Cricket, Photographs and Puzzles

Some thoughts about the early stages of the English Cricket Season, some photographs and some puzzles.

INTRODUCTION

The second round of County Championship matches in season 2018 are now on their second day. Additionally the fact that here in England we seem to have skipped spring, going dorectly from a long, unpleasant winter into summer means I have a particularly fine selection of photographs for you, and there will be puzzles. 

THE COUNTY CHAMPIONSHIP

Scoring is low everywhere. At Chester-le-Street it is looking a first innings tally of 169 will be sufficient for Kent to record an innings victory (Durham, shot out for 91 yesterday morning are 39-7 in their second innings, needing their last three wickets to double that paltry tally just to avoid the innings defeat). Essex and Lancashire are already into their third innings as well, Essex having scraped together 150 first up and Lancashire replying with 144. Essex are 39-0 in their second innings. Somerset, having actually claimed a batting bonus point by reaching 202 are poised for a handy first innings lead, Worcestershire being 153-8 in response. Surrey also topped 200 – making 211, and Hampshire are 79-6 in response. Yorkshire made 256 in their first innings, and Nottinghamshire are 110-6 in response. Derbyshire made 265, and Middlesex have also reached three figures, being 101-5 in response. Gloucestershire are 47-0 in response to Glamorgan’s 236. Northamptonshire were all out for 147 and Warwickshire are about to overhaul them, with wickets in hand. Finally, Sussex batting first are a comparatively monumental 304-7 (three batting bonus points, although they will not get a fourth as they have had 108.3 overs, and bonus points are only awarded in the first 110 overs of a team’s first innngs) against Leicestershire.

Every match is in progress, which beats last week, when Yorkshire failed to produce a playing surface on which the game could be played, resulting in their match against Essex being abandoned without a ball being bowled. 

The low scoring is a major problem – the batters will gave little confidence since they are not making runs, and as soon as they face conditions in which the ball does not get up to mischief most of the wicket-taking bowlers will revert to being their workaday selves (we saw, unforgettably for all the wrong reasons, over the winter how seamers who bowl accurately but not especially fast are cannon fodder for international class batsmen on good pitches). 

From the point of view of England possibles these two rounds of championship matches have been largely valueless – the 75 from James Vince on the opening day was the usual Vince fare – excellent while it lasted, but did not last long enough to be satisfactory and given the conditions no bowling figures can be taken with anything other than a substantial helping of salt.

PHOTOGRAPHS 1: AN ASPI.BLOG FIRST

The Muscovy ducks first saw a few months back are still in residence, and they have been joined by an unusual visitor, the second largest bird species I have seen in King’s Lynn – Canada Geese.

Muscovy ducks and Canada Geese
The white patch at the top front of the otherwise pure black neck (the head and bill are also pure black) is, along with the colossal size, the key identifier of these birds as Canada Geese.

Canada Goose and Muscovy ducksCGICGIICGIII

PUZZLE 1: MATCHSTICKS

My first offering from brilliant (the source of all of today’s puzzles – note also that all can be solved without even using pen and paper, never mind mechanical assistance – I did) is an exercise in visualization:

matchsticks

PHOTOGRAPHS 2: MUNTJAC

This muntjac was nibbling the grass on the playing field of the Lynn Academy, and I was taking pictures through a screen of plants:

Muntjac IMuntjac IIMuntjac IIIMuntjac IV

PUZZLE 2: CLEAR ICE

Clear Ice

PHOTOGRAPHS 3: SQUIRREL

I got two shots of this squirrel, one om the ground, and one as it swarmed up a tree trunk:

Squirrelsquirrel swarming up tree

PUZZLE 3: POLYOMINO

Another exercise in visualization (my own success with this one enabled me to celebrate what I call my brilliant.org Pi Day – 314 successive days on which I had solved at least one of their problems!):

Polyomino

PHOTOGRAPHS 4: SMALLER BIRDS

BlackbirdMoorhen on branchMagpieperching blackbird

PUZZLE 4: CONVERGENCE

Convergence

PHOTOGRAPHS 5: BUTTERFLIES

Small Tortoiseshell XIITwo Small TortoiseshellsTwo Small Tortoiseshells IISmall Tortoiseshell XIIITwo butterfliesSmall Tortoiseshell XIVPeacock Butterfly with closed wings

PUZZLE 5: CUBE

My own method for solving this one once again involved visualization, although other methods were also used.

