puddingcat: (Death Wellies)
I know, this is getting boring. But the weather's stuffy and damp and giving me a headache, I still have a virus of DOOM on my PC, and I've had the day off and achieved almost nothing.

So I'm pleased to present some links to Very Worthy Rants, making Very Good Points about rape and sexual assault.

First is [livejournal.com profile] cereta's post, which started things off. There are some wonderful comments and some appalling ones. Personally, I think they're all worth reading because some people really do think like that.

[livejournal.com profile] rachelmanija refers to that post, and adds some more Very Good Points. I'll add one that she didn't include (and I'll go & comment there in a minute): I genuinely used to believe, at a gut level (i.e. if you'd challenged me, I'd have realised I was wrong - but would have noticed my change in opinion and been horrified by it) that to say "No" you actually had to say "no".

[livejournal.com profile] khalinche explains what it's like to be female. Yes, it is that bad. Manchester was worse. I got so damned good at convincing people that I just wasn't there (whether on a bus, walking across Piccadilly Gardens during the daytime, shopping on a Saturday) just to minimise the level of abuse I'd get, that I'm finding it very, very difficult to break that habit now I'm living somewhere less awful.

[livejournal.com profile] coffeeandink refers back to the dreadful Let's Grope Women At Conventions project and comments on how easy it is not to believe people.

And [livejournal.com profile] nestra points out that you do know someone who's been raped. They just don't trust you well enough to have told you. Why would they, when your reaction - even for an instant - is to wonder what you'd been doing at the time, to have drawn a rapist's attention?


This is why I don't want people to stop making cracks in front of me about getting girls drunk so they'll get a shag. Yes, really. Because if you go away thinking "Jenny doesn't like jokes like that", you'll keep saying them in front of other people, and keep thinking they're funny. Because nobody the hell else will call you on them. Tell them in front of me, and I'll remind you that it's rape. And after a few times, it might sink in.


And, you know what else? I have THE RAGE that I feel lucky that I'm not a rape victim. It shouldn't be luck. It should be normal.

(Don't piss me off in the comments. I can go into details of just what I *have* put up with, and I really don't want to. And now it's thundering outside.)
puddingcat: (Rocket Science)
I am so happy that the LHC has been turned on today. It's almost as exciting as seeing Iron Maiden (baby) live.

I am also so angry at 95% of the commenters on various BBC blogs, the Community That Shall Not Be Named, and in the tabloid press, who are showing a wilful refusal to read about what's happening.

I'll admit; I'm biased. I was at Uni with Brian Cox (he was equally awesome then, even when we did take the piss out of him for his days in Dare). I suppose having studied high energy particle physics could also be considered a bias.

Which brings me on to the rant.

The people doing this are experts in the field. They've studied the subject for years. There are disagreements over what exactly will happen, which is why the experiments are being done. They have completed enormously complicated risk assessments before even being allowed to start building the thing.

The energies involved are tiny. The only reason they're such a big deal is because the particles themselves are tiny.

The chance of creating black hols is vanishingly small. Force is inversely proportional to the square of distance - in other words, if you double the distance from a black hole, its force on you reduces to a quarter of what it was. These unlikely black holes are so very, very small that you'd need to be inside them already to have any chance of being sucked in - and that's assuming that Stephen Hawking was wrong.

I Hate Stephen Hawking. He's a poor writer and overweeningly big-headed. But he is a genius. His theories might still be just theories, but they support and form the basis of a hell of a lot of other physics (which, incidentally, is why they're theories and not hypotheses or Wild Ideas (qv intelligent design)).

Most infuriatingly of all, these people (and I use the term loosely) don't even appear to have read to the bottom of the articles about which they're frothing. Nothing is being collided yet. The protons are being sent around in one direction only, to test the LHC is working. It's like a velodrome - all the cyclists (protons) are going in the same direction. Any bumps will be minor.

And as for "What's the point"? Well, that's pretty much what Michael Faraday was asked when he demonstrated electricity for the first time. Experimental physics produces results that can be used by applied physicists to produce other results, which can be used by (for example) physical chemists to produce Yet More Results (and so on), which can be used to discover new sources of energy. Or new medical techniques. It might take 50 years to get that far, but the sooner we start, the sooner we'll get those results.

Everyone's entitled to their opinion, and to express it. I wish that some of the doom-bringers would stand back and contemplate the fact that they're calling Professors of Physics arrogant for doing their jobs, while being convinced that they know better with (in many cases) no scientific qualifications at all.

Go and read Brian's Q&A on the BBC here. He's just as irate as I am, by the sounds of things :)

RAGE

May. 30th, 2008 11:25 am
puddingcat: (Grr)
After fluff, have some RAGE.

[livejournal.com profile] pc_bloggs links to a Washington Post story about the rape conviction rate in the UK.
puddingcat: (Grr)
Via [livejournal.com profile] faerierhona, a link from The Times Online.

Ok, there's a related article with a different point of view as well, but still THE RAGE. IT BURNS.

