Sunday, 23 September 2012

4 weeks, 3 conferences, 2 iPhones, 1 wasp sting...

Am just back from my third conference/workshop in four weeks. Two of the conferences were somewhere faintly exotic (Tübingen in Germany, and Riva del Garda in Italy), but one of them was just up the road (Newcastle). My recollection of the past 4 weeks is of a blur of talks, posters, food, beer, coffee, trains, planes, taxis, anonymous hotel rooms, and ideas aplenty. It doesn't get much better than that.

I'm still suffering the itchy consequences of a wasp that climbed up my trouser leg (that's "pant leg" for native speakers of the US vernacular... but if I were to say that the wasp got into my pants, my UK acquaintances would wince...). Somehow, it managed to get up there, crawl to my knee, and sting me (at which point, a deft slap from me caused it to promptly meet its maker). More impressive was the way, when I subsequently shook my leg, the wasp fell out (engendering looks of amazement and sympathy from the onlookers in my immediate vicinity). I hate to think how much further up my leg it might have travelled. Over the course of the day, my knee swelled up horribly, to the size of... a fairly normal looking knee. It really wasn't that impressive given the pain. I guess this was the wasp-sting equivalent of 'man-flu'.

My iPhone 5 continues to delight me. But not as much as this iPhone. And for a while I did have two iPhones, till I disappointed my kids (they had high hopes they'd be the beneficiary of my old one) and put one of them in an envelope and sent it in for recycling (and a cash payment). £145 from

Friday, 21 September 2012

iPhone 5 - first impressions

  • 20% lighter
  • 18% thinner
  • 100% mine
  • 0% yours. 

No, you can't borrow it.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

should I, or shouldn't I?

As I ponder the impending weekend, and wonder what to contribute to the blogosphere (do we really need more blogogarbage?), I realise there are too many candidate topics to devote space to (or not):

  • should I comment on the Hauser affair, or not? [the Office of Research Integrity finally published their findings]. There's not much more to say, really. It's all there, in that report.
  • should I be impressed by the new iPhone 5, or not? What impresses me more is how much of the phone's hardware was 'leaked' ahead of time. This said, I am impressed by the one feature that no one had anticipated - it's 20% lighter than its predecessor. And I find it a personal tragedy that whereas the iPhone can lose weight, I cannot.
  • should I buy yet another (this time, cheap) watch, or is that incompatible with contributing to Apple's cash hoard when I succumb to my better instincts and buy the iPhone 5? (answer: yes, totally incompatible, especially seeing as 20% lighter doesn't translate into 20% cheaper).
  • should I think about moving to Riva del Garda, my new favoritest destination in Italy? One can dream...
  • should I work harder to get someone who is exceedingly rich to give me a whole pile of money to start up my own research institute? Probably, it'd be a help if I actually knew anyone who was exceedingly rich (or, alternatively, if anyone exceedingly rich knew me. I'm not fussy, it could work either way). When I advertised for an iOS developer on these very pages, it worked. So maybe I should advertise for a super-rich philanthropist who would like to name an Institute after themselves (message to Matt: nothing ventured, nothing gained! message to rich philanthropist: It worked for Trump, Eiffel, and Gherkin; this could work for you too).