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Okay, that was a Damn Good Episode™. I will admit to taking exception to the annoyingly tired device of an insignificant character being ignored (to, of course, everyone's peril, her own included. I don't feel the Doctor would do that, frankly), but there were some seemingly major plot questions set up - yes, the evil Grand Moff has presented the world with a two-parter. Whose resolution awaits us presently!

Via avon_deer, The Ladybird Book of The Policeman. =:D

Duchy Originals Cornish pasty: good stuff. ^_^ Still not up to the ones I have in mind (but you'll have to bribe me heartily to find out where the best pasties in the world can be found), but of the nationally available ones I've found, amongst the best. Plus: actual chunks of named meat, not ground beef, let alone any kind of Ginsterian peppery pulp. Minus: not actually big enough, overall. Plus: fiendishly good smelling pastry, and the right kind. (ie not puff, but not really shortcrust either) Other than these, the ones found at the Cornish Pasty Company can often be good, too - cunningly, the company's realised train stations are a good lair to find people wanting something convenient and filling, so you'll find them in Marylebone and Cardiff Central, amongst others.

A seriously funky track, easily recommendable: That 1 Guy - Buttmachine. Groovalicious. (Wouldn't this make a fantastic soundtrack for a machinima? A load of editing ahead, though..)

More ejumacation on iTunes! University College, London will join iTunes U, apparently beginning with 'material about neuroscience, the university's "lunch time lectures" and an audio news round-up'. Braaaiiins.. Additionally, 'The Open University is promising to make available 300 audio and video files with material from current courses. Trinity College Dublin is promising lectures from journalist Seymour Hersh, scientist Robert Winston, author Anita Desai and politician Alex Salmond.'

A most interesting first step, akin to the first link taken between two HTML pages residing on different hosts: Zha Ewry relates a first step in sim interoperability, with the first teleport to a OpenSim region from one in SL. ^_^

Take one bored artist on a long flight, and an armed pen - voilà! The Don't Barf Bag. ^_^;

discopanda might like this Nixie tube the coworker spotted.. =:D

Dinner! Chickpeas (aka garbanzo beans) in a starring role, with cubed steak, and a sauce begun with a vegetable chowder soup mix. Then.. garlic powder, asafoetida, herbes de provence, Sichuan pepper, and a tiny bit of chili powder. On the vegetable front, chopped asparagus, yellow bell pepper, broccoli, and artichoke hearts. Oh, and a little bit of onion chutney, the last of the partial jar the owners left waiting for me in the fridge. =:9

Friday's dinner, meanwhile: diced chicken breast and pork & beef sausage slices, in a sauce based on cream of asparagus soup, on top of red pepper & chili tagliatelle. Making the sauce a bit more interesting: garlic, asafoetida, oregano, pepper, a Kashmiri hot pepper, a couple shiitake, chopped broccoli, sliced sundried tomatoes, and snow peas.

Busy, busy time in the salt mine, but Friday saw (I believe) a breakthrough in a matter I'd been bashing my head against for a few days, blocking my progress on the bootloader. And all it seems to've been is a matter of ensuring that the exception vectors don't reside in flash while a flash write's in progress anywhere else on the plane, so that if the ARM does feel an urgent need to peek at an exception vector, it can do so without that read access itself causing an abort. Just a matter of shoehorning in 64 bytes at the beginning of SRAM, in front of the main code region, copying the vectors over from zero page, then giving MC_RCR a beep on the nose. Voilà! Vectors safely residing in SRAM, ready for action any time, anywhere. Busy weekend to come, too.. and week ahead, for that matter.

Cornish pastry sounds interesting, but I'd probably not buy the Duchy Originals variety simply because I wouldn't want to support Charles and his ilk. I've got my own opinions on this so-called royalty (any so-called royalty, in fact) - but let's just say I'm a staunch republican (but not a republican, of course, and most certainly not a republican).

But as long as it tasted good, at least. ^^

I don't know - I'm fairly neutral on royalty, actually. In a constitutional/democratic monarchy, it seems like a potentially useful mechanism of last resort, should things go severely wrong. By the same token, the House of Lords can paradoxically perform a highly useful democratic function, despite being entirely undemocratic, by definition - but it's that independence from prevailing trends that can, at times, prove to be a source of wise action.

As for Chuck himself, I'd say he's a very good sort, even if disposed towards the "woo" end of philosophical beliefs. To be born into a position of extreme privilege and decide to use that money and influence to be a force for positive change in the world seems quite admirable.

Nice to see those Republicans being largely ignored by the populace, especially given the prominence of anti-immigration policies. I'm very much in favor of people being able to live wherever they choose, providing they pay their dues. Barriers should not be erected in front of people, merely on the basis of where they happened to plop out into the world.

