Polymath: a person of great and varied learning.

Just used in reference to Stephen Fry in celebration of his 50th birthday. Lovely word.

What’s your carbon volume?

A few car adverts are currently boasting a low carbon emission of 120g of CO2 per kilometre of driving. That still sounds like a lot.

At 15°C, CO2 weighs 1.977kg per cubic metre, so 120g equates to 60,700 cubic centimetres, or a 39 centimetre cube, full of carbon dioxide. So a trip to Yorkshire and back for me would equate to 41 cubic metres of CO2 or a 3.43 metre cube. Quite a chunk. If it’s cold, then the carbon footprint is reduced, I guess.

Rare dead star found near Earth

Here’s the article. Maybe James Doohan didn’t come back to earth after all.

define osirra

osirra is Spanish, meaning harmony. It is pronounced uh-SI-ra, pronounciation rules as follows:

[That first sentence is not strictly true but it’s a nice thought, and I’ll be promoting its introduction into the Spanish dictionary. Please join me in this quest.]

BBC News gets all techie

BBC News’ articles have gone all techie, each now succeeded by a little box inviting readers to bookmark the page through any one of del.icio.us (quaintly written Delicious), Digg, reddit, Facebook or StumbleUpon.

Interesting way to go. Not one I’d associate with the BBC.

Inheritance tax on axes

The Tories have unveiled a new plan to apply inheritance tax on axes handed down from one generation to the next. That’s how I interpreted the headline, on first reading. I love it when the BBC’s attempts to get content to fit in the available space results in odd, often confusing headlines, usually bereft of prepositions and joiny words™.

Newcastle still top

After last night’s games, Newcastle are still top of the table (average points 3, average goals 3, average difference 2), followed by Everton (3, 2.5, 1.5) and Chelsea (3, 2.5, 1), Arsenal (3, 2, 1), Blackburn (3, 2, 1) and Liverpool (3, 2, 1) taking the remaining European spots. I was wrong in suggesting that Spurs (0, 0.5, -1.5) were bottom of the Premiership under this new sorting algorithm—West Ham (0, 0, -2) prop up the division, with Spurs and Middlesbrough (0, 0.5, -1) joining them in the relegation zone.

The biggest beneficiaries from the revised sorting are Newcastle, jumping four places, while Man. City are crying with a five place demotion from second to seventh.

Premier League: re-sort by columns J, K and L

The Premier League, along with every other British footballing league (and indeed all foreign ones, I think), is ordered by points scored, with other measures (goal difference and goals scored) kicking in to rank teams with equal points. Under this method, it’s always struck me as unfair, particularly early in the season, that teams that have played fewer games are penalised.

Surely a more equitable initial measure would be average points per game played, with average goal difference and average points scored kicking in as the secondary and tertiary differentiators.

I’ve thought this since childhood, yet I was only prompted to put it into words on seeing Everton leapfrog Newcastle last night as a result of beating Spurs.

So far, Everton has 2-1 and 3-1 wins under its belt, giving an average points per game of 3, an average goal difference of 1.5 and an average goals scored of 2.5. Newcastle’s sole 3-1 win gives us figures of 3, 2 and 3 respectively, putting us top, no? For completeness, under either scenario, Spurs are bottom.

Take the AQ test

I scored 32. You?

Overheard in Parliament Square

American woman to fellow tourist, while visually comparing Parliament and Westminster Abbey: no, that one looks more like an abbey (pointing at Westminster Abbey, phew).

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