Monday Miscellany

A mixed bag of an offering this Monday afternoon!

INTRODUCTION

This post will be every bit as varied as its title suggests, featuring a mix of politics, mathematics, music, nature and photography (and possibly more). 

SOME MATHS RELATED STUFF

I start with one of more recent followers, RobertLovesPi, and I have several pieces of his to share:

My next piece, courtesy of whyevolutionistrue is titled “The Coffer Illusion“, which concerns the picture below:

If the illusion defeats you, you can find out where the circles are by going to the original post. 

I finish this little section with a nod to the mathematical website Brilliant, which I am a regular visitor to (I am currently on a 64 day problem solving streak). As a sample here is a problem I solved today, rated at maximum difficulty by the site, pretty close to minimum by me:

Pythag

You can look at solutions to this problem on the website, and I will reveal the answer on this blog tomorrow. 

A FEW POLITICAL PIECES

There has been a lot of coverage from various people of events in Charlottesville. I choose to draw your attention to Richard Murphy’s excellent piece on Tax Research UK, titled “Charlottesville is a cradle of extremism: we should take note“. Below is a screenshot of the first few paragraphs:

charlottesville

My second link is to the petitionsite, regarding a young women in El Salvador who having been raped and then had a miscarriage has then been jailed for 30 years due to the Catholic church influence anti-abortion laws of that country. The screenshot below is formatted as a link to take you to this petition to sign and if possible share it:

Screenshot 2017-08-14 at 3.29.29 PM

I finish this section on a lighter note, courtesy of whyevolutionistrue. This little piece titled “Where is North Korea? Some Americans have no idea” reminds us how unacquainted USians are with that area known as the rest of the world! Here is a screenshot of the opening paragraph:
Screenshot 2017-08-14 at 3.39.40 PM

PHOTOGRAPHS

I usually end my blog posts with some of my own photographs, but this photograph section has an additional feature – as a nod to the principal subjects of many of the photos that follow I offer you a musica prelude – Ottorino Respighi’s “The Birds”:

cormorants and boatCormorants8Cormorant headsCormorants6Cormorants4Cormorants3Cormorants2Cormorants1Cormorants and gull 5Cormorant4Cormorants11Cormorants 10Cormorants and gull3TerngullCormorant3Cormorant2

Cormorant
I did not notice the white bird on the far side of the river until I was editing this one – I think from the shape and colour that is a Little Egret but the image is not clear enough to be sure.

Cormorants and swimming gullPollinator3Flybutterfly wingPollinator2white butterflyPollinator

Squirrel does Meerkat impression
This squirrel is clearly an impressionist – and his meerkat is very good!

Sharing

Some thoughts on sharing, provoked initially by the Gorsuch plagiarism case as reported by whyevolutionistrue and given the final push when I saw a post on everydayaspie.wordpress.com and reblogged it.

INTRODUCTION

I first started thinking about this post yesterday, and then a few minutes ago something else  occurred that prompted me to actually create it. 

A TALE OF TWO POSTS

Yesterday I read on whyevolutionistrue about an accusation of plagiarism against the US Supreme Court’s most recent appointee, Justice Gorsuch. That post makes it very obvious indeed that Mr Gorsuch is indeed guilty, and to an extent that would have earned any student an automatic zero for cheating. 

The second post, the one the actually got me started writing this post, comes from everydayaspie.wordpress.com, and those of you who follow this site should already have seen it by way of this. If you have not yet seen this post, titled “What if the Tables Were Turned and This was an Autistic Workplace?” I urge you to do so. 

The first post I have mentioned in this section shows Gorsuch seeing something he appreciated and making use of it an unacceptable fashion that gave no credit at all to the person who had actually done the work. My reaction to the second demonstrated one (there are several) example of the…

ACCEPTABLE WAYS OF USING
CONTENT CREATED BY OTHERS

I reblogged the post, with the addition of a line of my own explaining where I had found it. However, because the real work had been done by the original blogger, I then opened the editing screen and made two small but important alterations (as well as a few others not relevant to this post):

  1. I made my mention of the site from which I had reblogged it into a link.
  2. Because all credit or otherwise that might be due to the post belongs rightfully to its creator I turned off the comments section on my reblog.

If the post in which you are using content from elsewhere also contains significant work of your own, then it makes sense to keep the comments section open.

