Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sex id

The scale below is an indication of where you fall in the male-female brain continuum. The results are based on the angles, spot the difference, 3D shapes and words tasks.


Bear in mind that your performance may be affected by many factors in addition to gender, like age and intelligence.

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Your personal brain score: 0 (ie right in the middle between a male and female brain)




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Part 1

Angles
This task tested your ability to identify the angle of a line by matching it with its twin. This is a spatial task, which looks at how you picture space.

Your score: 16 out of 20
Average score for men: 15.1 out of 20
Average score for women: 13.3 out of 20


What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 12: You have more of a female brain. Scientists believe that people with a female brain find it more difficult to judge the slope of a line because they're not wired for spatial tasks. In past studies, 65 per cent of people who scored in this range were women.

If you scored 13 - 17: You found this test neither hard nor easy. This suggests your brain has male and female traits when it comes to spatial ability.

If you scored 18 - 20: You have more of a male brain. On average, men outperform women in this task and those with more mathematical knowledge tend to score quite high as well. In past studies, 60 per cent of the people in this range were men.

Interestingly, men's testosterone levels fluctuate through the seasons and studies have shown that men's scores are lower in the spring, when their testosterone levels are at their lowest.

Do our cave dwelling ancestors offer us any clues about why men and women score differently on this task? Find out more.


Spot the difference
This task tested your ability to identify which objects changed position. You lost points, if you incorrectly identified objects.

Your score: 86%
Average score for men: 39%
Average score for women: 46%


What does your score suggest?

If you scored between 0 - 33%: You may have more of a male brain. Scientists say men tend to under perform in this task. The corpus callosum, the part of the brain that links the right and left hemispheres, is a fifth larger in women. This means women can process visual and other signals at the same time more easily than men. There is also a theory that oestrogen levels in women give them an added advantage in spatial memory.

If you scored between 34 - 66%: You may have a balanced female-male brain.

If you scored between 67 - 100%: Those with a female-type brain generally score in this range. Your ability to remember where objects are may serve as an advantage to you when you're trying to find your way around places. You're more capable of recalling landmarks to get from one place to another.

Find out more about our spatial abilities.


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Part 2

Hands


You said your right thumb was on top when you clasped your hands together.

Right thumb on top: This suggests the left half of your brain is dominant. Many studies have tried to establish whether there is a relationship between handedness and brain dominance. Some scientists believe that if you are left brain dominant, you would be more verbal and analytical.

Left thumb on top: This suggests the right half of your brain is dominant. Some studies theorise that as a right brain dominant person, you may excel in visual, spatial and intuitive processes.

However, these theories are debatable and leave much to be said about the small percentage of people who are ambidextrous.

Find out why right-brained people may be better fighters and artists.


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Part 3

Emotions and Systems
This task looked at whether you prefer to empathise or systemise.

Empathising

Your empathy score is: 7 out of 20
Average score for men: 7.9 out of 20
Average score for women: 10.6 out of 20


What does your result suggest?

Empathisers are better at accurately judging other people's emotions and responding appropriately. If you scored 15 and above, you are very empathic and would be an ideal person to comfort people in a time of crisis. Women in general are better at empathising.


Systemising

Your systemising score is: 13 out of 20
Average score for men: 12.5 out of 20
Average score for women: 8.0 out of 20

What does your result suggest?

Systemisers prefer to investigate how systems work. A system can be a road map, flat pack furniture, or a mathematical equation – anything that follows a set of rules. A score of 15 and above suggests you're good at analysing or building systems. Men in general are better at systemising.

Scientists are keen to learn more about people who score high or low on both tests. They want to find out whether or not empathising and systemising are linked. Is a possible to make yourself more empathic?

Some scientists claim that our empathy and systemising abilities can be traced all the way back to prehistoric times. Find out more.


Eyes
This task tested your ability to judge people's emotions.

Your score: 8 out of 10
Average score for men: 6.6 out of 10
Average score for women: 6.6 out of 10

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 3: Do you think you're good at judging how another person is feeling? Your score suggests this doesn't come to you quite so naturally.

