Friday, 15 November 2013
Saturday, 26 October 2013
They are formulaic: In memory of name son/daughter of William Lloyd and Elizabeth Warrington who died date aged years/months; then followed by a Welsh inscription.
|Eleanor Lloyd||April 14th 1883||11 months|
|Charlotte||November 10th 1889||1 year and 10 months|
|William John||September 26th 1894||4 years and 3 months|
The inscriptions are:
- Fel blodeuyn y daw allan, ac y corrir ef ymaith - As the flower blooms, it is cut down
- Ewyllys yr Arglwydd a wneler - The Lord's will be done
- Flodeuyn a gwympodd - The flower fell
How very sad.
Monday, 30 September 2013
So it was interesting during a recent trip to the land of Chips 'n' Chocolate [Belgium] to visit St Donaas' church in Zeebrugge and see again some fairly good and recent glass, dominant in blue. (Zeebrugge, incidentally, has a population of only 6 or so; St Donaas' is a good mariners' church, complete with boat on altar).
It's not well-known, or documented elsewhere (that I can find), so I wrote to the Pastoor to enquire. He promptly replied with two pieces of illustrative information [in English]
- A cursory description of the church and its environs, telling me "The glass panels from the church in 1965".
- Brief details of two VCs awarded to Capt. Bamford and Sgt. Finch [R.M.], who were part of the sea battle of Zeebrugge held on 23rd April 1918 (yes, St. George's Day).
Meanwhile, I'd be pleased to learn more about the Zeebrugge glass, if anyone knows.
Out of interest, Aberystwyth has some good glass in both St Michael's:St Anne's, Penparcau:
Saturday, 21 September 2013
- A classic Burton building in the High Street ...
- ... founded by Barbara Burton ...
- ... with elephants in the window, just like Aber.
- People "buying bricks" for the cathedral. It might have been my family, but wasn't.
- A beautifully carved Madonna.
- A metaphor for our times.
- A plaintive sculpture.
- The Jellicoe Roof Garden viewed from afar.
- A really very graceful cathedral.
- A lady.
- A clock.
Wednesday, 4 September 2013
The average daily generation and usage look like this (click to enlarge)
(recall that "usage" is not a clearly defined quantity).
The best fit sine waves to generation and usage, plotted on the graphs, are (click to enlarge):
The waves are (again) reassuringly homed on the spring equinox. The average daily generation in 2011-12 was 9.8KWh, and in 2012-13 was 11.3KWh - yes, the weather really was better!
Out of interest, remember especially that June 2012 was awful, and July 2013 was pretty good - here are the pictures for those months against the best fit - no prizes for guessing which is which:
Well, the upfront money-in-pocket from the FIT is now over £5/day. What we save from using free rather than costed power, and pushing surplus into the grid, is as ever secondary and difficult to pinpoint, but is certainly another positive quantity.
We're not regretting this purchase.
Tuesday, 3 September 2013
In a moment of idleness, I set about capturing a list of covers with youtube or similar links. Mercifully, early on in this pointless exercise I discovered a shrine to this immortal song. Whoever did this work has done a more than thorough job. Go see.
Do not miss:
- The deeply poignant original by Elton Mortello, Jet Boy, Jet Girl.
- Hemmi Gunn's version, translated into Icelandic as Einn dans við mig.
- The dancing video in Thee headcoatees version.
- Seriously foxy ladies in the Swiss band Tears.
- Pigloo - hahahahahahaha!
- Andre Vershuren's accordion instrumental.
(Apropos of Elton Mortello's version, he must have known of Jet Boy by the NYD, which I saw performed live in York in, ummm, 1974.)
Ca plane pour moi - ganz wahr.
Sunday, 30 June 2013
- In Polish, the word for please is proszę, which the British cannot distinguish in pronunciation from prosię, meaning piglet. How many times have I walked into a Polish bar and said "Two beers, piglet!"?
- In Welsh, the word for beer is cwrw (do remember that w is a vowel). A cuckoo is, unsurprisingly, cwcw, which is a distressingly close thing.
- The Greek for beer is μπύρα, which is bloody confusing for the linguistically inept mathematician who knows the letters, but not that mu and pi combine to give a b. So actually, they call it beer.
(The Polish for cuckoo is kukułka.)
Sunday, 16 June 2013
I have in the past had cause to remark on the bus-stops of Aberystwyth:
Now - to my surprise and delight, the rarest of events just outside my own house! Over a period of months, the authorities [sic] have erected a fine new stop some 25 yards east of the previous; nobody is sure why. Endless hours of fun are to be had watching putative customers deciding which one actually works - the same confusion afflicts the bus drivers.
