**** UCPO Digest - Friday 26 March 2004 ****
In this digest:
- Concerts played and planned - Real Orchestra News (TM)
- Tales of the Misc
- Memepool; quotes; stats
- The Pick of Misc - some highlights, verbatim
Real Orchestra News (TM): The two months since I last digested have seen
concerts from both main and baby, not to mention our second annual dinner and
all the associated partyage.
To treat these chronologically, the Annual Dinner was a success, if not quite
the orgy of debauchery that last year's had been, running from pre-dinner drinks
in Trinity Great Court through a delicious meal in the Old Kitchens to a
pleasant, if uncharacteristically civilised, party in the BA rooms.
In the same week, Baby played Mozart, Bach and Schubert beautifully in Sidney
Chapel, under the capable batons of Katharine H. and George Corbett, with James
Hewitt wowing us on solo violin; MP3 recordings are online at
The main UCPO concert (in Emmanuel URC) was also a great success: Stephen took
us through the more sedate pleasures of Delius and Bruch, with Gabi Maas in the
hot seat, while Mark Galtrey upped the stakes in the second half with a
thrilling (if at times hair-raising) account of Nielsen 5. Recordings of this
may be online later in the holidays...
Until the UCPO photos page is updated, photos from all of these can be found at
<www.srcf.ucam.org/~fy209>, ~pgp24, and ~jds36, and at <www.davidharris.org.uk>.
Looking ahead, next term's concert will be in West Road on Saturday 12 June;
the programme will be:
Borodin Polovstian Dances
Gershwin Rhapsody in Blue
Walton Henry V
Details of time and ticket prices will be on the web site
And finally, many couples have met at WCSO/UCPO over the years, but it's now
gone a step further. Many congratulations to Gnome and James, for the first WCSO
engagement and, unless they're beaten to it, marriage. (OK, it's not technically
Real Orchestra News (TM), but it's worth a special mention.)
Tales of the Misc
In brief: We gained some members and we lost some members. We discussed
linguistics, computers, maths, politics, literature and even (for a few heated
days) music. Time was wasted, rants were ranted, flames were baited and quotes
were taken out of context. A few highlights can be found at the end of this
mail. There is a mongoose corpse here.
The top 5 were: das48 aks41 jds36 jah76 and dew22. There were 2762 posts in
In slightly more detail, for the amnesiac masochists among you (in whose number
I proudly count myself):
On the whole, it's been a quiet couple of months, with a few exceptions.
Nonetheless we kept ourselves busy: Harris, by burning down Magdalene with the
power of his fantasies. Jon Storey, by installing LaTex Harris. Vicki W., by
making a gatehouse out of library books, and Simon, by telling her how to do it:
"I find that the easiest way to solve problems of construction, destruction,
world domination and algebra is simply to catch the first passing hobbit, seduce
them with promises of eternal youth and shoes, and get them to do it. They are
better workers than elves, but worse than captive magdalene students. Also make
sure you ahve a cupboard full of potatoes and weed, as hobbits won't work for
free, not even when seduced." The required potatoes were constructed, naturally,
Dave Welchew raised the tone by exploiting loopholes in the scripts to decorate
the stats page variously with photographs, directory listings and finally the
Badgers video, until I was wowser enough to remove them. By then attention had
been diverted to the approaching Annual Dinner, kindly organised by Vicki R.,
who nonetheless received some very literary slapping for putting it on a
weeknight. Life, meanwhile, was imitating art in the form of Porterhouse Blue as
Sarah R. asked advice for disposing of 200 bright green condoms - especially
hard as boaties were on a sex ban.
Following on, we discused Frankie's cake-making techniques, the unavailibility
of rolling-pins (for icing), and various substitutes one might use. Gnome was
reminded repeatedly that it was a leap-year, but James forestalled her by a
fortnight - many congratulations were given. Bk will be the best man.
