Cooking
My Spaghetti BologneseNew!!

Like one of my earlier recipes, this is an altered version of a recipe my mum used to use, and it's a firm favourite with my daughters. The main reason for my recording this recipe is for them. This is rather more "meaty" than most Bolognese sauces. This recipe will serve four - at least […]

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Higher Education
Dune, Survivor Bias and the National Student SurveyNew!!

At the time of writing Dune Part Two has just been released in cinemas. The film is of course based on the 1965 book Dune, which has many fascinating themes. One of these is around what makes the Sardaukar - the troops of the Padishah Emperor the second most élite soldiers of the known universe, […]

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random musings
Performative Data Security is Bad Data Security

Most of us have been there. In these days of GDPR and scams, when you call large companies you will usually be told you need to answer some questions to prove who you are before they will discuss your account or case. This makes perfect sense. Most large companies, on the rare occaision they have […]

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Free Software
Extracting Sky Router Crash Data Amidst Kernel Panics

I have a Sky broadband connection with fibre into a Sky Router / Sky Hub. I have noticed very short outages of internet service with increasing frequency recently. The outages are short, maybe around 3-5 minutes long but these are annoying enough in the middle of an online meeting or some other synchronous activity. Sometimes […]

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Free Software
exim4 upgrades and configuration fragility

Last night I decided I'd catch up on sysadmin tasks. Some of that was trying to tighten up my spam filtering again. I had got in place a per-user Bayesian filter on spamassassin, which essentially should allow it to learn a much more individual pattern of what each user considers spam. I also had configuration […]

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martial arts
20 years since shodan - reflections on gradings, mastery and imposter syndrome

Today (5th August 2021) marks twenty years since I first graded to shodan (the first black belt grade) in a martial art. It might come as a surprise to many non martial artists that there are multiple black belt grades, and that a black belt does not represent the end of a journey but more […]

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Cooking
Beef in Soy Sauce

This is a version of a recipe my Mum had that I have experimented with in for a slow cooker format. I've pared this down to the most simple version I can. I usually run this recipe by eye, but one of my daughters wants to have a go at it, so I decided I'd […]

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Higher Education
Budgeting for Assessment

Workloads for Academics in Higher Education are often very complex, with teaching loads, research tasks and administration all juggling for our attention with lots of task switching adding to the complexity. For many academics, teaching loads are a significant part of their work, but explicitly looking at the time spent on assessment could bring better […]

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Higher Education
The Tyranny of Resilience and the New Normal

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic there is a word and a short phrase that are both in very common usage. All too often they are used in unhelpful and arguably incorrect ways. Elasticity has Limits Resilience has an interesting etymology, coming from the Latin ‘resilire’, ‘to recoil or rebound’. It came to encompass […]

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Cooking
Bread without commercial yeast - Sour-dough

At the time of writing, an extraordinary number of people are in some sort of lockdown, and trying to go the shops less often, and when they do, certain items are in short supply. One of those items is commercial yeast. If you still have access to flour (preferably strong flour), salt and water, you […]

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