Monday 28 March 2011

Plethora of Stuff

Okay I've been neglecting the blog (again) so I'm going to do a wee blitz of an update across a variety of stuff:

Rugby - Six Nations Post Mortem

Max Evans scores an excellent
solo effort at Twickenham
So Scotland avoided the wooden spoon after a spirited display at Twickenham and a comfortable win over the Italians at Murrayfield. Just as well really, because that side really should be much more competitive. Good to see Ruaridh Jackson (Gordonian) come on to a game after a difficult d├ębut, and also to see a bit of heart restored to the team. Hopefully the World Cup will see the fruits of the labour in another frustrating 6 Nations campaign.

Thistle are falling up the stairs again

Kris Doolan's on fire
Thistle have had a reasonable run, only having been beaten twice since about October. Accomplished victories against QOTS and Stirling and a cracking 2-0 win at Stark's Park against my wee team have been the highlights of the last few weeks. True to form, though, the 1-0 reverse against Cowdenbeath at Firhill was absolutely brutal to watch and sums up why we're not in among the title hunt. It's pleasing to see that Kris Doolan has gone from being farmed out on loan to Clyde last season to having a good shout at the Orange Boot for the First Division. Work in progress...

England slump in the ICC World Cup

Probably Andrew Strauss'
last ODI campaign
Cricket. England were their usual unpredictable selves at the ICC World Cup. Dramatic tie with India, ghastly loss against Ireland, a mercurial victory over South Africa and a whimper against Sri Lanka. They've been using tiredness from a very long Ashes series as an excuse for some of it, but the truth is the appetite just wasn't there. Still at least the Aussies got papped out as well by Pakistan. Their semi-final with India should be a cracker!

F1 season up and running, but not quite on the Button

Button unlucky with
the drive-through
F1. So after the abandonment of the opening event in Bahrain owing to the unrest there, things finally got under way in Melbourne. McLaren will be really pleased to have made significant strides given how far behind they were in pre-season testing, but the good performance of the Red Bulls and in particular Vettel this weekend is ominous. Button had a frustrating race and I hope he doesn't get left behind this year. Hopefully his aptitude with nursing tyres will assist him later on in the season given the way Pirelli have designed the tyres to degrade much quicker. Bring on Malaysia in a fortnight!

University - Tedium and Treachery

Semester 2 is done and dusted bar the exam diet in May. This semester has been a right drag: private law galore with a slightly underwhelming IR Politics class. Hoping to escape without substantial damage to the GPA...

Student Politics:
violent or peaceful
it's as effective as this
University environment is turning into a bit of a political Basra just now, so it's probably just as well the semester's over. The Hetherington stuff has descended into farce and a potentially constructive source of protest has just turned into an opportunity for extremists to polarise and shut-down rational debate. The University Management have been complete and utter cowards, both in their consultation process and in failing to stand-up to the idiots who have committed acts of violence, criminal damage and have been an all-round nuisance. Equally the deployment of the police earlier this week was poorly handled, although accusations of police "violence" so far as I can see have been unfounded.

Final hat tip is to the guy who outed the Free Hetherington lot as a bunch of hypocrites when he was assaulted and intimidated at their meeting for (legally) filming proceedings. Anarchists who believe in freedom of expression except when people disagree with them; who believe in the tyranny of the majority; and who want to preserve and expand the funding of a bigger state. At least the irony isn't lost on some of the mainstream media. Can't stand Peston but he's called the bluff in the context of the scenes in London....
Peston gets it spot on (for once)

Spring Break

So I'm finally off and free for a bit just to wind-down a bit. I've applied to a couple of potential summer placements and will be looking around for other stuff before last deadlines close. Spending most of it in Aberdeen, but will be making fleeting visits to Glasgow and elsewhere.

Photographer waited 20 years for a cheery photo of Aberdeen

Got a few football games to take-in, including Queen of the South on Saturday, Falkirk the following Tuesday, then Ross County and Morton near the back half of the month. Unfortunately I'll miss the last game of the season at Firhill against Raith Rovers because my Commercial Law exam is, of all times, on that Saturday afternoon :rage: which is most frustrating.

