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Showing posts from 2015

Comedy London

All the people turned out for his arrival into London. There were the dingbats, the nincompoops, the plonkers, the wallys, the twits. And the geeks and the fashionistas, the good guys and dreadlocked-rastas, the saints and sinners, the bold, the brave, the sad, the lonely. And the game could not tell what outfit he was wearing under his coat, so misplayed their position & ended up with a headache for two weeks. And the gangsters, the hooligans, the rudeboys, the upstarts, the young and the crazed, the depraved were all in total awe of his charisma. And so to were the dunderheads, the dumbos, the cretins, the dullards, the duffnuts, the chuffnuts, the nuts and the dorks. And the berks and the muppets. And everyone was made to feel a buffoon by their own behaviour as every little thing she does is magic.

Talk by Sir Mark Walport, Chief Scientific Advisor to HM Government

Bristol Festival of the Future City Tuesday 17 th November 2015 at the Wills Memorial Building Great Hall, Bristol Notes by William Gaskell Ebenezer Howard, founder of the UK garden city movement, suggested we can shape our future with the Garden City concept to create and environment we want to live in - which is healthy. Technology is now changing the world, this is the dominant effect on the changes in our lives now. In the past industry was the dominant force over our lives and how we lived in cities. Quality of life is one of the government’s concerns, achieved through economic reform.

Notes by William Gaskell

Bristol Festival of Economics with Vince Cable @Bristol 12 th November 2015 George Osborne may be a Euro sympathiser as his policy could lead to the collapse of the British Pound currency. UK is 2% of world economy but a shrinking proportion, with just 1% of world population. Macroeconomic policy: As chief economist of Shell, Vince marshalled the attempts to shape the world economy with 20 year plans to build up infrastructure  for when the markets around the world matured in order to profit. In government the situation was much shallower, with 24 hour news emergencies changing the situation all the time but still needed to think 20-30 years ahead. The long term plans are realised through short-term successes in the financial markets. Sir John Willets was #2 in BIS under Vince Cable. Vince Cable is blaming China’s cash reserves for the low interest rates around the world. Andrew Holdane, #2 at the Bank of England, says in his latest research paper that inter

Between Debt and the Devil: Money, Credit, and Fixing Global Finance
 Book talk and signing

Adair Turner at the Bristol Festival of Ideas 2015 Wednesday 11th November 2015 SSL lecture theatre, Bristol University Notes by William Gaskell Helicopter Money: Printing money to get out of an economic deflation Either use government money Or Use private credit markets to stimulate growth £375 bn of QE in the UK, this is still continuing in Japan and US today. Deferred tax was removed for the accounts by BASEL 3 protocols from leverage ratio to increase the proportion of equity/paid in capital that financial institutions needed as collateral against borrowing. Policy of permanent monetization by the Bank of Japan can reduce Japanese debt by converting the debt into 0% interest government bonds which are liquid and therefore the same as money.

Indian compensation request for British Raj

I thought I would share with you a letter I wrote to Dr Shashi Tharoor MP of Trivandrum in Kerala, India in response to his notorious speech at the Oxford Union (it infamously went viral) on reparations for India from Britain reflecting the British Raj's failings and India's subsequently improved global position in recent times. I wrote the letter in response to this article posted on his Facebook page: RE Oxford. What about the exploitation by the lower classes of those from a more privileged background - the real situation? Or of family members who know better through study and hard work being shamelessly criminally tortured by idiots? I think that the issue is teaching people about the official social hierarchy and what people think of those who don't understand are guilty of abuse. The reality is that Britain does owe compensation but only because the

Magna Carta and Bad King John

BRLSI 6 th July 2015 Sean McGly, of the Open University Notes by William Gaskell King John is known to us as a “Rotter”. There were 3 ways of judging a king: 1.        Knight 2.        Priest 3.        Judge King John lived in the shadow of his older brother, King Richard the Lionheart. They were of the Angevin Dynasty, the counts of Anjou,. King Richard had bankrupted the country with crusades. King John earned the nickname “mollygladum” which means “soft sword” for paying tribute to the king of France early in his reign for the protection of English lands in France. King John is known to have murdered his nephew Prince Arthur out of jealousy perhaps as he was set to be next in line for the throne as the son of King Richard. King John was tenacious despite his failures; he was only partially competent as a warrior, following up victories with moments of bad judgements leading to defeats. He suffered an invasion of the French lands by the King Phillip Augus

Jean-Jacques Rousseau and Adam Smith

BRLSI 8 th July 2015 Dr Chris Brooke, Historian, Department of Politics and International Studies (POLIS), University of Cambridge Notes by William Gaskell Jean-Jacques Rousseau Rousseau was born in Geneva in 1712 and moved soon to Paris after his mother died when he was very young and was then educated with books. Eventually he was a secretary to the Ambassador of France in Venice in 1743-1744. He was famously friends with the French philosopher Diderot. He then wrote and published a famous essay that became popular and started many further conversations by correspondence with people writing to him to respond to his essay and him then spending much of his time responding to those letters. His idea stated in The Social Contract that values were the causes of people becoming very bad deriving from the Biblical theology of the Original Sin. After publishing this essay he was then forced in to exile in 1762 in England. Adam Smith Adam Smith was born in 1723 in Kircaldy

