Want a happy holiday? Pray for an Arctic blast Telegraph tells numerate readers.


Dr Arnall’s hap­pi­ness for­mula is: O + (N x S) + Cpm/T + He. Put more simply, a numer­ical value for being out­doors (O) was added to nature (N) mul­ti­plied by social inter­ac­tion (S), added to child­hood sum­mer memor­ies and pos­it­ive thoughts (Cpm) divided by tem­per­at­ure (T), and added to hol­i­day excite­ment (He).

So explains the Daily Telegraph. When divid­ing a smal­ler denom­in­ator gives a big­ger num­ber. 1/10 is a big­ger num­ber than 1/100 des­pite 100 being big­ger than 10. When T approaches zero Cpm/T approaches infin­ity. Dr Arnall is we will be hap­pi­est when T = 0. That’s a sum­mer where the tem­per­at­ure hits freez­ing point if you’re meas­ur­ing in Centigrade,* when you’ll be infin­itely happy. If you’re meas­ur­ing in Fahrenheit you’ll be euphoric when the tem­per­at­ure reaches the equi­val­ent of –18ºC.

What’s pain­ful to read is that he doesn’t seem to under­stand his own for­mula. He’s quoted as say­ing: “June has also seen some warm weather after the cold spring, with people hop­ing more warm spells are ahead,” without warn­ing that in his fantasy this warm weather would be less pleas­ing than cold and drizzle.

*Anders Celsius ori­gin­ally set his scale the other way round, so that boil­ing point was 0º and water froze at 100º. Despite this, I strongly doubt Dr Arnall would he happy if someone tripped and spilled the con­tents of a boil­ing kettle over him.

Where can you find out more about the UNESCO Astronomy World Heritage Inititative?


For any­one search­ing for my name today, here’s the inform­a­tion you’re after.

The bit I’m work­ing with is the Portal to the Heritage of Astronomy. This is the part where all the pub­lic inform­a­tion is.

There are pages about the ini­ti­at­ive at UNESCO and the IAU.

It’s excel­lent report­ing by Andy Carling, so if I’ve said any­thing incor­rect or muddled then it’s def­in­itely me who got it wrong, not some com­mu­nic­a­tion mix-up.

The Meaning of Liff at 30

There’s a radio show online cel­eb­rat­ing 30 years of The Meaning of Liff a dic­tion­ary of words that don’t exist, but should. The words are all place names that have been press-ganged into doing some proper work in the English language. As a respons­ible per­son I’m not link­ing to this web­site that lists many of the defin­i­tions in the book: http://​folk​.uio​.no/​a​l​i​e​d​/​T​M​o​L​.​h​tml

THROCKING (par­ti­cipial vb.)
The action of con­tinu­ally push­ing down the lever on a pop-up toaster in the hope that you will thereby get it to under­stand that you want it to toast something.

NAD (n.)
Measure defined as the dis­tance between a driver’s out­stretched fin­ger­tips and the ticket machine in an auto­matic car-park. 1 nad = 18.4 cm.

RIPON (vb.)
(Of lit­er­ary crit­ics.) To include all the best jokes from the book in the review to make it look as if the critic thought of them.

#Liff     #Books     #DouglasAdams     #Gplus  

The Meaning of Liff at 30
John Lloyd cel­eb­rates 30 years of The Meaning of Liff with Matt Lucas and Helen Fielding.

For once an anti-GM campaigner might cheer a Monsanto win

I’ve blogged about my con­fu­sion over the Bowman vs. Monsanto case at AoB Blog. There’s a whole argu­ment over GMOs are bad or not, or if that’s even the right ques­tion. But if they are, does that mean the anti-GM pos­i­tion is always anti-Monsanto?

On this occa­sion I argue a Monsanto win would do more to reduce the uptake of GMOs than a loss. It’s per­fectly pos­sible I’ve made a mis­take. The cam­paign­ers are pre­sum­ably much more know­ledgable about the situ­ation than I am, so feel free to leave a com­ment at AoB Blog.

Embedded Link

My enemy’s enemy…?
Recently a lot of com­ments on the Bowman vs. Monsanto court case have been in my social media streams. If you’ve not heard about this, it’s about a court case between a farmer and the Monsanto corp.…..

In the UK we’ll soon hear that ‘cod’ fish fingers are up to 100% sea…

In the UK we’ll soon hear that ‘cod’ fish fin­gers are up to 100% seahorse.

Reshared post from +Sean Treacy

These are not the fish you’re look­ing for. 

One-third of sea­food mis­labeled, study finds
Fraud com­mon in sea­food labeling. Sushi houses the worst offend­ers, study finds.