Archive for December, 2009

Christmas Fallout & The Year in Review – How was 2009?

December 31, 2009

Well all I can say is I’m glad that’s over! So once more another Christmas passes us by. Not only can I barely stomach the idea of celebrating the birth of a fat man in a red suit who delivers ‘presents’ around the world, the general over consumption I detailed in my last blog entry has little abated over this past week. And to make matters worse invariably we are forced to spend this time with family.

My father doesn’t believe in Christmas (fine you might think – there being something we do have in common) however over the years my father has also stopped believing in the metric system, tomatoes and black people. My mother’s idea of a festive dinner tends to consist of a power shake and back into the garage for the afternoon to continue pumping iron, it makes me shudder to think how strong that woman is, even at her advanced years.

So Christmas was once more spent with my idiot half brother, someone I may have neglected to mention in blog’s of the past – and well for good reason. The product of a messy fling that bears little thinking between my father and our gardener, Graham and I have never seen eye to eye – partly because he is only six years old and I stand some feet taller than him. However his tantrums and constant demands to be the centre of attention I find particularly grating. I find it almost impossible to comprehend how someone as stupid as he, with his limited scientific knowledge (I think he may have ‘heard’ of Newton) can possibly be sourced from one half of the same gene pool as me. Well let me assure you, round the family dinner table I can be just as loud as he can, if not louder!

Still I digress, happy to find myself back in the comforts of the Human Institute and sitting here typing the final blog entry on the keys of my newly acquired Macbook. (Are you reading this Bill Gates? Your ‘updates’ are a thing of the past – I AM FREE!)

So with drink in hand I sit here and contemplate the past year. What have been my main achievements? What have I learnt? what have I taught you my dear reader? Well, I have fulfilled my vow to post one blog per week here on the site, and in the process boost the awareness and circulation of this humble little site. In this new information age where the criticism could be levelled that any idiot now can get their voice heard and read on one of millions of personal websites, as a Professor of Science and Humans – I am glad to be the one sensible head craning itself above the moronic horde.

Why this year alone I have experimented in sleep deprivation, final results still pending once I can actually find what I did with them over that week.

(https://professorcharleshuman.wordpress.com/2009/04/13/the-science-of-sleep-day-1/)

I have championed Sir Martin Marion Hilary, the oft forgotten inventor of time.

(https://professorcharleshuman.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/old-father-time/)

And finally given up on this whole cloning business – far much more trouble than it’s worth.

(https://professorcharleshuman.wordpress.com/2009/05/25/the-face-looks-familiar/)

And while we’re at it time travel too.

(https://professorcharleshuman.wordpress.com/2009/02/12/a-dire-but-ultimately-pointless-warning-from-the-present-ie-the-future/)

So what does the New Year hold in store? Well I am looking forward to taking part in my first space flight, and finally finishing my matter transporter (I did give it a test run earlier this year when I tried to transport a common house fly but failed to notice a human being had accidentally climb aboard too – I shan’t go into what came out the other end).  It’s about time too I took a visit to the Large Hadron Collider in Cern to see what all the hold up’s are about. And as ever here at the institute it will undoubtedly be the usual mix of lecture, experiments and occasional discos.

So I bid you farewell people of the year 2009 – and hello to you people of the year 2010 – hold on tight here comes Charles!

Advertisements

Too much of a GOOD thing…

December 20, 2009

In this festive period where we all pretend to celebrate the birth of the magician Jesus Christ, invariably our time is called upon by various parties, friends, colleagues and occasionally strangers to indulge in a few Christmas drinks. Indeed in the past week or so I have been constantly at one end of a glass or three. Whilst the human body can show remarkable resilience I fear I am now at a point where I can no longer continue having a good time.

I extend this latest blog entry out there to all the people I have yet to catch up with, and are making demands of my time to say – the fun must stop, the good times, the drinks, the partying, the constant state of merriment. I can take no more – I am officially going to ground for the remainder of the holidays – I shall resurface just once more to offer my inaugural annual review of the year. Until then…

Who called it the Noughties anyway?

December 14, 2009

As we reach the years end – I notice a trend for many publications to not only be looking back on events of the last twelve months – but the past decade as a whole. What has it meant for you? What has it meant for me? And who in all seriousness ever referred to it as the Noughties? As we enter the next decade, must we refer to it as the ‘Teens’? Comparatively speaking are we likening the next ten years to that of a sullen, hormonal young hooligan who would stab you sooner than look at you from under his ‘hoodie’ were he able to actually extricate himself from his home entertainment games console for more than 7 minutes at a time. I thought not.

 I am however – whilst always resolutely individual, also not adverse to jumping on the occasional passing band wagon, particularly if it boosts the old stats before the year is out. So what might be the defining historical moments that have shaped the world in the last ten years. In the world of science we have seen the rise of the celebrity, although it is frankly embarrassing how the likes of Winston and Dawkins have prostituted themselves for the media and adulation of millions, passing off their trite theories and preposterous notions of science – hacks who leave us real scientists to mop up the detritus of their awful waffling here on minority read blog pages hidden away in the furthest corners of the internet.

