redfiona99: (Default)

He was murdered 1,400 years ago -


Around the World in Pancakes -


Laws and Original Order -

We've been using the Gregorian calendar for 434 years. It’s still bizarre. -

Where are the blue plaques for black and Asian people? -

Blundeston Prison: Inside Reggie Kray's old prison cell -


Maltese Phrases You Just Can't Translate
- At least in part because I love the sub-title 'Well, you can... but you'll sound crazy.'


Life on the road as a female lorry driver -

M6/A38: Why so many road works into Birmingham? -

The MI5 spy who saved children from a UK bomb attack -

Operation Julie: How I infiltrated a drugs gang -


More Wealth, More Jobs, but Not for Everyone: What Fuels the Backlash on Trade -


The leap second: why 2016 will be exactly one second longer than expected -

How We'll Tackle Diseases That Are Becoming Untreatable -


What You Don't Know About Being a GM -

The NFL Is Losing to English Football in the Export Game -

Figuring out fatigue: A tired brain can hinder performance as much as a tired muscle -


Mercedes to enter Formula E in 2018 - This is big news.


McKenzie: The real story of how Corsi got its name -


These unlucky people have names that break computers - Not so much her name, but my Mum once caused problems because her father's DOB was 1909 and the pulldown box at her job's HR system only went back to 1920. It was hilarious.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
I had a whole post written up about next season's MotoGP roster but it has vanished into the ether. I will endeavour to reconstruct it.


I, like everyone else, think that the Cal Crutchlow to Ducati thing might be a really bad idea for Cal. My logic is slightly different than everyone else's, but then again, I'm not a Brit so I remember Dovi smoking Cal on the same equipment last time they were in the same team together. And I think that was talent, not inexperience on Crutchlow's part. I think if he loses to Dovi again on the same bike, it'll do damage to Cal's chances of getting a decent bike* next time round.

I also think it's a boneheaded manoeuvre from Tech 3, I realise that they can't actually get rid of Bradley Smith (who is not as good as the BBC would have you believe) but Pol, bless him**, is only just coming up from Moto2 and how much can Bradley Smith teach him?

But, and this is where that impromptu interview the BBC managed to get with Cal Crutchlow at the British GP may have been slightly more revealing than Crutchlow had intended, where else could Crutchlow have gone. Basically, after the Honda and Yamaha factory teams, Tech 3 are the best. Ducati are the only other manufacturer team***. Gresini and LCR are good but satellite teams and I can see why they'd be less attractive than the team Ducati, even though I think either is a better option in results terms.

The other person this mucks about is poor old Aleix Espargaro (see the note that goes with **). I mean, if I were Herve Poncheral, I'd rather have had Aleix than Pol just for the experience edge.

* Because there are many things that Ducati is, and a decent bike is not one of them. And Cal is not Casey Stoner, he cannot, in the words of Charlie Cox "ride it like he stole it".

** Pol Espargaro is my baby. I am not reasonable on the topic of either of my adorable Espargaro boys.

*** Even if Suzuki come back, it'll be their first year, there are better places for Cal to be.


In an amusing factlet for the Canadian French speakers on my flist - The "official" French TV transliteration for Vladimir Putin is Poutine. This may explain French/Russian relations at the minute.
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Tour De France - As you might be able to tell from the previous post, I missed a lot of the sport today. Switching my mobile on on the train back, I got a series of texts from L. He mostly wanted to know WTF happened with the Tour stage today. So I was expecting there to have been a real disaster, rather than just a new form of the traditional chaos.

BBC report here -

Basically the Orrica GreenEdge team coach got stuck under the finishing line, they moved the stage finish, then they managed to get it unstuck so they moved the finish back to the original place again. Also, entirely separately, all the of the sprint favourites had crashes. So yeah, to me that's just the expected first day chaos.

Cycling has spoilt me.

Tennis - In the men's tennis, I'm down to one guy I like left in, and that's Jurgen Melzer who I don't even like but he's Austrian, so I'm kind of obliged, because if he wins I get to point out to my mother that an Austrian has won a Slam more recently than a Brit. Yes, this argument is vital.


Moto GP - I think Lorenzo might finally have won the hearts and minds. Also Valentino won, and that's always good. This picture - made me smile. A lot.

