I normally don’t participate in web memes, but dammit, when they’re this funny there is no other choice. The whole ‘Pirates vs. Ninjas’ debate first originated from the Real Ultimate Power ninja site, and quickly spread through the web like wildfire (because, let’s face it, the site is cool, and by cool I mean totally sweet*).

But the ninjas have a lifelong emnity against the pirates, giving rise to such sites as Pirates and Ninjas Tested in a Variety of Everyday Situations and endless debates on the subject.

*I am currently trying to ascertain whether this phrase originated from the ninja website or not. More news soon.

Reasons to be cheerful

Reasons to be cheerful:

People on Metafilter liked my post about aerogel (inspired when I saw these pretty photos). I’m very pleased about this – Metafilter is being swamped with too much news culled from CNN, Slashdot, Kuro5hin and other web news portals these days, so I thought the readers might like a change and see something new. And they did.

I received an email from Giles Turnbull about how he liked the design of this weblog. I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy receiving emails like that.

I had a moment of epiphany about a particularly troublesome bit of revision concerning DNA recombination. I’d spent about five minutes trying to figure out the exact mechanism, drawing things on bits of paper, when it suddenly struck me that I should look at the diagrams backwards.

I remember sitting in a friend’s room last term, when he put on some new music. I immediately jumped up and exclaimed, ‘Hey, that’s the music to Barry Norman’s Film Night!’ He corrected me and said, ‘No it’s not, it’s by Nina Simone and it’s called I wish I knew.’ And so it was, and in that moment he unwittingly had given me the secret of the song’s name which so many people loved but didn’t (and may still not) know.


Tom Armitage of Tajmahal is an unusual person. First, he reads this weblog. Second, he is thinking of duplicating the big post/little post structure of Massive. I think that this sort of structure is a good way to keep yourself interested in writing for a weblog, and it’s definitely increased my enjoyment and input for writing this weblog, so my advice to Tom is to try it out.

A friend emailed me today to ask me if I remembered what the great line from Gattaca was (not only a great line, but in my opinion, the greatest line of all movies). So, without further ado…

“You know, I had this crazy thought that you were more interested in the investigation than me.”

“You’re right.”


“It was a crazy thought.”

[she swoons and is his forever, and everyone lives happily ever after. Well, maybe not, but it’s still a great line although it probably loses a fair bit being out of context]