Category Archives: Uncategorized

A small calculation

Yesterday, a competitor in the London marathon collapsed and died. The event warranted a headline on the BBC news. The article pointed out that someone collapsed and died two years ago. Now, of course, running a marathon puts a huge … Continue reading

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A letter to the Guardian

Don Braben is one of my heroes. He has a clear-headed but deeply-held belief, with which I agree, that the bureaucracy of modern science gets in the way of getting good science done, at a time when the world needs … Continue reading

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Note on infinity

A common caricature of the view of the mediaeval scholastics is that they wondered whether the number of angels who can dance on the head of a pin is infinite or not. In fact, this calumny was invented much later. … Continue reading

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Bayes again

It is always a pleasure to read David Colquhoun’s posts. The most recent explains a simple statistical point that still escapes many health adminisitrators (and others). He describes two tests for Alzheimer’s disease. The first (which I will discuss) is … Continue reading

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From the archive, 6

There were a few 1997 BCC T-shirts in my office when I cleared it out. Cheapskate that I am, I used them for Christmas presents. (They are very good quality!)

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Birthday musings

Today I am two thirds of the way to a century, rounded up – in other words, in my prime once again. I certainly need a feeling of primality! Something that happened a week or so ago brought home to … Continue reading

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Donald Preece

Donald Preece died on Monday night. Many mathematicians who have been to British Combinatorial Conferences will remember Donald for the Conference concert, over which he presided as a labour of love for many years. But that is not the greatest … Continue reading

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2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog. Here’s an excerpt: The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 89,000 times in 2013. If it were an exhibit at … Continue reading

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Hopkins on the Northern Lights

Gerard Manley Hopkins was a poet who, when he looked at something, saw it. In my view, much of the difficulty of his poetry comes from his honest striving to find words to record exactly what he saw. Here is … Continue reading

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Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park

I went to the Olympic Park for the first time today. It hasn’t been open to the general public for very long, and indeed a lot of it is still closed, and it is quite hard to find out how … Continue reading

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