If you scored 4 - 6: Your result suggests you have a balanced female-male brain and find it neither easy nor difficult to judge people's emotions.

If you scored 7 - 10: Your result suggests you are a good empathiser, sensitive to other people's emotions. Women generally fall into this category.

Professor Baron-Cohen at the University of Cambridge says that people usually perform better than they expect to on this test.

Men often think a person's eyes are sending signals of desire when that's not the case at all. Find out more.


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Part 4

Fingers
We asked you to measure your ring and index fingers. Your ratios came to:

Right Hand: 1.04
Left Hand: 1.05

Average ratio for men: 0.982
Average ratio for women: 0.991
It's thought that your ratio is governed by the amount of testosterone you were exposed to in your mother's womb. The ratio of the length of your index finger to the length of your ring finger is set for life by as early as three months after conception. Even during puberty, when we experience intensive hormonal changes, the ratio stays the same.

Men generally have a ring finger that is longer than their index finger, which gives them a lower ratio than women, whose ring and index fingers are usually of equal length.

Studies have found that men and women with lots of brothers generally have more masculine finger ratios. Find out what other things scientists think our ratios may tell us.


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Part 5

Faces
This task looked at how you rate the attractiveness of a series of faces. The images you looked at were digitally altered to create slight differences in masculinity.

Your choices suggest you prefer more feminine faces.

Highly masculinised male faces possess more extreme testosterone markers such as a long, broad and lower jaw, as well as more pronounced brow ridges and cheekbones.

Interestingly, women's preferences are said to vary across the menstrual phase. A more masculine face is preferred during the 9 days prior to ovulation, when conception is most likely.

A typical 'attractive' female face possesses features such as a shorter, narrower, lower jaw, fuller lips and larger eyes than an average face.

Are you surprised at what researchers think they can learn from your answers? Find out more.


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Part 6

3D shapes
This task tested your ability to mentally rotate 3D shapes.

Your score: 12 out of 12
Average score for men: 8.2 out of 12
Average score for women: 7.1 out of 12

What does your result suggest?

If you scored 0 - 6: Do you find yourself having to physically rotate a map to point in the direction in which you're travelling? This might explain why you scored in the lower range in the 3D shapes test. Twice as many women as men score in this category. Previous studies suggest that those with a female-type brain or with an arts background fall into this range.

If you scored 7 - 9: In past studies, 50 per cent of the people who scored in this range were women and 50 per cent were men.

If you scored 10 - 12: Are you an engineer or do you have a science background? People with these skills tend to score in this range. Past studies have concluded that people in this range have a more male brain.

Nearly a third of men who took this test got full marks, whereas less than 10 per cent of women managed the same. Find out why.


Words
This task looked at your verbal fluency.

Your score: you associated 6 word(s) with grey and you named 9 word(s) that mean happy. We are assuming that all the words you entered are correct.

Average score for men: 11.4 words total
Average score for women: 12.4 words total

What does your result suggest?

If you produced 1 - 5 words: You are more of the strong, silent type with a male brain. You probably find it easier to express yourself in non-verbal ways, preferring action rather than words.

If you produced 6 - 10 words: Most people in this range have a female-type brain.

Women are said to use both sides of the brain when doing verbal tasks while men mainly use their left side. Studies have shown that girls develop vocabulary faster than boys. This difference in brain power is caused by levels of pre-natal testosterone. Find out more .


Ultimatum
This task asked you how you would divide money.

If you had to split £50 with someone, you said you would demand £25

So far on the Sex ID test, men have demanded 51.6% (£25.80) of the pot and women have demanded 51.0% (£25.50), on average.


What does your response suggest?

Sex differences are small in this task. Demanding less than 60% of the pot (ie £30) is more typically female. Demanding more than 65% of the pot (ie £32.50) is more typically male.

Scientists believe that people with lower testosterone levels tend to take fewer risks so they are probably more willing to keep less for themselves. Those with higher testosterone levels tend to drive a harder bargain and are less compromising.

