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Medium Phil

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About Medium Phil

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  1. One of my colleagues once said that if you find a big enough carrot you can use it as a stick! He was talking about students rather than bins though.
  2. This reminds me of the story a work colleague told me from around 2000. Whist working in electronics research he became aware of some recent developments requiring the use of Gallium that would have an impact on mobile phone technology. He felt it was likely that demand would soon outstrip supply and the price would go up a lot. He and some friends got together a pot of money and decided to buy some. He telephoned a metals dealer who casually asked why they wanted to buy the metal, hearing the reply the dealer said he wouldn't sell them any but thanks for the great tip. Needless to say Gallium quadrupled in price and but my colleague didn't benefit as he couldn't find a single person to sell him any! I assume someone made a lot of money though.
  3. Whilst visiting Atlanta I popped into a Krispee Kreme store for the cultural experience and saw that the machine producing fresh doughnuts drops them on a conveyer that runs past the serving staff, any not picked up fell off the end of the line - straight into a garbage bin! More than half of everything produced was just thrown away without even being handled! One of the most wasteful things I've ever seen in my life.
  4. I think one decent argument for the system as is, is that it's much cheaper than employing 10,000 civil servants to process (and screw up) the means testing they would otherwise require.
  5. "Many" is in interesting word to use, it implies a large number but says nothing about the proportion. 1000 houses is "many" houses but is certainly isn't most of 30,000! What a useful political word - implying one thing whilst meaning almost anything you like. I'd guess that fact they didn't say "most" means that we are talking less than 15,000 of the houses being affordable.
  6. Don't get me wrong Optobear, many of the overseas PhD students are superb (smart, hardworking, conscientious, etc.) what I have a problem with is telling them I can't recruit them on a project because they're foreign, whilst having to choose from two or three mediocre British students. The current trend seems to be that many of our UK PhDs only applied because they couldn't decide on or couldn't be bothered to find a job! On the bright side, if you hold their hand for the first year or so they can often become much better students but it is very time consuming and can be expensive in the lab letting them make their mistakes.
  7. To be fair, they seemed to grasp it just fine when the gradient was positive!
  8. Don't get me started on this! We can't recruit decent domestic PhD students for love nor money (and they now receive more then £12k p.a. tax & council tax free). We're a Russell group uni and have to beat foreign applicants off with a stick, unfortunately you can't use UK research council money for a foreign student. It's another example of the brain drain, British students just aren't interested, our best PhDs go abroad to capitalise on their education, leaving us with the dross. Phil
  9. I was half asleep when I heard this interview but seem to remember it being said that public sector unions had agreed to this with one proviso. This was that negotiations could be reopened during the three years if inflation exceeded an agreed upper limit. Darling said he would not agree to this, suggesting he believes inflation is on the up over the next three years. If he was confident it wasn't why not agree to the condition? Alternatively I could have misheard it!
  10. Tin foil is old tech now. For real protection you need one of these.
  11. Point taken ParticleMan but it's more a question of how it will be presented to Joe Public. As far as they'll be concerned one minute it was alive (albeit sick) then the Gov withheld a loan, then it was bust!
  12. I don't think he's having a good day today. He's also against nationalising NR BBC link. What would he prefer, handing Branson a blank cheque or it going bust?
  13. Order-Order have some interesting comments on the capital gains tax changes.. http://www.order-order.com/2007/10/name-sh...s-who-vote.html Some of the submitted comments are well worth a read.
  14. Sales may be slowing, but I was talking to a friend today who is desperate to buy in the west end of Glasgow, I've attempted to talk her out of it but to no avail. Every offer she's put in has been beaten so she's been looking at cheap places and bidding high. Her most recent unsuccessful attempt was more than 50% above the offers over price! £180K for a basic one bed flat - this is getting silly.
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