Now, if only we could get Aleix Espargaro a satellite (or even main team) bike.



Well yes, Paul Di Resta will go faster if his car is underweight. I love how this is all some huge conspiracy according to some people.

Also, no, dear British press, he was never going to be the Webber replacement, because he's never beaten his team-mate's point total.

The 2011 year where he "smoked" Sutil, he finished with 27 points, compared to 42 points for Sutil. In 2012 he got 46 points compared to Nico Hulkenberg's 63.

Yeah, this year, he's beating Sutil, but that doesn't mean he's being spectacular. Especially not when compared to Ricciardo or Vergne or Kimi-Kimi (not that Vettel is going to let them pick up Kimi-Kimi but never mind). My guess is that it'll be Vergne because of Renault.


Fanfic Meme - Day 20 – Do you ever get bunnied from other people's stories or art in the same fandom?

Not really. Like sometimes, there'll be a canon event that causes lots of fic, and I try not to do the same thing, not out of peevishness but, well I like the quote [ profile] opera142 has on her profile page - "You have to be first, best, or different" (from Loretta Lynn). Other people write their own stories better than I could, so my stories have to be mine.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
If the Pol Espargaro to a Yamaha team for next year rumours are true, I will flail. I will make full-on dolphin noises. I will not be restrained in anyway. Just so we're clear. I am not sensible on the topic.

I do wish I could get through one qualifying session without squeaking "Dani!" when some disaster befalls our tiny hero.


The Bank Holiday plan (after today got wasted by me going into work)

Sunday - food shopping, gym

Monday - electronics shopping (although thankfully I have found my mp3 player, my mother was right, tidying up helped), buy a black cardigan, museum hopping, movie monday.

By the end of the weekend I also have to tidy the flat to a reasonable state and hopefully finish the first draft of my lgbtfest fic. I fear neither of these is going to happen.


Fanfic Meme - 6 – When you write, do you prefer writing male or female characters?

I prefer writing interesting characters.

Now before anyone accuses me of giving a cop-out answer, let me finish. The problem is the media I like tends to be genre-based. Sci-fi, comics, wrestling. And as a general rule (yes, I know there are exceptions), they don't give their female characters much to do* - looking at you so much wrestling - so there's not much I can write about. The minute I get something to write about I do. It's not just "action girls", all the Iron Man fic I write is Pepper fic, but I do need the canon to come up with something first.

*Or I can't access them. There's about to be a long post which is all about why I loathe the new Sky Drama model.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Thinking)
Please assume I am throwing my hands up in the most stereotypical manner.

So N who has not previously been mentioned tapped me up to be on the NW team for the Winton. Not a problem. I am first reserve for a comp. in two weeks time. He hasn't told me if I'm on the team, despite knowing I have to organise transport and somewhere to kip. All of that set aside, D, of whom much has been said, loped up to me and asked if I could be on his team for the Winton. So I explained the situation, and basically I need to know for sure if N needs me so D can sort his team out. Of course, as I said, this is now at T - 14 to the competition.


Moto GP is back. And my beloved Espargaro boys and Dovi are all doing well. Unfortunately, Lorenzo has gone back to being #99. Damn it, Jorge, keep your mucky paws off my number (I am numbered for a Moto racer, Jeremy McWilliams represent). [Also, sorry I'm a Dani Pedrosa girl in that argument.]
redfiona99: (Thinking)
The Adventures of Tintin )

It's perfectly competently made, but it's absolutely lacking in anything that resembles heart or soul.

TT : Closer To The Edge )

Definitely worth a watch.

Then I rewatched Games of Shadows, and still feel about it the same way I did when I first watched it and then the first half hour of the Sherlock Scandal in Bohemia/Belgravia. I will get round to writing about Sherlock's second season. I think I am finally capable of not flailing about the end of the third episode.

On the way back I watched Pirates: An Adventure With Scientists! which is a bit slow to get going but is lots of fun once it does.

I also watched the US version of The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo )

Virgin flights also have TV shows on now, so I got to try out

Smash: I got bored half-way through the first episode. I think I'd like it more if there was more of Anjelica Huston's character. And less wangst. Also, more realism. Because yeah, there's no way Megan Hilty's character wouldn't easily have got the role because Katharine McPhee's character hasn't the vocal power or presence. Not amount of Jack Davenport being a Cowell-esque bastard will make up for that.

