I’ve mentioned a couple of times in previous blog posts that I rather like the xkcd webcomic, which describes itself as being “a webcomic of romance, sarcasm, math and language”.
It’s a daily comic which I follow on my blog reader and I more or less enjoy every instalment. Some stand out more than others, for various reasons, and today’s was one of these:
There are two things I particularly like about this.
Firstly, I’ve always been fascinated by recursion, which is the basic idea on display here.
Secondly, Ozymandias (by Percy Shelley) is one of my favourite poems and is also the only thing I studied for A-Level English. That was because, when I did my A-Levels I had hoped to do English as one of them and got as far as attending one lesson (in which we read and analysed this poem). Unfortunately a timetable change meant that English clashed with chemistry and since at the time I was intending to go on and study chemistry at university, that meant I had to drop English. Unlike some other choices I’ve made, I’ve never considered that I may have made the wrong decision on this one, but I do still feel it was a bit of a shame that I didn’t get to pursue my formal studies of English a bit further. Of course, that hasn’t stopped me retaining an interest in literature (and especially poetry) over the years.
Posted by Magnus on 2015/07/29
An occupational hazard of doing your own bike mechanics is that your hands are liable to get dirty.
Bike mechanics is certainly not the only thing I do that requires a bit of a clean up afterwards, but it’s definitely one of the activities most likely to stretch ordinary soap and water beyond the limit of what they can handle, especially if I’ve been working on the chain or other greasy bits of the bike.
Fortunately there are stronger cleaning agents out there than just soap and water. Over the years I’ve tried several different ones with varying degrees of success.
Recently I’ve returned to swarfega, which I used to use quite often when I was growing up but haven’t touched for probably the best part of 20 years. I discovered that it’s actually just about the most effective hand cleaning agent that I’ve tried.
As an added bonus, its distinctive aroma and green, gloopy appearance and texture give me a nice nostalgia trip every time I use it. And you don’t need to use a huge amount even if your hands are properly grubby, so the small pot that I bought about a month ago should last me quite a long time.
Posted by Magnus on 2015/07/07