Sunday, September 30, 2007

Dino Farts

thanks to my father in law for this one!

Terry Pratchett

I must admit to being bemused by the draw of Pratchett's novels.

I have tried at various times to dip in to his body of work, but have never understood the almost god like reverence that he is held in some quarters (apart from nicking a beachcomber name, Churm Rincewind, one of the seven red bearded dwarves, for one of his main chatracters).

Perhaps it's me, but as my pupils often say "I just don't get it".

Still, in case I have a sudden epiphany, I shall publish a guide to his works here.

Hat tip Boing Boing

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Ch Ch Changes?

A story from the beeb caught my eye today:-

"But when Gordon Brown became prime minister he changed the education department to become the Department for Children, Schools and Families, to put a greater focus on children.

Mr Balls then announced a 10-year plan, saying it would set out the long-term goals for the new department.

The Time to Talk consultation will end on 19 October and the Children's Plan is expected to be published in December."

Is this new labour spin, or substance? time will tell.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Dylan & you tube

I came downstairs this morning to find Dylan, my six year old, had loaded mozilla, found you tube & searched for Lego Star Wars. He was happily watching episode one. As I came in, he said "Dad, look, I can put it onto full screen mode"!

The son of an ICT teacher by any chance? I very much doubt that he will have too much problems with the future computer enhanced life destined for us all.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Englnd - lnd of Wllm Shkspr

From the Beeb, a list of suggestions for a motto for good ole Britannia

Made me chuckle.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Ginger Haka

God those guy's are scary!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Hakka Vs Tongan Wardance

how to front up to the Haka - do your own


Kapa o Pango kia whakawhenua au i ahau!
All Blacks, let me become one with the land
Hī aue, hī!
do one
Ko Aotearoa e ngunguru nei!
This is our land that rumbles
Au, au, aue hā!
It’s my time! It’s my moment!
Ko Kapa o Pango e ngunguru nei!
This defines us as the All Blacks
Au, au, aue hā!
It’s my time! It’s my moment!
I āhahā!

Ka tū te ihiihi
Our dominance
Ka tū te wanawana
Our supremacy will triumph
Ki runga ki te rangi e tū iho nei, tū iho nei, hī!
And be placed on high
Ponga rā!
Silver fern!
Kapa o Pango, aue hī!
All Blacks!
Ponga rā!
Silver fern!
Kapa o Pango, aue hī, hā!
All Blacks!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Satisfaction (live on SNL '78)

Do you remember Devo?
I still have a single :$

Sunday, September 23, 2007

The future of document management?

think of the potential of this from Google

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Masala - Od Tarnobrzegu po Bangladesz

Polish Ragga-Bangra anyone?

Friday, September 21, 2007

Gareth Thomas

If you search for Gareth Thomas & Gay on Google, you get the following intriguing message:-

Gareth Thomas faces wait on World Cup fitness - North Wales News ...

WALES captain Gareth Thomas will have a painful wait before discovering whether ... A YOUNG dad who left his wife and three children to move in with his gay ... - 40k -

click on the link, however, and there is no mention of this rumour.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Wales unveil new strip just in time for the Japan match

What can I say?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Happy Talk Like A Pirate Day!

From Wiki

International Talk Like a Pirate Day (ITLAPD) is a parodic holiday invented in 1995 by John Baur ("Ol' Chumbucket") and Mark Summers ("Cap'n Slappy"), of the United States, who proclaimed September 19 each year as the day when everyone in the world should talk like a pirate.[1] For example, an observer of this holiday would greet friends not with "Hello," but with "Ahoy, me hearty!" The date was selected because it was the birthday of Summers' ex-wife and consequently would be easy for him to remember.[1]

and the UK site

Well shiver me timbers!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The web never ceases to amaze (part 1)

Just when I was getting used to Wikipedia, I discover Wookiepedia, the ultimate compendium of all the Star Wars nonsense you could imagine. Take a look Here

Monday, September 17, 2007

Everything you ever wanted to know about the Welsh Rugby Team

And somethings you didn't

Check out:-

Welsh National Rugby Team

From Wiki.

