1 EAGLETON NOTES: April 2013



Monday 22 April 2013

How Often

does it happen that the thing you have lost turns up right in front of your nose?  In my case they were really just in front of my nose or my eyes anyway.  No I didn't lose my spectacles.  I lost the locks for my suitcase.  I couldn't find them when I flew to Northland.  I knew that I'd put them somewhere very safe where I couldn't fail to find them which made it all the more irritating.

I've just found them.  By accident.  I feel really really really (and a 3xreally is my ultimate expression of feeling for anything) silly.

They were here:

and here is at my eye level.  I see it every time I remove a key.

Saturday 20 April 2013

How Long Is A Coastline?

It's amazing what comes out of very simple thoughts.  I was embarking upon a post on A Hebridean in New Zealand with the statement that the coastline of New Zealand is [a number to be looked up] kilometres long.   When I came to look the figure up I discovered that it's not quite as simple as I thought.  The coastline of NZ varies in the Wikipedia article on List of countries by length of coastline from 9th place with a coastline 15,134 km long using one source to 17th place with a coastline 17,209 km long using another.  The first source was The World Factbook and the second The World Resources Institute.  If you happen to be interested in more detailed information then you can follow the links.  I've just spent a very interesting time doing just that.  It all boils down to the use of straight lines to measure the coastline and the length of those lines.  The shorter the line the more accurate the figure and the longer the coastline.

For those who play in pub quiz teams (here's one for you Meike) Canada has the longest coastline using either measurement.

How about this for an interesting (and totally useless) piece of information:  The country with the coastline to highest land mass ratio in the world is the Coral Sea Islands with a landmass >3 km², a coastline of 3,095 km and a land/coast ratio of  >1,000,000.  Next, wait for it, comes the Spratly Islands with a landmass >5 km², a coastline of 926 km and a land/coast ratio of  ≥200,000.

The where?  I have to confess never even having heard of the Spratly Islands.  It turns out that they are not a country as such and have no native inhabitants.  However about 45 of the islands are occupied by relatively small numbers of military forces from China, the Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, and Malaysia.

Well didn't you just want to know all that?

Sunday 14 April 2013

What Price Guarantee?

I was looking for a book.  As usual with a popular book in publication I went to Amazon UK first.  When I looked at the used copies I came across the following:  

+ £2.80UK delivery
Used - Very Good

My immediate reaction was to wonder why anyone would offer a 30 day money back guarantee on a book which could be read and returned with ease in that time.  Until it dawned on me that the guarantee  will only refer to the price of the book and not to the postage.  In fact in returning it one would have to pay significantly more.  It looks good though!

Saturday 13 April 2013

Lewis Weather - An Update

For the last  half dozen or more weeks the Isle of Lewis has had little or no rain.  Just like New Zealand's Hawkes Bay up to a week or so ago.  There, however, the similarity ends.  In Hawkes Bay the temperatures  have rarely been below the mid 20s ℃.  The same cannot be said for Lewis where it's been unseasonably cold.

A friend Dave who lives across the valley recently took these photos in the Lews Castle grounds.

I cannot ever recall seeing the grass so brown and dead this far into the spring.  Apparently the lambing ewes are having to be fed supplementary feeds.