Luckily ….

The comment stream on this blog has been better than the actual blog for some time. This is nice to see for three reasons. First, people really do have interesting and/or funny things to say. Second, its just so Web 2.0. Third, I feel slightly less of a vain twat. Slightly.

Anyway, today I shall just hand straight over. You know that luckily-unluckily game that kids play ? You take turns improvising along these lines ..

“A man fell out of an airplane. Luckily, he had his parachute.”

“Unluckily, the parachute didn’t open.”

“Luckily, he fell into a bush.”

“Unluckily, it was a gorse bush”

and so on.

So… I’ll start.

“The STFC were nervous about the Comprehensive Spending Review. Luckily, they were given a 13.6% increase in their budget.”

…over to you

44 Responses to Luckily ….

  1. D.Squat says:

    Unluckily, many astronomers and particle physicists just didn’t seem to understand how fortunate they were to be in this situation and began bellyaching in an entirely counter productive manner…

  2. David says:

    Luckily the Sainted Keef assured them that all would be well if only they would place their trust in him.

  3. Michael Merrifield says:

    Unluckily, they placed their trust in him.

  4. D.Squat says:

    Luckily, a nice particle physicist said it must all be some kind of mistake and that the Government can’t have meant it. Phew! He gets on telly a lot and he used to play keyboards in a band who had a big hit single so he must be right.

  5. andyxl says:

    Unluckily, it turned out that most of the money STFC had been given was a special kind of not-actually-money sort of money that doesn’t work in the shops.

  6. D.Squat says:

    Luckily, cutting through the chaff would quickly solve any problems and allow us to boldly go where no council had been before. So OUT goes Gemini, ILC, transparency, consultation and other such outmoded concepts. IN comes the knowledge transfer powerhouse, tensioning, gravy waves and spaceships that go bang in the night.

  7. Michael Merrifield says:

    Unluckily, STFC then decided to have a belated peer review process which took as its starting point this “rapid deployment” delivery plan. Predictably enough, all the users of facilities that had been ranked low jumped up and down and made a lot of noise, and all the supporters of facilities that had been ranked high rested on their laurels. Thus the initial ordering was shuffled and any chance of a forward-looking programme was lost forever. And although the current generation of senior astronomers can sigh with relief that their favourite facility has been saved from the gallows so that they can fill the empty hours while approaching retirement, the next generation will ultimately come to curse their selfishness for denying the UK a future in cutting-edge astronomy.

  8. David says:

    Luckily, the Tainted Keef went on the telly to explain that the STFC never intended to leave Gemini at all. No siree. Not at all. The press release which apparently said so didn’t really say so at all. Oh no. Not one bit.

  9. Paul Crowther says:

    Unluckily, Gemini was merely the first of many misunderstandings* by the scientific community, select committee MPs, directors of UK observatories, international partners etc. about the intentions of the STFC’s senior administration**.

    *Responsibility for any misunderstandings rests with the community etc. since information had been clearly and voluntarily communicated by the STFC at all times.

    **From whom the community failed to heed warnings about tough times ahead and neglected to make the case for their science to government, so really only have themselves to blame for their current predicament.

  10. Michael Merrifield says:

    Luckily, we aren’t bitter about any of this.

  11. David says:

    Unluckily the community is not of one voice in that (as in so many things…)

  12. KOMbat17 says:

    Unluckily, most folk in our community are dopey, lazy, ineffective gits and can’t follow the simplest of instructions…

  13. andyxl says:

    is that a deliberate joke ? can’t quite tell… sorry carry on, another “luckily” next I guess …

  14. Kav says:

    luckily the community has plenty of transferable skills so we can all go and work in the city at the drop of a hat

  15. Paul Crowther says:

    Unluckily, the financial sector has turned sour, so the city is haemorrhaging jobs too. The wider economy ain’t looking so hot either. Still, we wouldn’t be scientists at all if we cared about money.Recall Mr Brian Robinson’s letter from last November
    astronomy is a hobby no more deserving of taxpayers cash than trainspotting.

  16. duvet says:

    luckily for the community, Mr Brian Robinson isn’t a member of the Cabinet

  17. D.Squat says:

    Unluckily, he wouldn’t look out of place among senior civil servants and Government at present? But it’s the community’s fault for not pushing a stronger case for the long term benefits of our work…what were our poor embattled STFC execs to do?

  18. KOMbat17 says:

    Luckily, our outrageously talented (and large?) bloghost, Andy (XL?) is well equipped (!) to lead us out of the darkness, part the Red Sea, and show us where to find crumbs to feed our hungry offspring.

