Pi Day Fly Day

It’s Pi Day, (because it’s the 14th March, or 14/3, or 3.14 in the American notation). This is clearly not the South African way of doing things. However, on this occasion, I’m willing to overlook this US-based nonsense in the name of education. The school has based an entire Maths Week around today – “It’s all about Maths and Fun” (so clearly not big on Venn diagrams, then) – and it’s been an excellent learning experience for all the kids.

I was asked to help out today with ‘togging one of the events: namely a Pi on the field, made up of all the classes in the keystage, and I was only too happy to help. Here’s one of the lower altitude photos I took:

Obviously, I used the drone: my tripod wouldn’t extend to the required height for even this relatively low level shot.

The students were very patient (although the process really didn’t take very long, thanks to some fantastic organisation), but this is one of those things that won’t mean anything to them until they see the photos, which is why I hurried through the editing as soon as I got home and got them back to the teachers in time for them to see what they were part of today.

Tomorrow: Maths Week Dress Up Day!

Also tomorrow for those wondering: March’s 6000 miles… crossword.

Fan Man: A new breed of superhero

The Blades were brilliant last night in the gale force wind at Beautiful Downtown Bramall Lane.
1-0 up halfway through the first half thanks to a wholly legitimate penalty, it was all going so well until Gary Madine had a rush of blood to the studs ten minutes later and scythed down one of their midfielders for a wholly legitimate straight red card.

What followed was a masterclass in prolonged, committed, uncompromising defending as wave upon wave of Brentford attack bore down upon the United goal. Sure, we rode our luck a couple of times, but these stats don’t tell any lies. It was an absolute siege, and we survived.

As you can see, the final score was 2-0, but there was a particularly squeaky bum patch just before we got that all-important second goal, where there seemed no way out for United. Every clearance came straight back, and every attack seemed certain to end with an equaliser.
So, picture the scene after 67 minutes, when the ball was cleared out for a Brentford throw-in and one fan on John Street decided that he was going to be a hero and waste a bit of time as the Brentford player asked him to pass the ball…

Oof. Still, at least it hasn’t made it onto computer screens all around the world, thanks to the power of social media and South Africa’s favourite blog.

That would be awful.

The highlights package isn’t out yet, and generally, they don’t put this sort of thing in anyway, but I’ll link to it when I see it. Just in case.
And also to remember one of the great Sheffield United performances of recent years.


It me

I actually thought that this article was about me, until I (thankfully) realised that I was still alive and well, having avoided the strong, unpleasant and all-pervading odour in my local shopping mall yesterday

The thing is with shops like this, it’s not just those choosing to enter the store (although why on earth would you?) who are affected by the stench. Just walking past the front door is bad enough. Of course, it’s worse in the enclosed area of a mall, but I can remember some genre of soap shop on Cornmarket Street in Oxford (it may well still be there), which polluted the entire left hand side of the street.
And it seems that even the experts agree:

Professor Mervyn Sprick from the University of Vange has called for ‘immediate emergency measures’ to be put in place at all shops selling three or more varieties of scented girly products.

He added: ‘This has been a tragedy waiting to happen for a number of years. I have walked past these shops before and people have been complaining of crippling headaches more than 500 yards away.
People don’t realise that although scented soaps are harmless when used individually, the combination of multiple fragrances can often be too much for a male to bear. It is a shame that on this occasion the cognitive overload has cost a young man his life.’

I couldn’t agree more. I now take the longer route around the block to get to the Mugg and Bean entrance of Cavendish Square instead of the direct route, simply to avoid the dangerous malodour wafting from the local branch of Lush.

If we were discussing airborne pathogens here, there would be strict rules and regulations in place. It amazes me that outlets like this continue to brazenly poison the public with noxious fumes with absolute impunity.

It’s only a matter of time until there are deaths in SA from this too.

Without Chemicals

Spotted today at my local, terrible Pick n Pay, this stuff:

I will always be attracted by the word “microbe”. And so it was with this product, nestling amongst the cleaning products, with its owl in a nurses hat, studious-looking glasses and a bow tie, carrying a stethoscope. Why does he need the glasses? Don’t owls have amazing eyesight?
And what’s with the stethoscope? Is he a doctor, and not actually a professor? And why does the patient have cardiac or pulmonary problems if they’re using this wonderful product? None of this makes any sense.

But to be honest, it was the blurb below that really caught my eye.

Clean surfaces safely, without chemicals!

Oh really?
Well, if you’re going to do it without chemicals, then I’m guessing that there must be a motherfunning genie in your spray bottle there, because everything is made of chemicals, dahlink (possibly even genies, actually). But we’ll come to that in a second, because wait… there’s more:

Welcome to the new science of cleaning.
Harnessing the power of beneficial microbes to rid surfaces of harmful germs.

Oh really?
Microbes when they’re beneficial, germs when they’re harmful. It’s pure bacterial racism you’re looking at right there, folks.

But would you really want to spray your surfaces with microbes, beneficial or not, and no chemicals?
Well, it seems that actually, you don’t have to do either, because turn the bottle around and there’s this:

See it?

Ingredients: Aqua, Sodium Citrate, Orange Extract

Well, Aqua is just the posh word for water (which is a chemical), Sodium Citrate is the chemical name for the chemical Sodium Citrate, and your orange extract is basically a group of chemicals that comes from oranges.

That’s an awful lot of chemicals for a product which, just a bottle-turn away suggests that you can clean stuff “without chemicals”.

At least it’s halaal. And that’s likely to be because there is no pork in it and no microbes in there either. Beneficial or otherwise.

So I really am left wondering how this product is “harnessing the power of beneficial microbes to rid surfaces of harmful germs”.
Sure, the chemical in this solution might knock out some of the bugs growing on your kitchen surfaces, but it’s likely to be really ineffective when compared with “traditional” (chemical) cleaning agents, because although Sodium Citrate (which is the chemical name for the chemical Sodium Citrate, as mentioned above) might kill some “harmful germs”, a) it’s really rubbish at it, and b) it’ll kill just as many “beneficial microbes” as well.

Obviously, I didn’t buy any of this stuff, but I would fully expect the limited citrus scent to be overwhelmed with the stench of bullshit.

I’m done here for the moment, but visit the Professor Microbe website and you’ll learn that:

Professor Microbe™ uses Nano-Natural technology with Active Nanoids to cut through fat, oil and grease.

u wot m9?

Yeah, remember that BSc you were going to do in Nano-Natural Science? The one that had the foundation course in Active Nanoids?
You know: the one with all the made up words that sound ever so sciencey, but don’t actually exist?

And don’t even get me started on their “The Technology” page. It’s so deeply unscientific on every line that I’d even bet that Tim Noakes is jealous.

I shall return to Professor Microbe™ in a future post, and share more details on their utter nonsense from a considered, scientific point of view.

100 days of walking

If all goes well (and I have no reason to believe that it won’t), today will mark the 100th consecutive day that I have recorded at least 10,000 steps on my step-recording smartwatch.

You may recall about 55 days ago when I got to 45 consecutive days.
Well now I’ve done more than twice that. Consecutively.

I’m not looking for praise or celebration. Nor even really for any sort of recognition. All I’m really saying is that I’ve done at least 10,000 steps each day for the last 100 days and it’s just nice to have been active and to have hit this milestone.

Bring on 200*.


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