Letter in The Times

Chris Miller of this parish brought my attention to the piece itself which led to this:

COLONISING MARS
Sir, Brian Cox says that rapid depletion of resources will make the Earth uninhabitable and thus we must colonise Mars (“Our future is as Martians, says Cox”, May 21). As the author of “The No Breakfast Fallacy: why the Club of Rome was wrong about us running out of resources”, I must point out that there is no shortage of mineral resources. The usual mistake is to measure mineral reserves as what is available for us to use.

They are not: mineral reserves are what we have prepared for us to use. Given the way that capitalism works we spend only the money to prepare for the next few decades. Thus mineral reserves of everything always run out a few decades after any one observation. Our actual supply is what we can prepare to be mineral reserves, this being somewhere between several million and several billion years’ supply, dependent upon the element. Colonising Mars is an excellent idea, as there’s an asteroid out there with Earth’s name on it, just as there was for the dinosaurs. But running out of resources isn’t a reason for going there.
Tim Worstall
Senior fellow, Adam Smith Institute

Wait, Windows 7 has the snipping tool?

I’ve long rather wondered – I might have mentioned it around here in fact – at the way some people manage to lift charts and maps and stuff from places. I’ve never really known how to do screen captures and all that. So, I was terribly excited by Windows 10. And the information youse guys provided in answer to a question of mine about how to use it. The snipping tool!

So, working desktop has two boxes on it, W7 and W10 boxes. Just because that’s what came on used boxes that were bought. But that meant when a page was found that I wanted to lift something from – usually on the W7 box – I would then load the page again on the W 10 one, snip, email it to the W 7 one, then use it.

All a bit inefficient really.

Umm, W7 has the snipping tool in it. At least this version on this box does.

How’s that for technological mastery? It only takes a decade for me to note it.

Spoilsports

Dear Tim Worstall, Editor, The Continental Telegraph,

We rejected the petition you created – “Break up HMS Victory and send the timbers to France to help rebuild Notre Dame”.

There’s already a petition about this issue. We cannot accept a new petition when we already have one about a very similar issue.

You are more likely to get action on this issue if you sign and share a single petition.

https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/257911

Click this link to see your rejected petition:
View your rejected petition

Can we have a petition about a rejection of a petition?

My Google Fu has failed me

Spotted a different number plate in the parking lot. Newish car. With a not EU – at least, without the EU bit on it – number plate.

Can’t recall the crest exactly, but the shield in the crest looked like it was held up by storks, perhaps pelicans. More likely storks. And the motto was “ouranouma” or “oranama” or some such.

No detail as to which country it came from. But the plate number was 223 B or some such.

So, it’s got to be from a small place, a short run of numbers.

Note this is in the Algarve. So, small place which is not EU which someone might drive a car from.

Hmm. And I’m running out of ideas. Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco and San Marino are out, they don’t use plates – so far as Mr. Google tells me – like that at all.

I just can’t think of anywhere other than those four in Western Europe which is non-EU and yet which will issue its own plates. Ceuta, Melilla? Basic Spanish plates, no?

A Sovereign military order? Bit of a stretch.

Not Arab speaking as no squiggles, which rules out most of North Africa.

Given that someone here knows most about anything, who has an idea here?

It’s odd finding out what you can’t do

I was rather surprised when I found out that I could write.

OK, that’s sounding a bit special already. What I mean is that I can put words in order and sometimes it pleases some people. Enough so that I get paid to do it often enough.

It then comes as rather a surprise to find that I can’t do what is thought to be one of the simpler forms of it.

I’ve been casting around for a little side money-maker. Yep, that sort of $5 for this and $3 for that 50 words sorta stuff. Needs to be something where there’s a consistent supply of such work. No chasing around looking for the next commission. If there’s a spare couple of hours make $40 sorta thing. Finances are such that such a side gig is nice to have floating around but isn’t actually necessary for anything at all.

So, there is such work out there. Great vast gobbets of it. It’s writing product descriptions for websites. “This refrigerator is a double door delight which will feature your kitchen. With temperature controlled drawers and……” you get the idea.

Varies between 50 words and 200 for each description. Should take 10 -15 minutes tops to do each one. $4 to $6 for each one. So, I try it out.

And I just can’t do it. It’s weird.

Part of this is that they’re being very American about it, you’ve got to write according to Strunk and White and AP style and all that. Things I don’t really know. But it’s also, I guess, that it needs 50 or 100 attempts at practising the structure for me at least, with feedback as to why it’s not working yet. But you get 3 chances and if you fail all of those then you’re excised from consideration at all.

Yeah, I know, division and specialisation of labor. It’s just odd to find out that it’s the supposedly simple stuff, the near minimum wage crap, that I can’t do.

So, erm, small world etc

Was looking at the site stats for ContTel – no, I’m not maniacal about it – and saw, out of interest, that there was a bloke from Tacoma in the US reading the site.

Hmm, I wonder? Emailed the bloke I’ve known for 25 years, done business with over that time, who lives in Tacoma. That you?

Yup.

Which, I guess, goes to show you how far ContTel has penetrated beyond my small circle of select friends and acquaintances….

More on acoustics

So, if a website says that thick acoustic glass can reduce by 42 dB is this what they mean?

That 110 dB will, inside the glass, be 68 dB?

