June 2nd, 2005


Ten-spot featuring driving, salads and permanent accounts

1) Happy birthday to missmarypotter and belated happy birthday to, erm, about two dozen other lovely people.

2) By far the best commentary I've seen on the UK's purported number one comes from dungeoneer and can be found here.

3) News: Keble alumnus and computer guru makes massive endowment to Oxford University. Hurrah! Take that, Bill Gates!

4) Poker fans will enjoy videos (pointed out by loogaroo) spoofing a certain Poker Brat at http://www.billfillmaff.com/ which are excellent if you get the jopke.

5) Last week, I went to see Kinsey courtesy of the local indy cinema company at the local arthouse as part of an audience of 15 - myself and seven couples. Oh dear. Attractively made and conveys a very likeable image of the subject, while emphasising he didn't know everything. Additionally, the film only tries to be funny a small number of times, but each one hits the spot with a belly laugh. Thumbs up.

6) Next Monday, we get to find out what the IOC Evaluation Committee made of the five remaining candidates' bids to host the 2012 Olympics. I perceive that London's bid is going really well, though it needs to go not just really well but exceptionally well to make up all the advantages Paris has long had over it. Nevertheless, it's not unknown for a strong second place finisher to attract favourable attention in the future. I anticipate Paris winning and doing a splendid job, but London's time may yet come.

7) How are we all doing with practicing puzzles, people? Keep at it; only 14 days to register for the test on the afternoon of Saturday 16th June. This morning I spent the statutory 2½ hours on the 1999 test and would've scored 98 (almost 118 if I had entered the answers correctly). I'm convinced that this would've easily been good enough to get on the UK team, had there been one at the time and had it used the online qualifier. If your score is around there, take encouragement; if not, keep practising, because your ability improves more through practice than the extent to which the paper gets slightly harder over the years.

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9) As announced in news, there's going to be a permanent account sale throughout Tuesday June 7th as defined by EST (so 5am British time Tuesday June 7th to 5am Wednesday June 8th). Permanent accounts will be sold for $150. Traditionally permanent accounts have previously been charged at $100, or the equivalent of four years' subscription; permanent accounts were, some time ago, revamped to include the optional paid extra of 50 usericons, so the $150 cost now represents 42/7 years of paid account and 42/7 years of extra icons as well - or six years of paid status if you wouldn't pay for fifty icons. (Buy a permanent account and you can probably transfer any remaining paid time elsewhere.)

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