Tuesday, September 19, 2006


First for everything

Being an atheist and having diametrically opposite views on some things with the Catholic church, I have to say to my surprise that I do side with the Pope on the recent "clash". Being misquoted on Islam seems to be easier than falling downwards nowadays, and thus one could perhaps argue that he/his speechwriters should have been more careful with the wording of his original speech at Regensburg. But, I think the damage control was done in an excellent way, the Vatican immediately issuing clarification and then the Pope himself regretting his words, which is pretty generous, especially considering that the Pope is supposed to be infallible. Those who didn't accept his apology and keep demanding that he'd jump through more hoops they arbitrarily have set, are just plain insensitive and have no respect for the Pope or his status, or the religion he represents. How can they ask for respect for their prophet when they themselves are not willing to show any for other religions and their leaders?

(I oppose organised religions in general, but accept the fact that we can't really get rid of either Islam, Christianity or Judaism, and also think that that would not solve the problems in the Middle east or anywhere else, as the source of the problems is not the religion, even though the problems are exacerbated by hostlie actions, inflexibility and bigotry fuelled and excused by religions and differences thereof.)

No such thing as a stupid question

Hmm, not sure about that... Here's a top 3 of funny questions tourists have asked me when trying to find their way in Cambridge.

3) Excuse me, how do I get to Mill Road?
(a guy in the van, about 2 miles from Mill Road, on the exactly opposite side of town, facing the wrong way)

2) Excuse me, where is Trumpington street?
(a lady on Trumpington Street (one of the main entry/exit roads to the city centre))

1) Sorry, is this restaurant called 'Browns'?
(a girl, pointing to the sign on top of the restaurant door saying "Loch Fyne Restaurant". Browns is almost next door)

Bubbling under: Mate, can you tell me where the station is?
(a guy in a car, next to a sign pointing to the Railway station)

Well, at least these people found what they are looking for (perhaps apart from the first guy, because he was so far off that I could only point him to the general direction, tell him he has to drive around the whole town centre and then stop again and ask for new directions). I wonder how many men are still aimlessly wondering around Cambridge as they are too proud/stupid to ask for instructions.

Food. More food.

I made sandwiches at home and brought them to work to eat for lunch. Then on the way to work, I stopped at a sandwich shop to get some sandwiches to eat for lunch. All I need to do now is to forget to eat any of them. Seen my brain anywhere?

EDIT: the food is proving useful as my supervisor came back from holiday today, wants to have a meeting with me tomorrow and so I'm basically pulling an all-nighter to get ready.

EDIT2: forgot to include the following item:

Drivers counter safety measures by being more reckless

This phenomenon has been documented before, I think. When ever new safety systems are put on cars, people driving them get more careless and take larger risks that offset the safety measures. The introduction of ABS brakes, airbags and all sorts of computer-based safety features have made cars safer, but made drivers more complacent and willing to take risks. Now it's been shown that car drivers are offsetting not only their own safety measures but also those of cyclists. Overtaking drivers leave more room for people cycling without helmet and women cyclists. (The male researcher was actully run over twice in the course of the experiments, both times he was wearing a helmet, luckily.)

Maybe I should wear a wig under my helmet so that the Barrys and Nigels in their white vans would give me some space...

No comments: