Friday, 14 October 2011

korean double header

It's the Korean Grand Prix this weekend.

As I mentioned last week I have absolutely no idea whether it's a good one or not.  In fact, I don't actually have any memories of it at all.

Well, I say that.  I'm pretty convinced it was only held for the first time last year and that it was the one where it was delayed because of the weather, Webber spun out because it was so wet  and it ended up finishing as the sun was setting.

However, I would happily cop to having merged several races together or having gotten mixed up with another race.  I certainly don't have Korea flagged in my memory banks as a classic.

One thing I will say is I don't think my scheduling plans are really going to survive contact with the enemy, which is to say that there are some things I going to have to do because 3 weeks is too long to leave them - for example, I'm going to run out of clothes if I don't do some washing.

However, I think I can do a sort of small version of most of these (just the one bag of essential washing) and then make up for it next week.

It's on at a similar sort of time to the Japanese Grand Prix, but I think I'll record it and watch it at my leisure.  I was happy to get up for Japan (even though I screwed myself over), but I'm not sure I am for the Korean.

Otherwise I don't have many plans.  I need to get some more bits on e-bay so that they'll finish in time for me sort them before my holiday.  I also haven't done anything with the CDs I need to get rid of.  I looked at a few of the "we buy CDs" sites, and, as expected, prices weren't great, but then they looked pretty crap on e-bay too.

As per usual, I'm a long way behind the curve on the medium transitions (CD to digital).  In this case, I'm at a bit unsure I like the particular transition.  I mean, you can't really sell MP3 files second hand at all, can you, irrespective of the other advantages they have.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

nose hair

I seem to have developed rather a lot of nose hair.

I've always had a fair bit of nose hair, but it used to be that you'd have to be really looking up my nose to see it.  I mean, since puberty I've been very hairy, but in the last year or so my nose hair seems to have exploded out of my nose so that loads of hairs are poking out and are visible just from looking at me.

Now obviously I could leave these.  I'm not a fan of how they look, so it wouldn't be a massive concern to me, but it's not really an option, because I find that as they get longer they tend to tickle against the edges of my nostrils and it's very itchy.

As such, there are a couple of options for there removal.  Firstly I could pluck them.  This obviously removes them right down to the root, but it's also absolute agony.

I'm no stranger to plucking as I actually pluck my brows.  I know that probably comes across as a bit more concerned with my appearance than I'd be generally happy to admit to, but the thing is if I don't do it then I basically end up with one eyebrow.

And I don't just mean the bit between my eyebrows grows and connects, but the area between my brows and my hair line actually grows a thick layer of hairs too.  Indeed, the hair even extends right down the side of my eyes, along that sort of crest area and connects up with my beard.

I sometimes wonder if I left it whether I wouldn't end up with a thick furry covering over my entire face.  And that isn't a normal look, so I pluck.  I generally do it at the same time as my haircut, as it sort of camouflages the change.

Anyway, plucking hairs is painful.  Plucking nose hairs is excruciating.  As such, I've been using a small set of scissors I've got to try to trim them back.  It's an okay solution, but I seem to have to do it every other week, and it's also difficult to really get in there and trim the hairs properly, especially as I'm worried about nicking the inside of my nose.

I'm therefore thinking I'll ask for a nose hair trimmer for Chrimbo from my family.  They have a really small bit on the end that's like a mini electric shaver.  I can't actually use electric shavers on my beard as it's way too touch, but I think my nose hairs are more like eyebrow hairs than beard hair.

At least, I think there's such a thing as a nose hair trimmer.  Unless I've dreamed it.  If so maybe I could patent it and make a fortune?

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

the core

the core is probably one of the biggest misfires I've seen in a long time.

It somehow manages to tread a fine line between believable science and science fiction... sorry, I should say, it manages to blunder around, stomping on the line between science and science fiction, making a general mess of everything.

The biggest crime it commits is the complete bogusness of the science it tramples over.

So the basic idea is that the magnetic field of the earth is somehow switching off.  It's not clear why it only slowly slows down instead of properly switching off, or why it's happening at all, but we can chalk that up to bad science fiction.

No, the problematic elements is what seems to happen as a result.  It's like someone has half remembered a bunch of stuff they've seen on the Discovery channel and turned it up to "11".

So pigeons are known to use the earth's magnetic field to navigate by.  If it switches off they may therefore reasonably get confused.  However, the film shows huge flocks of them all suicidally crashing into people, buildings, cars - anything and everything.  But they only use magnetic fields for long range navigation - why would that cause them to fly into a building?

Or, somehow, we're supposed to be believe the magnetic field switching off would cause huge super-storms with vast amounts of lightening.  Why isn't clear, but to demonstrate it, one hits Rome... and destroys everything.  Including somehow managing to blow up the coliseum.  You know, the big thing made out of non-conducting concrete, that, in this film, seems to act like a beacon for all the lightening ever.

And it also shows some people getting microwaved because the magnetic field protects us all against the earths microwaves.  Except that the sun puts out very little microwave radiation, only a small part of it would be in the frequency needed to do stuff like boil water (you can almost see the monkey brains ticking over - "oh yeah, microwaves, they heat stuff, don't they?") and the microwaves are absorbed by the atmosphere, not deflected by the magnetic field.

What they're thinking of is the deflection of charged particles (the "solar wind") that the sun puts out.

