Do i pay hundreds of pounds to the government every month for them to then charge me for providing me with a packet of antibiotics? I cant remember the last time i was ill and had to get a prescription, i've paid a fortune in NI since then! yet there will be other people out there, paying nothing yet getting treatment... take slappers for example, getting preggers, or druggies catching hepatitis... And then there is the government off giving billions to other countries for schools and hospitals when many of ours are in debt and can't even keep themselves clean, and using the hardworking hospital nurses, teachers and coppers as a way of keeping inflation down by giving us crap pay deals. It makes me sick, i hate this country.
On top of saving for a new snowboard in the coming months and a digital SLR camera when i eventually save the money, I've found a third object which has grabbed my attention!!! I want one of these SO badly!  I'd be in my element!
Well i've been promising Christopher i'd make a comeback for over a year so finally here i am. Be nice to chat to some old faces again... I'll try not to upset/offend anyone although sometimes i just cant help but post something. Hello anyway! 
Having spoken with Christopher on friday, i've made a firm decision to get back to my duties on here... how are people doing? be nice to catch up with those who remember me before my sudden vanishing act. 
Why does the length of the 'tube' of wind instruments effect the deepness of the sound that they make AND more importantly, why does opening holes along the tube, i'e the keys, change the note that the instrument produces?
Following the Governments freedom of information act you can now get access to speed camera offences registered in the last 12 months. Did you know that every time your car goes past a speed camera even 1mph over the set limit it is registered and put on a database? You only get a ticket if you are way over the limit or, (this is the bit that we didn't know) if you receive over 20 near misses, you will be classed as a serial offender and get a ticket the next time you go just over the limit. This is why you hear of people being done for 34mph in a 30 limit area whilst others doing 39 do not. You can check what has been registered against your vehicle at the following address
You will be asked for a password but just click on the need a password link and you will be given one for future use. If there is any data on your vehicle you can click on the camera window to see a copy of the photograph. This photo will come in handy if you challenge any charges.
Hi all, to avoid disturbing Neil's lovely diary thread... i thought it best to start afresh.
As some of you may have noticed, Claire and I have submitted our forms to run in the London Marathon next year in memory of our dear friend Dave who recently died of Leukaemia at just 26. We feel its our way of both doing something for Dave and helping to raise money for the scientific study of this cancer.
We will not know until December whether our applications have been successful, its done by ballot and its all down to luck. With a one in three chance of acceptance there is every possibility that either one of us or even both of us will not gain a place. However, our training is underway and i am proud to say i ran about 12 miles at the weekend. We'll be crossing our fingers that we are both able to run the race together.
I am very grateful to Neil for his immediate offer of help in fundraising, the raffle sounds like a brilliant idea. It may also be possible to set up some type of paypal site on the net to help sponsorship globally (hint hint).
If anyone has any ideas or suggestions or just wishes to discuss the marathon, please feel free to post below. Thankyou everyone for your support already.
For those of you who don't know, i have a huge passion for snowboarding, its really the only sport i really take seriously. Snowboarders crave for the mountain all year around however its about this time of year that all the pangs start to get worse... I thought i would make myself feel better by puttin up some of my favourite photos... feel free to add some of your own of whatever you like...
Chloropyceae – Carboniferous to recent, algae. Used for palaeoenvironmental analysis à Still, shallow freshwater.
Prasinophyceae – Ordivician to recent, algae, mass occurrence in black shales
Acritarcs – Central body with ornament. Major biostratigraphic role Extinction – snowball earth Nearshore/offshore analysis
à Nearshore – low diversity, thin walled spheres Offshore – High diversity, varied forms. Deep waters – Low diversity, thick walled spheres.
Dinoflagellates – Have a life cycle that involves a cyst production, cyst lies dormant benthically. Encystment follows when cyst comes out of protective layer (naked), then forms cell wall. >2000 species.
High variation in ornamentation, some similar to acritarchs. Cysts may have several wall layers and varying plate patterns.
à taphonomic issues · Not all are cyst producing · Cyst walls vary in resistance · Gap between Silurian and Triassic. · Little knowledge of modern life cycles.
Applications à · Variety, abundance and small size = powerful tool. · Hydrocarbon tool. · Biostratigraphy and evolution · Boundary events.
Onshore/Offshore indicators. à FRESHWATER – Proximate cysts, a smooth structure. MARINE – Chorate cysts, ornamentation.
ACMEs – peaks in abundance (e.g. Palaeocene/Eocene) possibly short lived global warming à higher productivity.
Palaeoceanography à Upwelling zones – peridinoid cysts Blooms Sea syrface temperatures CRETACEOUS – Bivalves all ages killed by dinoflagellate bloom.
Plants were thought to have invaded the land in the late Ordivician/early Devonian. The major radiation of spores occurred at the end of the Silurian during the period Pridoli. Diversification of the spore assemblages rocketed during the Devonian.
