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Preview: Life with Leukaemia

Life with Leukaemia

"All sorrows can be borne if you put them in a story or tell a story about them."

Updated: 2017-04-01T17:57:08.246+00:00


My Birthday Cake


I made 50 years last week. As I had to buy my own cake, I got to choose what to put on it. I'll leave you to work out the literary reference.

A Frog in my Bathroom


Day by Day Life Goes On


Or Life Goes On Day by Day

We have two Nigerian clients - one by the name of Day by Day and the other Life Goes On.

Are they twins? I really don't know.

Nando's Last Dictator Standing


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"Complaint received by a French typewriter shop, reprinted in a local newspaper on the Île de Ré:


    Il y a quxlquxs sxmainxs jx mx suis offxrt unx dx vos machinxs à écrirx. Au début j’xn fus assxz contxnt. Mais pas pour longtxmps. Xn xffxt, vous voyxz vous-mêmx lx défaut. Chaqux fois qux jx vxux tapxr un x, c’xst un x qux j’obtixns. Cxla mx rxnd xnragé. Car quand jx vxux un x, c’xst un x qu’il mx faut xt non un x. Cxla rxndrait n’importx qui furixux. Commxnt fairx pour obtxnir un x chaqux fois qux jx desirx un x? Un x xst un x, xt non un x. Saisissxz-vous cx qux jx vxux dirx?

    Jx voudrais savoir si vous êtxs xn mxsurx dx mx livrxr unx machinx à écrirx donnant un x chaqux fois qux j’ai bxsoin d’un x. Parcx qux si vous mx donnxz unx machinx donnant un x lorsqu’on tapx un x, vous pourrxz ravoir cx damné instrumxnt. Un x xst très bixn tant qux x, mais, oh xnfxr!

    Sinceèrxmxnt à vous, un dx vos clixnts rxndu xnragé.

    Xugènx X—-

From John Julius Norwich, Christmas Crackers, 1981."



Kezia's Garden

My great friend, Martim Melo, the expert on São Tomé e Príncipe ornithology, is here and gave me a present ... a new digital camera!

So I spent this weekend happily snapping away including these shots of Kezia which I am showing you to show she is doing really well, in good health, growing fast and in the opinion of her father extremely beautiful!

Dear Mr Cameron ... Need I say more





São Tomé is a volcanic island deep in the ocean. Therefore it is full of basaltic debris - in fact it's pretty much made up of volcanic debris. As a result trees have a big problem where to put their roots - they have to find a nook or cranny where a root can penetrate. Hence roots grow horizontally until they find a suitable hole or crack in the ground. This gives rise to wonderful roots as they wander hither and thiter kooking for a hole in the ground.

Pandanus thomensis has adopted an alternative strategy to the problem. It has multiple aerial roots that it puts where it can. This is perhaps the success of the genus Pandanus worldwide - it has a pantropical distribution - it can adapt to all sorts of distibutions and then speciates rapidly according to the local conditions ...

Human Remains


We received this cargo receiving report today ...

Dear All,

Below is on board VK823/17FEB/2012


786-0001 0732                     Human Remain              01pc  @ 123kg

0024427                                UPS Courier
01pc  @  06kg

Acknowledge Receipt Pls.


Aphorisms XVI


“It is a curious thing that every creed promises a paradise which will be absolutely uninhabitable for anyone of civilized taste.”

Evelyn Waugh

(Thanks to Futility Closet)



Breast Cancer is Not a Pink Ribbon


The SCAR Project.

PayPal Scam?


Our company received this ... we don't have a PayPal account."Dear PayPal user, As part of our security reasons, we regularly screen activity in the PayPal system. We recently contacted you after noticing an issue on your account.We requested information from you for the following reason:We recently received a report of unauthorized credit card use associated with this account. As a precaution, we have limited access to your PayPal account in order to protect against future unauthorized transactions.Case ID Number: PP-503-472-569 This is a reminder to restore your account as soon as possible. Please download the form attached to this email and open it in a web browser. Once opened, you will be provided with steps to restore your account access. We appreciate your understanding as we work to ensure account safety.In accordance with PayPal's User Agreement, your account access will remain limited until the issue has been resolved. Unfortunately, if access to your account remains limited for an extended period of time,it may result in further limitations or eventual account closure. We encourage you to restore your PayPal account as soon as possible to help avoid this.We thank you for your prompt attention to this matter. Please understand that this is a security measure intended to help protect you and your account. We apologize for any inconvenience. Sincerely,PayPal Account Review Department----------------------------------------------------------------Copyright © 1999-2012 PayPal. All rights reserved.PayPal (Europe) S.a r.l. & Cie, S.C.A.Sociйtй en Commandite par ActionsRegistered Office: 5th Floor 22-24 Boulevard Royal L-2449, Luxembourg RCS Luxembourg B 118 349PayPal Email ID PP3573""PAYPAL SCAM?   [...]

Stuff the Jubilee


Queen Elizabeth II "ascended" to the the throne on 6 February 1952 and is thus celebrating her Diamond Jubilee.

I remember her Silver Jubilee back in 1977 when I was a youthful 15 years old. We proudly pinned these badges, produced by the Trotskyist Socialist Workers Party as part of their campaign against public sector budget cuts, to our school blazers. The school headmaster tried to prohibit us from wearing them!

It is as apt today as then! 

The Sky is Rising


The Sky is Rising - a detailed look at the state of the entertainment industry

Anti-ACTA Demo 11 Feb


London will see a major anti ACTA  demonstration on Saturday 11 February. Link here.

