A Mixed Bag for Monday

Solutions to my last two maths problems, some sciencey pieces, a petition and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

This post includes solutions to the problems I posed on Saturday, and a few other things from various sources. 

SPACE STATION DODECAHEDRON

Here is the question as a reminder:

Space station Dodecahedron

Here is the answer:

Dodecahedron answer

Here is a splendidly concise solution from David Vreken:

Vreken route

A VARIARION ON THE MALFATTI THEME

Here is the question:

Malfatti Mistake question

Here is the answer:

Malfatti Mistake answer

In the 19th century Malfatti conjectured that the way to maximise the area of a triangle you could fill with three circles was to fill in the three largest circles that touch specifically two of the three sides. Although he was not alive to be humiliated it turned out that he was not merely wrong, his proposed solution has been proved not to work for a single triangle. The solution that always works is first put in the largest single circle that touches all three sides that you can, then fill in the largest circle you can in the remaining space and then do so again. In an equilateral triangle the difference is small, but in a long thin isosceles triangle it is quite substantial. 

Here is Jeremy Galvagni’s published solution:

Galvagni outdoes Malfatti

SCHOOL REFUSAL SYNDROME PETITION

This on the official site for petitions to the UK government, which means that you have be a UK citizen to sign it. Please click the screenshot below to sign and share it if so minded:

School Refusal

A TRIO OF SCIENCE PIECES

First a fascinating piece from the National Geographic titled “Can Today’s Whale Species Survive the age of Humans” which covers the past and present of the cetaceans and speculates about their future. 

David Quammen, a good writer and a useful scientist to know about if you are planning an A to Z post, has a new book out on the subject of evolution, and Jerry Coyne of whyevolutionistrue has provided a very detailed review of it.

Finally, a letter to the Guardian signed by 60 well known environmental campaigners declaring their unwillingness to debate with climate change deniers, and why they are unwilling to do so. Below is the opening to the letter (please click to visit the original) and a list of signatories:

Guardian letter

signatories

SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

To finish here are some of my recent photographs:

Sea birdsFlying cormorantBlackbacked gull lands on the waterCormorant and rowing boatCormorant and sea birdsWingspanMoorhenCormorant

 

 

 

It’s time the BBC realised that the opposite of reasonable debate is not unreasoned extremism

An excellent piece by Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK. This piece was provoked by Rupert Read’s response to being invited by the BBC (to whom I refuse to give any of my money for reasons highlighted in this post and others) to debate with a climate change denier. As Read pointed out in his … Continue reading “It’s time the BBC realised that the opposite of reasonable debate is not unreasoned extremism”

An excellent piece by Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK. This piece was provoked by Rupert Read’s response to being invited by the BBC (to whom I refuse to give any of my money for reasons highlighted in this post and others) to debate with a climate change denier. As Read pointed out in his refusal there is no serious debate on this issue – the evidence is overwhelming, and by insisting on giving climate change deniers air-time the BBC are doing great harm. Referring to his own area of expertise Murphy also points out the regularity with which folk from the Tax Payers Alliance and the Institute of Economic Affairs are given air-time, with no scrutiny of them or their organizations (at a barest minimum such organizations should be required to state publicly where their funding comes from, and the BBC should display this information whenever one of their representatives is speaking). Please read the original in full and post comments there.

Source: It’s time the BBC realised that the opposite of reasonable debate is not unreasoned extremism

Marxism 2018: Meetings with an Environmental Theme

The environment themed meetings at Marxism 2018.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the penultimate post in my series about Marxism 2018 (to be followed in the not too distant future by a series that I will title “A Grockle’s Eye View of Cornwall” following my recent visit to Cornwall (more on that curious word grockle at the start of said series). I missed only one of the environmentally themed meetings at Marxism 2018 (it clashed with a meeting about mental health, which I attended instead), the one featuring John Bellamy Foster.

MEETING 1: MARTIN EMPSON ON CLIMATE CHANGE

THis meeting was the subject of my first Marxism 2018 post. Here is the featured image:

WHY DOES CAPITALISM LOVE PLASTIC?

