Jul 18 2013

Scroobius Pip speaks

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival seems to be the place to go in early August. I can’t make it this year, but I’m trying to talk my wife into taking a vacation (I know, what’s that?) next year, and taking a little journey from Oxford up through the north of England and into Scotland and just relaxing with this sort of thing. Here’s the kind of event going on this year:

See? Relaxing.


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  1. 1

    It’s the Fringe – we have every kind of event going on every year.

  2. 2

    Technically, it’s the Festival Fringe, not the Fringe Festival.

  3. 3

    I did the Oxford to Edinburgh trip in June. The train is the obvious choice but Oxford has a small airport with flights to Edinburgh that were actually cheaper than the train. Buses go to and from both airports regularly. And if you’re in Edinburgh might as well go to St. Andrews.

  4. 4
    Nick Gotts

    Oxford has a small airport with flights to Edinburgh that were actually cheaper than the train.

    Produces many times as much greenhouse gas pollution, but who the fuck cares about that, eh?

  5. 5
    David Marjanović

    Are the trains even affordable over there? Often they’re not over here. Just recently it would have cost me over 200 € to get home from Paris.

  6. 6
    Johnny Vector

    Produces many times as much greenhouse gas pollution, but who the fuck cares about that, eh?

    Citation needed. Not saying you’re wrong, but given that energy cost is a large fraction of the cost of anything, and that most energy is still fossil, the fact that air travel is cheaper is enough reason to drop the automatic assumption that it uses more fossil fuels. Be sure to include the full life-cycle costs of the support infrastructure, which is much larger for trains.

    I spent some time looking, but found nothing authoritative.

  7. 7

    Thanks for opening my eyes to a different perspective Nick Gotts. I guess my privileged status as financially strapped and having to take out a loan for that trip blinkered my thinking here.

  8. 8

    Produces many times as much greenhouse gas pollution, but who the fuck cares about that, eh

    Apparently you can afford to choose the more expensive option; you might want to think twice before ass-uming those who can’t, don’t care.

  9. 9
    Nick Gotts


    My heart bleeds for you. Try the coach: much cheaper than plane or train, and much less damaging than flying.

    Johnny Vector: here you go,/A>. The methodology is explained, and takes infrastructure into account.

  10. 10
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Regarding the pollution aspect of coach v aircraft to get from Oxford to Edinburgh; short haul flights will usually be via a twin turbo-prop craft rather than a jet, will carry as many people as a small coach, will travel less miles on average (as the crow flies) and will use pretty much the same amount of fuel to do the trip.

  11. 11

    Gotts link fail

    busses from Oxford to Edinburgh take up to 11 hours; I’d rather travel by thumb for free at that pace.

  12. 12
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    Scroobius Pip is quite talented. I found that moving, eerie, and poignant.

  13. 13

    The Minnesota Fringe Festival usually has some good stuff as well, if you need a fix without a transoceanic flight.

  14. 14
    Rich Woods

    Fuck. Fuck, that was good!

  15. 15

    FYI: when I was traveling the plane was around 50G GBP, the train 200 GBP.

  16. 16

    I guess trolling travel nerds is more rewarding than discussing how the poem makes you feel. I personally relived some of the dumbest decisions I ever made in my life listening to it.Maybe that’s why arguing over piffle is happening instead of thoughtful discourse, too many triggers onto past mistakes.

  17. 17
    Johnny Vector

    Mike, in my case I can’t watch the video at work, so I haven’t seen it yet. And arguing over minimizing your environmental impact to see such art seems (at least) more useful than whining about people arguing over minimizing their environmental impact to see such art.

    Nick Gotts, you are incorrect; infrastructure is explicitly ignored by your cite. The methodology report says:

    In EcoPassenger, only those environmental impacts are considered which are linked to
    the operation of vehicles and to fuel production. Not included are therefore:
     the production and maintenance of vehicles
     the construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure
     additional resource consumption like administration buildings, stations, airports, etc..

    I suspect the land use and maintenance required for train routes is non-trivial, which is why I would like to see the results of an actual study.

  18. 18

    Well, in regards to the poem in the post I was surprised to see such a large focus at the University of St. Andrews School of Medicine (which is why I was there) on research related to alcohol and domestic violence. Apparently it’s a huge problem in Scotland that the government is putting a lot of money into research.


  19. 19

    Word. Scroobius Pip is talented.

    The completely OT argument about travel should move over to Thunderdome

  20. 20

    If you are going to the Edinburgh fringe Tubular Bells for Two is an act that is worth seeing.

  21. 21

    For a less sombre piece of excellence divert over to YouTube and seek out “Thou shalt always kill” by dan le sac vs Scroobius Pip.

    (Not only is it a reely good chewn, but it also admonishes the would-be right-on and purists everywhere not to get too up themselves. Not sure what made me think of that.)

  22. 22
    Wowbagger, Designated Snarker

    I’m hoping to be in Edinburgh next Fringe myself, PZ; would be nice to see you again.

  23. 23

    That was amazing.

  24. 24

    I don’t know about relaxing: all I hear from relatives and friends who live up that way is how they try to avoid Edinburgh during the festival.

  25. 25
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    I fucking love Scroobius Pip. I’m not that into hip hop, and Scroobius Pip isn’t even particularly good hip hop, but he makes you empathise in a way that no other artist I know of can do. I’ve heard this song before, it’s on his album, but I’ve never heard this version. I think it works far better as spoken word than it does as hip hop.

    It’s an amazing song (or I guess poem in this version?), it really puts you inside the head of the abused and even helps you understand the events that can lead to a normal relationship descending into abuse, and how a normal person can become an abuser. It’s an incredibly powerful piece. Scroobius Pip makes you think.

  26. 26
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    Tethys #19

    The completely OT argument about travel should move over to Thunderdome


  27. 27
    Nick Gotts

    Johnny Vector, gillt,
    See Thunderdome.

  28. 28

    Head for London first, catch some classical music at our world famous BBC Prom concerts (absolutely no dress code :-) ) and get the train to Edinburgh, day or sleeper options. Looking forward to your Minnesota Orchestra paying us another visit, next year maybe. They rock.

  29. 29

    PZ – Please come to Edinburgh! A few of us PhD students would love for you to come talk in the Institute of Evolutionary Biology (IEB). If you are ever going to be in town please let me know and we’ll arrange for you to give a seminar! A know quite a few of us would be very pleased to meet you in the flesh!

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