I love this long comic strip "Some thoughts and musings about making things for the web" by Oatmeal - but it also makes me thing about what I have been doing.
Have a look at the full comic strip before reading my comments, below.
|Yesterday was a lovely sunny November day and I decided to take a walk round Weston Turville Reservoir. The reservoir was built about 200 years ago to ensure a supply of water to local mills when the local stream was diverted to feed what is now the Grand Union Canal. It is now used by anglers who fish from the dam and from a path which runs below this viewpoint; by Aylesbury Sailing Club, and as a nature reserve managed by BBOWT. Wendover Woods cover the hill beyond, where I often used to take my dog Franki for a walk, and where I still go occasionally.|
The walk was most enjoyable - although no birds (apart from gulls in the distance) were visible from the new hide. The only problem was the mud - particularly where the path is narrow behind the boating club clubhouse, so if you want to walk round be sure to have good shoes..
For other photographs I have taken of the area, including part of the Wendover Canal, see Geograph.
|The area immediately around the Bridgewater Monument appears deserted when I visited it today. However the Brownlow Cafe a few yards away was reasonably busy and I enjoyed the special of the day - a very acceptable Beef Bourguignon,|
See some other of the other pictures I have taken on the Ashridge Estate.
|Alistair Cooke (1908-2004)|
|Ashridge is a large National Trust Estate a few miles from Tring, Hertfordshire|
Click for a larger image
|What does the cigar look like?|
Someone has obviously just
"Fixed It" for Jimmy Savile
English libel law has been shown to have a chilling effect on free speech around the world. We believe that the Defamation Bill will address this in part by tackling libel tourism, where foreign claimants have brought libel actions to the English courts against defendants who are neither British nor resident in this country. However, the Bill as it stands would not have prevented any of the libel cases that we have seen over the last few years against journalists, scientists, doctors and activists who have spoken out on issues that are in the public interest.
That mentality just doesn’t work in science. Those who are new to a subject are intimidated from asking questions and afraid to disagree. Rather than reason through ideas themselves, they are pressured into accepting conclusions presented as settled and thereby indisputable. But the thing is, nearly everything in science is disputable. The nature of discovery means trying to find the absolute truth – and exposing inconsistencies, thinking through how to reconcile them, and critically analyzing data are all ways to get there. We can’t get very far when curiosity and open inquiry – the hallmarks of good science – are stifled. We are touting the bottom line while discouraging the very steps of the scientific method that get us there.
What we have to realize is that science and politics have fundamentally different goals, and it’s damaging to conflate them. In politics, the aim is to convince others that you are right. Scientists, ideally, should be seeking objective truths. To do so, they need to be receptive to dissent and open to the possibility of being wrong. Science thrives when diverse ways of thinking are welcome.
|College Lake Reserve (more photographs)|
|Lesser Horseshoe Bat in Devon Cave|
(Devon Wildlife Trust)
|Across Hemel event site, Gadebridge Park, Hemel Hempstead|
“He took human computers as his model. There they sat at their desks, doing one simple step after another, checking their work, writing down the intermediate results instead of relying on their memories, consulting their recipes as often as they needed, turning what at first might appear a daunting task into a routine they could almost do in their sleep.”
|The BBC Computer|
(image Lee Berger)
|A Talk on the wonders of Fusion Power|
The Scientist has currently published an online article Academia Suppresses Creativity by Fred Southwick, which, together with some of the comments, is well worth a read. I have posted the following comment relating to my own experiences.I read the article with interest as I have very much been the victim of the way that creativity can be suppressed.
|Reunion Meeting of the Leo Computer Society|
|Mercury Delay Line Memory from Leo II Computer|
|From clipart by clopartof.com and clker.com|
I believe it is time we consider Post Neural Networks models, to overcome limitations of the NN model in such applications as natural language
|London Bus with Picture Post Advert|
|College Lake, near Tring|
I wonder what the two cygnets are thinking - as they will never have seen anything like this before. Two adult swans - and this year's brood - are swimming round and round in circles in the only remaining small hole in the ice on College Lake marsh. Several other swans are on the ice, together with a number of black headed gulls (which do not have black heads at this time of year).
The day after this was taken we had about six inches of snow, and there were continuous streams of birds coming to the feeders in my garden, and most of the berries on the bushes round the kitchen window have been consumed.
If the cold spell continues for long there will be many casualties, and it would be interesting to know how far the ability for individual birds to survive is due to genetically inherited responses - and how far by the ability to adapt behaviour due to innate intelligence.