Alcatraz: Didn't get further than the first six minutes of the first episode. I've figured out my problem with JJ Abrams and his productions, it's like Vince Russo, I know his kind of twists already and there's nothing behind the twists for me to enjoy.

Hit And Miss: Very good. But a bit too Tony Abbot making everyone suffer for a transatlantic flight. Because Abbot is a master at making the characters believably good, bad, horrible, nice, messed up and human.

Once Upon A Time: Which I didn't watch when it was broadcast because it was on on Thursdays and Thursday is fencing day and will not be interfered with. I liked it, and can see why everyone else enjoys it so much, and if they ever show it on normal TV not on Thursdays, I'm definitely giving this a go. If only to see what the hell Gold's deal is. And yes, I know, I'm focussing on the wrong thing, but 1) I love Robert Carlyle and have ever since Hamish MacBeth, 2) I have been primed to enjoy him being cranky, tormented and not so nice by Stargate Universe, 3) Mr. Gold/Rumplestiltskin is the kind of character I ping for.
redfiona99: (Default)
Saw a Holmes I hadn't seen before (yes, yes, I have a problem), called "A Study In Terror" (, with John Neville as Holmes and Donald Houston as Watson. Not particularly good, with the dialogue letting it down. It does however explain where Moffat/Gattis got the "Mummy" thing from. I knew it wasn't from the books, and quite often they've pinched things from films. Robert Morley played Mycroft in this and him vs Sherlock was brilliant in the film.


Doctor Who

Unexpected guest star squee )

Moto GP

It's been a been a bit of a weepie weekend. I foolishly watched the San Marino Grand Prix, and, well I, like everyone else, miss Marco Simoncelli. And I'm so pleased for Gresini and Alvaro Bautista, and I know he won't get the ride next year but please Gresini Honda, please consider Alvaro.

On lighter matters, I seriously become convinced that Jorge Lorenzo is a Bond villain. In between Spies's bad luck, and Pedrosa's terrible luck, there's only been one winner. And Spies's luck is apparently catching, and poor Karel Abrahms caught it. Two bike failures, and the kind of failure that leaves brake fluid on your tyres at that. He looked so down-hearted afterwards.

Pedrosa has also had bad luck but his pre-dates Ben Spies's. Honda are going to go spare, because even if Hector Barbera had yet another crash, it was their fault that he was anywhere in the Barbera zone to begin with.

Valentino Rossi is adorable. But that doesn't really need to be said.


Question - I need a US equivalent for "jury-rigged". Any suggestions? Or will jury-rigged do?
redfiona99: (Default)
I trust you won't mind a link spam in his honour.

Inspirational Zanardi - I have to admit to liking this bit - "After losing three-quarters of his blood and undergoing resuscitation several times, Zanardi was officially a dead man according to a NASA study charting the critical point beyond which a human body cannot survive."

Alex Zanardi wins Paralympics 2012 handcycling gold -

Gray Matter: The inspiration of Zanardi -

As a measure of the man - >>Zanardi said he called Tagliani as soon as he could talk because he didn't want him to feel responsible - and humbly suggested: "I am sure it's harder for him than for me."<<


>>He exudes positivity, and after his victory he said: "I'm a person who has had plenty from life and lady luck keeps on adding stuff..."<<


I think the thing is, that for all that he normally gets lumped into the pile of other 'successful in US Formulae, not successful in F1' racers, but he, more than most of the others, never had a chance, because both that Lotus and that Williams were pretty terrible.

The thing I remember though is after the accident and his return to racing, a race report which reported that one of Mark Blundell's radio messages had described Alex Zanardi as (some paraphrasing), 'a loon with no sense of danger'. That's high praise indeed.
redfiona99: (Default)
I'm incredibly sad to hear about Neil Armstrong's death. He belonged to a time where we had fear and terror, of the cold war and nuclear war, but also hope, and he helped to bring that hope.


Things that are good - discovering, much to your surprise, that this is a Bank Holiday weekend.

Things that are better - because of this, you get paid a weekend early.

Challenge Cup Final:

I'm just hoping it's a good match, because while neither side are Saints, neither side are Wigan either. (They are the forces of good and the forces of evil respectively.)

