## Friday, 30 January 2015

### Can we beat the Laws of Probability. . . . . The Big Question.

Here we are again at the very edge of yet another Big Question one that folk often asked in many a scientific research establishment or the great corridors of the worlds Universities or even the slightly dark and dodgy looking bookie just off the high street. You know the one with the nondescript window and fading sign. What they all want to know is . . . . Can we beat the Laws of Probability. . . . . Yes folk have been working on this since the beginning of time and the answer is complex to say the least.

The simple answer would be. . . Yes and No but not always . . .  But that is not the sort of answer you have come here to read about is it. . . .  But if it is well mmmmmm that’s it then you can go now and do exciting stuff. . . . . . .  .

Well we all know the principle, toss a coin into the air insuring it spins and the Laws of Probability will state that the likelihood it will land either heads up or tails up proportionally will be just under 50/50.  It is just under 50/50 because the Laws of Probability state there is a very small possibility it could land on its edge. Do this four times in a row and the probability of getting the sequence right is (4*4*2) + (4*2) +2 plus the unknown element of the coin landing on its edge, something that is unlikely but possible. (OK I have done this maths in my head so if I’m wrong YA SUCKS BOO)

Now turn this into a horse race where there are a huge number of significantly substantial variables which affect the result and it is possible to see why bookies are well off and gamblers are poor.  But of course the Law of probabilities can be applied to many highly important aspects of Science not the least of which involves two rain drops running down the window of a Nuclear Research Laboratory where the scientists have to calculate the angle of the wind and the pattern of the other drops of rain on the window. Remember each rain drop will collect more rain as it descends.   And therefore Science will tell us that the drop nearest the centre of the window will be the 5 to 1 odds on favourite to win the race. Allowing Professor Clarke to recover his losses from his impetuous bet in the snail race along the reactor floor, after his foolish bet on the larger British Garden Snail.  It is a common fact that its larger foot would make it susceptible to increased heat from the reactor. Had Professor Clarke applied the Laws of Probability to the snail race correctly he would have know this and not lost 87p betting on the nose.  The snail has since became a superhero due to unforeseen and highly improbable side effects worked out to be 119,5555,321 to 1 making the research establishments tea lady a very rich woman.  She never did understand the Laws of Probability, but likes to read Marvel comics.

So can we beat the Laws of Probability, well the answer we can now see is clearly . . . . .

Yes and No but not always . . . . . . . . . . DAMN.

## Monday, 26 January 2015

### Fingernails . . . the Big Question Answered

Well I was asked a question in cyberspace the other day about fingernails, no not the nails you can buy to nail fingers to walls, but fingernails at the end of fingers.  I can’t remember the exact question (sorry Miss Lily) but it was all about their purpose and stuff. And this is an important question because it is not one that Charles Darwin or the Pope ever used in their epic battle of theory v theology.  One the Pope always used to win, but mainly thanks to the Spanish inquisition, folk never argued with the Spanish inquisition. As history has often told us religion can be a bit iffy in its methods of persuasion, anyway this a distraction from the issue of finger nails.

So let us consider fingernails in evolutionary terms what was there function and what are they. Well we know they are made of the same material as hair which explains why they grow constantly, but do they perform something useful like pointing. . . . Well NO.

You see man's nearest ancestor on Earth is the chimpanzee and they don’t do much with their fingernails either in fact in nature most critters don’t use fingernails. The main exception to this is cats, they have fingernails but they are known to us as claws. So this must mean that man and cats are closely related in some odd way, it can’t be a coincidence that they are one of man's closest domestic animals that share (or takes over) his house and life. Even both our main food sources originate from supermarkets.

So it appears that the primary evolutionary purpose of fingernails was to catch mice. This now defunct function in man however has been lingering in the subconscious of the human race for thousands of years and has been the driving force behind mans technological development as we worked relentlessly towards our new goal, the artificial mouse which has finally reached its pinnacle with the Optical Mouse as used in most homes to move that little cursor about on our computers. We are reconstructing the cat playing with its furry toy.

Theology has still never resolved the issue of fingernails and religion is still uncomfortable about why God created them.  If you ask the Pope about them he will raise two fingers in the air to show you his fingernails, shrug his shoulders and then say something to you in Latin which is best not translated.

