Links, Puzzles, Pictures

Links, puzzles and pictures. Public transport features, as does some general politics, and mathematics. The pictures are of course my own.

INTRODUCTION

I have many links to share with you, and wilkl be setting a puzzle. I will be putting up another of my tree posts immediately after this one, so my pictures feature stuff other than trees.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

This section comes in two parts, starting with…

NEWS FROM MY LONDON TRANSPORT WEBSITE

Just before lunchtime today I received the following email:

Dear Thomas.

I am writing regarding http://www.londontu.be 

My name is Andrew and I work for Nicola at Tour London. Nicola is a tour guide in London UK who takes individuals and groups to the most famous landmarks in London, as well as discovering hidden gems along the way! We were wondering if it were possible for us to appear on your “links” page in any way given that we share such a similar topic.

Alternatively would you be interested in content pieces? Nicola has a vast knowledge of London and would love to share it with your audience. 
Finally, If not content, do you have any other advertising opportunities?

I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind Regards,

Andrew | Marketing Executive
Tour London
Tourlondon.org.uk

 

Naturally, I was delighted to receive such a communication, and I have since put in some links, done a special post about this site and ‘pressed’ a couple of their pieces. Please visit londontu.be to read about this in more detail, and then explore tourlondon to see what they have to offer.

WE OWN IT – TRANSPORT

The campaign group weownit have created a resource with the catchy title Privatisation Fails. Below is a screenshot of the homepage for this resource:

pf

Of course, I followed up the bus and train links. Here is a paragraph from Privatisation Fails Buses:

Buses

30 years ago, our bus services were deregulated and privatised. This has been a disaster for our buses. Fares went up and routes that weren’t profitable were cut, meaning you now pay more for less.  In 2017, the Bus Service Users Bill was passed, which included a clause which bans local councils from creating their own public bus companies. 

On this page are the Big Five bus companies that grew out of deregulation and privatisation in the 1980s – together they control 70% of the bus travel industry in the UK. Many of these companies either own, or are owned by, rail companies as well.

Read more about bus services, and how and why we want to bring them into public ownership, here.

Next up comes Privatisation Fails Railways:

Railways

British Rail was broken up and privatised between 1994 and 1997, and since then rail services in the UK have been provided by private companies. There are 16 rail franchises in the UK, where the government gives train companies funding to run services for a certain period. 

Many of the companies that run our trains are European state-owned companies who reinvest millions of pounds a year in dividends from their British operations into their own transport systems. As you’ll see, these companies often own franchises within franchises. You might be surprised to learn who owns your morning commute! We’ve also listed three ‘ROSCOs’ or rolling stock companies, who lease trains to rail companies.

Read more about the privatisation of rail and what we can do about it here.

POLITICAL LINKS

Royal Mail workers have voted by a huge margin to take strike action. The official voting figures are:

Turnout 73.7%
Yes 89%
No 11%

This means that 65.593% of all those eligible to vote cast their vote in favour of strike action. I did this calculation myself, entirely in my head, but here for the record is how to get there…

Calling Turnout T and Yes votes Y and Overall Percent Yes as O we have O = TY/100. Putting the known figures into this we have O = (73.7 x 89)/100. To avoid decimals until absolutely necessary we change this to O = (737 x 89)/1000. To calculate 737 x 89 we can reduce to single figure calculations as follows:

737 x 89 = (700 x 89) + (30 x 89) + (7 x 89), and then splitting these up 700 x 89 = (700 x 80) + (700 x 9), 30 x 89 = (30 x 80) + (30 x 9) and 7 x 89 = (7 x 80) + (7 x 9). We now have a series of multiplications which can all be treated as single figure multiplications, with in some cases zeroes to be stuck on the end. Multiplying them out gives us 56,000 + 6,300 + 2,400 + 270 +560 + 63. Adding these together we get 65,593, and dividing by 1,000 requires a decimal point to go between the first and second five, giving us 65.593%. PS It took a lot longer writing this out than performing the calculations in my head!

I have two links for you about this vote:

A SKWAWKBOX QUADRUPLE BILL

The Skwawkbox, one of the best new media sites around, has had several particularly outstanding pieces recently:

PHOTOS 1 – ANIMALS

From Monday and yesterday:

Swan IV
Mute Swan (first four images) on the section of the Gaywood near Kettlewell lane.

