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Diary
By Herring (Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 10:59:36 AM EST) queues, cold, wet (all tags)
Herring gets bored and Herring gets cold.


Took Small Boy to Chessington World of Queues yesterday. Very busy - including a huge number of foreign Jewish people (judging by accents) with the traditional hats & stuff. Clearly some sort of multiple coach trip thing. Queues were hideous, but even Baldrson would find it hard to blame the large Jewish contingent for the new "express pass" policy.

The way it works is this: if you pay a few more quid (over the already exorbitant price) then you pre-book onto the rides. Great. Except that when they set no limit on it, the people who don't pay the extra (e.g. me) can end up queueing for an hour, then waiting at a gate for 20 minutes while they let all the "express pass" people through - because there's no limit on the number of express passes they can sell. Combine this with tired parents, fractious children and the whole "fun, family day out" experience is starting to lose something.

I am thinking of writing to Tussuad's (who own Chessington) and explaining that their skills in developing antipathy - nay even hatred - towards one's fellow man is approaching that of the Daily Mail. I may even finish off the letter with "please send me a standard, boilerplate 'reply to a complaint letter' letter, preferably enclosing a token money-off voucher for my next visit to hell". They may reply saying "if you want to avoid queueing, then buy an express pass". Well, morons, the problem with that is that everyone does that then you're back to square one. All you've done is effectively raise the ticket price by ... ah, I see.

Anyhow, at least Small Boy enjoyed himself. Sort of:

(Note that the person behind him isn't me, just some random paedophile I got to stand in the queue with him).

Timing on the watch, you're talking about spending close to one minute in queues for every second on an actual ride. That and it was £29 for SB an myself to queue for over 3 hours and go on 3 rides. I did win a prize on the old "try your strength" type hammer thing. This is more down to ax(e) technique rather than actual strength.

Oh, and the place if full of working-class types. Can't be doing with that.

So it was really sunny earlier so I figure I'll take the shorty wetsuit when I go wakeboarding. Along with going to CWoQs, this wasn't my best decision of the weekend.

It gets too hot in the room where I have the piano and stuff. I bought a thermostatic radiator valve but haven't quite got around to fitting it - what with draining the heating system and that. Tomorrow (SB is off school and I am on duty).

The BBC News site had this thing: Europe floods in pictures. Now this picture (currently number 6 but may be moved or deleted) caught my eye. Initially because it was captioned as a "water skier" but then looking more carefully, I noticed some things:

  1. The rope and handle are of the same type used at a local cable-tow outfit.
  2. In fact, it even has the little wooden bobble that the mechanism uses to gather the rope when it comes around after being dropped.
  3. Nobody who can afford relatively recent lace-up bindings is going to be using a wooden handled cable-tow rope.
  4. The angle on the rope suggests that the towing point is probably about 5m above the water. Around the height of a cable-tow.
  5. One or more people have access to Photoshop or similar software.
I am sure I had some interesting and insightful stuff to say when I started typing this diary. Oh well. Never mind the quality, feel the width. Or length.
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Bank holiday episode | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
inneresding by martingale (4.00 / 1) #1 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:14:36 PM EST
Looking closely at the picture, I'm wondering about the rather straight bit of water splash just under the car's right window. Also, and this may be something for the photogeeks, isn't the background rather well focused? Given that we're seeing individual droplets of water in the foreground of the bus, and the guy is pretty well focused anywhoo, shouldn't the background be a lot fuzzier?
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
I think that was my point by Herring (2.00 / 0) #2 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:21:23 PM EST
It's a picture of someone taken at a cable part photshopped onto the flooded city. Done reasonably well though.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
of course it was your point by martingale (4.00 / 1) #3 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:36:59 PM EST
I was merely offering circumstantial evidence to help the jury make sense of your highly technical exposition :) I wonder if that skier might show up on a well known search engine's image search.
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$E(X_t|F_s) = X_s,\quad t > s$
[ Parent ]
Say skier again motherfucker by Herring (4.00 / 1) #4 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 03:40:47 PM EST
Say "skier" again. I dare you. I double dare you.

Ooops - IHBT.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky

[ Parent ]
Oh, for Fuck's sake! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #5 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 10:46:00 PM EST
Ermm... Change my vote to the cleavage one. Thanks.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

and the veggie lasagna. by calla (2.00 / 0) #12 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 01:43:20 PM EST
It was great!!!