Men's testosterone levels fluctuate over the seasons and are at their lowest levels during the springtime. This is said to influence their bargaining power. Find out more about the role of testosterone.

Rover - Jethro Tull



I chase your every footstep
and I follow every whim.
When you call the tune I'm ready
to strike up the battle hymn.
My lady of the meadows ---
My comber of the beach ---
You've thrown the stick for your dog's trick
but it's floating out of reach.
The long road is a rainbow and the pot of gold lies there.
So slip the chain and I'm off again ---
You'll find me everywhere. I'm a Rover.

As the robin craves the summer
to hide his smock of red,
I need the pillow of your hair
in which to hide my head.
I'm simple in my sadness,
resourceful in remorse.
Then I'm down straining at the lead ---
holding on a windward course.

Strip me from the bundle
of balloons at every fair:
colourful and carefree ---
Designed to make you stare.
But I'm lost and I'm losing
the thread that holds me down.
And I'm up hot and rising
in the lights of every town

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Made Up Love Song - Guillemots

i love you through sparks and shining dragons, i do


Book Death

Scientists at Reading have predicted which words will be the next to become extinct. It should be noted though that the "not-too-distant" future is probably a couple of thousand years, it isn't next week.

The also worked ot that "I", "we" and "who" are the oldest words. Makes sense. Right from the start hunters would be saying "I caught that", the wives ould say "well WE cooked it", and then everyone would say "WHO took it" as the dog quietly pilfered the steak during the argument of who had done the most to provide the meal.

I can't see Squeeze ever dying though. Surely such a great band from the 80's will go on for ever (and, despite the way that reads, there really is no sarcasm there).

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Matter

I love Iain M Banks as an author. I think he is one of the greats. He has an amazing, if deep and complex, understanding of humanity. And on a lonely night in London I leave you with this from his latest:

"And to be human, to be anything like human, is to know what one lacks, to know what one needs, to know what one must look for to find some semblance of completeness amongst strangers, all alone in the darkness."

Snow Patrol - In My Arms



Tell me something that I know,
just something that I understand
I need to taste the warming glow,
of your medicating hands
I know I'm ready for your love,
I just don't understand it
there is a silent pact of trust,
that I never could admit
that I never could--

So now I'm telling you the reason I'm all messed up
Just have to look me in the eyes and I fall apart
Please let me hold you 'til I know we are both through this
I couldn't lead another day without you here in my arms

You look so fragile, I could break,
But I try to hold myself
together for the both of us,
but in truth I'm just as scared
I just wanna watch you sleep,
as you lie here beside me
So close your eyes, I'll guard the door
And when you wake, you'll wake with me
and when you wake you'll...

So now I'm telling you the reason I'm all messed up
Just have to look me in the eyes and I fall apart
Please let me hold you 'til I know we are both through this
I couldn't lead another day without you here in my arms

Peek A Boo

Unashamedly stolen from a friend on Facebook -


"Do you think when the Queen pulls the duvet up so you can only see her head, she says "Look Philip I'm a stamp!"

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Pass Please


I have managed to take "A" to a few rugby matches recently. This culminated in her saying she wanted to play. So we found a local under 7's and today was the first day at training. She was a bit worried before we got there, I think the comment was along the lines that boys can be rough. But she insisted she wanted to go (honest I was not forcing her). And even though she was the only girl she got stuck in. It was a long training session. One and a half hours. And she loved it. She had a smile on her face almost all the time. I must admit that at one point she told one of the coaches that she hoped they wouldn't pass the ball to her, but she ran around, chased the ball, grabbed a few tags (an innovation to me is tag rugby, when I was her age then it was all contact sport!). At one point she had the ball and set off, she dodged a few tackles before someone got her tag. Afterwards she told me she was told to hold the ball in both hands. Her explanation of why she was holding it as she did was that she's "watched too many games so she knows how it is really done". I must admit I hadn't noticed because I was taking pictures, but now I see the the photo of the incident, with the ball tucked up under one arm, legs going, I think we have a Shane Williams in the making.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Getting Speed

