What is Englishness

The Independent had a short story on what, today, it means to be English, and if there is such a thing as “Englishness”. It mentioned the Town of Ripley in Derbyshire, just next door to my home town. Apparently this is one of the most English places in England (not sure if that also means “in the world” too) so does this make me one of the most English people in the world?

I write this at the top of a hill looking over the green fields and the autumn woods – the quintessential image of England – as I try to work out what makes me English. Is it our history? It certainly plays a large part but this is always mixed up with “British” history and difficult to prise apart. Of the separate parts of Britain it is Scotland that has a very distinct identity, Wales a slightly less identity but still a recognisable culture of it’s own, England does not seem to have a clear image of its own.

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Response to Turing e-petition

I’m actually quite impressed by the Prime Minister’s response to the Turing e-petition. Quite often it’s just the normal government spiel.

Alan Turing was one of the key men in the second world War and a great mathematician (and one of the first computer programmers) but he was treated with contempt just a few years after he helped break German codes at Bletchly Park – it’s good to see that, on behalf of the government, Gordan Brown recognised his achievements and apologised for his shocking treatment.

The full script is available here: http://petitions.number10.gov.uk/turing/#detail

I was also impressed that they added the link to Bletchy Park asking for donations. Nice touch.

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Yep, I'm still here

So, it’s been a while since I made an blog entry – what can I say, I’ve been busy…

I been working through my open university course, and relaxing at my new house. I’ve also been updating my other blog a little more, which is more of a technical one.

And I’m a double Uncle now too.

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It's Christmas time.

Merry Christmas to you!

And for those who know me, here’s some Christmas present suggestions, in no particular order:

  • Coffee Table / Nest of tables
  • 32 Inch Flat screen TV
  • Bookcase/ shelving.
  • Desk (But not a computer one!)
  • Sofa bed / guest bed.
  • Rug
  • Wall clock (Quiet one, i.e. no tick noise!)
  • Electricity saving devices
  • Digital TV recorder
  • Home Cinema system
  • DAB Radio
  • Compact Hifi System
  • Copmuter camera
  • Cordless Telephone
  • Garden lounger (for relaxing and star gazing!)
  • A stupid / gadget / game / waste of time.
  • Board Game
  • Drawing lessons / tools
  • New Scientist subscription
  • Nintendo DS
  • Wii Game
  • Book
  • DVD
  • Puzzle
  • Jigsaw
  • Cinema Tickets
  • Bird Table
  • Asus MiniBook
  • Desktop computer. (But see above about desks…)

Or just anything fun.

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Soon to be 30

Yes it’s not long till I’ll have travelled around the Sun 30 times.

During that time,

  • The Sun has travelled about 227 Billion kilometres around our Milky Way Galaxy.
  • I have walked about 10’000 miles around the Earth (mostly in the UK)
  • I have created almost 300 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide, not including the stuff I breathe out.
  • And I’ve been asleep for 10 years

And finally, on average, at the age of 30 I should have about 50 more years left…

But now to finish on something much more interesting: Gifts. People keep asking me for some present ideas so here’s a few of them (in no particular order):

There should be enough ideas here for everyone but if your still stuck, have a look around the of the websites I’ve linked to and buy something stupid, cool or nerdy!

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Seven wonders of the WHOLE world.

Take your pick of the wonders of the world, and pick some of the most famous landmarks in the world.

To make it easier to pick, try this: does it make you think: Wow! How? Why?
http://www.new7wonders.com/

This probably tells you a lot about me but I went for:

Acropolis – Old figure of civilisation
Easter island figures – mysterious people alone on a island
Great wall – Huge effort to build the structure
Hagia Sophia – An impressive temple now museum
Neuschwanstien Castle – A real fantasy castle
Stonehenge – Ancient, mysterious, amazing.
Taj Mahal – An impressive statement.

Choose wisely!

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