Not Blogging.

It’s inter­est­ing to see how the world has moved on in terms of com­mu­nic­a­tion. Even in long­form, most people will post on some­thing like Medi­um. This blog is an ana­chron­ism: but one I’m not will­ing to turn off quite yet.

Calculate your Open University Law Degree classification

Some­time ago I pos­ted a link to anoth­er blog con­tain­ing a link to a degree clas­si­fic­a­tion cal­cu­lat­or for Open Uni­ver­sity degrees. How­ever, the way the clas­si­fic­a­tion is cal­cu­lated for OU law degrees is slightly dif­fer­ent. Luck­ily, it’s pretty simple to work out.

The OU law degree con­sists of 4 man­dat­ory courses: W200, W201, W300 and W301. For W200 and W201, mul­tiply your grade (1−−4) for each course by 60. For W300 and W301, mul­tiply it by 120 (to reflect the degree of sig­ni­fic­ance for these courses). Take those four num­bers and add them togeth­er. Their sum will give your class of degree:

  • 630 or few­er — First class hon­ours
  • 631−−900 — Upper second class hon­ours
  • 901−−1170 — Lower second class hon­ours
  • 1171 or more — Third class hon­ours

There is one trick to this. If you have a poor res­ult in either W200 or W201, you can replace half of it with a bet­ter res­ult in one of the law short courses: W221, W222, W223 or W224. For example:

Grade 3 pass of W200: 3 × 60 = 180 points.
Grade 3 pass of W200 and a Grade 1 pass of W223: 3 × 30 plus 1 × 30 = 120 points

That can be enough to pull you up a grade!

Just for com­plete­ness — while you need to sit 360 points’ worth of courses, it is (with the excep­tion noted above) only the 240 points of the man­dat­ory law courses that count to your law degree clas­si­fic­a­tion.

Source: (and a really use­ful read for all OU law stu­dents) Choos­ing your path to an Open Uni­ver­sity Law degree: a guide

More evidence of dumbed-down UK schools

Look what French kids get up to at their A-Level equi­val­ents:

Con­tro­versy Erupts in French Classrooms over Per­mit­ting Teens to Genet­ic­ally Modi­fy Bac­teria: Sci­entif­ic Amer­ic­an:

A row has broken out in France over wheth­er 15- and 16-year-olds should be allowed to cre­ate trans­gen­ic Escheri­chia coli bac­teria in the classroom.

Prac­tic­al exper­i­ments in which stu­dents learn how to use plas­mids to alter the DNA of the bac­teria have been under way for 17 and 18-year-olds in the final year of the sci­entif­ic bac­ca­laur­eate at schools across France for the past dec­ade.

When I was in my final year in School, in 1985–6, we used to be able to do bio­logy at this sort of level (not exactly of course, plas­mids hadn’t even been dis­covered then — but approx­im­ately the same level of tech­nique.

I bet kids in the final year of A-Levels in the UK nowadays aren’t even allowed near live cul­tures, let alone being allowed to breed new ones.

Viking found organic compounds on Mars in 1976

Vik­ing Found Organ­ics on Mars, Exper­i­ment Con­firms : Dis­cov­ery News:


Using Mars-like soil taken from Atacama Desert, a study con­firms Mars has organ­ics, and Vik­ing found them.

A reana­lys­is of Mars Vik­ing exper­i­ments shows the probes did find organ­ics.
The res­ult was not ini­tially under­stood due to the strong oxid­a­tion effects of a salt in the Mars soil known as per­chlor­ate.
A fol­low-up study on per­chlor­ate-enhanced soil sim­il­ar to what’s found on Mars revealed fin­ger­prints of com­bus­ted organ­ics.
The Vik­ing 1 Lander, illus­trated in this mod­el, touched down on the west­ern slope of Mars’ Chryse Plani­tia (the Plains of Gold) on July 20, 1976.

My ideal retirement home

This is to where, one day, I would hope to retire:

View Lar­ger Map

It’s a dream, but it’s a good one. Look around in the map on the link. The house to the left of the blue door is where I spent many many hol­i­days as a kid.

The main win­dow, on the middle floor, used to be a big bay win­dow where you could sit in and read books and watch the fish­ing boats come in and out of the nearby har­bour. I’d change it back to how it was.

Be strong, Liberal Democrats — don’t form a coalition.

Be strong, Nick Clegg and the Lib­er­al Demo­crats, and don’t get seduced into a coali­tion gov­ern­ment. A sop-seat in the Cab­in­et isn’t worth it. You won’t get to for­ward your agenda. And the voters, next elec­tion, won’t for­give you. This has happened before, in 1979. It took the party a gen­er­a­tion to recov­er.

There is anoth­er way. Look to the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment for inspir­a­tion. Sup­port the issues, not the party. It doesn’t mat­ter to you which of the major parties is hold­ing the reigns of gov­ern­ment. You have pref­er­ences, sure, but those pref­er­ences surely must be sub­or­din­ate to exer­cising the man­date of the elect­or­ate. They didn’t vote for deals.

This route has oth­er advant­ages. You’ll be in the media all the time, and we now know you can do well there. Without uncon­di­tion­al sup­port, the (admit­tedly remain­ing) excesses of either party’s polit­ic­al agenda won’t be able to be pushed by them. Your party’s opin­ion will count on every issue.

The last thing the UK needs right now is strong gov­ern­ment. Don’t get sucked into giv­ing us it.