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Piers Meynell
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The Red Arrows over Swansea Beach. After work I took the bus down to see the Swansea Air show. First time to the beach, was rather surprised how nice it is and a bit perplexed why the council don't make much more use of it. Rather impressed by the air show too.
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A wet blustery St John Duty covering the Tenby Boxing Day swim. More familiar with the long swim circuits of Ironman and Long Course Weekend it was over comparatively quickly - not that I can blame them, it was rather cold just standing on the cliffs watching them, let alone going into the water.
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There's some rather more interesting photos of the swim here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-20843665
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If you're using O2's mobile network for web browsing (or are using a rebadged network carried on them e.g. Tesco Mobile), you should be aware that thanks to a mistake on O2's part they're mistakenly leaking your mobile phone number.

Whenever you request a web page your browser sends data to the web server, it's fairly standard technical stuff such as your IP address so the server knows where to send the response and other things related to how you want the data formatted (e.g. the browser you're using, the language/character set you want to use). However along with that O2 have included the phone number of the mobile making the request. There's no technical need for this and it's almost certainly an unintentional error on their behalf, but it is a breach of data protection.

If you're wondering whether you're effected try visiting the attached link. The page displays the header information your phone is sending, look for a line starting with x-up-calling-line-id
O2 send your phone number to every site you visit using their mobile data network? This page is a simple little script which prints out all the information I receive about you when you visit. It is lo...
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This has me chuckling this morning. If you prefer a voice modulated version (http://youtu.be/sPvt8ZYSEAc) and along similar lines (http://youtu.be/qM9IQ95iJlk).
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Christopher Hitchens has died. Not that my regard counts for much, but I had a lot of respect for him, despite rather different viewpoints on things.

I'd initially discounted him as some right wing blowhard following his very hawkish stance on Iraq and in other matters. One in particular was water-boarding, he was quite vocal on the matter, convinced that it was a necessary evil and not really torture. However unlike many pundits and politicians he had the courage to prove his point of view and had himself water-boarded by the professionals to demonstrate that concerns about it were overblown.

To his surprise the experience undermined his argument, - and this is why I respect him - but rather than quietly dropping the matter as I imagine many would do, he became just as vocal in his opposition of water-boarding, that it is in fact torture. When he was proven to be wrong about something, rather than ignoring the facts which didn't fit in with his preconceived viewpoint he publicly changed his stance, and for that and on other issues he has my respect.

If you haven't seen it I highly recommend reading the Vanity Fair article and watching the video he did about water-boarding.
From world affairs to entertainment, business to fashion, crime to society, Vanity Fair is a cultural catalyst that drives the popular dialogue globally.
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Something to look out for in late 2013, though if it lives up to expectations it should be pretty hard to miss.
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Locally in the UK we should be able to see the meteors from around 10 pm, though the peak is at 2 am.
 
Look up to the skies tonight as the Geminid meteor shower peaks. Meteor rates could be as much as 60 or more meteors per hour with good observing conditions. Find out more in the this article from SEN, or via @VirtualAstro on Twitter:
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Corvids are smart and these guys in particular. They can craft tools (something that used to be considered a benchmark of intelligence), they can use tools to use tools something that rivals primates, and now it seems they can reason, to form mental models of cause and effect.
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If you've got access to BBC Four, the Royal Christmas Lectures start today:

The Christmas Lectures will return to BBC Four once again this Christmas with renowned experimental psychologist Prof Bruce Hood delivering a demonstration packed, three-part series called Meet Your Brain.The three-part series will be broadcast on BBC Four at 8.00pm on 27, 28 and 29 December. Join the conversation on twitter by using #xmaslectures
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I think it might have become lactose intolerant, so for the next couple of weeks I'm going to swear off milk and see if I feel any better.

My mother became lactose intolerant with age and it would seem to explain the symptoms I've been experiencing over the last year or so. It can be a little more serious than feeling a little bloated and feeling a little phlegmy after a milkshake and so for, about this time last year I woke up in such pain, nausea, etc. that I seriously wondered whether I was having a heart attack and was lying in bed cataloguing the symptoms and debating whether I should call an ambulance or not. Fortunately such hasn't reoccurred and a GP confirmed that my heart was fine. Internal pain like that is rather disconcerting and unpleasant, if you hurt a limb you can almost mentally distance yourself from the sensation, rather harder to do when it's within your core.

Though I could give soya milk a try does anyone have any recommendations for interesting teas to try without milk? What about cereals, do you not simply eat it, have it with water or soy milk?
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Thanks! While it'll be a little inconvenient I'll happily give up milk for feeling less bloated, unwell and gassy all the time. Fortunately there's been no re-occurrence of that level of pain, as you can imagine it was rather unpleasant.
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After a series of random BSODs following a ram upgrade from +Crucial.com I ran memtest86 and confirmed the cause, fortunately their RMA request system was pretty painless and they give a freepost address too so I wont be footing the bill for the return which is welcome, just an awkward time of year for it.
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Pretty impressive for one guy with a budget of $150, echos of District 9. Will have to keep an eye on this.
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There's an interesting and somewhat harsh deconstruction of this trailer on Reddit: http://www.reddit.com/r/scifi/comments/nclqw/a_selftaught_effects_guy_took_a_budget_of_150_and/
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