Dr Plokta's Journal|
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|Friday, December 6th, 2013|
So, for some reason it occurred to me to see what global life expectancy would look like if it had the same average, 70 years, but was distributed as unequally as wealth (net worth, not income, which is rather more equally distributed than net worth).
My main source here is the Wikipedia page for world distribution of wealth
. We'll use figures based on actual currency exchange rates, not PPP.
The average net worth is $20,372, so we need to divide all the figures by 291 to convert to life expectancy.
So, average life expectancy in the Democratic Republic of Congo would be 7½ months. Average life expectancy in Japan would be 621 years. In the UK, it would be 436 years. Carlos Slim would live to be over 250 million years old, and could watch the continents move around and whole new classes and genera of live evolving. 3 billion people would live less than 34 years, including of course a very large number who would die at birth.
It's really up to you whether you take this as good news that life expectancy is not
distributed as unequally as wealth, or bad news that wealth isn't distributed as evenly as life expectancy.
|Monday, October 28th, 2013|
Somewhat to our surprise, we still have both power and an Internet connection. And no visible damage to anything around the house, garden or stables.
|Tuesday, September 17th, 2013|
|Tuesday, September 10th, 2013|
Those who read flickgc
's LJ will be aware that we got a dog yesterday, a rescued three-or-four-year-old Bernese mountain dog whose previous owner died. Here's a brief video of her bounding across the front garden (taken in Vine but uploaded to YouTube instead, since Vine doesn't let you rotate videos).
|Tuesday, August 13th, 2013|
|Friday, August 9th, 2013|
The switch just got flipped at the exchange, and we have ADSL again, after a week of relying on very dodgy mobile Internet on our phones. Will be catching up on email over the weekend. It's currently syncing at 1440 kbps, which could be worse, but won't do much streaming video. Can't do a speed test until we've stopped pulling down tons of delayed emails, RSS feeds, etc.
|Thursday, August 1st, 2013|
For those keeping track, everything arrived except the horse bedding, which is promised to be waiting for us when we get there tomorrow.
A few minor problems. One bag of horse feed was split open an leaking, the dishwasher couldn't be fitted because it needs a plumber to fit a new tap, and the fridge can't be turned on until tomorrow. Luckily, another delivery was a picnic cooler, so I put the refrigerated stuff from Ocado in that and brought it home.
Our ADSL simultaneous migration has failed, so we're going to be offline for a week or so.
|Wednesday, July 31st, 2013|
We drove down to the new house this morning and collected the keys, our money fortunately having arrived a little before we did. Then after poking around the house, garden and stables for a bit (What are all these pull cords in the bedrooms that don't seem to do anything? Do we actually know the alarm code? What's this bare concrete patch in the middle of the front lawn?) we drove home again, because we're not actually moving in until Friday (although I'm going to be there all day tomorrow to let in carpet cleaners and the window cleaner, and accept delivery of a washing machine, a dishwasher, a fridge, a freezer, a ton (literally) of horse bedding, some horse feed, a lawn mower, a strimmer, some other bits and pieces from Amazon, a dining table and chairs, some stable tools, and a grocery order from Ocado).
Our new concrete has been laid, and the stable yard looks good, although there's some grass that needs to grow back. The fencing work isn't being done until mid August, but we have electric fencing on plastic posts to keep them away from the dodgy fences until they've been replaced.
We're now a little concerned by the amount of stuff that needs to be done by next Wednesday morning, when the horses move in -- there's some junk in the stables, tack room and barn to get rid of, door furniture that needs replacing, electric fencing that needs to be connected up, and so on.
In theory, our phone line and ADSL account will both be switched over to the new house some time on Friday. If we go offline for a while, then this did not actually happen.
|Friday, July 26th, 2013|
Heard the new Archbishop of Canterbury (soon to be our local vicar, pretty much) on Radio 4 at lunchtime saying that credit unions should be able to compete with Wonga while offering APRs of 70% or 80%, rather than Wonga's 5,500%. However, a quick calculation shows that if you're doing two week loans with a 7.5% default rate (which I believe is pretty much Wonga's averages), you need to charge an APR of 556% merely in order to cover your defaults, without taking into account administrative overheads or the actual cost of the capital.
|Monday, April 29th, 2013|
|Thursday, April 18th, 2013|
|...and a pony
I now seem to be sorted for ponies. Jonny passed the vet with flying colours (he has itchy back legs from mites, and he needs to see a farrier soon), and I'm paying a deposit tomorrow and probably collecting him a week on Monday. He's pretty much your classic heavyweight cob, and has been very well-behaved each time we've been to see him.
