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Sunday, August 01, 2010

Oxford...

Yesterday I arrived in Oxford, after a 3.5 hour bus transfer from London Stansted. Long, boring ride (though I might have seen a few red kites, but seeing that they were near extinct, I am wondering what other large bird of prey has strong split tail like a swallow). Showed once more that the UK infrastructure has hardly changed since the 19th century. Enjoying an undergraduate room at one of the colleges. Pretty basic, but makes me feel more like a human than a tourist. Yes!, undergraduate students are human too! One of the advantages is you get an excellent internet connection :)

Anyways, going to the Predictive Toxicology workshop, thanx to the bursary award I received from echeminfo (see Oxford, August 2010: eCheminfo Predictive ADME & Toxicology 2010 Workshop).

This afternoon I walked around a bit, watching all the old buildings. But I guess being here without anyone to share it with, and that it just looks Cambridge, makes me not-so-much impressed. Moreover, it's too busy with tourists and people randomly wearing Oxford University sweatshirts. Small and nice was the Museum of the History of Science, with some nice chemical pieces, like this one:


Buildings like the Radcliffe Camera are nice on the outside, but closed. Seems I have to become a fellow first. This is what it looked like today:

Quite interesting too was the Oxford University Press shop. I'm a sucker for books. Apparently, you can just write a book and publish it. For example, an extensive list of dictionaries on about anything... and since I have been writing several book chapters right now, perhaps this is actually an interesting route...

But the question is, of course, how long will we keep reading books... they're the hamburgers of educational material... Kindle and alikes will soon drop in price, and cost some €30 euro. But e-book prices will have to drop too, and I still do not get why an e-book is more expensive than a paperback... (see Amazon, the Kindle edition is more expensive than the paperback??). But then again... they are rich, and I am not.

There was some recent talk about the fact that no one can be Open to the full. You either do Open Data or Open Source, and make a living from the rest. That's where I nicely show I know bullocks of economics. I do BODR, CDK, ... all Open, all for free.

OK. That's a plus for Oxford... it makes you think about things. Perhaps there is something to morphogenetic fields...