Amy Leather started her talk with a potted history of the development of plastics. She then talked about plastics as a by-product of fossil fuel extraction, linking in to controversies over fracking. She also talked about how when disposable plastic first became a thing there were advertising campaigns to persuade people to dispose of the stuff. During the discussion James from north Derbyshire mentioned that the company who are seeking to engage in fracking in his part of the world and against whom he and others are fighting are primarily a plastic making company, and their interest in fracking is based on a desire to use by products of fracking to make more plastics.

Amy prepares to give her talkPlastics meeting just before startAmy at the ready.Amy and booksAmy makes final preparationsrecruiterBooksPlastics meetingSpeaker and ChairAmy speakingAmy speaking IIPlastic filled whaleA contribution from the floorthe filmer filmed

SARAH ENSOR AND IAN RAPPEL ON CAPITALISM AND EXTINCTION

This was the first meeting of the Sunday. The Institute of Education has a somewhat curious system of floor numbering, whereby you enter the building from outside on level 4. This meeting was in a room on Level 8, and I chose not to use the lift (I have been known to opt for the stairs at both Russell Square – 175 – and Covent Garden – 200 – stations, so for a mere four floors it was barely even a question). 

I enjoyed the meeting – both speakers were excellent, and although the sun prevented the presentation from being seen to best effect (even with blinds drawn and the lights off in the key part of the room – the latter a suggestion on the part of yours truly) it was still well worth the climb up and down.

Seminar room 802-4 for Capitalism and Extinction meetingPosters IPosters IIBookmarksPosters IIIDump TrumpSlide showIan adjusts the slide showTitle slidePlatformPlatform IIPlatform IIIThe chair introduces the meetingSarah Ensor speaks firstSarah speakingTitle slide IIBiodiversity - Arctic WatersBiodiversity pictureBiodiversity pic IIBiodiversity pic IIIArctic CodCapitalism and the EnvironmentDecline in Marine populationsMarine population declineDecline in marine populationsDecline in Marine populations IICapitalism degrades natureSarahWhaling 1850sWhaling 20th CenturyIan RappelIan Rappel IIpost-revolutionary ecological renaissanceRevolutionary ecologyCapitalist ecology3rd Runway protestOne (wonderful) world to win

DIRTY ENERGY AND CAPITALISM: WHAT’S THE REAL STORY

This meeting which featured Suzanne Jeffery and anti-fracking campaigner Tina Louise Rothery took place in Clarke Hall, on Level 3 of the Institute of Education in the post lunch session of the Sunday. It had been made even more topical by the fact that in the run up to the event the Tories had simultaneously refused to provide funding for the Swansea Tidal Lagoon (capable of supplying 10% of the country’s energy needs had it gone ahead) and forced through the 3rd runway at Heathrow.  Both speakers were excellent, and during the discussion Brid Smith TD talked about a bill she is trying to get through the Dail which would mean that no more fossil fuels will be extracted from Ireland (it has already passed its first reading). 

Dirty energy meetingJuxtapositionPostersPanelFrack Free Lancashire IISuzanne Jeffery speaking

Suzanne Jeffery
Suzanne Jeffery

Clarke HallClarke Hall IIClarke Hall IIILancashire

Tina Louise Rothery
Tina Louise Rothery

TLR ITLR IITLR IIITLR IVTLR VTLR VITLR VIIIAnti-fracking noticeTLR IXTLR XTLR XITLR XIITLR XIIIFrack Free LancashireTLR finishes her speech

Brid Smith TD contirbutes to the discussion
Brid Smith talks about her fossil fuels bill that is curfrently going through the Dail

Summing up

AN EXAMPLE OF A CAMPAIGN

A common theme running through these meeting was the necessity of supporting campaigns all over the world. I therefore conclude this post with a mention of the Save Trosa Nature campaign. You can find out more about this campaign by reading Anna’s posts about it. There is a petition currently running which you can sign here.

Midweek Medley III

A little bit of everything.

INTRODUCTION

A sharing post again! I am doing stuff first tomorrow and then Saturday that will provide material for a number of blog posts, so watch this space…

GENERAL LINKS

Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK is working on (among many other things) a project he calls the Ten Commandments of Tax. Below is a graphic of his first draft.

My next piece comes from The Guardian, and is Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley on why the Greens will not simply fold into Labour. It is an excellent piece, well worth  reading. I would say that Labour and the Greens can work together, and that if Labour are able to form a government after the next General Election they should still seek to put Ms Lucas in charge of environmental policy even if they have an outright majority that would entitle them appoint ministers exclusively from their own ranks.

