Leicester Talk About...

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I reckon it's a Government conspiracy. Obviously continental drift has speeded up while we weren't looking, and England has drifted north into the Arctic during the last couple of weeks. I did check on Virtual Earth, but the maps are three months old (it takes a while to erase all the UFOs at Area 52). I suppose the experts will blame global warming, and point to "cataclysmic climate changes becoming the norm". So it's fairly predictable that the most commonly heard comment around here this last couple of weeks has been "I'll be glad when we get some of that global warming they keep promising us..."

So, anyway, there I was bravely battling my way through the two inches of snow that has brought the whole country to a standstill, traveling down to Leicester to do a user group presentation on Policy and Dependency Injection with Enterprise Library. I'd have to say that the response to the session was good, even if the turnout was distinctly limited by the weather. But at least it was in the lounge of a rather nice little city centre pub, so suitable refreshment was on hand.

Now, I don't know about you, but when I'm standing at the bar waiting to partake of the liquid gold, I'd expect the response to my request for "a pint of the landlord's finest please" would most likely be something like "straight glass or handle?", "with ice and lemon?", or (if you are a fan of Boddingtons ale) "do you want a flake in that?" Instead, the young slip of a girl behind the bar greeted me with "what's the formula for the Fibonacci sequence?" I suppose I'm rather too old (and married) to have much idea about the ways of the youth of today, and it didn't sound like it was meant to be a chat-up line, so I was somewhat stumped for a suitable response.

Then I noticed the sign behind the bar saying "Tuesday Quiz Nights", so I guessed she was in a team and just boning up on some possible answers. Obviously they have themed quiz nights, and this week it was mathematics. Probably next week it's nuclear physics, followed by investigative medicine and rocket science. Reminded me of the old joke from one of our TV comedians who asked if NASA engineers, when explaining something simple about their job, say "it's not rocket science" when it patently is. Although I also hear it said that rockets are an engineering technology, not a science, so it should be "it's not rocket engineering". Doesn't have the same ring to it...

And, coming back to themed nights, round us the pubs struggle to manage themes like a "Mexican Night" or even a "Steak Night" (the last steak night I went to had fish 'n' and chips and mushroom lasagna on the menu). But then I realized that the pub we were in is just across the road from De Montfort University, so I assume that all the quiz contestants have brains the size of a planet. However, that turned out not to be the case when, partway through my session, the other (empty) half of the room filled up with groups of people armed with pens and paper. There was me trying to explain property setter injection, while somebody else was asking who Abraham's two brothers were in the Old Testament. I wonder if anybody answered "use a Dependency attribute"...

Anyway, it turned out that Sara (the barmaid - try and keep up at the back there) had heard about a new type of charity raffle they are running at another pub locally, where you pay so much and get to choose some numbers between something and something else, according to some rule (OK, so I didn't quite catch all of the details). But she wanted to know how much money they were going to make, and somehow it involves the Fibonacci numbers. Thankfully she got the formula from another (obviously academic) member of the clientele, and calculated that they'll make 450 pounds if they sell all of the numbers.

At that point, I just nodded sagely and offered to pay my one pound now if she promised not to try and make me understand how it worked. Dependency injection, AOP, service location, and inversion of control I can cope with. Biblical ancestry questions and higher mathematics I'm happy to postpone until another evening.

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Leicester Talk About...