Wednesday, 23 February 2011


OK, it so happens that this week is the dreaded Week 5 of 8 in the Cambridge term. I hate to quote really bad films and all, but this is when shit gets real.

In the student newspapers they call this weird affliction "The Week 5 Blues", but to be honest it's more aptly described as "The Week 5 complete-head-fuck". Every term I'm like "Oh ye, it'll be different this term, even though I how have 3 years of experience to the contary" but it always ends up like "Oh ye, I was totally wrong again and I am in DEEP SHIT".

For those who can't imagine what this feels like:
*Random aside* I WANT THIS HAT:
At this moment in time, nothing could make me more happy than wearing this to a Binary Stars lecture.

OK, maybe prehaps this:

But I digress.

In a very hypersensitive state, it is generally bad when shit like this happens to you.
 <<10 pages of algebra>>

 Hang on, wait. The question is fucking wrong isn't it. *Changes 'b' to a 'u'.* *Problem now soluble.*
 Oh. Fucking hell rage.
Solution? THIS:
See that bit that says "High caffeine"? FUCKING GET IN :-) :-) :-)
Oh, and it's fucking raining too. It almost never rains in Cambridge so I feel justified whinging about it when it does come along. Fucking rain. Making me wet and cold. FUCK YOU WATER DROPLETS FROM THE SKY.
 It's like each tiny little bit of water is mocking me.
Pretty certain this drawing is wrong as I think rain falls as spherical droplets. But that's not the point. The point is that when it rains I have a fucking wet saddle then spend all day in a mood because I get a wet arse.
Also, the back wheel on my bike gets more and more bent every day I use it so every tiny little journey takes stupid amounts of effort. Rage.
*Random ranty aside*

Dear Pedestrians of Cambridge,

See this hard grey thing with cars on? It's called a road. If you walk onto it on some sort of weird pedestrian whim that I cannot fathom in front of my fucking bike, I will want to kill you. At the very least I will want to hit you with a wet fish, even though it's more than you deserve.

Cheers muchly,


*End random ranty aside*

Sorry, just needed to get that out of my system. But anyway, week 5 has it's upshots. Extreme emotional sensitivity means that little things make you really happy. Like animal biscuits.

Also, purple ink. I DO MATHS IN PURPLE INK NOW :-D :-D
*sad violins*
When my delivery of 350 (?!?!?) GDBO mugs arrives I have decided that I am going to make myself a hat and crown myself mug emperor. I have actually very little comprehension of what 350 mugs will look like, although my gut feeling says it is a fucking ridiculous amount. But yes, I will be their emperor.
I feel many hours staring at a spreadsheet, eating raw oats out of the bag for sustenance, sorting out the little buggers gives me license to make myself a hat when they arrive. It's going to have be in the shape of a giant mug I think. Yes.

*Ends digression into insanity*

Oooo! I have something to say about rowing! I subbed into the CUW blue boat (ooo!) t'other day for a "light session" which included a 12 min piece at 32/34. "Woo!" I thought to myself. "Rowing!" They even flattered me by putting me at 6. Annnnnnnnnnnnd then this happened. (Click for bigger-er)
Yeah. That thing called training really does have to be done *sigh*.

Finally finally finally a little "Look what I found on the internets!!!!!" bit. Awesome little game here. All you need to know is that it features a bunny on a spacehopper, and broccoli firing a rubber duck though a ring of fire. Well worth a look.

And with that I bid thee good night!

Friday, 11 February 2011

The return of the GDBO mug

I am pleased to announce that the GDBO mug now comes in two flavours: rowing and non-rowing.
Here's what they look like:
 The rowing one has this on the other side:
Cambridge blue, a goddam lion and anti-Oxford sentiment? Woooooooooooooooo!
Some unjustifiable claims about GDBO mugs*
(*Which are all obvously completely true)

  • They are made of pure awesome. (We all know that's an actual element, right?)
  • They may become molecularly unstable in Oxford postcodes.
  • I drew that Cambridge lion myself. It took fucking ages.
  • These mugs undergo a brutal fitness routine every morning to obtain the honour of having "GDBO" on them.
  • One of them won the 400m bronze in the 2008 Olympics.
  • Their hero is Jens Voigt and they all own mug shaped replica cycling kit.

