Monthly Archives: March 2007

Mmm sequencetastic

So, I’ve always been a firm believer that genomics as a discipline still has a lot more to offer before being obsoleted by $new_technology_fad. Consequently because I’m still a fan of sequence data, I get very excited by things like this email exchange from the Craig Venter Institute:

At least, from the quality metrics standpoint, your first sample, and
our first production 454 FLX run, look really nice! Please come fly
with us again!!

Total number of reads: 445,439
Total number of bases: 110,406,365
Average read length: 247bp

That was in 4 hours.

Now comes the fun bit :D

Emails you don’t expect to get #125


My name is Xxx XxXxxxx, and I am a recruiter at Google. I came across your information on the internet and think your skills could be very useful in our group here at Google!”


“I would love to chat with you and put you through our process, if and when you are ready. If you have interest, please forward an updated resume to me along with the best time(s) to call and speak with you.”

Apparently a genuine approach from a Google recruiter on the basis of something I’ve left floating around on the internet. It’s tempting to reply just to see what happens, although I’m not sure I want to be put through the wringer at Google just to ‘see what it’s like’ ;)

Pilgrims passion

Well what can I say – we’re out of the FA cup in a thoroughly undeserved fashion. Watford go through 1-0 after an admittedly excellent shot during a nervy period for Argyle in the first half.

After the goal went in Argyle had all the play, all the way to the end of the match. Countless corners, shots, and most of the possession just didn’t materialise into a goal, and mores the pity as an equaliser, and probably a winner would have been well deserved. Outstanding play from Scott Sinclair, Barry Hayles and Sylvan Ebanks-Blake. I think what was worst is the unsporting and ungentlemanly fashion with which Watford played with regards to time wasting, in the face of a disciplined and professional Argyle side.

Watford, you know you only have your keeper to thank for that win, and maybe Shittu’s persistence at the back. If you think that kind of performance is going to take you through to the finals of the FA cup you’re sadly mistaken, you’re going to get panned by whoever you get drawn against tomorrow. We’ll look forward to taking you to task at Home Park again next season after you’re summarily relegated from the Premiership in a few weeks time.

On the other hand, we trounced the French in the rugby so the day wasn’t a complete write off!


No, not the IDE.

I have to say it’s been a while since I’ve seen an eclipse that good. I’ve been nipping out since about 10pm (admittedly I had to get out of bed first and whilst the mind was willing the flesh was weak) to watch the moon go from about 20% of totality to totally eclipsed. The last 20 minutes or so I’ve been sat in the local park, like a vagrant, only my idea of vagrancy involves a hip flask and a filling of Suntory 12 year old single malt.

Even with the light pollution it’s an amazingly clear night, more stars visible than I’ve seen for a while, and against the backdrop of a moon that really deserves the title ‘blood red’ it’s just spectacular. Wish I had had a pair of binoculars though, or a telescope. I’ve tried to take some images with the cameraphone, but I don’t think they will be up to much. People are popping out of their doors all over Bensham and the exclamations of delight are carrying quite far in the cold night air.

I have a new found appreciation for why that may have caused a serious case of the screaming heebiejeebies in days gone by when there was no concept of what an eclipse was.

It’s certainly been a good couple of months for naked eye astronomy though. Venus has just been spectacular in the sky every evening on the way home from work, with an apparent maximum magnitude of about -4. The only disappointment is that I didn’t manage to see Mercury recently when I had hoped to. Oh well plenty more time for me to win the lottery, find a dark site with a big house, and a nice flat horizon to stick a 16″ Ritchey-Chr├ętien on….