Bubble in the desert

A blog I started whilst on a GE "Bubble" assignment in Nevada. I'm back in Cambridge (UK) now but still miss the desert and my friends out there.

Friday, March 27, 2009

The Pope is Ever More Outrageous

The Pope on HIV/Aids, ""a tragedy that cannot be overcome by money alone, that cannot be overcome through the distribution of condoms, which can even increase the problem". He said, "the traditional teaching of the Church has proven to be the only failsafe way to prevent the spread of HIV/Aids".

What utter rubbish. Event the Lancet has attacked his twisting of the data saying he has, "publicly distorted scientific evidence to promote Catholic doctrine on this issue".

See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/7967173.stm

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Any Old Iron Man Website

I've built a new website - wanna look?


- it is to advertise an Iron Man style triathlon we are organising in May for Parkinson's

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Excellent Talk: ‘Statistics are either dull or wrong:discuss - Statistics: can we sex them up without dumbing down?’

Went to a great talk this evening.

Billed as, "Join the Winton Professor of the Public Understanding of Risk, Professor David Spiegelhalter as he discusses ‘Statistics: can we sex them up without dumbing down’. Bad Science’s Dr Ben Goldacre will then explore ‘Intellectual stunt doubles: learning from other people’s mistakes in statistics’.

David made some excellent presentations on understanding statistics and has some great online resources here...

Ben's talk was based on some of his material here...

Both talks highlighted some of the absolute rubbish written in the national press about statistical results. There has been a bit of a debate about bacon sandwiches causing bowel cancer. David has a really nice way of showing many different ways to look at these risks. Some ways make good newspaper headlines but are really just bull when it comes down to it.

Having recently read 'Reckoning with Risk' I was familiar with natural frequencies but was very impressed that David went a lot further in thinking about how to convey statistics. I chatted to him at the end of the talk about climate change (of course) but he had nothing to offer since the climate models are a bit inconvenient.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Street Chess

I've been looking for a street chess set for ages so was pleased to find one when Dave and Heather were in town. It's in Twickernam near the river and York House. Good fun!


The score now stands at 5 games to 5 !

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dave and Heather visit the UK (from the USA)

Created with flickrSLiDR.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Cambridge Boundary Run - Marathon

Well the boundary run was no picnic. After about 8 miles I was pretty sore from chaffing in the shorts. At about 11 miles my thighs were quite heavy. By 20 miles I didn't think I would make the last 6. A few wise marathoners told me helpful things like, 'a marathon is a race of 2 halves, the first 20 miles and the last 6' - they were right! Having previously run 50k in the Mojave desert I was surprised by the both chaffing and the overall difficulty of the run.

I ran the whole way with my friend from work, Peter. We ran a bit slower than I would normally run and I wonder if that made the run a bit harder on my legs. I like running with other people though and was very happy to have Peter's company. He claims that this was his second to last ever marathon, since he is in training for the Paris marathon (I don't believe him though).


At the end of the race my legs were pretty sore, particularly the thighs (Adductors and Hip-flexors especially). Although, in the photo you can see blood from the chaffing at the top of my thighs, it was muscular pain in my thighs which was the worst.

It was after this event that I have decided to end my empirical research on the Linebreak compression tights. In the days following the event my legs suffered no problems whatsoever. The night of the event I had a shower and donned the Linebreak compression tights. I cycled about 6 miles that night and then slept in the tights. I awoke without painful legs.

The next night I cycled about 35 miles on a business trip and then wore the tights in bed. The second day after the event is usually the worst but I had no stiffness in my legs and I managed to cycle another 25 miles on my folding bike without major problems (though the head wind was a bit of an arse).

I am forced to conclude that the Linebreak tights work. I don't need further experiments to prove this to myself!