Bernie on Tour

Sunday, December 11, 2005

BBC: "Massive blaze rages at oil depot"

Yesterday we went to London once again. Christina - Igor's girlfriend - showed us around. Since she had already been to London to work as an Au Pair she is kinda local. She showed us a marked near Notting Hill Gate and another one in Camden Town. Camden market is a very intersting place with very interesting people. They've got shops with really crazy punk-clothes as well gothic-stuff but decent or even old-fashioned things as well. But the best thing is that they had mulled wine ("Glühwein") as well. One thing that we are missing here in Oxford. ;-)

We left London between 11 and 12 pm but if we had stayed longer we would have seen lots of black smoke above us. In the morning some tanks exploded at a fuel depot in the very north of London. Althoug more than 100 firefigthers are at the place, they cannot do much. The fire is still burning and might even burn another day.

In the pictures above you can see the smoke and the area where it has effused.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Sleeping lecturer + Countdown

There are only a few days left until the end of this semester. This week we have to hand in all the assignments. I have already demonstrated the outcome of two of them. Yesterday it was "Systems programming" where Jakob and I demonstrated the little webserver we had to implement (thx to Jakob for doing most of the work!) and today I presented my agent that automatically explores the world of a comuter-game. I think my agent is really good 'cause it explores the whole world without getting stuck or collapsing because of any error. It even deals with lots of special exceptions in a reasonable way.

Anyway - Deep was the first of us two to do the presentation. While he explained all the things like how it works and how he implemented it the lecturer who had to assess us seemed to fall asleep every few seconds. When I did the presentation he obviously spent more efford on staying awake than on listening to what I explained as well. I think this is a perfect example of how lecturers at uni encourage their student to do their courseworks in a proper way.

Since there are only very few days left for us to stay here Deep and I have now a countdown on our blogs (thx to deep for the JavaScript-code).

Monday, December 05, 2005

Weekend @ host-family's in Wales

I spent the weekend at a host-family's in Wrexham (Wales). I went there because the university pays for the accomodation at the host family's. So the only thing I had to pay during the whole weekend was the transfer from Oxford to Wrexham and back home. My hosts were a retired teacher and a retired draftsman. They had two son who are a little older than me (but I didn't meet one them 'cause they were on trips themselves).

They were very keen on showing me the country - so we drove up an down loads of hills, following narrow and steep, twisting and turning roads for miles without seeing anyone else => They told me that in Wales there are more sheep than people and it's indeed not hard to believe.

The best thing happend on my way home: There was a rail-replacement service since the did some maintenance-work on the track. So insted of changing trains once in Birmingham I had to change three times (train => bus => train => another train). Not that much of an excitement, isn't is. But if got really funny when our bus broke down in the middle of nowhere. First of all I thought the driver was drunken because he killed the engine more than five times within half a mile. But then it became obvious that there was something else wrong. However, the organised anouther bus that took us to the next station,....finally....

Friday afternoon in Birmingham

Last Friday afternoon I went to Birmingham. (I was on my trip to Wales and stopped there for a few hours) Although it was raining I had a walk through the city and I discovered a very surprising circumstance: They had a german xmas-market. You could get everything - no only all the decoration-stuff, but also "glühwein" and "currywurst".

The rest of Birmingham is not really interesting. There is a huge shopping center (calld Bull Ring) above the railway station - but that's it.

PS: I also visited the cathedral of Birmingham. They have got some nice and colorful windows there. - I hope my parents are proud of me ;-)