Archive for February, 2014

WM Briggs: From Latin & Greek To Remedial English

February 24, 2014 Leave a comment

Briggs has posted an article bemoaning how education has changed, many will agree. This produced a wonderful series of comments as apt this side of the Atlantic.

Such as

Gary on 22 February 2014 at 10:49 am said: That’s pretty much the reason. Education over the last century has evolved from a cottage industry to a mass manufacturing process (e.g., my rural town closed its one-room school houses in 1952 and developed a regional system as the population grew). Quality assurance never achieved 100% success, but in the old days academic failures could rely on the need for a manual labor force. Failure is more obvious today. Academic successes have always had a greater field of opportunity.
The mistake is to think of education as a mass production effort. It’s really artistry sculpting one student at a time. And production depends primarily on the motivation of the product itself, as your example illustrates. Those who run the current system, except for the homeschoolers perhaps, are too removed from the objects of their concern to do an adequate job for most of them. The unstated truth is that we actually educate ourselves, using the guidance of others. We don’t open skulls and pour in knowledge.

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Categories: Minder

UK Winter 2013/2014 storms

February 17, 2014 2 comments

Figure 1

Figure 1 (click for larger) is showing surface level air movement from weather GCM. The stuck cold air mass over North America is part of a lack of rotation of the polar air mass leading to a stuck Atlantic circulation bringing repeated storms to Northern Europe where the energy is from the ocean circa Caribbean but with a back feed from the coast of Africa. Around and around. The parallel red arrows are showing where cyclone and anti-cyclone meet, to the left there is a sharp merge of three flows, an unstable region, the shear point is where the St Jude’s day storm formed.


Figure 2 (click for 2.3MB animation)


Figure 3 (click for 1.44MB animation)

Two GIF animations, figure 2 for wind including figure 1, figure 3 for rain. Click to open full size and activate.

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Categories: analysis, weather

Met Office spurious sea level claim

February 15, 2014 2 comments


Link to XLS download (15kB, Excel 97/2003)

During January 2014 the Met Office promoted a forecast claim of 11-16cm sea level rise by 2030. This failed external review and was replaced by asserting the mistake was omitting to mention the rise was from a 24 year old reference date.

The Met Office changed their text by mentioning 1990 but omitted (at time of writing) to recompute the claimed sea level rise which sensibly must be from today, not 24 years ago.

An earlier part of the saga is linked here

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Categories: analysis, sea level