Random

It seems likely I have coeliac disease. This is an auto-immune reaction to gluten, and apparently if you have it, you have always had it. I can’t think why it’s taken this long to diagnose. I am waiting for a biopsy next week to confirm, and i the mean time I must continue to eat …

Continue reading Coeliac disease

[W:Astroturfing] is industry supported lobbying in the guise of grass roots activism. It takes its name from [W:Astroturf], the well-known brand of artificial grass. The first astroturfing group I recall encountering was Microsoft’s “Freedom to Innovate Network”, set up when they were in court over abuses of near-monopoly power. The tobacco industry is the best …

Continue reading Astrotweeting

Tutoyer is a French word meaning to use the familiar tu when addressing someone, to be on familiar terms. To English people the existence of the two forms of address – vous versus tu (or Sie versus du in German) seems odd. In both languages the formal version is the plural, whereas in English we don’t have a plural form …

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This is something that annoys me quite disproportionately. When I was a lad it was drummed into me that a measurement is in fact comprised of two numbers: the measurement itself, and its attendant uncertainty. It’s obvious to most people that if you say something is about half a kilometre away, that’s an estimate probably …

Continue reading Meaningless precision

As often seems to happen a train of thought has resonated across several areas of life. I was doing some work on a [W:customer relationship management] (CRM) system and it occurred to me that CRM systems are one of the things that make big, faceless corporations appear… big and faceless. It’s not that we don’t want them …

Continue reading Personal v. personalised

This is Ruben, one of two guinea pigs that were an unexpected gift in September 2008 – my guinea pig turned out to be pregnant on purchase. Ruben has been a source of delight, an affectionate little man who would always come to the bars of the cage or run for a food treat, would …

Continue reading Sad now

Home movies. Embarrassing, eh? Well, not always. Here is one from the camera of James Rudd Ratcliffe, my wife’s maternal grandfather. Taken at Croydon around 1936 it includes footage of a number of airliners of the time including G-ACJK Imperial Airways Short L17 Syrinx, G-AAXC Imperial Airways Handley Page HP42 “Heracles”, HB-ISI Swiss Airlines Douglas DC2, F-AMHL Air France …

Continue reading Home movies, Croydon ca. 1936