Links to some of the best pieces from today, includign several about autism, a solution, a problem and some photographs.
This post is divided into three main sections – a sharing section, because there has been some truly outstanding stuff come to my attention today, a problems and solutions section and some photographs.
I have already reblogged stimtheline’s magnificent Autistic Bill of Rights, but I take the opportunity to point you all in that direction once again, complete with a jpg of the suggested Bill of Rights…
My remaining shares in this section are all from a new find…
Is Autism a Disability? A wonderful post which tackles head on some of the ways in which the conversation about autism is currently cooked against us from the start. I quote the closing lines of the post as an appetiser:
It’s a label that holds me down and pushes me into a box I can’t escape from. Give me some new words to define me. Or better yet, let me define myself.
Although not as dramatic as a few weeks back, The Walks, King’s Lynn’s best known park, is still somewhat lacustrine, which has led to it receiving a most unusual visitor – an Oystercatcher, a wading bird which would normally visit a park and for which King’s Lynn would be the extreme South of its possible living area…
As you will see there were a few other fine birds on show today…
A Boxing Day post composed of pictures and puzzles – enjoy!
I have five puzzles to share (all via the mathematical website Brilliant– I am approaching a double century, my current solving streak now extending to 199 days) and photos that I have categorized in four groups. Therefore I will be interleaving puzzles and pictures.
PUZZLE 1: LOGIC
This is an easy one – Lestrade would probably solve it without amateur assistance!
PHOTOGRAPHS 1 – CAIRINA MOSCHATA
In preparation for the Christmas Day festivities I went for a walk yesterday morning, and many of the photos you will see were taken during that walk – others were taken at other times of the day. I first came across these birds when they were in a group near Kettlewell Lane, and since then I have seen a single specimen, in The Walks, on three separate occasions, most recently yesterday:
PUZZLES 2: AN AREA CHALLENGE
This one should not be too difficult either:
PHOTOGRAPHS 2: BUILDINGS
When everything is closed the opportunity is there to get unimpeded pictures of buildings that are usually busy.
PUZZLE 3: EVEN AND ODD
This is one is tricky rather than difficult per se – and only 37% of solvers on Brilliant managed to crack it:
PHOTOGRAPHS 3: LOCAL HISTORY
Recent renovations in the building that my aunt’s house is part of have revealed some very interesting little details, and I also got some interesting shots from the house of the person with whom we had Christmas lunch.
PUZZLE 4: A DIVISABILITY TEST
Not at all difficult, but very enjoyable to tackle:
PHOTOGRAPHS 4: WILDLIFE
We finish our photographs as we started, with a nod to nature:
PUZZLE 5: THE INVESTMENT EXPERT
We end with a fairly tough problem to which I have added an even tougher subsidiary question.
My follow up, adapted from a question raised by someone named Anne on Brilliant is this: What is the minimum initial deposit required to ensure that Fred’s money grows at a sufficient rate for him to become a trillionaire if he lives for as long as Earth remains an inhabitable planet (the increasing size and temperature of the sun will cause this in 1 billion years, assuming that some stupid species has not already done so,
I have just finished editing the pictures I took while out and about today. I have a collection of tree pics ready for the next post in my “Trees in Transistion” series, but for the moment it is the other pictures I am sharing. I will put them up in three segments…
These are pictures featuring my aunt’s plants, which I have been watering while she is on holiday. Barring a freak return to summer weather tomorrow I anticipate one more visit on Wednesday being sufficient.
NATIONAL LIBRARIES WEEK
This week is National Libraries Week. I have visited King’s Lynn Library today, will definitely visit Fakenham Library at least once this week after a working day, hope to call in at Norwich Millennium Library when I am in that fine city on Wednesday (an autism event) and on Saturday en route to Musical Keys should find time for a visit to Gaywood Library. Here are some pictures of King’s Lynn Library…
Letting people know that I will be visiting Cornwall in the near future, and a few other bits and bobs.
