Posts from 10th April 2006

Apr 06

Stage One Glue Making

TMFDPost a comment • 471 views

It was odd watching the Grand National having not put a bet on. It just becomes a very long, exceptionally random horse race – which is of course its appeal to the betting public. What was nice to see was that after all the controversy over “the race that never was”, they still haven’t really improved the start. As far as I can see the only difference now to the way they used to start the race is
a) the tape is high-visibility orange
b) the old giffers holding the tape wear gloves
Hence, yet another false start.

Also nice to see that my sure-fire for picking a winner came up trumps again. If you get the form guide in advance and consider the going, the age of the horse and the reputation of the jockey. Then ignore it and bet on all the jockeys whose silks are predominantly green. Let’s see if the bookies remember that next year.

Electric teaching

Proven By SciencePost a comment • 238 views

There is a bit of a hegemony in science of usefulness. Even those comic asides of improbable research as championed by the Ignoble Prize are only a sliver away from actually being useful. Which is why Sky One’s Brainiac is in theory a very good program. Let us apply scientific method to less pressing questions.

Unfortunately in the five minute segment I saw recently the pursuit of the trivial was let down by poor reasoning.
Question: Is it possible to be a successful teacher whilst being subjected to random electric shocks.
Answer: It does, at first glance, seem to impair the ability to write on the board, or have long thought out conversations with your students, leading to fits of giggles when they realise what pain you are in. However on second thought one also needs to consider the effect of the random spasms on the children. Watching intently for your next fit, they will almost certainly be paying more attention to you than if they had just been hiding at the back of the class laying low. To get the maximum comic effect from you being unable to complete a sentence on the board, they need to know what the sentence was going to be. Hence – learning.

Not only was Brainiac’s scientific method flawed (where was the control teacher NOT getting electrocuted) there was no in depth analysis of the results. Instead one thinks that the actual question was: “Is electrocuting a teacher with a somewhat juvenile voiceover funny.” And the answer to that may not be what the originally thought either.

Thing that happened years ago officially announced

Do You SeePost a comment • 294 views

Sean Connery to quit acting. A churlish wag might ask when he started. A realist would say that this actually happened around The Untouchables.

Expect similar announcement from Roger Moore any minute. Churlish wag = realist in that case.

can i just belatedly say FIREFLY OMG?

Do You SeePost a comment • 257 views

yes yes very late am i BUT i just on fri bought the DVD of the only series ever broadcast of j.whedon’s um SPACE WESTERN and watched and wtf LARFED NON-STOP — as of today it is the grebtest thing evah

“my ability to take you seriously is reaching a middle”

i will say more when less busy (maybe) — prob i also need to see serenity

Caining it

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 983 views

Am at a conference at the moment for the services side of students’ unions. Whilst we are constantly being told that the student profile is changing and new opportunities must be sought, the conference still centres heavily on alcohol and drinking. The culture here isn’t changing, and in some ways it feels like a hermetically sealed bubble of student officers who are the last bastion of old students.

Which was why it was doubly amusing to see the opening keynote speaker to be from a small independent brewery. The management advice peddled by the Dusanj brothers who bought Liverpool’s Cains Brewery five years ago was good. Find out what you do well, and push that. In their case (and this certainly has resonance with universities) think of your local connections – and improve your product. The irony being however that however good his beers are, by virtue of being a small brewery he won’t be able to sell them in an NUSSL affialted students’ union. Bulk buying and bulk profits are king.

I’ll sniff around Liverpool to find a Cains pub. The material given suggests a kind of Sam Smith’s style operation for their tied pubs – and they certainly talk the talk when it comes to brewing. But for all the branding and market research in the world does not make a good beer.

(For the record, I run one of the very few Students’ Unions where you can even buy real ale, despite its current resurgance in sales.)

Lose Pounds Eating Steak & Foie Gras

Pumpkin PublogPost a comment • 1,276 views

Ha ha ha, the BBC. Not quite sure where Mr. Venters got the idea that a sandwich with about 3 layers of fat is ‘healthy’. Also, it’s spelled ROCKET.