One of the problems I ahve had with the riding lessons is getting Wolfie to canter. He can do it, he's an ex hunter, but as much as anything there is simply not enough space for him in the school. He's a big horse (17.2) and trying to get him to catner in a 20 metre circle is just uncomfortable for him. Today we went out into the field. First time I ahve taken him out. Much more space. After 15 minutes of making sure he respected me and I had control it was time to let loose a bit. Wow. Fantastic fun. Cantering up the field, Wolfie whinnying with enjoyment. Great day.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Aaarggh

The end of a long week, and the end just got worse. That's what you get for checking emails at 2300hrs. Now I can't get to sleep. Mind racing.

Emotionally drained, physically drained, mentally drained. And just wishing the world would f..k off.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

England Lose

Well, technically, draw. But it isn't as though the headline surprised you is it? For clarification, I am talking cricket here. The second (or is that third) test in Antigua, where England had scored an insurmountable number of runs, was lost becasue they couldn't bowl the West Indies out. How they couldn't bowl a tail ender with the amount of time they had is a question that will probably go unanswered. That they didn't enforce the follow on is another. For the game to finish because of bad light is simply sad.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Steeleye Span - My Love




Do you remember what we promised when we met my love?
There would never be a reason for regret my love
Bad news has come to town but news flies up and down
That another you have found a life with you my love

If the wind could whisper by that it's not true my love
And the seas could rise and cry that it's not you my love
If the hills could only say that you were on your way
Then happy I would stay and be with you my love

Every night I light a light for your return my love
But the morning light's a lesson to be learned my love
That I who learned to trust have been betrayed and must
Forever more be cursed for wanting you my love

Remember what we promised when we met my love?
There would never be a reason for regret my love
But I who learned to trust have been betrayed and must
Forever more be cursed for wanting you my love

Snow Patrol - Run

I'll sing it one last time for you
Then we really have to go
You've been the only thing that's right
In all I've done

And I can barely look at you
But every single time I do
I know we'll make it anywhere
Away from here

Light up, light up
As if you have a choice
Even if you cannot hear my voice
I'll be right beside you dear

Louder louder
And we'll run for our lives
I can hardly speak I understand
Why you can't raise your voice to say

To think I might not see those eyes
Makes it so hard not to cry
And as we say our long goodbye
I nearly do

Light up...

Slower slower
We don't have time for that
All I want is to find an easier way
To get out of our little heads

Have heart my dear
We're bound to be afraid
Even if it's just for a few days
Making up for all this mess

Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Randomness

I can't think of anything interesting today so, an idea from another blog, 25 random things about me

1) I love reading. Anything. Just anything. There are very few books I haven't finished. So few you could count them on one hand.

2) At home I leave things lying around everywhere but at work my desk is one of the neatest you will find

3) I describe my work as fun, as a challenge, and exciting. It can be one big adrenaline rush.

4) Dr Who scared me when I was younger (but actually until I was older than it really should).

5) I love fast rides at funfairs.

6) While inwardly very content with myself, I spend the day-to-day being insecure

7) My daughter is the most important thing I know in the world. A hug or kiss from her makes my day right.

8) I am extremely pleased I have started riding again. The main question is how long can I hold out before I buy a horse.

9) I try to have no regrets. There is no point regretting things that are done. Learn and move forward.

10) I want to sky dive and to go in a hot air balloon.

11) I have flown both fixed wing and rotary aircraft, and still want to complete my helicopter training.

12) My favourite whisky is Highland Park

13) I managed to go through all of university (5 years for the vet course) without a girlfriend. That rather goes back to number 6.

14) I love to cook. I find it relaxing. The only problem is that I generally don't work to recipes so it is very difficult to recreate something that is exceptionally good.

15) For someone who has an opthalmology certificate I am surprisingly bad at fixing things with my hands, DIY is not a strong point (hence I love Ikea, designs so simple even I can put them together).