There is one golden rule when using content from other sources in a piece of your own: always give full credit to the original creator. Thus when I am sharing multiple pieces in the course of one post my own usual approach is to link to the source website of each piece the first time I mention it by name, and link to each piece individually. Also, if boosting the appearance of my own post by using pictures or screenshots from the other site I format them as links. This is especially important with screenshots, as they are not automatically attributed to the site to whom you are linking. 

It is nice if someone is impressed enough by your stuff to want to share it, but to put it very mildly it takes some of the gloss off if they omit to mention where they got it from (btw I have direct experience of this – when the Lynn News printed a report on the inaugural Autism Awareness Cup every word of that report had also appeared in my blog post about it, which had peen published some days previously, and no credit was accorded to me).

PHOTOGRAPHS

These pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons May aujction (22nd, 23rd and 24th of May, all three days at our own premises in central Fakenham):

499
Lot 499
499-a
Both sides of the brooch
499-b
The front of the brooch.
499-c
The back of the reverse (not the markings at the bottom). The reflections are unavoidable when taking a close up of an object this tiny and this shiny.
500
Lot 500 – a lot that required many images
500-a
both faces of the medals in one shot
500-b
Closer ups of each face of the medals

500-c

500-d
The back the middle medal, showing the naming.
500-e
The three images I took to show the markings on the rim of this medal combined to form one…
500-f
…and the individuals

500-g500-h

500-i
Finally, completing the gallery for his lot, a close up of the cap badge.

A Couple of Important Nature Links

Links an important petition and an important thunderclap. A couple of other nature related links, a classic nature related meme and some of my own photographs.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of big things to do with nature came to my attention today and I have decided to share them with you. In addition to the two major links there will be some of my own thoughts, a nod in the direction of New Zealand and some appropriate photographs of my own. As you will have noticed by now, the text in this post is green, and that is because it is a post entirely dedicated to nature. Links in the text will in bold and underlined, while images relating to other posts will also be formatted as links.

THOUGHTS ON NATURE

My own interest in the natural world and concern for nature are both lifelong. I literally cannot remember a time when these attributes were not part of me. Although I grew up in London I had a common practically on my doorstep, lots of natural history books, and of course being in London meant I was within easy travelling distance of the museums at South Kensington. In my childhood the Geological and Natural History museums were two separate entities, though they have long since been amalgamated into one museum, the Natural History Museum. Therefore you can imagine my reaction when I saw something on twitter about…

A GCSE IN NATURAL HISTORY

A petition on the official site created for petitions addressed to the UK parliament to create a Natural History GCSE has been launched. This means that it is only open to those among my readers who are UK citizens to sign, which I regret, but you can still view this petition (there is a screenshot below to whet the appetite) even if you are not a UK citizens. UK citizens please sign and share.
NH GCSE

My next major link is to a…

THUNDERCLAP

To be part of a thunderclap you have to be on some form of social media (facebook, twitter or tumblr to be precise). This particular thunderclap is about the importance of pollinators and the fact that scientists have established that birds as well as bees are pesticide victims. If you are able to add your voice to this thunderclap please do so. Below is a screenshot for further clarification.

BJBthunderclap

Yes, this thunderclap is well ahead of target, as it should be, but just as the importance of pollinators cannot be overstated, so this thunderclap cannot ever be said to be over-supported. 

A COUPLE OF FURTHER LINKS

Miles King over at anewnatureblog has today produced a splendid piece titled “Time to rename Defra the Ministry of Agriculture and Fieldsports” in which he reveals the extent to which our government is failing in its duties as regards the environment. Below is a screenshot of the section of the post dealing with the downright dishonourable Andrea Leadsom by way of introduction.

