Movie Theatre Pricing

December 30, 2011

Roger Ebert at discusses how the drop in movie revenue is dropping due the high cost of tickets.

I don’t know about the revenue drop issue, but I’m not surprised. We recently went to a local theatre, three of us, to see the new Mission Impossible film. The total cost:

: 3 tickets, £37, which is about US$60
: 2 small popcorns and 1 large Coca Cola, £14, which is about £20.

A total of US$80.

I think I prefer the comfort of my own home with my smallish large-screen LCD TV, DVD, connected to a 35 year old Advent stereo receiver playing on 25 year old speakers for “surround sound”.

Intriguing Theory on Climate Gate

December 29, 2011

AJStrata at proposes and explains an intriguing theory on who might have released the University of East Anglia emails, known as Climate Gate 1 and Climate Gate 2.

… my suspicion is the document releases may be another CRU attempt to try and slip past the public scrutiny they so fear.

Sort of makes sense as it’s described. So far, it’s the only theory I’ve heard that makes sense.

“Visual Proof of Global Cooling”

December 28, 2011

Written by Stephen Wilde.



There would appear to have been a clear cooling trend in the northern hemisphere around the pole since at least 2007 and most likely for longer.

The polar air masses are getting colder and expanding, contrary to expectations. That is likely to be the reason why there have been a number of notable incursions of cold air into middle latitudes in recent years. Such events have been occurring in both hemispheres so it is likely that the observed cooling trend is occurring at both poles.

It is a fundamental tenet of anthropogenic global warming theory that the poles warm more than other latitudes. Instead, what we can see here is the poles cooling and exporting cold air and colder ocean water towards the equator.

It may well be that the practice of interpolating estimated temperatures in the uninhabited polar regions is inappropriate and has been delaying our realisation that in fact global cooling is now in progress.

Dropbox vs. SugarSync

December 28, 2011

I have the need to post files on internet-based sites for use on collaboration with various other people for various reasons. I’ve been using Dropbox and SugarSync; the latter because it appears now to be ubiquitous and the latter because it was recommended by a person who provides reliable recommendations. Prior to getting started I read numerous reviews.

My bottom line is that SugarSync is the preferred tool. I come to this conclusion due to two features in SugarSync which are not in Dropbox (far as I can tell):

1. With SugarSync, I can post files for others to use in READ-ONLY mode. With Dropbox all files are changeable by anyone with access to the folder. Further, I’m informed but have not confirmed this, DropBox users can “re-share” with others without my permission. That opens up the possibility that pretty much anyone can edit the files without me knowing. This is disconcerting and a big reason to be careful of using DropBox’s sharing features.

2. With SugarSync, I can share specific folders in the PC’s file system without having to move them into the DropBox file folder (or subfolders). Yes, with the Mac version of DropBox it is possible to setup a symbolic link in the DropBox folder pointing to a folder in another location, so this point No. 2 is probably moot.

On thing that Dropbox does do is provide software for using on a Linux machine. SugarSync does not. That would be useful in doing more automation.

The Art of the Possible… And the Impossible

December 14, 2011

Wow. Read this.

The Art of the Possible… And the Impossible:

(Via Climate Resistance)

FSA’s report on “The Failure of the Royal Bank of Scotland”

December 12, 2011

The UK’s Financial Services Authority has published their report. See

In October 2008, the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) failed and had to be part-nationalised.

Here we publish our Board’s Report into: the causes of the failure of RBS; and deficiencies in, and lessons for, the regulatory framework, supervision and the management of firms. It also explains the decisions reached by the FSA’s Enforcement and Financial Crime Division on whether there were grounds for bringing enforcement action for breaches of FSA rules.

BBC News – Scotland storm: Engineers battling to restore power

December 10, 2011

BBC News – Scotland storm: Engineers battling to restore power:


Yes, the wind did blow and yes, the people did shut down the country as instructed. But I’d wager that there are few “engineers” battling to restore power. Engineers are normally not qualified to to do this sort of work. For this we need trained power maintenance technicians.

Maybe because they are using engineers for this, this is the reason it is taking so long to restore power to some customers?

Full disclosure: I am an engineer.