This feeds nicely into the final piece in this section, a petition calling for Environmental Studies to be part of the National Curriculum. As this petition is on the official site for petitiions to the UK parliament only UK citizens can sign it – if you are one and want to sign it please click on the screenshot below:

ES

AUTISM SPECIFIC STUFF

We begin this section with a link to a post on Cambria’s Big Fat Autistic Blog titled “Preparing for April, the Trauma Month“. It sets out in detail just why “Autism Awareness Month” is actually not a good time for autistic people, and I recommend everyone to read it. Below is the infographic that heads the post:

My next link is from the the Thinking Person’s Guide to Autism and is titled “The Toxicity of “Autism Parent” Memoirs“. Please note that this piece does not at any point even suggest that parents of autistic children should not write about their children’s experiences – it merely points out recent examples where this has been done in a way that is not acceptable.

My next post, courtesy of Fire Bright Star Soul, is an example of a parent of an autistic child writing about one of said child’s experiences in exactly the right way. “Autistic and Suspended” could serve as a model for how to write such stories. Below is a quote from the middle of the piece (the first of the two paragraphs is italicised in the original as well):

I spoke with the assistant principal of her grade, and he was compassionate, thoughtful and had an easy way with B. After speaking with both him and me, she decided not to have me take her home from school but try to push through it and stay the rest of the day. I was extremely proud of her for making that effort, and it worked. It’s a step toward success for her, because she is making progress to self regulation and learning that even if she has a meltdown, it doesn’t mean the ruin of the rest of her day. She can calm down, pick herself up and keep going. This won’t always be the case of course, but it’s an achievement on her part that I am happy to celebrate for the victory that it absolutely is. A year ago she would have been down for the entire day.

A word: By now you are probably aware that I follow a strict self-restraining policy of not posting any detail of my daughter’s life as an autistic without her express consent, and this is no different. We discussed this last night, and I explained why I wanted to write about it. She was amenable to this, so here we are.

A SOLUTION AND A NEW PROBLEM

In “Midweek Medley II” I posed the following problem from brilliant:

the cube

Below is the answer and then one of the published solutions:

Cubes

Here is Geoff Pilling’s very succinct explanation:

There is 1 way you can have three reds all adjacent, and 2 ways you can have two of the reds be on opposite edges (distinguished by whether the green is opposite the third red or not). That gives,

1+2 = 3
My new problem for you, also from brilliant, is a variation on a very old theme, which caught a surprising number of solvers on the hop:
Flip

PHOTOGRAPHS

As the world knows (since many of us Brits are absolute drama queens about such matters) we have recently had some rough weather, which means I do not have as many pictures at my disposal as usual, but here are some:

Sandringham Railway Path
Although the weather had definitely eased by Saturday not all the snow had melted

Snowy walksblackbirdGulls in the snowWillows and snowFlowers IThe Walks floral sign

I-pad 1
Musical keys ran as normal.

Yellow flowersMoorhen

gull and lapwing
Today was wet at times, but never really cold (though I would have advised against anyone going out without a coat)
Redshank
A redshank near the Nar outfall, earlier today.

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

 

En vision blir verklighet – vi flyttar in!

A very interesting post from lagnobo, brought to my attention by Anna. The original post is in Swedish, so here is an English translation courtesy of Google:

A vision becomes reality – we move in!
7 JANUARY 2018LAGNOBO
In autumn 2010, Sörmlands Nyheter had an article with a picture about a house to be built in Nyköping. Very big, not so beautiful but with large conservatory. It sat on the fridge at Lagnö Gård and raised thoughts about a house, but smaller, more beautiful and in the countryside. In December 2010, on a journey to Gothenburg, a vision was formed which later became the basis for a leader application and a preliminary study.