Includes such gems as:-

Rated 8th in the world for most of the rankings history
Had Two "Golden ages"
Beat the All Blacks 3 times
Initially played at St. Helens ground in Swansea
Invented the four three-quarters formation (teams used to have 9 forwards?!?)
Neil Jenkins was the first rugby player to surpass 1000 Test points, and holds the Welsh record with 1049. Jenkins also holds the world record for most penalties with 248

Sunday, September 16, 2007

All in the name of romance

From the beeb :-

Couple get engaged, then dial 999
Mumbles inshore lifeboat (library)
The Mumbles lifeboat crew rescued the couple
A couple feared their romance was on the rocks - just moments after becoming engaged in a seaside proposal.

Soldier Shaun Mancinelli, based at Chippenham, Wiltshire, popped the question to his girlfriend Llian, 18, at Mumbles Outer Island near Swansea.

But they did not realise the tide had come in, cutting them off.

Instead of calling friends and family to share their good news, the bride-to-be found herself phoning 999 for the coastguard and a lifeboat.

Llian Randall, a secretary, had shared a celebratory drink with boyfriend Shaun, a private with the 9th Supply Regiment, the Royal Logistics Corps, who is due start a six month tour of duty in Afghanistan next week.

We're just hoping everything goes okay with the wedding - I'll probably have to be rescued by a helicopter for that
Bride-to-be Llian Randall

Ms Randall said: "We had walked across rocks to get to a lighthouse on the island, and he got down on one knee to propose.

"It wasn't a shock because I'd chosen the ring but, of course, I said yes, and we shared a bottle of wine.

"It got to about 6pm, which is when Shaun had said the tide would be coming in. We thought we'd better go, but then we saw the path we'd walked over was completely covered with water."

"Shaun said: 'Clothes off, we're going to swim it', but I replied: 'No, we're not!'. It was about 60 metres and I can't swim very well.

"I had to call 999 and the coastguards arrived about 15 minutes later in the lifeboat."

Ms Randall, who has been with Pte Mancinelli, 29, from Glasgow for 18 months said she was worried first of all how they would get across.

"By the time the coastguards came I just thought it was funny.

'So romantic'

"We were both fine, and we went out for an Italian meal in Cardiff afterwards to celebrate our engagement."

Ms Randall, whose family are from Gorseinon, Swansea, said she is hoping the wedding will pass with less drama than the engagement.

She said: "I was a little bit shaken by what had happened, but it did help that we had drunk the wine. It's good to have an interesting engagement story, and we still had a great day.

"We're just hoping everything goes okay with the wedding - I'll probably have to be rescued by a helicopter for that!"

Helen Hutson, Swansea Coastguard's watch manager, said: "They phoned 999, which was absolutely the right thing to do.

"What was lovely was that the Red Arrows were doing a display as part of the Welsh Festival of the Air taking place in Swansea Bay this weekend.

"By complete coincidence, they did a big love heart with an arrow through it right over the bay while the couple were stuck on the island.

"They would have had a fantastic view. It would have been so romantic.

"If he has brains, he'll have told her he organised the whole thing."

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Potter Puppet Pals in "What's that ticking noise?"

just for the Matthews's of Bradford-On-Avon, in case they haven't seen it yet

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The road to France

Lifted from the RWC 2007 website, an interesting story of how long it takes to get to the World cup for 12 of the nations involved. The other 8 places are filled by the automatic qualifiers, those who reached the quarter finals of the last tournament. read all about the road here.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Even Google's rugger nuts!

The Greatest Try of All Time


life as a student in swansea?

Friday, September 07, 2007

Monty Python - International Philosophy

this is why you tube is brilliant! I'd never seen this and never would have

Star Trek Meets Monty Python


The Evolution of Homer

Thursday, September 06, 2007

ALB Shout

400 posts today! more than a border fence in Texas...........

Had a shout on the ALB Tuesday - speedboat high and dry on Crab Island - crew Martin Double, Steve Ace, Dai Matthews, Chris Jeffries, Young Herbie Evans & Colin Jenkins son.

School Going really well. fabulous feeling working with a smile.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Blowing my own

Results just in from last year's chemistry teaching:-

a-c grade passes - class one - 100%

a-c grade passes - class two - 100%

a-c grade passes - class three - 47% (foundation kids - vocationally strong)

so I'm pleased as punch


Monday, September 03, 2007

We went out to buy a house, & came back with a car...

