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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 08:43am on 25/09/2025
As I go into full scale teaching, this blog will become default friends-locked.

This post will remain open to all. If you want to be added to the flist, please introduce yourself here and I'll see what I can do.

ETA: Comments to this entry screened
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:00pm on 25/07/2017
Time in: 48 mins (34 cycling). Time back: 48:30 mins (36 cycling). 722 calories.

Still not up to full stamina yet, but I was pleased that a week of drinking beer in Bavaria hadn't set me back.

The junction heading north into Hyde Park from Exhibition Road continues to be a mystery. It is completely unclear to me how it is meant to work for cyclists. Are we meant to cut across traffic to reach the cycle lane, or gum up the pedestrian crossing, awaiting the crossing to go green so we can cross halted traffic and reach the cycle lane?
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 12:09pm on 18/07/2017
I'm currently at a conference at the European Southern Observatory in Garching, near Munich. I lived and worked here for 2 years in the mid-90s and the last time I visited was in 2012.

It's nice to be back. I'm pleasantly reminded what a quiet, sleepy little town Garching is, and this makes a great contrast to London. ESO itself has also bloomed with 3 huge new buildings, a lovely new auditorium that we're using, and a new outreach centre, Supernova, currently being constructed.

The sun and the beer also help!
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 11:14pm on 13/07/2017
Io story submitted to Apex.

God war story submitted to Deep Magic (after rewording of one profanity).
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 11:00pm on 13/07/2017
Time in 52:30 (35:30 cycling), time back 53:00 (36:30 cycling), 679 Calories.

Hard work being back in the saddle - definitely some condition lost over the long period off. Some changes on the route - there's a hole where a building used to be - but mostly not so bad. The junction at the top of Exhibition Road is still a mystery for cyclists. Whoever thought that was a good idea must have never ridden a bike in London.

A little sore now.
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 04:38pm on 30/05/2017
It's so usefule that phishers are so bad at spelling and grammar that it makes their attempts to tempt you to click and activate trojans or to send your identity and credit card details are so easy to spot.

The most recent (3 copies of this identical email received in a week) started out:

Reversed Customer

But this does get me wondering what a 'reversed customer' would be. Does this mean they want to send me money?

Answers on a postcard...
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 06:28am on 25/05/2017
When Trump tried to hold the Pope's hand...

http://boingboing.net/2017/05/25/pope-francis-doesnt-want-to.html
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:59am on 24/05/2017
I usually refrain from THWUMP posts for academic writing, partly because I end up as a coauthor on lots of papers thanks to huge Planck and Herschel collaborations, but also because this is my day job and I don't get paid by the publishers of papers (sometimes quite the opposite in fact).

However, if you define a thwump post as being for paid writing I can now do one for an academic paper...

Back in January I was quite unexpectedly invited to submit a paper titled 'An Introduction to the Planck Mission' for a journal published by the IoP that is aimed at late stage students and general physicists.

They wanted about 20 pages of writing providing an introduction to Planck and its science by the end of May. It would then be refereed and, if accepted, published.

And if I could do this all to schedule they'd pay me 600 quid!

I didn't know such things could happen and, needless to say, have got the article in on time.

I'll reveal the journal's name and let you know where to get hold of the paper as an online preprint once it's accepted.
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 10:40pm on 23/05/2017
Got pointed to this from the DG mailing list:

Alien Raiders:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuSyP2AV5yY&feature=youtu.be

A pretty good rendition of what happens when a night at the opera goes south, and a pretty good, claustrophobic sf/horror movie.

I know at lrast one person reading here might be interested.
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posted by [personal profile] purplecthulhu at 02:29am on 22/05/2017
A few days after their big social care plans in the manifesto we're hearing the screeching of brakes as a massive U-turn takes place.

All the result of the massive OAP Tory block vote seeing their nest eggs disappearing into the profit lines of future privatised social care megacorps (presumably owned and directed by Tory future ministers).

Pandering to vested interests is not the 'strong and stable' that May's mantra would predict.

Don't you think she looks tired?

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