Archive for January, 2010

minneapolis in winter

Tuesday, January 26th, 2010

A nice video from local writer James Lileks’ blog today, a montage of downtown Minneapolis on a winter’s day. Lots of skyways and office buildings – enjoy:

why homeopathy is a scam

Thursday, January 21st, 2010

An article from the Times Online today about the mathematics behind homeopathic remedies, written by a mathematician at the School of Mathematical Sciences at Queen Mary, University of London.

He describes exactly what it means when arnica is sold at 30C dosage:

…to make a homeopathic remedy, they start with the active ingredient and then proceed to dilute it to 1 per cent concentration. Then they dilute that new solution again, so there is now only 0.01 per cent of the original ingredients. For my 30C pills this diluting is repeated thirty times, which means that the arnica is one part in a million billion billion billion billion billion billion.

The arnica is diluted so much that there is only one molecule of it per 7 million billion billion billion billion pills.

It’s hard to comprehend numbers that large. If you were to buy that many pills from Boots, it would cost more than the gross domestic product of the UK. It’s more than the gross domestic product of the entire world. Since the dawn of civilisation. If every human being since the beginning of time had saved every last penny, denarius and sea-shell, we would still have not saved up enough to purchase a single arnica molecule from Boots.

Great scam if you’re selling it though!


Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Great video of Bobby McFerrin using hopping and the pentatonic scale to demonstrate the power of expectations, and how this works no matter where in the world he does this:

World Science Festival 2009: Bobby McFerrin Demonstrates the Power of the Pentatonic Scale from World Science Festival on Vimeo.


Tuesday, January 19th, 2010

Dara has been rather obsessed lately with my face, specifically whether or not I have shaved on a certain day. She has taken to touching my face and asking if I am “smoothie” (clean shaven) or “crunchy” (stubbly): “Daddy, are you crunchy today?”

On Saturday she did this before I had had a shower or shave – at which point I was crunchy – and then once I had cleaned up she checked again. She noticed that I had shaved and said “Daddy, did you smooth?” I told her that I had indeed smoothed, and was told “Then you are not a man anymore”. I was a bit upset, but apparently it means that I was a boy instead because boys are smooth.


Sunday, January 10th, 2010

Apparently there was a twitter thing going around yesterday to make film names Scottish.

Some of my faves: My Big Fat Greenock Wedding, Men Who stare at Oats, Perth Girls Are Easy, A poke o chips Now.

My brother David’s suggestion was The Neverending Stovie, which for some reason wasn’t included. But I’ve included it.