ALfail

Now it is time for…

A NOD TO NEW ZEALAND

Jerry Coyne, author of the books “Why Evolution Is True” and “Faith Versus Fact”, and who also runs a blog named after the first of those books is currently in New Zealand, and it is from there that this wonderful picture (click on it to view it in its original econiche) comes:

It is nearly time for some of my own photos, taken yesterday and today, but for the penultimate section of the post I share once again…

ANNA’S NATURE MEME

This wonderful creation was formed around words that were originally submitted by me as a comment on one of her blog posts.
Nature Meme

PHOTOGRAPHS

birdmootcorvidscysbbirdmootDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5763DSCN5771Goose1ducklngs x 5Goose2gull on jettyHGSquirrelStarling in grassbirdmootcorvidscysbDSCN5745DSCN5746DSCN5750DSCN5751DSCN5756DSCN5759DSCN5762DSCN5763DSCN5771DSCN5772ducklngs x 5Goose1Goose2gull on jettySquirrelHGStarling in grass

Super Sharing Saturday – The Last Post

The last of my series of “Super sharing Saturday” posts, includes some of the lighter moments of the last few days.

INTRODUCTION

I finish this day of sharing with my last few bits. These are in the main fairly light-hearted pieces, although more than one touches on serious issues.

GIANT PHARAOH STATUE
DISCOVERED IN MUD PIT

For more about this statue, possibly of Ramesses II, please click on the image below to read the article posted on livescience.com

EMMA WATSON CLASSIC RESPONSE
TO DONALD TRUMP’S ELECTION

This comes in video from courtesy of mashable and is great fun to watch. http://mashable.com/videos/embed?video=NCDKG0LW&player=offsiteWEIT SPOT A FUNNY SPELLING ERROR

Somebody failed to proofread a church bulletin, resulting it being much funnier than intended. The image is below, and links to the piece on whyevolutionistrue where I first saw it. 

Screenshot 2017-03-11 at 5.20.39 PM - Edited

A SLICE OF (JONATHAN) PIE

This one was also brought to my attention by WEIT and is a classic example of the fictional (and very foul-mouthed – you have been warned) newscaster at his best. Here he is getting seriously aerated by the fact that there is ban on public swearing in Salford (where the BBC are based these days):

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of my pictures to end this post:

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Close up of Norfolk cost tea towel.
DSCN4514
This tea towel is in the window of the coffee shop.

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KLFP
Three prints side by side – from L to R as you look these are of Greyfriars tower, the Custom House and the almshouses on Queen Street.
NASbranchesUK
NAS branches map
NASbranchesLondon
London has its own branches map on the reverse.

Super Sharing Saturday – Science and Nature

A science based post, with some work related pictures and a link to an online catalogue at the end.

INTRODUCTION

Welcome to the next post in this series of sharing posts. Our theme in this one is nature, and while most of the pieces I am linking to are about the present, we being with a journey back to…

385 MILLION YEARS AGO

This was when our ancestors first moved from the sea to the land. The usual reckoning is that the key development that led to this happening was to do with limbs, which would seem to be common sense. However, according to this piece on astrobio.net, there is an alternative view now being proposed that the key development was actually to do with vision not limbs. As is now my custom I am using an image to link to the full article:

Now we move back to the present, and we start with a distressing story about…

RHINO POACHING

As wild rhino numbers continue to decline the poachers whose activities are most directly responsible for this decline are becoming more brazen. This story concerns a Rhino in a zoo which was shot for its horn. The saddest aspect of this story is that the wealthy Chinese who buy most rhino horns do so based on alleged properties of the substance that are entirely fictional – this is the same stuff that our own finger nails are made of, and no one would pay big money for those. As usual, the link is in the accompanying image.

LEMURS GET HIGH(COURTESY OF WEIT AND SPY IN THE WILD)

WEIT provide an introduction to the video, which you can read by clicking here. The video itself is embedded below for your delectation:

NEUTRINOS

We end with a look, courtesy of rationalisingtheuniverse, at the neutrino. We have an image to serve as a link again:

standard_model_of_elementary_particles-svg

PHOTOGRAPHS

Here to finish are some of my photographs:

cataloguecover
The printed catalogue for the March auction is now ready. Clicking this image will take you to an online version
970
Appropriate for a science based post – a telescope (lot 970)

970-a

954
Lot 954 – a silver calling card holder
988-c
Commemorative coins and medallions are frequently to be found in our sales, commemorative soap bars less so!

988-b988

977-a
These last six images are of lots 977, 978 and 979 (obverse and then reverse of each of these pewter plates)

977-b978-a978-b979-a979-b

 

 

Toxic Earth

A warning note courtesy of http://www.indy100.org, some stuff about public transport, some stuff about science, a link to a satirical pamphlet and some photographs.

