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May, 2007

  1. Post

    May 29, 2007 by dafyd

    Yep, I’m still not in Montreal. It’s been another 10 days (one of which was, admittedly, a Bank Holiday), and I still have no work permit. Quite apart from the fact that I was supposed to start work last Monday, the Canadian Grand Prix is in a fortnight and I’d really like to beat the tourists and the expensive plane tickets…

    Anyway, I thought I’d drag myself away from staring at the letterbox and post something. So here it is.

    Soon (when I get round to it) I’ll write something about Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End (pretty awesome) and The Lord of the Rings the musical (totally bonkers, but also pretty awesome). I will, I promise.


  2. Top 100

    May 21, 2007 by dafyd

    Everyone loves “Top 100″ lists. So here’s the Top 100 Movie Numbers:

    You need the free Macromedia Flash Player to watch this video. Download it here.

    If you’re reading this in a feedreader, or in Facebook or the like, you’ll have to click through to the actual post. Make sure you do, though – it’s totally worth it.

    I’d have chosen something else for 42 (any guesses?), and I’m convinced The Matrix would be better for The One. But hey. Here’s a list of the hundred numbers and their films.


  3. Jack’s Back

    May 19, 2007 by dafyd

    Because, let’s face it, I’ve got nothing else to do at the moment, I’ve been catching up on my podcast listening and vodcast (I hate that word – let’s just call it a video podcast) viewing. Including the Pirates of the Caribbean 3 podcast (vodcast). It looks absolutely stunning. And it’s out on Thursday. Hee.


  4. Québec Update, Part the Second

    May 19, 2007 by dafyd

    The Canadian High Commission updated its website today (or yesterday, but I’m pretty certain it was today). Previously, as I said on Thursday, there was no indication of how long one should wait for a work permit application, just a vague “most are dealt with in three weeks” kind of statistic.

    Now, as well as changing the yellow background to white and tidying up a little (just a little – it’s now slightly easier to find what you’re looking for), they’ve added this little gem: “the average processing time for a fully completed, standard application is approximately 4 to 6 weeks.” So, double what it was four weeks ago, when I submitted my application.

    Gits.

    In the meantime, I have a little bit of 1990s Canadian nostalgia to keep me going, from the legen-wait for it-dary How I Met Your Mother:

    You need the free Macromedia Flash Player to watch this video. Download it here.

    If you’re reading this in a feedreader, or in Facebook or the like, you’ll have to click through to the actual post. Make sure you do, though – it’ll make your day!


  5. Year Abroad Update

    May 17, 2007 by dafyd

    As those of you who have been paying attention will have picked up, this year is my “year abroad”, the third year of my four year degree course that should be spent in the countries whose languages I am studying.

    I’ve done my time in Egypt (studying Arabic at the University of Alexandria), and for the last few months I’ve been trying to organise a placement/job in Québec, to improve my French. Just over a month ago, I was offered a job by Enzyme Testing Labs, proofreading computer games (that is, checking that the English used in the game is correct). I eagerly accepted the job and applied for my work permit, which is required to work in Canada.

    Five weeks on, I’m due to start in Montreal on Monday. I was set to fly today. But I don’t have a work permit yet. The Canadian High Commission in London (bonus points to anyone who can find what they’re looking for on that website) has had my application, along with C$150, since 20 April. They suggest that most permits are issued within about three weeks, but that you can ask for an update on its progress after ten days. This I have done, using the email form on their website twice, and faxing them (who uses fax anymore?). No response. They have no direct email address, no telephone number, and don’t accept visitors in person.

    So, I’m still sitting at home, frustrated, unable to travel to Canada to start this job until the High Commission sends me my work permit. When will that be? Who knows?


  6. Audrey 2

    May 14, 2007 by dafyd

    I have a feeling we may have planted them, but a large number of oriental poppies have sprung up fairly suddenly outside our house. Now, these are the sort of plants that look quite capable of biting your finger off, before taking over the world…

    Oriental Poppies

    In the words of Messrs Ashman and Menken, “whatever they offer you, don’t feed the plants”.

    [Photoset at Flickr]


  7. Ethnicity

    May 4, 2007 by dafyd

    A quick snip from Durham University’s Student Satisfaction Experience Survey 2007:

    Durham survey screenshot

    So… what’s the difference between White-British and White-Scottish? No White-English? Methinks someone has blundered…


  8. Yeltsin

    May 3, 2007 by dafyd

    Courtesy of Popbitch, here’s a wonderful little Boris Yeltsin anecdote. He was being interviewed by a British journalist:

    Journalist: “So, President Yeltsin, how would you describe the state of the Russian economy in one word?”

    Yeltsin: “Good”.

    Journalist: “Okay then Mr President, perhaps you would describe it in more than one word?”

    Yeltsin: “Ah, in that case – not good.”


  9. Web 2.0 gone bonkers

    May 2, 2007 by dafyd

    Here’s a bizarre little YouTube video for you… Kate Monster and Trekkie Monster (from Avenue Q) singing Popular (from Wicked).

    You need the free Macromedia Flash Player to watch this video. Download it here.

    If you’re reading this in a feedreader, or in Facebook or the like, you’ll have to click through to the actual post. Make sure you do, though – it’s utterly worth it!

    YouTube never ceases to amaze. As does Facebook, where I recently discovered (/was discovered by) some friends from primary school who I haven’t seen for nigh on fifteen years.

    Pretty fluffy bunnies

    Digg, on the other hand, seems to be going to hell in a handbag handbasket. All this fuss over a few numbers. What does it matter what it means? ;-)

    Cute little gerbils