Monday, 29 October 2012

Sticks and Stones

I was watching a boxing match on television. During the break between rounds the cameras got close up into one of the boxer's corners. He was heard to use some rather strong language - to put it mildly. The commentator then apologised for what the viewers may have overheard. It was clearly not his fault. What rather struck me was the fact that while there were two men doing each other physical damage in public this was less important than the fact that there was some bad language overheard. Sticks and stones - and punches - may hurt my bones but strong language does, it seems, greater harm.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Nixie Pixel

Geeks, Linux users and the like may well have come across Nixie Pixel. Clearly not her real name - which I don't know. I subscribe to her YouTube channel Nixie Does Linux which gives a weekly Linux-related topic. Here is an interesting image taken from her personal site - a reading system that she equates with a Kindle.

Wednesday, 17 October 2012

I don't understand this world sometimes

I was sitting in my office on Monday afternoon when the lights which I keep dimmed suddenly became brighter. I looked around and two men had entered - seemingly without knocking (I certainly hadn't heard them) - and had turned up the dimmer (again, without so much as a by your leave). When I asked what they were doing they told me that they were going around the building counting and numbering the lights. They then proceeded to put stickers on each of the light fittings. Whatismore, they were external contractors who had been brought in to perform the task presumably at some expense to the institution.

Either because I was busy doing something else or because of the bazaar nature of their task, or perhaps both, I failed to ask why the lights needed to be counted and numbered. Now I am left wondering. This tend is something of a cathartic blog.

What possible reason can there be to do such a thing? This is in a building where they have just painted the firedoors (giving this an air of importance) and there is a sign extolling the building's energy efficiency; yet the main doors have been jammed wide open for over a year causing an updraft (extremely dangerous I would have thought when a 6-7 storey building catches fire) and an icy blast chilling the place in winter and causing us to turn up the heating. One wonders what is the point of such a seemingly trivial exercise. (I say 'seemingly trivial' because somebody is sure to be able to give some 'rational' explanation as to why it was, in fact, important if not vital.)

Thursday, 11 October 2012


I came across this picture a couple of years ago.The site now seems to have closed and I can't remember the full details of what it was advocating. I think it may have been something relating to genetically engineered foods - hence the 'GE'. The use of this image came from, I believe, a feminist perspective. There is nothing explicit or provocative about this image - rather it shows a woman being used purely for what her body produces. The aim, it appears, is for this image to raise the question of whether we should use animals in the way that we do given that we would not use a woman this way.

Saturday, 6 October 2012

My schedule is mistaken

Having decided on a new blogging schedule, I have gone and got the dates wrong.

I could go into various reasons for this but what does it matter.

Instead of one blog on 5th October, there was one on 1st October and now this one in the early hours of 6th October - just before I go to bed at the end of the previous day. So, in a sense I am (almost) on schedule. Strange that somebody such as myself, who claims to hate working under rigid structures, should impose a structure upon himself. Or, is it a desire for good personal discipline in an attempt at aiding productivity?

One could think of this week there hasbeen two blogs instead of one; although this one is pretty worthless, except that it illustrates that my organisation needs to be - and when I finish typing this will be - improved. The way to do that will be by making an advanced note in my old fashioned paper diary. Although this diary is kept to make retrospective notes about what I have been doing, marking blogging days so that they can be seen in advance won't hurt.

So until 11th October ...

Monday, 1 October 2012

My Favourite Anatomist

Although I know relatively little about him, my favourite anatomist has got to be Philip Verheyen (1648-1711). It was he who named the Achilles tendon. A careful look at the picture below will reveal that the leg being dissected on the table is a left leg and that Verheyen has only one (right) leg under the table. Verheyen named the tendon in 1693 after having dissected his own amputated leg which was removed some years before as a result of a potentially life-threatening infection. (It was not named in antiquity after Achilles as is sometimes assumed.)