And think abut it - if the sun was that harmful how could anyone have gone to the moon?  (yes, yes, some idiots think we didn't, but then some people believe in fairies)  And how would satellites and other spacecraft be able to function?  Yes, if the magnetic field switched off it would not be great, but we're hardly talking the end of all life on earth within a year, as the film states.

The real problem is it also somehow manages to fail at having interesting characters, being instead stocked with paper-thin clich├ęs and Hollywood tropes.  I mean, we get almost no back-story to any of the characters and you're not really given any reason to care about them at all.  However, they're all obviously brilliant.  Even the guy who's broadly meant to be the 'Judas' in the group is actually a genius who comes up with a brilliant solution and sacrifices himself.

So even though you can sometimes compensate for pish science and rubbish science fiction with good and interesting characters, it can't even do that right.

and on top of all that, it was way too long.  If it's a fun B-movie, like it seems to be trying to be, it shouldn't be rattling on for a chunk over two hours.

Tuesday, 11 October 2011


When I was quite a lot younger I used to get tonsilloliths.

I didn’t know I used to get tonsilloliths, because I didn’t know what tonsilloliths were and I didn’t know they were a proper thing.

Basically, tonsilloliths are a sort of lumpy accretion that can build up in your tonsils.  They don’t tend to be that deep and kinda poke out of the duct.  Indeed, they can often ‘grow’ out of the tonsils an be visible in the back of the throat.

But what do I mean by a lumpy accretion?

I don’t know it you’re familiar with how pearls form in oysters, but I think it’s basically the same idea.  A pearl forms when a lump of grit or other irritant gets into the oyster, and it slowly coats it until it becomes a large, roughly spherical lump.  Yes, for those that didn’t know, pearls are basically solidified oyster spit.

In this case, the tonsilloliths form around little bits of food that get into your tonsils (which are like ducts at the back f your mouth / top of your throat - weirdly there doesn’t seem to be a clear explanation for what tonsils really do) and an accretion slowly builds up around them.

They’re not rock hard like pearls, but they are quite hard and they’re also very smelly.  Indeed, they’re one of the causes of halitosis.

So I used to get these things, but never really knew what they were.  They used to manifest for me in that, ever so often I’d get a feeling like they was something hard and course at the back of my mouth.  In particular, I could feel it when I swallowed.

I’d end up basically rubbing my tongue against my pallet area (my tonsils, but I didn’t know it), scrapping the area with my finger like it itched and also trying to sort of blow the irritant away like a cat spitting up a hairball.

And as I say, I’d sort of spit up one of these hardish, very smelly, slightly yellow lumps that I recently discovered are called tonsilloliths.

I’ve not had one for years and, according to Wikipedia, they’re more common for teenagers, which is when I used to mainly get them.  Also, and I’m not sure it's actually of any benefit, but after the disasters I had when I finally started going back to the dentists (after uni, when I hadn’t gone for years) I started doing everything, including using mouthwash, which I’d also gargle with.

As I say, I don’t know that it’s what prevents it, but I don’t really get them any more.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of grossness, you can look them up on you tube and see some really nasty sights of them being removed from he back of people’s mouths.  Some of them on there are enormous, and I never got anything like that, but there the same basic beast.

Monday, 10 October 2011


I have no idea what I mean by that as a title.

But then to be honest, I'm struggling to know quite what I mean by anything today, as I got no sleep on Saturday night.

Well, I've a sneaking suspicion I got about an hour at 4:30AM.  But certainly from 11:00PM on Saturday night I was doing stuff right through until about 4:00AM on Sunday morning.

I don't really know why I didn't get any sleep.  I actually went to bed early on Saturday, but I laid there for so long totally wide awake that it was apparent that the whole effort was pretty much wasted.  I think a big part of the problem was that I'd basically done nothing all Saturday.  I mean, I'd been busy all day, but what I was doing was fiddly and mentally taxing, rather than physically taxing.

I'd also been eating badly (I gained a pound on Sunday's weigh in, though it wasn't a proper like-for-like consistent weigh in) all day, so I think I'd managed to kind of build up a chunk of energy that meant when I tried to go to bed, I just wasn't tired at all.

And I didn't get tired until very early in the morning, which then left me with a bit of a dilemma, because the Japanese Grand Prix was on.  Now I have to confess I'd obviously gotten the wrong end of the stick the when it was on, as I thought it started at about 4:00AM.  However, the actual race didn't start until 7:00AM, with an hours build up before hand.

If I'd known it didn't start until then I'd probably have tried to get a few hours sleep, but instead I was waiting for it to start and perhaps drifted off for a bit.

This tiredness did hamper my enjoyment of the race.  Indeed, it hampered all of my day, if I'm honest.  The race looked like quite a good one, but I kept loosing focus and being distracted, due to my tiredness.

I didn't make the same mistake on Sunday, as I did loads of stuff that included washing my car and going for a one and a half hour walk.  I was truly shattered by the afternoon, which was great, but left me with another dilemma.

This time, the problem was going to bed too early.  This would potentially allow me to catch up on lost sleep, but there was also the potential problem of waking up very early in the morning and therefore mess up my body clock, setting it to that I keep waking up early in the morning.

In the end I stayed up until about 8:30PM, but this morning I was shattered when I got up.  I'll therefore try to go to bed a bit early tonight as well, although I'm doubting I'll manage that.