Sunday 30 April 2006

Oi, Dad!

I'm not sure what the questions are, but dammit - we want answers!

Saturday 29 April 2006

Arai Condor

Today I bought a new helmet - an Arai Condor. It's a perfect fit. Very nice. :-)

I also bought new gloves, but gloves don't make good photos.

Friday 28 April 2006

Curry 'n' Chips

Wendy is away, so tonight I ate like a King. A King who likes curry 'n' chips. Curry n' chips heated in a microwave. Not a very impressive King to be honest.

We were out shopping in the supermarket and I was trying to decide upon my favourite make of tofu and whether organic artichokes led a better life than free-range kiwis , when some cheeky scamp sneaked the packet of frozen Curry 'n' Chips into our trolley. I never even knew Co-op had a frozen section! First I knew of the Curry 'n' Chips was when I packed it. I was mortified. Honest. I mean, are those free-range chips and is the curry organic? I only kept them because it has a big green 'V' for vegan, which means it has no sea-food or milk in it.

Good thing about Curry 'n' Chips is that it has never started any wars.

Unlike Cheese, when combined with Chips, which started the infamous '"Chips 'n' Cheese" or "Cheese 'n' Chips"' war of 1999 fought outside Pegasus no. 2 ('Sus' to the veterans of that campaign).

I still bear the scars.

I also have a limp, but that's unrelated.

War huh?

Tuesday 25 April 2006

Video of Jade Goody 'Running' the 2006 London Marathon

As promised, here is a video of Jade Goody 'running' the 2006 London Marathon (you'll have to tilt your head as I didn't know how to make it landscape).

Now, I was going to say 'fair play' to her. She was walking her way round, but she was by no means last.

However, it turns out she didn't finish the race (in fact she collapsed and got taken to hospital), so I think it's only fair I level some criticism at her.

She's a waste of space. In her pre-race interview she said she had got 'bored' of training, had prepared by eating curries and had never run for more than half an hour in her life. The girl has put out a fitness video!

Fortunately, she had covered her boobs and feet in Vaseline...

She was wearing flat tennis shoes and some Gucci rubbish.

Stupid girl. How did she ever think she was going to finish the route? She's taken the place of some deserving runner who could have finished the race. In fact by treating the race with such scant disregard she is showing complete disrespect for the 30,000+ runner who actually did make an effort.

She is probably the best (i.e. worst) example of British celebrity culture. Famous for absolutely nothing. Glorifying stupidity in the extreme. She has absolutely no talent to offer other than being talentless. In fact she is so talentless she could be considered talented at being talentless. That's one paradox I don't want to get my head round.

However, I did take a video of her. Because she is famous. Because she is famous for being useless. Does that make me a fan of the useless blimp? Nah, I'm just doing a national service by showing how useless she is.

I'm being too harsh. Time to stop.

The sooner she goes away for good the better.

/rant over

Sunday 23 April 2006

2006 London Marathon

Wendy and I went to stay at Matt and Alison's this weekend to watch the London marathon. Their flat is right next to the route so when the elite women were running past we ran out and I got a great picture of... their pace setters!

They don't tell you on the TV coverage about the nipples. I will never forget the nipples. Bleeding! Bledding nipples! Noooooooo!

Got a video of Jade Goody 'running' the marathon. I'll link to the video once it's uploaded. See her scoff sweeties as she 'runs'!

Anyway, was a nice weekend and good to see the marathon at last. I'm still certain I'll never bother attempting it though.

All my Marathon pictures here.

Friday 21 April 2006

Animals in Medical Research

I've never personally used animals in any of my research (although I must have butchered a few billion yeast in my time!), but I do support their use. The issue is particularly heated in Oxford as the University is building a new animal house and there are a lot of protests against it. In order to show my support for the medical research, I went on the Pro-Test march a few weeks ago (see pic).

