Tuesday 25 February 2014

Beaufort Scale

Slight aftereffect (1)
Indeterminate malaise, some tiredness.

Slight hangover (2)
Noticeable tiredness and loss of appetite initially.

Gentle hangover (3)
Tiredness is severe and accompanied by occasional nausea and mild headache.

Moderate hangover (4)
Nausea more frequent with constant fatigue. Headache causes sensitivity to light and noise.

Considerable hangover (5)
Regular waves of nausea accompany constant moderate headache.

Severe hangover (6)
Vomiting in early morning subsides to nausea and headache, movement becomes difficult.

Weekend near ruined (7)
Multiple bouts of vomiting. Nausea is nearly constant, headache and sensitivity are severe.

Weekend ruined (8)
Frequent vomiting to start. Opening eyes becomes difficult. Hangover lasts for more than 24 hours. Bacon sandwiches aggravate symptoms.

Weekend severely ruined (9)
Nausea and vomiting is incapacitating. Breathing normally requires effort.

Alcohol poisoning (10)
Patient lapses in and out of consciousness. Vomiting is frequent and accompanies diarrhoea.

Acute Alcohol poisoning (11)
Patient is unconscious, respiration depressed, cold pale clammy skin.

Catastrophe (12)
Buildings, lives or marriages wrecked.

Richard "Going up the Portsmouth spinnaker tower seems to add 2" B

Tuesday 18 February 2014


Unsurprisingly I didn't have a date on St. Valentine's day. Instead I had been invited to the most pretentious event ever, it was an album launch party in a record shop. Not only was it after hours when the shop should have been closed and not only was it in a muso/hipster all-vinyl record shop, it was in the less welcoming muso/hipster all-vinyl record shop where they only stock records that people like me have never heard of. Not only was I far too old and not good enough looking to be there, it was completely full of hipsters with stupid clothes/beards/hair/makeup/fucking bobble hats indoors and thick rimmed black specs. To really put the pretentious cherry on top of the ostentatious cake there was a bewildering and highly entertaining spoken word artist before the band.

Richard "the band were completely wonderful" B

Tuesday 11 February 2014


Weather forecasting is an inexact science, and headline writing is a lax literary discipline, but even so the weather stories we've had in the local paper have been laughably inaccurate. The southwest has been hit by a series of storms recently. According to the local paper one was going to be "apocalyptic". It was only apocalyptic if the four horsemen were called War Famine Pestilence and Persistent-Heavy-Drizzle. The next storm was described as "more wind and rain", that one damaged my mum's house, almost destroyed one of my favourite restaurants, and has left most of the Southwest inaccessible by rail. The third storm was "Monster storm will be worse than 1987". For me it involved one night of slightly disturbed sleep, 1987 was much worse. It was a whole year long, I was subject to a strict curfew, I had to get up early every morning to do a paper round, there was a massacre in Hungerford and the Zebrugge ferry sank.

Richard "and apparently Mrs Thatcher was re-elected" B

Tuesday 4 February 2014

Two Museums Separated by a Common Language

Last year I visited the museum at Bletchley Park where they were doing radio intercepts and codebreaking during the war. My visit was slightly spoiled by the fact that the exhibits that I wanted to see were housed in a separate museum with a separate entry fee, and that half of that other museum was closed on the day I visited. As well as breaking the enigma code at Bletchley Park, they also built the first programmable digital electronic computer. The first computer had nothing to do with Enigma, that was already broken. The first computer was for a teleprinter code called Lorenze, it was built by a huge team that nearly worked themselves to death, but the two main architects were eccentric genius gaylord Alan Turing, and telephone exchange engineer Tommy Flowers. Neither of them were properly recognised or rewarded.

Since I went there the spat between the two museums has worsened.

Here's a snippet from the BBC news about the spat, and Bletchley Park Trust sacking one of its volunteers for showing visitors the history about computers being invented.

And here is an even handed and well researched summary of the situation between the two museums:

Sadly things have got so bad that Bletchley Part Trust are going to build a fence to keep their visitors away from the computer museum. Bletchley Park are rolling in lottery money and are busy trying to create "a world class visitor attraction" while the national museum of computing is in serious financial difficulty.

I'd like to bang the heads of the Lottery Heritage Fund, The National Museum of Computing, and the Bletchley Park Trust together. It's the same set of buildings, and the same bit of history. They should try getting the funding, the tours, and the ticketing sorted out for both museums.

Richard "play nicely, children" B