Rugby is a lot less terrifying when it's not your team playing.

Why is Rat-boy on my TV when Wigan aren't playing. Once again the BBC are biased in favour of Wigan.

If Warrington win, we're not going to hear the end of the complaining about that knock on.

The Germans have taken to Rugby League. We will convert the world. I know there's an Austrian league already.

Interviewer: "At 30 minutes gone, a storm hit. That could have distracted you."
Lee Briers: "Do you mean Leeds or the weather?"

Adrian Morley is Northern. With a capital N.
Interviewer: "You being an old geezer, do you appreciate these more?"
Adrian Morley: "No. Because you know you've not got that many opportunities left." The famous Northern no that means yes.

It pleases me that Stephen Ratchford has got a shiny, because he's been very impressive in lots of teams that haven't won things.

While I totally agree that Brett Hodgson deserves the Lance Todd, I would have given it to Richie Myler. It pleases me to no end to have Ian Millward agree with what I said.


As I have been informed by the papers that this is the first time that any US channel is covering the Paralympics (even if it is only online), I feel I should put in an advert for Wheelchair Fencing.

While not as well known as wheelchair basketball and murderball (wheelchair rugby), both of which are stupid amounts of fun to watch - no lie, I prefer wheelchair basketball to the other one, it is fantastic to watch, and the true heir to schlager fencing.

The rules are the same as non-wheelchair fencing, except there is no moving back beyond the movement of the trunk.

So yes, definitely give it a watch if you can.

Moto GP:

You will all love Ben Spies. I mean, he's loveable enough anyway (it is not his fault he's riding against my beloved Texas Tornado and Dovi), but he speaks such sense on the topic of his mother. I feel I should explain. His manager, agent and general person of greatest advice giving is his mother. People occasionally suggest that this is odd, or label him a mama's boy. He points out that plenty of the other racers have their father's in this position and nobody bats an eyelid. He says it's because a lot of men are threatened when women break into areas that they consider to be men's areas. Also that people commenting doesn't bother him, because it doesn't bother his mother.

The Armstrong Affair:

Other than the question of actual evidence, when they've never been able to catch Armstrong on anything (to quote my mother, "you know if they could have done, the French would have"), and a lot of the people willing to testify against him are people who have previously been caught doping and how much you're willing to believe them. Personally, my line is "I believe what George Hincapie and Tyler Hamilton say", but I'm a huge fan of both men, so I may be biased.

There is another problem, other than actually, USADA, you can't remove Armstrong's titles, only the UCI can (never mind that the UCI don't actually run the Tour and would probably need the ASO's agreement*). It's not like anyone immediately behind Armstrong wasn't doping too. Seriously, reading the data here -, you're having to go to the guys who finished 10-30th before you hit people who probably weren't doping. And that's only probably. From the evidence and testimony produced from questioning previous doping offenders, doping was team-wide and systematic, so if we asterisk anyone that was, in that given year**, on a team with anyone who has been caught, that drops us down to the people finishing 30th - 50th. If we're lucky. The French might get their Tour winner after all.

What I'd do is just asterisk everything after Indurain***, up to the one Contador won, and say we can't tell who won because they were all on something. Defeatist, yes, but it makes more sense than having to try to figure out who was and wasn't when it was mostly was.

* yes, cycling's governing body don't run cycling's blue ribbon event. No, it makes no sense. Yes, there have been many, many hilarious arguments.

** I'm being nice, for once.

*** Indurain may or may not have doped, but he never got caught and all of his old teammates aren't lining up to declaim he did. Possibly because Big Mig was slightly less abrasive. Fair, no, but it is what it is.

Football: )

Anna Karenina:

The new Anna Karenina looks like it will be terrible, but given that Joe Wright couldn't get the social structure of Regency England right (Pride and Prejudice) when most of the books are in a language he reads, I have my doubts about him being able to do pre-Revolutionary Russia any justice. Also, Jude Law as sour-faced, rotten toothed Karenin?! Also, Aaron Johnston is ~10 years too young for Vronsky.
redfiona99: (rl)
There's a reason this is my RL icon.

