Category : Opinion

James Bond film tier list

Christmas was always associated with Bond films, back when I was a kid and actually watched regular TV. I understand why. They are generally fun and entertaining, and combine action with adventure and mystery. Also, Bond girls. Despite Bond being something of a relic of a character from a 1950s male fantasy, I still really enjoy watching the films and tend to watch a few every winter holiday period. I realised this year that I’d actually seen most of them, […]

Digital camera manufacturers in 2020

Given that I recently upgraded my digital camera after spending quite some time researching the options, I thought I would share what I have learnt about the various camera systems available at the moment. I am generally company agnostic for the most part, so I was interested in learning what the relative strengths and weaknesses of the camera manufacturers are at the moment. I’ll leave the disclaimer here that I am not a professional photographer and I have not tried […]

Electric cars: how far is there to go?

The electric car revolution has been underway for a few years now. Elon Musk and Tesla have clearly had quite a lot of influence on the future of electric vehicles from a technology standpoint, whilst cars like the Nissan Leaf, Renault Zoe, and BMW i3 have tried to bring electric motoring to the masses. Yet, we still have some way to go before electric cars become the norm. In this article, I want to briefly cover some of the main […]

Inconsistent nutrition labelling

A few weeks ago, I was at the supermarket and decided to buy a different cut of meat. As I pay attention to my caloric intake, naturally I checked the nutrition information on the back. I noticed something odd… This is the labelling for the chicken breasts I regularly buy. It’s quite clear, and gives values per 100g to allow for easy cross-comparison between foods. However, this is the labelling for chicken thighs. Notice anything different? This gives you the […]

Red vs Blue

Two of the games I enjoyed most in my youth were the original Unreal Tournament and TimeSplitters 2. Both games were arcade style twitch-shooters at their core, but what made them great was the multitude of game modes and options, great maps, and the ability to play with fairly well programmed AI bots as well as human opponents. There was something else that these games allowed you to do: have more than two different teams (at least for the game […]

Towards a better review system

The five-star review system you find on most websites today is inherently flawed if you want information about how good something actually is. Famously, on websites like Amazon, there is a ‘J-shaped’ distribution of review scores. That is, there is a small mass of 1-star reviews; relatively few 2-star, 3-star, and 4-star reviews; and a huge mass of 5-star reviews. This, on it’s own, means that most reviews are somewhat useless. But, when you remember that some of these reviews […]

The battle for the PC gamer

It’s as if someone has flicked the switch this year in the minds of Microsoft and Sony. It used to be that console manufacturers would focus on getting as many people on their own platform as possible. This meant drawing in people from every other market to theirs. This is fine in principle. The problem is that in practice, consumers are not homogeneous in this way. There are plenty of people for whom a certain product line will not work, […]

“Learn to read the Bible effectively”

This leaflet came through my letterbox last week. “An exciting 6 week seminar”, free of charge, to learn how to read the Bible effectively. Apparently. It is being run by the ‘West Christadelphians’ – something I can only assume is an organisation set up by fans of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air. At first I was going to give them a little credit, since running a 6 week long seminar is quite ambitious and impressive by anyone’s standards. However, […]

Photo by Sander van der Wel

The separation of individual from cause

“Thank you for answering my questions. Do you have anything you would like to ask me?” “How often do you get to see the impact you have made with the work you do? I like to do something where I can solve a problem and see the fruits of my labour, so to speak.” “In the past, to be honest, we really didn’t see what happened that much. But it is more and more the case that we get to […]

A theory about theory

As you may have heard, the legendary blues guitarist BB King died recently. Following this though, there were some comments on the internet that got me thinking. Intermingled with the usual condolences and such, a few commenters were critical towards him because of the fact that he did not have a strong understanding of music theory. Their argument seemed to be that his lack of theoretical knowledge about what he was playing somehow diminished his achievements. He is not the […]

Sticking with your ‘own kind’

My cousin and I both share the view that choosing friends or associations based on group attributes rather than individual attributes is a dangerous idea when aggregated. Rather than choosing to associate with others based on common interests, ideas, personality matches etc, there are many people that have a tendency to forge ties based on some stereotypical or socially constructed rule. The most obvious of these rules seems to be to gravitate around others of similar race or religion, though […]

Beamer Boredom

In one of my earlier posts, I described my thoughts on why LaTeX is a superior alternative to word processing packages (like MS Word) for creating written documents. In short, it is a system that more or less makes all the formatting decisions for you so that you can just focus on writing. It is also indispensable for those that want to use mathematics or technical symbols that are a pain in the ass to get right in other programs. […]