Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Game playing

In some respects, the British approach to games is different to the American one. Although it goes down well here in the USA, Whose line is It Anyway? seems to me to be very different to the typical American game show. There are no points, at least none that really matter, the winner is chosen pretty much at random, and there are no valuable prizes. Mornington Crescent is more serious - certainly less hilarious - but still has no valuable prizes. Most people play it for the sheer intellectual pleasure of playing I think. I remember listening to it on Radio 4 as part of a weekly show called I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. It quite sensibly migrated to the internet, which is an ideal place for the game. There are a variety of Mornington Crescent sites. Mornington Crescent in Outer Space is perhaps not the best place to start for a beginner. This one provides an overview, plus a version of the game with a graphical interface, which may make it easier. It also provides links to other sites where you can play the game online. This one is perhaps the most complete if you really, really, want to understand the game.

Another game originating in the UK that I hadn't heard of until recently was Lost. I was winning for quite a long time but I lost again today. Oh well - I can console myself with the fact that lots of other people lost today too! Can you figure out how it is related to this site?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Oh, no, not that much snow!

There is snow forecast for Thursday across the UK. The BBC website posted the following recommendation for drivers:
Carry warm clothing, food, water, boots, de-icer, torch and spade in your car
Plan your journey before leaving home
Check the weather forecast
Check your route for delays

How much snow is forecast? Apparently 2 centimeters is expected in the south, with "up to 5cm of snow in some areas" of northeast England and eastern Scotland. Temperatures will 'struggle' to reach 2 or 3 degrees Celsius. Hmm, let's see, we had about 10 centimeters yesterday and the town didn't even think it was worth plowing our street! Temperatures here tomorrow are supposed to reach a high of 14 degrees Fahrenheit (that's minus 10 Celsius), but it will feel more like 0 Fahrenheit (minus 18 Celsius) because of the windchill. Recess (playtime) at school will be indoors I'm sure.

I have driven in the UK when there has been that much/little snow and I have to say the BBC is right - there is often chaos on the roads. The roads are untreated and drivers don't have enough experience of driving in the snow. And then of course, it could always be the 'wrong kind' of snow for the snow ploughs ;-) The kind of snow is more significant than I ever realised when I was living in the UK. We had the 'right kind' of snow here this week - it was excellent for making snow men! On the other hand, it was also the wrong kind of snow as it was heavy to shovel - however I was lucky enough not to have to experience that as my darling DH took care of it all!

What it looked like here yesterday afternoon:

Thinking of converting temperatures, I just made Dear Daughter go through her homework adding in an F after all the degrees symbols. Her math/science homework was about temperatures and only 'degrees' was specified when it should have been 'degrees Fahrenheit'. I explained to her why it mattered to be specific about the unit of measurement. OK, so she's only in elementary school, but surely it's not too early to think precisely and scientifically?
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