16) I am regretting saying that this was going to be 25 things.

17) I love photography. My photo diaries on Facebook are the longest held New Years resolution I have ever made and kept.

18) About 16 years ago I went to Canada and saw killer whales. This remains one of the best experiences of my life. Especially as we were out in a yacht so the orcas came up to us and swam under the boat. As I was leaning over one surfaced and "blew", bascialy a whale sneezed on me and it was great.

19) I want to get a tattoo of a wolf on my shoulder. Just not been brave enough yet.

20) Women scare the hell out of me, which again goes back to 6 and 13. And yes, if you are reading this, this means you too.

21) I am proud to be a Mason. I recently joined Rose Croix which was an incredibly moving expereince. I understand why some people are worried about masons, why some think masonry is bad, but my own experience is that it makes one contemplate life and has the potential to make each of us a better person.

22) My father died when I was 9. I can't say what effect that had on my life. But I am proud to call the man who is now married to my mother "my father" (as well as brother, companion, and knight in arms - he is a mason).

23) I support Cardiff and Wales when watching rugby. I know nothing about football. Cricket I enjoy, although it can be a depressing experience watching England play. I have more than a passing interest in ice hockey.

24) I trust people when I meet them and will always give them the benefit of the doubt. If they break that trust then I will forgive, but not usually forget.

25) I find it difficult to go to bed before midnight, and this has taken me to that time, so good night.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Newsflash

Warning - expect delays if calling out the AA or RAC - they are currently experiencing high demand due to a high number of chariots needing to be towed back over the Severn Bridge.

For those of you not in the know - Wales beat England today, 23-15. It was a hard match. England were not the walkover that was expected by some. Wales would start to dominate, would look like they were going to storm forward, and then England would drag, from some unknown depths, a new strength to start again. Some England players deserve an amazing amount of respect, Worsley and Sackey (I still can't understand why the most threatening man was taken off) stand out from the crowd. It was tense to watch, and in the last ten minutes could have gone either way, England managing to play outside themselves while Wales were struggling to find new ideas. The England game plan was to slow down the match, to stop Wales running, and it was a plan that almost worked. Nonetheless, Wales move onwards, two matches down, two matches won.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Lost

I was watching one of these fly-on-the-wall docuementeries tonight. They were following traffic cops. And there was a 13 year old driving. They caught him, which is good. At the end they said he had been banned for a year. Now, can you explain to me how you ban someone who shouldn't even be driving. And in a years time when he is caught again what does he say, well the ban has expired! Sometimes the law is an ass.

The Bucket List

Well, stolen from Facebook, but here is a good place to have it

Copy and blog - Place an X by all the things you've done and remove the X from the ones you have not, then send it to your friends (including me).

Things you have done during your lifetime:
(x) Gone on a blind date
(x) Skipped school
(X) Watched someone die- sort of- not the moment of though.
(x) Been to Canada
() Been to Mexico
() Been to Florida
( ) Been to Hawaii
(X) Been on a plane
(x) Been on a helicopter
(X) Been lost
() Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
(x) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
(x) Sang Karaoke
() Paid for a meal with coins only
( ) Been to the top of the St. Louis Arch
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(x) Made prank phone calls
() Been down Bourbon Street in New Orleans
(X) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose & elsewhere
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
(X) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sunrise with someone
(X) Blown bubbles
(X) Gone ice-skating
(X) Gone to the movies
( ) Been deep sea fishing
( ) Driven across the United States
( ) Been in a hot air balloon
( ) Been sky diving
() Gone snowmobiling
(x) Lived in more than one country (can I count a month in India? thought not...)
(X) Lay down outside at night and admired the stars while listening to the crickets
(x) Seen a falling star and made a wish
() Enjoyed the beauty of Old Faithful Geyser
() Seen the Statue of Liberty
() Gone to the top of Seattle Space Needle.
(x) Been on a cruise
(X) Traveled by train
() Traveled by motorcycle
(X) Been horse back riding
( ) Ridden on a San Francisco CABLE CAR
(x) Been to Disney World/Disney Land
(X) Truly believe in the power of prayer
( ) Been in a rain forest
(x) Seen whales in the ocean
( )Been to Niagara Falls
(x) Ridden on an elephant
() Swam with dolphins
(x) Surfed (well tried at least)
(x) Met a professional athlete

