Archive for September, 2010

Data subject


Do you ever have time to read the small print? My new mobile phone contract says: You authorise us to use and DISCLOSE, in the UK AND ABROAD, information about you, your use of the Service including, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, phone numbers and/or email addresses of calls, texts and other communications made and received […]

In my prime


My son is learning how to write computer programs.  He thinks that this might be a useful skill. In fact it is already useful, because using one of his programs I have found out that my date of birth in the format ddmmyy is a prime number. Slightly disappointingly in the format ddmmyyyy it has […]

Britain’s largest offshore wind farm opened yesterday. This is probably good news. The wind farm generates enough energy to power 200,000 homes when it is windy. On a calm, foggy day it will light a small torch. According to The Times the turbines occupy an area “the size of 4,000 football pitches”. 4,000 football pitches? […]

Sea sigh


“Ooh that was lovely!” Trilled my mother-in-law as she briskly toweled herself down. “Very bracing.” A large cloud obscured the sun and the momentarily blue and glittering North Sea became as grey as the default window frame colour in Mac OSX 10.4. The wind whipped the surface into shimmering fragments and small specks of spray […]

Mugs game


“The problem is,” said Mrs R, “that I am rational and you… are irrational.” As she dried up two mugs which she had filled with water to demonstrate to me which one was larger. “Yes. That’s why we get along so well together,” I responded, still uncertain why  it mattered if one cup was designated […]

Race related


The Tour of Britain cyclists are androids. By the time I saw them whooooshh past they had cycled 75 miles in about two and a half hours….and they didn’t look tired. Their faces were impassive. Their skin was smooth and shiny. Their clothes were smooth and colourful. Their bikes made a well-engineered humming noise. They […]

Stranger thing


I stood at the urinal and reflected that large and clean public conveniences are the main benefit of a modern shopping mall. They are probably under-appreciated as a free service. In most countries the attendant would expect a small tip. Someone took up position at the facility next to me. And looked at me. One […]