Saturday, 10 October 2015

A Selective Witch Hunt

Police officers seem very eager to solicit accusations of sexual misconduct against prominent people, but not against all prominent people.

So far no police officer has invited people to accuse any other police officer, even though the rumours of evil doings in high places often mention police involvement, and several former police officers have told us that their investigations into the late Cyril Smith were stopped by senior police officers.

Thursday, 8 October 2015

More Trouble with Numbers

Many people seem still not to have completely adjusted to our change to metric measurements, so  recipes often give both metric and imperial quantities.

An ounce is about 28.35g, but decimal notation seems to induce involuntary bowel motions in many folk, and that would be most unhealthy in a kitchen, so the writers of recipes try to simplify the arithmetic.

30 grams per ounce is fairly near to the correct value, and its adoption would have been the generous choice, but menu writers often prefer the much meaner 25g per ounce. On the other hand a pound is 453.6 grams, which even the meanest of chefs are reluctant to round down to 400g, so they usually choose 450g. Thus is is possible to have recipes that convert 15 ounces to 375g, and convert a pound to 450g, making the sixteenth ounce worth 75g.

The National Trust recently published a recipe for Apple Raisin and Cider Tea Bread that used four different conversion ratios all in the same recipe, and all of them incorrect.

9 ounces of flour were converted to 225 grams (25g per ounce)
5 ounces of butter were converted to 120 grams (24g per ounce)
4 ounces of sugar were converted to 90 grams (22.5g per ounce)
2 ounces of sugar for the glaze were converted to 60 grams (30g per ounce)

 Note that the conversion of 9 oz to 225g treats 9 oz as slightly less than half a pound, while it is actually a full ounce more than that.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Catching Up

Today, for the first time in many months, I added some material to my web site, which I'd neglected during my protracted house move.

I've only brought the books page up to date, but that reflects the fact that I've actually managed to read some books, so I'm feeling quite pleased with myself.

Friday, 2 October 2015

A revealing Gesture

While watching a television report of the recent Labour Party conference I noticed that during the singing of The Red Flag one of the platform party - I suspect it was John Macdonald - gave a clenched fist salute, the Communist salute. Yet I haven't noticed any reference to that in the media. On the other hand there was a lot of excitement about an amateur film stolen from Buckingham Palace that showed the Queen giving a Fascist salute as a child.

The public gesture of an adult who hopes to become a minster is much more newsworthy than the private frolics of a child.