Adam Smith

Jacob Rees-Mogg MP BRLSI 10 th July 2015 Notes by William Gaskell Adam Smith (1723-1790) Born in Kircaldy, which was former PM Gordon Brown’s seat in parliament. He was friends with Hume and had dinner with him on Hume’s death bed. He was a Humanist as it is generally acknowledged that people don’t learn anything at Oxford University, his alma mater. Dr Johnson – English pioneer – was Adam Smith’s rival and so Smith suffered his rudeness. At Edinburgh University lectures, Smith’s Humanist point was thus: ·          Empathy is basis of virtue ·          Extraordinary increase in productivity thought the division of labour Example given was the quality of industry collapses with the fall of the Roman Empire as people no longer are treated properly by a central governing authority as money is no longer respected. Smith was fundamentally opposed to artificial limits of wages and productivity. He thought it wrong to oppress through regulation. A free market situatio

Who gets what and why: The hidden world of matchmaking and market design

Bristol Festival of Ideas Alvin Roth from Stanford University, Nobel Prize-winning economist. Wills Memorial Building, University of Bristol 13 th July 2015. Notes by William Gaskell Markets and trade are the most ancient hallmark of human civilisation. In the modern world markets have developed with the standardisation of wheat that helped match the quality of grain to the correct market price. But markets are not always standardised. For example markets like eBay have become very big and congested and so we now need to navigate them with a search engine. ·          Safety of the market place needs to be considered ·          Artificial reputation mechanism to indicate customer satisfaction with supplier is thus implemented for market security NHS match up doctors with hospitals who most want to be together but the old system didn’t work because of human factors; the best match perhaps would have been the 4 th best surgeon by reputation with the  4 th best student b

Evanescence has something to do with the hand signal for rinsed. The evanescent waves end up forming a fringe of surface plasmons and these energy nodes affect how light propagates through a material, I suppose a bit like supernumerary interfaces. This means that the energy of the light waves forms singularities at these points before dissipating and propagating along the path of the light in the material. I suppose like a filtering system from God - we do not know how to describe the beauty of t he creation holistically without acknowledging it may not be the material properties directly causing this phenomena, as we have not yet learned how best to use this particular property with physics, but rather some energetic force that acts within materials, ever present yet ever diminishing. Some cosmic resonance that could be harnessed - with change these resonances could change the very interaction of matter. I was just thinking the other day at work, evanescent wave

Psychology in the Pub series

To blow or not to blow: The psychological toll of (not) blowing the whistle Dr Katie Porkess MSc MBA PhD FISMA 1 st July 2015 BRLSI, Bath, UK. Notes by William Gaskell “Whistleblowing is the disclosure by organisation members of illegal immoral practices [sic].” Examples of Whistle blowing Silkwood film about nuclear safety in USA Lady got plutonium poisoning and then crashed her car and died while testifying against her company for lapses in health and safety. Air –Shield Inc Salvador Castro in 1995 noticed a baby incubator was unsafe and same up with fix – he reported t regulator and was sacked and never worked again. Crossrail Frank Morris in 2012 raised health and safety issues on behalf of his consultancy and was dismissed. He then petitioned Crossrail for 1 and a half years by billboarding them outside of their HQ offices daily with the support of his union until he and his company were re-instated by Crossrail. Walsgrave Hospital Dr Raj Mithu in 2001

Philosophy Thesis: Radical Enlightenment and the French Revolution

BRLSI Tuesday 23 rd June 2015 Jonathan Israel of Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton Notes by William Gaskell Henry May 1976 book “American Enlightenment” first coined the term “Radical Enlightenment” which propagated the view of a democratic republic with no black slavery. Vermont which was the 14 th US state (wasn’t recognised as a state when the original 13 colonies declared independence) was the 1 st US state to abolish slavery. Then Pennsylvania, which had a sizeable black slave population, was the first major state to abolish the practice. Spinoza, 17 th century philosopher influenced Strauss who was a moderate philosopher and encouraged deference to religious and ecclesiastical authorities. Liberation from these authorities became possible because of Spinoza’s writings. Strauss did not agree with Spinoza’s atheism but remained moderate. Idiosyncrasy of religion is that it was used by political leaders to propagate their power – like King Herod

