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Squee! [Sep. 13th, 2016|10:19 am]
In some news that I'm sure will delight weegoddess, the Oxford English Dictionary has finally (after 151 years) admitted squee to its pages.
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The Power of Poison [Jun. 14th, 2014|03:01 pm]
[Current Location |United Kingdom, Durham]
[Current Music |WUMB]

I came across this book via a retweet by Phil Gates (@SeymourDaily) and while I'm unlikely to make the exhibition (it's in New York at the American Museum of Natural History) the website is fascinating emough. And I thought it might appeal to nineweaving -- who knows?
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Sauvons le Grand Hamster d’Alsace ! [May. 7th, 2014|02:24 pm]

Who knew Alsace had a giant hamster? Not me, and not shewhomust until I read her a story in today's Guardian. And now I discover they are seriously threatened and there is a campaign to save them. Here's more information and lots of pictures:

and they have even built a hamster bypass under a new autoroute:
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Happy birthday, SheWhoMust [Apr. 17th, 2014|09:12 pm]
[Tags|, , ]
[Current Location |United Kingdom, Durham]
[Current Mood |happyhappy]

Happy birthday, shewhomust!
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Spend a lot of chess? [Nov. 9th, 2013|01:06 pm]
[Current Mood |baffled]

The latest attempt to part me from my money by pretending my PayPal account has been suspended includes this intriguing sentence:

We have recently determined that differents computers are connected to your account,and spend a lot of chess were present before the login.

WTF? Presumably it's an artefact of machine translation, but if so, what was the source language?
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Happy Birthday... [Dec. 28th, 2012|03:34 pm]
Happy birthday, helenraven.
Do you get the Wine Society emails? They have just started their January clearance.
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Let's do some maths... [Jul. 4th, 2012|11:49 am]
... or for my US readers, some math.
This post is triggered by today's news that an at-home H.I.V. test has won F.D.A approval for sale in the USA. The article referred to gives these figures:

  • The home test is accurate 99.98% of the time for people who do not have the virus.

  • The test is accurate 92% of the time in detecting people who do.

  • About 20% of the 1.2 million infected Americans do not know they have the disease.

The population of the USA is currently 311,591,917 (a figure with spurious accuracy) and we end up with the conclusion that there are just over 310 million people in the US who are not infected.

This is where it starts to get interesting. If everybody in the US took this test, except the people who already knew they were infected, then in round figures:

  • 238,000 people would correctly be diagnosed as infected with H.I.V.

  • 20,000 people would incorrectly be given the all clear.

  • Around 310 million people would correctly be given the all clear, but

  • 62,000 people or thereabouts (0.02% of the 310,600,000 who are in fact uninfected) would get a positive result.

So, comparing the first and the last figures, if there were a mass screening programme then 20% of the people with a positive result would not in fact be infected.

The other statistic today is that the people at CERN are sure to a 5σ level that they have found the Higgs Boson According to Professor Brian Cox, it roughly means that you're 99.9999% sure. And it seems that Peter Higgs is there in person. He says "I never expected this to happen in my lifetime and shall be asking my family to put some champagne in the fridge."

But in contrast to the H.I.V. test, the people at CERN have stopped short of claiming official discovery of the Higgs boson.
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Happy birthday, shewhomust [Apr. 17th, 2012|03:18 pm]

Today is shewhomust's birtbday. Many happy returns!

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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In the City of Chicago... [Apr. 7th, 2012|12:55 pm]
[Tags|, ]

...but not as the evening shadows fall.
A pre-breakfast post to record our safe arrival here yesterday afternoon. In reply to desperance, they did let us in, at Dublin in a process called pre-clearance, no queue and we arrived as if on a domestic flight.
We are now at Club Quarters, a helenraven recommendation which has worked very well. Nice walk yesterday afternoon, many photos to follow. Today the train to California.

Posted via m.livejournal.com.

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It was sixty years ago today [Feb. 6th, 2012|12:41 pm]
(shewhomust has heard this so often, I suggest she reads no further.)

Sixty years ago I was nearly five and my brother nearly two. We lived with our parents in two rooms in a house in Forest Hill (London SE23). That morning my brother had been twiddling the knobs on our wireless (as we called them). A little later when my mother turned on the radio she could not get it to play. We blamed my brother for breaking it.

It was only in the late afternoon when my father returned from work that we learned that the King had died and that consequently the BBC was not broadcasting except for the scheduled news bulletins.
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