Wednesday, 21 July 2010

Board Rats

As I have mentioned before, but not very often because it doesn't crop up much in the natural course of events, I am a Librarian. As such, this means that from time to time I need to do some research.

Today I have been researching RATS and STRESS.

You would not believe just how stressed rats are. It would appear that pretty well everything stresses out a rat. On Scopus there are currently 75,564 articles on rats and stress.

75,564. That is a lot of stressed-out rats. They reckon that if you live in London you are never more than seven feet from a rat. Fortunately we do not live in London, but I reckon there a still a lot of rats here.

I would guess there are probably two or three rats for every person, so in this University alone there may well be 75,564 rats - living in the basements, living in the wall cavities, eating in the canteens... (There was that rather famous incident a couple of summers ago when we had a bit of an infestation in the Library, when someone left a half-eaten pizza under his desk while he was on his holidays. I won't name names, but he was of course an IT Boy.)

Anyway, it saddens me to think of all these fraught rodents living so close to my desk, so I got to wondering - is anyone doing anything about this? Do, for example, rats ever get to do anything nice, maybe have a holiday, go to the beach?

Yes they do!!!

Look at this:

Isn't that great?! You can see more pics and read all about it at Your Local Surf.

The Internet is indeed a powerful search tool; a few clicks can take you from the depths of despair to a joyous day at the beach.

I love being a Librarian.

Tuesday, 6 July 2010

On the move

Probably my all time favourite hobby is walking. Walk, walk, walk. I love to walk. Most days my only motivation to come to work is the nice walk home I can have at the end of it.

This year I have been keeping a tally of how far I have walked. Proper outdoor walks, mind, not just up and down the stairs at home, or around the office. By the time I get home tonight I will have walked 900 miles since the start of the year.

Another thing I really like is Googling. I've been playing with Google Maps, and they have a nice new feature which lets you measure route distances. This got me wondering: where would I have got if I had walked that 900 miles in a straight line, rather than back & forth to work, and round the Peak District on weekends?

My first couple of efforts weren't that successful - a construction site in Poland and somewhere in the Atlantic. Then I headed South East - and look where I ended up!

Faenza! It's rather lovely isn't it? (This photo has been nicked from Wikipedia - I didn't actually walk there and take it myself. Not yet.)

Obviously if I was to walk to Italy I would hit a few obstacles - the English Channel being the first. I also did a bit more research on Google and discovered I would have to climb this:

Which I must admit does look like quite good fun, although I've never tried ice-climbing and my rock-climbing days are well behind me.

I have always wanted to visit the Museo Internazionale delle Ceramiche in Faenza so on my arrival that's what I would do. Not immediately; I reckon I'd need a shower and a nice lie-down if I'd just walked 900 miles through seas and over mountains.

They make some lovely things in Faenza.

(Jadranka Bentini)

Ahh. Isn't it nice to plan adventures? Back to work now, sigh - but soon it will be time for me to go for another walk.