Avengers, X-Men: First Class and half a dozen other reviews forthcoming once I'm able to do anything that involves thought without cussing at PhD students. Or particular student.

It's either that or marveling at Ronnie O'Sullivan's snooker playing. When he's got his brain in gear he really is fantastic to watch.

Or cursing luck on behalf of poor Colin Edwards (MotoGP: Colin Edwards to have surgery on broken collarbone - The worst of it (other than this is the second time in two years) is that it wasn't even his accident. I shall allow Steve Parrish to explain: "Edwards was on a slow lap during qualifying but he did everything right as he got way off the racing line and he didn't even see Randy de Puniet coming.

De Puniet then unfortunately fell off and skittled Edwards with him. Edwards' first words to the marshals when they helped him were unprintable, but along the lines of "what was that?" He didn't even know what had happened."

(full article here -

Shakespeare Meme - Day #18: Your favorite dialogue

The bit I'm about to mention is my actual favourite, despite the temptation to say everything that comes out of Mercutio's mouth.

Henry V, act 3 scene 7 -

or from the start, to minute 7 of this

And yes, that is Julian Glover playing the Constable.

There's so many things I like about this dialogue. One is the word play, which is bitchy and funny, and actually quite caustic give that the only way for stuff to fall off armour in battle is if the person wearing it gets hit.

The second is that the Dauphin gets the verbal smackdown (to his face) that he's been deserving throughout the play. And the Constable gets to do it :)

I love the repetition of 'would it were day', because, well I certainly get like that between rounds in fencing so I can't imagine how much worse it would be for something that could lead to your death. It makes it seem more real.

Other Days )
redfiona99: (Default)
Various obituaries and memorial posts to Marco Simoncelli, which I'm posting because I fear that in years to come he'll become some half-dreamed idol, while these remember him as he gloriously was.

Moto GP

Oct. 23rd, 2011 07:12 pm
redfiona99: (Default)
Because my friend L came down, I was actually watching the rugby but I turned over before the match and at half time to see how the MotoGP was going. I turned over again at full time, and it wasn't on, and Coast was a lot further through than it ought to have been. I assumed that the race had been delayed because of the rain which was pretty torrential. I had a look on the red button. Nothing. So we watched the rest of the afters from the rugby. L has a smart phone, and seeing as there was nothing on the red button and there was no news on anywhere, he checked what was going on using that. Apparently he had a moment of trying to decide whether he ought to show me or not.

I'd be upset if it were any of the riders, but everyone loves Simoncelli. Because he rode like a buccaneer and raced as hard when it was for 14th and 15th as when it was for first and second.

People always say it's silly to be upset by this kind of thing, because you don't know them, and that's true, but what I knew of him I liked and he had such potential. He was finally getting to grips with what the Gresini Honda could do and what it couldn't do, he'd got his first podium, he'd got his first second place, his first win had to be on the way. The Gresini team were doing amazingly well for a privateer(ish) team. There was him and Ben Spies and they were the future.

Part of it is that he was 2 years younger than me, and I'll always remember him being this tyro in the 125s, all too long limbs and wild hair. And such enthusiasm, like motorbike riding was the best thing ever. A lot of riders lose that moving up to MotoGP but he never did. I remember that kid and thinking, he's good, if he can get a decent 250 seat, and then if he can get a MotoGP seat, and then if he can get a decent one, and maybe, maybe, maybe.

My thoughts go out to his family, his team and the rest of the paddock.
redfiona99: (f1)
Sorry this would have been more spread out, I even had the Dr Who entry typed up, and then the computer ate it and I've been distracted from a couple of other ones. (To explain, SQUIRREL)

The most awesome moment of the weekend was probably that everyone walked away from this ( If nothing else, the Audi roll cage works.

Second most awesome was probably Bradley Smith coming 2nd in the Moto2 class from 38th on the grid.

Then came Colin Edwards, one week on from breaking his collarbone, coming 3rd in the MotoGP. While running on fumes and ibuprofen because everything else made him 'feel like a spaceman'. He's still cheesed off about not being allowed to race in the French GP last week since his collarbone must have been fine to race with, because he could do push-ups. (The race doctor at Le Mans went "no".)

Needless to say, I was excessively excited before the Canadian Grand Prix even started. I love the Canadian Grand Prix, certainly since they messed up Hockenheim, it's my favourite by a country mile because Canada = chaos.

