Before podcasts were even called podcasts, I loved listening to Rob and his friends chat about the stories in their geeky, witty and hilarious hosting style. I felt like part of the gang and re-listened to most episodes a few times on my old Diamond Rio 500 on the way too and from University. Thanks for making geeks hip, social and fun!
Faith is the antithesis of what science strives to be. Faiths asks you to believe something for the sake of belief; without evidence or critical analysis. It claims truths without proof. The scientific method attempts to find proof by continuously questioning, testing and disproving all other possibilities till evidence supports a theory.
If your religion is faith based, as most are, you are denying the basic tenants of science, curiosity, critical thinking, and the socratic method. You cannot claim to be a scientist.
Faith has helped intelligent people justify belief in unknowable things since primates evolved. Oh wait...
"Faith is a cop-out. It is intellectual bankruptcy. If the only way you can accept an assertion is by faith, then you are conceding that it can't be taken on its own merits."
--Dan Barker, former evangelist, author, critic
Most importantly though, don't rely on technology to get you out of a jam. Avy beacons fail, GPSs die, radios don't reach people on the other end. They are all wonderful, life saving tools but odds are you won't need any of that stuff. Read the Wilderness First Responder medical book, read Freedom of the Hills, etc. Go prepared. A vast majority of the time, you'll be able to get yourself and other people help without 'calling' anyone.
Be your own tourist. Some people here are telling you to go museums and what not. Tourists will tell you what bus tour is best. Forget all that. If you like to walk around town, the city is certainly walk/tubeable, even in winter. If you don't like museums much here, you won't there. If you're in to history, you'll love the place. Things like the Tower of London are a thousand years old. If you like pubs, there are some great, historical ones a tube ride away (e.g. The Hollybush pub in Hampstead). Like any metropolitan city, there is great fashion, food, arts and entertainment.
Other things to be aware of. Hotel ratings are not like they are in the states. A three star hotel out there is awful with leaky plumbing and old furniture. Some of the hostels are actually quite nice though if you bring ear plugs. Look right before stepping in to the street. If you get a chance to drive and you like it out here, it is a blast out there! Oxford and Kent aren't far. Flights on discount airlines like Ryanair are cheap if you want to hop up to Scotland or Ireland. Don't over plan or overpack.