And just where have you been?

Hello all! Yes I am alive, just life and stuff has got in the way recently.


So what have I been up to?

My Protein I studiedFor those who might not know, I’ve just come to the end of my BSc after 4 years. After all those years of strife, I graduated earlier this year. The sense of relief to actually hold the confirmation letter in my hand was great. I had a great time over those 4 years and (cliché as it may sound) changed me for the better.

Even after all that, I thought it’d be a clever idea to go on and do a MSc. This time round its Bioinformatics. “Why Bioinformatics?” I hear you screaming from the top of your lungs. Well, my final year project was an in silico analysis into a protein using homology based modelling techniques for both secondary and tertiary structure (Wiki if confused). This lead to me becoming rather interested in bioinformatics, hence my choice in Masters. After doing my BSc in Medical Genetics, Bioinformatics is a big change in direction for me and getting my head around things like Perl and R is taking some getting use to.

As to the future, I’m not all too sure, I’d like to do something like Genomics or Epigenetics for a PhD but knowing me I’ll probably change my mind a million times before settling on something. Lets see what this year brings first.


Wait a minute…

As I probably should have mentioned at the beginning of the post, if you couldn’t tell, I’ve revamped SouthanUK for the umpteenth time. This time round it shares some of the features from previous iterations but the focus this time is less on tweets, more on content. I came to the conclusion that sifting through millions of pages to find posts was not the best idea so now the tweets have been banished from the main index of pages and are now searchable if you so wish. The top 5 or so tweets are available to view at the top of the index page only. Follow me on twitter for latest news and ramblings.

Theme refresh

Just a quick little post to say to have a look at my new redesigned page templates for the Podcast and for Twitter posts.

If you can’t be bothered to click here are some pictures;

NASA’s photos – something very special

Been an avid follower of NASA and their antics since the unfortunate accident in 2003 with Space Shuttle Columbia. One thing that has never ceased to amaze is the photos that NASA returns. These are some of the most mind blowing and awe inspiring photos you will ever see. No digital trickery or CG, just good old mother earth.


A peaceful shot of night time Egypt.

The above photo is just but a microcosm of what the NASA Spaceflight Gallery holds. So if you get the chance take a look at the latest Expedition 26 photos held in the gallery or check out some of the great shots from Expedition 25.

For a very interesting photoblog of this very subject check out Triggerpit’s post here.

Looking forward to STS-133’s launch next week [24th Feb] Lets hope all goes well, will post some more on the day.


Its doing the rounds on the TV and the internets, its the ballsy grandma attacking a bunch of robbers in Northampton, UK.

Something tells me this is a bit fake. Seems too good to be true, a single elderly lady chasing off a horde of sledgehammer-equipped young men. However, if it is real, congrats to the gran for actually doing something! The other residents just standing around like nothing was happening… Good for her.

Wikipedia turns 10!


Happy 10th Birthday Wikipedia!


Today is 10 years [Believe it or not] since the first article on Wikipedia was created and in those 10 years over 3.5 million articles have been written in the English Wikipedia alone with around 17 million [17 657 955 to be exact – 14/01/11 20:41 GMT!] in all the language variants, of which there are more than 278.


I do remember the first time I went on it way back in 2002, I believe I was looking for something to help with my homework [As is every other person who checks in to Wikipedia], and to my surprise I found this wealth of information that seemed very relevant indeed. Wikipedia is a great starting point for looking up something but one must use caution on the site since it is of course freely editable by anyone in the world. However, it is a brilliant starting point and can provide many happy hours of flicking between entries.


So here’s to Wikipedia’s eternal reign over our informational needs.

Network West Midlands 2011 Preview

One of my favourite pastimes is to have a nice ol’ drive on a train simulator. My personal favourite, OpenBVE, has come on leaps and bounds since I last wrote about it.


Taking advantage of these new improvements is the Network West Midlands route from the people at A fictional 25 kV route set in the Midlands, it features a multitude of electric units and diesel units with long stretches of super quick 125 mph sections running into several termini, all highly detailed.


For your viewing pleasure I have included some screenshots of its latest update that show how the route has come on 😀


Old Signal


New Signal


And some new screenshots from the 2011 preview release.

1 2 4 5 6 7

[Screenshots from the 10.10 Maybank – Hobbs Cross 2008 Route diagram using the Class 323 from Trainsimcentral running OpenBVE]


New features include animated clocks, passing trains, moving traffic over bridges, a massive visual overhaul and support for new “random” features in OpenBVE allowing for sections of the route to be changed randomly to show maintenance workers and weather.


Here’s an video of me playing a version of the route from 2009 in OpenBVE:

[flash w=700 h=393]
click image to play


Its a great update and really shows off some of OpenBVE’s new features.



To download the latest release you will need the very latest edition of OpenBVE and you can download the route from their site at [At the time of writing their site seems to be down]