Sonar, Beasties and the Quest for Green Power

Marine Renewable Energies Philippe Blondel University of Bath, Centre for Space, Atmosphere and Ocean Science (formerly worked for the French Air Force earlier in his career) BRLSI 29 th May 2015 Fish could get injured by tidal power, their behaviour plus that of seals etc and diving birds needs to be observed to assess how safe underwater turbines would be. From observations through spot checks and day long observations built up over a long period of time it can be shown that the prototype underwater turbines on the seabed would be safe from interactions with marine life. ·          People don’t disclose when things go wrong installing the wave turbines because they don’t want to disclose commercial secrets. ·          Little noise pollution from acoustic sensitivity analysis of turbines noise pollution ·          Up to 29 TW capacity for tidal power in Atlantic basin ·          Up to 7 TW of potential tidal power in Pacific basin Tidal power is more reliable

More of a Paean by William Gaskell

Bath, 26 th May 2015 Think about where you belong If you don't want to have to behave or conform, then you can always find another way to perform those acts you deem necessary to be you to me.   Why not move to the city of your choosing? Influence the policy of the local yeomanry so that you are not considered a sex offender, by me, but a player.   I know it's tough, when the guy whose got your back calls you a loser but it's not just about education: it's the extraneous factor.   So why not just get involved in society, at last, extinguish those fears that hark back to the past when you were allowed to be like that?   If you listen to me, I would let you be free, if you would like it, but you must acknowledge that slavery exists and so you should be quiet;   Unless, of course, you have something to say, which would help in some way, a considered opinion; health, safety and the environment at heart.   If you have ever crashed a house part

Mr William Gaskell OE BSc MSc’s Thoughts on David Cameron’s Government May 2015 Cabinet

Preamble quoted from BBC  News on 12/05/2015 at 17:02 Prime Minister David Cameron is completing his cabinet reshuffle, with a number of leading female ministers being handed big promotions. Amber Rudd is Energy and Climate Change Secretary while Anna Soubry and Priti Patel will attend Cabinet as small business and employment ministers. Boris Johnson will not be made a minister but will attend separate Tory "political cabinet" meetings. Grant Shapps moved from party chairman to international development minister. BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said the new job for Mr Shapps, who had a high-profile role in the Conservative election campaign, appeared to be a demotion. In a break from putting the team together, Mr Cameron met his team of new MPs and was roundly applauded by backbench Conservative MPs as he spoke to the influential 1922 committee for the first time since winning a majority. In other appointments anno

A poem of sorts by William Gaskell

Bath, 23 rd May 2015 Dreaming of Love Divine Thinking about my life as the cigarette smoke screen clears. I wonder what it will reveal to those who have been fighting me? Marvellous splendour? Glory? Power? Love? Sex? Happiness? Might? Light? Good eye-sight? An insult or a slight? The end of your life? I would hope not a target in your sights, but the victor of the fight. A man with a wife; a beginning of all the good things in my life. I had two partners in crime, I did not enjoy my time with them in mind, so one is now gay and the other an easy lay; a cock-sucker. All the real things in life will come true for free because of God. So sayeth me.

Bristol Avon Regatta (BAR) 2015

Dark Energy & Its Discontents

Dark Energy & Its Discontents Peter Coles, University of Sussex BRLSI Friday 24 th April 2015 Notes by William Gaskell AMInstP Parsec is about 3 lightyears Calcium “doublet” signature on spectrum is marker used to measure Doppler shift with red/blue shifted light from galaxy/star indicaates relative velocity galaxy/star is moving away/towards us. Hubble’s law is:  v=H 0 D Which describes how Universe is expanding but Hubble never wrote about it and he got his constant wrong by a factor of 10. Alexander Friedman took Einstein’s Theory of Relativity and developed a more comprehensive model from it “The Freedman Model” – or The Big Bang Model. Dark Energy is something that creates gravity but is not stuff – it’s like pressure that the vacuum of space exerts on matter. Dark Energy increases as space expands, as it is a constant like the Hubble constant, but space expands in order to spread out the energy density of matter evenly. Photosphere is the v

Seminar on the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) by Hitachi [vendor of reactor]

Seminar on the Advanced Boiling Water Reactor (ABWR) by Hitachi [vendor of reactor] University of Birmingham, 21 st -22 nd April 2015 Notes by William Gaskell MSc PTNR Birmingham Introduction to ABWR By Mr K. Moriya of Hitachi-GE [Information in this seminar is based on the Japanese safety licence for ABWR which will vary from ABWR UK design after GDA process with ONR] Hitachi aim to establish an ABWR chair in academia at undergraduate level. [–perhaps at Bangor University in Wales] Interesting specifications of reactor: ·          Thermal power is 3975MW ·          Temperature of steam from core is 287˚C ·          10 pumps (RIPs) in the pressure vessel of reactor →    Safety work using STAR-CD code to model pump trip in reactor so that we know how to control core in such situations ·          60 Hz 52” blade turbines used in ABWR to generate electricity from steam produced in core ·          Each emergency backup diesel generator has 4000kW capacity [