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Natural Glory

A massive nod and thank you to Rainbow Dreams for the following:

Last night I drove back along the coast road as the sea whipped up high above the wall, playing some kind of 'dodge the waves' game as I drove. It was wild and wonderful, untamed and free.

It was beautiful.

Nature has a way of silencing the soul, the power of the forces that surround us, the elements, that make us feel so small, and so in awe

I hope she doesn't mind me lifting it. But for a number of reasons it struck to my core. It gave me a peaceful moment in a busy word. I grew up sailing, and playing with the sea and the wind gave me great pleasure. While I was at university I used to disappear off into the Scottish mountains by myself of a weekend, and allow nature to remind me of its wonder. The world around us is beautiful, if powerful, and we should never forget that. In fact, more than not fogetting, we should make an effort to remind ouselves and expose ourselves to it.

Read the rest of her post. Rainbow Dreams is thought provoking in a way that makes me feel shallow. We all have different reasons for blogging. But I am grateful to her for putting her thoughts down.

Mummy Returns

I don't know, maybe it's just me, but it doesn't seem right to be digging up mummies. Wonderful to know they are there, but should we really desecrate the site. They were buried there and in this manner because of what the most advanced culture of its time actually believed in. Digging them up, opening the sarcophagi seems to be blatently ignoring those beliefs. In fact worse than ignoring, it is destroying them. Surely we should leave them in peace.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Scotland 13 - Wales 26

I'm travelling (and there is so much a story there, maybe I'll tell you later) so for now - GO WALES!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Quidam

About this time every year you get a Cirque du Soleil post. And yes, this is another one. I love Cirque, they transcend anything else I have seen. And Quidam just set the bar another level. This was spell binding. Cirque at its best is much more than simply a circus, it is wonderful evocative music, it is theatre, it is acting and allegory. Today it delivered it all. I can't begin to describe how moving it is, a story of a young girl woven in gestures and sound, without voice. Time passes so quickly watching this show, each half is an hour long but seemed to be over in minutes. As usual the six and a half year old barometer was equally engrossed, always a good sign. Cirque are strongest when they are more theatre and less circus, Quidam spends a long time in the "theatre" phase, it isn't jam packed with acts, what there is is elegance and refined with some heart stopping wow moments. The "theatre" is emotional, drawing you into the story. The word beautiful is a fair and appropriate one to use.

Unusually Cirque du Soleil is touring the UK rather than just showing at the Royal Albert Hall. You ahve a couple of months. I urge you to go and see this. You won't be disappointed. To be honest you might even see me there, I could very well go again.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Anything She Does

1. Put your iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc. on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer.
3. YOU MUST WRITE THAT SONG NAME DOWN NO MATTER HOW SILLY IT SOUNDS...(these are the answers my iTunes came up with)


1.If someone says, "Is this okay?" You say...?
If I can't have you (Kim Wilde)

2.How would you describe yourself?
Easy silence (Dixie Chicks)

3. What do you like in a guy/girl?
In the meadow (All About Eve)

4. How do you feel today?
The Phantom of the opera

5. What is your life's purpose?
The book I read (Talking Heads)

6. What is your motto?
Dreaming while you sleep (Genesis)

7. What do your friends think of you?
M Factor (M)

8. What do your parents think of you?
Don't get me wrong (The Pretenders)

9. What do you think about very often?
Home (Jethro Tull)

10. What is 2+2?
Great DJ (The Ting Tings)

11. What do you think of your best friend?
The Shepherds song (Eddi Reader)

12. What do you think of the person you like?
This month, day 10 (CSS)

13. What is your life story?
Horht, ihr Riesen! (Das Rheingold)

14. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Divine gosa (Bonde do Role)

