Tower of London poppies

Today at the Tower of London…”Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red“. The moat is filled with ceramic poppies, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War (the First World War), with each poppy representing the fatality of each British and Commonwealth soldier in that war. tower-hill-2

Coinciding with the school holidays and the unexpectedly glorious weather today, throngs of people visited this commemoration. Busy it certainly was, and most were impressed with this sea of red.

Impressive, yes, but a time of reflection and remembrance was given.

The enemy of your enemy

Razib Khan’s thoughts on the Islamic states in the Middle East and their fundamental failings in modernity and morality. He also expresses the dangers of partnering with various states and groups.

I am not a fan of allying with an enemy of your enemy. We can be better than that.

Society of Homeopaths and PSA accreditation

The Society of Homeopaths has achieved PSA accreditation. Andy Lewis explains at:

http://www.quackometer.net/blog/2014/09/the-society-of-homeopaths-have-achieved-psa-accreditation.html

This accreditation purely about being competent to keep a registrar. It is not about efficacy of homeopathy. But Andy is right. Perception is everything, and the public need to be made more fully aware that homeopathy is junk (that placebo is at play), and that PSA accreditation actually has no bearing whatsoever with regard to medical treatments.

Victor Stenger – January 29, 1935 – August 27, 2014

Sad news of the death of Victor Stenger.

He was a big influence on me, particularly with respect to clarifying that science is a methodology of explaining observations, an explanation of reality through analysis of evidence, and that this encompasses all phenomena whatever their classification, be they so-called “supernatural” phenomena or other. In order words, the concept of “non overlapping magistaria” is a pile of crock.

Stenger’s book “God: The Failed Hypothesis” is one of those books that everyone should. A real classic.

My new road bike

I purchased a new road bike earlier last month. A Boardman Elite SLS 9.2.

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It’s very light and is fitted with Shimano Ultegra 6800 wheels, gears and brakes. Boardman call this a “sportive” bike in that the geometry is a bit more relaxed compared to a pure racer, and the rear is a little more compliant, so is relatively comfortable and suitable for road endurance cycling; these were the main factors in helping me to choose the new bike. Here’s Chris Boardman himself talking about the SLS platform:

It’s been a great bike so far, but having come from the mountain biking side of cycling, I’m still trying to get used to riding in the drops. Riding on the hoods are not a problem except that I need to learn how press the brake handles a little bit harder; a proper bike fitting is really required. I’ve also swapped out the tyres to 25mm Schwalbe One tyres which have held up well (no punctures!) even with gravel off-road cycling. Yes, this bike is doing fine.