We know of no plans ro remove the "old" one.
Saturday, 15 June 2013
Those habitual liars Trip Advisor tell you the best pub in town is a place I will not name, to avoid risk of libeling. With minimal effort we found two contenders in The Cottage Loaf and The Albert - who knows how many more and better there may actually be?
They also undersing one of the country's most exceptional ancient monuments where you can see blissfully happy people excavating malachite, to impede the parking of cars.
Wednesday, 22 May 2013
Kevin then posed an interesting question: is the Fields Medal awarded in the year of the work that merits it? If so, wouldn't you be pissed off to make an advance of huge stature to be pipped by someone else?
I'll delay my publication of a proof of the Riemann Hypothesis until next year, just in case.
More productively, we thought about manufacturing a facsimile of a Fields Medal using the underused 3D printer in Gwyddoniaeth Gyfrifiadurol at Prifysgol Aberystwyth and taking it turns to wear it during excursions to the pubs of Aber.
Kevin, incidentally, is runner-up in the World Outdoor Cribbage Championship.
Friday, 12 April 2013
Friday, 5 April 2013
He meant the other one.
I think. For the record, he is "Professor Sir Roger Boyle", while I am "Visiting Professor Boyle", an eternal disappointment to my sisters. If this baffles you, compare the issue with the hierarchy of Admirals.
Friday, 1 March 2013
There is a route from mid-Kent to West Wales that takes in Liverpool Street station and Stonebridge Park. While not the most direct, it affords two sightseeing opportunities.
The Kindertransport memorial at Liverpool
Street is only 7 years old: it commemorates the welcoming into
Britain of large numbers of Jewish refugees - predominantly
children - very shortly before WW2 began. A slick operation
saw some thousands received who would very probably
otherwise have perished.
In truth, the sculpture of some children with their few belongings I did not find very striking, but there's no denying the strength of the sentiment.
As Andrea Hammel noted, "How would it be if 10000 refugee children turned up in the UK today? What would their welcome be?". The Daily Mail would surely have a view.
2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the
Ace Cafe beside the North Circular at
it's famous for being, still, a bikers'/drivers' caff in just the place where such a thing is needed.
Inside, the experience is of a place that is a monument to itself rather than a cafe, but it's still fun. It's deplorably tidy and clean, with far too many notices promoting Safety (and a few promoting Health). Holding a train ticket from Ashford to Aberystwyth, I had to do some talking to be allowed to alight at the Stonebridge rail station, but it was well worth it. You get a cracking view of the N Circ, and the pointless Wembley Stadium.
If I'd really been in the groove, I'd have had bacon and eggs &c &c, but actually settled for a pint of Beck's Vier and meatballs in spaghetti (on logo'ed china).
Monday, 21 January 2013
During my brief tenure as regular there was a demolition scare: it being the sort of place that attracts those sort of people, some musically inclined locals immediately founded The Bayshill Rollers (yes, it's a pun) to release Save The Bayshill, which I bought. The B-side is the rarely heard Cheltenham Ladies - the College Ladies were a frequent topic of conversation in the pub. Presumably they still are.
(Actually this is at least partly nonsense. The Rollers had existed for some time under the name Decameron, a Cheltenham Arts College band founded by Dave Bell and Johnny Coppin, still extant in the early 2000s.)
It was splendid to see a copy of the disc mounted on the pub wall. Alongside it was a picture of the public bar mural which had featured a number of well known locals (not me - insufficient length of service). It photographs badly but fourth from the right (bow tie) is Aubrey Lewis, with whom I used to work at GCHQ. He was 60-ish in those days, drank beer prodigiously, and smoked lots of Capstan Full Strength cigarettes: a model for us all.
Tuesday, 8 January 2013
She was pleased and impressed when I noted that both before and after our recent birthdays (many thanks for your cards and gifts), both our ages were semiprime: which is to say all four numbers have precisely 2 prime factors (but you knew that already).
Which leads to the obvious questions:
- What is the density of semiprimes?
- What is the density of consecutive semiprimes: in particular is it asymptotically >0?
There does not seem to be a clear answer to the second question, which it need not surprise us pre-occupied the ubiquitous Paul Erdös (did I mention I once beat him at chess?). A simple computer program suggests there are many consecutives, and indeed triples (clearly, 4 in a row is no-go). Heath-Brown has shown there is an infinite number of such pairs  but I am unsure of their density.
Anyway, if I live to be 141-142, the pair of us can enjoy this happy numerological event again.
- D. R. Heath-Brown, The divisor function at consecutive integers, Mathematika 31, 141–149, 1984.