Cube

In view of some of the moans that appeared on brilliant in relation to this problem please note the crucial words “by rotating” in the question – they are absolutely key.

PHOTOGRAPHS 6: THE REST

PollinatorSmall birdShy guinea pig

AFTERWORD

While I have been completing this post Durham have succeeded in making Kent bat again, though it is still massive odds against that game even making it onto the third of the scheduled four days.

 

Cricket Season Underway

Celebrating the start of a new cricket season.

INTRODUCTION

The first round of County Championship matches in season 2018 is drawing to a conclusion. Where there has been action (Yorkshire’s failure to get their ground into playable condition caused their game against Essex to be abandoned without a ball being bowled). I also have some photos to share, and will provide answers to the last problems I posed.

RAIN, WICKETS AND THE ODD RUN

A lot of drawn games have resulted due to poor weather before and during the matches. However, those matches which have had definite results have been absolute crackers. Only one game remains in progress – Sussex against Warwickshire, with the former’s David Wiese having scored the only century of this first round of fixtures (and off a mere 94 balls, helped along by 14 fours and three sixes). Sussex are building are useful lead, but it will take something spectacular in what is left of the match for anything other than a draw to eventuate. Gloucestershire beat Kent in a very low scoring affair (the largest team total in any of the four innings was only just over 150). Middlesex also won their match in short order, completing the job early on yesterday. Two other matches had definite results:

HAMPSHIRE V WORCESTERSHIRE

Worcestershire generally have a lot of away games scheduled for early in the season to give the New Road ground an apportunity to recover from its winter inundation (it is very close to the river Severn, so this is pretty much an annual event), and this year is no exception. Their match against Hampshire at Southampton (I refuse on principle to refer directly to grounds that are named after a sponsor) saw many twists and turns, but Hampshire were pretty well always ahead of the game. James Vince’s spirited 75 on the opening day was a fine effort, but yet again he failed to turn a good start into a really significant score. All-rounder Gareth Berg matched Vince’s score. Worcestershire fought back from a dreadful start in their own first innings to top the 200 mark, but they still conceded a deficit of 79, and Hampshire then scored 244 in their second innings to leave Worcestershire needing 324 to win. Worcetserhsire were so far short of threatening this target that it took a defiant last wicket partnership to get the final margin below 200 runs. 

LANCASHIRE V NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

Lancashire were all out for 158 in their first innings, Nottinghamshire responded with 222, and overnight Lancashire were 58-2. Harry Gurney and Jake Ball (Left-arm Fast and right-arm Fast Medium respectively) bowled magnificently this morning, and Lancashire’s last eight wickets scraped together a measly 15, which meant Nottinghamshire needed just 10 to win. Nottinghamshire themselves managed to lose four wickets while chasing down this target, making the score for the day 25-12. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

These are all from this morning:

MagpieTwo cormorants ITwo Cormorants IICormorantsBlackbird

Bee
My first bee picture of 2018

Bee IIBee - close upSlugPollinator IPollinator IISmall TortoiseshellSmall Tortoiseshell - close up

SOLUTIONS

I posed these problems on Friday, in a post titled “Solutions (And New Problems)

  1. Deck of Cards:
    Card problem

This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:

a) Less than 50%
b) More than 50%
c) Exactly 50%
This problem generated a huge amount of controversy among solvers on brilliant (many of those who opted for exactly 50% being unable to accept that they were wrong and arguing over it). The answer is “less than 50%” – whatever colour the top card in the pack is there remain 51 cards of which 25 are the same colour as the top card and 26 are the other colour. Hence the probability of the bottom card being the same colour is the top card is 25/51, which is just less than 50%. The more cards the deck contains the closer to 50% the probability gets, but it never reaches 50%.

2. Groyne

Groyne Q

This one caused such confusion to solvers om brilliant that over half of them got it wrong. The answer is A, since the groyne acts as a block against waves approaching it from the right as you look at it, and therefore the reduced speed of those waves causes sediment to deposited on that side of the groyne. 