And on this occasion, lots of rain )
redfiona99: (Default)
Or why I have no such fear.

(A minor TMI warning - for those who wish to avoid the TMI, skip the first paragraph)

Then again my Friday the thirteenth started quite badly on Thursday when my bowels decided to try to escape without warning. Not good times. Worryingly, this is the second time in two months this has happened the day before my period starts. Dear body, we are 26, new symptoms are not required or expected.

Anyway, so I have maybe 3 hours of sleep the night before my final corrections, which I'm expecting to be horrible. I catch the train, a different one than the expected on because the trainline lies.

During this I get a Red Bull shot drink freebie. Now I still say that Red Bull tastes worse than anything you should ever consume, unless you're taking a medicine, and we know that they all taste terrible, however, at five to eight in the morning, when you've been ill all night and you cannot cope with the idea of food, but you need sugar and caffeine, it's a life saver.

So I get to Leicester, and internal examiner is not in yet so I have to sweet talk my way into the building. Not a problem.

I get the corrections, they're done in a couple of hours, and I'm printed out by three, and fully submitted by four.

Silly hat day is go.

(Or, for those who haven't seen the headwear that PhD graduands have to wear, graduation is go.)



Can't really get to liking Hawkes's new girlfriend in CSI:NY because she reminds me so much of ex-housemate's girlfriend. You know, my-fun-is-more-important-than-your-work girl. Argh!! Then again Sheldon being all 'can't say no dude' is not helping either.

I see the idiot writers are back. Half the characters are acting like themselves, and half of them are totally wrong. And Not-Stella is still a judgemental know-it-all.

Dude, Mac is now a chilled person. It's freaking wierd. Good but weird.


No CSI: Miami, atomic force microscopy does not work like that.


Mostly for Twig, but the TV adverts for Blitz are starting showing (it's out the 20th of May). I am mostly unimpressed. I have no idea how you do that given that I <3 one of the actors in it, and am v. fond of another one, but fail, TV advert maker, fail!

Still not sure whether or not to go and see it, part of me says yes, because how am I supposed to resist, part of me says no, not least of all because I have no idea where the local cinema is.


In terms of TV that's caught my eye, my Sunday night sleep-plan is presently being wrecked by 'The Shadow Line' which is brewing up nice and slowly into something complex.

It features Chiwetel Ejiofor, Christopher Ecclestone, and five hundred different you know, that guys.

The opening scene with David Schofield (or creepy guy from Pirates 2 as you might know him) basically monologuing was a work of genius.

I spent the whole of the first episode hoping something horrible would happen to Jay Wratten, played by Rafe Spall. Partly it's that Rafe Spall has the most unfortunately punchable face. Partly it's that his character is a little Caligula thinks he's so tough when he's really not, and he keeps getting into confrontations with people who are far more dangerous and they're not smacking him, for their own reasons and I think not smacking him is only going to rebound badly on them later.

Spoilers )

Comedians - Dave Fulton is looking old. I remember when he had long black hair.

As a general point, since I no longer have the time to watch late night tv the way I used to, I have to rely on Mock the Week and the other stand up shows to find out about the new, upandcomers, and mostly I'm not impressed, with the exception of Andi Osha.

The problem is, the way I see it, half of them have only one schtick and that's 'look, I'm posh and yet I swear', which is not funny to me. The other half are funnier but not much, including a fair few who are poor re-treads of other people's stuff.

(Honourable exception is Tommy Flanagan, who is funny, but just has a really unfortunate voice. My issues with him are not his fault.)


Motorbikes - oh BBC commentators, how I love you. Calling Simoncelli Side-Show Bob is naughty but funny.

The trouble is that much like Ruben Xaus, there's a lot of Simoncelli so occasionally he takes stupid lines. (And he now has a reputation.)

It looks like there's going to be a punch up between a team manager and the stewards. I have seen that walk before.

Dani Pedrosa has pulled an Uncle Ste - my Uncle broke one collarbone, had it fixed, then broke the other one. I hope Pedrosa doesn't finish the cycle, because my Uncle then broke the first collarbone again but it only fractured and healed really quickly because it was in exactly the same place.


