Blog Archive

31 August 2005



Dear God,

My friend Chris wrote to you recently regarding possible flaws in your design of the rather large house spiders that seem to be invading Sheffield.

The one in the photo decided to scare the living shit out of me whilst I was watching this week’s episode of Lost (which, by the way, almost does that job perfectly well on its own).

So – to quote Chris – “This isn’t bloody Australia, it’s Sheffield. Sort it out.”


P.S. Unlike Chris, I didn’t kill mine if that makes any difference...

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23 August 2005

Tuppence Short of a Shilling

I read in the Metro this morning that shoppers have had enough of watching the pennies and want a new 99p coin. (It’s all over the news.)

You can download the Virgin Money Press Release here: New 99p Coin Will Save Brits Millions (Microsoft Word Format – 139KB)

Introducing a 99p coin is clearly an idea that’s tuppence short of a shilling. One cent short of a euro. One pence short of a pound. Barmy. Crazy. Mad. Perhaps even stupid. For a start, what if you only had a 99p coin in your pocket and you wanted to buy a lottery ticket? You’d need a penny. And – perhaps a more obvious question – where would all these coins come from?

Assuming you wouldn’t want to go to the bank to get a load of 99p coins, you’d need to get them in your change. And in order to receive just one 99p coin in your change, you’d need to spend exactly £1.01 (for example) – for which you could just use a £1 coin and a 1p coin (or, if I’m humouring "financial boffins" at Virgin Money, a 99p coin and 2p coin). So, would the shops change all their prices from 99p to £1.01 so that you could get the 99p coin in the first place? If they did, nothing would cost 99p and the 99p coin would no longer be needed. Which means that nothing would need to cost £1.01... which means there’s a head-mangling-paradox-type-thing going on.

By complete contrast, here’s my rather simple sensible idea: Get rid of the 1p and 2p coins so that shops have to either round up (or round down) their £x.x9 prices to make them exactly divisible by 5p. Sorted. *

Any questions?

* Obviously only sorted until the shoppers say they’ve had enough of five pence pieces and demand a 95p coin... although since most shops wouldn’t want to lose out on all those four pences, they’d probably round prices up anyway.

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18 August 2005

Little Lever School Reunion

I’ve finally managed to set a date and book a venue for the reunion!

It’s been in the pipeline since January and I was originally hoping to hold it during the summer. However, since time has flown by far too quickly, it’s now provisionally booked for Saturday 29th October 2005.

The 53 people who have shown an interest so far are:

Uazman Alam, Gary Andrew, Alexis Baines, Alison Barton, Donna Baybut, Linda Hurst, Lindsay Bessell, Emma Bowker, Neil Brockhouse, Paul Brockhouse, Christopher Burke, Helen Carter, Joanne Cooper, Samantha Cunliffe, Melanie Donaldson, Matthew Dunn, Steven Fisk, Donna Haines, Gail Halton, Katy Hargreaves, Michelle Holland, Tracy Horrocks, Scott Husband, Grant Ingham, Mark Jamieson, Ravinder Jugdey, Noel Kearns, Imran Khalique, Imran Khan, Claire Kinsey, Angela Kirby, Hayley Lowe, Sharon Mann, Clare Matthews, Craig Mellett, Claire Mullane, Scott Parkinson, Binesh Patel, Pritesh Patel, Caroline Platt, Tracey Pryers, Lisa Rawsthorn, Gillian Robinson, Gareth Ross, Anthony Ruscoe, Kelly Urion, Lee Valentine, Denise Warburton, Adam Watson, Jenny Watson, Jodie Wells, Nicola Whitworth, Amy Williams

If you know anyone else who left Little Lever School in 1995 who’s not on that list, tell them to register their details on the Little Lever School Reunion Website so they’ll be kept up-to-date with the latest information.

More details to follow soon(ish)...


8 August 2005

Hovis Invisible Crust

Now this is what real science is all about...

Hovis have just launched a loaf of bread without any crusts! The "Hovis Invisible Crust" has been developed in response to the fact that 35% of British mothers remove the crusts from their children’s sandwiches, which can waste up to 45% of the loaf!

This is the work of a genius! It’s the best thing since... well... sliced bread!

Personally, I’ve never understood why we have to have crusts anyway. They’re bits of slightly burnt, stale bread. And who wants to eat slightly burnt, stale bread? Forget about the myths surrounding crusts and how you’ll either get curly hair (or never have curly hair) if you eat (or don’t eat) them – I’ve never liked eating crusts because of the way they make me shiver. Yes, I know I’m a freak! I shiver and get goosebumps whenever I chew on a crust. I always have done. It’s like a very, very, very mild allergy. I’ve got used to living with my disability as I’ve grow up, although just thinking about it whilst typing this is making me come out in goosebumps.

So, there you have it. Modern science isn’t just about playing with chemicals to make new foods that kids will find fun (and will hopefully eat); it’s also about finding miracle cures for freakish allergies, disabilities, diseases and stuff like that...

Update: 23 August 2005
I see that there’s now a website for Hovis Invisible Crust.

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