Sunday, 16 July 2017

Insecurity as the root of books like ‘Foot Ball’

Picken’s ‘Foot Ball’ may just be the worst book I have ever glanced
Although I do feel that they are more frequent than my mother and brother say, such pejoratives as:
  1. “American handegg”
  2. “American fatball”
  3. “American egg throwing”
  4. “dumball”
  5. “screwball”
used by soccer fans for gridiron, and
  1. “poverty ball” or “povertyball”
  2. “poverty futbol”
  3. “divegrass” or “diveball”
  4. “fairyball”
used by gridiron fans for soccer,

may well be more common than my relatives generally presume. I often feel that most fans of soccer or gridiron who call their sport “real football” would be willing to use pejorative names for a rival football code. Moreover, even that is not a requirement: R. Picken’s awful book Foot Ball, which is about deriding for no reason bar popularity and name not only other football codes, but almost every other sport wiht local popularity of a high level, simply calls soccer “football” and demands no other sport should be so called.

A few days ago, I had a conversation with my mother, who knows better than I do that abusive behaviour by soccer fans is very rarely directed against rival sports like gridiron or rugby (“thugby“), but almost always against rival CLUBS. My mother said the same thing about Collingwood Football Club fans – whose abusive behaviour she and many of her former school’s students have no doubt experienced in real life. I have never heard a Collingwood fan – though I do have minor recollections of some quite nasty ones – use “divegrass”, “poverty ball” or any similar word.

A couple of days ago, when I mentioned “handegg” – clearly the most common pejorative, very occasionally used for rugby and (Australian rules) football as well as much more commonly for gridiron – my mother said that the anger and misbehaviour in soccer fans relates to the frustration inherent in a sport with fewer than three scores per match (vis-à-vis about ten in rugby and over fifty in football). It is true, though, that people watch soccer for excitement and (Australian rules) football for much calmer entertainment because so often football games’ outcomes are predictable from a very early stage. Today, my mother said that anger and violence by soccer fans reflects not just frustration but emotional insecurity – soccer fans fear losing to rival clubs with affect their status, so one gets the soccer hooliganism feared in many parts of Europe.

That insecurity is the root of violent rivalries in most team sports – and of the use of pejorative names for rival sports – makes sense. If a soccer fan (or of any other sport) be insecure that he is doing the right thing supporting his team or his sport, debasing rival teams or sports is a justification. Soccer hooligans and the book Foot Ball are just extreme results.

Occasionally I have trouble with this when I buy a record and either take too long to like it or only like it in the short term. However, I never lash out at a record I have grown to not like or find frustrating – I tend to keep my instant feelings on such issues totally silent even on the web.

Saturday, 22 April 2017

V-Line’s complaint shows why ZRB is forty years overdue

According to this post, twenty-two Victorian councils have written to Premier Daniel Andrews demanding that something be done to allow railways to operate at above 33˚C (91.4˚F).

These councils say Victoria has “far more freight than it can move”.

The issue of these regulations is that greenhouse-intensive road and air transport have, owing to the almost absolute power of the mining and road interests over transportation in Australia combined with lack of public pressure, taken essentially all the public transportation budget. This is an unsustainable and untenable state of affairs on two grounds. The first is that road and air transportation are much more greenhouse- and energy-intensive than rail – in a nation whose soils dictate lower energy consumption by native animals than those any other in the world! The second is that, for the mass freight which Australia’s super-flat terrain is suited to producing, road and air are both very inefficient vis-à-vis rail, and would be more so were fuel less cheap.

Thus, we have yet one more case whereby the need to transfer en masse money spent widening freeways and highways to improving Australia’s antiquated rail system is revealed. The question is how to do it given the silent, unchallenged power of the road lobby and the unwillingness of Australia’s suburban majority to sacrifice completely their rights to unrestricted (indeed, in environmental terms, any) private car use.

I have always believed rigid constitutional amendments to put an absolute end to new highways and require the transfer of all money thus earmarked to rail as the best way, because of its simplicity and lack of compromise with the severe low-energy-consumption dictates of Australia’s ecology. The problem is how to convey to the suburban masses why they must sacrifice their lifestyle based on spacious roads, dirt-cheap fuel and unlimited private cars to avoid not only an ecological catastrophe, but major transportation problems too.

Monday, 27 March 2017

Top 25 Misheard Lyrics by Nick and Jesse

Morepork (Ninox novaeseelandiae)
When I was googling for an old misheard lyric from my childhood, I found this old list of a top twenty-five misheard lyrics. Merely because the list existed only cached, I thought I should put the list up in full. Moreover, when I did have a look at the cached page, I thought the misheards were funny and interesting enough to be worth blogging.

The list below originally came from two young me (in their picture) who give their names only as “Nick” and “Jesse”.

25) Beyonce – ‘Single Ladies’
  • “I’m missing a leg Sue”
24) Green Day – ‘21 Guns’
  • “twenty wine gums”
23) UB40 – ‘Please Don’t Make Me Cry’
  • “peas on toast”
  • (instead of “please don’t go”)
22) Australian Crawl – ‘Boys Light Up’
  • “when the boys line up”
  • I always heard it that way as a child, along with “I was heading for my Mukden home” at the song’s beginning.
    • Mukden is an old Manchu name for the Chinese city of Shěnyáng, and I always knew it made no sense after the line following
21) Robbie Williams – ‘Candy’
  • “liberate your sons and daughters the bush is high and in the hole is water”
20) The Corrs – ‘Breathless’
  • “make me breakfast”
  • Nick and Jesse’s listener’s daughter requested this song every morning
19) Rod Stewart – ‘You’re In My Heart’
  • “you’re in my breath, pure alcohol”
18) Red Hot Chilli Peppers – ‘Californication’
  • “feel my fanny for an occassion”
17) National Anthem
  • “in the bones of love we meat”
16) Adele – ‘Set Fire To The Rain’
  • “set fire to Lorraine”
15) George Michael – ‘Faith’
  • “Got to have fanta, fanta, fanta”
14) Elton John – ‘Bennie And The Jets’
  • “She’s got magic boobs, her mum’s got them too”
13) The Commitments – ‘Mustang Sally’
  • “mustard and salad”
  • Shelly said a colleague thought “Mustang Sally” was “Mustard and salad”. She was singing it once and I cracked up and had to correct her
 12) The Police – ‘Every Breath You Take’
  • “My poo hole aches”
  • “When I was little (about five) instead of saying my poor heart aches, I thought it said.... Omg... how embarassing!”
11) Beyonce – ‘Single Ladies’
  • “I'm a singlet”
10) One Direction – ‘One Thing’
  • “Shout meow to the sky, you’re in my crib tonight. You keep making me reek, yeah frozen in Cadbury”
9) Split Enz – ‘Poor Boy’
  • “What more could a morepork do”
  • as opposed to “What More Could A Poor Boy Do”
8) Rihanna – ‘Diamonds’
  • “She ain’t white like a diamond”
7) Village People – ‘In The Navy’
  • “Swing the lady”
6) Sandi Thom – ‘I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker’
  • “I wish I was a prawn cracker!”
5) Bob Sinclar – ‘Love Generation’
  • “Feed and hug little Asians”
4) Robbie Williams – ‘Angels’
  • “I need protection to cover my erection”
  • instead of something about love and protection
3) Gin Wigmore – ‘Black Sheep’
  • “I’m a trash heap”
  • Miss five-year-old not interpreting “I'm a black sheep” correctly?
2) Bruno Mars – ‘Locked Out Of Heaven’
  • “Yeah your sex tapes made in paradise”
1) ACDC – ‘Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap’
  • “Dirty deeds done to sheep”
Although I have no recollections of hearing them as those words given above, the misheard lyrics of ‘Faith’ and ‘In the Navy’ do sound a little like the real thing. The one of ‘Boys Light Up’ has extremely solid memories within my childhood, whilst the one of ‘You’re in My Heart’ (as I have noted earlier actually about Rod Stewart’s love of soccer) can easily be made sense of from the rhythm. I do wonder if anybody who realise the song is about soccer would think soccer is “pure alcohol” and/or that because of low scoring and ties it is dozy or some similar adjective?

Some of the lyrics were listed by Nick and Jesse as “Warning – naughty” – I have chosen to include them minus such notes. The one of ‘Every Breath You Take’ is a little funny and understandable, though everybody should know the proper word “anus” from younger than I did. I often have aches in my bowel due to a diet too heavy in sugar and I tend to accept them, but whether I would have accepted bad anus pains as a child I doubt gravely!