Solutions (And New Problems)

Solutions to my .last set of problems and a new set. Also some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

It has been a few days since my last post, and the principal reason for this will made clear in my next post. Meantime I am starting proceedings for today by answering the questions I included in my previous post, and then setting a couple of new ones.

SOLUTION 1 – TRIANGLE CENTERS

Here is the original problem, from brilliant:

triprob

Here is the answer:

TriAnswer

To explain, here is Alex Warneke’s published solution (one of a number, but the one I like best)

Draw a circle around each figure. The circle drawn around each polygon has a larger circumference than the polygon and therefore a larger radius than the circle. If we consider the ratio of circumference of a circle to perimeter of inscribed regular n-gon we see it is bigger for smaller n and smallest for n = 3.

SOLUTION 2: EBBINGHAUS DISILLUSION

This was the problem:

Ebbinghaus

The two blue circles are exactly the same size. Here is an edited version of the above, deliberately clumsy so that my method of editing it can be seen by all:

Ebbinghaus Disillusion

PROBLEM 1: DECK OF CARDS

The first of two new problems from brilliant that I am sharing in this post:

Card problem

This is a multi-choice question, the possible answers being:

a) Less than 50%
b) More than 50%
c) Exactly 50%

PROBLEM 2: GROYNE

Again from brilliant:

Groyne Q

As the title of this section indicates I have identified a clear-cut mistake in the wording of the question – there may be room for doubt as to whether the indicated structure is a groyne or a jetty, but it is most definitely not a ‘breakwater’ – such would be entirely out at sea, not stretching from the land into the sea. 

PHOTOGRAPHS

MinsterMajestic Clock TurretGreyfriars Tower

Come On Aldi, Show Some Tree-spect

A petition, a Thunderclap, a message to Aldi, some photographs, and a couple of little snippets.

INTRODUCTION

Although there will be a couple of minor items tacked on that the end, this post is mainly devoted to a thunderclap and a petition, both regarding an area of woodland that adjoins a Nature Reserve and is under threat from plans by supermarket chain Aldi. 

SAVE QUESLETT TREES

There are two parts to this, starting with…

A THUNDERCLAP

To participate in the Thunderclap you need to be on facebook and/or twitter and/or tumblr. Below is a screenshot formatted as a link:

ATC

Linked to the Thunderclap is a petition, a screenshot of which appears below, again formatted as a link.

QTP

The main business of this post ends with…

A MESSAGE TO ALDI (AND PLANNING AUTHORITIES)

I feel very strongly that Aldi should accept the initial negative decision, especially given how many supermarkets (including two other Aldis) are located close to this area already. I am a fairly regular customer of Aldi stores in my own part of the world, but that may not remain the case if Aldi do not reconsider their stance over this. I conclude with some advice for all involved in this decision to consider, tendered in the form of a picture created by Anna from a comment I posted on her blog:

Nature Meme.jpg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of my recent photographs, before I finish off with a couple of minor items. 

Black backed gullsBird gatheringBird gathering IIelusive squirrelBird gathering IIISquirrelSmall waderBirds in treeBirds on a wallbird laden treeCormorant MDCLXVICormorant MDCLXVIISea BirdsWest Lynn ChurchCormorant and gullsRedshankThree gull specieslesser black backed gullsBlack headed gullHerring gullSmall bird in valley

A COUPLE OF NUGGETS

The last few days have seen two numbers come up for me:

  • 300 – the number of successive days on which I have solved at least one of brilliant’s problems – here is one of them for you:
    triprob
  • 900 – my Lumosity Performance Index has just exceeded this value (after this morning’s workout it now stands at 917. Below, concluding this post is first the breakdown of my LPI, and second a little puzzle for you:
    LPI

    Ebbinghaus
    Solutions will be in a future post.

 

Setting The Stage For Tomorrow And Monday

Setting out my stall for tomorrow and Monday, answering one problem and setting another. Also demonstrating the creation of a poster.

INTRODUCTION

Between work, an important meeting on Tuesday and editing photographs from last weekend I have not been able to put up any blog posts since Monday. This post will set out what is on the agenda for tomorrow and Monday, give a solution to one problem and set another. 