INTRODUCTION

The title of this piece comes from an article on www.indy100.com although I am sharing many other things besides that, including some of my local photographs. However before I get into the main meat of my post there is one other matter to attend to:

ERRATUM

In a recent post I identified a bed of yellow flowers as daffodils. It has since been brought to my attention that they were in fact yellow crocuses. I apologise for the mistake, and please note that I am not resorting to the equivalent of putting the apology in six point type somewhere in the middle of of page 27!

TOXIC EARTH

Reading this article put me in mind of Anna’s recent post “No 17 drawing in my goals for 2017” where the drawing is about a group of people stranded in space looking for another planet to replace the one that they had to leave behind because they messed it up too badly. Click on the image below to read this important and sobering article.

chemicals.jpg

A COUPLE OF LONDON
TRANSPORT RELATED BITS

I usually reserve stuff about London transport for my London transport themed website http://www.londontu.be, where indeed I shared the second piece in this section yesterday, but I felt these two bits should also be shared here.

LAURIE PENNY ON UBER

Laurie Penny has turned her fire on private cab hire firm Uber, and the result is a devastating article in the Guardian, which I hope will succeed in weaning a few people off this vile organisation. Please read the article in full please click on the image below.

TUNNEL ARCHAEOLOGY AT THE MUSEUM OF LONDON

The central section of the Elizabeth line (nee Crossrail) cuts through London on an east-west axis, and there being no space on the surface it also cuts vertically through millennia of history. It is this latter that has led to the creation of a new exhibition at the Museum of London showing the best finds unearthed during the building of the line. Accompanying this exhibition is a short video, embedded below. After the video are links to more about this and about the Museum of London.

Extra links:

PAYING MORE BUT GETTING LESS

This is a petition put together by Going to Work which calls not only for affordable affairs on our railways but also for a fully publicly owned and publicly accountable rail network. To view, sign and share the petition please click on the screenshot below:

action-for-rail

PHOTOGRAPHIC INTERLUDE

Here are some pictures from in and around King’s Lynn:

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Planning information posted near Lynnsport.

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The good and the bad of Bawsey drain in one photo – it is home to many species but in spite of continued efforts to clear it is still used by uncaring human residents as a dumping ground.

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This bridge crosses a stretch of the Gaywood, carrying Littleport Street across said river.

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The inaugural NAS West Norfolk curry night took place on Thursday, delayed by a week due to bad weather. Although some of those who had originally booked did not make it, those who did enjoyed it.
dscn4324
My choice – Lamb Rogan Josh. The accompaniments are boiled rice, two small poppadoms and a garlic naan. The curry was a little spicier than I would have liked but other than that splendid. The accompanying drink, included in the £6.49 price tag, is a pint of Doom Bar ale (and yes for the record I drank only the one)
dscn4325
One of many fine pictures to adorn the wall of The Globe, and the only one I got a clear shot at.

ATHEISTS ARE BECOMING MORE POPULAR

Here is a truly international link – a Brit sharing a post written by a New Zealander about the USA. Heather Hastie has carried out a typically thorough comparison between the Pew Research Centre’s findings of three years ago and of just recently. Please read Heather’s post in full by clicking here.

A TRIO OF SCIENCE PIECES

The first two pieces in this section were initially posted on whyevolutionistrue starting with a piece drawing on the work of Pliny the in Between, who runs a website called The Far Corner Cafe, and of a doctor who posts under the name of Orac on scienceblogs, whose piece can be read here, to demonstrate that Chiropractic is not merely nonsense, but dangerous (indeed potentially fatal) nonsense at that. Jerry Coyne, creator of whyevolutionistrue (it takes its name from his landmark book of that title published in 2009), has received many hostile comments in response to previous pieces he has written that are critical of Chiropractic. To read this piece in full please click on the image below, the first in a series of five drawings from Pliny the in Between that were used to illustrate the post.

stroke-001

Second of the trio, again courtesy of WEIT, is a piece linking to a paper published in the journal Nature that mentions the discovery of potential traces of life in sediments that range in age between 3.77 and 4.28 billion years (the earlier end of the scale being about as early given what is known about our planet’s turbulent beginnings as life of any sort could have taken hold). To read the post in full and possibly move from there to reading the paper in Nature please click on the image below:

nature21377-f1

The third in my science trio comes from the Smithsonian and has the self explanatory title “NASA Wants the Public to Log In to Help Find Plant 9”. To read the piece in full please click on the image below.