I may have my censors, I may have enemies, I may be a figment of some others imagination, but if anything these last ten years have taught me – despite my brief flirtation with possible fame and fortune back in 2005 when I met an agent – only to be told that there were already ‘other’ scientists, is that it is time for me to get more vocal – to take the next decade by the stethoscope and drag it into the 21st century. Science has a name – its name is Professor Charles Human. You have been warned. (If you were already aware then take this more as a gentle caution).

Customer Unservice

December 7, 2009

I don’t ask for much in this life. I’m rarely happier than when left with a pint of gin of tonic, the electronic musical mathematics of Kraftwerk and a small mammal to dissect. I do though, share the frustration of many of you when having to deal with automated phone lines and the extraneous waiting times of a company’s customer services. Only this very week I have been having yet more issues with my broadband internet connection, and had to resort to conversing with an employee of the service provider. I should in the interests of partisanship not disclose the name of said company – but suffice to say it was 02. I had just been in the middle of downloading a rather large amount of free science papers and music when I found my connection entirely uncooperative. Of course, it would be usual in these circumstances for me to try to resolve said problem myself before having to resort to consulting some inferior intellectual oaf over a phone line.  Someone, no doubt, who would have trouble breaking down and explaining Pythagoras’s theorem, or naming the key chemical components of their own DNA strand. What could such a person possibly have to tell me about computers.

But like the rest of you, and despite my best efforts to create my very own internet (or the world wide Human as I favoured calling it), I am subject to the big business chains and corporations too. I won’t pretend that you know anything about how the internet actually works, it is essentially a network of computers all connected to a giant supercomputer the size of a small town secretly located in the American Nevada desert. So it was that I was forced into calling my provider to resolve my connection problem. Firstly I was presented with a voice recognition system that asked what service I required. Well I am never going to be at the beck and call of a machine’s whim, and often take these opportunities to engage the machine in some manner of scientific debate (I have in the past caused a number of automated lines to question their purpose and self destruct) and sure enough after much confusion from the computer I was successfully put through to someone with a more human (although barely) physiology.

I don’t expect to be lectured or told what to do when speaking to customer services on the phone – I do the instructing and tell them exactly how they can help me and what it is they should do. In this particular case it was no different, even as I had to listen to the idiotic blithering of the person on the other end of the line who insisted on wanting to know what my landline number was and name. I like to keep things concise and to the point when dealing with people on the phone, and when I am done and said what I had to say, will immediately hang up. Unsurprisingly the fool on the other end, despite my very precise instructions has failed to rectify my broadband issues, and I still find myself with a frustratingly intermittent signal. I shall be writing to my provider, and demanding a complete apology from them, in the meantime I am taking my laptop with me direct to the source and shall be spending the remainder of the week combing the Nevada desert for the internet itself.

The ‘S’ Word

December 2, 2009

So I read this week that there is proof that young offenders are far less likely to re-offend after simply being made to say one word to their victims – sorry. A technique known as “restorative justice”. The psychological effect of actually making these scallywags admit they were wrong (and with any luck feel genuine remorse) is clearly deep enough to have a long-lasting and profound impact on their very being. Fascinating.

‘Sorry’ is an undeniably powerful word. One that the majority of humans just can’t find it in themselves to say. And yes, I am as guilty as the next man. Who, incidentally, sat to my right on this train has yet to apologise for breaking wind a moment ago. So, in an uncharacteristically self-indulgent fashion, I’d like to take this blog as the ideal opportunity to do just that. Not break wind, but apologise. Right some wrongs and all that.  Well, *clears throat*, here goes.

Sorry Jenny McGee for, 27 years ago, letting you take the blame for breaking your parents’ crystal decanter (and six matching glasses…and the toilet seat). It was me. I did it, during several silly fits of anger induced simply because you wouldn’t sleep with me that night.

Sorry to Constable Atkins of Greenhill police station for calling you a ‘Big Faggot’ some 17 years ago. It was only because I was jealous of your uniform. That and the copious amount of ethanol I had consumed that night.

Sorry to my lifelong friend Malvin Davis for not writing as much as I should and for pretending I’d broken both hands as a valid excuse. The only thing I had broken was my promise.

Sorry to my long suffering Mother for not arranging for Father to be sectioned earlier. And also for walking in on you both once during coitus. If it is any consolation, the event has permanently scarred me emotionally, mentally and occasionally physically. The deranged expression on Father’s face as he thrust himself into you will haunt me forever.

Sorry to my beagle Darwin for pretending to throw so many sticks for you to fetch, only to drop them behind me and cruelly laugh at your confusion, sometimes for days.

Sorry to Rosa my housekeeper for getting you to knowingly do menial tasks like only cleaning the black keys on my piano and the flaky bits between my toes. Also for incessantly mocking your absurd accent.

Sorry to Nelson my newsagent for not having the right change, and always having to break a fifty. And for calling you ‘blackie’.

There. That really does feel a lot better. Better late than never. And I really hope my victims are reading this, as I’m sure they’ll take comfort from my sincerity. Especially Darwin.

Oh and would you believe it, flatulent Floyd next to me has finally apologised for his earlier foul gaseous exchange. See, that wasn’t difficult was it? You odorous Geordie urchin. Ah. I think he may now be reading what I’m typing and didn’t care for that last comment. He is now rolling up his sleeves. Time to cut this blog short I’m afraid people, until next time. Sorry!