Picture below, behind a cut tag. He's a bit muddy, because he's been living out and the weather has not been all that dry recently.( Here he is.Collapse )
|Friday, December 28th, 2012|
Nights spend away from home in 2012 (including forthcoming New Year's Eve). Asterisks denote more than one non-consecutive occasion.
Ras al Khaimah, UAE (5)
Boston, Mass. (3)
Heathrow (4) *
Sheffield (4) *
Troyes, France (1)
Isle sur la Sorgue, France (5)
Bruges, Belgium (1)
Tuddenham, Suffolk (3)
Walthamstow (2) *
40 nights, only a bit over 10% of the year.
|Saturday, December 22nd, 2012|
. Locus have published the results of their online poll of the best sf and fantasy novels of the 20th and 21st centuries. I give the lists below, with bold if I've read it, italic if I started but did not finish, and struck through if I did not like the book.
After some thought I have not struck through the Connie Willis books, because while her sense of what the UK is like is very bad indeed
for someone who sets a lot of books in the UK, her books do have other virtues.( Cut because it's a loooong list.Collapse )
I just realised that the window of opportunity for human spaceflight has been and gone. It's no longer feasible. The orientation sensors on your smartphone won't work in zero gravity, so everyone's screens would be the wrong way round, which obviously makes the whole enterprise infeasible until the invention of artificial gravity.
|Sunday, September 30th, 2012|
|Out On My Own
Since vgrumpybastard is out of work at present
has nothing to ride. So I went out in the woods on my own for the first time, on Bess, who I generally ride on Sundays (she's the horse in this photo
). She's very sociable, and refuses to go in front if there's another horse to go behind, so I was a bit worried about taking her out on her own, but in fact she was absolutely fine, and I even managed to unlock and open the gates without dismounting (she's really too small for me, but an advantage of that is that I can fairly easily mount from the ground).
So we had an entirely successful ride round the woods, with plenty of trotting and cantering, and went round much faster than when we're with GB, who walks very slowly. And then I got back to the stable, where flickgc
on a lead rope eating some grass. She and Toni (who owns Bess) checked out my trousers for mud stains, to see if I had come off. And then vgrumpybastard
lived up to his nickname by having a go at Bess, who shied off to the side, and I came off -- only my second fall ever. So after cantering successfully round Kent on my own, I fell off in the stable yard. Bah. It's lucky she's not very big -- less far to fall.
|Tuesday, September 18th, 2012|
|Comic/RPG Dealers Wanted
My mother works in the Oxfam shop in Chester. They've just been given a large collection (she says 35 crates, and estimates at least 1,000 items) of comics and RPGs. Does anyone know of any dealers who might be interested in taking a trip to Chester with a view to acquiring it?
|Monday, August 27th, 2012|
In view of the current debate about gender parity at SF conventions, there's something I didn't mention about the horse show
yesterday. Eighteen classes (or thereabouts; it's a bit hard to count exactly, as some classes were merged or cancelled). Average of five entrants per class (approx.). Let's assume the average person entered 2.5 classes. That makes a total of 36 contestants, of whom two were male -- a bit over 5%. And of course since I'm writing about it because I was there, that actually biasses the sample in favour of male participation -- it would have been 1 in 35 without me.
This is a pretty typical state of affairs. And there seems to be no disquiet with or debate about this state of affairs -- it's simply accepted that that's how things are. When it's mentioned at all in horse magazines, it's nearly always "How can I get my significant other interested?", and doesn't address any wider issues of gender parity.
(At the highest levels of riding, the gender balance is much more even, which is of course also an interesting subject for debate.)
|Sunday, August 26th, 2012|
Joyden's Riding Club show today, my first show. I came third of six in the Novice Senior Rider class (flickgc
came first), which was better than I was expecting. "Senior" means over 17, so I qualify rather easily. And then second of four in the in-hand Veteran class (Veteran here being the pony, who is 17, rather than me).( Here be photosCollapse )
|Saturday, August 18th, 2012|
Just how vigilant can the police be as the days turn to weeks and the weeks turn to months? Embassies must get quite a few visitors, and they can't search everyone as they're coming and going. Suppose that Assange grows a beard and dyes his hair, and then one day in a couple of months' time one of the visitors to the embassy is a bearded man with the same hair colour and general build and face shape. They swap clothes, and Assange leaves. He's then put on a train to Bristol and a boat to an Ecuadorean registered ship in international waters. Then the other guy leaves the embassy.