The joule in the crown

An excellent piece from the generally excellent Metric Views on food energy content labelling. A calorie is a nonsense unit that means nothing; a joule is a real unit that makes sense. One of the things that I very much like about moving to Australia is that, for all its stereotyping as backward, the country … Continue reading The joule in the crown

Being shouted at is your goddamn job

I never shout at customer services people. Literally never. Occasionally I mute the phone and scream; on very rare occasions I excuse myself from the physical situation and scream; but I've never shouted at a customer services person of any kind and hope never to do so. In most cases, this is because they don't … Continue reading Being shouted at is your goddamn job

Back to the coal face

Holiday over; new life commencing. As the twitter updates might testify, I now have an Australian flat, bank account, enormous selection of IKEA furniture, etc (not quite a driving licence yet, due to bureaucratic stupidity, but it's on the cards). This should (both in the moral sense and in the predictive sense) mean a return … Continue reading Back to the coal face

Reversion to the mean

The BBC has an article based on an interesting House of Commons report on alcohol consumption... well, more accurately, it's a very bad report on alcohol consumption with some interesting data. The data shows that, before the global descent into miserable puritanism around World War I that led to prohibition in the US and draconian … Continue reading Reversion to the mean

I’ll drink to that

An excellent piece on CiF on the neo-puritans and their efforts to wage class war on the poor through banning and taxing booze. Killer quote: The 19th-century temperance movement was defeated by an alliance of liberals and the working class, and it looks like a repeat performance might be required. A prohibition bill was squashed … Continue reading I’ll drink to that

Quick Icelandic banking redux

Just for the avoidance of doubt: 1) the democratically elected Icelandic government, under EU/EFTA financial regulation equivalence rules, agreed long before the crisis even began that it would guarantee compensation of the first EUR20887 of deposit to retail depositors in Icelandic banks from other EU countries. 2) the Icelandic banks, with explicit permission from the … Continue reading Quick Icelandic banking redux

Obvious scam is obvious

The usual suspects are in full-on froth mode about the non-news on Goldman Sachs allegedly moving to somewhere godawful to escape a small, one-off tax on salaries. Obviously, like nearly all right-wing frothers nearly all the time, they're talking complete and utter bollocks. US culture site the Awl nails it on why: Goldman Sachs “is … Continue reading Obvious scam is obvious