Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Bite me

Today has been an interesting day for the convenience food industry and my decision to invest in the nutritional benefits of their product. Firstly I learned via a survey performed by (the excitingly named) Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services, the not unwholly unknown fact that Britain's favourite post-brew foodstuff, the Doner kebab, is a hive of lard, sodium, and rather unfortunately for those who enjoy a chow down on what is necessarily a halal treat, several pitta pleasures contained unholy swine-meat. The full report can be found here, and a less dry version here on the BBC. Three facts stood out for me :

1) Out of the 494 sample kebabs submitted for testing, in the 'Meat Species' identification check, 8.7% (43) kebabs resulted in a 'No Result' findings. Given as other results came back as one or a mixture of lamb/mutton, chicken, turkey, beef and pork, this doesn't leave a lot of customarily eaten 'Meat Species' to consider...

2) Several vendors provided a kebab that weighed over six-hundred grams - Hmmm

3) This survey was conducted without possibly the most salty/fatty and tasty of additions - sauce

Tonight, based on this evidence, I resisted the urge to procure one of the southwest's own kebabs, and opted for a rather less meaty option, an inviting tin of Co-op Ravioli, of which, on inspecting the label, am convinced would need thorough investigations of it's own to even find a morsel of meat capable of testing. Of what additional 'meat species' does this advertised 2% derive from I wonder?

"Hello, is that the Local Authority Coordinators of Regulatory Services?..."

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Googling the Devon megapolis

I spotted one of the somewhat mercurial Google Streetview cars on the A38 just outside Ashburton this morning. My surprise, and the tantalising possibility that i may soon be appearing splashed on the search pages of millions of world Streetview aficionados, was tempered by the realisation that the 'all-seeing eye camera' plonked on the Googlecar's roof was wrapped in a heavy duty black tarpaulin.

I also discovered that my 1998 Ford Escort Finesse, despite a recent service, was quite unable to keep up with the Googledriver, whose speedy needs obviously suffered not from the less than dynamic form of his modified Vauxhall Astra, and I soon lost sight somewhere near Exeter

Google have been spluttering on about the advent of Streetview in the UK for a while now, whilst generating the sort of public outcry that the Daily Mail is keen on focusing. Another website, utilising some form of digital trickery to avoid identification of Joe Public walking the streets, seety.co.uk, have covered central London quite effectively, although the might of Google is more able to speed down to the rural backwaters such as Ivybridge and Plympton, something lesser mortals would find challenging and economically unviable.

I can't wait to see StreetviewUK, both for the chance to see my little street in the world view, and not least for the numerous chances to see drug deals, public urination, burglary and nudity..

Thursday, 8 January 2009

select 'SQL' from 'Neal'

I have a perverse liking for SQL, particularly Microsoft's 2005 version. Calling me a novice would be a complete insult to all complete beginners of this art, but I am determined to persist and reap the benefits (although it is presently unclear what these might be yet)

I love the simple elegance of querying, which to someone such as myself, with a limited grasp of logic, is hard to resist looking into.
Given my many years using Windows products, and having recently moved onto Linux, specifically SLED 10, this has given me more chance to compare MySQL and SQL Server. The appeal of a GUI can not be underestimated, by MySQL does seem to do exactly what it should, without a smart shiny graphical frontage. Plus it does have a rather large cost benefit over SQL2005 Standard Edition, which having just checked, costs £1650 with five CALS

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Monkey Tennis?

Unlikely as I thought, I have decided to throw my hat into the ring of blog. My imaginings and musings must be as appropriate as any others? Perhaps.. That said, there must be an eitquette for this art, so where do I begin? My first port of call was the dictionary, thus:


A weblog.
intr.v. blogged, blog·ging, blogs
To write entries in, add material to, or maintain a weblog.


blog·ger n.

As expected, quite dry. I suppose in my quest I am on my own (apart from surreptititiously cribbed excerpts from far more educated and eloquent 'bloggers' than myself)