Open mouth, speak, then think.

With the winter weather hitting the UK, the BBC highlighted the introduction of the UK rail systems winter timetable, and the immense complexity behind organising a system with 25,000 services each day.

Some comments on the article focus on various members of the public "bright ideas" about how delays can be magically solved, failing to even consider that highly qualified and experienced engineers examine these issues as their professional mandate.


...Because snow ploughs don't work quite so well at 140mph as they did at 40mph?


...Because most UK carriages are part of EMU/DMU sets which are designed from the ground up to operate without a loco, and the modifications necessary to get their systems (particularly hotel services) working with a steam-loco would be VERY awkward, complicated and expensive? You know the amount of clever hacks and upgrades that would be needed to get a Sinclair ZX81 to hook up to Bluetooth? Well, hooking up a modern Alsthom EMU to a steam loco is pretty much like that. Kind fun as a pet project, but not something that is viable for everyday usage for millions of people relying on tens of thousands of precision engineered machines.

WikiLeaks Mirrors

Due to embarassing leaks regarding US diplomatic cables very well founded allegations regarding a possible rape at a drunken party that absolutely necessitate a global manhunt and embargo of all financial and data services used by Assange anyywhere in the world, WikiLeaks had its server provision and DNS services pulled. It is currently re-established at, but is suffered sustained DoS attacks and the provider is under pressure from the US State Department European police forces.

As such, WikiLeaks has been widely mirrored to ensure that the information remains public even if the main WikiLeaks site is completely destroyed. A list of the mirrors is at the main site and can be found at, but in case that is lost, below is a list of mirrors, accurate as of 12th December, 2010: ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6 ipv6

Lingua Franca

And on that note. I adore and serve the gods, but, if we accept the premise that in Egyptian culture writing is of divine origin, then I feel comeplled to ask... why please... WHY make it so hard?!

And can please explain how exactly passive and active participles are different in practice, in Egyptian?

It makes my head hurt :(
  • Current Mood
    tired tired

PS Ryde

The historical vessel PS Ryde is about to be demolished by BDO administered Island Harbour. This vessel served in the Normandy Landings, and is an important part of the heritage of the Isle of Wight. The ship can be restored as part of our heritage. HELP THIS HAPPEN.

Sign petition to the government

Also see: PS Ryde Trust


My Part of Town

I love London, but I hate my part of town. My particular bit is run down and not very appealing, but is made all the worse by the overwhelming proportion of hard right evangelical Christians of the "God Wants You To Be Rich" flavour.

I've got just about enough Britishness in me to have two stereotypical British traits. Firstly, I honour HM Elizabeth II. Secondly, I don't like public services being tinged with religion.

Being made to feel "ungodly" in front of a professional working (albeit indirectly) for the government who has been charged with ensuring my medical wellbeing. The United Kingdom is not officially a secular country, but our culture is decidedly secular, and for good reason.

We spent a century letting slaughter and persecution run rampant across these islands whilst we fought over religion. At the end of it, our country was so screwed up by it, we wound up inviting in a foreign monarch. And what did we learn? Eventually, centuries later, the one good quote to ever come from Campbell, referring to the parliamentary government of "Wannabe President" Blair. "WE DON'T DO GOD". And neither should it's workers, be they directly employed MP's, or those indirectly working for it, such as GPs.

So, will the NHS finally stop hiring medical professionals who are only too willing to let the words of their "charismatic pastors" get regurgitated over their patients whose gender role and identity was left out of a particular secondary translation of a theological text that is of no interest to the patient, and does very little to address the real issue of the pain in my foot. I'm not here to be "cured" of "un-natural behaviour", which I find both insulting and VERY intimidating. I'm here so to get my foot treated, not get bullied into playing football and going our drinkin' at the pub with REAL MEN (grrrr!) our puttin' on me BLING and gettin' wasted wiv the gurls (screechy screechy laughy laughy).

If I let my religious beliefs rule my work the same way some guys round here do, I'd have "EPIC FAIL" written in big red letters across every paper that I ever created. And I think that'd be fair comment. A shame, then, that the same standards aren't applied to areas of work where religious sentiments could potentially be far, far more dangerous... "THE LAWDH TOLD ME TO CURE YOUR GIRLYBOYNESS...I AM AN INSTRUMENT OF THE LAWDH" hmmmmmm.

