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Topics - Rupert

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I Am sure what is available around the world from the BBC, tell me if you cannot get it and I will download if you are still interested.

The first episode is titled From Moral to Market Sentiments.  It is 1 of 4 and Sue thinks very interesting. (I am waiting for when I am sat in my Van).

 To get the perspective of someone in that position is rare.

The Reith lectures were always something my Dad used to look forward to, and here I am listening to them.

Water Cooler / Electric bikes you really really want
« on: November 12, 2020, 10:00:26 PM »

Water Cooler / Funding the Furlough with salaries of the Govt employees.
« on: October 17, 2020, 10:13:05 AM »
In the UK, we seem to be running out of money to support the lockdowns.

Meanwhile, those who work for the govt are still getting a full wage, while living off a reduced expenditure, as they are not going on holiday, not going out and not having to travel to work. Many are working harder, and many are working less.

Football clubs are looking at ways of supporting the poorer clubs, and there have been some gestures from top footballers to help those below.

Meanwhile, Councils are "bleating" about not having any money to support the poorer in society, but continue to take and give a full salary. The BBC does too. I am sure there are many others.

Can we expect "charity" to move the money to where it is needed, should people be persuaded by guilt, or should it be taken from wages, or as a "Pandemic tax"?

Or am I being too much of a socialist?

Edited spelling and to add:  MOD... bet 20% of salaries we account for an extra couple of billion alone.

Water Cooler / The Battle Over Dyslexia
« on: October 16, 2020, 09:26:14 AM »
We have discussed this many times. I thought this was a very interesting take:

no one knows what dyslexia actually is, but it is about having difficulty learning to read. Many kids have that.

But Dyslexia tends to be found in the wealthy side of town, and the ones on the poor side are just stupid. In the UK, that means more money goes to the people who already have it.

The End:

“In the world of educational psychologists,” said Stanbridge, “dyslexia is such a contentious subject. Are they dyslexic? Aren’t they dyslexic? But I’m thinking, what do we do about it? What’s the thing to do about it? That was probably the beginning of my 180: just thinking, why are we spending so much time going, ‘are they or aren’t they [dyslexic]’, because no one knows.”

Because change does not come fast, if it comes at all, Cambridgeshire is still paying to send children to private dyslexia schools: it is still legally obligated to honour the judgment made in tribunals, regardless of the reforms. If you plot the distribution of where these children live on a map, 80% are clustered in Cambridge city centre, or south Cambridge, the wealthiest parts of the county. None of them come from Fenland. It is a microcosm of the situation nationally. Following their abortive efforts to implement a new regime, Warwickshire and Staffordshire spend roughly £900,000 between them sending 53 children to private dyslexia schools per year. For the same amount of money, they could hire 27 teachers.

Back in 1976, Bill Yule wrapped up his Isle of Wight research with the following observation: “The era of applying the label ‘dyslexic’ is rapidly drawing to a close. The label has served its function in drawing attention to children who have great difficulty in mastering the arts of reading, writing and spelling but its continued use invokes emotions which often prevent rational discussion and scientific investigation.” And so it continues, almost half a century on: a dyslexia debate, with no end in sight.

EDIT: Change of subject title... that one (Its OK to be a Luddite....) came from Buckworks amazing info. 


"At such small scales precision is key," said Dr Ian Cutress, who reports on the sector for Anandtech.

"What they're doing is akin to hitting a stamp on the surface of Mars with a paper aeroplane."


Water Cooler / The Social Dilemma
« on: October 12, 2020, 09:45:01 AM »
On Netflix.  If you have not seen it, its worth watching.

stuff we know here... but worth repeating.

took my understanding of the tech giants a step deeper.   

Water Cooler / How the pandemic might play out in 2021 and beyond
« on: October 02, 2020, 07:03:05 AM »
I don't hear many voices saying what the long game is.  In the UK, the politicians keep talking about a vaccine, but the medical folk I know, tend to think that unlikely, and at best it will be 70% effective when it comes.

