OU blog

Personal Blogs

Richard Walker

Rehabilitation or bust

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 3 Oct 2021, 01:14

I’m addicted to suitcases. But I’m determined to pack them up.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Average Age of People in UK?

Visible to anyone in the world

No clues and pleeeeze don’t just Google. Think about it and put a guesstimate in the comments.

By average is meant the median; half the people below, half above.





Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Monday, 4 Oct 2021, 00:11)
Share post
Richard Walker

Can anyone identify this tree?

Visible to anyone in the world

Seen in the Scilly Islands.



Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Monday, 4 Oct 2021, 00:13)
Share post
Richard Walker

Owls

Visible to anyone in the world

I used to hear owls a lot round here but in the last few years less. So I was pleased in this last few days to hear several tawny owls on the way back from the pub (me not them).

Here’s a good write-up with a sound recording

https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/tawny-owl/


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Emotive Conjugation

Visible to anyone in the world

On a radio program in 1948 the philospher Bertrand Russell gave several humerous examples of "emotive conjugation", such as

I am firm, you are obstinate, he is a pig-headed fool.

I have reconsidered the matter, you have changed your mind, he has gone back on his word.

You get the idea: it's like comjugating a verb but the speaker casts themself in a favourable light, you in a slightly less favourable one, and the others in an unfavourable light.

I offer you one for the current "situation" (as the PM describes ).

I am filling up earlier than usual, you have changed your pattern of demand, they are panic buying.


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Slanderous

Visible to anyone in the world

They said I knew diddly squat. I was like “No, never met the bloke”.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Musical Daffynitions

Visible to anyone in the world

I can probably reprise this, after half a decade.

Barcarolle       Gamble on winning streak

Minuet             Last night's romantic dinner

Romance        Insect scouts

Nocturne         Criticise stage act       

Overture          Your turn now

Rondo              Relative of John Doe, Jane Doe, etc.

Andante           Another relative

Unison             The one at uni

Suite                Grain identification

Operetta          Grain dryer tragedy    

Symphony       Appear odd


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

It’s an ill wind

Visible to anyone in the world

According to Simon Cardy we’ve had less wind this summer than any year since 1962, see 

https://mobile.twitter.com/weather_king/status/1434812313614397441

This has had a big impact on energy supply, but I didn’t realise quite how much wind power mattered. It’s been windy this week and as a result between Tuesday and Wednesday morning wind provided about a third of our national power requirements (see Paul Simons Weather Eye, Times 30/09/2021).

At the same time the wind caused some devastation near here. Two light aeroplanes and a helicopter were upended and written off overnight. At first sight it might appear that such heavy machines would be safe from wind, but I think the fact that they are designed to fly makes them more vulnerable.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Dad Joke

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 30 Sept 2021, 03:14

A. How do lumberjacks get online?

A. With their logging credentials!

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

What I’m Reading

Visible to anyone in the world
Generations: Does When You’re Born Shape Who You Are?
By Bobby Duffy

About half way through, very absorbed by this highly thought-provoking book.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

One liner

Visible to anyone in the world

I love archeology, I really dig it.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Explorer

Visible to anyone in the world

Retired plorer.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Marinara

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 28 Sept 2021, 01:30

Each week I buy the ingredients for a meal that I cook and share with a friend, although I’m not very agile nowadays so they have to assist quite a bit. 

Anyway. Today I tried pork escalopes with grilled vegetables. No carbs cos friend is on a Keto diet, which is not far off what would be recommended for people on type 2 diabetes, so I think it’s ok health wise and does seem to work. I’ve snuck in carbs myself but still lost a bit by association.

Next up will be a marinara chicken breast recipe, with different grilled vegetables, mushrooms, sweet potato this time and maybe peppers.

What’s with marinara? It’s the sauce mariners cook up, think of carbonara cooked up by charcoal burners.

I’ll report next week on a) recipe and method b) success in scale 1-5

'


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Joke

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 26 Sept 2021, 22:16

Who can get petrol?

Scroll down for answer 
















Jerry can!

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Word Of The Day

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 26 Sept 2021, 02:02

A grimoire is a book of magic spells, from French, from Latin, and I think related to Ancient Greek grammata = letters. 

Those who can read and write may cast spells. They may be glamorous, glammar being a Scots variant. And so we see those who can read, write, spell, may bewitch and fascinate. Letters are dangerous.

Permalink
Share post
Richard Walker

Hairpiece

Visible to anyone in the world

I bought a wig for five thousand pounds. That’s a lot toupee.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Word of the day

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Friday, 24 Sept 2021, 01:55

A German one today.

verschlimmbesserung

This beautiful word means an attempt at making things better that ends up making them worse.

Pointing no fingers, you can probably think of many examples.


Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Dad Joke

Visible to anyone in the world

What did the talking dog say when it climbed on the house?

Roof!

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Hanging Baskets

Visible to anyone in the world

We’ve been deliberating what we should put in the hanging baskets to flower through the winter. Winter pansies are a hot favourite but what other plants should we look at; any other ideas welcome.

Permalink 4 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 22 Sept 2021, 22:33)
Share post
Richard Walker

Vitamin D

Visible to anyone in the world

My doctor tested me and said my Vitamin D was low. “Get out in the sun more”, she advised, “And wear shorts, get some sun on those legs!”

I did what she said, and when I went back, after just a few weeks, my Vitamin D was way up. My doctor was so pleased she awarded me some brown knee points.

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Autumn Encounter

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Sunday, 19 Sept 2021, 02:08

Tending my tomatoes 

My head brushed a spiderweb 

Little damage done, and the spider ran off safely.

Still I apologised.

Permalink 2 comments (latest comment by Richard Walker, Monday, 20 Sept 2021, 01:25)
Share post
Richard Walker

Duxford Air Show

Visible to anyone in the world

As the sun rose today, classic WWII era aircraft lined up at Duxford Aerodrome in Cambridgeshire. The planes to the right are Buchons, those at left Spitfires.


Picture credit Mark Williams of Classic Wings

Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

The Guessing Games

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 18 Sept 2021, 00:27

A friend tells you she has chosen a number from 1 to 100, and challenges you to guess what it is. To help you a little, she says you can ask exactly one question about the number and she will answer it honestly. Armed with the extra information her answer provides, you can then proceed to guess what number she picked.

What question would you ask?

[Adapted from a puzzle by Alex Besos.]


Permalink 6 comments (latest comment by Joseph McDonnell, Tuesday, 28 Sept 2021, 21:54)
Share post
Richard Walker

Aphorism

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 16 Sept 2021, 03:49
All people are unique but some are more unique than others.
Permalink Add your comment
Share post
Richard Walker

Earth and Venus

Visible to anyone in the world
Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 15 Sept 2021, 01:10

This remarkable animation is from a lovely blog post by Guy Ottewell. I only offer it as a taster and strongly recommentd visiting https://www.universalworkshop.com/2016/06/07/five-petals-of-venus/ for the full story.

So what's going on? Well, we see a slightly simplified version of the motions of the Sun and Venus as seen from Earth (centre stage). It's simplified by making the objects move at uniform speed, and the orbits circular, but these are not wildy out; for exampleif you plotted the Earth's orbit on paper, it would to the human eye be industinguishable from a circle. The Earth is at the centre, the yellow circle represents the Sun and Venus is the smaller, white, circle.

Watching the animation you will see that it gradually unfolds as a pattern with five-fold symmetry. This reflects the fact that the length of a Venus year to an Earth is close to 5:13 and 13 - 8 = 5.

We are nowadays familiar with idea that both Venus and Earth, and all the other planets, revolve about the Sun, but for at least 2,000 years the world view was that the Earth stood still and everything else moved round it. This is not unreasonable, or even wrong, but it just makes the motion of the planet appear arbitrary and hard to account for, as we see from the motion of Venus in the animation.To describe it we need circles within circles within circles, 'epicycles', and although it utimately works, it gets extemely complicated, and the epicycles are like pulling a rabbit out of a hat.

Once we make that shift, to placing the Sun at the centre, it all becomes much simpler to describe. There is much still to explain; such as, the orbits are not actually circulr but ellipses, the speeds not the same all the way round the orbit, the reason for the different orbital periods is not understood; and Kepler wondered what make the planets move at all. But the heliocentric viewpoint is much simpler to deal with, and it paves the way for a better understanding of the Solar system, and then of the motion of celestial objects more widely.


Permalink Add your comment
Share post

This blog might contain posts that are only visible to logged-in users, or where only logged-in users can comment. If you have an account on the system, please log in for full access.

Total visits to this blog: 2135428