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Topics - Rupert

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Water Cooler / Whats in your google spam folder?
« on: March 10, 2023, 10:52:39 AM »
Couldn't help sharing this with you guys, hope it makes you smile too.

there are a number of important emails that google continually put into spam, regardless of how I flag them, but these are not important to me, but I do wonder how they end up as a self spam.


This new approach, using off-the-shelf resins and other chemicals, promises far greater efficiency and lower cost, say the scientists involved.

The research team have borrowed an approach used for applications in water, and "tweaked" existing materials to remove CO2 from the air.

In tests, the new hybrid absorbing material was able to take in three times as much CO2 as existing substances.


Proud to have studied in Birmingham :) Never a big fan of BS, I think Sue saw them at Donnington in her rock days, but Ossie has just cancelled his farewell tour apparently, as he is too poorly.

so on a positive note

Also Never knew this:

When he was 17, the future Black Sabbath guitarist worked at sheet metal factory in Birmingham. He lost the tips of the middle and ring fingers on his right hand thanks to a horrible accident on his very last day in the job.

In hindsight, heavy metal started right there as the musician had to completely re-think how to play the guitar.

Water Cooler / Why do the rich get richer — even during global crises?
« on: January 02, 2023, 06:21:43 PM »

Inequality is a political choice

After World War II, countries started following progressive taxation policies and took steps to address monopoly power, Ahmed said. And while many nations reversed that approach during the pandemic, a few bucked the trend. Costa Rica increased its highest tax rate by 10 percent and New Zealand by 6 percent in order to redistribute wealth.

“There are examples of countries doing the right thing. And it reminds us that inequality is not inevitable. It’s a policy and a political choice,” Ahmed said.


Consider that the world’s richest 10 percent account for 50 percent of fossil fuel burning and carbon emissions. Consider that climate reparations, for which the Global South won acknowledgment but little more at last month’s COP27 climate talks, can’t be funded at scale by tweaking wealthy countries’ hidebound taxation-as-usual. Consider that carbon emissions pricing, an indispensable policy tool for shrinking fossil fuel demand, can’t be made politically palatable in the U.S. — even with worthy “dividend” schemes — so long as middle- and working-class families must witness the superrich lording and polluting at will.

I think most of the west is in the top 10% of wealth in the world.

But it does highlight the wealth extremes again. Ah read on Rupert:

In the Netherlands, 8 percent of the population takes 40 percent of flights. Worldwide, the difference is even more stark: One percent of the population is responsible for 50 percent of pollution due to aviation, making air travel a textbook example of how pollution by the rich leads to consequences and injustices for those who have not caused the climate crisis.

I completely missed this, anyone else?  It was on the 5th Nov 2022.

Its not obvious on the BBC, Reuters, but it was in the Guardian. and financial times.


Keep us posted. hope everyone is safe.

Great pictures expected!
My niece has just flown to Baltimore for Christmas.

Water Cooler / first cold snap images of my home... and I am surprised.
« on: December 07, 2022, 07:01:07 AM »
I should not be.
But it seems the leakage of heat is as much in the corners (no insulation?) as it is the windows. The next step is to find a cavity wall filler who can fix it.

This was taken using a £150 flickr camera that attaches to my phone.

If you are looking at stopping heat loss, I know think its worth it. I have not looked closely at each window, this was an initial big sweep, but it seems particularly bad near the eves, by the chimney (No fire alight) and in the internal corners. some walls are definitely better than others. I am not sure if the heat spots above windows are from the windows below or the brickwork above the window.

Also, in the bits that have a wooden floor, there seems to be heat leaking from BENEATH the house (No image showing that)

Water Cooler / global wealth report
« on: October 25, 2022, 06:19:05 AM »

 463.6 trillion USD – global wealth at end-2021
62.5 million millionaires worldwide end-2021
87489 USD – average wealth per adult end-2021

0.8% of people in the world  are asset millionaires (62.5/7753)%

The poorest are in Africa, and thats where population is expanding.

The gap between rich and poor is getting wider.  No surprises.

The general wealth picture has been positive even for disadvantaged subgroups.