(Worst of all, I suspect it burns most because I have a deep-rooted belief that he's telling the truth. I dislike my RAGE being directed at myself.)
puddingcat: (Cars in my ears)
Last night, I got home from work, threw some food at the cats and a clean pair of pants at my overnight bag, then sat for 2 hours on the M62 thanks to an HGV driver trying the outside lane for size. The outside lane of the other carriageway, that is. I hope there aren't speed cameras on the bit of the M62 between that & Brighouse.

I had a lovely meal with [livejournal.com profile] snapesbabe and 18 of her work mates (who actually all looked like 2 blonde women, and indeed only took up 2 seats in the restaurant). I went to Walkabout and gawped at the young males in over-tight t-shirts, styled especially to display their man breasts, adn the females in a strange mix of 1950s-style shoes with 1980s lycra jersey skirts and batwing tops. Who decided that dropped waistlines were flattering? One poor girl appeared to be wearing a pillowcase, bloomers and leggings.

Got back to the last half of Shaun Of The Dead plus extras, woke up to an offer of tea and crumpets, then discovered that Yorksher's Finest had poured glue on my car...

Yes. A bottle of white glue all over the roof, which had run down the windscreen and over the bonnet.

First, I was glad it wasn't paint (as the previous week's entertainment had apparently been). Then I realised it was water-soluble while still wet, and peeloffable when dry. Half an hour of scrubbing later, it was off enough to get home & take it through Tesco's car wash; it's now back to normal, including the puddles that had formed in the grille at the bottom of the windscreen.

Considering the car needed a wash anyway, and there's no lasting damage, my FROTHING RAGE is having the day off. Instead, I'm rather in the mood for pointing & laughing at people (and I use the term loosely) who try to vandalise a car with Copydex. Perhaps they'd tried sniffing it & lost their rag when they realised their mistake?


Meanwhile, Dad's celebrating selling a fly press on eBay to someone from York who intends to use it for making mediaeval-style armour, and trying to clean up a bag of pitch that fell over in the garage. Except he's heating up the bits he's managed to chip off in a large casserole dish, and it boiled over...

Is there anywhere / anyone that can make use of old (5-10 years old) PCs? Or how about stacks & stacks of computer magazines from the BBC B era?

GRARGH

Oct. 1st, 2006 05:32 pm
puddingcat: (Creative killing)
OH THE RAGE

(Link from [livejournal.com profile] westernind)
puddingcat: (Creative killing)
I've been in work less than an hour this week and already I want to maim two people.

stabbity stabbity stabbity
puddingcat: (Bentley)
The history
I inherited Mum's Fiat Uno when I graduated; it was a 6 year old D reg at the time. I ran it for 2 1/2 years until it started deciding to stop on motorways... (though I always managed to get onto the hard shoulder before grinding to a complete halt, and it would start again after a 10 minute nap.)

So I traded it in for a 3 year old Astra. I loved it. Top of the range, 1.6l, electric almost-everything, went like a thoroughbred with ginger up it's tailpipe :)

Except now it's 10 years old (albeit with only 76k on the clock), is cripplingly high insurance because it's prime joy-riding material (not being garaged), is only doing 30mpg, the heat shield over the exhaust manifold is so rusty it's developed a resonant frequency at about 1500 rpm, and it's starting to worry me cos 1990s Vauxhalls aren't known for their reliability. So I started looking for a replacment.

The options
Well, haviing spent all my savings on living whilst on insurance, I started looking at things that would last me a couple of years while I saved up for a Proper Car. I'd like a Celica. I'd sell my Gran for a Ford Capri (Mk1) or a Dodge Charger. I'd sell my house & live in the back seat for a V8 Vantage... But I'll settle for a 5-6 year old Mazda / Corolla / Civic or another Astra.

Apart from the dealerships being flooded with Peugeots (tells me something I suspected) and hardly having any Japanese models, I didn't think I was being too picky. But in the whole of central / south Manchester & Stockport, I found two things I'd consider. Both Mazda 323s. One was a 1.8 S reg, the other a 1.5 X. Unfoortunately, the X reg wasn't only £4.5k, it was also automatic (and I like driving too much to want a point-and-steer car). So I looked at the S reg.

The issue
Looked good; test drove nicely. Pants part-ex value offered for the Astra, but *shrugs* the Mazda was cheap, and would likely last longer than the Astra will.

Unfortunately, the AA car data check turned up the fact that, despite the odometer reading 65,000, the DVLA had registered a mileage in February of 78,000.

Buggrit.

The garage promised to check up for me - and actually did, to my surprise. I had a call on Saturday saying they'd squeezed a refund out of the person they bought it from, and would pass this on to me in full. So I said I'd take a couple of days to think, and would get back to them by Wednesday.

I thought and decided that it drove well, so losing 13,000 miles wasn't too much of a problem, and I'd give it a go.

Strangely enough, they sold it on Sunday. I think I need to find a phone number for traing standards.

And another cheap middle aged car.

Bloody car salesmen.

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