And it was good. ^_^ Maybe I'll give a shot at making some myself sometime - I'm not at all experienced with pastry, though, and pasties use that odd hybrid that's not shortcrust, though clearly based on it, with some puff-like folding involved, I believe.
Yeah, the house of lords in the UK seems to be the last thing that keeps the UK from becoming a total police state at times, which is really rather curious - I recall talking to avon_deer about this, and we both found it rather ironic that precisely those that are NOT elected are the ones protecting civil liberties (at least to some extent).

Of course, this is just symptomatic of a deeper philosophical problem: I think both democracy (actual democracy) and civil/human rights and freedoms are important, but the former is not a guarantee for the latter. I suppose the reason is that people on average are sheeple, but that's not something we can change, so I'm not actually sure how to solve this - the most extreme form of democracy where the actual people get to decide everything would probably quickly lead to an abolishment of civil liberties, rights and freedoms, at least for a significant part of the population; on the other hand, it's been shown time and again that a lack of democracy will also lead to the same thing.

Regarding Charles, I'm not very impressed simply because he IS rich, because he was born into a position of extreme priviledge, and because he basically never had to lift a finger in his entire life. In a way, it's easy for him to work for charitable purposes (not that I'm even really convinced that the whole Duchy Originals spiel really qualifies there; sure, people in Cornwall benefit from it, but then, IBM employees also benefit from IBM's business) - and he's not even a "self-made man" who actually worked his way up for nothing.

I suppose it's similar to the lesson of the widow's mite, although I don't want to get overly biblical. c.c It's easy to give a lot if you have a lot, but it doesn't make you a better person.

Of course, one might argue that my view's unfair insofar as that there really isn't much that Charles can do at all: he's damned if he does and damned if he doesn't, since he's filthy rich (and undeservedly so) in either case - but life isn't fair. If he really wanted to gain my respect, for example, he could actually use *all* his wealth to support charitable work and live a modest life himself - maybe the way that RMS does. Of course, I do not actually expect him to do that, and I know if I was in his position, I wouldn't do so, either, but he'll just have to live with my lack of respect for him then, just like I would have to in his position. Again, life isn't fair.

As for the rest... yeah, I'm glad they're largely ignored here, too. Unfortunately, though, their positions aren't necessarily; the NPD is a neonazi party that's even further to the right and that's gained some attention (and votes) at least, and the CSU is basically not all that different from the republicans in terms of politics, although they'd of course deny that.

But yeah, I agree about barriers, too. I've sometimes said that something I'd really like to see would be a "country swapping" system; if there's someone from country A wanting to move to country B, and someone from country B wanting to move to country A, I see no reason to not just fast-track the whole process and let it go through with as little bureaucracy as possible, for example.

Good to hear the past was good, at least, too. ^^
That Ladybird book is pure genius.

I had no idea garbanzo beans were the humble chickpea masquerading!
"This policeman has been following a nervous suspect for three months. The officer is now 300 miles from home." =:D (I would, I admit, like to see a greater number of police officers actually on the beat, not merely zooming around in cars)

"Obsolete chichpease : Middle English chiche, chickpea (from Old French, from Latin cicer) + pease, pea" Makes me wonder how "cicer" was actually pronounced at the time, for it to morph into "chich" - for that matter, is that "kik", "chik", or some other permutation?

Clearly, we need the Doctor to hook up with an assistant with a passion for linguistics.

I was told in Latin class that the "c" in Latin is pronounced like the modern "k" (a letter that didn't exist in Latin). So apparently, we're pronouncing names like "Cicero" and "Caesar quite wrong... :)
Well, technically, that's a Numitron, not a Nixie. But yes, they are closely relatred. Main difference is one has a separate panel for each character, while the other is used much like an n-segment LED display. Still rather neat stuff, though.
Ah, good point, yes. Can't say I've seen Numitrons around much at all - its multi-segment nature registered with a tiny bit of my brain (thus, a very small region indeed), but I sort of merged it in anyway. Fairly huge, too - are Nixies available on that sort of scale? Seems like there'd be nothing to prevent them, other than a lack of demand.

Do people make their own vacuum tubes now?

I take it that means the pasty vendor is still in place a Marylebone, then? Good good!

Marvelous sounding and looking numnums.

Bunny butt!
I agree that the episode was good. Mixed feelings about them not revealing River TamSong's relationship, but I have my own idea there. Do you think they'll immediately use that hook or might she not return for a series or so? I do like bits of long term continuity like that: it shows the writers know their show and is also a one to the hardcore fans. It'll be interesting to see how the fans explain the Doctor's new party trick.
As for politics, may I play Devil's Advocate and suggest that civil liberties don't mean anything to the majority or else they'd vote for a Liberal party.