April 29, 2012

Why is it not possible to put a “reply-to” email into the mail program on iPad. That would be useful.

Hansen, Edinburgh, and Fiddling

April 9, 2012

Yes, fiddling is an important part of the Scottish Music Scene. I therefore think it appropriate that as James Hansen is about to received the 2012 Edinburgh Medal, we are reminded of his “fiddling” and data tampering and viewpoint.

Another societal issue affected by Government Statistics

April 9, 2012

Janet Hood writes in the Scotsman an opinion piece on the policy of the Scottish and UK Governments to force an increase in the price of alcoholic drinks to curb heavy drinking.

They state – despite their own statistics demonstrating the contrary position – that we are drinking more and more, to our certain detriment. They look back to a golden age when alcohol was more expensive and less easily available.


I went to university in the mid-70s when alcohol was considerably more expensive than today. I remember my first stroll around the city that was to be my home for four years. Edinburgh was amazing! I wound my way through its ancient streets until I came to the Grassmarket, where I encountered the “good ole boys” who were not “drinking whisky and rye” but meths and milk enlivened with hairspray.

This article immediately brings to mind the government energy policy which is also based on flawed statistics.

Why he doesn’t *really* practice open science

April 8, 2012

C. Tutus Brown is a real scientist in the field of bioinformatics. His blog often is about the Python programming language which I use routinely to help me run management information for one of my consulting clients. (Without the Python programs I developed I wouldn’t have the time to continue with the gig!).

Brown shifts gear with this blog entry from yesterday “Why I don’t *really* practice open science“.

While I think we’re doing awesome work, I’ve been uncharacteristically (for me) shy about proselytizing it prior to having papers ready. I occasionally reference it on mailing lists, or in blog posts, or on twitter, but the most I’ve talked about the details has been in talks — and I’ve rarely posted those talks online. When I have, I don’t point out the nifty awesomeness in the talks, either, which of course means it goes mostly unnoticed. This seems to be at odds with my oft-loudly stated position that open-everything is the way to go. What’s going on?? That’s what this blog post is about. I think it sheds some interesting light on how science is actually practiced, and why completely open science might waste a lot of people’s time.

Fascinating article about the real world.

“Oil-based” Fertilizers???

April 7, 2012

What’s this all about? Wasn’t aware that we make fertilizers from oil. Would be a waste of perfectly good oil, if we did.

This assertion in the Guardian where they attribute lawns to climate change and advocate, therefore, a “lawn tax”.

They also point out the “water shortage” in UK. Correctly, they don’t point to man-made climate change as a cause of that problem since of course the water shortage in UK is due to man-made management issues.


Why does the customer have to work this hard?

April 7, 2012

Earlier this week I visited my local bank branch to deposit a cheque. I rarely visit a bank. I rarely have a cheque to deposit. I had one. We traded in our car and the dealer sent me a cheque which had to be deposited.

I queued up for at least 10 minutes; at which point a “bank manager” appeared and went through the queue to see which of us he could help so as to avoid them waiting longer. Everyone ahead of me had cash transactions, so they simply had to wait. I was the first person he could help. When I told him I had a cheque to deposit, he brightened up and said “Come with me!”.

He took my cheque and the deposit slip I had previously prepared, and then proceeded to fill out for me the envelope in which the cheque and deposit slip were going to be placed. That’s nice.

“What’s your phone number?”, he asked.

“Why do you need that?”

“In case we have to phone you about the deposit.”.

“But you have my phone number in your records. You ask me to reconfirm that number every time I log into your internet banking service!. Why again do you need my number for this form?”

“If we had to call you, it saves us having to lookup this information in different systems.”.

“So, it’s all about your convienence just in case you have a problem. Why is that my problem? And what are the odds that you are going to phone me anyway?”.

Numerous things when through my mind. I then made up a phone number in my head and gave it to him. He happily wrote it on the form.

Why do customers have to work so hard in this country?