In less emotional territory, Dave S. encountered a new Dan the Bass,
confusingly wielding a trombone, the compScis confused us all for a bit, and
Harris reached his quarter-century. The sartorial revolution arrived, with UCPO
Hoodies hitting the streets (or at least the Diamond), and decadence spread
as Chris encouraged Sarah R. to snort instant coffee out of her laptop. Welchew
offered to found UOPO - as several of us headed down to the Other Place - or
possibly POOU. Those of us remaining unearthed some old college limericks and
wrote some UCPO ones until Awix called time. In despair, and in the aftermath of
the baby concert, Harris was left on the floor of Vicki's room, with no way out
except an UCPO text-based adventure game, but finally (despite the best efforts
of the train companies) found his way back to Brum.
We returned to traditional ground with a comparison of the various Mill Road
curry houses, but then the Oxford faction reasserted itself in competition with
the Brums, who had disappointed us with the feebleness of their roars. Again
traditonally we discussed children's books, this time with Alsion defending the
Duncton Wood series from Vicki R and Jen. Fury rose to a still higher pitch -
with threats of forcible emasculation, using as little as a rubber band, or a
sharp knife and bare hands, or even 2cc of mouse blood and an egg - as Volvo
played up to appalling sexist stereotypes (see memepool), though Caroline and
John raised some good arguments in their defence.
The South-North divide reasserted itself, as ever, with James admitting that
Worcester is the most northerly place he's spent more than ten days, but Frankie
distracted us by recounting her drunken exploits at a boat club formal -
surprisingly innocent, in fact. Nick returned to Cambridge to give a concert
with Sunil, but departed the next day leaving nothing but a few hangovers and
some disturbing innuendi. However, our talent for thread-drift was undiminished,
as we moved in a single step from a l33t b4ss00n to the religious poetry of Kit
Smart (via w00t, ph00t and ph00m!). Welchew, meanwhile, was disturbed by
surgical porn as other miscites formed an orderly queue outside my room to be
punished for their various sins, possibly by Sarah with her new sword. Frankie
was acquitted of being an alcoholic, though none of us were sure what the
recommended limits were for women. We agreed, however, to appreciate Phil,
stopping short of seting up the U of C Phil Appreciation Society.
Daniel Francis, our new conductor, hit the list in style, prompting
reminiscences from Mark and Frankie, and a logical proof from Mark that misc
digestion is impossible, later refuted by Fan. The tone then sank still lower as
we heard a little more than we wanted to know about Welchew's shingles, though
we were sympathetic to both him and Anna (chicken pox). We also heard more than
we wanted to know about land law and planning permission, as the lawyers refused
all NatSci evangelism. Even these details, though, could not explain how Sue
found that "if horses are standing with their back legs together and their front
legs together and their head down, they can look like prawns from a distance?".
With this and much more in the aftermath of a sadly fragmented UCPO party, Dave
S complained about the recent obsession with quotes and yearned for the old
days, to which the rest of us (well, Sarah, Chris and Frankie at least) were too
hungover to respond.
Before we knew what had happened - or at least, had had time to tell misc -
term had ended. Birds sang, flowers bloomed (as the intermittent snow had
finally stopped), and the miscites lived out their simple lives and were happy.
At least, until Caroline posted a seemingly innocent one-liner: "What do people
here think of the Spanish election results?" Its danger was not immediately
apparent. The thread slumbered while plans for a curry were discussed; it
re-emerged briefly, with taunts from flutes, during a detailed and partisan
linguistic/phonological debate; but it was only three days later that programmes
were mentioned and it finally exploded, to become the most successful subject
line of the entire two months, with 153 emails over the next few days,
encompassing most of our record collections, a failed attempt to establish
Pictures at an Exhibition for next terms programme, and discussions of several
of our musical philosophies.
Though traffic has remained high - indeed, higher than termtime - it hasn't
quite been the same since. We've laughed at Harris graduating in pink, been
impressed by Churchill's camp prelector ("Hunc wirrum... hmmmm, Mark really is a
hunc wirrum"), been kept awake by overamorous wildlife, tallied up our drunken
exploits, discussed the merits of transcribing Bach, discussed the relative
merits and psychologies of orchestral players and sections (with particular
reference to violinists and percussionists), marvelled at the linguists' ability
to hijack even a thread started with hardcore maths, and pilloried the webmaster
for inactivity; but our hearts weren't in it (except possibly in that last).