Nov. 8th, 2010 09:11 pm
redfiona99: (f1)
Of all imaginable stripe and colour.

Eurosport stiffed me out of the fencing it promised me on Saturday, which annoyed me. No, Moto GP2 qualifying is not the same as sabre finals.

I still ended up watching the GP2 race the next day, mostly to see what 42 bikes off the start line went like. The answer is not as badly as expected. The race was fun, more so than the actual Moto GP but I think that's because they all have the same engine, give or take the tuning.

They were making a lot of fuss over the fact that Karel Abrahams is getting a Moto GP ride next year, only because Daddy is bankrolling a team for him, and while yeah, so not fair for the other riders, it doesn't necessarily mean that he can't race. Because the boy can race, as he then showed. Also, given the number of teams even terrible pay-to-race drivers have kept solvent, I wouldn't complain even if he couldn't race.

Then I watched the Moto GP race. Like I said, not as much fun. This is not just because I don't like Jorge Lorenzo, although I don't. Why must you have a 99 on the front of your bike? (The 99 in my name was originally supposed to be for Marco Melandri, who is now going off to superbikes, but Lorenzo is now using it.)

I also watched the Formula 1 grand prix, where I was hoping that Nico Hulkenberg would do a better job after his awesome pole position (btw, Rubens Barricello, the loveliest teammate ever or the loveliest teammate ever?) but, given that the Williams is a terrible car, he did pretty well. So very happy for Red Bull, and amazed that they aren't issuing team orders yet. I feel sorry for Mark Webber, because I'm not certain that they would be this fair if the roles were reversed.

Of course, if Alonso wins the driver's championship by fewer points than the number he got from the switcheroo, it only encourages team orders and proves that Ferrari were right to do it. By the by, I can see why people hate team orders, but I'm totally behind any team that use them, because of how important the driver's championship is to the team and it also enables a team to probably do better in the constructor's championship because two cars finishing in the points is worth more than your two cars knocking each other out of the race because they both want to be first.

And then finally, tonight, I got to watch both the epee finals. I forgive you, Eurosport. More amazingly they were both good to watch.
redfiona99: (f1)

Dave Richards, he of the taking over as Bennetton team manager and getting rid of my favourite driver fame, who then got sacked from them and then BAR (by Honda, who, at the time weren't exactly being harsh), wants another go with the Pro-Drive/Subaru team. I'm torn between 'no, just no' (see - removal of my favourite driver at the time) and 'yes, but fail miserably'. I have yet to forgive him for what happened.
redfiona99: (Default)
But given that I just pulled 10 hours in the lab, I think I deserve that. I'm not entirely sure how the fencing club will feel once they figure out that I've given myself the night off from them too. But really, I'm not feeling sociable tonight, and I realise how precious that sounds, and I don't think I'd be much fun. Plus I need to recharge the batteries in light of the fact that I'm doing something every night till next Tuesday after tonight.

About the motor racing - I'm sad to see Schumacher go, because I think he was really good, and I admire his strength of will and character. There's a lovely cartoon in today's Times of him driving off into the sunset.

I get really annoyed at all these people who say he only won because he had the best car, because the Bennetton, that he won 2 World Championships in, was the lowest powered car on the track (V8 compared to V10s and V12s) and when he moved to Ferrari, much though it pains me to say it, they were a shambles.

Now I'm not saying other people didn't help, particularly Pat Symonds, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne were instrumental, but as people have repeatedly said, he had the sense to have good people around him while he was trying to win.

I sense, however, that Mika Hakkinen was enjoying his troubles far too much :D It was kind of wierd seeing Pele handing a trophy, a 'there is far too much cool and shinyness here' kind of weird though, so not a bad thing in itself.

How cool was it for Felipe Massa to win though :)

Another odd thing was how near the start of the programme they showed Senna laying the law down to Schumacher about something he'd done, and then the programme ended with Schumacher and Alonso shaking hands and there was this whole end of an era feel, because, really, from my childhood, the only driver left is David Coulthard.

Next year could be interesting, I am, of course, hoping for a Raikkonen win of the drivers. Or several Wurz podiums.
redfiona99: (Default)
Other sports things I forgot to mention were that I saw quite a bit of motor racing over the weekend, formula 1, which though it's boring I still love with a slightly odd adoration, superbikes and moto gp. And I such a sad case that I can tell you what the difference is between moto gp and the superbikes.

