Welcome to The Perfect Curve.

There are 127 posts in total.

Balloon releases

simon gray - 2017-09-22, 11:33:14

In other news - balloon releases, and similarly, sky lanterns. Yeah, they look pretty, and can be a nice gesture as a celebration of a life lost. But actually, they're not really that nice at all, when you remember that what goes up must come down. A city - or a field, out an ocean - littered with balloon debris isn't very nice, and neither is the charred remains of a house, park, or warehouse after a still-burning sky lantern has landed on it and set fire to it. Balloons are often sold as biodegradable - what that means is they'll biodegrade in landfill over a period of years, it doesn't mean they biodegrade in a field or a river over a period of weeks.

If the litter and environmental impact of balloon releases doesn't convince you, maybe the human impact might. Helium might be the second-most abundant element in the universe, but on Earth it's actually extremely rare - it's difficult to extract, and the known stocks of it are being depleted at an alarming rate. Why is this a problem? Essential medical equipment such as NMRI scanners need it as part of their cooling systems. No more helium, no more NMRI, no more life-saving brain scans. So this goes for all the other ways helium is wasted, too.

There have been a few attempts at petitions to get these things banned, and somebody has done another one. It'd be nice if this one is signed - and shared - in sufficient numbers to at least get parliament to discuss the issue and acknowledge there's a problem needing to be solved. Generally I'm not into banning things, but this problem - not least because it's so under-acknowledged - is sufficiently large that I do think some form of legislation and regulation is necessary.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/200251

#environment

Rice

simon gray - 2017-08-17, 09:23:46

I've long been dubious about there being any real difference between paella rice and risotto rice, but can anybody persuade me there's a real difference between arborio risotto rice and carnaroli risotto rice?

Great way to promote a brand

simon gray - 2017-08-16, 12:24:51

All the dog turds on the pavement this person has stepped in will now be on your food. Great way to promote a brand, @emmicaffelatte

 

NHS cuts and private bathrooms

simon gray - 2017-08-14, 09:23:51

Any Tory-leaning folks care to trying to defend the health secretary having a £44,000 private bathroom fitted in his office at the same time as ordering £21,000,000,000 of cuts to the health service?

#nhs #politics

 

The new Doctor Who

simon gray - 2017-07-17, 09:30:22

I think a legitimate criticism of casting a woman in the role is that whilst fiction is all made up anyway, it ¡'should'! follow it's internal continuity rules within the universe that's been created, and in 50 years there's never been anything built into the continuity to allow a time lord to change sex on regeneration, Missy notwithstanding - if they were going to do it, then they've had nearly 15 years of the new series to do a proper job of laying down some backstory conditions to enable it. 

The counter-argument to that is all the way through its history the show has played fast and loose with its established continuity, whether that's been out of convenience to solve a rabbit hole they've gone down or whether it's because the producer and script editor at the time have simply forgotten something. The various alternative histories of the Daleks, the date settings of the John Pertwee U.N.I.T. stories (and indeed the modern reverse engineering of UNIT to be Unified Intelligence Taskforce rather than United Nations Intelligence Taskforce), and Robert Holmes just making up on the fly the 12 regeneration rule are the biggest examples. 

And arguably the show has been at its weakest when it's been hidebound to its continuity knots, and stronger after the occasional reboot!

I do though think it's a shame the role has become so politicised that whatever the sex or race of the new person to be cast as the Doctor, there would have been one group or other who would have been outraged at the decision. 

If I were a betting man...

simon gray - 2017-07-12, 21:52:10

'If I were a betting man...' it has only just occurred to me is a phrase only ever said by people who aren't betting men. Because if they were betting men, they'd know that there's no point in betting on a dead cert, because you'll win about 20p from so doing.

Mobile emails

simon gray - 2017-07-07, 15:52:11

In 2017, why are organisations still sending out HTML emails which look like this on a handportable telephone?

 

It could be the dead wot won it

simon gray - 2017-06-08, 09:02:15

According to the polls - varying widely between an increased majority for the Conservatives down to a hung parliament, with one little-reported poll (done by an ad agency rather than a traditional polling organisation, but with a track record of getting its guesses right) even showing a Labour win, the election is too close to call. The fact of there being such a wide variation in the predictions in the final polls from each organisation is evidence enough it's too close to call, even with some polls predicting a big Conservative win. 

So of course people are hanging their hopes on the poll which shows the result they'd rather see, and hanging their hopes on the demographic which is mostly likely to vote for the result they'd rather see. 'The old could win it', Conservative supporters say, 'The young could win it', Labour supporters say. 

With it this close to call, there's one demographic nobody has thought of who could win it. The dead. 

Eh?

In the olden days it was a pretty tricky process to get a postal vote - you had to satisfy your local elections office, and even prove so, that it would be physically impossible for you to get to the polling station on Election Day. More recently in an effort to boost turnout the requirements were dropped, and postal voting was made available on demand to anybody who asks for it. 

So it's feasibly possible that there are people who applied for postal votes, sent them in, and died before Election Day - whether they were expecting a possibility of dying or whether their death came completely unexpected. 

If the election really is going to be as close as some polls are having it, if there are a few key marginals which turn on just a handful of votes - and in local elections there have often been whole councils which turn on the toss of a coin because the votes are a dead heat - it's not impossible some of those votes could have been cast by dead people. 

It could be the dead wot won it.

#politics

Word clouds

simon gray - 2017-05-31, 21:12:40

Six years after everybody else realised word clouds are a bit rubbish, one of our candidates has cottoned on to word clouds.

 

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