The Bran Report

It's good for parts of you that you'd probably rather not think about.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Wolf Creek

So, yesterday I watched the film Wolf Creek. I give it one star out of five, the category of films I like to call "At least it's not the Wicker Man". (The Wicker Man being the most famous resident of my personal Hall of Zero Stars, along with such delights as M. Night Shyamalan's Signs, Birth of a Nation and The Ewok Adventure. (Sticks and rocks! Seriously, what were they thinking? THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN WOOKIES.)

close bracket).

Watching Wolf Creek led me to some unfortunate conclusions.

1) If I am ever watching the supervillain tormenting my companion, I will not crounch behind something and look on wide-eyed while all the exposition gets done. I will take advantage of his distraction to crack him on the skull with a carbeurettor.

2) I will never leave the only weapon I have laying in easy reach of the seemingly dead villain. Instead, I'll take that rifle, give it to my rescued companions, and then use an axe or something to be "very sure" of the situation. (Note to film-makers, couldn't a scene where the mild-mannered nerd-figure flips out and gets fragments of skull and brain up to his elbows be kind of scary? I think it could.)

3) I hope never to fall so far in my strategic thinking that I formulate a plan of "I'll run in to the trackless desert, then stop and cry". That said, I am a tremendous coward when even slightly wounded. If I have holes in my arms I will probably steal a car and try to come back for you when I'm with the marines. Be strong, guys. Sorry.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The Chariot

The Chariot

The Elbro is a big place, mostly due to the number of sports facilities it considers neccesary. In Oxford the main sporting venue is "The River" and I was perfectly happy living in a state of never having seen The River, or even being precisely sure if they were talking about the Thames or some other river. Conversely, here there are four sports pitches on my trajectory from house to library to department.

People react to being here in one of two ways. Many either feel that to go the Lugborog and not do sport is some kind of moral failing, and lok for an uncompetetive arena. Others, like myself, resolutely do no sport at all- unles you count ironically consuming beer and biscuits as a sport.

Pretty much the only thing between me and morbid obesity is the twelve-speed paddling motion that propels me around this big ol' green campus.

My chariot isn't particularly swift or shiny- which is why I have rejected the name 'Shadowfax' for it- but it serves me well enough. I am provisionally calling it the lurking grue, for no good reason.

There is one problem: at times of distress, the lurking grue will tip its saddle to any angle between 45 degrees fore or aft. These incidences aren't common, but it seems that we both find hills and speed-bumps distressing.

Now, I have no objection (in principle) to being reminded of my testicles, but there are good ays and bad ways. In the context of "Halfway up Beacon Hill" or "Three times before breakfast", this distinction becomes even more important. We are, in short, going to have to do something about this.

My housemates studying Sports Physiology, incidentally, don't cycle. They drive, smoke, and- I'll put this right out there- I can't even begin to compete with them on the beer/biscuits circuit.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Home truths

The hermit

This week has made me realise a few home truths about myself.

I have a very focused intellect. If you say to me "Hey, Nathan, what's the product of two imaginary numbers that are orthogonal?", I'll go into a hapy trance and then say "i, times the complex square of the first number". If you say "Kerosene, right? Could we replace that with something? What do you think?" Then I'm going to flail about and timidly ask for some numbers.

Secondly, I am not a good team-worker. Or rather, I am iff the task is precisely defined and ideally, can be done by a group of people acting alone. I don't want to collaborate, guys. I dont want to discuss things. Let's just all go and do what we do best, right? Right?

In short, this group-research project is not pleasing to me. Roll on Solar One, and the start of some hard-thinkin' about p-type semiconductors.

Anyway, I must be off. It's time to collaborate.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


I have a hobby: mis-naming things. At the minute I'm getting to know Loughborough University and familiarising myself in the ancient tradition: re-naming everything so that it is at least marginally memorable.

Loughborough itself gets all kinds of nicknames, and if you had eight silent letters in your name, you would too. It's semi-official handle is Lufbra, as it's pronounced, but I prefer Low-Brow, Luoga-barouga, Louw-Borog, The El-Bro or the Balrog.
(Nathan's first rule of naming: anything is better with a definite article in front of it.)

The Log Brog loves to give it's constituent buildings high-sounding names commemorating luminaries from the past. I think you see that this makes it very. very hard to defend anything's original name, so I'm having a ball with this game.

For example, I'm typing this in Loughborough University's Pilkington Library or, as I like to call it, The PK or Player-kill.
"Hey, Maryanzebeth, I'm just off to renew my books at the Player Kill library. See you later!"

I picked up my ID card in the Edward Herbert building, which has all kind of student-union-esque facilities in it. Most people call it the Ee Haitch Bee. I call it The Ebb and Flow.

Man! Inturrupted again. Since I'm not eating any Bran in this library, maybe the time has come to rename this blog: the I'm Eating Bran in Spirit Report. What do you think?