Tuesday, 22 April 2014

It looks like this generation of #politicians "do religion"

Back in 2003 the Telegraph reported that "Alastair Campbell, Tony Blair's director of strategy and communications, intervened in a recent interview to prevent the Prime Minister from answering a question about his Christianity. "We don't do God," Mr Campbell interrupted".

But the times they appear to be changing - at least if you look at the various political party leaders' easter messages below.

Now it might be a sign of old age but I can't remember this level of Easter messaging going on before from UK political parties.  Which  - if true - raises the obvious question of what has changed? - some possible answers are ....

A) the next election is going to be very tight - religious affiliation is higher amongst older voters whose turnout rates at elections to vote is higher than younger people

B) the political parties have finally worked out that atheists are not a significant % of the population whereas agnostics or faith professing individuals are

C) like much else our politics is becoming americanized

whatever you think here are those happy easter messages

1st we had David Cameron's 9/4/14 happy easter message

then there was Nick Clegg's 14/4/14 happy easter message

then there was Ed Milliband's 18/4/14 Easter message  (I couldn't find a too camera piece)

then there was Nigel Farage on ITV's Daybreak saying Cameron was mimicking what Ukip had been saying for years (Telegraph article here),

Monday, 21 April 2014

#socialmedia & #death - 10 things you may not have thought about #DORS (ht @drbexl )

a summary of some thoughts from #DORS - a Death Online Research Symposium by Durham University held on 9-10 April 2014.  (and ht to @drbexl and her post at digitalfingerprint for the source info from which I made this summary)

In pre-industrial society, the most common death would be a child, mourned by their household and a community that knew them. Walter
In the 20th century, this changes: typical death is an old person, whose family have moved away & neighbours didn't know them. Walter
Tony Walter's keynote at - mourning on Facebook is similar to mourning in pre-industrial age: mourning in and with your networks
"There's a lot to be said for private grief" - online, public mourning can lead to abuse, conflict and trolling. Walter at
@DamienMcC_dli at : "Facebook user profiles after death: digital inheritance or property of the network?"

0 Apr 2014

5) Visibility of a deceased person’s content remains as it was set by the account holder while alive

: links supporting my presentation: paper > http://ijlit.oxfordjournals.org/content/early/2013/09/25/ijlit.eat012.full.pdf+html  blog on recent changes >http://damienmccdli.wordpress.com/2014/03/27/a-look-back-at-facebooks-evolving-deceased-user-policy/ 
At a young man's funeral, no friends attended - because the family didn't have his passwords and couldn't contact anyone. Simon Allen
- Facebook provides memorial pages http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/facebook/6445152/Facebook-introduces-memorial-pages-to-prevent-alerts-about-dead-members.html  .. Some feel is another reminder that actually dead & page not 'lifelike'

8) How will others receive your digital estate inheritance? 

RT @drbexl: up til 5-10 years ago memories were physical and easy to access ... Now many memories hidden behind passwords..

physical stuff can only get inherited by one person, but much digital = endlessly replicable... [no legal restraints?]
Game for teens to explore the metaphysics of death http://playtheend.com 

11:54 AM - 10 Apr 2014

Thursday, 17 April 2014


found via boingboing

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

the uk & chernobyl - the situation in 1997 - so whats it like now? - 5 things re the 1997 stats to think about

 the source of the summary below is the ever excellent uk parliament notes

1) 7 years later (1997), areas of the UK remained contaminated with radioactive fall-out from Chernobyl, to the extent that the movement and slaughter of almost 1/2 million sheep on more than 600 farms were still subject to restrictions.

2) the average Chernobyl fallout dose per person in Cumbria was 6 times the UK average.

3) Radioac­tive caesium can remain unbound if it is readily taken up by plants and thence into animals. Caesium can then become continuously recycled; i.e. excreted by animals, re-incorporated into plants, re-ingested by animals and so on. The following soil factors all tend to increase caesium uptake into plants (and thus animals): Low clay content; High acidity; Low mineral (especially potassium) content; high organic content - this retains 'free' caesium near the surface (where it is taken up by roots) ; Waterlogging - increases the ‘pool’ of mobile caesium

4) Earlier experience with caesium fallout from nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s and '60s suggests that upland soils may take as long as 30 years to immobilise most of the caesium

5) Since Chernobyl it has become increasingly apparent that many of the 60 or so nuclear reactors of Soviet design still operating in East­ern and Central Europe do not conform to Western standards. The main safety concerns relate to inad­equate containment and emergency core cooling sys­tems, although there are also doubts about standards of construction and operating methods (which may lead to premature ageing of the reactor).

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

#10 ways to lose great staff members

 1) Don’t give them a voice in strategic direction.

2) Don’t give them freedom to fail boldly.

for the other 8 go here