Still cold…

It has been particularly cold in Adelaide this winter. I like seasons, but it is high time for spring to come now, I reckon.

Despite all the hysterical hype from the climate alarmists, it is quite a bit colder these days that it was during the medieval warm period, which was quite a bit colder than the Roman warm period, which in turn was quite a bit colder than the Minoan warm period. That, at any rate, is the evidence of the Greenland Ice Sheet as reconstructed by Alley (2000) from GISP2 ice core data, shown here in blue:

GISP2 TemperatureSince10700 BP with CO2 from EPICA DomeC

None of this a surprise; these were periods when civilisation was particularly thriving – we all do better in nice weather.  Interestingly, the red line shows Continue reading

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All I want is a house somewhere…

I have bought a number of houses in my life, generally the process has been quite fun. This time – much less so.
What I want is a house on an acre or so that is not hemmed in by other houses, and which is not unspeakably ugly. It would not matter if it was a bit too small provided that there is some available space around it to extend it. I’m not been too fussy about where it is, as long as it is within striking distance of Adelaide.
Can I find it? Not so far, at any rate. And time is running out, with the settlement date Continue reading

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News

News.

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Daytime Song

LearThe French are not all bad, of course. I have still much affection for poor Hector Berlioz. Who in turn was something of an Anglophile. He added a manuscript quote from King Lear on the title page of The Symphonie fantastique:

As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods

They kill us for their sport.

We know what you mean, Hector, we know what you mean.

Unusually for an orchestral composer, Hector’s personal instrument was not the piano, but the guitar. My beloved Bosendorfer, which I bought with the money I inherited from my mother when she died, is gone now: I had given it to my wife, never imagining that she would one day leave. But I still have my lute and my guitars.

Sometimes, I tune my guitars sometimes to lute tuning, such that the great mean (what is normally the G string of a guitar), is tuned down a semitone. Hence the song I wrote the other day, Daytime Song, which could not readily played in guitar tuning. Continue reading

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Goodbye to all that

Facebook-Down-ThumbFacebook has started sending me photographs of my wife’s lover cosying up to my wife. Ex wife.

No, I do not want that.

So I have deactivated my Facebook account.

Goodbye, Continue reading

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Some Blasted Heath (others will doubtless do likewise)

ted-heathThere has been a good deal in the news this week about allegations of child molestation by Sir Edward Heath.

It is impossible to know for sure if these allegations have any substance. There is an element of improbability about the whole thing; he was self-evidently such a prig and a prude that it is difficult to imagine him getting up to anything particularly salacious.And anyway, at the relevant time, the entourage around him would have made it virtually impossible for him to engage in anything particularly nefarious.

Since he is dead, Sir Edward is entirely unable to defend himself. Since the police have Continue reading

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Ravenscam

ravenMy son Jamie’s school asked yesterday if it would be OK for him to be assessed by means of a Raven test.

So I looked it up.  A Raven test turns out to be an IQ test, in which one is to identify progressively difficult shape sequences. Driven by curiosity, I started the test on line, and it turned out to be great fun.  It was really quite hard by the end. And then the kicker: they say , “Well done, you have completed the test. Now you will have to pay 19 Euros if you want to see the results”.

Well, by this time I had wasted half an hour of my time, and despite some suspicion that the whole thing might be a scam, I paid the 19 Euros.  This is what they sent back: Continue reading

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Dogs

Harper has come to stay for a few days.

She looks happy.

DogsMrs Perdita Shrimpton Continue reading

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Fox Hunting – a Tale of Bilbys and Sturgeons

bilbyThere has been a fair bit of news about foxhunting recently, and never having been on a foxhunt in my life, it is not my specialist subject at all. But I do think that, to get the bottom of it, you really need to start with the bilbys.

Everybody eats a lot of chocolate at Easter. Except for me. Chocolate is contrary to my diet these days. Anyway, chocolate being a rather heavy, man-made sort of a thing, people like to balance the Easter message with something more natural, and small and cute and cuddly. In Europe, they use rabbits. Small rabbits. Bunnies, in other words. But here in Australia, rabbits are a huge pest, and get a very bad press. Anyway, Australians want their own small cute and cuddly animal as their Easter animal. Step up the bilby. It is small, cute and above all it is Australian.

Unhappily, animals like the Bilby are under some threat, and the threat includes the feral cat. According to the government here, there are some 20 million feral cats in Australia, and every day, it is estimated that they kill some 75 million bilbys and other cute Continue reading

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Mixed News for Birds

nibblesIt has been a mixed week for news of birds.

On the bad side, seagulls have attacked and killed a Yorkshire terrier, Roo, in its own garden in Cornwall. These particular gulls are a protected species, apparently, so they was no moving them off Roo’s owner’s roof, where they have set up home.

As against that we have seen the warming story of the duck Nibbles, who waits in the car for his master to get off the school bus at the end of the day.

Ducks are plainly winning Continue reading

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