A report on the preliminary study with the whole vision and the work to the association was formed (pdf). ✎ EditSign

Excerpt from Vision:
We thought:
“We like to have close to the neighbor to go in and have a cup of coffee, have a party in the evening or on a walk.” _ _
“We want to grow old with company because we feel better. We think of many dinners with company without having to go somewhere.
We think it will be cheaper to have some things together. Perhaps guest room, dining room, cafe,
car pool or electric car, conservatory, storage room, library, spa.
We think that this accommodation creates jobs for others, like gardeners, housekeepers,
cooking driver, foot care, massage, wellness etc. By coordinating our needs we can get
economic opportunity to utilize these services. “
“We think that if we want our children to be able to live on our soil, we need to develop housing that is scared of the environment, both in the construction process and in the accommodation.
We think of a house with maybe 10-12 apartments, two-three rooms and a kitchen, large garden, please both
inside and out, adapted for building in the countryside.
We think of a house that we own and manage, for example, cooperatively or otherwise in common.
We are thinking of a house for residents, not to make money. “

We who lived at Lagnö Gård invited everyone interested in exploring the possibilities. The architect who helped us when we got started urged us to write a wish list, without limits, before we started. Here is the one we liked wild wish list:

“Our very own wildly wish list!
All this we would wish for in our common, comfortable and sustainable home!
Here is the place for dreams and fantasies! Everything is possible!” _ _
“Winter garden, Spanish bar, party room, dining room, kitchen, kitchen kettle with stove, hot air oven and
sorting space!
Living room, guest room, laundry room with drying room and lack, carpentry, sewer and ironing room, storage room for
the apartments, common storage inside and out, food storage and pantry both for common and
private.
Caretaker / personal butler, sauna, broadband, thrift room, compost, garden land or colony lilac,
pets, reclining room, wellness area, pool, fireplace.
Patio, room with library and computer, film screen and projector, glass door to the greenhouse section,
solar collectors and water tanks, solar cells, car pool with shared car, echo at the pier, electric bicycle,
parking, bicycle storage, electric car with garage to, earth source.
Berry bushes, fruit trees, boulebana, storage room, playroom, tv, indoor and outdoor seating, barbecue area,
music system, bulletin board, speed dial phone …… ..
and in the apartments we wish
bathroom, kitchen / kitchenette, walk-in closet, pantry, open plan living, fireplace, balcony / patio, bay windows. “

Moving in!
After 7 years and an incredible amount of people’s commitment and non-profit work, the first tenants now move! And when we read the vision and wish list that then felt so unattainable, that’s incredibly probably the most. Surely there is a bit left, but we see that everything is possible!

Sure it’s amazing!

Lagnö Bo kooperativ hyresrättsförening

Hösten 2010 hade Sörmlands Nyheter en artikel med bild om ett hus som skulle byggas i Nyköping. Väldigt stort, inte så vackert men med stor vinterträdgård. Den satt uppe på kylskåpet på Lagnö Gård och väckte tankar om ett hus, men mindre, vackrare och på landet. I december 2010 på bilresa till Göteborg formulerades en vision som senare blev grunden för en leader-ansökan och en förstudie.

Rapport om förstudien med hela visionen och arbetet fram till föreningen bildades (pdf). 

Utdrag ur Vision:
Vi tänkte oss:
“att vi gärna har nära till grannen för att gå in och ta en kopp kaffe, få sällskap på  kvällen eller på en promenad.” _ _
“Vi vill bli gamla med sällskap för att vi mår bättre så. Vi tänker oss många middagar med sällskap utan att behöva åka iväg någonstans.
Vi tänker oss att det blir billigare att ha en del saker tillsammans. Kanske gästrum, matsal…

View original post 377 more words

Midweek Mixture

Some stuff I have seen recently on the internet, a little teaser of a problem and some photographs from today’s ‘ecotherapy’ session.

INTRODUCTION

I spent most of this morning indulging in ‘ecotherapy’ (i.e. getting out and about in the open air – my thanks to The Gentleman for the term), which also provide me with photographs which will end this post. In between times I will share various pieces that have caught my eye recently. 

NATURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT

I start this section with a petition that has been set up on thepetitionsite calling for Michael Gove to be replaced as Defra minister (see graphic below, which also functions as a link):

GOVE is bad for the environment. Demand new Defra Minister!

It is pretty much impossible for any replacement to be worse than the Downright Dishonourable Mr Gove, although while this dreadful government remains in office the right person for the job will not be selected. In the hope that Jeremy Corbyn, or someone who can influence him might see this I say, as I did when naming my fantasy cabinet a while back that the right person for this role is Caroline Lucas.

