Monday, 10 November 2008

Naked shorting

An intriguing story around Wikipedia editing and the stock shorting...

Emails show journalist rigged Wikipedia's naked shorts, which refers to the article at last published as Naked In Wonderland.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008

the third way

I was trying to find out how well Ralph Nader did in the US election yesterday and came across this: I don't claim to agree (or disagree) with the ideas therein - the point is that it's an alternative view to the cosy assumptions and undiscussed issues amongst leading politicians, supported by the mainstream media. I've been aware of Ralph Nader since the 1970s and wondered how he'd fare in this election. I remember the 3rd (independent) candidate in the 1984 or 1988 election having a lot of support amongst the young American archaeologists on the Repton Dig that summer (and by implication amongst their peers back home). Yet independent candidates always seem to come a poor third.

If I'd been voting in this election, and being very underwhelmed by the two main candidates (a minority view, I know), I might well have voted for Nader.

Anyway, Google at last led me to these results, with Nader at least third, way behind the 2 main candidates. In a way I suppose that's not so different from the UK prospect of the LibDems getting a comfortable majority in the House of Commons.

Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Pics of Little Venice and Canalways Cavalade

[Re-posted from Facebook] Pics from 2008 and 2007

The annual Canalways Cavalcade was the main attraction of the weekend [1st Bank Holiday in May 2007 & 2008], having enjoyed a brief visit last year [then I was doing the Little Venice to Camden Lock walk, a superb intro to the area - London Walks].

The canals around Little Venice are filled with colourful boats and the towpath with lots of interesting stalls. There are lots of events for the three days for all ages. The area is so striking: the lovely setting of the canal basin c1820, so soon to be superseded by the nearby railways and with road flyovers overhead. It seemed to me a tad subdued compared to last year, probably because two leading lights of London IWA had died in the meantime, including one of the key organisers, Mike Stevens.

I took the opportunity to see the adjacent Paddington Basin development and the famous Rolling Bridge by Thomas Heatherwick - the local Estate management had a sign on it saying 'closed', though there was no visible problem.

Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Tower Bridge, Waverley, St Katherine's Dock

Pics from the Tower Bridge area last weekend, including paddle steamer Waverley going through Tower Bridge and a Thames barge entering St Katherine's Dock I saw the Waverley in the Clyde in April.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Tesco storm drain on Riverside

Cambridge Evening News story: Storm drain may be a killer, Tesco told.
    A FAULTY storm drain close to the River Cam in Cambridge could kill, council chiefs have warned.

    They claim that Tesco is responsible for the drain - and are demanding the store giant takes urgent action to make it safe.

    The potentially deadly drain runs from under Tesco's Newmarket Road site down to the river.

    [...]

The story refers to this clip on YouTube.

I went past this spot a few days later and had wondered about the broken manhole cover in the middle of the road.

I wonder if Tesco will try to evade their responsibility?

They're not behaving responsibly in Mill Road: the No Mill Road Tesco Campaign.

Friday, 3 October 2008

The problem with bail-outs

From the FT, Tue Sep 30th 2008: a very elegant exposition...

    The problem with bail-outs

    If you owe the bank $10, it’s your problem. If you owe the bank $10m, it’s the bank’s problem.

    If you and a million others owe the bank $10 each, it’s still your problem – but now it’s also the bank’s problem.

    If the bank then sells to an investor the $10 you owe, it ought to be the investor’s problem. But if you have a problem repaying the $10 and the bank insured the investor against your problem, then it’s both the investor’s problem and the bank’s problem.

    Your problems and your neighbours’ problems and the investor’s problems mean the bank now owes another bank $10bn. That is both banks’ problem. But if banks can’t or won’t pay the $10bn they owe to other banks, it’s very quickly a $700bn systemic problem.

    And if the government then owes the banking system $700bn, it’s your problem.

    andrew.hill@ft.com

Tuesday, 8 July 2008

Badger culls

I've found the battles over badger culling fascinating : it's one of the instances in current public policy where there's no consensus yet in the science. [DEFRA] The Government's response to the Krebs Report [Commons Select Committee on Agriculture] The Krebs Report [Woodland Trust] Bovine Tuberculosis in cattle and badgers [DEFRA] TB in cattle [BBC 8 March 2006] 'Hedges not cull' for cattle TB [BBC 7 July 2008] Benn confirms TB cull rejection

Thursday, 3 July 2008

Cam. fireworks Nov-2005

My first experiment in pics of fireworks... Cambridge Fireworks Nov. 2005

Sunday, 22 June 2008

Edinburgh: St Bernards area

From my 2007 trip to Edinburgh Edinburgh - St Bernards area (there's a matching article in my Facebook notes)

Thames Barrier Park

2nd set of pics in Picasa: Thames Barrier Park

Kew Gardens

I'm trying out Picasa as a store for big sets of pics Kew Gardens is my first album there

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Cambridge, United Kingdom