Friday, 27 January 2012

Yellowhammers Friday night Viewing

Studio Ghibli:

The Clock family are four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family's residence, borrowing simple items to make their home. Life changes for the Clocks when their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered...

'Karigurashi No Arrietty' (Arrietty the Borrower) is the directing debut of Hiromasa Yonebayashi, who has served as an animator on several prior Ghibli films. The film is adapted from Mary Norton's The Borrowers, a novel Hayao Miyazaki and Isao Takahata have tried to develop for decades.

Next up Yellowhammer wants to see Night of Taneyamagahara...

Beautiful drawing.


Tuesday, 24 January 2012

Otter Birth Totem

Photos selected by Yellowhammer.

If your birthday falls between January 20th and February 18th, your birth totem is the Otter. You were born under the element of air during the Rest and Cleansing Moon with Waboose (White Buffalo) acting as your Spirit Guide throughout your lifetime. You have a strong connection to the winds of the North and you belong to the Butterfly Clan

You are active physically, mentally, and emotionally because of your connection with the Butterfly Clan. 
You find new and unusual ways of doing things and like Air you are always shifting and moving much like the Butterfly. Butterfly people look for ways to serve the people and usually help others in the healing of mind, body, and spirit.

But what does Otter bring you as your birth totem? Whether you are male or female, Otter looks at your feminine energy. Yes, guys, everyone has a feminine side to their inner being. Sister Otter teaches us the importance of balancing our energies.

We learn from the playful otter have a space where others can enter our lives without being judged with suspicion or any preconceived barriers. 
Otter is never jealous or catty. 
The Sisterhood of humans allows for us to believe that all accomplishments are beneficial for the entire tribe and should be celebrated. It does not matter whether you had the accomplishment or your neighbor had it.

Otter swims through the river of life spreading joy in her playful ways and her receptive nature.

Monday, 23 January 2012


Providing there was access to clean water and a stove, Id move in tomorrow !

Sunday, 22 January 2012


Riesling is a traditional grape found along the Rhine river. It was first grown in Germany in the 15th century and in Alsace, France a few decades later. Riesling covers now roughly 25% of the vineyards in Alsace.
Riesling is the most elegant grape of the Alsace region. It gives dry, neat, graceful and well-balanced wine. Riesling is known to be the finest Alsace wine.

Wine has a light yellow green colour. Older riesling have strong mineral aromas while younger wines offer flowery notes.
Riesling is brilliant with fish, shell-fish, poultry, cold meat, Sauerkraut, Coq au Vin.

Keith Floyd tastes Alsace REisling with JP:

Do not confuse with German Riesling which is mostly a sweet wine but can also be a dry or a sparkling wine.

Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Logical Fallacy Nugget

Two more to think about :

  • Fallacy of accident or sweeping generalization: a generalization that disregards exceptions.
    • Example
      Argument: Cutting people is a crime. Surgeons cut people, therefore, surgeons are criminals.
      Problem: Cutting people is only sometimes a crime.
       The exception does not break nor define the rule; a dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid (where an accountable exception is ignored).

  • Converse fallacy of accident or hasty generalization: argues from a special case to a general rule.
    • Example
      Argument: Every person I've met speaks English, so it must be true that all people speak English.
      Problem: Those who have been met are not a representative subset of the entire set.
    • Also called reverse accident, destroying the exception, a dicto secundum quid ad dictum simpliciter

Friday, 13 January 2012

Thinking is Critical.

Critical thinking is vital to ensure certainty of correct conclusions in the face of presented arguments. It consists of several methods to establish whether what is being said is truthful.

The Ancient Greeks (Socrates et al)  developed many rules of logical thought processing,  which were taught actively in schools up to the medieval period within the Trivium structure of learning . 

"To the medieval mind, debate was a fine art, a serious science, and a fascinating entertainment, much more than it is to the modern mind, because the medievals believed, like Socrates, that dialectic could uncover truth. Thus a ‘scholastic disputation’ was not a personal contest in cleverness, nor was it ‘sharing opinions’; it was a shared journey of discovery"

IT Programming revolves around truth being established. It uses logical structures (posited by Aristotle) to create logic gates to ensure computers process information correctly :
1 AND 1 = TRUE
1 OR 0 = TRUE
0 OR 0 = FALSE

To be able to pick out Logical Fallacies in conversation is one aspect of good CT anyone can master. I will post several as other posts progress.
Straw man and Begging the question are two phrases we use but may have no idea what they are - they are both expressions of Logical Fallacy - put simply -  a daft argument .
  • Straw man: A straw man argument is an informal fallacy based on misrepresentation of an opponent's position.
    • Example

      Person A: Sunny days are good.
      Person B: If all days were sunny, we'd never have rain, and without rain, we'd have famine and death. Therefore, you are wrong.
      Problem: B has misrepresented A's claim by falsely suggesting that A claimed that only sunny days are good, and then B refuted the misrepresented version of the claim, rather than refuting A's original assertion. ie they have taken a hit at the straw figure not the original argument.