## Friday, 23 January 2015

### The Most Boring Blog Post . . . . . . in the World

It is plainly clear that my blog has suffered from the side effects of my Man Flu which continues to suck the life blood out of my brain making it difficult to be motivated and bouncy.  Add to this the fact the weather is not the sort of weather that a grumpy bloke feels motivated and bouncy in. Yes it’s cold and wet and the remains of the bit of snow we had can be seen on the hills around us. It was not enough snow to make a Snow Dog or Snow Zombie with or do much at all except look out the window at and go YUCK. This is what myself and the cats did we looked out and went YUCK.

In order to alleviate some of the irritating cough I presently have I bought a bottle of a Vicks cough mixture for irritating coughs which seems to work but tastes like liquid Vick. Someone did suggest covering my feet in Vick at night when I go to bed, sticking a pair of socks on to avoid a rather nasty mess of Vick all over the bed. They said it cures everything but I am by nature a grumpy disbelieving cynical sceptic so have no plans to do this unless all else fails.  And anyway none of you are interested remotely is any of this or the fact that the bathroom plumbing sort of played up last night at 11:00pm in the evening and so I was grovelling about swearing at screwdrivers and bits of pipe and the like.

The good news is that we are off to have a meal tonight at Big Bills Greasy Fur Ball CafĂ©, the greatest eating establishment in the world. I am not sure what I will have yet as it often depends on how Big Bill is feeling at the time, as is the prerogative of all great chefs

Only a short time ago I removed the very last bit of yellow wallpaper from the walls of what will be our new posh living room. It has taken much longer than planned to do partly because I have Man Flu and partly because its building work which as we all know always takes longer and costs more than expected.

So there you have it this is the words most boring blog post, but it keeps you all up to date with the events close to me. Well some of them I am not going to try and explain about the LED lighting and the small flock of seagulls hiding in a tea chest singing old Beach Boys songs to a Mole.

Oooo you will note as I predicted television companies are getting excited about the election already with talk of a seven way leaders head to head (oooooo that will be fun) and the Queen is still alive but you don’t see her about MMmmmmmmm.  . . . As for Marks and Sparks . . . Well, read my predictions?

And we have mice but not by choice, sneaky critters.

## Saturday, 17 January 2015

### Rumpelstiltskin and the Dormice of Doom . . . . The Quiz Team

As I continue to wallow in my state of less that one hundred percent fitness as I fight off the side effects of Man Flu, by rubbing goose fat and barnacles on my chest. That Wikipedia is full of useful tips from the medical cupboards of wise old Victorian Housewives and withered gentlemen of the road. I have decided that the lucidity of my mind is now sharp enough (today anyway) to write something useful on my blog. O yes some say that it is a lie and that I am still as barking as a mad grumpy puffin in a seafood restaurant, but what I say to them is . . . . . . . AH HAHAh ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ah ahahahah hah ah ha ha hah Haddock, Kippers and Fish Pie HA HAHAHAH ha ah h ah ah a ha hah ah ah aahhah ah a. . . . . .  and you cant argue with that.

Last night despite my frail state and delirious mind I was part of a four person quiz team along with Mrs Ghost Writer, Mr Charlie and Miss Jane where we were up against thirteen other teams answering questions on all sorts of stuff. I was given the opportunity to name our team so I called it . . . Rumpelstiltskin and the Dormice of Doom. . . I have always thought quiz teams need intimidating names in order to wrong foot the opposition.  It was an interesting quiz with some very difficult questions but by half way we found ourselves in second place. After a rather good meal of Sheppard’s Pie and French bread all inclusive in the modest price of five pound a head, we leapt into action for part two of the quiz. And at the end found that we had managed to hang onto second place even though by then I was insisting that either Elvis or Seagulls or Nutmeg was the answer to every question.  The team that won actually won by a huge margin, but did have five members so I was able to establish mathematically that we had actually answered more questions per team member and so were really the winners.

This morning I was forced out yet again because I have foolishly volunteered to be a first responder for the village’s defibrillator, I say foolishly because I would not let me near me with a device that zaps folk. Anyway today was our training day but the man who was going to train us did not turn up and now we all have to turn up again tomorrow. I am not sure I will be able to catch the cat again tomorrow quite so easily, so that I have something to practice on.  There was a local funeral today as well so we have now missed our opportunity to revive the body….