My parents have recently moved to a place near Plymouth, and all they are currently out of the country travelling they will be back for a month or thereabouts from late October. I will be visiting their place in mid-November. I have asked for leave on the 9th and 10th of November so that I can go down on the 8th and come back on the 13th.
To get from King’s Lynn to Plymouth (nearest station to my parents’ new place) by public transport one needs to to travel from King’s Lynn to London King’s Cross, get a Hammersmith & City line train from King’s Cross to Paddington and then travel from Paddington to Plymouth (I already knew this). The journey takes in the region of six hours (I expected this to be the case but until I investigated did not know for certain). This why I requested leave for the two days concerned because the two days on which one travels are not going to be much use for anything else.
I discovered via www.thetrainline.com that tickets were available for £57. Thus I have made the booking and picked up the tickets.
COLLECTING THE TICKETS
Having made the booking I was assigned a code I could use to collect the tickets:
I decided that memorising an alphanumeric code of eight characters would be a bit of an ask even for me, so I called in at the library where I could screenshot the email containing the above, paste into paint and edit as appropriate before printing at a cost of 10p.
From there it was a short walk through the park to the station to pick up the tickets.
The email giving me the code to collect my tickets also included itineraries for both journeys.
This is a little stretched out, but I for one would not care to be on a train the was due to arrive at Kings Cross at 12:35 when I had to make a connection at Paddington at 13:05 – given British public transport’s usual “punctuality” that would be courting disaster.
The journey back could be a little quicker – but note that since there is no pre-booking on the London to Lynn line it is merely an annoyance should I miss the 14:44.
THE BRILLIANT.ORG 100-DAY
I recently received (by email) my certificate for having attempted all 100 of the problems (almost 50,000 people attempted at least one of these problems, of whom 1,797 attempted the whole lot).
Before moving on to the photographs that will conclude this post I offer you…
A PUZZLE OF MY OWN CREATION
Archaeologist and adventurer Idaho Johnson is near to making the biggest find of her life, but to do so she needs to get past the “Door of Death”:
Can you fill in the missing fourth vertical panel of numbers and get Ms Johnson through the “Door of Death”? As a bonus question can you identify the real door that I have used to create the above image?
Lionks to various pieces I have found on the internet, an answer and solution to one problem and a new problem, and some photographs.
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.
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:
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.
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:
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?
For this post I am reviewing a book I read recently. When I review books I do so because I consider it worth doing – I gain no pecuniary benefit at all.
HOW I DISCOVERED KIM NEWMAN
I first came across Kim Newman a couple of years back when I saw a copy of Moriarty: Hound of the D’Urbervilles in Norwich Millennium Library. I enjoyed that book, and the kept the author’s name in mind for future reference.
HOW I DISCOVERED THE QUORUM
I was in King’s Lynn library on Monday, as I often am when not at work when I saw the book. I checked out the back cover to see if I could glean more about the story, and decided it was worth borrowing. On Wednesday, with the beginnings of this post already in mind I returned it having read and enjoyed it…
The prime mover of the story goes by the name of Derek Leech, and the story starts with him emerging from the muck and slime of the Thames (even today, half a century after Leech’s supposed emergence and after considerable efforts to clean it up the Thames remains fairly slimy and mucky). The other principal characters are four schoolfellows who end up in a situation whereby three of them become very rich and successful courtesy of Leech, but they have to stuff up the life of the other as part of a Faustian deal.