  • They have the tendancy to bully other mugs (especially ones with Oxford blue on), so should be stored away from other varieties of beverage containers.
  • Can reliably hold tea, coffee, fruit juice and limoncello. (Other liquids have not yet been tested, but they're probably safe.)
  •  You can own one yourself for the bargainous price of £7. Which is pretty bargainous. (Did I mention these things can hold tea? :-O)
  • All profits going straight to CUWBC to help them beat Oxford in this year's boat race. And we all want to see that. Because it will be awesome.
So, if you want to own a mug to rule all mugs and bask in it's Cambridge blue awesome-rays, email me at and and we'll sort something out.


P.S. Thanks for all the orders so far - keep em coming!

Monday, 7 February 2011

GDBO. In mug form.

Please see updated version here.

The GDBO mug is here! (Or it will be as soon as I get some orders...)

It'll look like this (with the handle on the RHS of the rower) and will be made of anti-Oxford awesome.
 Stuff you didn't know about The GDBO Mug:

  • Yours for the bargainous price of £7!
  • I drew that bloody Cambridge lion and it took fucking ages.
  • It was Tolkiens' inspriation for the Lord of the Rings trilogy. 

"One Mug to rule them all, One Mug to find them,
One Mug to bring them all and in the darkness [of Oxford blue] bind them."
         (He eventually chose a ring instead for his books as the mug was too badass.) 

  • This mug has been known to bully other mugs. Especially lame ones like this:

      • One of these mugs once won a Bronze medal at Nat Champs.
      • Stalin the Swan owns one of these.
      • GBDO mugs do not wear pogies. EVER.
      • It’s hobbies include sculling, reading Latin poetry and listening to trance.
      • All in support of CUWBC and the quest to beat Oxford.
      Therefore, for the reasonable price of £7 you too can own the mug to rule all mugs and bask in it’s Cambridge blue awesome-rays. What are you waiting for? Email me ( to order one now!

      (N.B. This is very much a not-for-profit thing and is purely to help raise money for CUWBC  and the Henley Boat Races who are rather chronically funded. I'm getting nothing for this except a huge test of my logistic skills and hopefully massive muscles after carrying around lots of boxes of mugs :->)

      Saturday, 5 February 2011

      Cosmic. Death. Spiral.

      I increasingly feel like a massive fraud with how little this blog has to do with rowing. Far from the hectic rowing-rowing-eating-work-work-eating-rowing-sleeping lifestyle that I was used to, my life has now settled into this depressing pattern:

      One thing they certainly don't mention in the Cambridge prospectus is how 95% of the time you will have no fucking idea whatsoever what is going on. They're all like

      "Excellent teaching colleges supervisions woooooooo look at all the pretty photos of Kings' chapel wooooooooo diversity there's a river here and a library full of all the books in the world."

      when what they should be saying is

      "The shit we're going to try and teach you is fucking hard. In fact, it is so fucking hard you can't even comprehend how fucking hard it is. But you do get to wear gowns sometimes and you can go punting. **thumbs up**"

      I know, yes. Complain complain. You knew what you were letting yourself in for etc. etc. However, thanks to someone's (I can't remember who) recommendation that filter coffee has more caffeine in, I AM NOW MUCH MORE GREATLY CAFFEINATED. Which can only be a good thing.
       Until you get twitchy and a bit insane and get a headache when you don't have enough.
      My plan of attack in these situations is to turn all the lights out apart from the one on my desk (cos that looks quite cool in the dark in a big library), put on something Beethoven-y on my mp3 player and pretend I'm some sort of mathematical savant in a film trying to prove some important theorem to save the world with dramatic music in the background even though it's the first part of the first question on a sheet of like eight questions and I'm actually being really stupid *BREATHES*. And to drink more coffee/tea. Obviously.

