Of Higgs Bosons and Fare Dodgers

Some comment on a couple of recent news stories.

The discovery of the Higgs Boson, the particle responsible for all mass is a triumph of science. It is one of the clearest demonstrations of the scientific method in action one could wish to see. The existence of this tiny particle was required by a theory which fitted all the known facts, so an experiment was carried out to find out whether such a particle existed or not. The evidence is now in, and the particle is there.

The story about the fare dodger is that he was ejected from the train on which we has trying tol travel without paying by a fellow passenger who came to the assistance of the ticket inspector. On radio five live last night a retired police office and a magistrate were asked for their opinions. The magistrate took the narrow minded and literalist view that techincally the person who ejected the fare dodger was guilty of assault, while the former police office applauded the ejector (as by the way his fellow passenegers had spontaneously done). My view is clear: The fare dodger had made it clear that he was unwilling either to pay for a ticket ir to leave the train and the ticket inspector indicated in response to a question from the other passenger that he needed assistance. The would-be fare dodger deserves no synpathy whatsoever (how many of you would offer sympathy to a would-be shoplifter had a shopper come to the assistance of a security guard in an analogous situation?) and the ejector should be applauded for helping to ensure that he did not get away with it. As for the fare dodger’s attempt to say he had paid for a ticket but had lost it, which was why he was being obstreperous, it simply does not wash. I recently had an occurrence in Fakenham when I lost a return bus ticket because it blew away as I was getting out of my wallet in preparation for boarding the bus, and eluded all attempts to find it. I cursed myself for an act of clumsiness and forked out the extra money to get back home. Because a lost ticket is a such a classic fare dodgfers excuse an honest passeneger would not attempt to use it.

 

 

Of Higgs Bosons and Fare Dodgers

Some comment on a couple of recent news stories.

The discovery of the Higgs Boson, the particle responsible for all mass is a triumph of science. It is one of the clearest demonstrations of the scientific method in action one could wish to see. The existence of this tiny particle was required by a theory which fitted all the known facts, so an experiment was carried out to find out whether such a particle existed or not. The evidence is now in, and the particle is there.

The story about the fare dodger is that he was ejected from the train on which we has trying tol travel without paying by a fellow passenger who came to the assistance of the ticket inspector. On radio five live last night a retired police office and a magistrate were asked for their opinions. The magistrate took the narrow minded and literalist view that techincally the person who ejected the fare dodger was guilty of assault, while the former police office applauded the ejector (as by the way his fellow passenegers had spontaneously done). My view is clear: The fare dodger had made it clear that he was unwilling either to pay for a ticket ir to leave the train and the ticket inspector indicated in response to a question from the other passenger that he needed assistance. The would-be fare dodger deserves no synpathy whatsoever (how many of you would offer sympathy to a would-be shoplifter had a shopper come to the assistance of a security guard in an analogous situation?) and the ejector should be applauded for helping to ensure that he did not get away with it. As for the fare dodger’s attempt to say he had paid for a ticket but had lost it, which was why he was being obstreperous, it simply does not wash. I recently had an occurrence in Fakenham when I lost a return bus ticket because it blew away as I was getting out of my wallet in preparation for boarding the bus, and eluded all attempts to find it. I cursed myself for an act of clumsiness and forked out the extra money to get back home. Because a lost ticket is a such a classic fare dodgfers excuse an honest passeneger would not attempt to use it.

 

 

News on the incinerator

Caroline Spelman has recognised the strength of opposition to Norfolk County Council’s plans to build an incinerator at Saddlebow in a letter to Derrick Murphy, reproduced in today’s Lynn News. I was delighted to see signatures being collected for a petition in the town centre today to keep the pressure on. Central government intervening in our favour is a huge boost.

The situation now is that Defra will not award Norfolk County Council the necessary Waste Infrastructure credits for the building of the incinerator unless additional evidence in relation to a the existence of a broad consensus for their waste management structure. It will be mighty hard for Norfolk County Council to find thsi evidence.

Also, the funding will not be allocated while Norfolk County Council are subject to a Judicial Review relating to this issue (and presumably should this go against them it would be the coup de grace).

The view from the rooftop for this post is of an architectural feature belonging the building which houses the Deck of Cards.

Sports

Salman Butt, Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir are serving sentences for corruption in relation to the scandal that blew up at Lord’s in 2010 over the bowling of deliberate no-balls. The sentencing was appropriate with the experienced duo of Butt and Asif getting punished much more severely than Amir.

This could yet be good for cricket (as suggested originally by Aggers) if it leads to the problems around illegal bookmakers being properly dealt with. Cricket as a whole has spent a long time in denial of the extent of the problem (Salim Malik was banned for life as long ago as the mid 1990s for his dealings with these bookmakers, and then there was Hansie Cronje).

Tiger Woods’ former caddie Steve Williams is in hot water after remarks made at a caddies evening about his former employer (not employee as Williams referred to him throughout an interview in which he refused to show any contrition for what he had said). Woods appears to have forgiven Williams rather quicker than he forgave Fuzzy Zoeller for a similar slip some years ago – perhaps as suggested on five live last night Williams knows of a few skeletons yet to come out of the Woods closet.

Joe Frazier, who died yesterday, was one person who left his sport in a better state than he had found it, unlike most of those I have mentioned in this piece. A pity then that the “sport” in question was boxing. Other sports feature injuries but few require you to injure an opponent to win and none regard knocking an opponent unconscious as the height of glory.

For today’s view from the rooftop we have a sideways on shot of the towers of St Margarets Church,

“hardest Hit” demonstration in Norwich

 

Some who wanted to be there couldn't but left messages

Several hundred people turned out at Chapelfields Gardens for the “Hardest Hit” protest march and rally against the government’s disabiligty cuts.

Someone has a good guy ready for bonfire night!

Not only was the turnout impressive for a local demonstration, with plenty of banners and placards on display, but the weather given that we are now in late October was also splendid. If I believed in such things as gods I would have taken the blue sky and bright sunshine as a sign that someone up there was supporting us.

After a slow march round the centre of Norwich with lots of noisy chants (“No ifs, no buts, no disability cuts” and “what do want? Equal rights. When do want it? Now.” were the two we used) we reconvened back at Chapelfield gardens for a rally at which there were some magnificent speakers. For more information about what is going on visit www.hardesthit.org.uk. For this post I have a variation on my “View from the rooftop” with a photo taken by holding the camera through my living room window to get a view in the other direction. The tower in the background was the centrepiece of the Franciscan Friary in days of yore, hence it’s current designation Greyfriars Tower.

The Greyfriars tower captured from 117E High Street
This homemade placard said all that needed to be said
A scene from the rally

powerpoint and other stuff

Having been temporarily laid low by a cold I spent today doing some work on powerpoint for my aunt. The weather has been helpful in my recovery as you will see below. The only blot on today was an England collapse all too reminiscent of the bad days of the 1990s. I spent most of the afternoon based in the impromptu “home office” shown below. The building in the background is The Granaries. The glass by the way was used for water and water only.

Set up for work on an English october day!

Meetings

I have recently attended two meetings which for different reasons were important.

On Thursday I attended an antiwar meeting at the University of East Anglia where Judith Orr was the main speaker and the lecture theatre we had been allocated was full to overflowing. It was a very constructive and enjoyable debate.

Last night was this month’s meeting of the King’s Lynn Social and Support Group for Adults with Asperger’s Syndrome. I passed on some information about a research project taking place at Cambridge University which I have already signed up for. We also decided that the Crown & Mitre was the best option for our Christmas meeting (Thankyou for researchinng various establishments, Ros).

Here is a “View from the Rooftop”