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################################# TREADMILLS ################################# Some of you won’t have got a big rambly email like this one from me before. They’re spams. Update emails that I send out to keep everyone in the loop, mainly because I’m too lazy to email you all individually. It’s like a blog, only more attention-demanding. Some photos are attached in case you can’t be bothered to read it, but I’ve been obnoxious and buried the captions down the bottom. Enough introduction. Some updates. The medical treadmill is well gone. Now I’m on the publications treadmill. This is good, right? CIMA at ECAI in July. Very positive reviews too. Since it’s a big theoretical chunk of my research I’m pretty happy to have (a) published and (b) done it so quickly. I also figured out a neat trick for visualising some higher (4+) dimensional spaces while I was working on it. The trick’s a bit boring to explain here, but basically it’s just a mental recursion that relies on being able to divide the dimensions up into a set of exclusive complete subsets, where each dimension in each subset has mostly unchanging correlations (speaking loosely) with each dimension in the complement of that subset. The first time I read that it sounded horrible, now it sounds OK. Either way it makes the trick sound far brainier than it actually is. But "an abstract is an advertisement", right? On the downside a paper we put into the JAL got bounced. The reviews were especially frustrating. The first one said "wonderful, insightful, should definitely be published, and oh, by the way I’m an expert in this field. You need to tweak this, explain this a little more, and you’ve spelt this word like X, but I prefer this other spelling". The other two were almost word for word identical and said nothing more than "I’m not really an expert in this field, but I’m not sure if this is relevant to the journal?". So the editors rejected it. Shrug, it happens, a chance to incorporate the feedback and submit it again. The previous sentence is missing a phoneme. Just now I’ve finished turning a 68 page technical report into a 30 page book chapter. Hopefully it turns out like ECAI and not like JAL, but this one is really in the lap of the gods. When I ran out of disk space the Computing Laboratory added a whole half penny’s worth to my quota. Very generous of them. After hearing Nassim Taleb talk in March I finally found the time to read his books. Good, both of them. I think he eloquently and concisely explains the rather vague feeling that pulled me out of the markets, and why I’m happy to reenter now that I’ve just about finished tuning Sage; I expect Ashley’s story is similar. Currently, A Pattern Language rests by my bed. Through osmosis I expect to understand architecture. Some dancing, but again not as much as I’d like. I couldn’t track down a regular partner for medals, so I passed those by. It was almost inevitable, but something clashed with the Cuppers competition too. It was Andy’s and Judy’s wedding though so I feel well compensated and don’t mind missing the comp this year. Congratulations once more Andy, Judy!! It was wonderful to see Mum and Gramsi there and be able to show them around Oxford afterwards as well. I was walking to the supermarket last week and there was some homeless man there, chanting "Big Issue, Big Issue" (http://www.bigissue.com/magazinesite/about.html) like they do on every other street corner. All very well, until his mobile phone started to ring, was eagerly answered. And it was a really nice phone. Much nicer than mine, which, like my bike, is in the process of dismantling itself. So I feel like my cheapness and skepticism towards the purportedly homeless is somehow vindicated. I’m sure there are some truly homeless people, but I’m also sure that tourists make Oxford a lucrative place to beg. The Chelsea Garden Show was wonderful, although I think there were more people there than plants. The Bonsai trees were amazing, and the Australian show garden (I think it won the whole show?) was especially poignant, Lots of concrete, not all that much in the way of greenery, a BBQ, and water endlessly wastefully pouring into a hole in the ground. Oooo symbolic. Actually quite a pleasant change from all the rest, and I really enjoyed the day there with Dad and Mary – even if you’re not a gardener it’s definitely a oncer. You might also have heard that the Foreign Secretary announced in March that Britain would be withdrawing from the program after all current scholars had completed their studies. So no effect on me, but a poor decision nonetheless. Cue some lobbying. Nothing is certain, but there are indications that the decision will be reversed. At the very least, Gordon Brown wants the whole issue "sorted out". Hopefully he means "reversed". There’s a link to a petition below. You have to a be UK resident (i.e. working here, or studying here, or just with a mailing address here) to sign it, but if you can please please please do! There are more than 1700 signatures already, and Downing St is obliged to send a response to everyone who signs it. The link: http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/comschols/ My time as Treasurer has been going along well, and the MCR treasure chests remain appropriately bountiful. Give or take some rounding errors we will have spent everything we got this year, which is what we should be aiming to do. Not that I get the credit for that – all I did was sign the cheques, other people did useful things with them! Our negotiations (to the honest extent that they were) with College also went well. Everything’s going up, but not too much. In particular, rent for MCR accommodation is going up less than inflation. The Worst Sentence Ever. It comes from the Times, page 11, April 17th: * An aide filmed accusing a member of the Royal Family of performing a sex act on him as a stripper looked on was a "boastful braggart" and as "camp" as John Inman in "Are You Being Served?", a jury was told yesterday. I used to think that the Times had both class and editors, but that sentence has at least two meanings, each involving different relative positions of the stripper, camera and alleged sex act. And really, if I want news like that I’ll read the Sun. I think I’m turning into a snob. Oh dear. Penultimately, some very funny youtube: Just gorgeously cute - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wMHcpMmV9g No introduction necessary Ghostrider: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekXxi9IKZSA Being a fence-sitting centrist just makes it all so funny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SkzV5AIK8iM And finally, the photos and their captions. Most of them don’t need more than the image filename. Number 8 was taken when we all claimed to be Australians and got ourselves invited to the BBQ in the Australian garden at the garden show. Mary can reasonably claim that she’s an Australian, Dad only if he tried really hard, me not at all. The seats were comfy though. My hands also do the most intriguing things whenever I’m talking. I’m bored enough to attach some examples that illustrate my point (photos 10-12), they’re from Rachele’s birthday drinks and the wedding I went to. Coming up? Well, I’ll be getting up in 3 or 4 hours, just so I can go and meet Susanna at Heathrow. Much happiness :D FINIS
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