Get a Life!

I got an email the other day, I don't think I know the author of it. It read:

great site!!

but reckon you need to get out more, perhaps for a byte (?) to eat or something
That was it. If I knew the person it would make sense as a good-natured dig, but as an email that's totally out of the blue from a total stranger...

Leaving aside the obvious problems with the content, and leaving aside the fact that this person talks about my "site" without saying which site they're talking about (my main site, my astronomy site or my weather site?), what I find really odd is the false dichotomy that the email is based on.

It's something I've run into for most of my adult life, and for a large part of my teens too. As well as having the sorts of interests that most people have (eating, drinking, practicing procreation, socialising, shouting at the TV, etc...) I also have a whole bunch of "geeky" interests too. Astronomy and computers have been with me since I was a child, an interest in the weather is a pretty recent development and is still very much in its infancy. What is it about the "geeky" interests that makes people like the author of the email create that dichotomy that says "either you do normal things, or you do geeky things, but you can't do both?"

I've tried to get it a number of times but, mostly, I just can't get there. I can't understand what it is about some people such that when they see you have a passion about something they assume that's the total of you, that's all you do, that you have no life outside of that interest.

Just how insular do you have to be to think like that?


Thin end of the wedge

From this article on the BBC:

Creationist theories about how the world was made are to be debated in GCSE science lessons in mainstream secondary schools in England.

The subject has been included in a new syllabus for biology produced by the OCR exam board, due out in September.
It would appear that the thin end of the wedge is finally going to find itself in mainstream UK classrooms.

Although there are some sensible points raised in the article it's sad to see it start out with the phrase "creationist theories". I think the author of the article needs to go and learn what a theory is.


SciFi Crew Quiz

Saw the quiz over on Matt's blog and couldn't resist. Shame I've never seen this "Serenity" mob.

Serenity (Firefly)


Deep Space Nine (Star Trek)


Moya (Farscape)


Millennium Falcon (Star Wars)


SG-1 (Stargate)


Nebuchadnezzar (The Matrix)


Enterprise D (Star Trek)


Galactica (Battlestar: Galactica)


Babylon 5 (Babylon 5)


Andromeda Ascendant (Andromeda)


Bebop (Cowboy Bebop)


FBI's X-Files Division (The X-Files)


Your Ultimate Sci-Fi Profile II: which sci-fi crew would you best fit in? (pics)
created with QuizFarm.com



I just happened to read Tim's blog entry regarding wind turbines and then I notice this story over at the Grantham Journal. I went to see the exhibition given by Iberdrola a few weeks back (and actually got interviewed by someone from the Grantham Journal — the quotes that were published weren't a million miles away from what I said, thankfully) and have been waiting to see what happens regarding local opposition. Personally I've got no direct reason to oppose the turbines being built close to Billingborough but I'm more than happy to be convinced of any reasons why I should oppose them. I guess my greatest concern will be how such a development would affect the quality of life for those who live out on the fen itself — I have seen some worrying coverage from people who do have to live with them.

There's been no sign of the leaflet mentioned in the article — it'll be interesting to see what sorts of reasons they give for opposition of the proposed project. I do hope that the reasons given are sound and rational.


Doing the Selfish Time Warp

I got a very curious email from Amazon today:

Dear Amazon.co.uk Customer,

As someone who has purchased books by Richard Dawkins, you might like to know that "The Selfish Gene" will be released soon. You can pre-order your copy for just GBP 7.49 ( 50% off the RRP) by following the link below.

The Selfish Gene
by Richard Dawkins

Release Date:March 16, 2006

List Price: GBP 14.99 Our Price: GBP 7.49 You Save: GBP 7.50 (50%)
A URL was also included that pointed here.

I can't remember how long I've had my copy of TSG but the book itself was first published in 1976.

I guess it's supposed to be some sort of 30th anniversary edition or something but the wording of the email seems plain silly.