Thursday, 11 August 2022

Mind Your Decisions - maths fail

Watch the first minute or so of his recent video, until he's explained the question, then press pause:

He rambles on for another five minutes explaining, rather too quickly, an unnecessarily complicated way of working it out. Try doing it my way (below) first to really torture yourself when you aer watching it!

I left the following comment:

Far too complicated!

It's length 4 from one corner of a hexagon to the opposite corner.
'Vertical' height of each triangle in the hexagon = sq rt 3.
Put the square flat on the table, fold up the flaps and look at it from the side.
Point E/F is 1 'across' and has hypotenuse sq rt 3.
Acos 1/sq rt 3 = 54.74 deg (no need to know length of the other side).

Then rotate the square so that you are looking at it diagonally from one corner.
Distance from E/F to a point diagonally opposite (assuming there are four hexagons all folded up) = 4 x sq rt 2.
Distance diagonally across the square = 2 x sq rt 2.
So point E/F is sq rt 2 'across' and has hypotenuse 2 (side length of hexagon).
Acos sq rt 2/2 = 45 deg (no need to know length of the other side).

Took my daugher two minutes once I had explained the basic approach. OK, she's studying maths...

Tuesday, 9 August 2022

The "Science" behind Alarmism in a nutshell.



Ironic, because the writer of xkcd.com is himself a Believer.

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Covid-19 - four-month waves (part 3)

AS I said in March: "Looking at that, I won't be surprised if there's another peak in June 2022."

It seems that the various variants of the virus are mutating more slowly and/or resistance (from previous infections or jabs) is waning more slowly, because the peak of the current wave wasn't until late July. From Worldometers:
But better roughly right as precisely wrong as they say. The good news is that even at the peak, daily deaths were only a fraction of previous peaks, and barely up from the low in June. Unless 'they' just can't bothered collecting/faking* the numbers any more (* delete according to taste).

And I guess the next wave in four or five months' time will be barely noticeable and we can concentrate on worrying about something else, like World War Three, the cost of living crisis or Ukraine-related mass hunger.

Saturday, 6 August 2022

It's like having a new car!

The man at the garage had been saying for some time that the gear box in my MR2 (pre-facelift 5-speed) is 'very noisy', whatever that means. And it was definitely on its last legs, gear changes were crunchy and painful, so if possible I'd start in 2nd, get up to 40 mph and then shift straight to 5th (it is very short ratios!).

I finally got organised a month ago, went up to Carlisle to collect a new-ish box (the later facelift version 6-speed) from Dick Sloan (£650), the local garage faffed about for three-and-a-half weeks (£614 incl. new clutch, incl. VAT) and I picked it up again yesterday.

It's like having a new car! I've had clutches replaced before, but they were just incremental improvements - this is a world apart, and it was a great car before anyway. Combined with the new-ish 6-speed, it is quieter (he was right about the noise); gear changes are buttery smooth; the ratios are the same as the 5-speed with a longer 6th, so you can do 70 mph at 3,000 revs not 3,500 (so doubly quiet on the motorway and better fuel economy); it seems to accelerate better (although this is possibly illusory, bugger all happens in 6th of course); etc etc.

£1,300 all in (incl. petrol to Carlisle and back) seems a lot if you say it like that, but nowadays that's 20 visits to the petrol station, and it will extend the car's life by five or ten years. So worth every penny.

Friday, 5 August 2022

Beyoncé - good at singing and dancing, rubbish at filthy lyrics

Ms Knowles, a squeaky clean living God-Botherer in her early 40s, decided to have a go at a bit of 'dirty talk' in one of the the songs on her latest long-playing record.

The disability campaigners are up in arms about the use of the word "spazz".

Had she intended to insult or make fun of people with disabilities, I would wholeheartedly agree with them. Having actually listened to the song with lyrics on YouTube, it is quite clear that she simply doesn't know how to swear properly.

The offending word is in a verse is towards the end of the song which also contains words like "titties" and "pussy", so falls far short of the high bar set by Azalea Banks with "212" over a decade ago, which is gloriously and wantonly filthy and offensive from the start, even with all the swearing edited out.

She invites her sexual partner to "spazz on that ass". From the context it is quite clear that she means "jizz on...","spunk on...", "spaff on..." or possibly "wazz on [my] ass", but she somehow jumbles these words into "spazz". Unless she is verbifying the word "spasm" in the medical sense i.e. an involuntary muscle contraction such as an ejaculation.

