Monthly Archives: December 2006

Maybe that’s where the energy goes

I just mentioned my lack of exercise this year. I have a theory. It’s all the extra typing that’s making me too tired to get on the bike!

The figures speak for themselves:

2003: 2 posts[1]
2004: 515 posts[2]
2005: 576 posts
2006: 620 posts

Interestingly[3], 2006 saw the two lowest posting months since I started this blogging malarkey[4] and the two highest posting months so far[7].

At least one person[10] claims to read all of this stuff. I’ll try to take up less more of your time in 2007. :wave:

[1] Well, not really, I just backdated a few when I started the site in 2004
[2] Started in February, so not a complete year
[3] For an arbitrarily “un” value of “interesting” :tongue:
[4] February: 19[5], June 22[6]
[5] I was on a few courses that month
[6] Errr, couldn’t be bothered, or something
[7] August: 77[8], December 70[9]
[8] Blame the camera :smile:
[9] Random babble, mostly
[10] Hi Sam!

As the year ends

It’s time for one of those increasingly rare weight and fitness reports. I tend not to report when there isn’t anything to report, or at least nothing good to report, which accounts for the pause…

The whole exercise thingy seems to have gone horribly wrong this year. I’m really don’t know why, but I’ve been finding it incredibly hard to motivate myself to do even small amounts of exercise – even to the extent of getting the bus to and from work. I don’t know why this is the case[1], but it’s definitely a problem.

Not only that, but I’ve been lapsing on the “sensible eating” thing, too. Not as badly as on the exercise thing[2], but combined with the lack of exercise, it’s another problem.

Allowing for daily fluctuations, my weight is now around twelve pounds higher than it was a year ago, which is not good at all.

Well, tomorrow is the start of a new week and a new year. Let’s see if I can try to make a new start. Again. Reports will follow…

[1] Comments about old age will be filed appropriately :tongue:
[2] I haven’t reverted to frying anything, for instance

I can see the attraction

This is fun. A demonstration of a bracelet made up from lots of small, but powerful magnets. Perfect for people who like to fiddle with things…

Available from Dynomighty Design, who assure concerned potential customers that their toys will not wipe hard drives.

And yes, you are allowed to groan about the title of this post. :cheesy:

The New Year is cancelled

Well, not the actual year itself. That’s going to turn up tomorrow whether we like it or not, but the weather has disrupted plans to mark its arrival. Lots of rain and high winds have caused the cancellation of events in many cities, including Newcastle. The plan was for a fancy outdoor light show at Newcastle Civic Centre, with fireworks to follow.

I’d already decided that I wasn’t going to bother, and one look at the weather confirmed that this was a good move. And it seems that the weather is bad enough to make the organisers call the whole thing off.

Someone send the Guardian a map

Yesterday, I mentioned that NewcastleGateshead had been voted the best place in the UK for the arts.[1]

Today’s Guardian ran the story. This would have been a Good Thing, if it wasn’t the fact that the headline read

Welcome to Newcastle, the UK’s capital of the arts

And throughout the article, reference was made to “Newcastle upon Tyne”. They did notice that the Baltic is in Gateshead, but seemed to be under the impression that Gateshead is in Newcastle, rather than separated from it by that bit of water known as the Tyne. They also failed to get the full name of the Gateshead Millennium Bridge, which suggests that they’ve never been to see it, given that it’s painted in large friendly letters at both ends.

I’d probably have let all this southern[2] cluelessness go if the writer hadn’t shot himself in the foot with his opening sentence

To the wholly uninformed, Newcastle upon Tyne remains a city best known for brown ale and fanatical football fans.

To the really uninformed, Newcastle upon Tyne extends across the Tyne.

I’ve emailed the Guardian letters page…

[1] According to a survey, etc…
[2] The Guardian originated in Manchester, which is almost northern :tongue: , but it’s become as London-centric as the rest of the national press.

Robin Hood – A Clue: No

And so we reach the end of the series. Before I go into the details, I have to digress to reveal one previously concealed piece of information: Little John is a disguised Klingon. I suppose I should have realised sooner. All the hints were there: the size, the superhuman strength and the tendency to grunt rather than engage in conversation. But in tonight’s episode he revealed his true identity by uttering the words

…a good day to die

But enough of that, and on with the show. Last week, we were left in a seemingly inescapable situation. Allan and Will had disappeared, Marian was dead, Robin seemed to be too upset to do anything, and the Sheriff and Guy were getting close…

Leaving Robin in the cave, Much and John go out to confront the Bad Guys[1]. Just as they’re about to be killed by the Sheriff’s soldiers, Robin comes storming out of the cave and forgets his principle of not killing anyone. Arrows everywhere. Soldiers dying. As you might expect, Allan and Will turn up just in time to turn the fight, and the Sheriff, Guy and the surviving soldiers flee. All very good, and very traditional.

