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October 23rd, 2005
10:52 am
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On the way home
Using a little internet kiosk at the Heathrow airport. Changed my last 30 euros into £ at the duty-free store bybuying some chocolatefor Kady. (keyboard sucks, pz excuse typing.) so that I could have some change fora quick lunch.

Got about 7 £ in coins. OMG. How do you lot understand them? The pound and 20-pence coins are the samesize, te 50p and the 2p are both the same huge size (but 50p is anoctagon), the smallest coin is the 5p, there's no rhyme or reason to it, even worse tha nthe US system.

Keybord REALLy sucks. Will fix in post-production.

See you all in some 10 hrs.

Current Mood: rushedrushed
Current Music: airport sounds
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(14 comments | Leave a comment)

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From:kistaro
Date:October 23rd, 2005 10:10 am (UTC)

Re: your typing

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Are you quite sure you haven't been sampling some of that fine Greek alcohol recently? *grin*

I do believe you've made a good argument for keeping a PocketPC with a FITALY keyboard layout (really damn fast- I've hit at least 45 WPM with it, which isn't bad for stylus-based tap entry) and Wi-Fi with you at all times if you intend to make LiveJournal posts.
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From:mithent
Date:October 23rd, 2005 12:15 pm (UTC)
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You came via the UK? Pity you couldn't spare a little time to see it.. ah, well.
From:ex_n
Date:October 23rd, 2005 12:16 pm (UTC)
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Yes, but you'll notice that our coinage isn't a uniform circle shape. Some of the coins have seven sides!
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From:targaff
Date:October 23rd, 2005 03:43 pm (UTC)
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Yeah, I second that alcohol comment...
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From:firestrike
Date:October 23rd, 2005 04:48 pm (UTC)
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Hey, I LOVE the British coins. To me, it's impossible to mix them up. The 20p and the 1 pound are different colours, different thicknesses and vastly different masses. The 2p feels completely different from the 50p, even without taking the shape into account. And I like the ability to buy dinner with a handful of change.

Then again, I'm a taurus. I like money that clinks. It has that reassuring sense of permanence about it.
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 23rd, 2005 06:32 pm (UTC)
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At least zouäre not in Germanz, tzping on a German kezboard!
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From:baphnedia
Date:October 24th, 2005 06:47 am (UTC)
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roflmao! Sad to know that you typed that 'normally' too!
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From:kinkyturtle
Date:October 24th, 2005 07:20 am (UTC)
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Oh, I'm not in Germany and I don't have a German keyboard. I just faked that. :}
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From:baphnedia
Date:October 24th, 2005 12:29 pm (UTC)
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I merely thought that you'd changed your keyboard layout from US to GE. Hehe.
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From:quen_elf
Date:October 23rd, 2005 06:44 pm (UTC)
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n is exactly right; our currency is much better than the US system. Not just the notes, which are different colours and sizes - wow, what an original idea, only shared by every currency in the world EXCEPT US dollars ;) - but also the coins (which are easily distinguishable).

While the ordering might not make very much sense (I think it moderately does; it helps if you first remember that 'copper' (1,2) < 'silver' (5,10,20,50) < 'gold' (£1,£2). Within each category, the sizes are generally in order, or near enough (exception being 20 vs 10, but somebody evidently decided that pentagons are worth more).

I agree that the 2p is stupid and so is 1p; both those are historic designs, while everything else was either new or has been redesigned (for example 50ps used to be even huger than they are). That's why they're bigger than they ought to be. We ought to get rid of them altogether, but in the meantime they're easily distinguished since both are copper.
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From:r_caton
Date:October 23rd, 2005 10:53 pm (UTC)
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2p is the same size as the old halfpenny, 1p is the same as the old farthing...
FWIW the half-p was the same size as the historic half-farthing (I have one from 1897)

BUT copper is pretty useless nowadays, and the copper coins have had steel in them since 1993 (I think) so now they can rust.

The reduction in size of the 50, 10 and 5p back in 1990 had less to do with our convenience than in making the darn things cheaper to stamp (see how the lettering is larger and cruder recently? more of the same) and in providing work for folks such as the workshop I ran in those days modifying coinboxes and slot mechanisms.
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From:amthrax
Date:October 24th, 2005 12:07 am (UTC)
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Hah. I was at that same airport the previous evening. (Of course, the probability of that is nothing compared to the probability of later running into a friend from Boston while wandering the streets of London. Oddly enough, this happened as I was discussing theorems about random walks with a friend I was intentionally in London with. Apparently, given two random walks on a general graph with n nodes, it takes expected O(n6) time for the two walks to meet. It's a small n after all.)

I've also been rather perplexed by the coinage. I'm sure it would make more sense if I had a full range of coins to examine, but as it is I've been sticking to the notes and letting my wallet grow monotonically heavier.

Then again, thinking back to the British Museum exhibit on the history of money I saw earlier today, I'm just glad I don't have to carry around Swedish plate money. Literally worth its weight in copper and ranging in size from about 3"x6" to 13"x25", I doubt it would have fit in my wallet. On the other hand, the size scaled directly with its value, so I'm sure the system made a lot of sense. ]:--8)

It sounds like you had quite a vacation. Can't wait to see the photos.
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From:baphnedia
Date:October 24th, 2005 06:50 am (UTC)
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hehe I still have a full set of coins and I poted the photos from my trip to london. I like the coinage over there so much better - the coins are actually useful! You can buy lunch with pocket change! Imagine trying to buy a $5 bit of fast food with americna loose change. The food would have become intelligent and walked away by the time you finished counting!
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From:gchpaco
Date:October 24th, 2005 03:57 pm (UTC)
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I am in no way going to defend the absurd size and lack of a well defined size -> value mapping, but I would like to point out that the 1 £ coins are absurdly heavy as well--at one point when I got change for a 20 £ note and the girl behind the counter somehow managed to only have 1 £ coins, they tore my change purse with the sheer weight. At least it's metric now. I remember multiple occasions when I was in Scotland and was trying to pay for something and kept getting faked out by the ridiculous size of the 2p coin. By comparison the Euro coins were quite easy to handle.

That said the notes are quite a bit nicer to use than American ones, which are all exactly the same size and shade of green. I am told that the nicest ones are German marks and Aussie dollars because the size is different as well as the colors; I seem to recall Euro notes all being the same size, which must be really inconvenient for the blind.

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