Mark's Musings

A miscellany of opinions, thoughts, rants and comments

15 March 2017
by Mark
0 comments

Happy Ides of March!

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Today is the 15th of March, the nearest equivalent in our calendar to the Roman Ides of March, the date on which – as we all know from our Shakespeare – Julius Caesar was assassinated. Everybody knows to beware the … Continue reading

25 November 2016
by Mark
0 comments

Clickbait

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I was idly browsing some clickbait linked to on Facebook by a friend of mine, and came across this one: It made me stop and think. Because there are two completely different messages here, and yet both are really, really … Continue reading

27 May 2015
by Mark
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American Idiots

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I was an early adopter of Gmail, so I have a fairly short and simple Gmail address. Unfortunately, that means it’s only a typo away from plenty of other short Gmail addresses, so I get a fair amount of email … Continue reading

8 March 2015
by Mark
1 Comment

Soft soap – a lessen on misreading statistics from the BBC

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If you take the BBC’s website at face value, you might think that hardly anyone – or, at least, a minority – uses soap in solid bars any more. As the article puts it: How do you like to scrub … Continue reading

2 September 2014
by Mark
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When did the word “cash” stop meaning cash?

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I have long been irritated by the Coinstar scam machines in supermarkets, which proudly proclaim “Coins in. Cash out” on the front. Their website gives the impression that they have even registered the phrase “Coins to Cash” as a trademark, … Continue reading

10 July 2014
by Mark
0 comments

Don’t spoil my enjoyment

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I’ve just finished reading the script from the first episode in the new Doctor Who series. It’s pretty good, actually, apart from a rather large and pointless MacGuffin that initially threatens to derail the plot and a tendency (which, frankly, … Continue reading

20 March 2013
by Mark
1 Comment

Road to nowhere

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One of the things that the Town Council are responsible for is coming up with street names for new developments. Normally, the idea is that we come up with some kind of overall theme for a development, and then individual … Continue reading

12 February 2013
by Mark
0 comments

Contemporaries

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The announcement by the Pope that he is to resign prompted me to do a little bit of research, since I can just about remember who was Pope when I was a teenager but I wasn’t sure how many Popes … Continue reading

11 November 2012
by Mark
1 Comment

Remembrance Day

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It was a bright, crisp autumn morning as we assembled in the Marketplace for Remembrance Day. The mayor in his robes, the band’s instruments gleaming in the sun, the sea, air and army cadets in their uniforms, the old soldiers … Continue reading

3 May 2012
by Mark
0 comments

The London Olympic Games And Paralympic Games Security, Control And Marketing Regulations

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Someone asked a question on Usenet: Supposing the Army wanted to station missiles on my roof to shoot down Olympic miscreants, what powers and legislation would they be relying on to enable them to do this? How might I stop … Continue reading

31 December 2011
by Mark
0 comments

Disco 2012

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I went shopping today. Decided to hit the sales, and came back with a new suit and a deep fat fryer. Exciting, eh? No? Oh well. I’d taken Ellie with me, mainly because I’d promised her a day out and … Continue reading

5 November 2011
by Mark
2 Comments

O2 comprehension failure

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As I mentioned a few days ago, I’ve been getting a lot of SMS spam from one particular number. You can read that article for some background, but it turns out to be possibly more weird than that. According to … Continue reading

11 August 2011
by Mark
0 comments

A Shakespearean commentary on the riots

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This just seemed rather apposite to me. The middle section (“This blessed plot”, etc) is very well known, but in context it has a very different meaning. Methinks I am a prophet new inspir’d, And thus, expiring, do foretell of … Continue reading

30 May 2011
by Mark
25 Comments

Morrisons customer service fail

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I dropped in to Morrisons this afternoon to grab a few things. Not much, just enough for what I’m planning to cook tonight. One of the things I wanted was plain, uncooked peanuts. I’ve bought them before from Morrisons, so … Continue reading

17 November 2010
by Mark
1 Comment

Knowledge v Age

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AKA, why students are often such jerks. And older people are so patronising.

4 November 2010
by Mark
1 Comment

Twenty things that are toxic to sport

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(If these seem a little football-centric, that’s because I watch more football than any other sport. Sorry about that.) Opening ceremonies Intrusive animated pitchside advertising hoardings Sepp Blatter Diving (other than in the Olympic diving pool, that is) Synchronised swimming … Continue reading

11 October 2010
by Mark
0 comments

The voice of the People

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I got an email last week from a journalist researching a story on motorway services. Nothing hugely unusual about that, since I do run a popular website on the topic, and I’ve previously spoken to a variety of media including … Continue reading

27 January 2010
by Mark
0 comments

Everybody hurts sometimes

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They’re all stuck. Look at me. Silence is gray. Silence is golden. Silence is a stone in my mouth. Nobody can see me. I had no idea. They’re going to miss me. Here we go again. What is she thinking? … Continue reading

31 December 2009
by Mark
0 comments

A decade in retrospect

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Ten years is a long time. Ten years ago, as the 90s slipped into the noughties, I marked New Year by combining the roles of DJ at a millennium night party and being on call for PSINet UK as lead tech support … Continue reading

29 November 2009
by Mark
0 comments

The twenty best Christmas singles… ever

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Today is formally the first day of Advent, the start of the Christmas season. So, to kick off, here’s my list of the twenty best Christmas singles ever written: Fairytale of New York – The Pogues and Kirsty McColl Merry … Continue reading