Archive for the ‘Trivia’ Category

Elizabeth Warren is probably more Neanderthal than she is Native American

October 15, 2018

UPDATE!!

The analysis of Warren’s DNA was done by Carlos D. Bustamante, a Stanford University professor, but when he studied Sen Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) DNA sample, he did not actually use samples of Native American DNA.

“To make up for the dearth of Native American DNA, Bustamante used samples from Mexico, Peru, and Colombia to stand in for Native American.” So all the test proved is that Warren might be 1/64 to 1/1024 Mexican, Peruvian, or Colombian — which again makes her no different than the average white American.

Regardless, all this DNA test proved is that Warren has no more claim to Indian heritage than the average white American.



 

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Either flies have communication or they have reincarnation

August 9, 2018

Over the last few weeks with temperatures above 25ºC our windows have been open more than usual. The influx of house flies has been correspondingly high. It has not quite been an inundation but we have fly-swats in most rooms.

On average over the last few weeks I have probably swatted 20 flies per day (more than 15, less than 30). In my defense I have not been on an extermination splurge and have only swatted a fly when it has been particularly irritating.

The flies are in no danger of extermination as a species and biodiversity is not threatened.

My empirical observations are as follows:

  1. Once a fly has found warm skin to prey upon, it has some mechanism to “lock on” to its target.
  2. A fly can read my mind and knows when I am thinking about picking up the fly swat.
  3. Once a fly has identified me as a target, other flies stay away from its hunting territory.
  4. Even flies need to rest and frantic twitching and waving of limbs does lead them to fly away from the target occasionally and rest on nearby surfaces.
  5. A light swat merely stuns the fly and it quickly recovers to continue its murderous attacks.
  6. A heavy swat mashes the fly leaving a gooey mess.
  7. With skill and practice just the right level of swat force can be applied to kill the fly without creating a mess.
  8. Within about 2 minutes of my swatting a fly dead, another fly appears and acquires me as a target.
  9. The “hero” or “rescue fly” is always singular and never a swarm of flies.
  10. Another swatting leads to another hero fly appearing.
  11. The longest sequence of dead fly/ hero fly observed has been six.

These observations lead me to the following conclusions:

  1. Flies have an unknown mechanism (probably an infra-red sensor) by which they can identify and lock on to prey.
  2. Flies are somewhat territorial and can communicate their reserved territories to other flies.
  3. Flies emit some kind of death radiation which is picked up by other flies but just a single “hero” or “rescue fly” is then sent to seek retribution.
  4. Flies do not have a collective memory since hero flies only appear singly and continue appearing even if each gets successively swatted.

Or, flies are reincarnated. Empirical observation suggests that if this the case, the reincarnations are not endless and number less than the eight reincarnations and nine lives of cats. It would seem that they have more than two reincarnations but less than five.


 

The top 1%

July 12, 2018

Number games.

 


 

Painless

July 3, 2018

As a sports fan, being Swedish of Indian origin leads to very few conflicts of interest.

For the size of its population, India is a massive under-performer in all sports except cricket. Sweden with its 10 million is an astonishing over-performer. Of course, watching cricket on TV in Sweden is almost impossible (which does cause some deprivation issues).

My preference for Wales in Rugby (Union of course) is a consequence of having lived in Cardiff (in the 70s in the days of the legendary Gareth Edwards and JPR Williams) and being bribed (with beer) and coerced by my colleagues to learn the intricacies of being a Rugby supporter. An appreciation of Max Boyce was obligatory.


 

 

My next computer will not have Windows 10

June 17, 2018

Just a rant since I am currently very irritated by Microsoft and Windows.

Microsoft’s intrusiveness is growing. Especially since Windows 10.

It was always high but it is now getting ridiculous. I receive this and similar messages almost every hour. If it is not shared experiences settings it is the App store settings. The advertisements on their Solitaire package are inane and incessant. I do not wish to share my experiences with Microsoft so that they can get even more intrusive.

