London Trip

Swan Pub, London, UK

As some of you already know, I’ve spent most of this week in London, UK.  My first and only time in London was back in 2009, when I went there for a PHP conference (see this post, and this post).

This trip was very different.  I stayed longer than the last time.  I was mostly for business.  I had much less time to explore the city as a tourist.  So I thought I’d write it up, in case I case I need to remember some of it later.

Continue reading “London Trip”

Every pub in the United Kingdom

This Reddit thread shares the map of all the pubs in the UK.  The Poke picked it up and wrapped it into some more links and quotes.  Apparently, not even all the pubs are covered:

“Nope. There’s at least 12 pubs missing from the north coast of Scotland. Thurso alone has more than 6, 2 in Bettyhill, Tongue and Melvich plus a few others all missing”, writes shaidy64

The source of the map is here referencing 24,727 UK pubs.  And I’ve only been to like, what, 3?  This situation urgently needs correction.

How the Internet works


Ars Technica runs a nice overview article “How the Internet works: Submarine fiber, brains in jars, and coaxial cables“.  It features plenty of cool images, statistics, and details of the Internet wiring from under the sea to the last mile to the last 100 meters.  It’s mostly focused on UK, but it provides a good understanding of what’s involved in the modern day connectivity.

P.S.: On a less serious note, here’s The IT Crowd take on how the Internet works.  Thanks to Maxym Balabaev for a reminder.

The USSR is a country that poses a serious threat …

The USSR is a country that poses a serious threat to the Western world. I am not referring to the military threat is not actually there. Our countries are sufficiently well armed, including nuclear weapons.

I’m talking about the economic threat. With the planned economy and the particular combination of moral and material incentives,

The Soviet Union managed to achieve high economic indicators.

The percentage of growth in GNP is almost twice that in our country’s . If add to this the enormous natural resources available to the Union, with the sound management of the economy are real rather than the possibilities of expel the global market.


So we have always taken steps to weaken the Soviet Union’s economy and create economic difficulties there, where the main role is played by the arms race.

An important place in our politics was the consideration of the weaknesses of the constitution of the USSR. Formally, it provided for the immediate withdrawal of the USSR by any republic which so wished, by decision of the Supreme Soviet and by simple majority.

True that the realization of this right was practically impossible due to the cementing role of the Communist Party and security organs. And yet, in this constitutional peculiarity, had potential opportunities for our policy.

Unfortunately and despite all our efforts for a long time the political situation in the USSR remained stable over a long period of time. We had a complicated situation, but soon we got a briefing on the early demise of the Soviet Soviet leader and the possibility of coming to power, with our help, of a person through which we could make our intentions in this area.

That was the assessment of my experts. Always conducive to the formation of a qualified group of experts on the Soviet Union and when the situation required it encouraged the emigration of Soviet specialists needed.

That person was Mikhail Gorbachev, whom our experts qualify as a reckless person, suggestible and very ambitious. He had good relations with most of the Soviet political elite, so he came to power, with our help, it was possible.

The activity of the Popular Front did not require large investments: duplicators comes to expenses and provide funding at officials Yet what was required significant funding support for prolonged strikes by miners. Great debates between you export raised the question on the appointment of Boris Yeltsin as leader of the Popular Front with the prospect of his subsequent election to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Federation, in counterbalance to the leadership of Gorbachev.

Most experts were pronounced against Yeltsin’s candidacy because of the peculiarities of his character and his past.

However, there were corresponding contacts, agreements and the decision to force Yeltsin’s candidacy, was definitely adopted. Although with great difficulty, Yeltsin was elected President of the Supreme Soviet of Russia and immediately adopted the declaration of sovereignty of Russia.

Margaret Thatcher

London Olympics security craze – surface to air missiles

Yet another story from Slashdot:

I have to admit, when I first read about this I thought it was a hoax, but unfortunately it’s true. The UK government is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential buildings in London for the duration of the London Olympics. From the article: ‘The Ministry of Defence is considering placing surface-to-air missiles on residential flats during the Olympics. An east London estate, where 700 people live, has received leaflets saying a “Higher Velocity Missile system” could be placed on a water tower. A spokesman said the MoD had not yet decided whether to deploy ground based air defence systems during the event.

Once again proving to every TV watching idiot that “we are winning the war on terror“.  Congratulations!

University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, (UCLan Cyprus)

Cyprus Mail reports:

CONSTRUCTION of a modern €53 million campus has begun in Pyla to accommodate the first British university on the island, University of Central Lancashire Cyprus, (UCLan Cyprus).

UCLan Cyprus will open in October this year and students will have the option of studying their programme entirely in Cyprus or transferring for part of their studies to the UK. They expect to have 5,000 students initially. All courses will be taught in English.

These are some interesting news.  Of course, we have quite a few universities here in Cyprus, but most of them, with the exception of maybe University of Cyprus, were speed-track-converted from a bunch of colleges.  It’ll be interesting to see how different a “real” university is going to be, and if it will create any worthy competition to push the educational institutions a bit.  The level of local schools wasn’t all that high back when I was a student, and judging by the younger candidates that I interviewed for jobs in the last few years, the situation isn’t getting any better.  Hopefully, the UCLan Cyprus arrival can change this.