Friday, October 11, 2013

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Front garden willow tree 14-5-13

We have had this willow in the front garden since we moved in, a few year ago it toppled over and had to be propped up but still seemed to be doing okay.

This year when everything else burst into life the tree stayed bare and sure enough most of the wood seemed to be dead. There was some shoots growing off the trunk so to give it a chance we had to take drastic action

Cut it down at the weekend and here it what is left. Am posting it so I can check how much it has grown over the summer

Monday, April 15, 2013

Google Analytics problems and bugs

Unusual for me to go about techy things but the current version of Google Analytics just isn’t fit for purpose. Things that took 2 minutes in the previous version take 20 now or are basically impossible.


Here is a screen-shot of me viewing segment data from a couple of years ago :


Note the numbers, 2500 rising to 4000…brilliant, let’s get that into a spreadsheet



Oh, great…Why can I see the correct numbers on the screen but not export it?


Also why on earth did they change the format of the data export for more than one segment? Instead of the old columned format



You get this :


Make a graph out of that if you can.


This sort of thing is typical. Have been onto their support people but to no avail…I know it is free so I shouldn’t complain but the old version was great. This version makes a big thing about gimmicks like “real time” tracking but is that really useful to a webmaster?


Saturday, April 06, 2013

Absolutely perfect day for a walk on Crosby beach to see the Gormleys

Off to see Waterloo today but took a detour down to the sea front, been a while since I've been to walk amongst the iron men but they are still there making the view interesting and striking

Thursday, April 04, 2013

Dawksplaining : A definition

"Dawksplaining" a word we definitely need.

When I was a kid I read a book on physics, it was okay...explained a fair bit about molecules, how they bind together. Atom what they are made of etc etc

I found it interesting but I didn't want to really be a scientist and so didn't read up on it much more.

Much as I love hearing about the wonders of the universe and ambition and intelligence of scientists to take human knowledge that little bit further if I were to challenge and mock a particle physicist on the basis of my sketchy knowledge of the topic (based as it would be on decades old knowledge and whatever I've picked from watching Brian Cox fly to all four corners of the globe to demonstrate how gravity works) you'd think I would be on shaky'd be right.

Why is it then that someone who stopped going to Church years ago feels they can, with confidence, talk about someone's belief system and tell them what they believe is wrong

I am not talking about skeptics, you don't have to believe the same as me...the world would be dull if we all did. I am talking smug, supercilious often aggressive and insulting barracking just for someone having the gall to believe in something they don't.

In the backdrop of his Holiness retiring and Pope Francis being installed and now Easter I've had a few of these conversations and almost universally I've been derided and told what I believe is nonsense ("imaginary friend", "mental illness", "bigot" etc) although singularly not one of these people has asked a single question about my Faith or beliefs.

That's Dawksplaining.

Not everyone who believes in God, is a right-wing, evangelical time why not talk to them and actually have a conversation.

Graphs of UK newspaper circulation figures

Graphs of UK newspaper circulation figures 2009 - 2013

The vile headline in the Daily Mail yesterday made me curious about which newspapers are actually getting read in the UK. Pretty depressing picture

UK Newspaper Circulation figures
UK Newspaper Circulation Figures
UK Newspaper market sharesuk newspaper market share graph

Got my figures from wikipedia, it’s a particular interesting picture of how the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail percentages have diverged giving the right-wing Sun & Mail block an almost un-challenged voice in the UK. The i newspaper has undoubtedly had a positive effect on Indedendent readership but things like the Guardian and the Times are just bumping along the bottom.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Boris Johnson grilled over integrity, bumbles

This Boris Johnson interview on the Andrew Marr show is fantastic. Nothing pleases me more than these old-Etonian Bullingdon club Tories getting a grilling. It's great when the mask slip and you see their true colours. The sense of entitlement and the barely concealed fury is there for all to see when the "plebs" don't kow-tow to them

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson has defended his integrity following revelations made in an upcoming BBC Two Documentary :

Friday, March 08, 2013

How to spot Comet Panstarrs

L4 Pan-Starrs should be visible in the northern hemisphere this month


The BBC have this image on its path across the night sky :



As seen from mid-northern latitudes, Comet Panstarrs might become visible with an optical aid around March 7 or 8. However, the comet will sit in the glow of dusk and will set around 40 to 45 minutes after sunset. By March 12, the comet will be considerably higher in the sky and will set around 75 minutes after sun. What’s more, the comet will be next to the waxing crescent moon on the North American evening of March 12.


