Saturday, July 22

Okay, I was wrong (Dan again). I thought it was a lack of filespace, but that hasn't cured the problem. Seems to be that the ftp publisher at pyra isn't accessible from www-stu.cai.cam.ac.uk (where the other half of Vavatch's split personality is hosted), so since I'm assuming the reverse is true, no wonder the damn thing isn't working. Pyra.com is inaccessible from Freeserve as well so in my opinion, Bad Things Have Happened.


10:56 PM | permalink | discuss

Okay, final test post from Dan (think I've got this sorted out for him now).

10:51 PM | permalink | discuss

Test post from dan (looks like Adrian's having teething troubles with ftp)... hang on...

10:45 PM | permalink | discuss

Hello, Eccles one of Adrian's "Friends" (TM) from the Culture mailing list, standing in while he is on holiday. To get away from all this space stuff, I went to Jongleurs Comedy club last night. Great fun was had by all, well I say all, but I'll tell you this, never sit right at the front wearing a silly coloured shirt, you will regret it! And the disco afterwards was rather reminiscent of a village hall youth club disco with handbags on the floor for the purposes of dancing around. Bit of a cattle market too! Oooh err! Look it was dark, I couldn't see properly...

Now for todays useless fact of the day. My Culturenik friends recently decided that Puce (our favourite colour) is defined in websafe terms as 990066, all thanks to this cube thing. Gosh, what exciting lives we all lead!

5:20 PM | permalink | discuss

This is actually Rich. Until Adrian's back from Prague, I guess you're going to have to put up with drivel contributed by me and the other members of the Culture List.

It seems that even a fairly substantial decrease in the price of launches won't lead to more development of space. The problem is that we've hit a flat part of the graph of demand against cost - essentially because organisations are using other criteria to decide how many launches they need - and so there is little incentive to develop new vehicles. The Space Access Society's latest newsletter has an essay describing the situation in much more detail.

The horde of people only visiting this page for Adrian's infamous essay might like to check out the Society for Future Husbands of Britney Spears, a demonstration that there are people out there sadder than even I had imagined...

11:37 AM | permalink | discuss

Wednesday, July 19

Here's an interesting article - North Korea is offering the world a 'deal' where it will stop its nuclear missile programme in return for access to foreign space technology that would be used for peaceful applications. Now, I'm not naive and I'm under no illusions that this isn't all there is to it, but I'm remarkably surprised that North Korea would want space technology of all things. Maybe they're particularly forward thinking today, perhaps.

Went and rented out Ghostbusters on DVD - not only is the movie still a timeless classic (e.g. "Back off man, I'm a scientist!") but the commentary track is absolutely great; funnier than MST3K, if that were possible. Also rented out Das Boot (very long, but well worth it) and the Iron Giant (possibly the best animated movie I've ever seen). All three DVDs are highly recommended.

So this will be my last post before I go off to Prague - no airplanes for me, only a 34 hour coach journey. Luckily, I've prepared for this very circumstance by bringing along a pack of cards and some poker chips.

I've asked the people from the Culture list I'm subscribed to, to please go and make some posts here. I know you're reading this, you layabouts! I know where you live, and the battlefield trebuchet is being readied! I don't want this weblog to be deserted for posts for a week.

8:54 PM | permalink | discuss

So anyway, usual apologise for lack of updates. Although the Thinkquest thing is coming along magnificently well, I'm very pleased with its progress. All will be revealed soon(ish).

I've probably mentioned before that I'm going to Prague as part of an orchestra tour on Thursday for a week. It should be interesting - there'll definitely be photos posted here. A bit of background - Prague is officially the Land of the Cheap Beer, but I'm reliably told that it's also the Land of the Exploding Beer Cans, which quite obviously isn't a good thing (does cheapness cancel out explosions? An interesting thought experiment beckons here...)

A great quote from Figments of Reality:

"One episode of the TV series Trials of Life involved filming the remarkable behaviour of the tarantula wasp. Mother wasp finds a tarantula, stings it to paralyse it, and drags it back to her hole. Then she lays her eggs in it, so that the newborn larvae have their own reliable food supply. Or so all the textbooks say. The first attempt to film this sequence of events went beautifully - except that, right at the end, the wasp forgot to lay her eggs. The next attempt was going really well until a bird flew by and ate the wasp. On the third attempt the wasp never managed to find the tarantula... and so it went, for a dozen or so more attempts. None of the wasps filmed managed to complete the entire sequence in textbook fashion.

Despite this, the final film looked great: it edited several different wasps together to get exactly the textbook story.

However, one could be forgiven for concluding that real wasps don't read textbooks."

I remember watching that programme on TV. It is true what they say - everything you learn in school is lies, all lies!

1:10 AM | permalink | discuss

Sunday, July 16

I have to apologise for the appalling lack of updates here, but I'm not going to since I've been completely snowed in under work. I'm going off to Prague on Thursday, so I'm going to have to find someone to stand in for that time (any volunteers?), but the point is that from now until Thursday I have a crapload of work to get done, and only five days to do it in.

So anyway, my parents have gone on a cruise and my brother (of Daily Doozer fame) has promptly organised a barbecue and all sorts of entertainments for his cue. After I emerge, blinking, from the study having been on the computer for about three hours I discovered they'd all disappeared off to Liverpool leaving a trail of detritus including beer cans (both full and empty), barbeque food and other goodies. I was about to throw all of it out (well, not really, but you get the idea) when I spotted a huge chocolate fudge cake lying on a table and all was forgiven.

The cannier of you readers might be wondering - exactly what is this work you're doing, eh, Adrian? Eh? Well, my inquisitive friends, it's for the Thinkquest competition I'm entering. I've begun my full-bore work mode now where nothing short of an asteroid strike will stop me from getting ridiculous amounts of work done every day. This Thinkquest site - an educational site about astrobiology - is currently standing at roughly 95 full-length HTML pages and 300 A4 pages worth of PDF goodness. It's like writing a god-damn textbook in two months. Only you have to do two copies of every page and cross-reference the whole thing with the rest of the Internet. Ah well, soon it'll all be other.

12:49 AM | permalink | discuss