PS: Not a rant against Christians. The many millions of them who hold to that religions highest and most admirable ethics have my genuine respect, as someone who seeks to embody the most admirable traits of their own faith. And we all have our lunatics too.


To all my friends, I'm sorry I've been very bad with keeping in touch. Several things have all been happening at once. First, I've had to swap modules on my course, meaning I'm doing an insanely quick forced-march Ancient Near Eastern & Aegean history module... for which I have next to zero background knowledge, nor any books in my library to refer too. The entirety of my ANE&A collection consists of 1 book on Mesopotamian politics, and copies of Odyssey, Iliad and Herodotus' Histories, and I'm pretty sure the last three don't count. As such, I've been playing catch up. The good news is I can talk about Sumerian economics and trade, and sound like I actually know what the hell I'm on about. Oh, and bitumen was used to fix temple inlays in southern Mesopotamia.

Also, it turns out that during my laptop being stolen, my photos of Egypt were not on USB as I'd hoped, so I need to dig up the old back up partition of my desktop at some point, which is a long winded job.

And I've been volunteering on archaeological sample processing at uni, from a Roman dig that was going on earlier in the year. So all interesting, but none of it leaves much time, especially as the last few weeks I've been agonising of essays that seem to going nowhere. I've got to hand one in by the end of the month and I just can't get a feel for the subject. It's over the word limit and I don't think it's making any decent arguments at all. I've written 8 pages of total fucking waffle....

Also I've been trying to think of where to go with my Encyclopaedia Aegyptiaca project. I'm happy to work on it myself to get it off the ground, but once it's started I'd like involvement from the EG-Recon / Revival community on it (or even plain old Egyptological input, since it's mean to be academically rooted anyway). If it comes, great. If not... I don't know.

Can't settle right now, seem to be running but not moving, yet at the same time have no time.

Glorious Victory....


Yes! All this work and putting up with the chavity of the east end has not been in vain! I have been afraid that I am not as good at my subject as I something feel I am, and that people just overestimated what I could do. I am lost for words... This is the best confirmation of my work I could have asked for! This is fantastic!

I am so.... happy :-)

I can do it!

  • Current Mood
    ecstatic ecstatic


I hate UCAS, I hate UCAS so very, very much.... I hate the retarded online only application system.... I hate the 30 minute timeout... I hate the insane 15th October deadline for applying for a place next frakkin year... I hate utterly retarded idea of having a UCAS-like system in the first place. Is it so utterly impossible for a uni to sort out it's own admissions system? Do other countries do this, or is it just a British thing?

I'd hate UCAS and it's online only admissions thingy had my laptop (2nd one this year) NOT been stolen by some chav whilst I was having a drink. Really, in the dear old "East End" one expects such things, but this was in a "respectable" part of town. So bye bye to my admittedly not very nice MSI Wind, and hello to a spanking sparkly 2nd hand ex-college IBM. I like the IBM. I like it very much. X series (not the X200 mentioned below, sadly!) which means is as light and portable as a netbook, only marginally bigger, but with a 12" 1024x768 display, and metal construction. Rock solid... Which would be fine, if it wasn't for the it's decided lack of work on it.

After my first laptop was stolen, I backed up everything onto a USB stick... which was in the bag sitting right by my chair when it was stolen....oh....

And to apply to Oxbridge, I need to submit samples of said work....Oh....


My current fine institution has copies of said work, which I have FINALLY, after weeks of delay managed to obtain. Correcting OCR programs has never been so.... time consuming?

Such is life... And now said fine institution has also cancelled all but 4 classes this year, 2 of which I have already taken...

"Can I do the other as an intercollegiate module from [another fine institution]?"

"uhhhhhh.... dunno... we'll fine out... don't think so..."

"Yeah well, no rush or anything. Class only starts next week" (this was three weeks ago)

Still no answer... So if this class can be fixed, I'm probabaly going to get lower grades, having not had a copy of the reading list and being at least one class behind right from the word go. AND THAT IS THE UNIS FAULT, NOT MINE, BUT IT WILL BE ME WHO IS PENALISED FOR IT, BY THE UNI!


Random thought - I wish my name was spelt conventionally... It'd make phone conversations with beureaucrats so much easier... I also wish that neutral titles were available to people who don't have Phd's or priestly jobs... "Is that Mr, Mrs or Ms?".... Oh....shit.... It should be like Canadian elections... "None of the above"