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Monthly Archives: March 2006

Little did I realise when I started my PhD that I would need to learn to read and write all over again. I am not a sociologist by training, yet I find myself doing a sociology doctorate. When I first started reading some of the sociology texts back in 2003, I had to learn how to look at this new, strange way of writing – I’d never seen anything like it before and reading a couple of pages was a real mission. Now, at the end of my PhD, I have to turn the processed data I’ve read and accumulated through various studies into something of the same quality and structure as those first texts I read 3 years ago, and put it in the form of a thesis.

I’ve been doing some web design work in my spare time to get some cash after my funding has run out. I’m using CSS mainly, atttempting to avoid using tables in HTML whereever possible. What I’ve discovered to my huge annoyance (and I realise that I’m joined by CSS developers all over the web), that IE doesn’t adhere to many of the web standards that pretty much every other browser does. I can get a perfectly rendered page in both Firefox and Safari, but as soon as I try it in IE a lot of things break. My main problem with it at the moment is the min-width attribute – a very useful feature for ensuring that your page doesn’t mess up as soon as a browser window is resized to something under the set value. Works in Safari, works in Firefox, no go in IE. Makes life very difficult and means you have to resort to some very messy workarounds. It wouldn’t matter so much if the browser in question was used by a smaller percentage of web users (although obviously is nice to include them too), but the fact that the most used browser is the one which doesn’t meet standards makes life unnecessarily difficult. Rant over.

The news this morning about the video footage showing Bush being briefed about Hurricane Katrina before it hit has astounded me. How is that man still in a job??? If the news is accurate, then Bush was briefed *before* the hurricane hitting, warning that they were unsure as to whether the sea defences would hold, and then shortly after, he is seen telling the nation that everything is going to be alright, completely ignoring what he has just been told. Post-Katrina he gives several interviews alledging that they were taken unawares by the scale of the storm and that they didn’t have enough information. The way I see it, he has consciously ignored information that has led to the loss of 1300 lives and loss of homes of millions, and then lied repeatedly about it (am getting a slight sense of deją vu here…). This *surely* shows more than ever that he is a liability to people’s lives and no longer deserves the job he has been given??

So the time when the funding for my PhD finally dries up is fast approaching. In fact, I’ve actually already recieved my final payment from the research council. My first reaction to this has been to scrabble about looking for paid work to do. This has mostly involved website development for various projects at work. However, now that I’m beginning to have to actually do this work as well as the PhD I’m beginning to wonder whether it is such a good strategy. I now have until April 2007 to hand in my thesis, although I plan to finish before the end of 2006. The extra work I’m doing will inevitably have the effect of slowing down the work on my thesis which really should be my priority. My current thinking is that I will try and do the odd piece of work here and there, but otherwise make the savings I have last as long as possible (tins of baked beans feature heavily in this plan), and get on with the thesis write-up. Only time will tell if this is such a good idea!