Monday, May 24, 2010

Championship playoffs

Disappointingly but not too surprisingly, Leicester did not make it to the Premier League. It is a very good chance this time, particularly with Nottingham Forest being knocked out; and one of the Blackpool player is on loan from Leicester so he won't be eligible to play should Leicester meet Blackpool in the final. Next year it would probably be much more difficult. It has to be said that the quality of the football we are playing is simply not as good as the other teams.

I would have preferred Cardiff to beat Blackpool, depsite Cardiff being the one that knocked Leicester out. Blackpool was not even in the top 6 until the very last week (?). More importantly, their boss is Ian Holloway.

One thing that has been puzzling me for quite a while now is how some apparently idiotic managers have good results in the Championship. I don't know how well Ian Holloway did it in Blackpool, but back when he was in Leicester he always appeared like a clown, giving nonsense answers to questions. In contrast, the current Leicester City manager, Nigel Pearson, seems to behave sensibly, knows what he is doing and do not speak nonsense. I hope he continue to do well for the club.

Weird dreams

Doctor Who Episode 5.7: Amy's Choice

  • I have only watched very few X Files episodes. I quite like the episode Field Trip ("hallucinogenic mushrooms digesting humans with yellow goo"). In some ways this episode is similar to it, with a twist that after waking up from the "first" dream, they are still in a dream. Here they could have made the two dreams much more equally believable, but the outcome is that one is completely obviously fake. Still, the premise is an interesting one. So the idea is interesting, but perhaps not executed very well in this episode.
  • More importantly though: are they *still* in a dream? (Now this is the maddest theory ever...)
  • They are seriously showing old people getting beaten and being thrown down a roof at Saturday 6:30-ish? I know they are alien-possessed but still...
  • It is entirely possible to get out of a dream by realising it is a dream. During my school years I used to have regular nightmares that feature a succession of unfortunate events that any single one of them is plausible but together it is just impossible to happen. The typical scenario would be: on route to an exam, I discover that I've forgotten to bring something, but there is enough time to get back home to get it. But then when I'm getting back home there is a traffic jam caused by some accident. Then I decide to take another mode of transport and then discover the thing I want to get is with me all along. Eventually I managed to arrive the exam venue just on time, only to discover to my horror that I have been revising for the wrong subject all along. Or something like that.

    One day it suddenly occurred to me that since it is simply impossible that such things happen together, as soon as the second unfortunate event happens it must be a dream. The next time I had that sort of dream, I got out of it by recalling this reasoning. And then the same dream never happened again.

Sunday, May 23, 2010



最近某人 review 一份該國「學者」之論文,看了老大半天,最後才忽然發現該文乃是 100% 抄自另一篇論文。還說是 assistant professor 云云 (雖然該國大部份 assistant professor 也不見得須要甚麼 qualification...)


最近又有一人,被揭發整個 project 每一行 source code 皆是抄襲回來。該(男)學生被 tutor 召見,先是無言以對,繼而悽然淚下,掩面飲泣,煞是可憐。及至步出門口,更是步履蹣跚,須扶牆而行,彷彿突聞至親噩耗一般。其演出卻是略嫌浮誇,況且他還沒行至走廊盡頭便已回復正常。他可不知該 tutor 閱人無數,三個月前才見另一同國籍之學生也是如此這般演出:上午得知 fail 了 degree,下午才猛然醒起自己母親身患重病,三日後再見此人已是不似人形,像三天沒吃沒睡,每一步皆可倒下一般。

該某人對自己任教之科目,更早已採「隻眼開隻眼閉」之態度,唯近來抄襲之水平實在太低,該某人一時技癢,竟連捉十多人。其中一位明顯為 source 者,已被不停給予機會從實招來,他卻含着一泡淚水,硬是不說,真是使人愛莫能助。


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The "Name of a mediocre monster" of "Location of a filler episode"

Doctor Who Episode 5.6: The Vampires of Venice
  • Actually, I just moved house and did not have time to write this. In any case, there is not much to write. Very typical, "average" episode, with CGI monsters, explosions, lots of running around, lots of jokes, etc. Probably good enough for an 8-year-old. Not bad by any means, just that we've seen too many similar episodes.
  • The pre-title sequence, though, is the weirdest ever.

Friday, May 07, 2010

The time traveller's wife/murderer and the not-so-nice assassins

Doctor Who Episodes 5.4/5.5 - Time of the Angels / Flesh and Stone

  • Steven Moffat's son referred to the scene where the angel jumps out of the TV as the scariest thing he has ever watched on TV. Well he clearly haven't watched that Japanese horror film. Having watched so little film and TV, I initially didn't realise this is where the idea came from, though.
  • I don't like the fact that they now changed the physics of the angels (if there is still any physics that is):
  1. First, in Blink an angel cannot move when someone watches it, in a way similar to the standard quantum mechanical interpretation of a wave function collapses into a single state when an observer measures it. Now the angels don't seem too bothered looking at each other, they can move while the audience (us) is watching, and they may even freeze just because they think they are being looked at! (Maybe Moffat is trying to tell us that the Copenhagen interpretation really doesn't make any sense...)
  2. Secondly, they no longer kill "nicely" by pushing people back in time (although it never made much sense to me.)
  3. Thirdly, you will now die if you look at the eyes of an angel. The idea of "that holds the image of an angel becomes an angel" is nice, but I'm quite sure Sally Sparrow has taken some images of the angels...
  • Actually, imagine if there are two different species of angels, one of those you must look at them without even blinking, and the other you cannot even look at them or you will die, and the two species look identical...
  • The countdown bit is quite surprising and creepy.
  • The sequence inside the forest doesn't quite work for me: the angels thinking they're being watched? The Doctor getting angry in The Beast Below is fine, but again here (twice) seems too much. But there are two good things: the "angels turning their head" moment is going to become a classic. Also, clearly there is a future doctor jumping back to this point in time! ("Clearly" when you watch it for the second time that is...)
  • There are more and more evidence that Moffat is playing his timey-wimey ideas throughout the whole series, so instead an episode making sense in the last minute, it might take an entire series to make complete sense only in the last few minutes of the finale! (at which point all the mystery about Rory's badge, the wrong clock, duck pond, future doctor holding Amy's hand, two men in black appearing in a deja vu manner, etc. will be solved!)