According to this story, LT1 seems to be having a good time in the United States.
Surprisingly, it seems to have lost the green hybrid logos!
Yesterday, I went to Moorfields Eye Hospital for an eye test.
Not your average eye test, but one that was part of a study to test new diagnosis methods, rather more than my eyes. The eyes incidentally, seemed to be much the same as ever.
What I found interesting was how far the new equipment is moving down a patient-friendly route and the more things they could tell you.
As an example, with my eyes, I hate the standard ‘puff of air’ test, that checks the fluid pressure inside your eye. If you want to read more on what is called ocular tonometry, it’s here on Wikipedia. I had a test from a new instrument, that was much kinder to my sensitive eyes. So that one instrument, seems a big improvement.
I also had a visual field test on the state of the art perimeter. There’s more on perimetry here. This was to compare with the results found on some of the new methods they tried in another test.
I had the same test in Cambridge in 2010, soon after I had the stroke. Unfortunately, they didn’t send me the results. Surely, it’s about time, that we all had an NHS account, where we could access all of our notes, X-rays and tests. I shall be trying to get those field vision results from Addenbrooke’s, as it would be nice to know, if my eyes have got worse.
Even a chain of opticians like Vision Express can’t access results of tests performed in one shop from another. That is apparently down to the Data protection Act. How stupid is that?
This is the second University research project, in which I’ve collaborated. The other was respect to widowhood at Liverpool University.
I would like to get involved in more, as research is something, I feel will be the saviour of this world.
Perhaps we need a web site, where people could register, to say they would be prepared to take part in research, that universities could tap into for volunteers.
Both the research projects I’ve been involved in, have been non-invasive and the worst danger I’ve faced is probably crossing the road to get to Moorfields. I suspect too, that much of the medical research in the next few years, will be of this non-invasive nature. I recently had a request from Liverpool University, looking for gay men, who had suffered bereavement, for a study. This is the sort of project for which a national database of possible participants would be a great help.
It was interesting to see how yesterday, one instrument was virtually a laptop in a frame. The boundaries between specialist professions like doctors, vets and dentists, and those like engineers and computer scientists, are getting very porous.
If you wanted to get money out of someone else’s bank account, all you need to do is login to their computer and have the equipment necessary to perform a transfer.
My bank account is probably as secure as any other, but I never keep my card reader and the card together. Admittedly, all card readers for Nationwide are the same, but my passwords are only written in my brain.
But if you did manage to login, you could perform a transfer to your bank account, but it would probably require me to give in to threats to release the passwords.
But with a site like Zopa or Ratesetter and probably many others, where the only transfer out of the account can be to the bank account, where the money came from in the first place, you’d have quite a problem getting round the security measures. The very fact, that they exist, would probably mean you’d try to crack a more mainstream system, like an account with one of the major banks.
It illustrates how often a simple absolute rule, is often a much more secure method of protection, than something based on complicated hardware and tortuous passwords.
Read it, remember the salient points and if you don’t swallow the message about the banks, you don’t deserve to have your savings protected. Take this statement from Giles.
A lot of banking is in a black box and consumers don’t really know what happens. Give your money to Barclays, in a savings account, and god knows that happens to it. Is it going half way round the world to buy some weird book of securities, or is it being lent to a small business in Sheffield?
A lot of people put their money in the Co-operative Bank because of reasons like this.
I just bought a ticket on Southern Railway. As ever, I will pick up the ticket from an automatic machine, before I travel.
I noticed that it said on the site that the method I chose was the preferred one for UK and Overseas customers.
If this is true and I’ve no reason to doubt it isn’t, then say an Australian booking a ticket in the UK, should do the following.
1. Ascertain the train company, who handle the route he wants to travel. The National Rail Enquiries web site, tells you this, when you check train times.