This must, and shall, change.
We will return soon to our former strength. Innuendi will fly; CUMSites will be
teased; drunkledness will be unconstrained. Rise up, o people of misc; you have
nothing to lose but your hopes of a degree -
o excuse me, I think I have my notes muddled with the ones for the party
conference next week. Ah well. Thus, in want of further material for
digestation, I can only say for now -
o hang on, there are some stats and quotes and things. Here you go:
"It's not very long, is it? Mine was bigger, harder *and* I could do it much
more often..." - Welchew, on my last digest
"Often, crime is used to reveal the secrets behind an apparently respectable
facade, which is frequently proved to have been a construct, designed to hide
someone's WCSO past." - Alsion, in an essay
"Oooh, we can play "the weakest link" - post your entire essay and we vote every
five minutes on which bit to cut out next!" - Pedro, to Alsion
"You are in a room of twisted mathmos, all alike." - Phil
"But it was so cute and fluffy (the platypus, not the lecturer)." - Jenny
"I normally have one glass of /cider/ in the /pub/ after the /concert/ and fall
over. Very different..." - Frankie, protesting
"Do you have to be both flautist AND violinist to be at risk from the spoon
beatings? Am I safe?" - Sue
"Vicki, Harris' slappage will be dark midnight chocolate on a cloudy night, the
length of the river that runs to the sea. The boredom of a 9am lecture on a
Monday morning. As futile as this simile." - James
"Becky, are you still available in 2006 or so?" - Gnome, on Valentines day
"Deadly sin - thankyou, I can sleep easy now." - Jon S, after the Annual Dinner
"Matt, you didn't come to the dinner and now you want to join in the orgy!" -
Mark Pritchard, likewise
"Did you bump? And do you have out all the books on morphological change from
the UL?" - Caroline, to Frankie
"Noone pokes my girlfriend unless they do it properly..." - Dave S
"An uneasy peace descends across misc. There is a mongoose corpse here. " -
"The sound of the Wolvo is in some ways similar to that of the Brummie, yet also
very different." - Rob
"Before I go to bed, I'd just like to clarify that the girl wasn't strange, she
is in fact a flautist who is allegedly on the UCPO mailing list." - Jon S
flirts with the limits of the non sequitur
A few from one faction of the post-UCPO party:
"Pedro, you appear to be flirting with the armchair" - DM
"I've never used Flora as a lubricant" - DM
"Why should I do that for George after he screwed me?" - Jon S
"He may be wonderful in bed, I'd well imagine" - Pedro (no connection to
previous one, as far as I can, quite vaugely, remember)
"I'm waiting for enzymes to cool... OK, snog me" - Sarah R.
"It's OK, she's over 16, it's legal... Matt was just trying to pull my kid
sister" - Sarah R.
Chris: "I'm not looking at porn" Richard: "Well you're checking your e-mail,
which by extension is the same thing" (judging from Fan's photographs, it was)
"So, phonology...Makes a nice hat but isn't much good at bowling" - Alex
"...percussion concerti are very much hit and miss..." - Jon Storey once again,
stating the obvious
"Not only am I studying the wrong subject, but I'm also the wrong sex..." - Jon
Storey, yet again.
