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Good luck to A-Level students

I wish everyone who is receiving A-Level results today the very best of luck. However it turns out, don’t let anyone belittle your achievement – the media pump out ridiculous lies about the exams every year, and every year I get annoyed. Congratulations to those who get good news. Those who didn’t do as well as expected shouldn’t get too disheartened – after all, you tried your best – but you may find the Guardian’s clearing site useful, as it’s chock full of useful info and will have a live adviser to answer questions later this morning.

On another topic entirely, I’ve not been great at posting this month. Sorry about that. I’ve been in Canada for two months, and thought I did quite well on keeping up the blog – for the first six weeks… I’m back now, so normal service will resume shortly. 🙂

This 1,195th post was filed under: News and Comment, Notes, University.

Why won’t Newcastle smile? The Results

On Tuesday, a friend and I were stuck in Newcastle, and were rather bored.  Having been to get some lunch, and having whacked seemingly thousands of moles on Holey Moley on the nearest iPlus Point, we decided to conduct a highly unscientific experiment. 

Over the course of a couple of weeks, we’d noticed that people on the Tyne and Wear Metro look, almost without exception, unhappy.  We determined to walk through the city smiling at people, to see how many would smile back.  After about two-and-a-half hours of experimentation, we had counted five smiles.  And some of those were questionable.

So: Why don’t the people of Newcastle smile?

It could, of course, be that two people suddenly smiling at you whilst walking along is more than a little unnerving, but that’s a boring explanation, and I want to think a little deeper.  It sounds a perfect challenge for the people of the interweb – and where better to challenge them than the all-new Yahoo Answers?

Expect an update in three days’ time (I’ll bump the post up, too).

The Results: 17th September 2006
The definitive answer, according to the Yahoo community, is

Sorry, which Newcastle Upon Tyne is this then?? It is a far cry from the Newcastle that I love!! The people there are lovely and have a fab sense of humour. I work in Longbenton, Newcastle Upon Tyne and I love my job to bits!!! Maybe they sensed that you and your friend didn’t like their beloved City!!!

That’s a little unfortunate, becuase it implies I don’t like Newcastle which couldn’t be further from the truth. It’s a great city, with great people, and that’s why I was surprised enough to make the post in the first place. But hey ho.

Other notable contributions included these gems:

Because they are always drunk on Newcastle Beer.

They are depressed and you would be too if you had to live there.

Take a look in the mirror. I have never found this.

Don’t ever conduct your survey were I live they would probably thump you first then ask you why you smiled next

It’s called stress, anxiety, and all the other things that make up life in 21st century England, its wiped the smile off our faces.

Coz you should be in the Aussie Newcastle. Even with their problems with unemployment and what not, they still have a great football team (rugby league) and one of the prettiest women ever to win a beauty pagent (Jennifer Hawkins Miss Universe 2004).

Lots of food for thought, and most of all lots of fun.

Thanks to all who contributed.

This 965th post was filed under: Miscellaneous, University.

Dr Crippen’s career advice

The day before my fourth year begins, here’s some less than inspirational, but still highly recommended reading from GP blogger, Dr John Crippen: Should Sammy go to medical school?  The comments are well worth flicking through, too.

This 953rd post was filed under: Health, University.

Hospital parking “a mess”? Tell me about it!

Not an NHS car park.A health select committee report out today says that the current system of NHS charges should be revamped. They’re talking about phone costs, eye tests, prescriptions, dental care, and – crucially – car park charges.

The current proposal is that people who have to attend hospital daily for treatment should get free parking. Not wanting to sound selfish here, I have to ask: What about me?

I’m a medical student. I go to the hospital every day, pay over £1,000 per year for the privelege, and often spent late nights there effectively working for the hospital for free. And yet I have to pay over £2 per day for car parking charges. Over the course of the last few months, that’s £343.20*.

Now, it might be argued that, hey, I’m young and fit, I can park away from the hospital car park. Well, no, not really, because not only does that drive local residents absolutely mad, and it’s potentially dangerous to go walking round these very quiet, poorly lit areas at 10pm.

*In fact it isn’t, because I don’t park there. Understandably.

This 903rd post was filed under: News and Comment, Politics, University.


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