Along the way we are told much about the various ways in which the three who have been granted success. One is a TV presenter and best selling author. In his capacity as an author he names characters after London Underground stations, so we encounter Colin Dale (look near the northern end of the Edgware branch of the Northern line), Ken Sington (SouthKensington – District, Circle & Piccadilly, High Street Kensington – District & Circle, Kensington Olympia – – District), Mai Da Vale (Maida Vale, Bakerloo line) and Barbi Can (Barbican – Circle, Hammersmith & City, Metropolitan) are all mentioned in the book as names used by Michael Dixon for his characters. Of these names only the first really passes muster. The s in Kensington is pronounced as a z not an s – Ken Ington, losing an N from the name of that Northern line hub station would have been better. Mai Da Vale is a mishmash of a name – a clearly oriental first name and surname with an Italian prefix, in addition to which were Vale a recognised Italian name (I do not believe it is) it would certainly pronounced as Var-lay in that language. Barbi is not usually spelled without the e, and I have yet to come across anyone surnamed Can. However, I credit Newman with selecting these names as a way of indicating just how undeserved Michael Dixon’s best seller status is.
The kicker moment comes late in the plot, after Neil, the ‘loser’ in the bargain finally concedes defeat. It turns out that he as the person whose pain has been feeding Leech’s “device” is far more important than the other three, who having driven him to utter the dread phrase “I give up”, have now ceased to be useful to Leech.
I enjoyed reading this book and recommend that you read it too.
END NOTE: THE LINKS
FROM THE CHARACTER NAMES
All the links in my information about Michel Dixon’s dodgy character names are to posts on my London transport themed website, www.londontu.be. South Kensington has two links because there are two posts about that station, written at different times.
A combination of an account of the booking of train tickets for a trip to Scotland and an expose of the sheer craziness of British public transport.
My parents have booked a house near Kyle of Lochalsh for a week which includes my birthday. As a birthday present I have been given the wherewithal to purchase train tickets for the journey, which happens to feature one of the most scenic routes anywhere in Britain. To set the scene for the rest of this post and give you a little test here is a photograph of my railway tickets for the journey:
BOOKING THE JOURNEY
Those of you who follow this blog with due care and attention will be aware that for some years I have been resident in King’s Lynn for some years, and had I moved I would certainly have mentioned it here. Why then is the ticket above booked as a return from Peterborough to Kyle of Lochalsh and not from King’s Lynn?
The following screenshots will expose the reason for this and the utter craziness and illogic of pricing on British public transport.
I will actually be travelling the King’s Lynn – Peterborough and its reverse route on the First Eastern Counties X1 bus, which will set me back £6.40 each way or £12.80 in total, making a saving of approximately £47 as compared to the all-in-one booking from King’s Lynn.
You might think that having cut through all the BS re fares and booked the tickets the daftness would end there, but you would be wrong…
COLLECTING THE TICKETS
The booking accomplished yesterday evening, this morning I set about collecting the tickets. First, as a precaution since I would be needing to keep them safe for a long while I searched out a receptacle of suitable size, shape and robustness to put them in, locating this pretty swiftly:
Having thus equipped myself it was off to the library to print off some booking information that I was going to need to collect the tickets.
Then with the information printed it was on to the station to pick up the tickets. This is usually done via ticket machines, of which King’s Lynn station has two. Here are pictures of both machines, showing precisely why I could not use them…
I fully understand the desirability and indeed the need to replace old ticket machines with new, but why take both out of service simultaneously? Why not take one out of service and keep the other operational until the first new machine is ready, then take the second old machine out of service and replace it, thereby keeping at least one machine operational the whole time?
Fortunately, there were staff present, and I was able to get my tickets printed at a ticket office. While waiting I bagged an image of the station plaque:
Although the process took longer and entailed more frustration than I had anticipated, I have the tickets and other info safely stowed, and am looking forward to my visit to the wilds of northwest Scotland. It will not be my first visit to Kyle of Lochalsh – back in 1993, before the opening of a swanky new toll-bridge and consequent removal of ferry services to maximise said bridge’s profits, I passed through Kyle en route to the Isle of Skye, returning to the mainland by way of the southern ferry crossing to Mallaig.
I conclude this post with two more photos, one showing all the printed material I have for the journey, and the other ending our journey back where we started (a lot more straightforward in a blog than in a journey on British public transport!)