15. What do you think of when you see the person you like?
I can't stop this feeling I've got (Razorlight)

16. What will you dance to at your wedding?
Every step (Tawiah)

17. What will they play at your funeral?
No surrender (Bruce Springsteen)

18. What is your hobby/interest?
L'amour Looks Something Like You (Kate Bush)

19. What is your biggest fear?
See that girl (The Undertones)

20. What is your biggest secret?
Exit stage right (Badly Drawn Boy)

21. What do you think of your friends?
The gift (Bruce Cockburn)

22. What do you want right now?
Betty (Kate Walsh)

23. What will You post this as?
Anything she does (Genesis)

24. Last words?
S.E.X (Nickelback)

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Explosive Comments

My parents have some new neighbours. They are German (the neighbours not my parents that is). My parents being the kind people they are have gone over to make sure they know which bin to put out when etc. So last week they all went out for a meal. The husband of this couple works for a construction firm. He announced that they had had to evacuate the site the other day because they had found a bomb. My mother, without a moments hesitation, turned to him and said "one of yours or one of ours?" My father is still cringing now.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Snow Joke

Dr Alan Maryon-Davis (UK president of the Faculty of Public Health) on Radio 4 this morning was trying to argue that the nanny state has not gone far enough. This is a poor argument, generally it has already gone too far. The problem with a nanny state is it allows us to devolve responsibility to others. Nothing is out fault anymore because we should be told how to live. It is a shocking opening to the clip. Jonathon Humphries comments on schools closing because of the snow, certianly something that rarely happened when I was in school but seems ever so much more common now. And the reason, according to Maryon-David is because people are suing the school if they have an accident when they are taking the children in. This is ridiculous. I am stunned that people think they could have the right to sue the school. I am even more amazed that the courts (using tax payers money) will actually allow the case to proceed. Time to stop.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Transcript

This is a transcript of my conversation with Bullguard about the logon security problem. It may have worked so I put it here for any of you with a similar problem.

[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Hello
[Berndt]: Hello, welcome to BullGuard Live Support!
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Thank you
[Berndt]: IPlease give me more details bout your encountered issue and I will help you.
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: My computer freezes when it boots. I believe this is connected to the BullGuard software
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: It has been a long issue and I did fix it for a while by turning off Windows Defender
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: But it recently started again and the only way I can now get the computer to work is turning off Bullguard
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: When computer has frozen if I Cntr-alt-del then I get the message "Logon process has failed to create the security options dialog"
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: I did wonder about downloading version 8.5 but I am not sure what version I am running. Under account it says "latest version installed" so does this mean it has automatically updated to 8.5?
[Berndt]: For what I understand, you are using the Windows Vista operating system. Is that correct?
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Yes
[Berndt]: OK. Please follow these steps:
[Berndt]: A) Disable Windows Firewall (if active):1. Click Start > Control Panel > Classic View > Windows Firewall.2. Select the Off option and press the OK button.
[Berndt]: (Make sure that Windows Defender is turned off again)
[Berndt]: B) Disable Windows Defender:1. Click Start > Control Panel > Classic View > Windows Defender.2. Click Tools > Options.3. Scroll down the panel and untick the "Use Windows Defender" option.4. Click Save to confirm the changes.5. Click Start > Run.6. Type "services.msc" and press the OK button.7. Locate Windows Defender, right-click on the service and set the Startup Type to Disabled.8. Close the panel.
[Berndt]: C) Disable the User Account Control feature (if active):1. Click Start > Control Panel > Classic View > User Accounts.2. Click on the "Turn User Account Control on or off" option.3. Untick the Use UAC box and press OK to confirm changes.4. When prompted, restart your computer.
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Doing fine until 7, I can't see startup type when I right click[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Start up tupe is automatic, but right clicking doesn't seem to give iption to turn off
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Hold on, got it
[merlin_alasdair@ntlworld.com]: Needed to go into properties
[Berndt]: OK.