Category Archives: Miscellany

Crash Fixed

Tweet You may have noticed that this site has been down since Wednesday. The server in Germany crashed. I learned a few lessons from this unfortunate event. The Germans don’t work on weekends even to fix a crash that affects many sites and customers. – so much for Teutonic industriousness. In the USA the owners…


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The Poignant Fate of the Third Person Singular

Tweet The inexorable descent of civilization to refined barbarity has, among other insults, destroyed the formerly innocuous third person singular pronoun - he/she and all its relatives. It is now impossible to use this construction without making a political statement. I refer to its use when its referent noun is of unspecified gender. Back in the middle of the…


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Quotation of the Week

Tweet Tincture of time is the best medicine. Unfortunately it kills all who take it. With apologies to Hector Berlioz


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It’s Really hard to Get Things Right

Tweet Anyone who’s done scientific research knows how hard it is to perform an experiment that conforms to all the rules of good science. There’s always something that’s overlooked or not thought of. There’s always another explanation for the data you get. In short good science is difficult. Things done in haste almost never work out…


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Quotation of the Week

Tweet If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges, and Governors, shall all become wolves. Thomas Jefferson Letter to Edward Carrington Paris, Jan. 16, 1787


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Rossi’s Laws of Evaluation

Tweet 1.  The Stainless Steel Law: The better designed the outcome evaluation, the less effective the intervention seems. 2. The Iron Law: The expected value of any impact assessment of any large scale social programme is zero. 3. The Brass Law: The more social programs are designed to change individuals, the more likely the net…


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Conversation of the Day

Tweet Winston Churchill’s 6 year old grandson: “Grandpa, is it true that you are the greatest man in the world?” WC: “Yes. Now bugger off. ” Quoted in Roy Jenkins Churchill: A Biography


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More Proof That the Brain is Not a Vital Organ

Tweet “Did you know that ten percent of people 24 and younger think its OK to text during sex?” Wired.com


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Educational Thoughts of the Day

Tweet The first mistake of public business is going into it. In rivers and bad governments the lightest things swim at top. Old boys have their playthings as well as young ones; the difference is only in the price. Tis against some mens Principle to pay Interest, and seems against others Interest to pay the…


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You Can’t Make This Up

Tweet The American Postal Workers Union internal election was postponed because thousands of ballots were lost in the mail. They should have voted online. The Federal Highway Administration has required that all street signs in the US be written in Clearview font by 2018. They’ve been studying this important issue for most of the century…


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