Once I am fully aware of my surroundings again I will delve into the world of those big questions that folk hesitate to ask or answer . . . Things like. . . . Where did all this paranoia about walking on the cracks in the pavements come from. . . .  and. . . Why do cats sit in boxes. . . .

## Saturday, 10 January 2015

### Religion and Charlie Hebdo. . . . Je Suis Charlie

As you know I have been suffering a bit with the curse of Man Flu, it is sneaky Man Flu because each time I think I am on the mend it has a habit of going AAAaaaaauuuugghhHHH. So I am sort of in a state of limbo and am keen not to cough as it is jolly sore, or laugh, but that is easy to not do as its winter and I have Man flu.

So I have been doing small tasks like strip wallpaper although it appears to be stuck on with the worlds hardiest wallpaper paste so it coming off the wall a square inch at a time using scrappers and water. NOT fun.

During the large number of breaks and cups of tea I have been watching the news. I have on more than one occasion said that the 24 hour news channels love some drama to keep them going, and here in Europe we have had the terrible events of the Paris terrorist attacks.  Now over the years I have always pondered the dilemma of terrible news because it can vary from country to country or person to person. But in Europe when a group of journalists and cartoonists are gunned down in their office by two terrorists who firmly believe they are doing the work of God, it is regarded as a terrible thing.  Not only is the death of the group sad and a huge loss to family and friends, in an attempt to scare and threaten others who might write and say similar things.  But it is an entirely futile thing to have done as in the end the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo that these gunmen have tried to destroy will become stronger and the cartoons that the gunmen found so offensive have now been seen by millions more people around the world.

Now I am not a political animal I am a rather quiet middle class chap but I have a blog and write about stuff and draw the occasional picture. And as someone who lives in the West I have a degree of freedom to write and draw what I like, I have even been know to touch on the subjects of politics and religion.  However one of the key principles in the West in respect of Freedom of Speech is that it should not be used in order to attempt to stifle the Freedom of Speech of others. So when extreme groups to the right or left complain they are being oppressed by the government or who ever it is because they are using the system to try and bring about a way of life that does not allow everyone to have their say or own beliefs.

The fundamental Islamists see no right but their own, they do not appear to belief that anyone other than themselves should even live as we are all the children of the devil the great non-believers.  They appear not to use rational argument to argue their cause but a regime of fear and killing and convince young men that by doing this they will have eternal martyrdom in haven.   Well I personally think they are well and truly wrong any religion that does not treat all as equals irrespective of race colour or gender is not a good religion. The universe is seriously huge beyond the minds of most and more complex than we can image so do folk really believe that killing a group of satirical cartoonists in Paris is Gods work and will change the world. This is not religion it is hate.

I have said this a few times now but the outcome of events is unpredictable, so whether it’s a government or an individual you just can’t be sure that what you want to happen and what will happen, will be the same.  It is in the lap of the Gods and I suspect God has little time for man's idea of religion so far, maybe one day there will be a religion that actually helps bring peace to the world. . . . It seems unlikely for now though.

Je Suis Charlie

## Sunday, 4 January 2015

### Of Mice and Man Flu . . . . .

As some or possibly none of you will know. . . No some of you will because I have let it be known, I am suffering slightly with Man Flu. Now I could do the true brit stiff upper lip thing as say. . . ITS only a mere scratch and will not make a bit of difference and soldier on, but hey I’m a man (O YES I AM) with Man Flu so I have decided that is not the thing to do. I mean what will the other chaps with Man Flu say if I let the side down and don’t turn into a gibbering idiot talking complete nonsense while crashed out in a cosy chair drinking tea, eating left over Christmas Chocolate Santa’s and maybe watching mindless television while groaning that only another chaps understand Man Flu. . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  Actually I might avoid the mindless television; I am not quite that bad yet.

So I have decided to write a delirious blog post as my brain drifts in and out of its battle with this highly underrated (by anyone who is not a chap) affliction that us chaps get.  My first problem though is how do I known I am delirious or not, it’s not as simple as it might appear. I have tried shouting Aaaaauuugghhh no get it away from me its terrible all those legs and pointy teeth, but it was made very clear that there was nothing with legs or pointy teeth anywhere to be seen and my rambling argument that it is hiding under the sofa was met with YOU ARE AN IDIOT rather than you are a delirious genius with Man Flu I will get you more tea and some cake. . .

