Temperature and civilization


in Daily updates, Geek stuff, Oxford

Green College tower

While in high school, Sid Meier‘s Civilization II was a time waster of choice. The prospect of directing human civilization for 6,000 years has an understandable appeal. By the time I was at UBC, Civilization III had eclipsed its predecessor. I once spent more than thirty consecutive hours playing it; at the end, I lost a massive thermonuclear war with Mahatma Gandhi. These games satisfy a number of driving human ambitions: from virtual immortality to the ability to be in control of human progress to the chance to decimate one’s enemies with precisely planned joint warfare operations.

I haven’t played any Civilization games since arriving in Oxford, but an aspect of our present situation has reminded me of it. One important technology for moving into the modern era in the game was refrigeration. As of now, our flat is deprived of this technology. Given how fruitlessly and noisily the compressor on our fridge seems to operate, I suspect that the coolant has escaped. Hopefully, it wasn’t comprised of ozone-depleting CFCs.

[Update: 21 May 2007] Because the compressor was running pointlessly, we chose to turn it off. Unfortunately, a member of the St. Antony’s maintenance team came by this morning to investigate our fridge complaint. Rather than knocking or waking anybody up, it seems he just came in and turned on the (useless) compressor, probably muttering to himself about what fools we were to complain of a broken fridge when it was only actually turned off.

I guess we will need to leave it on, eating up power and whining pathetically, until the college dispatches another of their stealth repair operatives.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

YHWH May 19, 2007 at 8:11 pm

I hope you have been eating all your ice cream, not to mention things that are less delicious but more likely to kill you if you leave them unrefrigerated for too long.

Also, there is now a Civilization IV.

Milan May 19, 2007 at 8:29 pm

Also, there is now a Civilization IV.

Don’t tell me these things less than 20 days before my final exams.

As far as the fridge situation goes, I am trying to finish all my cheese before enough time has passed to make me nervous about its safety.

Sarah May 20, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Perhaps you should invest in a large block of ice?

Milan May 20, 2007 at 7:18 pm


I used up all my feta and olives in a large and excellent Greek salad. Hopefully, the college will fix the fridge some time in the coming week.

Milan May 21, 2007 at 1:06 pm

Unrelated, but interesting: The American Civil War in four minutes

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