A Knights Tale

Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

Heath Ledger plays a peasant squire who achieves his dream of knighthood by taking over his dead master’s identity and competing in jousting tournaments. This is not a serious historical film. Instead, writer-director Brian Helgeland inserts modern elements such as rock music, brand logos and a hair extension wearing, fashion model dressing princess into a medieval setting. It’s all in good fun and worth a few laughs.

The cast, which also includes Mark Addy (The Full Monty), Rufus Sewell, and Paul Bettany mesh well together. Bettany, a relative newcomer to ther big screen, plays the gambling addicted writer and spruiker Geoffrey Chaucer as a calmer version of Rik Mayall. Ledger surfer locks bely his powerful voice and acting ability, while Sewell is the standard medieval baddy.

All in all, A Knight’s Tale was a good afternoon’s entertainment.

Welcome to allrite.net!

Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

Welcome to allrite.net! This site serves a few purposes. Firstly it’s a place where I can share my thoughts with the rest of the world. I know that sounds rather self-indulgent, but the web is a great source of knowledge and perhaps I do know something that another might find useful.

I have another website at www.allrite.com.au which provides information on my web design and mathematical sciences company, Allrite Mathematical Sciences & IT. Pretentious name, but it does include my online nick (allrite) and my interests. You can also find some of my science essays there.

Why did I need another site? I wanted to be able to update pages from anywhere that has web access. www.allrite.com.au is hosted on a Microsoft IIS server which is very limiting when it comes to doing fancy things unless you have the money to shell out on MSSQL Server.allrite.net, on the other hand, sits on a Unix-Apache-MySQL system, which is much more flexible.

I was interested in the concept of Weblogs and wanted to create my own. Rather than adapting an existing Content Management System (eg Manila, PHP Nuke, Slash) I decided to attempt my own. I also wanted to teach myself PHP and online database skills for my day job as webmaster at the CSIRO’s Australia Telescope National Facility.

This site is a work in progress. I have many changes planned for it, when I get time in between planning a wedding and working. Things such as a forum, an image library an more. I may rope in a few of my friends and give them the opportunity to write columns for this site. For now, it’s just me.

Enjoy…

Our First Week in Review

Array of radiotelescopes in front of a mountain

The biggest news of the week is obviously that allrite.net is open for business! It’s taken quite a few months, although very little of that time has been spent working on this site. Other priorities, such as an upcoming wedding and my day job have taken precedence over this site.

Site Changes

I have had little sleep this week due to designing the site administration tools. Right now, I’m attempting to add a facility to upload images and automatically generate thumbnails. It doesn’t look too difficult, as PHP has a wonderful range of functions for this, and many other, tasks.

Further Studies

I am finally trying to make a move on continuing my science studies. Up to 20 percent of my work hours may be spent on research projects, and I hoping to use this time working towards a Masters by Research and eventually a PhD. I contacted two universities this week, the University of Sydney and the Australian National University and received two very different replies.

The first reply, from Sydney, basically said that there was a lot of competition for places in their research programs and seemed to say that they were after students with great marks. I gained a similar impression from their admission literature, which, unlike several other large universities, did not appear to offer much leeway for those without honours degrees. The ANU was a lot more supportive, even mentioning that a University can choose to admit whoever they like!

There’s a lot more research to be done on my part before I proceed with an application to either university. I have not ruled out other universities either. One possible obstacle is that the ANU is located in Canberra, whereas I am based in Sydney. Hopefully the facilities and resources of the ATNF will mean that I will be able to do most of my research in Sydney. Not that I would mind visiting Canberra more often, as it is one my two favourite cities.

I greatly enjoyed the three years I spent as an undergraduate at the ANU (I eventually graduated from the University of Wollongong). To help focus my mind on my future studies I think I’ll write a series of articles on my undergraduate years. Maybe it will be of some value to others interested in science and mathematics at an Australian university.

Saying No

One of the more difficult tasks of wedding planning has been informing a supplier of a service that you do not wish to proceed any further. In the case of our honeymoon travel and stationery arrangements we found alternative suppliers that offered a better deal or product than the original. It is not pleasant telling the first supplier that, despite the hard work they have placed into chasing up hotels or designing a card, that you do not want them to continue. I guess it is part of business – It’s been done to me and I understood their reasons – but that still doesn’t make it fun.

Cricket

I’ll end this piece by talking about my favourite sport – cricket. It’s the fifth Ashes test, Australia versus England, and I’m just waiting now to see if our injured captain Steve Waugh will make his century. I hope so! I haven’t been watching the TV coverage on Channel 7 (what a sacrilege!). Instead I log on to Cricinfo or tune into ABC radio. Some of those English commentators are a real hoot!

Goodnight!

It’s 11:56pm. Friday’s almost over, Steve Waugh got his century, so I’ll bid you goodnight. Avagoodweegend!