- I'd better not comment on this; just let you contemplate the scene you've imagined from this entry ...
Is Australia keeping up with World's Best Practice in "Railroading the Punters"?
Sunday, August 17, 2003
oh yea and I dropped my portable phone in the tub this morning while I was shaving my legs.
¶ 5:32 PM
Suruj Dutta's Railway Tales from the United Kingdom show the standards are being kept high.
I note he also has been feeling very Orwellian chills in the last few years' events.
Saturday, August 23, 2003
Suruj / 8:33 PM [postCount('106166721601472337')]
The August Bank Holiday weekend is the busiest of the year. There are the Reading and Leeds music festivals, the Notting Hill Carnival and dozens other sundry events across the country. Its also the last summer bank holiday, so thousands flock to the beaches for a last weekend in the sun.
So what does the Strategic Rail Authority (SRA) - nee Railtrack ( www.railtrack.co.uk ) - do to make people's journeys easier ? Why, shut down three of the busiest lines in Britain, of course! ( news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3175471.stm ) The Great Western Main Line is closed between Reading and Paddington, the West Coast Main Line is closed between Hemel Hempstead and Milton Keynes. And for the convenience of the thousands of Britons returning from Mediterranean holidays, the Stansted airport to London line is closed as well.
Unfortunately, I had an appointment in London today, and since my car is on the fritz, I had to fall back on the trains. The Newbury - London journey, which takes me an hour and fifteen minutes even on a slow train, stretched to five bloody hours on a Southwest Trains service to Waterloo. Everything that could possibly go wrong, did. A cracked rail was discovered somewhere in Surrey, and we had to wait ages at Ascot before we were allowed to proceed. A signal failure at a crossing meant another wait, and while we were waiting the train's onboard computer crashed, automatically locking the doors and turning of the lights and airconditioning for few panicky moments. The last straw was when a deer decided to take a leisurely stroll on the tracks, and we had to follow it at a crawl for miles !! I am no expert on the subject, of course, but I am fairly certain that if a bunch of mentally retarded chimpanzees were told to run the country's railways, they would probably do a better job than the lot at the SRA.
Worse, stuff like this is going to keep happening for the next 10 years, we are told. That is how long it takes, apparently, to carry out a few track and signal repairs !! Isambard Kingdom Brunel laid the entire West Coast Main Line in a week (or was it 3 days) in the nineteenth century. He must be turning in his grave now.
Saturday, August 09, 2003
Suruj / 1:17 PM
I guess I should make a small footnote about my last couple of posts. I've been reading George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four and my mind seems to have passed on to a really dark place. Not that I had a very bright view of the human race anyway.
What I find most depressing are the echoes of many of the ideological constructs in today's post-Communist world. The spin in the American media and (to a lesser extent by the British government) to justify the war with Iraq, for example, could easily be mistaken for a Ministry of Truth production. The Total Information Awareness (TIA) initiative and the ever-greater intrusion of the government into people's private lives; how is that different from the Thought Police ?
Meanwhile, Perle, Wofowitz, Rumsfeld, Cheney and their cronies at the American Enterprise Institute (a.k.a the Ministry of Peace) are deciding whether they should go to war with Eastasia or Eurasia next. The Department of Homeland Security, aided by the Murdoch-press, help maintain a sense of insecurity to keep the war frenzy at a fever pitch. This also makes the American people more willing to give up even their most-cherished freedoms in the name of security.
Freedom is Slavery. War is Peace. Ignorance is Strength.
Another kind of Immortality
Wednesday, August 13, 2003
I'M A REAL WINNER
You heard it here first, folks. I won the coveted virtual seven-piece Ratchet Up tool set for finding the coolest conceptual clock. I chose the incredible Ambient Orb Device ( www.thinkgeek.com/gadgets/lights/5da2 ), which quietly changes color based on the weather or your stock portfolio, or whatever you want. Wouldn't it be cool if you could correlate it to a biological function? Like how hungry or horny I am? I would want a giant one perched on our house. Giant red orb = CHUCK IS HORNY. Giant blue orb = CHUCK IS FRIGID. Giant rainbow orb = CHUCK WANTS GAY PORN. And so on.
I AM ONE WITH THE MAGNETOVERSE
Today I had a CT scan ... I was inserted into a large white ultramagnetic doughnut - straight out of 2001 ... the hyperdoughnut scans cross-sectional slices of my head. My mind drifts... This is everything I've ever wanted. The contents of my head can now be preserved and studied by scientists around the world for ages to come. The mystery of my genius will slowly be revealed and celebrated. I am, at last, immortal.
posted by Doktor Millennium
Over the last year and a half I had a few CT scans (and a buncha other
stuff). One in particular was a thing they do before you have a course
of radiotherapy. The RT machines now have this method where they shoot
the rays through you from three different angles which intersect where
the tumour is, so your healthy tissues around it only get 1/3rd of the
dose it does. You get put into a special cradle for whatever the body
part is (the ones for heads are a bit spooky-weird) and they tattoo
little dots for the laser-sighting beam so it's lined up precisely for
every treatment (which goes on for many weeks).
They get a very accurate closeup view of the area and create a 3D
computer model of your insides to work out the exact angles & strength.
This is stored in the hospital system for perpetuity (historic records!). Like Chuck/Doktor Millennium & Henrietta Lacks* I can feel proud a part of me is preserved for the future. Only problem is that while his is a pretty classy bit to preserve, my gift to posterity was a rectal cancer :(
*For Henrietta Lacks' story - see different versions at: