Private Eye number crunch

In Jokes, Politics, Private Eye offcuts on Friday 29th August, 2014 by Guy Tagged: ,

Will this blog just become an online repository for Private Eye snippets? That’s the best we can hope for.

From Issue 1372:


1,867 Deaths in current Israeli-Palestinian war in which Qatar, which funds Hamas, has urged the international community ‘to assume its moral and humanitarian responsibilities’

1,200 Estimated deaths of foreign construction workers for 2022 World Cup which Qatar bribed its way to win in order to improve its image abroad



Mark Zuckerberg might be a creep

In Mark Zuckerberg, People on Saturday 3rd May, 2014 by Guy Tagged: , , , ,

You might have heard of Mark Zuckerberg. He founded a website called Facebook (originally Thefacebook, originallyer Facemash).

Before that, Zuckerberg developed an MP3 player, Synapse Media Player (website defunct). Some people didn’t like it, going so far as to claim it ripped off the venerable Winamp. However, Zuckerberg claimed he and his co-developer were offered almost a million US dollars for it. Maybe. But then he also claimed he might make release the player’s source code, and ten years later he still hasn’t, so maybe we shouldn’t necessarily believe everything he says.

The big deal about the player was that it was supposed to automatically pick the next song you would want to listen to. And why did Zuckerberg think you would want to do that? According to the original website (now defunct, remember?):

At some point in every man’s life, he’s bound to find himself in bed with a Chinese girl. It may happen suddenly, and you may not remember how it happened, but it will happen — I guarantee that. When the time comes he needs to be ready. He needs his full arsenal at hand. And by this I mean music. Too many times has the playlist run short on soft acoustic guitar songs, quieting the room to an awkward silence and giving the Chinese girl a chance to reconsider what she’s about to do. I’ve seen it happen, and it’s not pretty.

As a matter of fact, it’s happened to me. And so we have spent the better part of the last six months of our lives making sure it doesn’t happen to you. Because if it ever does, you won’t be able to say “Why the hell doesn’t my MP3 player just know what songs I want it to play?”

We’ve got you covered. Use the Brain.

Thanks, but no thanks. And to try to cover this up, a copy of his website has been excluded from the Internet Archive.


A class act all round. Perhaps eventually a Chinese girl married him for a reason other than his personality?


Inferring influenza infection from antibody titres using Bayesian mixture modelling

In Uncategorized on Monday 12th September, 2011 by Guy

venice.pdf Download this file

Yes, I know there’s a typo in the title on the first slide. Think of
it as a beauty spot.


How is Holon written in English?

In Uncategorized on Wednesday 1st June, 2011 by Guy



Behind the “Great” Firewall

In Uncategorized on Sunday 30th January, 2011 by Guy

The following seems quite apt as I sit in a freezing Starbucks in China, getting around the national Facebook-blocking firewall by the simple use of email.



Thesis submitted

In Uncategorized on Thursday 7th October, 2010 by Guy

Download now or preview on posterous

thesis.pdf (1033 KB)

I submitted my PhD thesis just over a week ago. If only to ensure it wasn't a dream, I'm putting it here so you can read it too (read it below). You can always see the most up-to-date version here (because I'm almost certainly going to have to change it before being granted that degree).

As a reward I am now planning a two-week trip through the south of France. I will post updates about this in the next few days…


Nauseating diplomat-speak; or, how not to sing your country’s praises, even if you’ve spent 3 seconds preparing your speech

In Uncategorized on Sunday 15th August, 2010 by Guy

I'm glad I have a strong constitution, otherwise I'd have started vomiting when I read this:

Israeli Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz is hoping that an original copy of Albert Einstein’s E=mc2 manuscript in his country’s pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo will prove the right formula to attract Chinese trade.


“E is energy, and we don’t have any oil to offer the world, and M is mass, or a massive number of consumers, and we can’t offer that either,” Steinitz said, speaking at the inauguration yesterday of the Israel pavilion. “C is speed of light though, and in Judaism, light represents wisdom, and that we can offer.”

Not much wisdom there, Mr. Steinitz. Who writes your speeches? Fire them, please. (Mr. Steinitz seems like an interesting character, though, despite this slip into atrocious trope-usage; for example, he published a very popular book about philosophy while he was under 30. Vote for him to be high in the Likud list! In 2008).