Archive for bastards

Back in the ‘Diff

Posted in Biographical with tags , , on December 27, 2012 by telescoper

Well, I made it back to Cardiff more-or-less in one piece despite the best efforts of Cross Country Trains. The train I took from Newcastle was three carriages shorter than expected, so my reserved seat was in a carriage that didn’t exist. Obviously not many people travel at Christmas so they thought they didn’t need a full size train. I had decided to treat myself to a First Class ticket to make the long journey to Newcastle and back as pleasurable as possible, but I ended up having to scramble for a seat in second class. By the time we reached Darlington it was standing room only throughout the train, including First Class, and each station stop took ages as scores of travellers tried to board the already packed carriages.

The train was 45 minutes late into Birmingham, but the connecting train from there to Cardiff was also delayed so I managed to catch it. However, never willing to let any cloud show its silver lining, Cross Country Trains decided to terminate the Cardiff train at Newport so I had to scramble again onto another train with a host of similarly disgruntled passengers. You might have thought they would have tried their best to help their customers out on a day that the whole railway network has been in chaos, but no.

Anyway, I got home only an hour late so perhaps shouldn’t complain too much. Expectations must be kept low when travelling on the British railway network. At least I got a lovely view along the Severn in the late afternoon as the train headed towards Newport…


It’s nice to be home. I think I’ll chill out this evening and defer writing my claim for compensation until tomorrow!

Posted in Open Access with tags , , on February 29, 2012 by telescoper

Just a quick reblogged post to update an old post of mine and passing on the news that racketeering publishing giant Elsevier have withdrawn their support for the Research Works Act.


Sauropod Vertebra Picture of the Week

Well, I’ve had most of the day now to digest the news that Elsevier have withdrawn their support of the Research Works Act; and a few hours to get used to the idea that the Act itself is now dead.  I’ve had some time to think about what it all means.

My first reaction was to be really delighted: the banner headline suggested a genuine change of direction from Elsevier, such as I had challenged them about a few weeks ago.  I hoped that this was the first step on a path towards real change, leading to reconciliation with all the authors, editors and reviewers that they’d alienated.

Unfortunately, a close reading of Elsevier’s statement [cached copy] doesn’t support that interpretation.  It’s apparent that this is a strategic manoeuvre rather than a a fundamental shift.  That’s clear from language like the following:

While we continue…

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