I am beginning to get warnings about my hard disk so I will probably need to replace this 6 year old laptop within 6 months.

It will not be Windows 10 next time.

Image result for imac

I don’t have the patience or the concentration any longer to set up Linux. The alternatives such as Chrome O/S or Syllable are far too esoteric for me.  I am told that there are other alternatives in descendants of UNIX, OS/2, BeOS and DOS but those too are beyond my touch.

Which probably therefore means an iMac.

 


 

Trump schools the G7 (or Merkel wants her pen back)?

June 11, 2018

Alternative titles for this image.

  • A schoolmaster facing down a bunch of naughty children, or
  • G7 gang face stubborn Trump, or
  • Merkel wants her pen back, or 
  • Trump schools the G7

One may not like Trump but the message is sound.

  1. Real Free trade without subsidies and selective protectionism as in the EU or Canada or Japan.
  2. Ignoring Russia is pointless. Time for Russia to return to the G8
  3. Don’t waste time and energy on “global warming” talking shops.

The earth may be spherical but the universe is (largely) flat

May 1, 2018

The earth’s orbital plane is not quite flat. The ecliptic is currently reducing by about 1.4 degrees over 100,000 years.


 

Decimals are too simple

April 22, 2018

Of course all attempts to create a 10 hour day with 100 minutes to each hour and 100 seconds to each minute have failed. Similarly all attempts to divide the circle into 100 parts have not caught on.

The use of 60 is almost as basic as the use of 10.

The origins of base 60

All the non-decimal systems I learnt were embedded in memory before I was 20. I don’t expect many will remember these.

As a child I learned the use of 12 and 60 from my grandmother. The use of 12 was automatic with 4 and 3. Three pice to a pie. 4 pies to an anna and 16 annas to the rupee. When driving around India with my father, miles and furlongs and yards and feet came naturally. Bushels and pecks and gallons and quarts and pints came later as an apprentice in England.

Decimals are simple. But they are also simplistic.

Perhaps too simple.

Rupee, anna, pice, pies

Pounds, shillings, pence, farthings

Ton, hundredweights, pounds, ounces

Mile, furlongs, yards, feet

Bushel, pecks, gallons, quarts, pints


 

Eight years

April 16, 2018

I started this blog 8 years ago today as a means of curing writer’s block.

In that objective it has functioned very well. It’s been my relief valve and my therapy whenever I get stuck. Rather than engage in acrimonious comments and discussions when something is not to my liking on other sites, I find my solace in putting my own view down here.

3,862 posts in 8 years is a little over one post per day.

The reality is that I don’t actually post for anyone other than for myself.

Visitors to the site and readers are welcome bonuses, but the primary audience to be satisfied for any author is the author.


 

Dwarf planets demand full planetary rights and an end to discrimination

March 26, 2018

The five dwarf planets (Ceres in the asteroid belt, and the trans-Neptunian planets led by Pluto)) have demanded that discrimination against them  cease immediately and that they be afforded full planetary rights along with the “Big 8”. Over 150 bodies are trans-Neptunian planets (TNPs) but only four are recognised as dwarf planets (Pluto, Eris, Haumea, and Makemake).

A spokesman for the TNP’s complained that the International Astronomical Union was being blatantly unfair against the “small and the distant” and was guilty of violating the fundamental, God-given rights of every planetary body. “The members of the IAU are all earthlings and small-minded and biased”, he said. “It is a travesty that even a planet as near the Sun as Ceres could be treated with such disdain”, he continued. He claimed that actually there were over 250 TNP’s but many had yet to be contacted. He accused the IAU of gross geocentrism. “It is morally unacceptable to deny these ancient planets their full rights and to stigmatise them by calling them dwarfs”. “Do we not all orbit the same Sun?”, he asked. ”

The International Astronomical Union denied any discrimination. A spokesman angrily refused to comment when accused of being geocentric. He denied that the IAU was steeped in dwarfism.


 


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