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Monday, March 31, 2008

Oh to be 20 years younger!

"Is it a bird, is it a crane...no, but it's possibly a geologist. The students who used to be teased at my school for "just fiddling around with rocks" are the new superheroes of the American job market. It's no longer just oil - soaring prices for copper, silver and gold have made geologists as valuable as, well, gold dust. Geology graduates in the United States are now receiving higher average starting salaries than people with Harvard MBAs. And immigration experts report that if there is any other occupation more guaranteed to speed your entry into America, they have yet to hear of it."

From today's Daily Telegraph (so I've been told - I wouldn't read that Tory rag!)

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


In what must be a record time, my S339 TMA01 was returned to me yesterday. I got 80%. EIGHTY PERCENT! My tutor wrote that it was an excellent assignment. He even gave me marks for an 'error' that I'd found which wasn't an intended error, because I was right and because of my argument. Or something. And (get this) I got 20/20 for that question with the plates that I'd struggled with so much!

Today, I got my result for S186, the level one short course on volcanoes, earthquakes and tsunamis. There was no mark given, just a 'pass', but there were some indications of learning outcomes; well achieved, achieved, just achieved, not achieved. I didn't do marvellously - only got 2 well achieved's and there was one question which I got 'just achieved' for. This was a question on volcanic risk - what I'd done for SXG390!! I can't, for the life of me, see what was wrong with my answer!

I've 95% finished reading through block 2 of S339 and have had a quick glance at TMA02. I can say, with extreme confidence, that I can't do it.

Britain takes over America

Sent to me by an OU friend, Carol (an American!)

Britain is Repossessing the U.S.A.

A Message from John Cleese

To the citizens of the United States of America:

In light of your failure to nominate competent candidates for
President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately.

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical
duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except
Kansas , which she does not fancy).

Your new prime minister, Gordon Brown, will appoint a governor for
America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.

A questionnaire may be circulated next year to determine whether any
of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown Dependency, the following
rules are introduced with immediate effect:

You should look up "revocation" in the Oxford English Dictionary.

1. Then look up aluminium, and check the pronunciation guide. You
will be amazed at just how wrongly you have been pronouncing it.

2. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'favour' and
'neighbour.' Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without
skipping half the letters, and the suffix -ize will be replaced by the suffix -ise.

Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to
acceptable levels. (look up 'vocabulary' ).

3. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises
such as "like" and "you know" is an unacceptable and inefficient form of

There is no such thing as US English. We will let Microsoft know on
your behalf. The Microsoft spell- checker will be adjusted to take
account of the reinstated letter 'u' and the elimination of -ize. You will
relearn your original national anthem, God Save The Queen.

4. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.

5. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns,
lawyers, or therapists. The fact that you need so many lawyers and
therapists shows that you're not adult enough to be independent.

Guns should only be handled by adults. If you're not adult enough to
sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist then
you're not grown up enough to handle a gun.

6. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything
more dangerous than a vegetable peeler. A permit will be required if
you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.

7. All American cars are hereby banned. They are crap and this is for
your own good. When we show you German cars, you will understand what
we mean.

8. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will
start driving on the left with immediate effect. At the same time,
you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion
tables. Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British
sense of humour.

9. The Former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been
calling gasoline)-roughly $6/US gallon. Get used to it.

10. You will learn to make real chips. Those things you call French
fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling
potato chips are properly called crisps. Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal
fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.

11. The cold tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not
actually beer at all. Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be
referred to as beer, and European brews of known and accepted provenance will be
referred to as Lager. South African beer is also acceptable as they are pound for pound the greatest sporting Nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer.
They are also part of British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.

12. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as
good guys. Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to
play English characters. Watching Andie McDowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a
cheese grater.

13. You will cease playing American football. There is only one kind
of proper football; you call it soccer. Those of you brave enough
will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American
football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty
seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies). Don't try
Rugby - the South Africans and Kiwis will thrash you, like they regularly thrash us.

14. Further, you will stop playing baseball. It is not reasonable to
host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played
outside of America. Since only 2.1% of you are aware that there is a world
beyond your borders, your error is understandable. You will learn cricket, and we
will let you face the South Africans first to take the sting out of their

15. You must tell us who killed JFK. It's been driving us mad.

16. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's
Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all
monies due(backdated to 1776).

17. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 pm with proper cups, never
mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; strawberries in

God save the Queen.

Only He can.

John Cleese

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Yes please!!

(Thank you Circle Line)

That brought a smile to my face, after an afternoon of struggling with 3 strips of paper (marked Plates A, B and C) and a ruler, with no real result.