Friday, 30 October 2020

Immortality ?


A while ago I boasted that I'd killed my mint by neglect - something few gardeners achieve. Now I have to withdraw that boast.  This morning I noticed small sprigs of mint where the old plant used to grow.

It's back!!

Thursday, 29 October 2020

A Reminder of Old Money

I recently saw an advertisement for gold coins, described as one eighth of a sovereign. They cost £69.

That is equivalent to a sovereign costing £552, When my parents were children sovereigns were still in use as currency and were valued at one pound.  An eighth of a pound was a half crown. Moderately distant relatives sometimes gave me a half crown as a Christmas present. £69 would have been much more exciting!

Wednesday, 28 October 2020

Check Bank Statements Carefully


 Before the lock down in March I almost always paid for shopping with cash. Since then I've usually used a bank card like a magic wand, nonchalantly waving it over the shop's machine. After a while I decided to compare deductions from my account with receipts from shops. In one case I noticed a deduction 99 pence more than the sum shown on the receipt, so DON'T TRUST THE SYSTEM !!!

Sunday, 25 October 2020

Nudity in Wales


I read that during the current 'lock down' in Wales shops will be allowed to sell only goods officially considered 'essential' and that that does not include clothes.

Is that official approval for people to shop in the nude?

Wednesday, 21 October 2020

David Hume

I notice that the University of Edinburgh has changed the name of a building that used to be named after David Hume, one of Britain's greatest philosophers. It has been alleged that he was a racist.

I have read a great deal of Hume's writings without ever encountering any remarks about race. I thought this remark on the BBC website significant.

"Elizabeth Lund, who started the online petition, wrote alongside it that Hume "wrote racist epithets not worth repeating." "

Thus she declines to refer us to the passages to which she objects. Without such a reference I shall treat the objections as frivolous, a case of the intellectually insignificant jealous of a mind superior to their own.

Saturday, 10 October 2020

Zooming Again


On Thursday I hosted a Zoom meeting. Although I'd used Zoom before that was the first time I'd hosted a meeting. There were only four of us so it was easy to experiment without confusing each other. We pressed every button we could find so I now have quite a good idea how the software works. I plan to hold regular virtual, meetings henceforth, replacing the monthly meetings the U3A Science and Technology Group used to hold on Age UK premises.

Friday, 2 October 2020

Misplaced Faith


Depressing stories have emerged about Post Office staff convicted of alleged crimes that had never been committed either by themselves or by anyone else. What had actually happened was that the Post Office computer systems made errors. Gullible managers had assumed that the computers could not have erred. 

Ever since computers came to be used widely there have been cases of people making the absurd assumption that computer systems cannot err.  No one making that assumption should be allowed to hold any senior post in any organisation.