We took the Espace to Gravells of Kidwelly today, to find out why we had a water leak, and why the grearbox was "knobbly". We came back with this car

Renault Espace - 2.2 dCi Expression 5dr

Body:Estate 5 doors
Trans:6 speed Manual
Mileage:49,900 miles
Colour:Amazon Green

Options and features

  • Air conditioning
  • Sunroof
  • Driver/Front Passenger airbags
  • Front and rear curtain airbags
  • Front lateral airbags
  • Anti-lock braking system (ABS)
  • Insurance approved (Category 1) alarm system
  • Insurance Approved Immobiliser
  • Electric front windows
  • Electric rear windows
  • Front fog lamps
  • Heated electric door mirrors
  • Power assisted steering
  • Height adjustable steering wheel
  • Trip computer
  • Body colour door handles
  • Body coloured door mirrors
  • Electronic Stability Programme
  • Emergency brake assist
  • Keyless car with Renault card
  • Leather gear knob
  • Leather steering wheel
  • R.A.I.D. (Renault Anti-Intrusion Device)
well pleased :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The playboy of the western world

Thanks again to the excellent Wikipedia, for refreshing my memory of a coincidence of TV scheduling from the days of three channels. One night, whilst bored many years ago, I managed to catch a dramatisation of The playboy of the western world by Irish playwright J. M. Synge. (the subject of todays featured wiki). Then, some years later, I was watching another play, which caught my attention after it had been screening for some minutes. I thought I recoginsed the plot, but was bemused to see it set in the West Indies. This turned out to be The Playboy of the West Indies by Trinidadian playwright Mustapha Matura, a Caribbean version of Synge's The Playboy of the Western World. Spooky, eh?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Pushing water uphill

Goodness knows how, but Kimmy just stumbled on a web page from 2003, which describes how James Dyson is so clever, he can make water flow uphill!

From the Beeb:-

James Dyson's uphill water feature has been the striking image of this year's Chelsea Flower Show. But how did he do it?

It certainly beats your common or garden water feature.

Inventor James Dyson, he of the bagless vacuum cleaner, has stolen the headlines from the gardeners at this year's Chelsea Flower Show with his "Wrong Garden".

A set of four glass ramps positioned in a square clearly show water travelling up each of them before it pours off the top, only to start again at the bottom of the next ramp.

It is a sight which defies logic, and has become probably the most memorable image of this year's show.

Mr Dyson says his inspiration was a drawing by the Dutch artist MC Escher (he of Gothic palaces where soldiers are eternally walking upstairs, and of patterns where birds turn into fish).

"One of these is an optical illusion that shows water going uphill and round and round the four sides of a square perpetually," he says [see Internet Links]. "I wanted to create a series of cascades that are all on the same level - an everlasting waterfall."


After much head scratching and experimentation, the effect has been achieved. Derek Phillips, the Dyson engineer who spent 12 months building the feature, told BBC News Online that his head was spinning when he was given his brief.

"James came up to me and said he wanted this idea to make water go uphill. My initial reaction was to look for Paul Daniels' phone number. But I've had to become a bit of an illusionist myself."

How is the illusion achieved?

Covering the ramp is a glass surface. Water is pumped in at the bottom, and comes out of the opening at the top. At the opening, some of the water is diverted back down the ramp, covering the glass in a thin layer of water.

Compressed air is also pumped in where the water enters - bubbles then travel up the ramp to the opening. These bubbles, combined with the thin layer of water going downhill, are what create the illusion that the surface of the ramp is not just a glass lid.

I stand a discreet distance away and listen to some of their theories - there are some fantastic ideas there
Derek Phillips, Dyson engineer
It is a trick which has greatly intrigued the crowds at the Chelsea Flower Show, where Dyson's work is part of the Daily Telegraph's Silver Gilt award-winning garden. People have been queuing up 10-deep to see the fountain, says Mr Phillips, many of them discussing their various ideas as to how it works.

"I stand a discreet distance away and listen to some of their theories - there are some fantastic ideas there, some of them I actually wish I could make.

"One person was saying that they thought the water was actually travelling the other way - they were wondering how I was managing to get a water jet to shoot up to the top of the glass."

Wrong garden
No sooner has it got to the top than it starts again up the ramp
So could the uphill feature become a common sight around the country, either in people's gardens or as features in public squares?

"We could certainly make mini versions of it - or even larger versions," says Mr Phillips. "I've had a few architects coming up to me asking me about it. But I'm not telling exactly how I achieve the effect."

Before someone tries to market their own uphill water feature, they had better be warned. James Dyson - no stranger to court battles over patents - has presumably taken care of the necessary legal business.