john

john

  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    Via a friend-of-friend, David Brin is trying to get in touch with fan groups (and possibly bookshops for signings) in the UK in April. His public post is at https://www.facebook.com/thedavidbrin/posts/748377169026 - he's already been pointed at Transreal and Edinburgh University...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    PS: Some smart-arse is going to ask, "if you've got such a tight deadline, how come you can write this blog entry?" Short answer: because it's a modular, self-contained task that's orthogonal to the book I'm working on and has...
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    The Cabinet is just a committee of the Privy Council anyway, so what exactly would change? (And I don't give a shit what delusions Queeny has about her "duty". Hereditary monarchs are without honour, without legitimacy, and without any justification...
  • Commented on Some notes on world building
    Provided the shipping itself is reasonably efficient, and local labour conditions and pesticide / fertiliser regs are also both good in themselves and well enforced (admittedly these are very big caveats), exporting and importing vegetables is just exporting and importing...
  • Commented on A small research question
    Parasites that make you go yuck are one thing, but what about parasites that have a charismatic, beautiful imago? The Large Blue caterpillar is a brood parasite on red ants. It was extinct in the UK for about 5 years,...
  • Commented on Thoughtcrime
    >a majority of the voters who turned out voted for someone who was neither Labour nor Conservative -- but the minority parties split each others' votes. Nope. 30% Labour plus 37% Tory = 67% for the big two across the...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Since the current UK top marginal rate, including all NICS, is about 63.5% and comes into force at about 42,000 PA, I think you're talking nonsense. Can you cite those examples, please? Also, of course, the top marginal rate had...
  • Commented on Aftermath
    Yep - I was getting verbose and edited down a comment to the effect of "multiply by 10 to get the on-the-ground impact of this extraordinary figure", reckoning that the figures spoke for themselves. It's mind-boggling....
  • Commented on Aftermath
    1) Fuck. 2) The England results appear, to me, to explain why Labour were trying to avoid being publicly tied into the SNP before election day. In fact, south England other than London appears to be xenophobic against actual UK...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    >the increasing mental slowness you describe, though I don't know the cause. One theory is that most people's vision, sense of touch, proprioception, and hearing gets slowly worse as they age. With sensory information becoming more and more noisy and...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    Actual reference suggestion: Handbook of the Psychology of Aging, http://catalogue.lib.ed.ac.uk/vwebv/holdingsInfo?bibId=1871433. (There is a later 7th edition, but everything up to the 6th ed. was edited by my grandfather, and is therefore better for his royalties if nothing else...) What I...
  • Commented on Trust Me (I'm a kettle)
    >There's quite a lot of evidence that increasing the severity of punishment does nothing to reduce the incidence of crime -- whereas increasing the probability of being caught is very effective, even if the punishment is relatively mild. I like...
  • Commented on Commercial interlude
    Did you manage a subtle piece of promotion in the Grauniad, or is it a coincidence? http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/sep/23/country-diary-science-fiction...
  • Commented on What are the big issues of 2013 going to be?
    The theory has been around for a long time and I think has been realised in the lab before, too. Some quantum systems can have their entropy decrease as energy in the system increases: this negative coefficient gives rise to...
  • Commented on Happy Christmas! Here is a flame war in a can
    There has also been a manslaughter case in 2011 involving domestic hot water, although not in Scotland: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-birmingham-15834904 The transient temperature when the shower first came on was scalding hot, and did in fact scald a toddler. It was accepted...
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