This is quite an old article now : (early August)

I hear of students over here wanting to get the Virus, on the basis then they will be able to go home at Christmas. There is a tiredness to the massive damage being done to almost every corner of the economy. Students over in the UK, are boing isolated in groups of 6, locked down in halls, and having to have lectures online. They would be better off joining the Army... except the Army does not seem to be recruiting at present.

I do think it is here to stay, and it WILL run through the population. I was wondering what the average age of death is, we know that people tend to be older, but the raw figure seems difficult to find.

Brazil seems to be struggling medically letting it run through uncontrolled in the population, but India seems to be fairing better but is it the age/population/wealth or just bad data? all these things I think help us to look into the future, but no one seems to be putting their neck on the line and predicting yet.

I am starting to form the view that the young need to get on with life to cope with it, and the old need to take themselves out of circulation for a while, to give the young a chance to build the economy and pay for the future NHS etc. Otherwise, there will be no NHS (or medical equivalent)


Emerging bio-, nano-, and cyber-technologies are enabling criminals to target anyone anywhere and, due to democratization, increasingly at scale.

“A very, very small quadcopter, one inch in diameter can carry a one-or two-gram shaped charge,” he says. “You can order them from a drone manufacturer in China. You can program the code to say: ‘Here are thousands of photographs of the kinds of things I want to target.’ A one-gram shaped charge can punch a hole in nine millimeters of steel, so presumably you can also punch a hole in someone’s head.

Coronavirus: What is dexamethasone and how does it work?
A UK trial showed the drug could save lives - the first internationally to do so - and it can be used in the NHS immediately.
What is the drug?

Dexamethasone is a steroid - a medicine that reduces inflammation by mimicking anti-inflammatory hormones produced by the body.
How does it work?

This drug works by dampening down the body's immune system.

Coronavirus infection triggers inflammation as the body tries to fight it off.

But sometimes the immune system goes into overdrive and it's this reaction that can prove fatal - the very reaction designed to attack infection ends up attacking the body's own cells.

Water Cooler / Lock down projects
« on: June 02, 2020, 06:35:34 AM »
Just thought I would share one of mine, that I am looking forward to, and is a little daunting, as I know there is some time pressure involved... This lockdown will not go on forever, and I will have to start earning.

I am building a garden shed out of old pallets. I bought the wood for £750, thats really cheap in the UK, as it is second hand, I offered a 20% over ride to get it now, and not in 3 months, as demand is high. The base is 4 pallets and the total floor area is 4350mm x 5680mm.
I then bought an old double door and window on ebay, for £30. The glass is blown, but the frame is mahogany.

so its now not a garden shed, but a summer house. I am not a joiner, and not a perfectionist,  or artistic, but I do know I can make things sold, and work well, as I am an engineer.

so far I have fixed gutter, rewired bits of the house, taken down trees, but this is my first project after 3 months.Photo of the pile of wood attached

Anyone else with a project they would like to share?  (I know Buckworks is building a house :))

Water Cooler / Covid 19 interesting data from the UK
« on: May 24, 2020, 04:58:05 AM »

Still trying to get my head round some of this.

Healthcare workers, including those with jobs such as doctors and nurses, were not found to have higher rates of death involving COVID-19 when compared with the rate among those whose death involved COVID-19 of the same age and sex in the general population.


A total of 2,494 deaths involving the coronavirus (COVID-19) in the working age population (those aged 20 to 64 years) of England and Wales were registered up to and including 20 April 2020.
I think we were over 30,000 total on the 20th. april.

Water Cooler / Strain development of covid-19.
« on: April 20, 2020, 07:47:23 AM »
My understanding is that as these sorts of virus's mutate they do tend to get weaker.

There is I believe still one main strain of the virus, but I thought it worth having a separate thread to chart the development of strains.
There is a bit here on the New Scientist. Generally a reliable source:

There was a post but I cannot find it about there being 3 strains, A B and C, if anyone can remember it please post it.

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