So, for example, if my balcony gets 110 dB, then turning it into a glassed in conservatory will give me some 70 dB inside the conservatory?

Which will, given the next layer of the doors into the living room from the balcony, reduce down again to 50 to 60 in that living room? I’ve just checked, those doors do give a 10 to 15 reduction.

Have I got the way these measurements work right?

Anyone able to point me to an acoustics expert?

As part of this ickle problem with the flat. Thinking about getting someone in to properly advise. The initial stage of which is to try and have a conversation about what the problem is, likely solutions etc.

So, anyone actually know someone who knows about acoustics and domestic spaces?

I can imagine varied potential solutions. Cavity walls maybe, are there types of double glazing with vacuum in them? Would that even help? How about trying to just deflect sound with a bit of perspex? There will be people out there who do this for a living. So, given the incredible knowledge space of you readers, anyone know anyone who does?

The basic problem, music source at 120 dB (possibly 130) at 20 metres distance. How do we get that down to just mild background internally? Without killing the DJ that is.

Who knows about Great Big Sod Off sound systems?

Just a little thought here. We’ve got some noisy people around us with their sound systems. Breaking the law with their sound systems.

One idea is to have a great big Sod Off sound system to oppress them occasionally.

So, what does one need for a Great Big Sod Off Sound System?

I’m thinking about something that can produce 130, maybe 140 decibels as a nice starter. Possibly significantly more. The point being that if they start running well above legal limits then I can flatten them against their own wall.

An alternative is something that is only about as loud as they are. 110 to 120 Db. But which is ever so slightly our of whack with their system. Even, picking up their music and playing if back at a .25 sec delay maybe. Yes, I can imagine big feedback problems with that idea.

Anyway, anyone any bright ideas? Or guidance? Is there someone who has built this sort of system already?

So, I was whining about how high the electricity bill was

And that led to thinking about what is it that actually runs off it?

Fridge, dishwasher, clothes washer, lights, hmm, nothing there to explain the 1500 kWhrs a month.

Phoned the electric company, surely this bill is wrong?

Thought a bit more, looked around – ah, that 2000W electric oil heater’s been getting a bit of use hasn’t it? Think it through, look up energy consumption numbers, prices, umm – yes, that probably is it.

Sigh. Only took 3 months to work it out. Sigh.

What fun

Ashford University course work:

ECO 204 Week 5 Discussion 2 Public Choice and Rent Seeking (Ashford University)
Public Choice and Rent Seeking [WLOs: 4, 5] [CLOs: 1, 4, 6, 7]. 1st Post Due by Day 3. Prior to beginning work on this discussion, read Tim Worstall’s article, One Benefit of Nancy MacLean’s Democracy in Chains – Public Choice and Rent Seeking Popularised.
Based on the article’s information and Chapter 14 in your textbook, especially Sections 14.1 and 14.2, respond to the following:
• What is the public choice idea or theory?
• Explain what rent seeking is.
• How can you combine the ideas of public choice and rent seeking?

OK, Ashford, but still.

Being used in a syllabus I’ve not assigned myself….

Hmm

The first British saint of modern times is to be created after the Pope gave final approval for the canonisation of Cardinal John Henry Newman.

We’ve got a portrait of him on the wall. An original – no, not the Millais one.

Wonder if it’s time to take that to the Antiques Roadshow?

Tech support desk. Am I being an idiot?

So, second hand PCs, Dells. Want to run them with 2 monitors. Windows 7 does this.

So, buy VGA splitter cable. Install. I get duplicate monitors. But that’s all.

!windows button! P gives monitor choices. I want extend, not duplicate. But it won’t take. Won’t work, nowt happens.

So, am I being an idiot here? What is it that I’ve not done?

Green ink

I get a letter:

Brexit No Deal No food

You made a short appearance this and proved that you are a supremely ignorant stupid bastard

It would be much better if you remained silent

Please do….try making an honest living

Hugh Cooke

They’re not in green ink any more but the same old letters still happen.

Booking.com scam

I’m really pretty sure this is a scam:

“xxx said:

Hello this is host from uk booking.com in regards 29/3 booking.

the house you booked address: (xxxxxx) this house i got a some work need to be done that week.

I want a request you if you accept my offer that i can orrange you aultranative house in SAME area, SAME location. BIGGER size, and SAME price.

ill send you all nessessery details. If you dont like it also let me know then i can cencel your booking.

Please let me know soon as you can.

If possible please contact me through whatsaap massenger. My no xxxx

many thx”

Scam to collect cancellation fees it looks like to me.

Anyone got any bright ideas about Booking.com?

Am I making it yet?

From George Will:

She leavens her sentimentality with nostalgia: “When I was a kid, a minimum-wage job in America would support a family of three. It would pay a mortgage, keep the utilities on and put food on the table.” Well. The Adam Smith Institute’s Tim Worstall suggests some pertinent arithmetic: When Warren was 10 in 1959, the federal hourly minimum wage ($1, which would be $8.55 in 2018 dollars) for 2,000 hours (40 hours a week for 50 weeks) would provide $2,000 a year, below the poverty threshold ($2,324) for a family of three.

Yes, I know, I’ve been doing this a long time and I should be blase. There’s still a certain perking up at seeing a point being picked up and broadcast in this manner.

Thin is though Warren’s been repeatedly claiming this. And I seem to be the only person who went do the sums. Why?