While I might have prefered Colin Edwards to win, because I do love the Texas Tornado, I'm happy that Nicky Hayden won, because I can remember when he was only an up and comer, and because it means that Valentino has competition this year. Poor old Sete Gibernau really is cursed. I should explain - if a moto gp bike is going to go sproing, clonk or any of the 350 other noises it's not supposed to make, it will be Sete's bike that does it. He didn't get to ride this week because of a mixture of a concussion and a broken collar bone after a crash that also involved Melandri, Capirossi and Rossi, who all have breaks, fractures and assorted bumps and were riding with them. They're all mad idiots but how can you fail to love them.

In the superbikes, I was mostly just plain old happy to see Chris Walker, previous holder of Sete Gibernau's curse (seriously, broke a shin in training, came back, broke the other ankle, came back, caught Bell's palsy, came back, broke a wrist, then later that same season he was sacked because the team thought that if he carried on riding he'd end up killing himself in an accident) both riding and doing well. Same for Pierfrancesco Chili, who is back from an injury and still riding at the age of quite a lot. I was also really happy to see that Alex Barros hadn't had too many problems making the switch from moto gp to superbikes.

In the F1, other than Ralf Schumacher really deserving drive of the day for just finishing in that mangy heap of a car that didn't do corners, I found out that Red Bull and Toro Roso are not the same team despite looking exactly the same and both sharing the having of an unnerving amount of Austrian team owners/managers. Also long may Nico Rosberg continue to cause chaos and fear in the older drivers because, goodness knows, I can remember them doing it to their elders.


Mostly I'm just rambling because I've not got a viva and therefore have nothing to do for 4 days and I'm worried and nervous because my life is not under my control any more because Pete only knows what I'm doing next year.
redfiona99: (Default)
Today was just wow!

I mean, I saw Rossi clinch his 5th consecutive MotoGP title. Which was wow.

And then I saw Alonso become the youngest world champion ever in Formula One.

And it's wierd for a number of reasons:

1 - I'm kind of torn about this because much though I love Alonso I wanted Kimi to win. But at least a proper driver won. Not someone like Jenson Button (spits on him and all his works).

2 - Oh my gosh, I just want to chuck his precious little cheeks. He looked so happy. As did Flavio Briatore et al.

3 - For once I can actually say that I really did see the first time he raced in F1. And I said, from the first time that I saw him that he'd be a world champion. (basks in the knowledge that I can still spot talent) F1 one is one of those sports where having it isn't essential to winning, Villeneuve didn't have it and still became world champion, but it sure helps, mainly because he's one of the few world champions I can think of that didn't have it.

4 - when Fisichella came up to congratulate him and hugged him, I couldn't help but be sad because damn it, Fisi, that could have been you. It's as bad as with Alesi. They're both drivers with immense talent who never made it as big as they should have.

But yes, I'm happy, there's no way as a Formula one fan, even if I am a Ferrari fan, that I can't be happy. I can't wait for next year's championship though.
redfiona99: (Default)
Lizzie, if you're ever in Leicester you must go to the New Walk gallery, there's an Ancient Egypt exhibition, which while it is nothing special features the following:

4 mummies - variously a priest of Min (which one's Min), a scribe, a teenage girl and a poor unfortunate female mummy who got put in the wrong box so that the future Edward VII could discover something on one of his trips to Egypt.

Stuff discovered by Petrie

And, the pies de resistance, a mummified cat, a mummified kitten and two mummified falcons.

Also there's an interesting portrait exhibition on at the moment and a dinosaur thing. But I figured that most people would be interested in the mummies.

See, this is why I shouldn't be allowed to go to museums, they excite me :)

Sete Gibernau in the motorbikes makes Kimi Raikonnen seem lucky. Pech happened again.
But Jeremy McWilliams got to race (he's the person I'm numbered 99 after). Admittedly this was only because KR racing's engine manufacturers pulled out and he's the only one stupid enough to race last year's Proton engine, which didn't work even when it was new, and definitely doesn't work now.

Will probably end up watching the things about Nelson's Navy tonight, but apart from that there's nothing else on so I will be very, very bored.


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