Swan IIISwan IISwan IDucks and drakesMallard drakeMoorhen

Squirrel with Conker
This squirrel was sufficiently occupied by its shiny new conker for me to get this picture.

A TEASER

This puzzle comes courtesy of brilliant:

PNQ

PHOTOS 2: VIEWS

Minster Lumiere
Although all these pictures were taken in varying degrees of darkness none involved the use of the flash, which is an absolute last resort for me.

CH Lumiere VCH Lumiere IVCH Lumiere IIICH Lumiere IICH LumiereCustom House IICustom HouseNar meets Ouse, high tideWL Churchtownscape at dusk

 

 

Who is aiding and abetting and what might be done about it?

This is a particularly excellent piece from Richard Muprhy of Tax Research UK. His suggestion of going after directors of companies who allow criminal activity to take place through deliberate negligence (e.g. a telecom company who allow someone to obtain bulk telephone numbers knowing damn well whatever they may say to the contrary that they will be used for criminal purposes) is spot on. I would take his reasoning a step further and suggest that they be treated as guilty of the crime they have facilitated – I think a single director going down for fraud in these circumstances would soon stop the facilitators.

Source: Who is aiding and abetting and what might be done about it?

Anderson Joins 500 Club and Other Stuff

Jimmy Anderon’s 500th test wicket, some links, some puzzles and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

As well as the title piece this post will feature links, pictures (items that will be going under the hammer at the end of September principally) and puzzles – including answers to a couple. 

ANDERSON JOINS 500 CLUB

As predicted by me in a previous post the third and final test match of the England v West Indies series has featured a moment of cricket history as James Anderson duly collected his 500th wicket in this form of the game. Among bowlers of anything other than spin Glenn McGrath leads the way overall with 563 (off-spinner Muralitharan’s 800 for Sri Lanka is the record, followed by leg-spinner Warne’s 709 for Australia). The two spinners have set marks that are not realistically within Anderson’s grasp but the 563 of McGrath is well and truly catchable. 

The historic moment came near the end of play yesterday, in the West Indies second innings (btw as I write this Anderson has increased his tally to 504) and it was a dismissal worthy of the occasion. He was denied in the West Indies first innings not by their batting (they managed a meagre 123 all out) but by a remarkable spell from Ben Stokes who finished that innings with figures of 6-22 – a test best for him. England led by 71, which looks like being decisive – the top score coming from Stokes (60). This combination of circumstances leads to me to finish this section with a raft of predictions/ hostages to fortune:

  1. The Brian Johnston champagne moment – James Anderson’s 500th test wick – 100% certain whatever happens in what is left of this match!
  2. Player of the match – Ben Stokes barring miracles.
  3. Player of the series – Ben Stokes – 100% nailed on.
  4. Match and series results: England win and take the series 2-1 – West Indies have just been dismissed for 177 in their second dig leaving England 107 to win – Anderson a career best 7-42 taking him to 506 test wickets.

LINKS

I am grouping my links in categories, starting with…

AUTISM

Just two links in this subsection, both from americanbadassactivists and both concerned with that hate group masquerading as charity Autism Speaks, or as Laina at thesilentwaveblog calls them A$.

NATURE

This subsection features four links:

  • First, courtesy of Wildlife Planet a piece titled “A Plant That Glows Blue In The Dark“.
  • With the unprecedented sight on weather maps of America and the Caribbean of three hurricanes poised to make landfall simultaneously (by now one of those, Irma, is already battering Cuba), A C Stark has prodcued a very timely piece whose title “Climate Change: The Elephant in the Room” is sufficient introduction.
  • This subsection closes with links to two posts from Anna. First we have Part 7 of her series about Butterflies in Trosa.

    The other post features a link to a video of a swimming sea eagle (only viewable on youtube) and a picture taken by Anna in which 11 sea eagles are visible.

POLITICS

This subsection includes one stand-alone link and four related links. The stand-alone link comes from Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK is titled “Scottish people deserve the data they need to decide, whatever their political persuasion.

My remaining four pieces concern a single individual who is widely tipped to be the next leader of the Conservative Party. It is this latter fact which has exposed him to intense scrutiny, resulting in the following collection about…

JACOB REES-MOGG

To set the scene we start with Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK’s piece simply titled “Jacob Rees-Mogg“. 