"West London Is that left or right hand side of tube map?" - Sarah R
http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com - pll23 - some true beauty here.
http://www.worldbeardchampionships.com/chevalier%20pg.html - dew22
http://www.albinoblacksheep.com/text/leet.php - pgp24
http://yeti.e-medien.com/yetisports1.html - pll23 - our high score 323.3
http://www.mrandmrswheatley.co.uk/isay.html - jds36 - You say tomato...
http://www.bash.org/?205633 - http://www.bash.org/?218315 - pgp24 - just for
http://blugg.com/stuff/foxs_view_of_the_bbc_player.htm - rao26 - The network for
fair, balanced coverage...
http://users.ev1.net/~darkfox/primer.html - das48 - and
http://users.ev1.net/~darkfox/principia.html - pgp24 - for when the evangelists
A quick spree from Katharina:
http://www2.gamesville.lycos.com/html_poke/poke_penguin.htm - specially for Phil
http://www.infonegocio.com/xeron/bruno/adam.html - would you Adam and Eve it?
http://www.inicia.es/de/Turbo_J/metele.html - computer problems
http://sirrommotorsports.com/forum/showthread.php?threadid=2696 - poor kid
http://www.2000greetings.com/gecko.swf - silly but fun
http://www.flat-earth.org/ - the name says it all
http://www.bbc.co.uk/languages/german/quickfix/coolgerman.html - German for
http://comics.orf.at/stories/5922/main - Only in German
http://www.mausland.de/squirrel.html - rao26 - good clean psychedelic fun
http://www.phdcomics.com/comics/archive.php?comicid=413 - dew22 - only too true,
http://www.somethingawful.com/articles.php?a=1971 - dew22 - an unusually good
http://members.aol.com/deejpearls/stalker_letter.html - jic44 - and a
heartwarming Valentine's Day site.
http://ferryhalim.com/orisinal/ - more nicely ambient addictive games...
http://mysite.freeserve.com/gnome_and_james - Awww! Pretty sparkles!
http://www.galinsky.com/buildings/schlumberger/ - jdsa - the strange things you
see in Cambridge late at night.
http://www-uxsup.csx.cam.ac.uk/~fanf2/hermes/doc/misc/orange-fire/ - pgp24 - a
whole new sort of email flaming.
http://www.brickfrenzy.com/sculpture_badger.html - pgp24 - the meme that refuses
http://www.anti-bored.com/dp/2-75.htm - fy209 - penguins again
http://www.spamhaiku.com/spam1/ - aks41 - does what it says on the tin
http://radioworldwide.gospelcom.net/essaygenerator/ - sfm23 - a rare example of
misc /helping/ your work.
http://www.spectrum.lovely.net/ - jds36 - dangerous timewaster
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3528757.stm - dew22 - sexism is alive and
http://www.landoverbaptist.org/sermons/hell.html - scs43 - another timeless
http://www.googlefight.com - pgp24 - see below for samples
http://www.dpmms.cam.ac.uk/site2002/People/bursill-hall_p.html - dew22 - "To
infinity and beyond"
http://www.albartus.com/motas/ - df242 - go only with a full day to spare
http://www.dragongamez.com - df242 - he's good, that boy
7860671-1722049 - rgr - Rob is impressed.
http://users.pandora.be/mutefantasies/downloads.html - fy209 - at least you
can't play them online
http://www.channel4.com/entertainment/games/index.jsp - dew22 - several months'
worth of procrastination
http://www.dimacs.rutgers.edu/~graham/pubs/cormodelemmings.pdf - dew22 - hmmm.
http://chucol.mml.cam.ac.uk/~ahfw2 - ahfw2 - be impressed. Be very impressed.
http://www.disney.go.com/hotshot/hsb/index2.html - dew22 - a heartwarming
example of the joys of capitalism
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/3535583.stm - cam3 - "Does the export of
IKEA furniture really count as progress...?"
http://www.xgenstudios.com/fishy - camw3
http://downlode.org/etext/wipp/#criteria - dew22 - rather interesting pause for
http://sd.znet.com/~iwamura/kbdif/kbdif.html - jds37 - timewasting as ever.
http://www.progressquest.com - pgp24 - only for Windows, alas
http://www.theregister.co.uk/content/54/36148.html - pgp24 - Swiss army knife
with 128 Mb USB memory stick...
http://www.moderndrunkardmagazine.com/issues/01-04/01-04-40-things.htm - pll23 -
"40 things every drunkard should do before he dies."
