Just as Shakespeare, 1066, Britain’s Got Talent and photos of cats are requisite knowledge for existing in modern society, so should the 600 words on this page be.

Dr Robert Sparkes, 7.5.2014

Farewell Candy Crush

164 levels completed, several hours/days of time killed but now it’s time to uninstall. Candy Crush Saga has moved from fun time-killer to “please pay money / wait a long time in order to reach the next level” mode. Also, the makers may be a little bit evil.

Look out for the following in a few weeks:
– better games on my phone
– a new phone to play them on
– more time to do science rather than moving colourful blobs around

Chester Zoo

We had some very welcome visitors for the weekend, so we headed to Chester Zoo for an afternoon of animal fun, followed by a tasty dinner at the Chester Fields. Chester Zoo had been on our radar of visits for a while, and it did not disappoint. Four hours was far from enough time, so we’ll have to go again when we get an excuse.

All photos taken with my 100mm f/2.8 macro lens, which did a great job.

The Ashes – Old Trafford Day 5

And so, thanks to Manchester’s best-known attribute, England have retained The Ashes. Yay! Unfortunately my first experience of international cricket was a rather soggy one, and the successful retaining of said Ashes was not especially climatic. In fact most people were glad for an excuse to get out of the rain and back on the tram. I did manage to get some nice photos for the short time that play was going on, but a tense afternoon of gritty England survival vs. persistant Australian bowling would have been much more enjoyable.

Chris O’Dowd’s big floaty balls

This might be jumping onto the Movember bandwagon a bit, but it’s an under-occupied bandwagon that is worth jumping onto. Chris O’Dowd (of the IT Crowd, Bridesmaids etc, not to be confused with this handsome Dr.) has lent his name and acting talents to a campaign to raise awareness of testicular cancer via a giant, scrotum-shaped, hot air balloon:

Donate here if you want to see a giant nut-sack flying around the countryside. Donations are taken from your account now, but if the project fails to meet its £100 000 goal the money will be refunded. I’m looking forward to my testicular tea-mug, but even if you don’t donate to the campaign please remember to keep an eye/hand on your manly bits.

The Deep, Hull

The morning after Cathy and Nick’s wedding, surprisingly hangover-less, we took the scenic route through the North Yorkshire Moors to meet Adam in Hull, and visit The Deep. While the “submarium” branding is a little pointless, and some of the interactive exhibits are showing their age, the collection of fish are impressive and it was an interesting afternoon out.