Thursday, 11 October 2012

Bletchley Park

Bletchley Park is the spiritual home of the computer and the workplace of the genius mathematician Alan Turing.   However, it is perhaps best known for the code-breakers who cracked the German Enigma cipher (amongst others, some even more complex) during the second World War, seen as a key contribution to the allied war victory.  The whole park was shrouded in secrecy for fear of secrets being exposed to opposition forces.

A number of years later, an old couple who had lived nearby all of their lives were visiting the (now revealed) site as tourists.   They were watching a bungled demonstration of the Enigma machine by a tour guide who missed a key step.   The old lady got up and said something like "that's not how you do it" before taking over the demonstration herself, showing the correct way to operate the machine.

The man, amazed, asked her if she worked at Bletchley when she was younger.  "Yes" she replied, "I worked in this hut over here".  

"Oh!" said her husband.   "I worked in that hut over there!"

They'd met on the train, travelling home from work and due to the Official Secrets Act, had never confessed their real work to each other.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The John Terry Affair

To tackle one thing right off the bat, I abhor racism in all its forms.  I don't like what John Terry is alleged to have said (and the intent with which he allegedly said it) and if it was true he deserves to be punished.  Behaviour like that is unacceptable.  

However, the point of this post is not to discuss whether he did or didn't use racially offensive terms - there are two bodies who have already discussed this and come to their own conclusions which are now being played out in the media.   This post is looking at the FA's role in all this.  

Saturday, 6 October 2012

Conservative Minister for Health, Jeremy Hunt

It didn't take him long to impose his twisted, uninformed views.

Jeremy Hunt - a known homeopathy supporter - became the Minister for Health and has recently voiced his personal opinion about how the time limit by which a woman can choose to have an abortion.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Germany's Catholic Church Tax

Reports eminating from Germany recently suggest that Catholic bishops are demanding the witholding of sacraments and religious burials if the congregation do not contribute to the church tax.

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Daily Fail

Quite apart from giving some really abhorrent people the time and space to vent their poisonous spleens to the World, the Daily Mail in the UK has been well and truly caught out blatantly making things up.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The view from up here...

Somewhere over the Aurora Australis, way up high......

A time lapse video taken aboard the International Space Station of a magnificent natural event:

Tuesday, 20 September 2011


In work we're lucky enough to have a flatscreen television in the canteen so we can watch whilst having a break. Unfortunately it's normally tuned to Sky News rather than BBC news (bit of a snob in that regard but at least it's not ITV).

One thing I really do like, however, is the occasional belly laugh I get due to the subtitles. For these live subtitles, most are produced using speech recognition software and are backed up by trained Stenographers to correct when things go wrong (which is fairly often).

Two recent examples that spring to mind are: "Now we're going to cross live to labia where there is heavy fighting" and "These girls are modelling Burkini's" (which is a gigantic clash of culturally significant clothing - I can only presume it's a burqa worn above a skimpy pair of knickers).

An update to the Sally Morgan blog

I've previously posted about Britain's self-proclaimed "best loved psychic", Sally Morgan. As an addendum, I spotted this interesting piece in the Guardian where an entirely believable accusation is levelled at her.

Now, in the interests of balance, I have to say that the claim is anecdotal, it's based on no harder evidence than Sally herself uses and it's written by a confirmed "Skeptic". With that in mind, read on...

Guardian piece:

If true, it would mean that it's not the spirits talking to her, it's Terry, sitting up in the sound booth...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Oh, to be in London in September...

Looks like a really interesting public lecture coming next month at Imperial College, London.

"Join Imperial’s Institute for Security Science and Technology for an evening of codes, ciphers and computers, as they bring together four leading speakers to take you on a tour of cryptography through the ages. From its beginnings in pen and paper to its future in quantum computing, the panel will discuss the science of secrecy in its many forms and then take questions from the audience."