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After last weekend's chores and housework, I began the week in fine style - Bec needed to be dropped off at the train station early in the morning. Trouble being that she got the time wrong, and, upon checking a hurried 7:55 became a leisurely 8:55.
After getting to work, I grabbed postgrad Rhodri, and we did some tests on his material. The first test worked. After months of setbacks and frustrations, the first test worked. Yay! Gee, I'm good.
After spending most of the next day and a bit running through his samples, we have a reasonable technique happening and can get through tests very quickly.
Other notable things this week:
Because Bec is away this week, I shaved my beard off. The next morning, I remembered why I don't shave, when confronted with a face full of stubble. I wonder what she'll say when she gets home. Any suggestions?
Scouts last night, as usual, I ran a game. Last night, I ran one at the beginning and one at the end. At the beginning, I ran chair basketball, where each team has to get the ball to their goal, which is one of their team-members sitting on a chair. At the end, we also pplayed chair basketball, but with a slight difference: umpire's decision is final, and if anyone disputes it, they have to sit out for a minute; no correspondence will be entered into. I think the kids enjoyed it, but I had immense fun. I umpired exceedingly badly, so that, when they argued, I could send them off. And then they ask why, and I send one of their teammates off. At one point, I had a whole team sitting down. Hopefully they learnt that when they are told not to talk back, they don't...
Or else that resistence to authority is futile. You may as well live a quiet life in subservience to the state because the rabbit which pokes its head up out of the hole gets it blown off. No, we won't take a message of suppression of activism out of the game.
Also, this week, Australia has been eliminated from the world cup in the cane toad of global sports. 95 minutes and the only score comes after a dive? And they call this the beautiful game? While I don't deny anyone the right to watch any game or competition they like, providing the participants partcipate of their own volition, I personally try to avoid watching sports with either of the words "Synchronised" or "Diving" in them.
Once upon a time, there was a commerce student named Jack, who was doing a PhD investigating the efficacy of agriculture-based barter systems in a manufacturing-based economy. One day, Jack's supervisor asked Jack to write a paper on the role of cows as defacto units of currency. As Jack was walking back to his office, he bumped into a post-doc. The post-doc told him that in exchange for getting his name on the paper, he would give him some magic beans, which, when given to the supervisor, would magically turn into a thesis chapter.
Jack excitedly agreed and ran back to give his supervisor the beans. When he got there, he gave his supervisor the beans. Being neither coffee beans nor the paper he was asked for, the supervisor angrily threw the beans out the window, where they miraculously turned into an accepted conference abstract.
Jack went to the conference and he climbed the podium, and as he was giving his presentation, he heard a sound, "PhDee, PhDai, PhDo, PhDad, I smell the blood of a poor postgrad. Be he assured or be he scared, I'll pick holes in his work until its dead."
Startled, Jack looked and saw one of the giants of the field sitting in the front row of the audience. Fortunately, the night before, the giant had had too much to drink at the conference dinner, and, as Jack began going through basic economic theory, the giant fell sound asleep and Jack escaped safely.
While at the conference, Jack happened to pass the sleeping giant and noticed a dangling USB stick. He carefully grabbed it, and later found that it contained a collection of works in progress and ideas. He shared these ideas with his supervisor, and they happily wrote many papers together.
One day, when they had run out of ideas, Jack decided to try his luck at a conference again. Once more, Jack climbed the stage to present on the relative values of beans and cows for barter, where he heard, "PhDee, PhDai, PhDo PhDad..." The giant of the field recognised him as being the co-author of several papers which had been stolen from him, and tore his work to shreds. In tears, Jack quickly ran away from his beans talk. Jack became vice-chancellor of Monash University and lived happily ever after.
Comment from Revi
Have to love PhD literature. Good effort.
Bec will say "nothing in between so keep it clean."
The kids should learn that there are better ways to oppose a dictator than to mouth of in front of him. Play within the rules or lose your ability to achieve your goals.
Comment from Richard
I do also appreciate the PhD literature.
Horses always want to race, if they don't they do not win. We all know horses that don't win do not continue racing. That is what barrier trials are used to find out
It is a big call to claim that horses actively make a conscious and consenting choice to compete. A horse may not race well in an individual event etc. but it doesn't have the power to walk away from the race at any time. It does so as long as its owners decide its success merits the expense of keeping it and/or racing it. Purely down to economics and success.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.