We managed to notch up 23 out of the 40 - 3, 4, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16,
18, 19, 21, 22, 23, 24, 29, 30, 32, 33, 36, 39 and 40 to be precise. Dave S
"Well the way I see it: 1, 35 and 37 are very doable (aims for next term?), 20
is doable if pretty tasteless, 26 and 28 are doable but nobody will want to be
the one to spend the money on it, and I'll have a go at 17 if nobody else wants
http://www.crazymum.com/nigella.htm - dew22 - strange, and just plain wrong
http://www.richsalter.btinternet.co.uk/cks2/index2.html - rge21 - The Cat
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/music/3564071.stm - mit21 - possibly...
http://chucol.mml.cam.ac.uk/~ahfw2/project2/images/schwa.jpg - ahfw2 - the
bizarre cult of the schwa worshippers
http://www.ioccc.org - pgp24
http://www.theonering.net/scrapbook/view/6856 - not for those on modems
http://www.nme.com/news/107969.htm - dew22 - calm down there!
***UCPO Misc Stats***
Well, that's all I'm afraid; I can't think of anything more to write. So - 'til
next time - I'll just leave you with a couple of the highlights of the digested
All the best,
 <www.srcf.ucam.org/ucpo/goodies.shtml> if you want one - there'll be another
order some time next term.
The Pick of Misc
One from Jon S.:
Well they've also played Rite of Spring and the Scythain (sic) Suite so they
can't be that bad, but I'm not a real expert on the matter. Anyway I'm feeling
rather parsimonious at the moment and don't think I can stomach another concert
just yet, I just need a very early night I reckon. Though I could probably do my
usual thing of turning up afterwards if nobody has issue with that (Mark I still
have a CD for you (requiring no mention), do you still want it?).
I was just thinking... we definitely need a Nielsen symphony next term as well
after the success of this term's one :-) Have we got a similarly scary piece
lined up for next term? Something fancy for the Philharmonic Orchestra to play
that I haven't played before would not be rapped (Rodeo would be welcomed too,
but any piece of music from France scares me!).
All this snow we've been having is making me think of Christmas, more precisely
the film A Christmas Carol. I need a video of it I think.
P.S. Before you start to declare that this e-mail makes little sense, see if you
can spot all the UCPO/WCSOites hidden in the e-mail. Another small prize for the
first person to correctly state how many there are. Yes I am bored, but at least
my next meal is only a few hours away.
and the Harris Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy text-based adventure game:
Am rather confused now. Have woken up in Cambridge, which means it's
sunday but it isn't, and was woken up by someone who wasn't Vicki on
whose floor I was staying (OK, it was her flatmate, but it was enough
to confuse the Harris).
We also seem to have gained
a double bass,
a nasty headache (me)
and a nine o'clock lecture (vicki)
> go north.
It is dark. You are in danger of being eaten by a grue.
> Give it Vicki's nine o'clock lecture. Light double bass
You obviously weren't carrying one yesterday...
> Use bow as fire bow to set fire to great court.
Great Court ignites. The horm, aroused in terror, charges at you with its mouth
> Use horm mute.
The mute escapes, shouting 'deeeyaadaaddadadaaa brrrrubababam dim buggadadiii'
and appologising profusely for showing up late to the rehearsal. Try something
> Run away.
You get caught by a giant mongoose, realise you are stuck in misc
reality, and panic
> Use Harris on misc reality.
The enraged Harris attacks the mongoose with his pointy teeth and
exits muttering vague imprecations as to the nocturnal habits of the
management of central trains and of drunken louts from Melton.
An uneasy peace descends across misc. There is a mongoose corpse
Peter LeFanu Lumsdaine
"The mountain sheep are sweeter, / But the valley sheep are fatter;
We therefore deem'd it meeter / To carry off the latter."
--Thomas Love Peacock
Webmaster, `6_ 6 ) `-. ( ).`-.__.`)
University of Cambridge (_Y_.)' ._ ) `._ `. ``-..-'
Philharmonic Orchestra _..`--'_..-_/ /--'_.' ,'
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