Planet 9

A SATIRICAL PAMPHLET
FROM UNLOCK DEMOCRACY

To read this pamphlet from Unlock Democracy  in full please click the screenshot of the cover below:

ud

SOME FINAL PHOTOGRAPHS

This set of pictures are of items that will be going under the hammer in James and Sons’ March auction, a full catalogue listing for which can be viewed here. 

127
Lot 127
128
Lot 128
140
Lot 140
141
Lot 141
142
Lot 142
143
Lot 143
149
Lot 149 (three separate images joined together)
149-a
149-a
149-b
149-b. In the past, before the American way of reckoning up large numbers took over, a 1 with nine zeros after it was not designate one billion, but either one thousand million or one milliard, and one of the banknotes here shows that the Germans with a small difference in spelling used the same word when necessary.
149-c
149-c
150
150
151
152
153
153
155
154
154
155
164
164
170
170
171
171
172
172
172-a
172-a
172-b
172-b
393
393
393-a
393-a
393-b
393-b
393-c
393-c. When putting these together I decided to make this image the centre of the picture, thereby splitting the two sets of booklets.
407
407 – a four piece composite image
407-a
407-a
407-b
407-b
407-c
407-c
407-d
407-d
407-e
407-e – I could not resist extracting this close-up.

Monday Mixed Bag

A note on comments,some science related links, some photographs and links to the Autism Awareness Cup facebook page and a full catalogue for James and Sons’ next auction.

INTRODUCTION

This is a post of my own, although featuring material from elsewhere. The text other than links is all mine, and there are of course come of my own photographs. Before getting on to the main meat of the post I start with…

THE COMMENTS SECTION

If a post is all my own, or like this post has a framework created by me even if some of the stuff contained within it is not mine then the comments section is open and all comments will be accepted and responded to. If however I have either reblogged a wordpress post or used a ‘press this’ button to share a piece created elsewhere I will close the comments section for that post as it is my intention that people should read the original, and the original is the appropriate place for comments to be posted. Here are a couple of screenshots to help clarify…

screenshot-2017-01-30-at-8-46-30-am
I did these screenshots while ‘pressing’ an excellent post from Heather Hastie. Here you can see two small boxes labelled “allow comments” and “allow pingbacks and trackbacks”, which are both checked (the default setting).
screenshot-2017-01-30-at-8-46-38-am
Now I have, as my final piece of editing unchecked the box that says “allow comments”. For those who have not already done so, Heather’s piece can be accessed by clicking this picture.

SCIENCE AND NATURE CORNER

Welcome to what is becoming a regular feature of this blog. Today the posts are in order of the historical period they deal with, so we start with one set 450 million years ago, which details a find of…

TRILOBITE EGGS

This piece was posted on the website sci-news.com and can be read in full by clicking the screenshot below:

screenshot-2017-01-30-at-11-20-18-am

Moving forwards a few hundred million years we find…

BUGS IN AMBER

This concerns a new order of insects who have been discovered trapped in Burmese amber. I offer you two versions – click the screenshot on the left as you look to get the sci-news.com version and the one on the right to get the whyevolutionistrue version.

screenshot-2017-01-30-at-11-30-19-amscreenshot-2017-01-30-at-11-27-40-am

Finally for this edition of Science and Nature corner we come…

BACK TO THE PRESENT

With two videos from “Its Okay to be Smart”, the first of which details the discovery of a probable new species deep in the Amazon rainforest and the second of which asks “how many species are there?” (the answer is that no one has the foggiest).


PHOTOGRAPHS

Here are some of my photographs…

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AUTISM AWARENESS CUP 2017

Below is a list of the confirmed details about this tournament, and if you click on it, it will take you to a facebook page which you can like and share.

screenshot-2017-01-30-at-11-53-17-am

JAMES AND SONS NEXT AUCTION

It will be a three-day auction, on the 20th, 21st and 22nd February (a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday). The first two days will be at James and Sons premises in Fakenham, and the Wednesday will be at The Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich. A full catalogue can be viewed by clicking on the image below:

1040
Lot 1040, a medallion rather than a coin.