Saturday, 12 October 2019

Forgotten Treasures


From time to time I go round the house, exploring each room in turn , looking in every cupboard, drawer and box to see what's in it. Each time I find something useful or interesting that I'd forgotten.

I'm in the middle of such an exploration now, and have already found my collection of spare shoe laces, and an old address book I stopped using about 40 years ago. The latter contains names I'd completely forgotten, including someone said to have died while laughing at the television news.


Monday, 30 September 2019

Unwelcome Plastic Bags


We are often bidden to avoid using plastic bags, and to pay for any we do use, yet plastic bags from charities often come through the letter box uninvited. We are bidden to fill them with unwanted clothing, but I guess that the great majority are just thrown away.

We are charged 5p for even small and very flimsy plastic bags for shopping. The charity bags are both larger and made of thicker material. I guess they use around 20 times as much material as the small supermarket bags. I suggest charities are charged one pound for every univited plastic bag they push through our letter boxes.

Friday, 20 September 2019

Charitable Parasites


Every week or two someone delivers a large plastic bag in which I'm bidden to put unwanted clothes. As I wear clothes until they disintegrate I never have a contribution, but I do note the large number of rather specialised charities begging for my discarded rags.

I think they are over specialised. There are many charities each devoted to a particular form of cancer. Finding out how to deal with cancer requires detailed knowledge of the genome and the immune system, so general research into those subjects should help the treatment of any form of cancer. Segregating researchers into separate compartments is likely to produce a wasteful duplication of efforts. It will also increase the number of administrators and publicists, the bureaucrats running the charities without making any direct contribution to the well being of those the charities are supposed to help.

Saturday, 14 September 2019

Expensive String


I've just paid £3-95 for a pair of quite ordinary shoelaces.

I remember that in the mid 1950's I bought a new pair of shoes for not much more than that - about £4 10/-

I'm considering using ordinary string in future!

Saturday, 31 August 2019

Planning a Family


When I was achild my parents liked to tell me how they'd bought the house we lived in just before they married. I was particularly delighted to hear how, taking possession of the house before there was any furniture, they'd celebrated by eating fish and chips sitting on the floor.

I remember that story when I hear talk of homeless families. If only people woukd plan as my parents did, there'd be no homeless families.


Tuesday, 27 August 2019

Paying for the BBC


Five years ago I was quite pleased to learn that I no longer needed to pay for a Television license, though I wasn't sure that I deserved the concession. Recently, when I heard that from next Summer I shall have to pay I was quite irritated - it will be one more bill to keep track of, and losing something one has grown used to is annoying and much worse than never having it.

Do we need television licenses at all? Most of the television I watch is financed either by advertising, or through my Virgin Media Subscription.

The BBC news services may be a special case and coud possibly be financed by a governemnt grant, but I think that the great majority of BBC's output is entertainment, and could be financed in the same way that other entertainment is financed.


Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Solving our Irish Problem


Mr Trump appears to be very upset at not being allowed to buy Greenland. I suggest we offer to sell him Northern Ireland. Then he could deal with the border problem and we'd no longer need to worry about the Backstop.




Sunday, 18 August 2019

Harvest



I've just eaten my first home grown tomato of the year - of a heritage variety called Whippersnapper

My tomatoes seem to be ripening a bit later than usual, but now they've started there will be many more to follow.


Wednesday, 7 August 2019

Feeling diminished.


After years of idleness I've started to bring my web site up to date. Today I uploaded a new garden page  with pictures of the new garden. Looking through the site I realise how much less I do these days than I used to do. If I deleted everything that's out of date my site would be much slimmer than it is.

Alas!!


Tuesday, 30 July 2019

Puzzling Names for Elusive Entities


I've been reading some theoretical Physics and thought the names of the various quarks most misleading.

Up and Down are the pair that make up most of the matter we usually encounter, but there are also Strange, Charm, Top and Bottom quarks. The names are entirely arbitrary, but four of them misleadingly suggest some geometrical significance..

It would be much better to use names that are clearly arbitrary. I suggest  the names of foods.

Up and Down could be replaced by Bangers and Mash, Strange and Charm by Strawberries and Cream, and Top and Bottom by Haggis and Nips.

If we want to make  a concession to transatlantic tastes we could replace one of  those pairs by Peanut Butter and Jelly.


Saturday, 27 July 2019

Innumeracy in High Places.


M. Jacob Rees-Mogg has commanded his minions to use only Imperial units for measurement, and to avoid the word 'equal'.

Imperial measurements may amuse people who enjoy vague chatter about quantities but they are quite unsuitable for calculation. Compare the conversion of litres to cubic centimetres with the conversion of gallons to cubic inches. Anyone asked to make the latter conversion is likely to start by asking 'which gallon?' and to struggle even when that question has been answered

Abandoning the notion of equality would make Mathematics extremely difficult.

I find it even harder to believe in Mr. Rees-Mogg than in the other Westminster Folk.




Friday, 26 July 2019

Westminster Folk


I no longer believe in British Politics.

I don't mean that I don't trust British politicians - I don't but my disbelief is much more profound than that.

I've lived through many governments and political leaders outside government. I've disagreed with most of them about one thing or another, and have disagreed with some of them about almost everything, but until now I never struggled to believe in their existence.

Now public affairs look and sound like a comedy act mostly performed by distinctly mediocre actors.

Perhaps we could call the sit com 'Westminster Folk'

If someone wrote a computer game we might call it 'Confidence and Supply'