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June 2007

Return Statement

My first lesson of the week is tomorrow morning. I had no lessons Monday morning, then Monday afternoon was a washout, then on Tuesday school was open but everybody had been told it was closed so it closed anyway. Seriously, I feel like a Year 13 student already.

Today was "UCAS Day", where we spent most of the time very slowly filling in a form on a web app with a pathological fear of the back button. All was going well, until...

Personal statement, 47 lines, plzkthx.

...okay, maybe it didn't put it exactly like that. But still, 47 lines, max 95 characters per line after word wrapping? Silliness.

5 lines would probably be too much. I really suck at writing about myself, especially if it has to be positive. Any ideas?


Today is a good day to be living up a slight hill.

Seriously though, there's some scary stuff going on out there, really glad I'm lucky enough to live close to school as well...


  • The thing I forgot to mention in my last post was the appointment I had last Friday with the neurosurgeon. Not surprising I forgot it, 'cause nothing happened. Basically nobody has any idea whether having a kyphoplasty will help my back pain, or whether it'll straighten my back, or whether it'll inject medical cement into my lung.
  • Finally made a little fix to my feed parser that's been stopping me reading Gijs' blog for a bit. Also, I think I fixed another encoding bug. First time those files had been touched in nearly a year, and I haven't been near the rewrite I started for months, so it's probably dead now.
  • Listened to music in earphones for the first time in a while. Sounds really different.
  • I really need to tidy my computer's desktop.


This post is highly disorganised.

School restarted today, and somehow I'm right back in learning mode again. Don't know how that happened. I'm also in a pretty good mood that no one's managed to break yet.

Study leave was four weeks, ended up missing seeing people from school more than I thought I would, but if I told them that they'd probably think I was taking the piss.

Speaking of seeing people, went to Joe's house (well, garden) for a barbecue, got a tiny bit of sunburn, didn't die of food poisoning. Good to see friends there, even if they are poking fun at me for still being in school. ;)

Not everybody's going to uni, at least not straight away, and there are already plans to keep Numbcast alive. Maybe look for something next month, after the A2 exams, or just subscribe.

Brad Sucks posted a new demo track called "Tell Me Something I Don't Know", whose message I wholeheartedly endorse. Seriously, it's got a cool sound, and I'm already doing the "relating lyrics to things in my life that the artist probably never intended" thing with it.

I'm hoping I can get around to contributing to ChatZilla a bit - I haven't written a patch in ages. Problem seems to be that I have free time, but it naturally fills itself with crap like reading and writing blog posts.

Oh, and Firefox barfed on prefs.js and I had to redo all my those settings. Didn't take me nearly as long as I thought it would.

All good clean fun, generally.

Time Travel

Exams end. Life begins.

Earlier in the week I downloaded Chance's new single. I love it, but part of the problem I had was that I think I'd already decided to like it before I heard it.

Now that I've had the chance (no pun intended) to listen to it for a few days, I'm pretty sure I now like it for what it is. It's not full-on loud like some of Chance's other tracks, it's slower, deeper, more deliberative. I keep listening to it and hearing different bits of music and new theories for what the lyrics mean, but really I know nothing. It's fun to try, though.

I like all Chance's music because it doesn't all sound exactly the same, and I still feel like it means something even if I don't consciously know what that is. I'm pretty sure I've already said something like that on this blog, but never mind, it's still true.

Anyway, Time Travel is on and myspace/chance, and if you want to buy the mp3 it's 51p, which is ridiculously cheap. Thank the strong pound, or something.


I wasn't going to bother doing full past papers for these exams, but I changed my mind and I think it's helped me figure out how I'm managing as far as time's concerned. I'm generally finishing the 1-hour science papers in 45 minutes and the 90-minute maths papers in an hour, but under real exam conditions I wouldn't have been able to leave and so probably would have spotted some of the stupid mistakes I made.

In Chemistry Unit 2 (physical/inorganic) I got about a C or B, which I blame on not actually being taught the metals stuff. Unit 3 (organic) cheered me up because I got an A, though from reading an examiner's report the paper I picked was apparently easier than normal.

I generally find Physics easier because there are less facts to learn, and more formulae. Mechanics didn't disappoint on that front, and I got an A on the first paper I picked. Unit 3 (electricity/elasticity), though, is another story. I got a low C, then did a "re-sit" with another paper and got nearly full marks, so now I don't know what to expect. I suppose it doesn't help when the mark schemes contradict some of the notes given to us in class.

Without meaning to boast (okay, maybe just a little), I was pretty happy with Maths, but I did some papers just to be sure. On the Core 2 paper I would have got full marks if I'd actually, you know, read the questions. I just got an A on the Statistics paper, but the annoying thing about doing well on a mock statistics test is that you know flawed it would be to infer anything about the real test from it...

Oh, and in case you're wondering, no, this wasn't all in one day. I'm revising more than I thought I would, but still killing plenty of time doing not very much. Reading mailing lists, checking blogs, watching the HTML Working Group disagree on everything, and making webpages that nobody will ever see. Oh, and reading MySpace bulletins. I'm not sure why I still do that.

Is it a bad sign...

...if, half way through chemistry revision, you realise that some of the stuff you've been taught was removed from the exam syllabus three years ago?

Yeah, thought so.