SOLAR POWER IN AUSTRALIA

It makes perfect sense for Australia to be looking at solar power in a big way, just as here in Norfolk we should take advantage of our biggest renewable resource by building many more wind turbines. I am therefore delighted to share this story from the treehugger website titled “Australia will be home to world’s largest single-tower solar thermal power plant“, the feature graphic from which I produce below:

australia solar thermal tower

THE DEATH OF THE INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINE

This is the title of a piece in The Economist. After 120 years of dominating the scene the internal combustion engine’s days are numbered, and the end for this pollution generating monstrosity cannot come soon enough. I include their feature graphic below.

A PLAN TO REVIVE AN EXTINCT SPECIES

This one comes from thewildlifeplanet.com and the species that may be being brought back from extinction is the Caspian tiger. The plan involves using DNA from the Siberian tiger, a rare but surviving species that is closely related to the Caspian tiger. A potential living area for the revived species has been identified in Kazakhstan. The map below shows the areas reckoned to have been inhabited by the common ancestor of these tiger species when it was around 10,000 years ago.

ANNA’S CHURCH

I end this section of the post with a nod to Anna and the brief post she put up yesterdya about her continuing fight to protect nature under the title “I went to my church“, one picture from which I reproduce below.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

I am going to present these links as a bulleted list, amplifying some of them a little:

  • Our government has recently reneged on promised rail electrification programs in Wales and in northern England (yes, largely due to privatisation and consequent neglect our railways are so backward that not all of them have yet been electrified, some services still being run by diesel locomotives). Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK has put up a short post outlining how these electrifications could be funded.
  • The title of my next piece, from Buzzfeed, should be sufficient: “People Who Use Wheelchairs Are Being Forced To Crawl On To Trains And It’s 2017
  • The last piece in this section come from the skwawkbox. The first features a video from Double Down News which referring back to an incident from last year is utterly devastating for Virgin Trains, as it shows conclusively that Jeremy Corbyn was telling the truth when he described that train as ‘ram-packed’ and Virgin’s subseqnet denials, including one from the boss, Richard Branson, were lies. The most devastating footage comes about halfway through the video, which is embedded below, and shows the reserved seats filling (as one might expect) moments after Corbyn had walked past them. The skwawkbox piece is titled “DOUBLE DOWN VIDEO SCOOP PROVES WHAT WE TOLD YOU LAST YEAR: #TRAINGATE WAS FULL“.

ELECTORAL REFORM

Britain’s First Past the Post (FPTP) system of electing representatives has had its day. Those who support this system claim that it delivers stable majority governments, but it has failed to do this three times running (no majority in 2010, wafer-thin majority for Cameron in 2015, May running a minority government with the support of the vile DUP in 2017. I have three recent pieces dealing with this topic for your attention. 

  1. Setting the scene for the other two a post on theconversation.com titled “Wasted votes, hyper-marginals and disillusion: reform group issues damning report on election 2017
  2. The Electoral Reform Society’s introduction to their full report titled “June’s election was the third strike for Westminster’s voting system. It’s out” and…
  3. The full report itself, titled “The 2017 General Election: Volatile Voting, Random Results“.  

As well as the voting system needing reform, the results in Northern Ireland showed that it is time for the Labour Party to abandon its pact with the SDLP and field candidates of its own – the recent Stormont election successes of Gerry Carroll and Eamonn McCann have demonstrated that non-sectarian socialists standing as such can win in Northern Ireland.

A PROBLEM AND SOME PHOTOGRAPHS

I generally finish my posts by putting up some of my own photographs. Before getting to those I have a teaser for you:

coin tosses restricted

The above table shows two putative sets of coin toss records, each for one coin tossed thirty times. Which is more like to be genuine based on what you can see?

a) series one
b) series two

If you want to have a public stab at answering this feel free to use the comments, although I will say neither yea nor nay until I put my next post up, which will include an answer to this little teaser. 

Now for those photographs…

featureimageTortoiseshell3flying butterfly

Mother and child
The junior duck in this picture is just developing her adult feathers, but continues to be chaperoned by her mother.

Moorhen2Moorhen1White butterfly3white butterfly2PollinatorTortoiseshell2Tortoiseshell1white butterflyCH2CHMini waterfall