  19. David says:

    Unluckily, after crossing the Red Sea we come to Eritrea, where all the crumbs have already been taken and we find ourselves enslaved by a despotic warlord.

    Luckily, after working for STFC, we feel right at home.

  20. andyxl says:

    The X stands for Xerxes. Although I don’t have a middle name. Ask me one day.

    Surely we started from Egypt ? Eritrea is on the same side of the Red Sea…

    …but I suppose we could have been blown off course..

  21. andyxl says:

    … agghhh .. wordpress stripped out all my fake xml tags ! But they were so funny ! Well. mildly amusing. Should have been “”blah blah”” and so forth.

  22. andyxl says:

    aagggggggg ! it even stripped out the tags inside quotes !!! That was supposed to be left-angle-bracket interlude right-angle-bracket blah blah blah left-angle-bracket slash-interlude right-angle-bracket.

    Unluckily, WordPress is obviously terrified of anything that might look like code put inside their web pages.

  23. superoog says:

    <smug> Really? </smug>

  24. superoog says:

    Luckily, that worked.

  25. KOMbat17 says:

    unluckily, someone let the nerds out.

  26. andyxl says:

    <sdoh> Fzzzzt </doh>

    Luckily, I normally pay people to do this stuff for me. (XML, not blogging)

  27. Conor says:

    Unluckily, the stfc didn’t include your XML monkey’s expenses in the FEC. He’s outside holding a sign that reads ‘will code for scraps’

  28. Kav says:

    Luckily, I turned my head away from my keyboard before I snorted coffee over it after reading that last comment

  29. KOMbat17 says:

    Unluckily, you snorted the coffee over the science-grade SCUBA2 arrays.

    Luckily, you thus invented the new discipline of Caffeine Cosmology and the Starbucks Chair is yours.

  30. Michael Merrifield says:

    Unluckily, this then led to millions of pounds being sunk into attempting to measure the elusive (some would say nonexistent) Cappucino Constant, and huge amounts of time and effort being put into developing semi-analytic beverages (“How would you like your coffee to taste today?”).

  31. KOMbat17 says:

    Luckily, the Cappucino Constant turned out to be far from elusive and is in fact roughly equal to the ego fraction of Keith Mason and a large hairy mammal seen recently on Springwatch, though this leaves open the possibility of CC=unity.

  32. David says:

    Unluckily, these new costalogical theories only work if vast swathes of the universe are the so far undetectable black coffee.

  33. D.Squat says:

    Luckily the original thread will re-emerge around today when ad hoc panel reports are allegedly to be released…?

  34. Paul Crowther says:

    Unluckily, STFC like to keep everyone guessing.. will they, won’t they release the “corrected” panel reports, and if they do, will the post them somewhere obscure on their website where no-one can find them? In fairness, this particular hold-up seems to have been down to PPAN struggling to agree about their accompanying blurb.

  35. Andy McKinna says:

    Luckily, the Panel reports are now on tyher STFC homepage, so you’ll probably all have something else to do now instead of playing “Luckily… / Unluckily….”

  36. D.Squat says:

    Unluckily the accompanying PPAN rankings appear to have ignored most of the consultation input

  37. Kav says:

    Luckily, the facts of the report are available for direct comparison with the statements in the PPAN response

  38. Kav says:

    Unluckily, I doubt that will matter since STFC already knew that; I have found one ‘factual error’ in the PPAN response already…

  39. STFC says:

    Luckily, you will be able to point out that factual error, which is one advantages of having the reports out there.

  40. Kav says:

    unluckily, I am going to be away for the next two weeks but otherwise you are quite right

  41. Kav says:

    Luckily, STFC saw the good sense in publishing these reports and responses before the final council decision so that the community could have time to raise queries or objections. Kudos must be given to them (and the individual who decided to do it) for that.

  42. David says:

    Unluckily, even though STFC’s credibility has gone up by several percent of its previous level, that previous level was zero.

  43. Conor says:

    Luckily, the STFC deals in ‘imaginary’ numbers. The percentage increase WRT 0 is in multiples of (-1)^(1/2). They’ve still got a lot to do before I can square their credibility and start adding to it.

  44. D.Squat says:

    Unluckily, the CEO has gone and done it again in his latest communication via the Times, ….well I guess they haven’t ignored the consultation panels in a couple of high public profile cases. But otherwise the same small handful of people have largely reaffirmed the same bunch of rankings again whether supported by the expert panels or not. With the emphasis on not.

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