Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Rather Large Cats

Ligers, a cross between a lion and a tiger, are the biggest cats in the world. These things are enormous! I think Bree would agree that the ligers in the pictures need to go on a diet, but I guess no-one tells a 500kg cat they can't have any food. We have a hard enough time with William!

Monday, December 19, 2005

Computer science vs programming

I set up this blog with the intention of documenting my research, but instead have mostly focused on snippets of life for the benefit of friends and family. I'm going to try and include more research related items. If it suits I'll carry on. If not I'll find another venue.

My first link item it to link to The Geomblog: Computer science vs programming. Ah, undergraduate education! A topic I'll happily rant about for a goodly long time! It's well worth a read if you're involved in CS education. Unfortunately, current circumstances, with declining student numbers, are having the opposite effect to that suggested by the article. Instead of teaching becoming more personal, and interesting, most CS departments have responded by setting up professional Masters degrees, and making their courses even more programming, with the intention of attracting students interested in the relatively well paying career that programming is.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Busy Fortnight

Last fortnight has been particularly busy. Here's a wrapup:

Last Wednesday I went down to London, meeting up for lunch with my cousin Cass, and then on to the British Library to meet Shriram, before finally heading to LShift for a Scheme UK meeting. The British Library is fantastic; I can't believe I haven't been before. My highlight was Leonardo's journals, which are every bit as restless and energetic as his genius.

I had to head back to Birmingham that evening, as the next morning Bree renounced any vestigial sporting ability, and accepted British citizenship. The Lord Mayor presided in all pomp and circumstance. Included amongst the citizenship pack was a Christmas card from himself and the Mrs. How unexpected.

The following weekend was Bree's work Christmas party, held at a hotel outside Redditch. The hotel was fun: we went to the gym, then swimming (a salt water pool!), then sat in the spa for a bit. Party was also fun. Danced till they kicked us out. Both of us woke up the next day feeling not 100%. Initial thought it was the excesses of the night before, but as the day wore on it became obvious we had acquired colds. Spent the evening at Nick and Rosie's. They've really worked their butts off doing it up, and it looks great. Thankfully we didn't have carpet stapled (!) to the floor when we moved in. Saw the kit-peas for the first time since we gave them to Nick and Rosie. They are bigger but just as cute. I'm glad all those late nights nursing them were worth it.

Bree had this week off and spent most of her time doing two things: being ill, and fixing up the laundry. Oh, and also preparing for our Christmas party on the Thursday. All were carried off successfully. The laundry is done, and looks great. The party was a great success. And we've both lost our voices from talking too much with sore throats.

For a few photos, start here.


Blunketto, the epic, though quarter-hour long, opera of a man, his mistress, and his faithful companion Labradori. Brilliant! Listen before next Thursday, when it will be replaced with a new piece, hopefully just as good.

Monday, December 05, 2005


My cousin, Cassandra Catherine Coburn is currently completing a course at University College in the capital. She has been commisioned to create a chronicle of her capers which cannot help but make me covetous of her circumstances!