UPCOMING

I have already produced two posts in my “Autism Events” series, which take that story up to the end of the Norwich event (see here and here), and covering Saturday’s event in London will certainly take two posts, possibly three. Additionally the photographs I have of the journey between King’s Cross and Uxbridge will form the backbone of a couple of posts (at least) on my London transport themed website. 

A SOLUTION

In Midweek Medley III I posed the following problem:

Flip

Below is the answer and a published solution from brilliant.

C

Blan

A NEW PROBLEM

Another one from brilliant:

SF

CREATING A RAILWAYANA POSTER

This is one of the tasks I had to perform at work this week. I actually produced two versions due to a dispute over which photograph to use as the official sample. The brief was to produce a poster that looked like the front cover of a catalogue, advertising the fact that part 1 of the W A Sharman collection of  iconic steam locomotive photographs will be going under the hammer:

Dent Head Viaduct main
This was the choice of former railway worker Paul, one with which I am in full agreement…

Dent Head Viaduct - Label

Nicholas Nickleby main
…but auctioneer David liked this one, so I produced two versions of the poster. These images were obtained by scanning the original photographs at 600dpi.

Nicholas Nickleby Label

SharmanSM1
This is a screenshot of my preferred version.
Flyer 2
I also produced flyers for Paul to use at an event he was attending.

Flyer 1

Below are the links to the original word documents.

Sharman poster 1

Sharman poster 2

Midweek Medley II

A mixed bag of bits and pieces from around the net and some of my own stuff, including photographs.

INTRODUCTION

Yes folks it is time for sharing post, including some of my own photographs. I have a lot of interesting stuff to share, starting with…

AN ANNIVERSARY OF SHAME

The bodytext of this section is in #RedInstead because it relates to Autism. To be exact, today marks 20 years since Andrew Wakefield published his “research” indicating a link between autism and vaccines. One impact his decision to go straight to the press without having his “research” peer reviewed first (it was badly flawed, and that is being kind) had was to cause measles to become a significant factor in parts of the UK as parents declined to have their children vaccinated. There can be no comparison between autism (a neurological DIFFERENCE – and don’t forget that different is not a synonym for lesser) and measles (a dangerous illness). However, in the minds of some parents, fear of autism has been sufficient to prevent them from vaccinating. Mr Wakefield has since decamped to the US (Texas to be exact), and he has just weighed in on an election in his new home, supporting the challenger against the current incumbent, republican Sarah Davis, who has supported vaccines. I am not USian, nor based in the area where this election is taking place, but if there is anything that could induce to me to vote for a republican it would the likes of Wakefield urging a vote for their opponent.

I end this section with some links:

SOME OTHER SHARES FROM THE WEB

I start with a link to a piece by John Jonasson of The Photo Bloggers, titled “En dag med uttrarna – A day with the otters” – as an aperitif here is a picture showing two of the creatures:

Having just celebrated nature with the above link, here from closer to home, is a link to a petition by the Green Party calling for a new Clean Air Act fit for the 21st century. Please sign and share.

I finish this mini section back here in Norfolk, bringing up a topic close to my heart. Stagecoach are closing their King’s Lynn depot on April 30th (a king sized betrayal of Norfolk Green, the company they bought to get that depot) and will not be running any Norfolk routes thereafter. This leaves Konect, Lynx Buses, First, Sanders Coach Services and West Norfolk Community Transport to pick up the pieces. Our bus routes are very important to us, not least since thanks to Dr Beeching our county has no train routes to speak of. Thus I bring you a 38 Degrees petition calling on the council to work with these companies to ensure that the Coasthopper service (under threat of being entirely shut down) keeps running. Please sign and share the petition, via the screenshot below:

coasthopper

AUTISM RELATED SHARES

Autistic Bill of Rights.pub

There have been two posts created by people responding to my Sunshine Blogger Award nominations. Anna’s response which handles the entire brief is also titled “Sunshine Blogger Award” and is an excellent effort. I have already reblogged stimtheline’s Sunshine Blogger Questions“, which does a magnificent job of answering my questions, and I share it once again now. 

