Archive for the Uncategorized Category

September at Sophia Gardens

Posted in Cricket, Uncategorized on September 19, 2017 by telescoper

Since it was a fine evening I popped in at the SSE SWALEC Stadium in Sophia Gardens on the way home from work to catch the last few overs of Day 1 of the County Championship match between Glamorgan and Gloucestershire.

For a change, and despite  losing two quick wickets while I watched,  Glamorgan are in a reasonably strong position at 342 for 7 off 96 overs at the end of Day 1, with young Kiran Carlson unbeaten on 137. That’s not bad considering that, having been put in to bat, they had been 63 for 4 at one stage.

It’s been a disappointing season in the County Championship for Glamorgan, who have only won two games out of 12 so far, and there’s not much at stake in this game, but I hope they can get a good result in this, their last game of the season in Cardiff.


A Fellow’s Diary 

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 19, 2017 by telescoper

Yet another sign that Autumn is on the way arrived yesterday in the form of my new Royal Astronomical Society diary, which comes with the subscription. This runs from October to October so each year’s new edition usually comes in September. I say `usually’ because mine didn’t come at all last year. It probably got lost in a muddle when I changed address back to Cardiff from Sussex. Each year’s version is usually a different colour from the previous one too. This time it’s a sort of bottle green.

Anyway, although many of my colleagues seem not to use them, I like old-fashioned diaries like this. I do run an electronic calendar for work-related events, meetings etc, but I use the paper one to scribble down extra-curricular activities such as concerts and cricket fixtures, as I find the smartphone version of my electronic calendar a bit fiddly.

Anyway, I’m interested to know the extent to which I am an old fogey so here’s a little poll on the subject of diaries:

A Sign of Supercomputing Wales

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2017 by telescoper

A new sign has arrived at the Data Innovation Research Institute courtesy of our colleagues from Supercomputing Wales, a new initiative that started this spring. 

Two people associated with this project are now working from the DII office where I am currently based. It also employs six research software engineers around Cardiff University as well as others elsewhere in Wales.

School of Statistics for Astrophysics, Autrans, France, October 9-13

Posted in Uncategorized on September 8, 2017 by telescoper

I just found out about this interesting conference in France coming up next month. Apparently there are still some places left!


Didier Fraix-Burnet (IPAG), Stéphane Girard (Inria) and myself are organising a School of Statistics for Astrophysics, Stat4Astro, to be held in October in France. The primary goal of the School is to train astronomers to the use of modern statistical techniques. It also aims at bridging the gap between the two communities by emphasising on the practice during works in common, to give firm grounds to the theoretical lessons, and to initiate works on problems brought by the participants. There have been two previous sessions of this school, one on regression and one on clustering. The speakers of this edition, including Christian Robert, Roberto Trotta and David van Dyk, will focus on the Bayesian methodology, with the moral support of the Bayesian Society, ISBA. The interest of this statistical approach in astrophysics probably comes from its necessity and its success in determining the cosmological parameters…

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A Million Thanks!

Posted in Uncategorized on August 28, 2017 by telescoper

I haven’t been paying much attention to the blog statistics recently, what with one thing and another, but I just realized when I checked tonight  that sometime in the last week or so In The Dark received its one millionth visitor. 

I don’t know how or why so many people found their way here, but you’re all very welcome!

Climate-change denier Lord Lawson is an expert – he once wrote a book about dieting

Posted in Uncategorized on August 10, 2017 by telescoper

This kind of crap is the reason I don’t listen to Radio 4 anymore. It’s bad for my blood pressure.

Pride's Purge

(not satire – it’s the Tories!)

I see climate-change deniers have brought out their big guns to deny the recent flooding and storms are anything to do with climate change.

Former Thatcher chancellor Nigel Lawson went head-to-head with Met’ Office Chief Scientist Professor Julia Slingo – destroying her scientific assessments that the recent extreme weather conditions were almost certainly the result of climate change with the devastating scientific argument that she is just : “this Julia Slingo woman“.

Personally, I don’t know much about the science behind climate change. So let’s take a look at who is most likely to be right on the scientific arguments around climate in general:

Lawson vs Slingo


You had me at “it’s just this woman” Nigel.


Please feel free to comment.


Related articles by Tom Pride:

Climate change sceptic Andrew Neil also once thought heterosexual AIDS was a myth

Climate change deniers –…

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Rhino on the Road

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on August 7, 2017 by telescoper

And now for something completely different. I’m not sure what the Highway Code recommends a driver to do if confronted by an angry rhinoceros in the road, but the traffic ahead of this beast did the sensible thing of turning round and getting the hell out of there!

This was recorded in Assam, India, and the rhinoceros apparently escaped from Kaziranga National Park.