Because I forget stuff. Part of

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July 2008

Posts made in July 2008

There’s No Internet In 1913

It seems to take me about a week to manage to write about anything at the moment; anything substantial anyway. Ah well, such is life. So this is about last weekend. Seems so long ago, and just like yesterday.

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Not The Post It Was Going To Be

This was going to be a post about something completely different but I’m still writing that one. In the meantime, like some amazing bonus from Sunday afternoons of yester year when there were TV schedules to fill, here are a couple of cartoons (hat tip Doug Natelson who’s blog I found in my recommended list from Google Reader).

I’m pretty sure this Tom Swanson cartoon could be inserted as the abstract to most surface physics PhD theses (actually, I suspect more science theses but I only have experience in the on area—and it shows a vacuum chamber)

The other comic linked to, Cectic, is pretty funny in general too. Go read it!

Pixie Time!

Woo hoo!! Pixie Time :-)

Is That What’s Missing

Aha! I think I may have worked out what niggles me about Croydon. I was wandering round it a little over a week ago, actually into bits I hadn’t been before, and knew there was something about the whole place that was bugging me, I just couldn’t work it out. I think I’ve realised—No students. At least, no University students. I’m used to living somewhere with universities (Newcastle has my original alma mater and Northumbria; even York had both York and York St John). Croydon, nothing. Replete as London is with Universities they’re all removed from where I live, and I think that’s what’s missing. I’m so used to that student scene and vibe at least being present. Come to that, my favourite other city, Liverpool, is a University place too, so there we go.

Where’s The Fat Controller

If you’ve been paying attention you’ll know I have a short commute into (and back from) work each day. I’ve mentioned the London end station, London Bridge, before. At the other terminal of the journey is Norwood Junction station. It’s a typical commuter station, though as the junction might imply it has a couple more platforms than the your more basic two platform example. It also has two entrances, the main entrance where the ticket office is, and the coffee shop, and most of the self service ticket machines, and the free newspaper thingies. At the other side of all the tracks there’s also a single gate entrance convenient for those, like myself, who arrive at the station from that direction. All well and good.

Recently someone, somewhere, decided to install ticket barriers at Norwood Junction. I’ve no idea why, given it didn’t have them before, but there they appeared one day, boxed off but obviosly ticket barriers. That was a few weeks ago. They’ve been in actualy operation now for about a week or so (oh, how hazy the memory becomes!). Not only do these machines seem slower than the variety familar from London stations and tubes (normally one removes the ticket and the barrier instantly opens—these have a definite, and annoying, pause), but in this greatly thought out design they seem to have forgotten there are two entrances. So while the main entrance has these barriers in the way, the secondary, single gate entrance doesn’t. Obviously they are reluctant to close that entrance, perhaps because they recently repaired the stairs at that side, or because of potential outcry, or because they slight less recently did something to it. That means they have to have people stood there to check tickets. Although the barriers need human supervision when in use (because nothing is 100% reliable), one can’t help but wonder if the reduction in fair jumping is paying for the wages of those spending all day checking tickets…

Voice Over Man

Been meaning to post this for a few days, so at least I’ve finally gotten round to it! During the Euro 2008 Turkey versus Germany semi-final the pictures were lost for some brief times, thanks to a storm. Fine, even in the twenty-first century it sees we can’t overcome a simple storm. What I found more interesting was that after a brief pause the BBC had a voice over apologising, and then during a second interruption blaming the storm. Which got me to thinking—obviously that voice over was live, so do they have a “voice over man” on twenty-four hour call, just in case? I know they have programme links but I’d sort of assumed a fair few of those were recorded (maybe not I suppose, in case things are over running), and there may be things like news flashes (I know I’ve seen at least one news flash, but I can’t recall what for and, more pertinantly, whether it was the news presenter making the announcment), the question remains, what does he do in the meantime?? Does the voice over man sit watching TV all day? Is he forced to watch the BBC? Is it one man per channel, or several men, or just the one? And how does one get such a cushy sounding job?


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This Crazy Fool

Dr Ian Scott
Croydon (and Gateshead), United Kingdom
Bullding Services Engineer (EngDesign), PhD in Physics (University of York), football fanatic (Newcastle United), open source enthusiast (mainly Mozilla)

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