The Autism Women’s Network have recently produced a piece titled “Is Autism Speaks a Hate Group?” (spoiler: the answer is yes).

I end with a link to the petition to save the Morley House Respite Unit, which now has just over 3,200 signatures – please sign and share!

A MEETING

This meeting will be taking place in Norwich on the evening of March 8th (I will be in Norwich that day on behalf of NAS West Norfolk and will stay on for the meeting):

Norwich Trans liberation 2018 A6 cmyk

A TEASER

This is not too difficult IMO, from my regular source, brilliant.org:

the cube

PHOTOGRAPHS

These are all from Monday:

BriggsSun on waterCormorantsCormorantCormorants and gullsNeck StretchflappingGreat OuseCormoranr vignettedMoorhenfemale blackbirdMoon 1Moon 2CMsCM x 5CM brownCM x 3CM whiteCM black

 

Sunshine Blogger Award

My response to Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) nominating me for a Sunshine Blogger Award)

INTRODUCTION

Sunshine Blogger Award

I am honoured to have been nominated for this award by the wonderful Alison (The Unabashed Autist and Alison Wonderland) – click here to see her post in full.

DA ROOLZ

I have borrowed this section heading from Jerry Coyne of whyevolutionistrue. Title explained, here are the rules:

The Sunshine Blogger Award is for bloggers who are creative, positive and inspiring as they spread sunshine to the blogging community. 

Here are the rules:

  1. Thank the person who nominated you with a blog post and a link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions sent by the person who nominated you.
  3. Nominate 11 new blogs to receive the award and write them 11 new questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award logo in your post and/or your blog.

ALISON’S QUESTIONS

  1. Do you sing in the shower? No
  2. Is there someone for whom you’d die? I cannot answer this one.
  3. Set a time for 10 minutes.  You have until it expires to pick a band name.  Go. I am mainly a fan of classical music, and am no good at coming uo with band names.
  4. One thing you would surely grab before exiting if there were a fire? My camera
  5.  You’re chosen as part of an exploration team to visit a new planet and return in two years.  Do you go? Absolutely – no way am I missing out on something like that.
  6. A time traveler offers a choice between a cure for AIDS and cancer or a clean, plentiful source of energy in exchange for keeping her story secret. Which would you choose? I go for the clean, plentiful source of energy – we are already making good progress on AIDS and cancer, but not on ensuring that our planet remains capable of sustaining life, so I deem the latter the greater necessity.
  7. How long since you last ate peanut butter? A very long time.
  8. What do you collect? I collect things with a railway connection.
  9. If you could step outside of time for however long you wanted, then return and no time has passed, what would you do with the time? I genuinely don’t know.
  10. Who is the first comedian that made you laugh so hard you cried? I can’t remember
  11. Who will play you in the hypothetical movie about your life story? Daniel Radcliffe

MY NOMINATIONS

Whether I have nominated you or not please feel free to respond to the challenge if you so desire. My official nominations are:

The Thoughts of Life and Me (Masgautsen) – sample post #tbt Kaffekanna (The coffee pot) opening paragraph below:

One of the posts I found in my drafts was this post about a nice cafe and wine bar. It is quite fitting that I started this post and never published it, because this is one of those places that I really wanted to go visit when they first opened, but it took me quite some time before I actually went.

The Adventures of Captain Cornwall (Laura Easlick) – sample post A Sunday Afternoon in Zennor – opening lines reproduced below:

If I won the lottery, I would buy a house in Zennor.

I love the idea of having plenty of space between houses, with unspoiled views and dramatic coastal scenery.

West Cornwall can feel like a different place to the rest of the county. Driving from Hayle in West Cornwall to Zennor in the area known as West Penwith, the views change quickly and it suddenly feels like you’re on the way to the end of the Earth!

The Skwawkbox – sample post VIDEO: NEIL ‘DOES A PAXMAN’ ON SQUIRMING TORY MINISTER OVER CORBYN SMEARS

…However, it seems that Mr Neil agrees with us that recent smears by Tory front-benchers against Jeremy Corbyn have been beyond the pale – as they prompted him to ‘do a Paxman’ on Wednesday on a hapless Tory minister during the BBC’s Daily Politics programme:

Robert Loves Pi – sample post Three Rings of Eleven (as I pointed out on the original, I saw five rings of eleven shapes) – given the significance of the number 11 to this challenge this is a particularly neat fit (IMO):

Three Rings of Eleven

Undestined Pieces (Anusha Sridharan) – sample post Bright days bring bright beginnings.

