It is New Year’s Day, 2020. The newspapers are replete with remarks about the way the last decade went. Few are unwise enough to make predictions about the way the coming decade will unfold. But hey ho. Someone has to do it.
Looking back at predictions that other people have made in the past, a couple of themes emerge. The first is that predictions of impending catastrophe almost always turn out to be groundless. There is obviously something about the human psyche which is attracted, in some way, to notions of terrible times ahead. And so if you are straining in your seats waiting for awful predictions, take a step backwards.
Secondly, even when predictions are more or less right, they tend to overestimate rates of change. By and large, things happen in the world pretty slowly, and probably rather more slowly than they did century or so ago.
Trying to keep these thoughts in mind, here is my brief time capsule, to be opened in 10 years’ time. It would be hopeless to expect that they will all be right.
My guess is that there will be Continue reading
This is a rather-self satisfied quiz question, I admit.
In which of these aircraft did I spend a very happy 3 hours yesterday afternoon?
Hint: It will do 150 knots. I know that because while flying it I was allowed to put it into a dive. A bit childish, perhaps, but Continue reading
Today, Englishmen celebrate the thwarting in 1605 of Arch-Remainer Guy Fawkes, who attempted to frustrate English independence from Europe by blowing up Parliament. We do this, as we have for the last 5 centuries, by letting off fireworks on the evening of November 5th each year. A simple pleasure now constrained, ironically, by EU Directive 2103/29/EU.
This quiz question is multiple choice. How many words are there in this Directive?
As usual, no prizes other than PIA.
Hint: the recital begins thus Continue reading
A different sort of quiz this time, for all new experts in the game of football.
There are 15 knock-out matches to go, now the competition has reached the last 16. Here they are numbered: all you have to do is predict which team will win which match.
The prediction has to be made today, before you know who will be playing who in the quarter and semi finals, or the final.
One point for each correct prediction. Simple. Post your answers either here or on my Facebook Continue reading
I had some trouble with 21 Across yesterday:
Sharp turns in quiet Scottish river valley (6)
Well, “sh” for quiet is easy. And inside that “tart” turning backwards is OK. I had never heard of strath. But it makes sense. Strathclyde. Strathalbyn. It had just never Continue reading
Recent quizzes have proved overly hard. So here is an easier one. Where and what is the live animal in this photo, taken at home yesterday?
Hint: it is not Continue reading
Same general drift as Quiz VI. But the answer is not the same . Oh Continue reading
No one was able to answer Quiz V. So I have made this one dead easy.
What is denoted by this map? You have to click on the image to run the animation.
I composed this largely to try out the new Excel mapping facility, which is quite fun.
To make it just a shade harder, turn off Continue reading
What is denoted by this map?
The complete answer requires an explanation of Continue reading
Whose card was delayed? He spent his boxing day with a Nobel Laureate.
People have been solving these quizzes rather fast. How fast for this one, I wonder?
Hint: This photo will probably be of no assistance whatsoever. But it does illustrate the delight my Continue reading