Everyone goes into the cave to pay their last respects to Marian. But what’s this? Could she be breathing? Well, yes. Obviously, the writers are borrowing other ideas from Star Trek[2]. It seems the dodgy doctor[3] had dosed her with hemlock, obviously intending to kill her, but she was strong enough, etc, etc. This was either an outrageous cop-out, or a masterful piece of misdirection. I haven’t quite decided which at this point, but overall I’m inclined to let them get away with it.

Back at Nottingham, the Sheriff belatedly reveals to Guy that the King isn’t really coming to Nottingham after all. An imposter is coming, arranged by the Sheriff. As none of the local nobles have ever seen King Richard, he will use his fake King to flush out people who oppose him[4]. Guy has a pang of conscience – Marian has agreed to marry him as the King is returning, and he’s worried about deceiving her.

And so it goes. Marian’s father Edward, believing that the Sheriff will try to kill the King, asks Robin to help him and the other nobles protect Richard. Robin refuses. All he cares about is stopping Marian from marrying Guy.

I’m sick of doing the right thing

Yes, even though Marian isn’t dead after all, Robin is still managing to lose the plot completely. He even manages to provoke the ever-faithful Much into giving him an overdue smack before walking away from him.

Marian asks Guy if Robin’s claim that he tried to kill King Richard is true. She appears to believe his denial, and when she tells Robin that she will go ahead with the wedding, Robin goes off in a huff.

Realising that Robin isn’t going to do anything useful, the rest of the gang go to help Edward and the other nobles. As they approach the castle, Much runs off to find Robin, which is just as well, as he sees the “King” and his guard approaching. Having fought with the real Richard, he immediately realises that something fishy is going on, and runs to stop the wedding.

And so he does. With a bit of bell-ringing and shouting, he gets the message across that the King isn’t really in Nottingham. Marian is a bit annoyed about this, and gets even more annoyed when Guy tells her of the Sheriff’s plot. When he tells her that her father will be protected so long as she marries him, she appears to acquiesce. Well, she lets him put the ring on her finger, only to switch it to her right hand, for the best result when she thumps him. Running out of the church, she is met by Robin, who has of course arrived at just the right moment.

And so they go to Nottingham to sort out the Sheriff. More comedy archery is employed, leaving the Sheriff hanging upside down[5], the guards dumbfounded and the Good Guys free to fight another day.

The only difference is that now, finally, Marian and Robin have managed to tell each other what everyone else knew: that they love each other.

So there it is. The series had a few dips, but overall it was good undemanding Saturday evening entertainment. The next series is in production, and will probably be shown in the Autumn of 2007[6]. Of course, they’ll have had to replace all the scenery that Keith Allen chewed, but I’m sure they can manage that.

And it should give Will Scarlett enough time to either grow a beard or decide against it…

[1] Only one of whom is actually called Guy
[2] You know, someone dies, then they come back…
[3] Guy had him killed to make sure he couldn’t give evidence, of course…
[4] Nearly everybody, probably…
[5] Not for the first time. You might almost think he like that kind of thing
[6] Which is closer than you think[7]
[7] Unless you think it’s next week, in which case it isn’t

Indiana Jones and the Pension Plan of Doom

After years of muttering, speculation and vague suggestions, George Lucas has confirmed that the long-awaited fourth Indiana Jones movie will go into production next year. Harrison Ford will be putting on the hat and digging where no-one has dug before for what will surely be the last time, given that he’s about 64, and it takes George Lucas and Steven Spielberg around a decade to agree on anything…

It’s suggested that Sean Connery will return as Indiana’s father, which would be fun.

More from BBC News

Doctor Who – Series 3 Preview

Oh, the wonders of YouTube! Provided the BBC don’t attack with hordes of lawyers, you’ll be able to see the preview that ran at the end of The Runaway Bride from now until April. The person who uploaded it included the closing credits, so you can enjoy the glorious orchestral version of the theme tune, too.

Yup, video blocked on copyright grounds, mutter

Lots of fun to come, then. :bouncy: :yes: :cheesy: :grin:

You want culture? We’ve got it!

According to a proper bit of academic research, which looked at “accessibility of the arts and the involvement of each city’s population”, the best place in the UK to be for culture is the curious hybrid increasingly known as NewcastleGateshead.[1]

Sounds about right to me. Details from BBC News.

[1] That long thing at the bottom of the keyboard is called the spacebar, guys…

Just alerting you

This should probably have been the first post on Losing it[1], but since I only just found it, I’ll have to add it now.

Random clickage via Bad Astronomy led me to xkcd – A webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math, and language, which contains much that is odd, quirky, funny and generally interesting. The artist is publishing it under a Creative Commons licence, which is why I’m including the cartoon rather than just a link.



Even if you don’t like the cartoons, you might find the legal disclaimer thingy amusing:

Warning: this comic occasionally contains strong language (which may be unsuitable for children), unusual humor (which may be unsuitable for adults), and advanced mathematics (which may be unsuitable for liberal-arts majors).