Bean Salad

The inspiration for tonights meal was by from my brother, who did me something like this a while back. A bean salad, with bread essentially. Very simple: tin of mixed beans which I have had for quite a while — I think fresh would have been better; some fresh garlic, lightly chopped; olive oil; pepper; balsamic vinegar and lime juice. Served with an undressed green salad (with addition carrot and and parsnip), eaten with one of those boil-in-the-bag batton loafs. Very simple, very nice. Back for more. Originally published on my old blog site.

Facebook N^2 problems

The CARMEN project came to a grinding halt this afternoon. We decided to try facebook as a social networking site for the project. It turns out that everyone has to register everyone else as a friend; nice though it is to think that you have lots of friends, Facebook actually requires n squared number of clicks. Poor old Frank, being a young whippersnapper with lots of friends on Facebook, saw his laptop turn into the machine that goes ping as all his mates added him and sent him zombie requests; how does anyone get any work done in these days of social networking. Originally published on my old blog site.

Comments in place

I’ve put comments onto the blog now. I’ve done this using HaloScan which is a javascript based system; I can insert comments without modifying the source of the blog. I’m a little nervous about this; I’d rather have comments under my control, but this seems the easiest way for the moment. It basically seems to work, although I had hoped that the comments would be injected back into the main page; something to work on. Permalinks come tomorrow. With the comments, I have all the machinary in place that I need for this. Originally published on my old blog site.

Eldon Square

They are currently knocking down one of the car parks associated with Eldon Square. My question is, why stop with the car park? Originally published on my old blog site.

Harry Potter

So, I am sure the world is waiting to know what I thought of it; actually, it’s very good. Although it is long, it does not feel flabby like the last book. It is by far the darkest of the books, with familiar object and characters dying off left, right and centre — it’s clear that she does not want to leave any possibility of a follow up. The plot is fast and thick. As previously, she starts fast, then slows for the middle, then speeds up again. I though that she managed to tie up all the loose ends rather well, with her rapid style mostly covering up the technobabble (or whatever the magical equivalent is). I’m glad she’s managed to pull it off. With the combination of Harry Potter and Northern Lights, we seen two epic serials released. I am sure that they…

In Edinburgh for CoKE meeting

Always nice to be in Edinburgh, although I’d prefer not to be in a hotel again so soon after ISMB. Just been to George Hotel: posh, but lots of twiddly bits never impressed me; food was plausible, wine was indifferent, coffee was awful. Staying in the SAS Radisson: good points, free internet; bad points, they have authentic wooden windows to look nice, and a inner draw window which acts as, well, a window. Sounds fine, but it’s single, transparent sheet of glass, 10cm in front of the wooden frame and I nearly broke my nose on it trying to look out of the window. Ouch. p.s. there’s a 2cm step between bedroom and bathroom with no function other than to provide a place to stub your toe. Originally published on my old blog site.

Viennese Cuisine

Having been in Vienna for a week, I thought I would comment on the food. In general, it’s very good. I can’t point my finger at a single bad meal (although several inappropriate ones — more later). The most common kind of food that I eat was Italian. As a world cuisine, it has the advantage of being the least offensive to all concerned. Both resturants that we tried were good; one of them managed to achieve a feet that I would have not believed possible and cooked a meal which might just have had too much garlic (gnocchi in garlic, chilli and olive oil). I eat Austrian food twice. One resturant mostly served boiled cow; here, I had Chanterelle mushrooms in white sauce which were nice, although the meal needed more variation. The other was for the conference dinner &mda…

Last day in Vienna

Spent today walking around the Prata, out as far as the stadium, then back to Lassallestraße. The day was clear, perhaps slightly too warm, but really nice despite this. Good to spend time relaxing before the flight. Vienna airport needs to get it’s signs sorted out though. The restrictions all state that you can items bought on the transit can be taken on the planes, but then they put security other side. It’s not a surprise really that people get annoyed with these restrictions when their signs are wrong. Now I have to fly without water. Hopefully, I won’t get ill. Originally published on my old blog site.

ISMB finishing

Finally, ISMB is coming to an end. The database and ontologies track had a couple of interesting talks, with Suzi Lewis’ being the day before. To finish off, I am in a Open Science meeting — rather smaller than I thought it would be, but this might be because it was not very well attended, but then it’s at the end of the conference. Not a bad conference, but too long as always. Originally published on my old blog site.

Vienna Sights

Been to a number of tourist traps over the last few days, so here are my opinions. Zoo: well, lots of sad animals in small cages. They should shut this, move it 20 miles outside town, run a shuttle bus and give the animals more space. Palm and Cactus House: there were really good and fun to walk around. Smaller than either Edinburgh or Kew, but still good. State Opera House: it’s okay. It is basically a confusing mix of styles, with lots of twiddly bits on. In the end, we only went there because of the rain, so I can’t really complain. Originally published on my old blog site.