Den Haag

Ok, Amsterdam was getting a tad tiresome, so we upped sticks and offed to The Hague. Saw the International Justice building, where a lone guy was standing outside protesting for the release of some guy called Gun Falan or something. I remember reading about him, but I really can’t be bothered bringing up google now to find out the whole story just so I can put it here and seem knowledgable. Saw the prison where Nobel Peace Prize candidate Mr Milosovic was holed up. Also hit the North Sea, great beaches (maybe you’ll see the pics someday) with topless sunbathers all candidates for Miss Blackpool atleast. Back in the Dam managed to fit in some canal trips before settling down at a posh Italian place where I wasn’t supposed to put my elbows on the table, and you get huge plates with no food. But I did love the Ravioli ricotta i spinaci. With butter and sage sauce. Yummax!
it’s Falun Gong, a religious movement in PRC that’s being persecuted by the govt. Surprise me!

Dutch Masters

There’s only one Rijk’s Museum, and it was host to me! A warm sunny day ’twas today, so I slapped a ton of sunblock on my visage and headed off to spend the day indoors amongst crowds of strangers and smelling of Nivea 45 xg or summat. Unlike yesterday when I was lain on the roof of the NEMO building until cooked to a Naz Thermidor. Saw Rembrandt, Vermeer, Witte, amongst others. They said hi πŸ˜› Delft plates and plaques, magnificant doll houses etc. A great big model of a Dutch galleon ( Oh, and they battered the British at sea, apparently) Busy day for Mr. Kodak Easy Share C340. I believe a new talent is going to burst onto the Manchester scene soon, with techniques honed in Amsterdam by studying the Dutch Masters. I’ve heard of United’s thrashing of Newcastle, and England’s humiliation of Ponting’s tourists.

Birds in the news

I’ve been hearing reports over here about the severe threats posed by Asian birds. Apparently Asian Birds flew. So what, weren’t they flying before?
-Confused πŸ˜›

I AMsterdam

It’s flippin’ four o’clock here, can’t sleep at all. The flight was great, Amsterdam’s as great as ever. Early start tomorrow, cycling tour and whatnot. There’s a special display of Van Gogh’s sketches in the VG Museum. I’m nicking someone’s wireless internet connection πŸ™‚ Back to pollinating blogs, and listening to music online. Oh, and I had spring chicken in Tarragon sauce (I’d never heard of tarragon before!) and it was flippin’ mind-blowing! And they had a real buttery taters mash with veggies in it. And I et it all! And I’m hungry now. The waitress brought us beer in little 250 ml glasses, so we (I) asked for bigger ones, and she said “Do you want pint glasses?” So the English have been here as well! We’re at the Arena hotel, great place! Free Internet and all πŸ™‚ Should get some shut-eye.

November Rain

Ioannis sent me G ‘n’ R’s (so many apostophes!) November Rain. Hadn’t heard it in a while. Still a great guitar song! Molto grazie.

Angels or apes?

“Would we see ourselves as fallen angels rather than upright apes?”
New Scientist, of which you all know I’m a big fan, has a few articles compiled under “What if?” If Darwin didn’t go on that trip on The Beagle, if Einstein’s work wasn’t published, etc. Wonderful stuff, although a few hints of tech determinism creep in here and there.

Swimming via Liverpool FC to Placid Lake

Yes, swimming alright! It’s pouring down in Manchester, so I guess we’ll all just get in our shorts and suits and stand outside! Also muscle ache is catching up with some of my WEAKER, WIMPIER comrades! I rushed home yesterday in order to fix myself a meal before settling down to watch Liverpool play CSKA Sofia. The scousers had a 3-1 lead from the first leg in Bulgaria, so they didn’t have to play much. And you bet they didn’t play much! BOOOORIIING! Long balls everywhere, strikers absolutley useless (Commentator goes “Morientes looks like he’s going to explode some time” – To which I say “Yes, but not in this life mate”) Riise looked sharp as usual, but he always has. Garcia on in half-time made a difference, but the fact remains that without Gerrard Liverpool is hopeless. Then I watched a cracker of a film. Described as a horror comedy, ‘Lake Placid’ was neither. A 30+ foot crocodile, 150 years old, living in a lake in Maine. How does it get there, an observant reader might ask. It swam the sea from “another continent”! Now the only salt-water croc I know of is the Australian mugger. So I think it must’ve flown Qantas. Oh, and the lakes in Maine do FREEZE in winter! Here’s a bunch of ‘facts’ I learnt about crocs from this informative movie.

‘Fact 1’ – Crocodiles can’t see very well underwater. ‘Scientific explanation’ of ‘fact’ – They have a nictating membrane that covers the eye. I says – So all those hours watching Discovery where crocs are gobbling up fish willy-nilly underwater were staged? Attenborough’s nasty secret?

‘Fact 2’ – If a croc’s coming at you, dive underwater. ‘Scientific explanation’ of ‘fact’ – Look at ‘Fact 1’. I says – That might be the last thing you’ll ever do then, my friend.

What crap acting as well! Jeeeez! The ingredients used were standard fare.
Actor 1 – Pretty blonde, clever, not afraid of trying although she’s a girl
Actor 2 – Outdoor, woodsy man, “Oh what the heck, let’s DO it!”
Actor 3 – Eccentric rich ‘specialist’ scientist who explains things (like croc behaviour) to everyone (and to us stupid audience)
Actor 4 – Fat sheriff (always value for money)
Actor 5, 6, 7 – To get eaten

As for the plot. Opening scene, people out unaware, sudden tragedy, clue = lots of thrashing in the water. Then progressively we see more and more of the croc monster, (presumably the Special Effects people are getting steadily better) until a final showdown. Interspersed with a few private moments between all the ‘action’ so we can get to know the ‘characters’ better.

Yes, I’m better, thanks!

Today was the first day in a loooong string of days that I woke up to with a jump. That was because we (John, Rayk, Tracy und I) were playing squash at 11. Great way to start the day. I sincerely believe that this has given me a comparably superior attitude towards problem solving and dissertation writing. Swimming tomorrow!!!!

Today’s treat for you

Today’s treat for you my little ones, is Sinosplice, a page of interesting links to blogs written by foreigners in China, Chinese people in China, and a few Chinese living abroad. As you might have guessed by now, the common theme is China πŸ˜› I’ll be reviewing a few of the interesting ones soon, but I can already see quite a few really special ones. Some of the blogs have been blocked in China (they’re the ones with the beige background instead of white).

Errorrr of Circulaarity

So there’re these scientist folks, right. And they like, wanna prove that the earth is not heating up, like. (Like some Tobacco-funded ‘research groups’ saying smoking doesn’t kill, like). So they made mistakes, like we knew they would, like. That’s the error of circularity. Lesson ended.