The second and third pieces in this sub-subsection both come courtesy of the Guardian:

A SEGUE LINK – A QUIZ

With apologies to those of my readers whose first language is not English, and who therefore cannot take on this quiz, I offer you courtesy of quizly a test on one of the biggest sources of grammatical mistakes in English, safe in the knowledge that my own score in said quiz can be equalled but not beaten:

PUZZLES

I appended a question to a link that featured the year 1729 in a recent post. This was the question:

The puzzle I am attaching to this is: which two famous mathematicians are linked by the number 1,729 and how did that link come about?

The two famous mathematicians linked by the number 1,729 are G H Hardy and Srinivasa Ramanujan. The link came about when Hardy visited Ramanujan in hospital during the latter’s final illness and mentioned the number of the cab in which he had travelled – 1,729 and went on to suggest that this was a very dull number. Ramanujan said in response “No Hardy, it is a very interesting number, the smallest that can be expressed as the sum of two cubes in two different ways”.

 The other puzzle I set in that post was this one from brilliant:

treasurehunt

If the statement on door 1 is true, then the treasure is behind door 2, which makes the statements on doors 2 and 3 both false = not acceptable.

If the statement on door 2 is true then the treasure is behind door 3, which makes both the other statements false = not acceptable.

If the statement on door 3 is true, then the statement on door 1 could also be true, making the statement on door 2 false – this scenario is acceptable.

Thus we open door 2 and collect the loot.

I finish by setting you another puzzle, again from brilliant, the 100th and last problem in their 100 Day Challenge, and a cracker:

SC100 - q

Don’t be intimidated by that maximum difficulty rating – it is not as difficult as the creators thought. Incidentally you still have a couple of days to answer the problems properly on that website should you choose to sign up – although it would be tough to them all in that time!

PICTURES

1
This is lot 1 in our next sale – the first of 200 lots of old military themed postcards. Can you guess which of the lots pictured here is on my radar as a potential buy?
329-a
Lot 329 (four images) – a fine volume when new but this copy is in terrible condition.

329-b329329-c

340
Lot 340
347
Lot 347 (two images)

347-a

341
Lot 341 (six images)

341-a341-b341-c341-d341-e

£2 - Trevithick 2
I picked up this coin in change at Morrison’s today and I took two photos of it, both of which I offer you to finish this post (it is only the Reverse that makes it interesting – the Obverse is the usual portrait of ludicrously over-privileged old woman).

£2 - Trevithick 1

 

Autism, Disability, Mathematics, Religion, Politics

Various links as indicated by the title of this post, the solution to one problem and a new problem. All topped off with the some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post features links, puzzles and pictures. The title refers to the subjects officiallly covered within the post. 

A NEW AUTISM RESOURCE

The Neurodivergent Rebel has produced a post that could become a goldmine. Titled “Web Resources” she describes it as a growing list and ends the post with this:

This is a growing list. Please send suggestions to NeurodivergentRebel@gmail.com

If you can think of anything to help the Neurodivergent Rebel expand this list please use the quote out above, which if you click on it will open up an email message addressed to her which you can then complete.

DISABLED PEOPLE ON BUSES

I have two links in this section. Firstly to a piece from Transport For All about Transport for London’s rExcl: proof faithless council, not union, to blame for Birmingham bin strikeExcl: proof faithless council, not union, to blame for Birmingham bin strikeesponse to the Supreme Court’s ruling on wheelchair priority spaces on buses. This piece is titled “First steps from TfL in response to Supreme Court’s ruling over the Wheelchair priority space on buses” 

Secondly, from Buzzfeed, comes this piece with the self explanatory title “Disabled People Say They Are Still Being Denied Priority Spaces On Buses Despite A High Court Ruling”.

TWO FROM THE SKWAWKBOX

The Skwawkbox is a regular source of excellent material, and these two pieces are no exception:

  1. BHAM COUNCIL MUST NOT BE ALLOWED TO SCAPEGOAT CLANCY TO RENEGE ON BIN DEAL – A follow up to the story that I reblogged from this site recently about a dispute in Birmingham.

  2. The second piece concerns the make up of the Labour Party’s National Executive Committee – the detail contained in the title “EXCL: PRO-CORBYN ASLEF, FBU TO TAKE NEC SEATS” means that at least for the present, and for the very first time, the NEC will have a pro-Corbyn majority. Here is an ASLEF related picture:
    Autism Acceptance Month

SWETA OJHA ON RELIGION

Sweta has produced an excellent poem titled “If Religion Schools You To War” and from it I quote the all-important final verse:

And if –
Religion still schools you to war
I, an atheist deserve an applaud.