I think the thing that annoys me the most about the anti-vivisetionists is their intimidatory tactics and the lies that they use to promote their message. On the other hand, most of the animal rights movement has been positive, with the result that the UK has the most stringent animal research laws in the world. I noticed on the RDS Blog (of the Research Defence Society) that an online petition has been set up for ordinary people to register their support for animals to be used in medical research. I will be signing it, and I hope that anyone reading this post will consider signing it too. The petition can be found here.

Also, I noticed that the dubiously-named 'Europeans for Medical Progress' had written into my home newspaper, the Dundee Courier.

From the Courier (19/04/2006):

Drugs trials support

Sir,—Angus Ramsay (April 12) says an inquiry into the recent drug-trial disaster is needed.

Patient-safety group, Europeans for Medical Progress, agrees.

We believe a vital part of any inquiry should be a comparison of animal tests with microdosing, sophisticated human tissue tests, such as those conducted by Glasgow-based Biopta, and other state-of-the-art methods of predicting human safety.

The six unfortunate men in the drug trial were reassured that TGN1412 was safe because it was safe in animals.

Withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx caused hundreds of thousands of heart attacks and strokes, after animal tests had predicted it would be good for the heart.

The truth is that superior human-based tests could have predicted the effects of both TGN1412 and Vioxx, where animal tests failed so tragically.
Kathy Archibald.
Europeans for Medical Progress,
PO Box 38604,

'Somebody' notified the RDS of this, who published the following letter in the Courier two days later (today):

Animal tests still necessary

Sir,—Europeans for Medical Progress describe themselves (April 19) as a patient-safety group but they are nothing of the sort.

They are an anti-vivi section organisation who make ill-founded claims about the scientific validity of animal research.

These claims were recently debunked by the Advertising Standards Authority who upheld five complaints against a leaflet they distributed under a previous name, Europeans for Medical Advancement.

In their letter, they claim that “superior human-based tests could have predicted the effects of both TGN 1412 and Vioxx, where animal tests failed so tragically”.

In fact, human-based methods are already part of the research process and would have been used in these cases.

Microdosing is a potentially valuable tool indicating how drugs are metabolised by the body, but it does not provide information on toxicity.

EMP give no indication as to how a microdose would be determined in the absence of animal data — the human volunteers were given doses 500 times lower than that given to the monkeys, a microdose by anyone’s standards.

And some substances are so toxic that what might be estimated to be a microdose could still be lethal to a volunteer, for example, ricin, which is also toxic to animals and so would not pass the animal research stage.

TGN 1412 is a relatively a new kind of drug.

When we have studied more drugs of this type— and this will include animal studies—we will have information to better predict their action, and better computer modelling of their effects.

Until then, for the safety of human volunteers, we must use all tools available including animal research.
Robin Wilkinson.
RDS: Understanding Animal Research in Medicine,
25 Shaftesbury Avenue,

Good stuff!

Thursday 20 April 2006

Graeme, Dundee, Scotland

I often check out the BBC News Website, probably more often than I should.

I often see comments by some guy called Graeme, from Dundee, Scotland. e.g. in this story.

Who is Graeme? How does he always get his comments published? How does he have so much time to submit comments? Why do I care?

These are the questions that need answers.

So... Graeme, Dundee, Scotland - please comment here. Ta!

Wednesday 19 April 2006

iphoto is the work of Beelzebub I tell thee!

Trying to sort out my photos since I left the macs at NIMR and am now on a PC at home.

Unfortunately I made the mistake of using iphoto when I was on the macs. It's all very pretty and nice when your on the mac, what it doesn't tell you is that it is cunningly re-organising all your photo folders so that you will never know where anything is again!

I wonder what's in folder 29? Oh of course, it's folders 8,9,11,13 and 16 which each have some of the photos that you though might be in a sensibly named folder like 'California Photos'. Grrrrr

Then when I try to delete some of them I'm told they're 'in use'. LIES! I am not using the folder so damn well put it in the recycle bin you stupid little...

Once I've sorted this out, I'll be sticking to Picasa.

