Monday, 31 October 2016

A Precedent for Hypocrisy

It's strange that so many people should be considering voting for a candidate as absurd as Donald Trump, but history offers a clue to one part of the puzzle.
In the first half of the sixteenth century Phillip, Landgrave of Hesse, was a prominent defender of Protestantism. He was also discontented with his wife. When he consulted leading protestant theologians they suggested bigamy. see:

So when evangelical Christians in the American South overlook the vulgar sexual boasting of Mr. Trump, they are following an old precedent.

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Do Battered Heads Proliferate ?

Recently there's been discussion of brain damage produced in sports, especially when people hit footballs with their heads.

Anecdotal evidece suggests that teachers of games and what is absurdly misnamed 'Physical Education' are conspicuously less intelligent than their colleagues. If that is so it may be that people who have suffered brain damage are propagating their disability by organising the brain damage of the young.

I'd like to see research into the intellectual incapacity of 'PE' teachers.

Saturday, 29 October 2016


In the course of purging ancient clothes I went through the pockets of my old dinner jacket, which I haven't used for about 30 years and which I can no longer button up however much I squash my tummy. I found two one pound notes.

I gather that they can still be exchanged for one pound each at the Bank of England,but, if in good condition, may be sold for rather more.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Anomaly in Statistics

In reporting on the American Presidential election campaign the BBC publishes a 'poll of polls' calculated by taking the median of the results of the most recent five polls.

When I checked today's figures I thought there was a mistake.

The Poll of Polls showed Clinton ahead by 5 percentage points, while the individual polls showed leads of 0, 2, 3, 7 7  with median 3.

However taking medians of the figures showing total support for each candidate gives 49 for Clinton and 44 for Trump, with a lead of 5 for Clinton.

So the difference of the medians is not equal to the median of the differences. That may be a reason for treating the median with caution.

In the case of opinion polls based on samples of different sizes, I'd be inclined to use a weighted mean, weighted by the sample sizes. That calculation gave means of 47.47 for Clinton and 44.18 for Trump, a lead of about 3 points for Clinton.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Elusive Spirit

Inspired by Monday's success in finding venison, today I looked for Creme de Menthe. Once widely on sale, that is now very hard to find, much to my regret. It's very calming when administered to effervescent digestive tracts, and, added to melon, makes an excellent starter.

Today I tried Majestic Wines. It was my first visit to the Market Harborough branch, and although they had no Creme de Menthe, the chap in charge was a star. He recalled seeing C de M in Aldi's. Their local branch was only about 200 metres away, so I went there and got it!!

I was so delighted that I survived unscathed the shock of finding that all the shopping baskets in Sainsbury's had turned into pumpkins, a transformation that is supposed to take place only at midnight.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Still Finding my Way About

Every so often I find something new in Market Harborough.

Until yesterday I didn't know where to buy venison then, browsing around the farm shop, I found some. Braised in red wine with mushrooms and a few home grown tomatoes,  it was delicious.

Saturday, 15 October 2016

Dim Officialdom.

I've just printed an official form from a government website.

The form consisted of a four page pdf file, and the fourth page contained nothing but the page number.