Tuesday, June 03, 2003

"Take a look at the lawman beating up the wrong guy..."

My university is sending a space probe to Mars. How bloody cool is that? After repeated schoolboy attempts at rocketry while failed to reach the end of the street, it's a bastard great step forward, I can tell you.

Okay, so I slacked off school after falling for the irresistable lure of beer, and somehow fell into a job rather than get a degree and become something boring in the City. But that's allowed me, fifteen regretful years later to sign up to the Open University and finally get that college degree my planet-sized (not to mention modest) intellect desires.

For Americans and those of you who have never stumbled across the Open University, it's a peculiarly British correspondence learning course that gets you a college degree after six years of slog, somehow grafted on to your normal life. It's mostly known, however, for the TV programmes it uses to replace classroom tutorials. Some of them - particularly the maths disciplines - were recorded in the early seventies and featured - let me be charitable - people who obviously didn't pay too much attention to fashion. People, it has to be said, didn't get out much either. Add this to the fact that the programmes are transmitted in the dead of night after regular TV programmes have finished (which in pre-video recorder days must have been hell), and you have the makings of a bizarre underclass of nocturnal students juggling studies, family life, work and Coco the Clown giving a tutorial. God help me, I'm in my fourth year of six discussing economic dynamism in the Asia-Pacific.

And they've put together a space probe that's going to land on Mars at the end of this year. Beagle 2 is part of the ESA Mars Express probe that launched from Baikonur yesterday. It's going to do stuff with dirt, and then take over the planet, or something. And true to form the OU had a man on the spot, cut and pasted straight from a 1973 Maths Tutorial. I felt proud to my boots. My school's sending a space ship to kick some red Martian butt, and your's isn't.

This can only be a good thing. When we let the Martians come to our place, they only went and ripped Woking to shreds, the town that gave us Paul Weller, the philistines. And to get our awful and bloody revenge, we're sending them Blur.

"The 419 Project"

Day three, and those jolly nice people in Nigeria have already promised me USD 126,000,000, of which USD 31,700,000 and 200kg of gold dust is mine to keep. What lovely, lovely people.

"The Wang Project"

What can I say except a big thank you to my friends the spammers for theirkind help in providing me with my dream willy. Just three days into the Wang Project, and the Mighty Mallet has already grown by twenty-eight inches and caused no end of funny looks as I walked round Asda today. Keep it up, as it were.

The Scaryduck Archive in Spaaaaaaaaaaaaace!

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