River trip

If JA can blog about Azaleas, I don’t see why I shouldn’t mention narrowboating. So we chugged up the Cam (/Ouse) to Ely to visit the cathedral again, it repays multiple visits. Happily the choir were practicing, and then they had a choral service, with unbelievers like us allowed to listen.

And the next day down Reach Lode to Reach May Fair (its been going since the 1200’s, folks, though I doubt they had climbing walls and walls of death there then). Reach Lode, as the pic shows, gets very very thin towards the end (worryingly so, if like us you’ve never been there before) but there is a turning pool at the end. Note the bicycle carried on the boat ahead.

And then back to Cambridge, through clouds of 8’s practising for the May bumps whenever they are.

And to insert some weather/climate, it was unseasonably cold, as it has been for a while; but sunny on the Sunday.


Yes, only in Japan… See James Annan.

Somewhat more seriously, John Fleck praises Benny Peiser (don’t worry folks, its not for his climate-type opinions, which remain junk, but for finding some interesting papers on impacts).

And over at RealClimate, even more seriously, the long-awaiting post pointing out what von S did wrong in Science is now out. Better get editing at wiki…

Phenology (sp?): its been a cold spring here. Despite being unusually far behind with my digging, the weeds haven’t overtaken me yet. And the bees are slow. Sloe in blossom.

As you may have noticed, I don’t have much to say on my own behalf. It seems to be a slow period for climate type news. Or I’m not paying attention.

[Update: I suspect that not all of my readers read CIP, so I point you towards Fearing Truth in particular. But there is lots of other good stuff there -W]

Is my font too small?

A reader foams at the mouth:

You see, I set up Mozilla Firefox so that the default font is Verdana 18 point, because that’s a size I am comfortable with, being a quintedecarian. Then all these WWW graphic designers say, “The default font for most of the browsers in the world (ie. Internet Explorer) is too large and clunky, rather like the sort of thing old people like to read, so I’m going to set my body style to 80% of that (or whatever to make it small and elegant and youthful.” Thanks a lot, guys. As a result I look at your blog, along with many other sites, with the Page Style suppressed.

So… here is your chance to vote (in the comments section I suppose). Is the font too small? Should it be set bigger? Should it just leave you with whatever your browser defaults to? I’m not quite sure how the site/browser interaction works, anyway.

Incidentally, I was poking through the stats yesterday, and the most popular browser at this site is Firefox.

[Top tips (i.e. ones not involving me having to change my .css) so far:

  1. “Control =” or “Control +” (Control-Shift-=) to increase font size
  2. (Joe Shelby / Razib)

  3. The Read Easily firefox plugin
  4. Read via RSS 🙂


Give us back our crown jewels

So says The Grauniad. Its talking about public access to publicly collected data in the UK. As near as I can determine, in the US most govt-collected data is in theory and in practice freely available to citizens. In the UK this is very definitely not true: the most obvious example is the Ordnance Survey, which collects mapping data. Instead of being what it should be – a government body funded to collect, organise and disseminate mapping data, it is a psuedo-commerical organisation with revenue targets to meet by selling data, mostly straight back to other government bodies. Other examples are photos (including those from BAS :-() and scientific papers.

The Grauniad argues, and I agree, that attempting to “commercialise” these things is stupid: the goverment doesn’t run businesses well, and anyway the revenue made from selling the products is probably far less that the extra economic growth (including more taxes…) that would occur if the data were just available. Not to mention that a whole pile of red tape could suddenly be axed.

That article is, apparently, the start of a Campaign: hopefully it will succeed.

[Updates: the Grauniad now has a blog about this and a web page. Both have appallingly bad web design, which is a bit odd]