Stop begging the question !
  •  Begging the Question:  demonstrates a conclusion by means of premises that assume that conclusion.
    • Example

      Argument: George always tells the truth, I know this because he told me so.
      Problem: George may be lying. (and was)
    • Also called Petitio Principii, Circulus in Probando, arguing in a circle, assuming the answer. Begging the question does not preclude the possibility that the statement is incorrect, and it is not sufficient proof in and of itself.

It is no coincidence that most politicians have legal backgrounds which involve high level training in critical thinking....unfortunately this is often used to ensure issues are clouded rather than revealed.  
There is an A-level in Critical Thinking available, but the techniques are mainly now only encouraged at Oxbridge and Durham where small tutorial discussions take place.
Socratic questionning is used a lot in schools, but the teachers themselves are not trained in critical thinking, so it doesn't often lead anywhere useful in terms of learning and independent thought in students.

There is a lot of concern in steering children towards 'correct' conclusions based on current emotions in society. Global Warming is one of the largest areas currently in the public domain where critical thinking is not being applied.

There is one for Greenpeace here with several logical fallacies labelled.
This is not to say Global warming is a fallacy per se - but whether it is human caused, or able to be solved by humans (in part or whole) is another matter.  I hope we can. No need to ply us or our children with anger, guilt and disinformation in the process is there..?

One major effect of CT is a feeling of ownership or ideas or principles. There is a marked drop in educated adults feeling problems or issues are in their realm of understanding or influence, because they have not been encouraged to own the problems, but instead continually await a decision from on high, even for topics that do not require specialist knowledge.

A 1995 study found there to be a genuine lack of critical thinking amongst the post graduate and general population. [Leon Gardiner]

There has been a resurgence in the realisation of the need for CT more recently thankfully, for without it we are at the mercy of pure emotion and illogical falsehoods.

Dorothy L Sayers argues a return to old style education in 1947- I think it is safe to say further decline has happened since then ..

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Thursday, 5 January 2012


Unlike most English counties that were divided into hundreds, Yorkshire, being so large, was divided first into thrithjungar (an Old Norse word meaning 'third parts'), which were called the three ridings (East, North & West) and, later, the City of York (which lay within the city walls and was not part of any riding). Each riding was then divided into wapentakes, a division comparable to the hundreds of Southern England and the wards of England's four northern-most historic counties.

The word 'York' comes from the Latin name for the city, variously rendered as Eboracum, Eburacum or Eburaci. The first mention of York by this name is dated to c. 95–104 AD as an address on a wooden stylus tablet from the Roman fortress of Vindolanda in Northumberland.
Archaeological evidence suggests that Mesolithic people settled in the region of York between 8000 and 7000 BC, although it is not known whether these settlements were permanent or temporary. By the time of the Roman conquest of Britain, the area was occupied by a tribeBrigantes. The Brigantian tribal area initially became a Roman client state, but, later its leaders became more hostile to Rome. As a result the Roman Ninth Legion was sent north of the Humber into Brigantian territory. 
[Trib. Wikipeas]

Recommended Links

Save some Stones in Thornborough this Thor'sday...

Tuesday, 3 January 2012

The rising and setting Sun.

The Sun rises in the East and sets in the West, yes?...NO.  It only does this at two points in our year.

Equinox - sun rises due east and sets due west.  
These are around 21 MAR and 21 SEP in the Northern Hemisphere - they are the days of equal day and night hours.  In between it gets darker and lighter as the tilted earth moves one cycle around the sun. If the earth did not tilt we would not have Seasons.

Winter solstice - Shortest Daylight hours at midwinter around 21 DEC....There is a  low arc as we tilt away from sun in northern hemisphere - sun rises nearer south east and sets nearer south west - ie it arcs over the south - at midday the sun will indicate which way is south.

Summer solstice - Midsummer is around 21 JUN . There is a higher arc so sun seems higher overhead at midday - rises nearer north east, sets nearer north west.