Life Plan

If you're reading, geeza place!
The latest idea I have is to finish my LLB and go to do a postgraduate LLM in the United States. Obviously it's outrageously expensive, but there are some potential avenues for scholarships which, if successful, cover the cost of the whole experience. Personal preference at the moment is to apply to the University of Pennsylvania which is situated in Philadelphia. I'd absolutely love to live, work and learn out there for a year. They've got some really good public law courses available which focus on constitutional law and the relationship between politics and the law.

Final Thought: Quote for the day

Penn was set up by Benjamin Franklin, and I guess I'll round off this bilge with a pearl of wisdom from the man himself:
"Fatigue is the best pillow"

Night night.

Sunday 6 March 2011

Jagscast - Dundee 5th March 2011 - Matthias Sindelar - a poor man's Erskine

Jagscast v Dundee 05-03-2011 - Matthias Sindelar - a poor man's Erskine by Jagscast

In this epsiode: VBL, Donald "Marc Corcoran" Balatoni, Cowie and "Duncan" discuss the horror show which was Mark Wilson's goal; League reconstruction; and Rella pride.

Special feature on Matthias Sindelar, centre forward in the famous inter-war Austrian "Wunderteam". We have a suspicion a certain Thistle enigma is related to "Der Papierene" by virtue of a rendez-vous when he made Scotland look silly in 1933.

Chris Erskine
Matthias Sindelar

Friday 4 March 2011

The Dial-up Modem

Children of the 90s and early 2000s... cherish this sound. Your children and your children's children will never experience the primitive yet beautiful sound of the dial-up modem.

They will never experience waiting up to three minutes for the AOL browser screen to move from "Dialing" to "Checking Password" before loading up a webpage in just shy of a minute and the AOL lady beamed "Welcome to AOL" with the major exci...tement of "You have email!"

Champion that moment when your parents shouted at you because they couldn't make a phone-call while you sat there waiting 4 minutes for a thirty second 2" x 1" video to load!

Raise a glass to the frustrating moment when the connection abruptly failed in the middle of loading that news article, and the AOL lady uttered "Goodbye" and you'd have to try to log-in again, possibly being unable to do so for a whole 24 hours while the internet servers were down.

Hold your head up high: you were there. You battled through the phenomenon of the insufferable pop-up. You were the generation for whom the animated GIF and 16bit colour was the cutting edge, truly ground-breaking. You were the children who when they hear "floppy disk" hear the clicking grind of the 1MB item of wonder that could move files and documents from one computer to another.

Stand proud. In the age of BlueRay, 20meg broadband, USB dongles, digital television, High Definition, 3D display, the Gigabyte... know that you were part of the world that got there.

Tuesday 1 March 2011

10 films I must see this year

I'm not a frequent cinema-goer, but there are some films I really want to see but haven't been able to recently, or which are coming out over the next while:

1. West is West: sequel to the brilliant 1999 film East is East. The travails of George Khan an immigrant from Pakistan and his family in Britain.

2. The King's Speech: It's won all the awards and I've not bloody seen it yet!

3. Paul: A highly touted Pegg and Frost special about a fugitive alien who's more human than his companions

4. The Lincoln Lawyer: film adaptation of Michael Connelly's novel by the same title about a criminal defence lawyer working from the boot of his car who lands the case of his life.

5. The Adjustment Bureau: A politician running for high office faces a dilemma in the form of a mysterious woman

6. The Iron Lady: Meryl Streep in the title role - biopic focuses on events around the Falklands War

7. The Inbetweeners: The big-screen edition of a very funny sitcom. Will be interesting to see if they can pull it off

8. Atlas Shrugged Part 1: Ayn Rand's novel is being turned into a trilogy on the big screen. Not sure if there's a UK release date yet but worth a look if so.

9. No Strings Attached: I have a soft-spot for the occasional chic flick. Sorry

10. Johnny English Reborn: due out in October, the sequel to Rowan Atkinson's very amusing parody of the James Bond films

Now to see the damned things...