[ Parent ]
Drain the heating system?! by Cloaked User (2.00 / 0) #6 Mon Apr 17, 2006 at 11:22:12 PM EST
To fit a valve to a radiator? Or do you mean "drain the radiator", which is much more reasonable and (of course) necessary?

Unless you actually have a reason to drain the whole system, all you have to do is turn the little tap thingys at either end of the radiator to isolate it and drain just that radiator. The whole job should take, I dunno, 30 - 60 mins if I recall correctly. It's one of the few bits of DIY I'm actually not too bad at.


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This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

Explain please by Herring (2.00 / 0) #7 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:11:07 AM EST
how to isolate the radiator when you're replacing the valve.

christ, we're all old now - StackyMcRacky
[ Parent ]
Actually, that's an excellent question by Cloaked User (2.00 / 0) #10 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:01:17 AM EST
I only wish I could remember how I did it. I changed the valve on the radiator in our dining room for a thermostatic one, and I definitely didn't drain the system (or temporarily introduce an amusing water feature).

For the life of me though, I can't remember how; I'll have to have a look at it tonight¹ and report back.

1 that's assuming I remember to, which is far from guaranteed


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This is not a psychotic episode. It is a cleansing moment of clarity.

[ Parent ]
Up to a point... by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #8 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:14:54 AM EST

But the thermostatic valve then has to be put in place of one of those little tap thingys which gives you an interesting fountain effect when you take the original off.

A plumber I know has an interesting toy for such cases, box of tricks with two collars that clamp round the pipes, turn it on and the collars get very cold, freezing the water and plugging the pipe. The pressure of the clamps stops the expanding ice bursting the pipe as it freezes. Takes just long enough for a cup of tea to be made and consumed. You sometimes see similar things in the DIY sheds comprising a lump of cotton wool and a can of (probably not) freon, but they do stand a chance of rupturing the pipe.

[ Parent ]
Chessington World of Queues by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #9 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 12:40:20 AM EST
Made me laugh.

I'm never going anywhere at Easter again, queued up for forty minutes at Kew Gardens of all places. My mate got the right idea when she just strolled in without paying later in the day. Never underestimate the amount of trust put in the middle classes.

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It's political correctness gone mad!

Too much time on my hands by yicky yacky (4.00 / 2) #11 Tue Apr 18, 2006 at 03:32:34 AM EST

[aka "Should be working"]

I'd say that the image looks doctored, but not with complete confidence. Take a look at the this image (which is exactly the same image except with the global hue-saturation changed to highlight colour positions):

If you look at the boarder's legs, boot and right arm specifically, you can see what appear very strongly to be "selection effects". This is usually where the selection or marquee tool used to grab / select the overlaid image has also grabbed a bit of its background (in real cases, it's very hard to grab something without taking a little bit of something else with it).

In the image itself, these coloured 'borders' are actually quite hard to see, because they are either white, or grey, or light beige, and don't show up against the water. You can see them, though, in any graphics suite, if you just zoom in far enough. Here's a picture which has been zoomed slightly:

What's interesting is that these effects do not show up against the non-water background (the bus, the truck, the tree etc.), however there are hints (and not much more than that) that the border in these regions has been doctored to remove some of these artifacts (strange blurring, possible transparency effects and odd lines around the helmet, hood and right shoulder) - a light-coloured border being immediately noticable here rather than against the water for example.

However: I would be cautious. The border effects and artifacts I've just mentioned could be caused by nothing more than the JPEGing process. If it is doctored, it's been done quite well because, often, when you change the colour balance, the hue-saturation, the levels etc., any added portions often leap out at you as being of fundamentally different origin and, although the boarder seem slightly crisper and more saturated, that doesn't happen obviously here. Also the Sun positioning doesn't seem entirely inconsistent.

In addition to your notes about the rope height, I'd also point out that the water "flood" pool only starts about sixty feet in the background (the bus is almost completely out of it), so where did our boarder start his / her run (in traffic)?

On balance, I'd say it's doctored, with about 65% confidence. To do any serious analysis, though, you'd really need the original image, as the one on the Beeb's site has probably been JPEGized and scaled at least twice.


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Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Bank holiday episode | 12 comments (12 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback