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Richard Walker

Wind in the west

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A Devon village

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Goldfinch

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Here's a phot my brother took of a goldfinch

The name carduelis is Latin for something like "of the thistle" I think, because they are so fond of thistle-seeds but this one was amongst some forget-me-nots!

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Richard Walker

Geometry joke

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Beautiful woodland

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A friend sent me this picture of a Cornish forest.

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Richard Walker

Beach Art in Cornwall

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Richard Walker

Clovelly

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Daffynition

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From the Uxbridge English dictionary: exuberant - ant who’s given up driving taxis.

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Richard Walker

Devon sunset

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Richard Walker

Cyclamens

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Edited by Richard Walker, Wednesday, 4 Oct 2023, 00:11

Cyclamens at Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire,30 September 2023.


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Richard Walker

New blog post

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 26 Sept 2023, 23:46

Someone asked “What’s that funny hair on your upper lip?” I was like “Not got time to explain right now. Must dash.”

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Richard Walker

The Topiarist's Nightmare

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Last night photoed this rather attractive moth in my local. It's pretty, but it's an invasive and harmful species. 

By chance my brother snapped one of these the day before and sent me the pic and an ID. So I recognised it at once as a box tree moth.

They are native to China, Japan, East Russia, India and neighbouring regions, where there is biological control from, from example, hornets. But in the last few years they have spread, I imagine with human help, to Europe, then Britain, and now to the Cambridgeshire village where I live. And we have no natural controls.

The caterpillars live on box hedges or trees as the insect's name tells us, and they are hugely destructive; they may completely defoliate the bush, leaving just twigs. The moth may lay three sets of eggs in a season and so many people are losing their prize hedges, including many of my fellow villagers.

If you look at these old hedges at Audley End you can see what a huge legacy is under threat.


The RHS article about the moth is here; you might find it interesting reading, and, if you see the moth in your locality, report the sighting to the RHS.



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Richard Walker

Can this be true? No it can’t!

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Edited by Richard Walker, Thursday, 21 Sept 2023, 21:54

See 

https://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/oublog/viewpost.php?post=261570

Rachmaninov lived about 70 years, which is approximately 2.2 billion seconds. The quoted number of notes was 7.5 billion billion. So the composer would have needed to have written more than 3 billion notes for every second of his life.

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Richard Walker

Can this be true?

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I watched a YouTube video which said Rachmaninov wrote 7.5 x 1018 notes during his lifetime as a composer. Could this be true?

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Richard Walker

Can this be true?

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I watched a YouTube video which said Rachmaninov wrote 7.5 x 1018 notes during his lifetime as a composer. Could this be true?

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Richard Walker

Zig-Zag Angles

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Edited by Richard Walker, Saturday, 16 Sept 2023, 23:03


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Richard Walker

New Rose - "Golden Bouquet"

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I only wish I could post the scent as well as the picture.


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Richard Walker

Solution to How Many Triangles?

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Edited by Richard Walker, Tuesday, 12 Sept 2023, 23:18

See:

https://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/oublog/viewpost.php?post=260010

I found this in a puzzle book and thought it would be not too hard, but it was more tricky than I expected. Making sure you haven't missed any triangles, or double counted any, is quite slippery.

Here are the possible kinds of triangle:



Each of these can occur in five positions, so I thought at first the answer is 6 x 5 = 30, but I was mistaken, because config. e has chirality, i.e. handedness; the triangles can be aligned right or left, and so we get a total of 35.

After more investigation I found a fairly recent paper which gives a general formula for a regular polygon with any numbers of sides, but for larger numbers it gets quite complicated. 

I liked this problem, for the original pentagonal case, because it is easy to grasp, less simple than appears at first but is still solvable with some careful working.

I'll post a link to the paper about the general case for anyone interested.  


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Richard Walker

Solution to How Many Triangles?

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See https://learn1.open.ac.uk/mod/oublog/viewpost.php?post=260011

I found this in a puzzle book and thought it would be not too hard, but it was more tricky than I expected. Making sure you haven't missed any triangles, or double counted any, is quite slippery.

Here are the possible kinds of triangle:



Each of these can occur in five positions, so I thought at first the answer is 6 x 5 = 30, but I was mistaken, because config. e has chirality, i.e. handedness; the triangles can be aligned right or left, and so we get a total of 35.

After more investigation I found a fairly recent paper which gives a general formula for a regular polygon with any numbers of sides, but for larger numbers it gets quite complicated. 

I liked this problem, for the original pentagonal case, because it is easy to grasp, less simple than appears at first but is still solvable with some careful working.

I'll post a link to the paper about the general case for anyone interested.  


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Richard Walker

Pondlife

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Can’t remember where I originally heard the joke but the illustration is mine
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Richard Walker

Do you recognise this saying?

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“Loose thread, soonest mended.”


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Richard Walker

Opening bottle blues

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Opening the mouthwash 

Was like a tiny obstacle course.

Designers, are you listening?

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Richard Walker

How Many Triangles?

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How many triangles can you find in this diagram? I don't just mean ones whose vertices liu on the outer pentagon, I mean all the triangles visble.


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Richard Walker

How Many Triangles?

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How many triangles can you find in this diagram? I don't just mean ones whose vertices liu on the outer pentagon, I mean all the triangles visble.


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Richard Walker

Nominative determinism

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Edited by Richard Walker, Monday, 4 Sept 2023, 12:35

Nominative determinism is the idea that a person's name might somehow influence their career choice. 

The term was popularised in New Scientist magazine in 1994, and was intended humorously. It attracted many examples, such the book The Imperial Animal by Lionel Tiger and Robin Fox and Pole Positions—The Polar Regions and the Future of the Planet, by Daniel Snowman. You can find lots of similar examples in the Wikipedia article here.

There is even an intriguing possibility that is it more than a series on coincidences, that these is really something in it, and it has been seriously discussed by a number of psychologists, although it would be hard I think to0 establish any real effect.

Be that as it may, I have just been reading the history of Anglesey Abbey in Cambridgeshire and in the Wikipedia article about it I came across this advertisement from 1926. Bidwell and Sons auctioneers, eh?



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