Tuesday 18 April 2006

Courchevel 2004 - pics and video uploaded

I'm in the process of re-uploading some pics to my gallery. Here are some pics from the 2004 ski-ing holiday that Dad, Andrew, Fraser and myself took to Courchevel, France. This pic is a multi-shot of the famous 'Andy Flies' incident, which has been re-created into a hilarious animated gif which can be seen here. Possibly the funniest 'picture' I have ever taken!

Also, thanks to the wonder that is Google Video, I am pleased to present a video of Fraser showing his stuff:

Fraser is known throughout the snow-blade world as one of the sport's top stunters. Here he shows his most ambitious stunt to date - the 'do a really tiny jump then fall on your arse doing a 360 degree spin'. This move will surely enter the record books as one of the most spectacular ever...

My wee brother:

Also see this wee jump, after which he fell too!

Also, while I'm at it, here is a nice video of Andrew playing with Phoebe and Ellie in the garden. Phoebe was still a wee puppy when this was taken. Video.

Friday 14 April 2006

Yosemite Park Harley Video

I've had this video on my computer for ages, but have now uploaded it to Google Videos, which means I can share it with people...

The video is from when I was in California in 2004 and I hired a Harley Sportster from San Francisco and took it for a three day tour round the state. Pictures of the holiday can be seen here.

The video itself was taken in Yosemite park. It's only about 30s long, but it brings back great memories. See if you can work out what is happening when I 'crash' a couple of times...

Yosemite Park on a Harley

Monday 10 April 2006

Distraction leads to AAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!!!!

Last Thursday I was I was on the West side of the Oxford Ring Road in the 50mph section doing a bit over 50 in the outside lane of the dual carriageway overtaking some slower vehicles.

In my mirrors I noticed someone coming up fairly quickly behind me and though it was just some agressive git in a hurry. I knew we were coming up to the NSL section, so I just thought I would hold my speed and make sure I dominated the lane with my positioning, then open the throttle at the NSL and speed away.

The car got very close, then vanished from my mirrors - it was overtaking me even though I was in the outside lane! I didn't think there was anyway the car could get past but she was right over near the central crash barrier!

I put my thumb on the horn and kept it there for a good long while. I was kind of in disbelief so kept up with her just sounding the horn. I then went alongside her and kept sounding the horn (just got the horn fixed!)

It wasn't some male git though - it was a bloody pensioner - must have been in her 60s!

I kept sounding the horn and she paid absolutely no attention to me. I think she might have mouth 'oh go away', but there was absolutely no acknowledgement. I think I would have been happier if she'd given me the finger!

I looked in the car to see if there was a dying child in there or something as that was the only excuse that I could think of for that sort of driving, but she was alone.

So on Thursday night I phoned Thames Valley Police to report it. They told me I would have to go to a police station in person to report it, then the woman would at least get a letter warning her about her dangerous driving.

Well, I went to the station tonight and it turns out that I can't report it without an independent witness!

I was somewhat... annoyed and went back to ride my bike home... whereupon I tried to ride off without removing the disc-lock! End result - me dropping the bike and now my caliper bracket is snapped. The brakes still seemed to work so I rode the bike the 1.5 miles 30mph journey home, but there's no way I'm riding it at 70mph+ to get to work.

So time to get on the phone to the breakers to get a new part. My bike has had nothing but bad luck since I moved to Oxford.

It's a shame as I was in such a good mood after winning an Ebay auction for an Autocom intercom unit for the motorbike.

Tuesday 4 April 2006

Dundee Uni 2006 Grad Ball Flyer

Click on the picture and have a look who the ugly young chap in the top left-hand corner is. He gets everywhere! I wonder who he bribed to get on there...

Sunday 2 April 2006


Bananaman - what a guy! Remember him.... spinning round the globe?

Ah... those were the days!

Saturday 1 April 2006

Hot chick!

Went to Reading today. Wasn't particuarly impressed. However, we went for a drink with a cute chick, which made the day worthwhile. We did pay for the chick's company though..does that make me bad?