Wednesday, 17 September 2008

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As I sit here basking in the overcast glory of what we have come to regard  as British summertime I have once again had the opportunity to ponder.  Recently I have been genuinely busy.  Busy is a concept that I have previously liked to consider myself as being.  But in reality all I have achieved to date has been borderline effort.  Perhaps I have matured the final stage?  That nonsense aside, I write specifically today to bring to your own attention some of my own observations of late which I think have been valuable.  You, of course, can be the judge of the value to yourself!

Having completed my law degree (to shrieks of "finally") I have begun the perilous and somewhat mundane task of applying for jobs.  Perilous in the respect of having to actually apply the knowledge I am alleged to have learnt.  And mundane in the sense that the application process is fraught with many duplicates of my Curriculum Vitae eating into the worlds receding rain-forests.  In short, I have applied to a variety of legal sector positions which I feel I deserve, but the Internet makes the applying element all too easy.  Actually getting an interview is another thing.  To date I have one face to face "session" to look forward to.  My naiveity as to what that actually involves is sufficiently suppressing my nerves.  

The last week or so has seen me begin my Postgraduate study as well.  In order to become a Solicitor in the U.K, one must satisfy the requirements of the Law Society, or Solicitor's Regulation Authority, or whatever they are called this week.  This involves studying for The Legal Practice Course for a further two years.  The only way I and many other graduates can do this is part-time whilst hoovering up as much paid/voluntary legal sector work in the meantime.  So I have had to invent a new 48 hour day which allots that I sleep sometime in two years.  I hope this fits in with your plans.

Cue my random fact of the day.  Carol Vorderman only achieved the degree classification of a Third.  I grant you that she studied at Cambridge and is successful regardless of her degree.  It is, however, of interest as a result of her subsequent career success and the presumed academic strength that you would associate with her.  Whilst I of course will not sit here and say you do not need to apply yourself at University, it does go some way to proving that degree classification is not everything.  It is additionally odd to perceive Vorderman as the layabout, hungover, dosser who could not be bothered to attend lectures.  And whilst I do not want this post to digress into a list of celebrities with Third Class Honours, I have a further link - Richard Whiteley also got the same result from the same University.  However, of some concern to myself, my point of reference is Wikipedia.  So expect a retraction of this paragraph!! 

Ok, moving on to matters of perhaps more interest or at least something that you have no doubt caught in the news; The Large Hadron Collider.  Now I hold an active interest in Science, I cannot profess to profficiency in any qualified sense, nor do I recall ever showing potential at any point of my academic studies to date.  What I do hold is a healthy interest!  So I will not baffle you with Science that I could not pretend for even a second to have any kind of appreciation for.  I would be merely repeating what I have read elsewhere.  If you want more information the best place is of course the CERN website - but (and dare I reference Wikipedia twice???) there is a Wiki which gives a crash course.  But the purpose of me bringing this up, is as I say to point you in the direction of informed answers on the matter.  I downloaded the Dr. Karl podcast which discusses and answers various Scientific matters on a weekly basis usually around 3am GMT.  Dr. Karl being based in Sydney, and me not being an insomniac makes the podcast ideal.  This weeks discussion was comprised solely of addressing questions and information about the Large Hadron Collider.  Thoroughly engrossing and as a source of pure facts communicated in a clear and interesting manner, look no further.  Get the podcast, listen, absorb, and I am fairly certain you will remain a subscriber.  The gentleman is incredibly easy to listen to and has a style of answering topics that would be best bottled and fed to all Science teachers in the UK as an example of how to communicate difficult topics to the masses.  I will not even attempt to touch on what is contained, it would serve no purpose!  

I will mention the topic of religion, which is touched on wonderfully in the aforementioned podcast.  I raise this as my fiancee is a Christian.  She was adamant that the Hadron Collider is a load of rubbish as it is based upon proving facts related to the Big Bang Theory, which as she was correct in pointing out, is after all a theory.  It did not help in retrospect that her dismissal of what I consider and interesting and meaningful scientific experiment riled me, and I was provoked into perhaps ranting a little too far about how the Bible is just a book of stories.  Which is true, but equally as insensitive and ignorant.  I digress!  Dr. Karl makes the valid point that Physics and Religion do not dissect one another.  They do not even touch each other.  Biology asserts Darwinian notions and evolutionary trends.  Physics is really just explaining what is around us, it is not out to disprove anything, rather discover what we do not know.  An interesting point to reflect on I thought, and a mere minute or so of discussion buried in the above podcast.

And if you thought that this was turning into a post of podcast links then you would be correct!  The next gem of a podcast is from the linguistic wizard Stephen Fry.  At 20 minutes in length it is a real find and one I had forgotten about such is the sporadic and few and far between nature of his updates.  The latest, and one I'm referring to here is called 'Compliance Defiance'.  Again I do not want to spoil this treat to the ears by amateurishly trying to reel off the content as if it were my own.  All I will comment upon is the fine rant which he tumbles down in relation to broadcasters not being able to show an actor on a mobile phone, but it being perfectly acceptable to show someone being shot in the face.  "Why don't they just tell them to FUCK OFF!"

Which, is more than a noble question when you stand back and look at the rationale of such decisions and how IRRATIONAL they in fact are!

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