2. Go to that company’s web site and book your ticket, paying for it with a debit/credit card. Note that the actual company seems to always give the best price and often, you’ll find a special deal. Using an intermediate company is inevitably more expensive and they all seem to be generators of unwanted e-mails to your Inbox.
3. When booking, elect to pick up the ticket, any time before you start your journey. you need to chose a station, but it’s not important as tickets can be picked up at any station with a machine.
4. Make certain, you note the 8-character booking reference, the card you used and the journey you booked.
5. As you can pick up the tickets two hours after booking, probably by the time you arrive in the UK, that limit will have expired, so perhaps it’s a good idea to go and get all your tickets at a quiet time soon after arriving. Even if the company you specifically want doesn’t accept foreign credit cards, it certainly looks that some do.
This story in the Daily Mail and other newspapers suggests we are. Here’s the first few sentences.
It was an era of glorious scientific discovery.
And the reason for the Victorians unprecedented success is simple – they were ‘substantially cleverer’ than us.
Researchers compared reaction times – a reliable indicator of general intelligence – since the late 1800s to the present day and found our fleetness of mind is diminishing.
They claim our slowing reflexes suggest we are less smart than our ancestors, with a loss of 1.23 IQ points per decade or 14 IQ points since Victorian times.
As the study was done, by three universities, I won’t argue with their findings.
But it does make you think!
There are now so many factors in our modern life and the way we bring up and educate children, that without decent research we won’t know why. and we can’t go back and do experiments on our Victorian ancestors.
This report from the BBC shows that the Japanese do things differently.
A prominent Japanese politician has described as “necessary” the system by which women were forced to become prostitutes for World War II troops.
Osaka Mayor Toru Hashimoto said the “comfort women” gave soldiers putting their lives at risk a chance “to rest”.
He also said last year, that Japan needed a dictatorship.
I would hope that any British, American or European politician, who made statements like this, would be promptly booted out of office.
Twice now in the last three months, I’ve been late with credit card payments. Nothing serious, but I got an extra charge of £12.00. I think it happened, as did the other one, because I tend to pay my credit cards all at the same time at the end of the month, when my American Express Card comes in and I’ve just had my pension payment.
So as I was flush at that time, I paid off most of the debt on the card. But apparently, I paid too early in the last accounting period or something.
The last time, it happened on another card, they phoned me to say why hadn’t I paid. When I said what about the extra payment they gave it back.
But how many of us, get caught out by rules, that need to be read by a lawyer with a fine tooth comb?
What would help, would be the ability to define your payment date on your credit card. I seem to remember doing this many years in the past. Zopa incidentally, allows this when you borrow and even allows you to change the date, due to a change of circumstances.
In some ways I’m getting my own back. For travel, hotels and large purchases, I now use my American Express card and for small ones, I now use cash. The problem is Waitrose, where their self-service tills don’t take cash. Marks and Spencer and Sainsbury, who both have better tills, do.
I went back to Pizza Express at the Angel, this evening.
No problems at all, but the pizza seemed to be better than the last time. Not that it was bad in any way then.
The waitress was a bit worried that I drank the Aspall Cyder, as it is not marked as gluten-free on their menu.
I have had assurances from one of the owners of the manufacturers that it is gluten-free. But even if it is not, it certainly doesn’t affect me.
Last summer, I had a full allergy test, to try to get to the bottom of my rhinitis. They couldn’t find any traces of gluten in my body, and as I drink quite a bit of Aspall cyder, it would have showed up positive, if any gluten had been present.
You can’t blame the waitress for being careful. But I just don’t like the Green’s beer!
Anyway, I was conceived in Suffolk, just like Aspall’s cyder.
As I write this post, I’ve got another bottle of Aspall on the go!
There is a good review of peer-to-peer lending in The Times today. One of the most significant things of the piece is that Google has taken a small stake in Lending club. There’s more on the Google deal here.
The banks might not like it, but the writing is on the wall.
Today, I’ve started to move my working deposit account to Zopa.