Water Cooler / What is the news of Hurricane Ian?
« on: October 02, 2022, 07:04:09 PM »

Water Cooler / Electric Car running costs.
« on: July 13, 2022, 07:28:52 AM »
A number of friends and aquantances have been buying up electic cars and hybrids over the last few years, and always talk of the free miles on electric.  We all know its not free, but it is miles without having to fill the conventional tank.  That gives them absurd mpg figures if they have a short run to work.

While trying to get my Outlook file to do a simple thing as "search the emails" this morning (and failing), I got side tracked into this simple calc. 

An electric van averages 0.3kwh per mile:
 (220 mile range with 67kwh battery.

In the UK, I am paying 27p per Kwh at the moment, which is about 10p ($0.1 per mile)

But the DEPENDABLE range is only 100 miles.... so 20p mile

My Van does just short of 10 miles per litre (45mpg)  Its a van... not sure how it compares to a Nissan leaf, but bear with me.

At £2 per litre of diesel at present, that is 20p per mile. 

Where is the saving now?


The Uber Files are an unprecedented insight into how one of the world’s most notorious tech companies lobbied at the highest level to assist its aggressive expansion into Europe.


Kalanick “viewed violence as something that brought results”, says Mark MacGann. “It’s dangerous. It’s irresponsible. It’s also, in a way, very selfish. Because he was not the guy on the street who is being threatened, who is being attacked.”

A spokesperson for Travis Kalanick said he “never suggested that Uber should take advantage of violence at the expense of driver safety”.


In an email from the Netherlands, Uber deliberately sought to “keep the violence narrative going for a few days” as it shared police reports of attacks against its drivers with Dutch media.

Greyballing, never crossed my mind, I am so naive.

Reading a few threads here, I realised my online tools have morphed out of control.

As a family and work unit, We use chrome, firefox, (occasionally brave) android, apple on desktops, tablets and phones.  (occasionally incognito)

We generally (except Lucy) steer clear of Facebook and instagram, snapchat etal, just using whatsapp.

The Facebook one worried me, about them getting your location from tagging pictures.  I like that function, it helps me search images, but that does not mean I want the world to know where I have been.

Anyone any advice on how to try to lock down some of the data leakage?  Because we have a fast broadband at home, I have currently given up on any adblocking even.

I am tempted to accept that google has some info on me (I pay for extra cloud space, all photos end up there, and then get shared from my phone generally. Which then means Chrome is a natural choice.  But does that give them too much?

I tried a hard lockdown once, and found it crippled many of the features I liked (like NAV that is really useful).

I think I need to hard lockdown home, not connect browsers to my phone, accept location is on to help me, but cut down all listening again  (My work ipad chipped into a conversation I was having on the phone today, I had not realised siri was even listen!!!!)

has anyone here found they have a pact with the devil they are happy with?

Hardware & Technology / Recycleable phones Fairphone 4
« on: April 23, 2022, 06:03:33 AM »
Only available in Europe apparently, I was sure I saw this first on the core, but a search did not find it.

One of the draws for me is the replaceable battery. On a long trip, replacing the battery would be golden.

I think its a bit too big, the camera gets a bit of a slating (Probably OK for me) and I tend to enjoy waterproof phones, which will be difficult being modular.

« on: December 25, 2021, 06:39:12 AM »
We still have a reading of this every Christmas eve.  Last night from Aunty Jane by Zoom....  I am sure you all know it, but hope it brings a smile and a memory.

'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;

"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,

By Clement Clarke Moore


With the region warming twice as fast as the rest of the world but oil spoils keeping regimes in power, leaders are in a bind
Patrick Wintour
Patrick Wintour
Fri 29 Oct 2021 07.00 BST

Northern Oman has just been battered by Cyclone Shaheen, the first tropical cyclone to make it that far west into the Gulf. Around Basra in southern Iraq this summer, pressure on the grid owing to 50C heat led to constant blackouts, with residents driving around in their cars to stay cool.

Kuwait broke the record for the hottest day ever in 2016 at 53.6, and its 10-day rolling average this summer was equally sweltering. Flash floods occurred in Jeddah, and more recently Mecca, while across Saudi Arabia average temperatures have increased by 2%, and the maximum temperatures by 2.5%, all just since the 1980s. In Qatar, the country with the highest per capita carbon emissions in the world and the biggest producer of liquid gas, the outdoors is already being air conditioned.

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