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Saturday, 21 January 2017

Weather forecasts - hopeless!

At 0830z the Met Office weather forecast for our village said full sun all morning from 0900z. Very very briefly we saw the sun at 1140z. Really, the weather forecasts are useless.

Amaryllis

Every winter we grow an amaryllis in the lounge. It has really shot up in the last week, with what looks like 2 flowers coming from side shoots, barring any disasters.

Last year we supported it with a cane and elastic band.

At the moment, it is 19cm tall.

Friday, 20 January 2017

Thursday, 19 January 2017

PC and Camera Memory

It is fascinating to see the price of PC and camera memory getting lower and lower and the capacity increasing. Only a few years ago we thought a 1GB SD card was amazing. Now you can get 128GB (at least) on a mini SD card at quite respectable prices.

Ten years from now I expect we will be used to 1-2TB mini SD cards and think how did we manage back in 2017? I recall the hard drive on my first PC was 0.5GB and we thought that was massive.

UPDATE 2035z: You can already buy a 512GB SD card on Amazon. I'd be nervous of an SD card that large. Mind you they probably said that about 0.5GB SD cards just a few years ago.

Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Blackbirds

Every other Tuesday I have been going in to Cambridge on the service bus to my U3A course on Polar Studies at the Scott Polar Institute. As the speaker today was commanded to go to the Economic Forum in Davos, we had a different speaker at short notice: he was very good.

On the way in, I just relax and count the bird species I see. Usually it is between 8 and 12 different species, although in total I have seen many more.

What struck me today was the vast number of blackbirds. They were everywhere. I am not sure why there seem to be so many: are the marking territory or seeking mates?

See https://www.rspb.org.uk/birds-and-wildlife/bird-and-wildlife-guides/bird-a-z/b/blackbird/. The image on the LHS is on the RSPB site.

There are some waxwings in Cambridge. These birds come from Scandinavia and are quite rare most winters. I have yet to see one. They are often seen eating berries in supermarket car parks.

EU and the UK pound

Since the Prime Minister clarified our position on leaving the EU following the BREXIT vote, I see that the UK pound is up against every currency. I guess people had already factored in that we are leaving the EU and are happy to have some certainty now.

Although I have said this before, it would not surprise me if the Euro lost a lot of value this year. The EU is in grave danger of falling apart.

I voted to "remain" in the EU, but many nations want free trade but NOT a United States of Europe. France is France. Germany is Germany, etc..  National identity IS important.  Originally the EU was about maintaining peace in Europe, but it has grown a lot in recent years and has rather lost its way.  Basically I think the EU is "a good thing" but it must not be a "gravy train": it should serve the people of Europe.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business/market_data/currency/default.stm .

Monday, 16 January 2017

Aortic Aneurism

AAA (abdominal aortic aneurysm) screening - this available free to all males in the UK in their 65th year or older. I did not know and was not screened until today. All clear. If you are male and in this category get checked. Ring your nearest AAA clinic (in Cambridge this is 01223 256909). If you do have an issue it CAN be fixed with a stent.