MATHEMATICS

This section will include two links, the solution to one puzzle and a second puzzle. Both the links come from the Robert Loves Pi blog, and they are:

  1. A Zonohedron with 7802 Faces –  another of his remarkable constructions using Stella 4D: Polyhedron Navigator.

  2. A Four-Color Flag – exactly what the title suggests, and here is said flag:
    a four-color flag

PUZZLES

On Thursday in a post titled “Links, Pics and Puzzles” I included this puzzle:

Q

The solution is 96% + 96% of 4%. 96% of 4 is (4 x 96)/100 = 3.84. 96 + 3.84 = 99.84, os the answer is that if the death rate in surviving species had been the same as the overall extinction rate then 99.84% of all living things would have died in that event.

For my next puzzle I turn once again to Brilliant and offer up the following:

Marble Q

I will probably provide a solution on Wednesday.

PHOTOGRAPHS

Moorhen in algae

Nar Valley Park
Nar Valley Park – this development is now approaching completion.

gulls3

Town Hall
The next four pictures were taken on Thursday night – I had been acting as stand-in host on my aunt;s behalf, welcoming an airbnb guest to her house, and it was getting dark as I returned.

Lumiere 3Lumiere2lumiere1GullsGlaucous GullFlying cormorantmoorhens

Excl: proof faithless council, not union, to blame for Birmingham bin strike

An excellent piece from the Skwawkbox that is absolutely damning of Brimingham City Council…

The SKWAWKBOX

Coverage of the ‘Birmingham bin strike’ – the strike by Unite members of the city’s refuse collection workforce – in television news has been largely limited to footage of bin bags and soundbites from Tory MPs condemning the industrial action and trying to exploit the situation to attack Labour leader jeremy Corbyn.

bham bins.pngOnline coverage has, just occasionally, gone into slightly more depth, but has presented a story of a financially-squeezed council with little choice but to impose changes in order to save over five million pounds a year – with the implication that Unite and its people are being obstructive and unreasonable.

Both versions of the coverage are deeply misleading.

The SKWAWKBOX has spoken to both Birmingham City Council, to Howard Beckett, Unite’s assistant General Secretary who is co-ordinating Unite’s response to the situation in Birmingham – and to mediation service ACAS – to get to the truth of…

View original post 2,052 more words

Links, Pics and Puzzles

Lionks to various pieces I have found on the internet, an answer and solution to one problem and a new problem, and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This is a sharing post with some of my own stuff as well. I hope you enjoy it.

CROSSBOW BOLT STOPPED PLAY

Play between Surrey and Middlesex at the Oval has been halted and the ground has been locked down because a crossbow bolt was fired from outside the ground into the ground. Everyone at the ground is now in sheltered areas not out in the open. Armed police are now present at the ground. The match has now been officially abandoned, and a controlled evacuation of the ground is now underway.

SCIENCE AND NATURE

First a trio from wildlifeplanet:

  1. “Unreal Photos Of Animals From The Scandinavian Vicious Forest” – a piece highlighting the work of Finnish photographer Konsta Punka taking pictures of forest creatures:

  2. “Beach That Disappeared 33 Years Ago Has Reappeared” 

  3. “Here Is The Bird That Is Able To Fly For 10 Months Non-Stop (Video)” – a piece about the swift.

Hurricane Harvey has quite rightly received a lot of coverage. Here are three of the better pieces:

THE BEST BUS STOP

This bus stop is the subject of a post on illaboratoriodipleeny titled “Una meravigliosa fermata del bus….” that was brought to my attention by Anna, who was as impressed by it as I am. Here is the bus stop:

SOME POLITICAL PIECES

I start with a tool created by the Labour Party called the living wage calculator. You enter your postcode and it tells you how many people in your area would benefit from the minimum wage being increased to £10 per hour. Below is what is says about my postcode:LW

My next two pieces both come from the Skwawkbox:

A SOLUTION AND A NEW PROBLEM

In one of my posts on Monday I set a problem from brilliant. Here is I show the answer and an impressive solution. I also offer a new problem to end the section.