      If all else fails, just throw caffeine at the problem. At least you'll feel productive.

      But anyway. Here is some cool stuff I found.

      #1: OOOOOOoooo pretty

      Carina nebula

      This is one of those pictures that is really nice to look at, even if you've no idea what it is. But soooooooo much cooler when you do know a bit about it. Like the fact it's three light-years tall. And it's only a little bit of it :-) And thousands of stars are being born there. Like, you know we have a sun right? Well thousands of them are being made in this thing. And there are loads of these things.

      My reaction is usually something like this:

      It's usually just the scale of these things that gets me the most. I mean, I'm one person, on one planet going round one star. And there are billions of stars. How many planets are out there? And how many habitable planets? And how many of those could have life on.And and OH MY GOD MY HEAD JUST EXPLODED A LITTLE BIT.

      (The search for planets round other suns "exoplanets" is really hotting up atm  - like this in the news last week. My lecturer on "Planetary System Dynamics" (i.e. stuff orbiting other stuff) got *really* excited.)

      #2 Mars WTF?

      OK, this is a photo taken of some dunes of Mars.
      From here.

      Are those BULRUSHES???? Like the things I crash into while rowing?
      Bastard things. Always sneaking up on me. Tricksy reeds.

      OMFG I just googled "tricksy hobbits" to get a video of gollum saying that and found this:

      Fucking EXCELLENT.


      This is pretty much exactly what it says on the tin. Star orbiting another star dies and kicks off a load of material. Then produces this:
       (Also found on "Bad Astronomy", which is in fact not bad at all, in the same way that this blog isn't really about rowing :->)

      Since stuff is dying, I thought I'd make this more dramatic.
      Ah. Much more dramatic. Like this:

      Cos stars can talk right?

      #4 Launch asteroids at the Earth. Feel like a God

      OK, it's a bit nerdy, but I got a surpising amount of pleasure out of finding what would happen if, say a humpback whale made out of iron was fired at the earth. Or something the size of the moon. (It melts it. IT FUCKING MELTS THE EARTH :-> :->)
      Worth having a little play for the feeling of POWER.

      Anyway, enough of me being like "Wooo stars!" and "Woooo exploding things" (and I've just noticed it's like 2230 and I need to be up at 6 shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit I'm going to die in the morning.) WRAP IT UP.

      Finally, I have a final order of many, many mugs.
       There's a few new ones like:
      (I'm not even sure why I got these. I have a nasty suspicion that I am the only one who thinks this is cool and when I'm like "JOUSTING! ON A BIKE!" you're all like "Riiiiiiight")
      Why not? :-)

      This is definitely a little too "niche", but oh well.

      I've tested these and non-rowers do not understand it at all even after much explaining.

      Again, all mug stuff here. There's also a special raising money for CUWBC one on it's way that'll be minty and stuff. Watch this space.

      But enough of me being a douche and trying to sell you stuff (though I would like someone to buy some obviously. I can't drink *that* much tea). I have a competition for you!

      Inspired by "extreme ironing" (favourite = this:)
      I'd like to see some badass tea drinking from you guys. I think you can do it. (Or just you with a mug in a weird place). My contribution is this:
      Mug.... Victorian telescope.
      Sorry I'm not in there holding it, but I had to lie on the floor as it was to try and get the whole thing in, let alone trying to get me and the damn thing in shot with the timer function....

      I also quite like the way it's painted Cambridge blue. Pleasing. (BTW on Wednesdays they have open evenings at the department when you can look through this thing....)

      But yes FUCKING HELL STOP DIGRESSING. If enough people send me awesome photos of them feeding tea to ducks/whatever I'll pick a winner and give them a mug. That seems fair.



      Anyway, I really must sleep now. Not spend time on the internet. Sleep. Yes.