Info found here :


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Who needs cuts? New economics book attacking the austerity monologue

Quite a timely release from a friend and comrade of mine, Barry Kushner:

The Coalition Government in the United Kingdom, like other governments, is embarking on an unprecedented round of spending cuts. Talk of deficits, the National Debt, Quantitative Easing, and other economic terminology is presented to the public as evidence that there is a vital need for some of the most drastic cuts the West has faced. But according to Barry Kushner, there is an alternative story that is not being told. There is a view of the economic events of the past five years that does not see the UK in debt crisis. It offers choice, differences of opinion, uncertainty and hope. It takes us on a different voyage beyond economics into politics and visions of society, our expectations and ambitions. It is an alternative story that prompted an American Nobel prize-winning economist to write '"Jobs now, deficits later" was and is the right strategy. Unfortunately, it's a strategy that has been abandoned in the face of phantom risks and delusional hopes.'

Who Needs the Cuts?: Myths of the Economic Crisis - Barry Kushner

Definitely worth a read by the sounds of it.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Nick Clegg speaks...very carefully

You do have to shake your head at the weasel words and double speak in Clegg's statement over the Rennard allegations

In a carefully scripted statement last night, Nick Clegg said that he had, after all, been aware of "indirect and non-specific concerns". Then he told the BBC this morning that "no very specific allegations" had been made before last week. He then added that they were "certainly not put to me" and that "no woman spoke out in detail".

UK loses it's AAA rating, Osborne loses the argument

...British people losing their future?


UK Loses its triple-a status


The only silver lining is that now there is absolutely no doubt that you simply can't cut your way out of a recession. Preach doom & disaster, cut public services back to the bone, lay off thousands of workers then act surprised when no-one goes out and buys a new car.


Osborne’s economic strategy was, from the beginning, pure arrogance and hubris. Yes, he inherited a massive structural deficit that needs dealing with but he also inherited a growing economy. The thing that damns him and will always be held against him was that he stood-up and announced he’d be that man who would deal with the deficit within a single parliament. This is the proof that his ego was the only thing driving the Conservative economic strategy.


Why a single UK parliament? Is it, by some amazing coincidence, the exact same length of time needed to safely and sensibly deal with a deficit of that size? OR was it sneering arrogance and ego and a disregard for the misery and suffering cutting at that speed would cause.


The economy is no heading into a treble dip recession and this is going to be one of the longest economic depressions in history. The only idea Osborne has had from the start has been to cutting spending, never even a nod to getting income up. Ultimately you have to conclude he is sitting there staring at the falling GDP and thinking “When will these people start dipping into their trust funds”.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Horsemeat? So what? Meat we know nothing about? PROBLEM

Please, please, please stop talking about is the fact that the meat is un-certified that is the problem. The standards of journalism over this story have been shocking.

The fact is this is powdered horse protein added to the meals to bulk them up. The protein shouldn't be there and so there is no traceability on it. Horse meat needs to be traceable because vets regularly use drugs that are harmful to humans during the horse's working life, before a horse can go into our food it needs to be certified free of these chemicals.

The scandal here is that the certification process across Europe has broken down allowing suppliers to cut corners on these cheap, blackmarket meat sources.

It's funny how the media bleat on about "red tape" until something like this occurs and shows what always happens once you bring in light-touch contrals and trust the private sector to self-regulate.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Maria Hutchings eduction quote

This quote from Consverative candidate for Eastleigh really does make your jaw drop :

“William [her son] is very gifted which gives us another interesting challenge in finding the right sort of education for him - impossible in the state system.”

"He wants to be a cardio-respiratory surgeon”

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again :

Never trust a tory