Monday, 22 February 2010

Last Lines 6

"As she went on her way, gossamer threads, spun from bush to bush, barricaded her pathway, and as she broke through one after another of these fairy barricades she thought, 'They're trying to bind me and keep me'. But the threads which were to bind her to her native country were more enduring than gossamer. They were spun of love and kinship and cherished memories."

From 'Candleford Green' by Flora Thompson

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Domestic Waste Recycling

I have always have had worries about the viability of domestic waste recycling. Take, for a simple example, plastic bottles. These occupy large amounts of space, even when partially crushed but are low in  weight of recoverable plastic. To collect them necessitates a heavy vehicle frequently stopping & starting along miles of residential roads;  then, when full, transport to a depot and from there to a recycling plant for recovery of usable plastic. Is the carbon saved at the point that reclaimed plastic granules issue forth into a delivery lorry more than that expended by all the handling and transport involved?

Will the cost of this recovered plastic to the bottle-makers be less than that of new material; or are taxpayers subsidising recycling as a matter of Government policy in order to keep the raw materials in the ground and waste out of land-fill?

Presumably someone has done the sums.

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Louis Comfort Tiffany

In the UK Tiffany windows can be seen in situ in Kimbolton Church, Cambridgeshire, and New College Chapel, London.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Last Lines 5

"One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield."

From Ulysses by Alfred Lord Tennyson. Also inscribed on a cross on Observation Hill, Antarctica, in memory of Scott & his party

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Test your Risk Intelligence

Risk Intelligence Quotient (RQ) is a measure of a person’s ability to estimate probabilities accurately. People with high risk intelligence tend to make better predictions than those with low RQ.

High risk intelligence is quite rare. Fifty years of research in the psychology of judgement and decision making shows that most people are not very good at thinking clearly about risky choices. If risk intelligence was more common, the world wouldn't be mired in financial crisis, since this was largely caused by unwise lending and borrowing - both of which involve risk intelligence. Too many lenders and borrowers overestimated the chances that loans would be repaid.

The 5 minute test here will measure your will your RQ.