Thomas’ answer:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.51.15 PM

I admit to being lazy on this one – knowing that the internal angles of an octagon add up to 1080 degrees and that 7 x 90 = 630 I realised that with seven acute angles the remaining angle would have to be over 450 degrees, and the max is just under 360 degrees which takes you back to where you started. However 6 x 90 = 540 which means that the remaining two angles would have to add up to something in excess of 540 degrees, which is no great difficulty. Therefore I gave the correct answer of six (in less time than it has taken me to type this). However, one solver by the name of Atomsky Jahid produced a splendid effort:

Screenshot 2017-08-31 at 5.52.52 PM

A NEW PROBLEM

The mass extinction at the end of the Permian era is at the time of writing officially the largest in Earth’s history. An estimated 96% of all species on Earth at that time were rendered extinct. If the death rate in species that were not completely wiped out had been the same as the extinction rate what proportion of living creatures would have been wiped out in this event?

PHOTOGRAPHS

Guildhall
With Heritage Open Day coming up soon I decided to revisit these first two pics which feature thw town hall.

window

Greyfriars + wm
Greyfriars tower and the war memorial
Library
The library, taken today

P1040565

P1040566
A hald-moon in an early evening sky.
P1040564
The first of three closer up and enhanced shots of the half-moon.

P1040563P1040562Moorhen£2 - end of WWII

Science and Nature (and other stuff)

Some recent internet finds and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post features links to some recent internet finds and some of my own photographs. 

SOME SCIENCE AND NATURE LINKS

I start with a piece from mongabay which argues that “The Sixth Great Extinction” is actually “The First Biotacide“. Below is a picture from this article:

Steller’s Sea Cow holds the the world record for rapidity of extinction. Illustration from “Extinct monsters,” London: Chapman & Hall, 1896. Photo via Wikimedia Commons, licensed under CC BY 2.0.

The second piece in this section comes from thewildlifeplanet and is titled “Italian Super-Volcano Approaches Eruption

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

I have five links to share in this section:

  1. vlogexpedition have a piece about the world’s longest railway journey – that along the Trans-Siberian railway.
    4 days on the Trans-Siberian Train
  2. My next piece comes from Vox Political, who got direct from the person whose story it is, Paula Peters. The title of the piece “Bus driver subjects disability activist to humiliating discrimination” gives you a good idea of the nature of the story. British law on this matter is unequivocal – the bus driver is legally obliged to give wheelchair users priority over mothers with buggies (this courtesy of a court ruling in January). Given the completeness of the information Paula provides, the bus company in question have only one option open to them both legally and morally – they must sack the offending driver and must make sure that all their drivers are aware of their responsibilities to disabled passengers.
  3. I am treating my last three pieces in this section together, as all are connected with London Underground, all come from indy100.com and all have been pressed on to my London transport themed website. They are respectively:
    This is Officially the best Tube line
    Quiz: Can you name the London Underground line by its colour?
    This gif exposes the lies the London Tube map is telling you

FAB FOUR FINAL LINKS

First in this section comes a link to RobertLovesPi’s Blog for this piece titled “A Twisted Expansion of the Truncated Octahedron“, which features a very cool graphic. 

The Skwawkbox have produced an excellent piece titled “ATTACKS ON PIDCOCK SHOW MORAL BANKRUPTCY OF RIGHT – IN OR OUT OF LABOUR” Laura Pidcock is the recently elected MP for Northwest Durham and she has been making waves for her unashamed hostility to Tories and her criticisms of the cosiness and clubbiness of the House of Commons.

I started this post with a couple of science and nature related links, and now as we approach my photographs we are finishing where we started with stuff about nature, first of all Cindy Knoke with a wonderful post about a castle that has been dedicated to raptors, titled “Castle Rapture“.

With the last word before my photographs is Anna, who has recently posted part 13 of her amazing Paradise on Earth series, this time focussing on some of the smaller creatures who live in and around Trosa.

PHOTOGRAPHS

I will start this set of photographs with some of the smaller creatures I have recently captured, before finishing with some general pictures. These pictures were all taken yesterday.

white butterfly, yellow flowersTB on dandelion 3TB on dandelion2TB on dandelionBeeButterfly in nettlesButterfly and dandelionWhite butterfly on nettleWBTB1TBButterflybutterfly on nettleleaflike butterflyFlying buitterfliesred boattwo boatsBoatBoatsFlying gullmagpie 2magpie headmagpiesadolescent mallardMoorhen and chickMinis2Minis1Moorhen