The Cost of Knowledge


Boingboing gave us an incredible collection of posts last week and there follows some links to these ...Our first is to The Cost of Knowledge - a website protesting against the publisher Elsevier's restrictive policies on access to academic scientific knowledge. I cannot freely access anything published in Elsevier's scientific journals but am forced to pay an arm and a leg for the knowledge contained therein.The Cost of Knowledge declares 1. They charge exorbitantly high prices for subscriptions to individual journals. 2. In the light of these high prices, the only realistic option for many libraries is to agree to buy very large "bundles", which will include many journals that those libraries do not actually want. Elsevier thus makes huge profits by exploiting the fact that some of their journals are essential. 3. They support measures such as SOPA, PIPA and the Research Works Act, that aim to restrict the free exchange of information.  ...and has an online petition asking you to boycott Elsevier.The Cost of Knowledge also pointed me to Polymath - "a collection of links to information, opinion, activism, and other issues concerning the practices of research journal publishers". Which then pointed me to this campaign against the US Research Works Act  ... "A recently introduced bill, H.R. 3699, the Research Works Act, would seriously threaten public access to federally funded research. The bill would not only restrict internet access to articles published in scholarly journals and books; it would also severely hamper Creative Commons content.Why is Open Access so important? Internet access to federally funded research allows people with medical conditions to stay informed about new studies and innovations. Access also helps professionals, including doctors, to continue their educations by keeping up to date on the research literature in their fields. In developing nations, Open Access is especially important, as institutions often don't have the funding to provide health care professionals with scholarly literature through other means."[...]



After Morais' lesson in Anglo-Saxon last week, I gave him a lesson in Welsh inspired by Dylan Thomas' Under Milkwood (which I saw narrated in Bangor when I was a teenager) set in the village of Llareggub.

Day to Day Life Goes On


We have two Nigerian clients here at work - "Day to Day" and "Life Goes On". 

Surely they are twins?

Aphorisms XV!


"Whenever people are certain they understand our peculiar situation here on this planet, it is because they have accepted a religious Faith or a secular Ideology (Ideologies are the modern form of Faiths) and just stopped thinking."

Robert Anton Wilson

SOPA & PIPA - Jan 18 Day of Action


In this post on boingboing Cory Doctorow writes everything I have thought about the SOPA and PIPA legislation currently before the US Congress. I quote in full ..."On January 18, Boing Boing will join Reddit and other sites around the Internet in "going dark" to oppose SOPA and PIPA, the pending US legislation that creates a punishing Internet censorship regime and exports it to the rest of the world. Boing Boing could never co-exist with a SOPA world: we could not ever link to another website unless we were sure that no links to anything that infringes copyright appeared on that site. So in order to link to a URL on LiveJournal or WordPress or Twitter or Blogspot, we'd have to first confirm that no one had ever made an infringing link, anywhere on that site. Making one link would require checking millions (even tens of millions) of pages, just to be sure that we weren't in some way impinging on the ability of five Hollywood studios, four multinational record labels, and six global publishers to maximize their profits. If we failed to take this precaution, our finances could be frozen, our ad broker forced to pull ads from our site, and depending on which version of the bill goes to the vote, our domains confiscated, and, because our server is in Canada, our IP address would be added to a US-wide blacklist that every ISP in the country would be required to censor. This is the part of the post where I'm supposed to say something reasonable like, "Everyone agrees that piracy is wrong, but this is the wrong way to fight it." But you know what? Screw that. Even though a substantial portion of my living comes from the entertainment industry, I don't think that any amount of "piracy" justifies this kind of depraved indifference to the consequences of one's actions. Big Content haven't just declared war on Boing Boing and Reddit and the rest of the "fun" Internet: they've declared war on every person who uses the net to publicize police brutality, every oppressed person in the Arab Spring who used the net to organize protests and publicize the blood spilled by their oppressors, every abused kid who used the net to reveal her father as a brutalizer of children, every gay kid who used the net to discover that life is worth living despite the torment she's experiencing, every grassroots political campaigner who uses the net to make her community a better place -- as well as the scientists who collaborate online, the rescue workers who coordinate online, the makers who trade tips online, the people with rare diseases who support each other online, and the independent creators who use the Internet to earn their livings. The contempt for human rights on display with SOPA and PIPA is more than foolish. Foolishness can be excused. It's more than greed. Greed is only to be expected. It is evil, and it must be fought. SOPA Strike is compiling a list of sites that are also going dark for Jan 18. If you want an Internet where human rights, free speech and the rule of law are not subordinated to the entertainment industry's profits, I hope you'll join us on it. Thank you." We have also opted to "go dark" tomorrow (if the code on the SOPA Strike site works). [...]

Travel size paper city Paris


This miniture paper cut-out model of Paris, featuring the Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe, Notre Dame, a boulangerie and patisserie as well as people and cars ... it only lacks a pissoir!! I made one at work last week and everyone thought it way cool!

See Made by.Joel

I hope he creates some other cities.

Aphorisms XV


"Disobedience was man's Original Virtue"

Oscar Wilde

A new species


We believed that our common octopus here probably belonged to the genus Octopus. However, the Directorate of Livestock, responsible for issuing phyto-sanitary certificates, informs us that we have discovered a new genus Octofius.



My algebra is not what it was in my school days ... but this is very funny!

From the Futility Closet:

"Faced with the simultaneous equations
a lazy student ignored the second equation and solved the first in this way:
and hence x = 5 and y = 6. As it happens, that’s the right answer.

In Mathematical Circles Revisited, Howard Eves tells of “Hapless Harry,” who tackled
by writing