Logic runs deeper than arithmetic

My old classmates would be tickled pink to hear that I failed a math test.  Okay, so maybe I didn’t fail, I scored below average and failed to get a job because of it.  Big difference.

Back in the day, some would want to copy my homework, but the more competitive students were annoyed when I got the highest mark.  As a teenager, I put myself into game mode; so for me, math was like playing cards.

I won’t make excuses.  This time I wasn’t on form. Continue reading Logic runs deeper than arithmetic

Advancing Aberystwyth mathematics problem

You may have seen flags up this summer for “Advancing Aberystwyth.”  These flags say there are events “supported” by local businesses.  Well, by taxes on local businesses.

Did these events get you shopping more?  Did the chance to see The Goonies on the big screen bring you over from Birmingham, Boston, or Berlin?  Or even Borth or Bow Street?

Whether or not the event was a success in bringing in “more footfall” and more shoppers remains to be seen.  What we can calculate is how much it all cost. Continue reading Advancing Aberystwyth mathematics problem

The BBC is worse than Trump

According to the Wiki people, “Studies show Latin American men understand masculinity to involve considerable childcare responsibilities, politeness, respect for women’s autonomy, and non-violent attitudes and behaviors.”

Masculinity with a latin accent, or machismo, is being used as a word to describe criminals by the BBC and others.  They are contending that traditional Spanish culture is very bad, making it violent and aggressive toward women.  It sounds like the things that Trump said about “Mexicans”, but at least Trump ended with “some of them are good people.”

Now, if a criminal gets away with something, that’s not the same as a bar full of smelly men being rude, and the rude men are not necessarily the same stereotypes as shown in The Three Amigos.  Machismo is not just a term to describe bad behaviour among men, it is a term to describe a certain view of masculinity.  And, that view is generally chivalrous, and not violent.  The macho is Zorro, not El Guapo.

It’s ironic how Killroy’s outburst got him fired, but similar attacks on hispanic culture seem not only tolerated, but published as official BBC “news.”  Sure, there was a news story in any injustice being done, but for an entire culture to be blamed for the acts of one judge and a few men, well, I thought that disappeared in the 1940s.  Trump’s tirade against Hispanics no longer seems shocking, now that the BBC has gotten into the act.

Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

The UK government is cheating with inflation figures. For a while, camcorders were on the list of items in which prices were compared to overall inflation. Now, action cameras are.

Why do I call this cheating? New tech always starts off expensive and drops in price. The initial price is what funds development. Then, after ten or twenty years, the patents run out and the tech drops even more. Continue reading Why new technology should never be used to measure inflation

Why I connect to shady characters

Some of you are great. If you’re reading this, you’re probably one of my best connections, one of the real people I trust. Or, you’re connected to them, trusted by them, and a great person.

However, there are other people who invite me just to expand their own network, or to try and con me out of money. You’d think I would avoid these people. But, hey, I’m a screenwriter. Or I used to be, before rebranding myself as a “Project Manager.” I love stories, and comedy.

The recent addition to my list is a so-called hedge fund manager. Here’s an excerpt from his profile: Continue reading Why I connect to shady characters

Open by setting the scene

A lot of writing advice will pretend to teach you how to grab an audience’s attention. Well, there’s more to writing than getting attention.  There’s the reader to consider.

This is an editorial essay, so we start with an introduction.  In the first paragraph, I let you know the purpose, to determine whether or not this is something that interests you and is useful to you.  Good writing respects the reader, it doesn’t try to waste the reader’s time with sensationalism.

Not all writing is an essay however.  In fiction, and in especially in journalism and in most other storytelling genres, writing usually starts with setting the scene.  If you were to write for the Ptara blog, or an article for our journal, we’d normally expect the writing to start in the appropriate way, depending upon the genre. Continue reading Open by setting the scene

Ben Franklin’s financial advice

Since the following quote is so long, I won’t put it in quote format.

TO MY FRIEND A.B.,

As you have desired it of me, I write the following hints, which have been of service to me and may if observed be so to you.

REMEMBER that time is money. He that can earn ten shillings a day by his labour and goes abroad or sits idle one half of that day though he spends but sixpence during his diversion or idleness ought not to reckon that the only expense, he has really spent or rather thrown away five shillings besides.

Remember that credit is money. If a man lets his money lie in my hands after it is due, he gives me the interest or so much as I can make of it during that time. This amounts to a considerable sum where a man has good and large credit and makes good use of it. Continue reading Ben Franklin’s financial advice

It takes more than 100 days

stone cylinder tower
Top of Wellington Monument, Pen Dinas, Penparcau

2 years ago, I witnessed the re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo.  Thousands of talented volunteers from around the world walked through the footsteps of Napoleon, Wellington, and Blücher, and their allies and armies.

Although we didn’t have the best seats on the field, it was wonderful that so many dedicated re-enactors, or living historians, brought history to life for us.  If you missed it, you should have been there. Continue reading It takes more than 100 days