Wednesday, 18 July 2018


Sir Cliff Richard has just been awarded considerable damages against the BBC. The damages, and the much larger sums in legal costs will be met by taxpayers, not by the BBC employees whose incompetence and irresponsibility created the liability.

I think that the Governors of the BBC, who are at present nominated by some arm of the Government, should instead be directly elected, bringing the Corporation under public control.

Wednesday, 4 July 2018

Noxious Nick

I'm pleased that the man referred to as 'Nick' is at last to be charged for making false accusations of abuse, but puzzled that his identity is still keep secret.

Those he unjustly accused were named even though they had not been charged. Naming an accuser could prompt other people who have been falsely accused by the same individual, or have other evidence of that person's unreliability to come forward to discredit them. Secret testimony is unreliable testimony.

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

There's still some life in an antique brain

Without referring to any text book I recently constructed the deduction of Snell's Law for refraction from the assumption that light traveling between two points follows the path that minimizes the time taken.

It is reassuring to note that my brain still works, to some extent.

Saturday, 30 June 2018


Browsing through the local branch of Waterstones I came upon an intriguing volume called 'Quantum Mechanics The Theoretical Minimum'. Following a reference in that book I discovered a website with a series of lectures on theoretical Physics with various supporting materials.

The object is to explain basic physical ideas as simply as possible, avoiding both the superficiality of the popular books that avoid Mathematics and therefore explain very little, and the obscurity of the texts that use quite abstruse mathematics without making any serious attempt to explain what they are doing. What I have read so far seems to be quite a good attempt. Two things that had been puzzling me are now clear, and I look forward to more enlightenment.

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Stray Hairs

I can't abide feeling hair over my ears. Now and again an obstinate strand drifts over an ear and resists my attempts to push it away.  I reach for the nearest pair of scissors and snip it off.

Most women and many men style their hair so that it completely covers their ears. How can they bear it!

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Linked Numbers

I've just realised that, to quite a close approximation, the mass of the earth in kilograms is given by

M = pi2*A  where A is Avogadro's Number

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Remembering Mini-Skirts

The current discussion of 'up-skirting' has reminded me of the days of mini-skirts.

In the late 1960's I was teaching a class of FE science students, all boys aged 16 or 17. Their 'General Studies' was taught by one of the teachers of English, a young lady who wore very short skirts and, to the delight of the students used to sit on one of the desks while she taught, so after each class the lads would announce the colour of her knickers, though without mobile phones they had no corroborative photographs.

Monday, 11 June 2018

Exhausted by Idleness.

Often I feel sleepy in the afternoons, but only on days when I'm not doing anything in particular. If I do some gardening, tidy the attic, or cook something elaborate, I stay wide awake and don't feel at all tired.

To summarise, nothing can be rather tiring.

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

Today is Tuesday

I make the announcement for the benefit of anyone else whose temporal bearings are disturbed by bank holiday Mondays.

When Monday is so much like Sunday, it is easy to mistake Tuesday for Monday. Occasionally my disorientation lasts for most of the week. However I'm making a special effort today, and am sure it's Tuesday, and that tomorrow will be Wednesday.

Thursday, 24 May 2018

A Fuss About Information.

I have quite a few interests and have therefore arranged for various organisations to send me information about their activities. Recently I've been irritated to receive numerous messages telling me that 'data protection' legislation requires that the flow of information must be discontinued unless I confirm I still want to receive it. That seems to me impertinence on the part of legislators. If I change my mind about a source of information, I can easily have those emails discontinued, without the intervention of self important politicians.

Tuesday, 22 May 2018

Check Your Insurance Charges

It will soon be time to renew my house insurance, and I noticed the premium had risen a good deal in the last two years.

I rang to question it, and secured a reduction of about £190 in the premium.

Saturday, 19 May 2018

A Happy Coincidence

From time to time the flow of news in the media is disturbed by some event of no great consequence which still attracts unreasonable attention.

Today two such events coincide - the royal wedding and the cup final, so the tranqility of our thoughts is disturbed only once even though there are two distractions.

Happy day!!!