Examples of Early Devonian spores –
Retusotriletes Perotriletes Ephanisporites
Originated in the Silurian with some radial ribbing. Moving into the Devonian saw evolution leading to increasing radial ribbing and the development of an Anulus.
The Devonian saw the vast majority of the spores being miospores although the middle Devonian saw the introduction of Megaspores. These were considerably larger which would provide the germinating spore to have more food for growth. Megaspores were over 200 micrometers in size.
The late Devonian saw more complexity in spores with the formation of grapnel spines, these may have been to aid in their transportation OR to link Miospores to Megaspores.
During the Devonian the stratigraphic range was very thin around the equatorial regions à End of the Devonian saw many of the spores go extinct.
The Carboniferous saw radial thickening of spores e.g. Tripartities, Triquitrities, Murospora.
Also there is diversification of ornamentation. The upper Carboniferous was principally spore dominated e.g. LYCOPSID
Order of evolution of reproduction:
Homospore Microspore Prepollen Pollen (cycad) – have fertilising pollen tube. Pollen (pinus) – have fertilising pollen tube.
Leads on to à
· Homospory involves the seed having the male and female gametes and occurred proximally, Heterospory has the megaspores (female) and microspores (male). This occurred proximally, both involved spores
· Early seeds were the gymnosperms which were also proximal. They involved a megaspore like bud containing the gametophyte. The prepollen enters the megaspore and germination occurs inside.
· Recent gymnosperms have a similar gametophyte and involve pollen with a central part called a sulcus. These can travel further and are therefore classed as distal
· Angiosperms involve fruits but have microspores with a sulcus like the gymnosperms.
The first pollen: MONOLETES (shape) : Saccate Pollen (Saccus is outer sheaths)
More stability in late carboniferous, The Devonian to Carboniferous is the best time for land plant biostratigraphy.
Monosaccate – one air sack Bisaccate – Two air sacks Disaccate – Mickey mouse appearance
Megaspores à Increasing ornamentation, echinate as in spiny, have hooks on the end. Many of the upper carboniferous spores were of lycopsids.
SUMMARYà Radial thickening in early carboniferous Late carboniferous dominated by lycopsid and fern spores Large saccate pollen common in late carboniferous. Major extinctions towards end of carboniferous. (climate change)
Permian, Triassic Jurassic and Cretaceous
Bisaccate pollen, esp. striates dominate assemblages in Permian/Triassic. Also present are trilete spores, mainly from ferns. Monolete spores of lycopsids present
Megaspores in the Mesozoicà · Banksisporites · Bowenispora
Appear trilete, some have heavy ornamentation.
· Rhaetic (Triassic/Jurassic) – e.g. Ricciisporites – 4 spores joined together. – palaeomarker for end Triassic. (END TRIASSIC DRIER)
· Jurassic saw spore dominated assemblages, also sees diversification of gymnosperm pollen.
· Classopollis (EARLY CRETACEOUS) occurs in clumps with doughnut shape. · Lower cretaceous also sees first angiosperm pollen
· HUGE radiation of angiosperm pollen through Cretaceous.
Overall, a major vegetation turnover in cretaceous.
Asseblages include à · Pteridophyte spores (ferns, lycophytes) · Fungal spores (often grey/brown) · Freshwater algae – chlorophyta e.g. Botryococcus, colony of cells. · Dynoflagellates. · Fauna (conodonts) · Plant debris – Cuticles, compressed wood, fibre bundles, charcoal.
Angiosperm pollen à Exine wall à Has pillars in the cell wall. Has outer sticking out things – Columella with TECTUM on the end. TECTUM = flowering plant.
APERTURES – Pores à One pore = monoporate. Three pores = Triporate. Many pores = Polyporate.
Gaps as in pieces à colpate -à monocolpate, tricolpate, hexacolpate.
ORNAMENT – Ornament variety – Rugulate, Echinate Microechinate – Variation in echinae, ridges, clustered, even distribution.
PRESERVATION – Sporopollenin – makes pollen resistant Algaenan – makes algae resistant. Fungal Chitin – Makes fungi resistant.
Insect vs wind pollination à Insect – Large, spiny, sticky (stick to insect). Wind – Small, smooth, dry.
PREPARATION Like Palaeozoic/Mesozoic BUT à Small pollen of angiosperms. · Seive size 10 or 5 micrometers · Search at higher magnification. · Easy to miss · HIGH DIVERSITY.
Rapid urbanization in southeastern China in the last 25 years is creating faster rates of environmental warming locally according to Ted Nield.
Work by the Georgia Institute of Technology has found a 0.05 degree increase in the mean surface temperature per decade since 1979. It is thought that CO2 emissions from industry and automobiles is the principle cause, knock on factors after the extensive urbanisation which may be seen in the pictures below.
southeast China 1988
southeast China 1996
Liming Zhou who is leading the research, is unsure to what extent the temperature changes are having on a larger scale and further research is planned for the year ahead.