Vir Cantium

I'm right, you know …

Category Archives: Other


No, I’m not bragging about my visitor numbers (believe it or not I’m not quite in the Guido/Dale league).

I have found what can only be described as something approaching statisticians’ porn. The chap behind this site specialises in translating statistics into graphical formats, but also rails against pointless or patronising graphics. As I’m not only an anorak when it comes to this sort of thing generally, but also one who detests contextless numbers in the media, this is right up my street.

In particular I couldn’t help noticing his analysis of the safest part of the aeroplane to sit in. On a personal note, my grandfather, who served as a Flight Engineer on Lancasters, always advised sitting as close to the tail as possible because (he said) that’s the bit that often falls off in one piece (perhaps that’s why the “black boxes” are put there?). This was rather ironic in his case, given that when he was shot down he was in the nose, which was blown off when his aircraft exploded … though I suspect the parachute might have helped as well.

H/T: B3ta

Old Fashioned Ideas

Phew. Back from deepest Devon, having to follow the cricket only on Radio 4 long wave and (gasp!) no internet connection. We got the right result in the end though.

I’m not one to bore people with holiday snaps, so I’ll restrict myself to this pic of “The Tea Station – Food And Drink At It’s Best”.

Former West Bay Station, Dorset

Nice use of a former railway station (West Bay in Dorset), bad use of an apostrophe.

I could also have taken one of a curious road sign in Somerset, but since it was one that said “Police Operate In This Area” I thought I’d better concentrate on driving. Is the idea really so novel that Avon and Somerset constabulary think it’s worth announcing? What do residents of those parts of the county not so covered think about it? Perhaps they’re being patient and hoping it’ll catch on.


From the BBC:

The parents of a five-year-old boy who had died from natural causes jumped to their deaths from Beachy Head with his body in a rucksack, it is believed.

Rescuers, who are not treating the deaths as suspicious, found a second rucksack nearby full of toys.

I’m not sure what is the saddest aspect of this story. That fact that having a toddler myself makes it that little bit more poignant personally? Or the detail about the second rucksack full of toys? That the couple’s family were unable to offer support – or were unaware that so much more was needed?

Or even that when I first saw the headline on the RSS feed yesterday, I didn’t read on … suicides at Beachy Head not being a rare event.

RIP all three of you, whoever you were.

Institutional Something-ism

Knowing as we all do how effective the equalities industry is at keeping itself in work, expect the worst to come, in a few years, out of this little nugget from our Scandinavian cousins:

Swedish study links height to pay

The height of Swedish men has a direct correlation to how much they earn, a new study has shown.The study, soon to be published by Kalmar University, is based on the details of 500,000 Swedish men and indicates that average pay increases in line with average height.

Professor Dan-Olof Rooth at Kalmar University has led the study which compares statistics for the men at 18 years of age and then their levels of pay when they are between 28 and 30-years-old.

The results are conclusive. The taller a person is, the higher their average pay.

“These are not small differences we have noted, on average those who are ten centimetres taller have six percent higher incomes,” Dan-Olof Rooth said to the newspaper Östran.

Of course, there are a wealth of possible reasons why this could be. One suggestion highlighted in the article is that lower heights can be indicative of a sickly childhood, and thus an interrupted education. Hmm.

Yours truly, at a shade over 6’3″ (or whatever that is in Napoleonic measurements) would postulate that it’s just that taller people are better. Ner ner ne ner ner.

The Eighties Revisited

The Eighties was the coolest decade, says “a survey”. It does seem that retro fashions – musical, clothing and so on, seem to typically hark back about twenty years. It’s not uncool to like Abba now (helped of course, by the Mamma Mia musical – but then would that have been so successful were it not for the retro thing?) I seem to recall the Seventies being back in a few years ago (ELO rock!) – although with another minor resurgence thanks to “Life on Mars”.

Anyway, also revealed in the survey was the view that Live Aid was the best thing people liked about the Eighties. This first in a continuing series of such gigs, most recently manifesting itself in the western liberal guilt-fest that was Live Earth, actually gives the lie to the oft-quoted “fact” that the Eighties was a selfish decade. The Left like to paint Mrs Thatcher’s years as personified by a handful of barrow-boys-made-good waving their dosh in the air at City wine bars. I’m sure there were such characters (and good for them) but to suggest that the population of these isles suddenly lost their natural human compassion for their fellow beings, at the instigation of the evil Thatch, is utter socialist twaddle. Live Aid was the proof.

Save The Whale

Sail Thing at South Beach Blackpool

Not, in fact, a beached whale who got behind with the repayments on his loan from the local unlicensed lender, rather one of the artistic adornments on the refreshingly smart South Beach in Blackpool. The thing can be rotated and features a bench on the leeward side.