As for the cats they are rubbish and as sympathetic as a cat who is hungry and wants his dinner. . . I have told the cat he can eat the terrible thing under the sofa with pointy teeth and many many legs.  But no it wants his proper food and not the cheap stuff but the posh stuff in a clean bowl served using a silver spoon while I overt my eyes from his looks of anger.

I’m sure that there is some terrible thing under the sofa I will groan loudly and point a finger in a pathetic way at the remains of a party popper sticking out and indicate that I think the terrible thing is making a nest and is out to get me while I am weak and feeble-ish.

As for drawing well there is no chance of a fresh drawing until my arms return to their original weight and I am able to lift them more than a few inches. I have asked for a straw saying that my mug does not reach my mouth due to some alien force field or I may have been bitten by that beast under the sofa.  It appears these are not good things to tell the local doc at the end of a phone when they ask for symptoms, and a useful tip for other chaps is don’t tell a female doctor that its OK for her she cant get Man Flu so will never truly understand. . .  I mean Paracetamol what sort of a response is that. . . . . . . .

AAAAUUUGHHHH No its on the ceiling now and glowing at me with its terrible eyes and it is posed to pounce or leap or maybe drop onto my head and suck my brains out . . . . . . AAuuuuuuggghhhhhh. . . . .

WHAT . . . . Ceiling light, I can’t believe that the next thing I’ll get told is that the switch on the wall will turn it out . . . . . . WOW it did . . .  or maybe it didn’t and I am in a delirious state and it really is some beast with glowing eyes about to attack

Aaaaaauugghhhh I think I need more tea and Christmas Chocolate Santa’s  . . . .

Groan . . .  and a straw. . . . . . and a piece of cake with hundreds and thousands on. . . . and I cant quite reach the TV remote.

## Saturday, 3 January 2015

### Rob Z Nostradamus. The Predictions of 2015 . . .

What would be a good way to start a new post in the New Year, well I think the best thing I could possibly do is to give you all some predictions for the year ahead. That bloke Nostradamus was a bit of a one for doing this and it never did him any harm. Well I say never there was the one incident when he did not see that large bus coming and it did sort of kill him.

So I will firstly predict the news that the election on the 7th May here it Britain is going to be long and very boring, because all the politicians and various media think it is very exciting. It will not be. The Liberal Democrats will loss all but 1 or 2 seats if they are lucky and it will all end in a huge muddle with the Scottish National Party and UKIP winning enough seats between them to stop either the Labour or conservatives forming a government. Which in turn brings about a shock coalition between Labour and the Conservatives for what they call, a short term government of convenience.  And confusing the masses who finally realise that you just can’t get rid of those dodgy old establishment politicians even if you don’t vote for them.

The next prediction is the sudden death of the Queen which if nothing else will take the mind of the masses off the endless bickering of politicians. However after four days of solemn music and royal life and death stories on the tele and radio some folk start demanding the return of Eastenders and Strictly Come Dancing saying it is rather depressing on the tele and hey folk die.

I was planning to predict other shock horror royal stories but it may be too late now so we will ignore the other stuff.

I am predicting a heat wave this summer, but followed by heavy rain and storms in September and October that will cause problems on the railways. Yes I can see a mass rush to the seaside this summer as the sun shines for weeks on end leading to hosepipe bans and fighting in queues to buy ice cream.

Yet another well known high street shop will bite the dust claiming that it has lost out to online shopping and an unpredicted heat wave. . . (sorry but I have predicted that so no excuses).

Man will not get to Mars.

President Putin will shock the world with news that will see him wearing a large pink wig and singing Karaoke in a dodgy bar in a large naval Black Sea Port. However it will turn out to be a hoax and President Putin will look even more angry than normal at the following G20 meeting as other leaders snigger a bit.

I am also predicting world peace . . . . . .  OK I am lying I am not predicting world peace in fact I predict that the Middle East will become even more unstable and lead to further political turmoil between the East and West. Not helped by the pink wig incident.

China will go into a deep recession causing infighting among its political elite, although it will all look the same to us ordinary folk over here.

Another well known celebrity will fall from grace as their terrible habits are revealed to an unbelieving public.

The next International Environmental Summit will end in failure, but we be told that some issues have been dealt with.

The life of seagulls will not change. . . . much.