…A day gets a good start when you have made up your mind to think all positive, and nothing but positive. What acts like an icing to it is having a nobel purpose attached to it.

Travelling the World (Ester) – sample post Greenwich-London:

Our Autism Blog (Emzamy) – sample post A Cure for Autism? (note the question mark with which this title ends – and that this piece follows the usual rule that applies to titles including a question, or I would not be linking to it) – quote from the end of the post:

The most important “cure” for Autism is to teach the child that being different is not a bad thing.
We need to make it possible for a child to live and thrive by helping people to understand the nature of the condition.
For the child to grow up and be happy, their Autistic needs have to be met.
The way forward for us all is to accept difference in a world full of discrimination.

Getting rid of Autism isn’t the key to the perfect child…..I love mine just the way she is.

The Neurodivergent Rebel – sample post Web Resources

My last three nominations are blogs I also nominated in my response post when I was nominated for a Blogger Recognition Award.

Stimtheline (Mish) – what else could be sample post but The Autistic Bill of Rights Shareable Image:

Autistic Bill of Rights.pub

The Silent Wave (Laina Eartharcher, also has a sharing site, Lainas Collection), sample post The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Neurotypicality:

In Short:

The NT Take On Life is often (too frequently) to dumb it down, complicate it with bullshit and distractions, condense it into bite-size pieces, and send it viral.  Strip it of substance, complexity, and real-ness, lace it with double-speak, polish it up into something shiny and digestible, package it for appearances, and act like That’s The Way Things Are, assuming broad acceptance and mass adoption.

I started this list of nominations in Nordic lands, with a Norwegian blog, and I finish back in that part of the world with a Swedish blog, fargaregardsanna (Anna Bohlin), sample post Så här bygger vi i Trosa kommun – not climate smart building in Trosa Sweden:

To finish this section: If you want to make a comment that relates specifically to one of the posts I have highlighted in this piece please go the original to do so. If your comment is about the post as a whole or about something that is specifically my work then by all means post it here.

MY QUESTIONS FOR NOMINEES (AND ANYONE ELSE WHO IS INTERESTED)

  1.  If you could restore one place that exists only as an archaeological site to perfect condition waht would it be?
  2. If you remove from existence one current organization which would it be?
  3. What is the most amazing sporting performance you have ever witnessed?
  4. Who is your favourite author of fiction?
  5. Pick one word beginning with each letter of the alphabet that is particularly associated with your life.
  6. An alien visitor offers to give you the solution to one of humanity’s great unsolved problems: which one do you ask for?
  7. If traveling were free, where would you like to go? 
  8. If you could have a dinosaur renamed in your honour which one would it be? (note to Autism Mom, if you take these questions on you are permitted to subcontract this one to The Navigator!) 

    the last three questions are based on the BBC Radio 4 programme Desert Island Discs – :

  9. You are able to save one music CD from the waves as you scramble ashore – what would you like to be on it? (If you want to go above and beyond and make the full eight music choices around which the actual programme is built be my guest!)
  10. Choose three books that would help you pass the time on the island (the real thing restricts castaways to one choice, giving them The Bible and The Complete Works of Shakespeare whether they want them or not).
  11. Choose one luxury item (it should not be too useful, but I am not going to be harsh on that, and I will allow a little latitude in the matter of what the main item has with it – e.g if you select a camera, as I would, it comes with a spare battery, as well as the fully charged one that is currently in there).

PHOTOGRAPHS

Having completed the business part of this piece I conclude it by putting up some recent photographs of my own:

Squirrel CLXIISquirrel CLXISquirrel CLXBlackbird CLXIICormorant CLXIICormorants and gullsCormorant CLXIBrace of cormorants IIBrace of cormorantsCormorant CLXWater birdsFlying Cormorant XXMoorhen CLXI