Friday, 17 March 2017

AbeBooks Most In-Demand Out-of-print Books for 2016

Today AbeBooks, where I get most of my reading material, published its annual list of the “Most In-Demand Out-of-Print Books”. I have vague recollections of such a list form previous years, but after having had other things to besides post here I decided to do my familiar thing and post the list:
  1. Westworld by Michael Crichton
  2. Sex by Madonna
  3. Permaculture: A Designers’ Manual by Bill Mollison
  4. Unintended Consequences by John Ross
  5. Encyclopedia of Pieced Quilt Patterns by Barbara Brackman
  6. Finding the Winning Edge by Bill Walsh
  7. Mastering Atmosphere and Mood in Watercolor by Joseph Zbukvic
  8. Fast Times at Ridgemont High by Cameron Crowe
  9. Margin of Risk: Risk-Averse Value Investing Strategies for the Thoughtful Investor by Seth Klarman.
  10. Alla Prima: Everything I Know about Painting by Richard Schmid
  11. Rage by Richard Bachman/Stephen King
  12. The Vision and Beyond, Prophecies Fulfilled and Still to Come by David Wilkerson
  13. Sled Driver: Flying the World’s Fastest Jet by Brian Shul
  14. Bandit Country: The IRA and South Armagh by Toby Harnden
  15. Snake by Ken Stabler
  16. Halloween by Curtis Richards
  17. Parts Work: An Illustrated Guide to Your Inner Life by Tom Holmes
  18. Promise Me Tomorrow by Nora Roberts
  19. Portrait of a Killer: Jack the Ripper – Case Closed by Patricia Cornwell
  20. Down Through the Years by Jean Shepard
  21. The Sisters: Babe Mortimer Paley, Betsy Roosevelt Whitney, Minnie Astor Fosburgh: The Lives and Times of the Fabulous Cushing Sisters by David Grafton
  22. Me and My Likker by Popcorn Sutton
  23. Monte Walsh by Jack Schaefer
  24. Lost Moon: The Perilous Voyage of Apollo 13 by James Lovell
  25. The Making of Star Trek by Stephen E. Whitfield and Gene Roddenberry
  26. The Last Course: The Desserts of the Gramercy Tavern by Claudia Fleming
  27. A Life Worth Living by Lady Colin Campbell
  28. The Essential Woodworker: Skills, Tools and Methods by Robert Wearing
  29. Women and Men by Joseph McElroy
  30. The Art of Holly Hobbie by Holly Hobbie
Most if not all of these books are books of no interest to me. Many are sexually explicit or so violent their authors do not want them in print, for example Sex and Rage. My main interest in out-of-print books are in old hardback poetry titles, which a mere glance will show as never listed, or in old, specialised books on sport.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

An examination of CET versus global temperature anomalies: Part III – Conclusions

In our previous two posts relating CET anomalies to global temperature anomalies – for July to December here and for January to June here.

To finish the survey this post will give an overall examination of the observed correlations for each month and for all months. The first step will be to graph the observed CET anomaly versus global temperature anomaly correlation coefficients between 1880 and 1974 for each of the twelve calendar months. They are arranged in fiscal year order in the graph to fit in with my previous research on CET – a choice made because temperature anomalies are larger in winter than in summer.
Monthly Central England Temperature anomaly versus global temperature anomaly correlation coefficients, 1880 to 1974
Before I analysed each month separately, I hypothesised that there would be three plausible patterns of variation in monthly CET anomaly versus global temperature anomaly correlation:
  1. There would be no difference in correlation for all months
  2. There would be a maximum in summer (when natural variance of CET and global temperature anomalies are smallest) and minimum in winter (when they are largest because air advection influences are greatest and most independent of greenhouse gas concentrations)
  3. There would be maximum in autumn (when CET has increased most consistently and the effect of retention of heat by greenhouse gases appears greatest) and minimum in late winter and early spring
If we look at the graph closely, hypothesis (2) appears the most nearly supported of the three, because the maxima in April and June on the extreme right of the graph (which covers one fiscal year) would even if smoothed out with the very low coefficient for May still show a maximum three month mean of around 0.22 – well above any monthly value between November and February when CET and EWP correlate positively. During these months, the correlation coefficient is relatively consistently around +0.09.

A likely conclusions is that, for the summer months when natural variability is lowest, a sample size of ninety-five years is too small to give accurate correlations at the monthly level. When variability is lower at the local level, smaller changes in temperature can have more effect on the anomaly, especially upon its sign.

If this be so, then we can conclude that over an adequately long period, the correlations between CET and global mean temperature would trough in the winter months at around +0.09. What value they would take in months with negative EWP versus CET correlations (April to September) is less certain. The graph above shows +0.11 and +0.21 as the plausible limits, but what to expect is not certain. We cannot test any years before 1880 since I cannot gain access to compatible values of global temperature anomaly. Testing the post-1974 period is a possibility to expand the sample size, but I am too wary that global warming via greenhouse pollution out of Australia, the Gulf States and South Africa will have  distorted the results vis-à-vis the relatively consistent climate of the 1880 to 1974 period.