Tuesday, November 13, 2018

The Machine - Bert Kreischer

Ben's mate Jonnie H played the audio of this story on his phone when we got back from the Wales game this weekend.

Bert Kreischer was on the Joe Rogan Experience back in August. It is strange how all these threads entangle outside mainstream media/

Monday, November 12, 2018

Still a hill to climb

Kevin's Hong Kong go beaten 26-9 by Germany in the World Cup Repechage.

How juice drink billionaire bankrolled Germany’s Rugby World Cup charge: Hans-Peter Wild got his money from Capri Sun and spent €20m to get the country to within three games of the tournament, is an interesting story.

Sunday, November 11, 2018


Ben and I went to see Mum in the Heath Hospital yesterday.

Because I am so puerile, cyntedd, which is apparently Welsh for concourse, is my new favourite word.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

lucky 14

Ben, the Hendries and I are setting off for Cardiff shortly to see the Wales Australia game.

Australia have beaten us 13 times in a row, but hope springs eternal.

Thursday, November 08, 2018

The Midterms: What's it all about?

Political System of the United States
Legislative branch
The United States Congress is the legislative branch of the federal government. It is bicameral, comprising the House of Representatives and the Senate.
Makeup of Congress
House of Representatives
The House currently consists of 435 voting members, each of whom represents a congressional district. The number of representatives each state has in the House is based on each state's population as determined in the most recent United States Census. All 435 representatives serve a two-year term. Each state receives a minimum of one representative in the House. In order to be elected as a representative, an individual must be at least 25 years of age, must have been a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and must live in the state that he or she represents. There is no limit on the number of terms a representative may serve. In addition to the 435 voting members, there are 6 non-voting members, consisting of 5 delegates and one resident commissioner. There is one delegate each from the District of Columbia, Guam, the Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, and the resident commissioner from Puerto Rico.
In contrast, the Senate is made up of two senators from each state, regardless of population. There are currently 100 senators (2 from each of the 50 states), who each serve six-year terms. Approximately one-third of the Senate stands for election every two years.
Different powers
The House and Senate each have particular exclusive powers. For example, the Senate must approve (give "advice and consent" to) many important presidential appointments, including cabinet officers, federal judges (including nominees to the Supreme Court), department secretaries (heads of federal executive branch departments), U.S. military and naval officers, and ambassadors to foreign countries. All legislative bills for raising revenue must originate in the House of Representatives. The approval of both chambers is required to pass all legislation, which then may only become law by being signed by the president (or, if the president vetoes the bill, both houses of Congress then re-pass the bill, but by a two-thirds majority of each chamber, in which case the bill becomes law without the president's signature). The powers of Congress are limited to those enumerated in the Constitution; all other powers are reserved to the states and the people. The Constitution also includes the "Necessary and Proper Clause", which grants Congress the power to "make all laws which shall be necessary and proper for carrying into execution the foregoing powers". Members of the House and Senate are elected by first-past-the-post voting in every state except Louisiana and Georgia, which have runoffs.
Impeachment of federal officers
Congress has the power to remove the president, federal judges, and other federal officers from office. The House of Representatives and Senate have separate roles in this process. The House must first vote to "impeach" the official. Then, a trial is held in the Senate to decide whether the official should be removed from office. Although two presidents have been impeached by the House of Representatives (Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton), neither of them was removed following trial in the Senate.
So now you know. That last paragraph explains a lot.

Wednesday, November 07, 2018

50 Things No Man Over 40 Should Own

As I was driving home last night I found myself tapping my foot to this tropical club banger on Radio 1.

This morning I found out exactly what it was using https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/tracks/find/radio1/2018/11/06/5PM

That is all.

Tuesday, November 06, 2018


I went out for a drink with Kevin last night as he is back from the Far East.

It turns out that, among his various jobs and titles, he is Director of Coaching and Performance for the Hong Kong Rugby Football Union.

He is in Europe for the the Rugby World Cup 2019 repechage at Stade Delort in Marseille – the tournament that will deliver the 20th and final team to the Japan 2019 World Cup.

Hong Kong, Canada, Kenya and Germany will compete in a round-robin format event to be played across three match days on Sunday 11 November, Saturday 17 November and Friday 23 November, 2018.

Hong Kong play Germany at four o'clock on the 11th, Kenya at one o'clock on the 17th, and Canada at nine om the 23rd.

Monday, November 05, 2018

3 Blue 1 Browne

OK, so courtesy of this channel's series on linear algebra and neural networks I am close to understanding the scope of this technology as it was before the 2012 leap forward that is changing the world.

Recurrent neural networks (RNNs) and Convolutional deep neural networks (CNNs) are still in my future but it is a start I guess.

Sunday, November 04, 2018

Sunday is still rugby day in my house

Andy H told me yesterday that he ahd heard that Horsham U18s who the Ruts beat in the first round a fortnight ago (Icons passim) came third in the RFU National Under 18 Cup last year.

I can see from https://www.englandrugby.com/club-competitions/national-under-18-cup/fixtures-and-results/2017-2018/group/26013 that they were certainly in at the death (maybe there is a group thing I don't understand) and must be one of the best Colts sides in England.

All rather heartening.

Saturday, November 03, 2018

These violent delights have violent ends

A 17-year-old boy has died after being stabbed outside a Tube station, becoming the second teenager to be fatally knifed in London within 24 hours.
It comes the day after a 15-year-old, named by police as Jay Hughes, was stabbed to death in Bellingham, south east London.
The killing marks the 115th homicide in the capital so far this year, of which 19 victims have been teenagers.
Officers were called to Clapham South Tube Station in south west London at 4.35pm on Friday, where they found the teenager suffering from a stab wound.
He was taken to a south London hospital, where he died less than an hour later, the Metropolitan Police said.
Clapham South is four stops - a nine minute tube ride - on the Northern Line from us at Colliers Wood.

See Dan Young RIP.
See Knife Crime.

It just seems to get worse and worse.

Friday, November 02, 2018

as we that are left grow old

Rayburn is 29 today. To put this in perspective he is just slightly older than Paapa who got a Bafta Breaktrhough Brits Award the day before yesterday.

I went to see the NT Live show of Allelujah! last night. Having spent so many weekends visiting my mum's broken hip and my dad's dementia recently and - for what it is worth - having sung with Bryn last weekend, I found it very moving. It proved you can wear your heart on your sleeve without being overly didactic or hectoring.

Thursday, November 01, 2018

Big Balls Dickson

It's not just Ben's Old Ruts who like to run the ball from behind the try line then. It's good to see an Aussie starring for my beloved Seahawks as well.

Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Orphy Robinson

Today (Icons passim) on my way back from Warwickshire I tuned into Robert Elms on BBC Radio London and was turned on to Orphy Robinson (of whom I have never previously heard). His cover of Golden Brown was played and he is doing a jazz version of Astral Weeks on the South Bank in November.

Last night my brother turned me on to the country stylings of Luke Combs and I was drunk-dialling Emmy Lou by the beginning of the fourth track.

Turned on twice in under 24 hours! What will the neighbours think?