I have conquered the simultaneous equation, and emerged victorious from the forests of factorising. I stand before you now, and accept your praise and lavish gifts.

Odds on Yasser Arafat being dead by morning? It seems very likely now. I hardly know anything about the Israel / Palestine dispute, so there’s not much more I can say.

I tried out the Messenger 7 beta and it was pretty buggy. I had trouble logging on, and I received error messages relating to the history saving feature. Also the new messenger plus doesn’t quite work as well as it did – the ‘away’ status messages don’t appear for a start – so I’ve gone back to 6.2, and would recommend you wait until the full v7 release.

Fireworks. I’m torn. On the one hand I love watching and (attempting to) photograph them. On the other hand, my overenthusiastic instincts kick in and I flinch at every. single. one. I’m sorry to sound like a whinging old person but they’re just too damn loud for me! And I don’t like it when there are fireworks, somewhere nearby, pretty much every evening between bonfire night and christmas. The pets get terribly scared and it seems a bit unnecessary. While I’m all for letting people have a good time, I tend to think that sales should be restricted to organised events. I like the fireworks show put on by Radio 2 every year. It only uses silent fireworks so as not to scare the children, and is broadcast for an hour on Terry Wogan’s breakfast show, accompanied by many ‘oooh’s and ‘aaaahh’s.