Archive | May 2007

Turn the Guild Mermaid Fountain back on!

Looks like some other people are annoyed by the fact that the fountain that sits in the middle of the Guild of Students here at the University of Birmingham is never on! mad.gif I’ve seen it on for a few weeks at a time and its such a lovely sight… its a shame its not on… The Mermaid Fountain was made out of bronze by William Bloye and is the centre piece of the Guild’s courtyard, one of the best places to enjoy a pint in the summer Sun… this is what it can look like in the summer (photo credit unknown taken off Guild server):
Guild Fountain
If you are a Birmingham student and care join the petition [here] (just make sure you don’t make any donations by accident…)

What College Major Are You/Should You Be? have a bunch of those online click an option sort of scripts and it tell you what you should be… so I decided to fill of their “What College Major Are You/Should You Be?” and I got:

It’s a tie!
Your major should be part Computer Science. You like nothing more than spending long nights with friends in the computer lab… which is a good thing since that’s exactly how you’ll spend the next couple years.
Your major should be part Business. You believe confidence is everything, and nothing’s more important than a first impression. Success is measured in dollars and your attitude’s going to make you very successful. All that’s left is to choose which I-Bank to work for after you graduate.

Oh well I guess that is actually not to far from the truth.. but I did physics I’m not entirely a computer geek…. cool.gif

German drives down subway stairs

had to be a woman…. biggrin.gif
“A German woman in Dusseldorf blocked the entrance to an underground station when she mistook it for a subterranean car park, police said on Wednesday.”
For the full article see: []

The wrecking of British science

“If the world’s future lies in scientists’ hands, the answers are unlikely to come from the UK unless we reverse decades of political neglect” wrote Nobel laureate Sir Harry Kroto in a article for the Guardian newspaper last week. Shame its all true.
The UK is seeing a drain of people interested in science… and it has been noticeable over the years I have been at Uni.. more people now do “silly” courses than did when I started my undergrad.. what do they hope to get from this? Do they really think that a useless degree will help them in a future career.. a degree is a degree after all, it has to mean something doesn’t it? Well this is not true for all degrees. It is well worth doing a subject if you have a natural enjoyement / interest in it but is it worthwile doing if you think it will make you rich? Possibly, some degrees might but most probably won’t. They will put you in financial debt. Of course going to Uni is far from just about the academic education but it is not worthwhile going into it blindly.
Anyway, the article by Sir Harry Kroto (thanks to Lizzie’s mom for pointing it out…) is well worth a read and can be found at: []

A Hole in Mars?

mars_hole Credit: NASA, JPL, U. Arizona
Many black spots have been discovered on Mars over the years, they are so dark that you can not see inside. Are these possibly the entrances to deep underground caves? Could these be were Martian life is hiding? Interesting… maybe we need to send a probe into them. More info at [apod]

Wi-Fi Wants To Kill Your Children

The BBC’s Panorama show did cause a bit of a fuss about Wi-Fi didn’t it? Well read a nice arguement against their “findings” [here]

Robot for India’s moon mission

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) is planning to send a robot for its mission to Moon. It will be built by a bunch of student engineers and research staff at the IIT-Kanpur. Its going to be a two-legged robot that will help detect hindrances and collect surface samples. It is expected to cost about $50,000…. !! Beats NASA on that front, but I guess things get built for cheaper in India. More info at [sifynews].

The Greatest Story Ever Told

The story of a little boy who grew up to be Jesus… oh and his cybernetic pal, Arnie…

Three New Satellites of Saturn discovered

Astronomers using the Japanese Subaru 8.2-m reflector at Mauna Kea have discovered three new satellites orbiting Saturn, S/2007 S 1, S 2, and S 3. They have orbital periods of 895, 793, and 992 days respectively; S 2 and S 3 have retrograde orbits. I haven’t been able to find a mass value for these objects, I do wonder how much of a moon they actually are?

Why have Aero when you can have Beryl…

Windows Vista comes with Aero to do some cool 3d effects in your desktop… well xgl has been around for linux for a while (and the mac does some nice 3d rendering) but if you a fan of free software then Beryl has to be heaven, of course you have also like having a pretty linux desktop. If you don’t know what I mean take a look at this video… even if you aren’t ever going to use linux just take a look I think you might find it cool:

Oh and if you want to get Beryl some pretty useful stuff can be found on their site and if you know how to use Linux its pretty straight forward.