawn was just theatrical, my understanding is that if you want to question someone over perverting the course of justice, the last thing you do is make an appointment with them to provide plenty of notice and time to carry out more deleting or shredding...

Friday, January 19, 2007

Chemists are guilty!

I'm finding the reporting of the bomb plotters current trial quite sensationalist. I was in London on that particular day for a Palace garden party, and strangely, being right in the centre of London meant avoiding most of the surrounding chaos. I also suspect that Buckingham Palace was one of the safest possible places to be that day.
The focus by the prosecution on the fact that one of those on trial had studied chemistry seems a little tenuous. Does that make all of us who've studied chemistry equally as dangerous. Or more so if we've done PhDs!
The concept of reaction rates is fairly core to a large chunk of physical chemistry. And its not exactly difficult to extend these fairly basic theories of reaction rates, and exothermic reactions to explosives.
So does that make me guilty of being a chemist?

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

new gadgetastic

Its like christmas has come early...
I've just upgraded my mobile and contract with Orange. (I don't go in for flash mobiles, so its just a Nokia 6233, I need IrDA, Bluetooth and GPRS for all the other bits of connectivity, but not desperate for multi-megapixel cameras as I have cameras coming out of my ears, the Fm radio is a nice extra).
Meanwhile, I've replaced the PDA that was stolen from the office in November, and went for a Dell Axim X51v (has wifi & bluetooth). Although I've not been totally lost without the PDA, it has been a quiet couple of months when I've not needed to have a diary on me at all times, that I was able to log work, council and social entries in. Time management is one of the first things you need to get the hang of when first elected, but keeping a paper diary is just too much work...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

comical catchup

I've had a subscription to the worlds greatest comic (2000AD) for nearly 10 years. But in about April I found I stopped reading them every week (it may have had something to do with the election going on...). Even after that I failed to pick them back up, and slowly a rather large pile of unread issues built up.
I've finally opened all the envelopes and started to trawl through the backlog of 7 months.
The worst thing was, having been reading David Bishop's blog, knowing there was a major story arc taking place in 2000AD, and a series penned by the man himself in the Megazine.
As of yesterday, I'm now only 4 months behind...

Dalziel and Pascoe

Campus has been chocka-block with exhibition marquees and film equipment vans for the last couple of weeks.
Dalziel & Pascoe have been filming on campus this week, and yesterday lunchtime I bumped into Colin Buchanan and Warren Clarke having a fag between scenes. They've taken over the University's great hall and it looks like its an incident room.
I've also heard they used the French department as a Biosciences lab/offices...
They've used the Great Hall before, in the episode with Jack Dee and Devla Kirwan in (Dialogues of the Dead). That time it was decked out as a library.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

toothless in stirchley

100_6943_resize "Gaptooth gypsy Dave" - for those old Mark and Lard fans!
The weekend has been spent eating softer food since my UR1 bridge has popped out again. (Unlike the previous two occasions I had a mouthful of food, so slightly disconcerting...)

I've still got a few weeks to wait before the final stages of the implant work. So I'll get the bridge stuck back in tomorrow, and avoid biting for a day.

The self-portrait was taken with my Canon 5D, 24-105f4 lens and 580EX flash and uses my newly fitted mirror.

Age of Majority

Sounds like it should be a Sid Meier game...
The debate on whether there should be a common age of majority never fails to go away. This year will see the age at which you can stand at local elections reduced to 18 from 21, meanwhile there is a proposal to increase the age of purchasing cigarettes to 18 from 16.
Solvents and paints will remain at 16. There is an argument that restricting aerosol paint purchases to over 18s would prevent graffiti as this is predominantly carried out by those under 18. My guess is that, like alcohol, U18s would still be able to get hold of paint and carry out their criminal damage.
Cllr Martin Mullaney in Moseley has done a huge amount of work to identify graffiti taggers and tackle them through more unorthodox methods. Several have actually been arrested by the local police.
Colin Ross is running a poll on his blog on the age of majority. My belief is that there is no single age at which all things should be accessible or at which a person becomes responsible. Although I do think that some of the current ages should be changed (eg voting age).

Thursday, January 04, 2007

DIY frenzy

I've finally managed to clear the house of paper work. Just awaiting the recycling collection on Tuesday... Although I think they'll have a shock with the 20+kg I've managed to junk.
On Tuesday I managed to spend most of the day shopping for a mirror, and picture clip frames. I had been relying on Athena to supply the clip frames, but hadn't banked on them having closed down most of their shops! And where else can you buy a 1000x700 and 700x500 frames on the highstreet (where you have no car to get to out of town places)?
The mirror was easier to find, although it took a while to find quite what I was looking for (nothing too fancy, or gilted, or olde-worlde). Fortunately Debenhams had a half price item that fitted the bill, and had enough of them that I didn't have to buy it there and then and trudge round town with it... (Its about 1000x600 and weighs 10kg!).
My most impressive bit of DIY to date was accomplished last night when I hung the mirror, and touchwood, (no not Torchwood) its still hanging there when I get home. I've never been keen on drilling holes. There seems to be alot that can go wrong (hole too big, not where you want it etc etc). ANd true to form the first hole was indeed too large (it said I needed an 8mm hole..., but that was clearly 2mm too large when I inserted the plug). So out with the spirit level again to remark the wall for 2 new holes at exactly 970mm apart.
I've now also found best4frames on the web, who seem to be quite reasonably priced. But delivery appears to be pricey at £11. (Too used to Amazon's free delivery for orders over £15).