This is my first time at Oxford - and it is a lively place! And the campus is huge. There are a lot of tourists towards the old campus - but we are fine here at Saint Anne's College. Couple of quick things: On my walk from the bus station, I saw this periodic table taxi:
I think all cabs should be like this (ok - so this is for the Oxford Science Park - but still its a cab and very cool). And then, here is a picture of a hair salon named "Philosophy" (you may have to squint - or click on the image to see the name of the salon. I was in a hurry - so didn't have time for a close-up). Now this is cool! I remember that the name of the first Harry Potter film was changed in the American release from Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone to Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The distributors thought that having philosophy in the title would kill the business. But here you can go and really think about the meaning of your hair style. (Not a hair salon, but the best name for a town still belongs to the US: Truth or Consequences, New Mexico)
However, not everything is rosy here. Look at this sink in my dorm room. The hot (left) and the cold (right) water faucets are separate. Now, for the life of me I don't understand the logic behind this (I had the same problem two years ago at a conference at Lancaster University). In the current configuration, either your hand is really cold or boiling hot - but never in a happy medium (no Intelligent Design here!). All they have to do is to combine the damn pipes into one faucet. There are smart people here - they can figure out a way to do this. Is it really asking for too much? :)
By the way, the conference has started and will post about it soon.