Sunday, 20 January 2008

Cities of Germany

Ian and I are currently taking a German language course at the University. One week we learned how to say 'city A is in Germany', 'city B is not in Switzerland' etc. Unfortunately we all hesitated as to which cities were in Switzerland and which were in fact in Germany. Coupled with the fact that I can't actually put on a map the German cities that I do know I've decided to put up a very simple map on the blog. Suspect one of Switzerland will appear on the blog sooner or later.

Thursday, 10 January 2008

Chinese New Year Presiding Animals

  • Rat (2008, 1996...)
  • Ox (2009, 1997)
  • Tiger (2010, 1998)
  • Rabbit (2011, 1999)
  • Dragon (2012, 2000)
  • Snake (2013, 2001)
  • Horse (2014, 2002)
  • Sheep (2015, 2003)
  • Monkey (2016, 2004)
  • Rooster (2017, 2005)
  • Dog (2018, 2006)
  • Pig (2019, 2007)

Wednesday, 9 January 2008


Over Christmas we were wondering why it is that none of us could picture a cashew shell (whereas most other nuts can be bought in their shells). Cashews - the true fruit of the cashew tree grow attached to a false or accessory fruit, known as the cashew apple (though it looks more like a pepper in shape). The cashew apple is edible and very sweet, but difficult to transport (presumably why we don't ever see them in the UK).

Cashew nuts themselves are surrounded by a double shell. The nut is found on the end closest to the cashew apple. The other end is honeycombed with cells that contain a toxic fluid called cardol that blisters the mouth. For many years, the cashew was referred to as the blister nut.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Isaac Asimov's 3 Laws of Robotics

Having watched I, Robot last night I thought I'd put these up on the blog today.

  1. A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law.

Thursday, 3 January 2008

Leaders of the Soviet Union

  • Vladimir Lenin (really Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov) (1922-1924)
  • Josef Stalin (really Joseph Vissarionovich Jugashvili ) (1927-1953)
  • Georgy Maximilianovich Malenkof (Chairman of the council of ministers under Krushchev from 1953-1955)
  • Nikita Sergeyevitch Krushchev (1953-1964)
  • Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev (1964-1982)
  • Yuri Vladimirovich Andropov (1982-1984)
  • Konstantin Ustinovich Chernenko (1984-1985)
  • Mikhail Sergeyevich Gorbachev (1985-1991)