Archive for February, 2008

Earthquake in the UK

February 27th, 2008 1 comment

Last night, at approximately 1am, I witnessed Britain’s largest earthquake for almost 25 years! Reaching over 5 on the Richter scale, the ‘quake shook the house visibly and made quite a disturbing grinding sound. There was a follow up shock at around 4am. There are some great images of the data collected in North Yorkshire here.

Norman The “No!” Man

February 27th, 2008 1 comment

It seems that my political views have led to me acquiring a new nick name, that of Norman the “No!” Man.

This came about due to my big mouth and desire to see democracy work. I was at the Union’s AGM a week or so ago which was followed by the Union’s referendum debate meeting. With student apathy at an all time high, it was astonishing that we actually got around fifty people to turn up! Unfortunately, there was no debate. The proposers for each motion got up and said their piece and there was no opposition. How can you run a debate with no opposition?? As a democratic soul at heart I got up and put forward the opposition cases for one motion at first, but this soon ran into several motions.

The Union were videoing the event and asked the speakers to do some short pieces about their motions and the opposition to the motions. I thus ended up doing a number of video spots about why we shouldn’t ban the Union from using RBS Group as our bank, why we shouldn’t oppose ID cards and why we shouldn’t prevent the university from accepting military research funding.

With all this in mind I have decided that I am going to start a new political blog called based on this nickname. So, as soon as I sort out the site I will be up and running, until then i will probably dedicate part of this site to it.

Langdale 2008

February 27th, 2008 1 comment

It occurred to me not so long ago that i hadn’t been on an actual real-life holiday since June 2005 when I went to Spain for a week. This is simply bad form.

This revelation led me to organise a short break to the Lake District with Liz last week. We were away for a week and it was a week well spent. I realise that I should have been at lectures and doing coursework but it is a sacrifice I would not hesitate to make again!

We had planned to be in the Lakes all week, but due to an issue with the kennels Liz and I had to stay in Kirkham for a couple of days to dog sit for my mother. At first I thought it would be a bit of a waste of time but it was actually quite relaxing to just chill out at home for a bit, especially since my mum had redecorated my room with new bed, new carpets etc etc.

We headed up to the Lakes on the Wendesday and spent a glorious few days basking in the miserable northern weather :P I should point out here that I love the Lake District, especially in Winter. I like the rain and wind and snow. We did some walking, some shopping and some general mooching – not to mention Liz’s FOUR jacuzzi baths!!

We were staying at the Langdale Estate ina lovely little chalet. I really love that part of the Lakes with its accessible walking and lively (relatively…) atmosphere.

More importantly I got new walking boots!

Internet has returned!

February 27th, 2008 No comments

Having not had home Internet that has worked with any kind of stability it was quite a shock to get home today and find that everything seems to be working normally again.

Check out the difficulties we have been facing here.

Rationalist Week 2008

February 13th, 2008 No comments

Yes, it’s that time of year again – A-Soc started planning this year’s Rationalist Week in Earnest yesterday, getting a provisional timetable together and starting to look at the budget. The event is likely to cost in the region of £1500, of which the Union’s grant will cover maybe £200-300, which means we will have to raise the rest ourselves. Yesterday’s cake sale was a good start but we need a lot more money.

A-Soc is looking into running a Rocky Horror Picture Show Night and a couple of club nights to break the back of the fundraising. We are also looking for sponsors, both private and corporate who might be interested in getting involved. So if anybody has any ideas or would like to contribute let me know!

It is a great event, check out the posts about it from last April.

Secret Boys

February 12th, 2008 2 comments

Well the main news for today was going to be about the success of Darwin Day 2008, A-Soc’s annual celebration of the birth of Charles Darwin. Sarann and Michelle kindly spent their weekend baking the most delightful selection of cakes – crispy cakes, fairy cakes, Victoria sponge, chocolate cake, banana bread, scones, cookies, shortbread, flapjack and ginger bread men!

We spent the day outside the union foyer selling these cakes and generally spreading the word about the life and work of Charles Darwin and how his theory of evolution by natural selection is still influencing us today. I presented a discussion on how this theory works within the idea of social evolution and how society and altruism within that society is a result of Darwinian evolution, not a contradiction!

As I said, this was going to be the main news – however, when Chris and I returned from the A-Soc social this evening we tripped over a pair of shoes and a bag in the hallway and then noticed a strange coat on the hangers! Intrigue was in the air as B has been away and Chris and I were out – leaving Michelle or Sarann to have visitors. The lounge was empty and their was no reply from downstairs. The plot thickened…

On closer inspection we determined the stuff belonged to a boy! Secret boys in the house. Who had the mysterious visitor in their rooms? Well, on logging onto MSN I discovered Michelle was online and soon came downstairs on hearing the news! This left one suspect… Sarann!

The list of possible candidates for the secret boy is short – there are very few people that Sarann would have round without telling Michelle at the least. In fact, only one name springs to mid. The same boy that stayed over just recently – supposedly on the sofa – after inviting himself round.

I have been informed that revealing the secret boy would be unethical, so I won’t mention his name, but anyone who knows the people involved should be able to guess!

Referendum Time

February 5th, 2008 2 comments

It’s that time of year again, when the crazy political folk get their soapboxes out and try and make the student population care about the world outside of Neighbours, Deal or No Deal, cheap drinks and Carnage based incidents.

The Union Council passed the following motions meaning they now go on to the referendum ballot paper which every full member of the union gets to vote on. Compare them with the submitted motions here.

Motion 1: Don’t renew the LUU ‘No Platform Policy’– AT SECURE PETITION (330)

Everyone support this – get down to the union and sign the petition! It gives us back our right to free speech!!

Motion 2: Lobby for Activity Groups to have access to the Refectory

This is a good idea, not that it will actaully make any difference seeing as the union couldn’t organise themselves a drink, never mind a piss up in a brewery!

Motion 3: Should this Union support a re-evaluation of the decision to close Bodington Hall?

Not one I actually care about. It is going to happen whatever the outcome of this vote.

Motion 4: Stop the Royal Bank of Scotland/Natwest funding climate change

This is just ridiculous. We are intelligent people able to make up our own minds about who and what we buy from whom. Either ban everything or shut the f*** up!!

Motion 5: ID Cards

It’s already law!! Get over it and move on. If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to worry about.

Motion 6: Should our University accept money from military companies to carry out their research?

YES. Next question…

Motion 7: Should LUU lobby the University for Home Fees to apply to refugees?

NO. Either pay up or get a job like the rest of us.

Motion 8: Oppose the NUS Governance Review

A tricky one, I think that the ideas behind are pretty sound, just not sure how it would actaully work in practice.

Motion 9: Lads mags behind the counter

There are more naked women in Cosmo….

Motion 10: Occupation and education in Iraq – AT SECURE PETITION (750)

Gah. This is basically a mish mash of several motions. They are all rubbish! Stay away from this one.