Thursday, 4 August 2022

Headline Of The Week

From The Metro:
Angry man permanently banned from every Sainsbury’s threatens to never shop at Sainsbury’s again

Sliced and diced

For argument's sake, let us assume that this from the BBC is actually a good interpretation of what actually happened, and the whole thing is not false conclusions drawn on the basis of a carefully manipulated series of PR events. Maybe Zawahari was a fictitious character whom the Yanks photo-shopped into existence so that they could later claim credit for eliminating him with a non-existent weapon, what do we know?

The Zawahiri strike, he added, "sounds like a model application" of the [assassination] process. "It sounds like they were very careful and deliberate in this instance to find him in a location and at a time when they could hit just him and not harm any other person," Prof Banks said.

In the case of the Zawahiri strike, it has been suggested, but not confirmed, that the US also used a relatively unknown version of the Hellfire - the R9X - which deploys six blades to slice through targets using its kinetic energy.

In 2017, another al-Qaeda leader and one of Zawahiri's deputies, Abu Khayr al-Masri, was reportedly killed with an R9X Hellfire in Syria. Photos of his vehicle taken after the strike showed that the missile had cut a hole in the roof and shredded its occupants, but without signs of an explosion or any further destruction to the vehicle.


Here is a picture of said vehicle, from The Daily Mail, so that seems like a reasonable conclusion based on scanty evidence:
Anyway, returning to the story:

"... His family protested his innocence and said they were distraught. His wife was reported to be in pieces. Funnily enough, so was he."

Wednesday, 3 August 2022

"Mortgage rules eased as Bank of England scraps affordability test stokes the flames in the run up to the next big crash in 2025-26"

From The Independent:

Mortgage borrowing rules have been eased by the Bank of England making it easier for thousands of potential homebuyers to get on the property ladder.

It will not make it easier (i.e. cheaper) for first time buyers, it will just force them to borrow larger sums to pay higher prices for what they would have bought anyway.

The affordability “stress” test forced lenders to assess whether people applying for a mortgage would be able to cope if interest rates rose to 3 percent.

The Bank of England said that the change should not be seen as a “relaxation of the rules”, adding that a number of other measures still in place “ought to deliver the appropriate level of resilence to the UK financial system, but in a simpler, more predictable and more proportionate way.” The test was introduced in 2014 following the 2008 financial crash and was designed to stop reckless lending to people who could not afford it.


But hey, let's allow reckless lending again, now that what happened fourteen years ago is fading from memory. It's like banning guns, seeing gun crime fall and then legalising them again on the basis that gun crime is low.

Another rule, which is still in place, limits most new mortgages to a maximum of 4.5 times a borrower’s income. The Bank of England’s financial policy committee said in 2021, after a review of the rules, that this other limit “is likely to play a stronger role than the affordability test in guarding against an increase in aggregate household indebtedness and the number of highly indebted households in a scenario of rapidly rising house prices.”

FFS. How is borrowing 4.5 times your income, especially if it 4.5 x joint income of a couple, not reckless? Back in the sensible days of Georgism Lite, that limit was about 2.5 x main earner's income.

Added to a decent deposit, that's enough to pay for the bricks and mortar value or the cost of building a new one (with a sane profit margin for the builder), which depresses the price paid for the land/location value, hooray. We know this is true because they were building plenty of new homes for FTB's during Georgism Lite (landlords were frozen out by rent controls, tenant protection and high taxation of unearned income), and the insurance value of housing was pretty close to how much they cost to buy.

Sunday, 31 July 2022

That is, and always has been, your actual job.

From Sky News:

A UK-French taskforce is to tackle Channel travel chaos after gridlocked traffic caused hours of hold-ups last weekend - with rail strikes on Saturday and holiday traffic expected to add to the misery.

Thursday, 28 July 2022

Supply and demand

Confused.com has a function which shows the lowest petrol/diesel prices within a certain radius of a chosen postcode.

It told me that the garage a few miles up the road had dropped it to 169.9p/litre, so I whizzed over there.

The 169.9p/litre was correct, but inevitably...
a) They had sold out "an hour ago, but we should be getting more in today".
b) The forecourt was full of new arrivals and recent arrivals manoeuvring around the pumps to find one that was still in service.
c) I thought sod it, I'm here now, I'll just fill up with the closest thing to proper petrol i.e. super for 184.9p/litre.