Clarity of Important Writing

January 16, 2012

H/T to Matt Ridley, the following is Francis Crick writing in 1953 to is son about their discovery of DNA:

Jim Watson and I have probably made a most important discovery…Now we believe that the DNA is a code. That is, the order of the bases (the letters) makes one gene different from another gene (just as one page pf print is different from another). You can see how Nature makes copies of the genes. Because if the two chains unwind into two separate chains, and if each chain makes another chain come together on it, then because A always goes with T, and G with C, we shall get two copies where we had one before. In other words, we think we have found the basic copying mechanism by which life comes from life…You can understand we are excited.”

Says it all about Customer Service

October 2, 2011

We discovered a delightful French cafe in a quaint part of the city. After our Saturday morning walks we’ll often go there for a coffee and perhaps a croissant.

This may have been published on their menu before, but this was the first time I saw it. Restaurants, Pubs, and many retailers in UK tend to “tell” their customers what to do and how to do it. It’s all about the seller’s needs–not the customers.

As they say it “I want it My Way!” Or as some retailers say, “Have it Your Way!”.

Why so different here?

IMG 0720a


January 19, 2011

Small things sometimes impress me. I was fortunate in getting a Christmas gift of an Amazon Kindle. I find it useful. It has become instantly more useful by my discovery of an add-in tool for the Google Chrome Browser (which I use for most web use) called “Send to Kindle”.

Those articles on the the web that I want to save and/or read later, I can press F12 (or the icon) and the add-in creates a preview and when I press the “send” button the article, formatted well for reading on the Kindle, appears on my Kindle within a minute or so (assuming it’s connected to the internet).

Wow. It is the 21st century.

Record Bluefin Tuna Price and Grandpa

January 5, 2011

I was interested in the BBC’s report of a record sale price for a bluefin tuna. In 1951 my grandfather caught a world record (by weight) bluefin tuna. The record stood, according to family lore, for about 5 hours when someone brought in a bigger fish to the same port. That record stood for decades. The photo here is of my grandfather and his catch.

Amazon Kindle Too Restricted in UK

December 28, 2010

I received for Christmas one of those 3rd generation Kindle devices from Amazon. I like it. It’s a beautiful screen which is easy to read, the form factor and user interface is fine, and I like the idea of being able to hold so many books and documents in one place. I tend not to know what I will want to read so I like having lots of options available for when I do read. That means on trips I travel “heavy”. No longer.

I’ve been using the Kindle software on a Mac and on my iPhone for some time. Accordingly, I’ve collected a few e-books. I’m now looking at getting a few more to round out the collection. Sadly, some of the books that I really want to get are available in USA from, but not available in UK from I’ve not done a rigorous review, but it looks like a large number of books available to USA customers are simply not offered to UK customers.

That sort of ticks me off.

Microsoft Word in Office 2011: First Impressions

October 28, 2010

I received and installed the newest version of Office yesterday.  First impressions of this version of Word compared to  Word 2008 are favorable.  It’s smoother, faster, and has richer functionality.  I’m writing a relatively long document at the moment and in all honestly Word is hardly on my mind even though I’m deliberately trying out the new version on a difficult document.  So far I’m pleased and am happy I upgraded.  Well done Microsoft.

An update to Scrivener is due in early November.  I’ll be getting that one too.  It’s a real writers tool.

Great Data Visualisation: True Size of Africa

October 18, 2010

Look at this.  This is superb method to communicate complex data.  Many will be shocked at the true size of Africa despite having some familarity with the map of Africa.  From Flowing Data.