Sunday, April 19, 2015

England's Temperature in 2014

2014 was UK's hottest year on record, says Met Office. What does that mean on a day to day basis? England has a collected data on daily temperature from 1772 in the Hadley Centre Central England Temperature (HadCET) dataset.

According to wikipedia, last year was the hottest year in this dataset with an average temperature of 10.94 °C.

I downloaded this Hadley Centre dataset. And I followed this tutorial. Based on an original graphic by Tufte. The picture is similar to the one from my post on Dublin's 2014 Weather.

Looking at the black line that represents last years temperatures it was the winter and autumn that were far above average. Instead of a scorching hot summer the three record hot days were in October and December. No day in 2014 was the coldest for that date in the recorded time.

The wikipedia page on this dataset shows the average temperature of this dataset rising over time

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Peak Loom Band

I was talking to the owner of a craft shop today. She told me she knew of many people who were stuck with stock from the loom band craze of last year. Waterford Whispers reported it as "Parents Urged To Hack Off Any Child’s Arm That Comes In Contact With Loom Bands".

A Google Trends shows the craze's lifespan

By the end of summer all that was left was a bin of tiny plastic hoops at bargain prices. Are crazes lasting less time now?

The Age Of Earthquakes points out

Crazes end. This is not like the Tulip or the South Seas Bubble. I don't remember hearing people would get rich selling loom band to each other. Unlike the way Beanie babies were sold as an investment. The sort of thing you could split up during a divorce

BTW she thinks Parachute Cord will be the next craze

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Photographing your food and everything else

Who was the first person to photograph all their meals? It seems a reasonably common thing now "26 out of 45 customers spend an average of 3 minutes taking photos of the food."
First Camera, Then Fork discussed the taking photos of your food phenomena but doesn't describe who initiated it.
But who was the first person to start photographing all their meals? Or indeed all their activities. Obviously its much cheaper for us to do now with smartphones but was there an eccentric Victorian lord who photographed everything? Life loggers have been around since the 1990s. I'd be surprised if none of them deliberately photographed their food at the time.
“Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you what you are.” Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin in 1825.

If food photos are much more popular how about all photos? How many photos are taken a day and how does that compare with in the past?

Facebook Photo uploads total 300 million per day
Instagram averages 70 million photos a day
Flickr 1 million photo shares a day
Photobucket says "More than 2.25 million images are shared daily"
There is a buzzfeed page on photo stats How Many Photos Have Been Taken Ever?
It’s estimated only a few million pictures were taken in the 80 years before the first commercial camera was introduced.
"By 1930, about a billion photos were taken a year." So in three days more photos are being uploaded onto facebook/instagram than then taken in the world in the 1930s.
"By 1970, about 10 billion photos were taken a year." Or a month of photos being put up onto facebook/instagram.
This article "This is What the History of Camera Sales Looks Like with Smartphones Included" has a great graph that explains why this huge increase in photo taking.

Friday, April 03, 2015

Smoky cooking is worse than war

Over 4 million people die prematurely from illness attributable to the household air pollution from cooking with solid fuels.
that is according the WHO.

Compare that to other things we worry more about
Road traffic injuries 1,274845
Suicide 844 460
War 70,000
Murder 430,000

'the number of war deaths has also plummeted. In the 1950s, there were almost 250 deaths caused by war per million people. Now, there are less than 10 per million' With 7 billion people in the world that would be 70,000 per year. '437,000 people murdered worldwide in 2012'
The war statistic is a bit misleading as things go be very quiet until a big one kicks off.

Still the idea that instead of sitting around camp fires singing peace protest songs we should sing campfire protest songs was surprising to me.

Thursday, April 02, 2015

Farage's Claims about HIV in the UK

Labout leader Ed Miliband called out UKIP leader Nigel Farage here on a hiv claim

The claim is reported here as
Nigel Farage has lashed out at NHS treatment for foreign HIV patients – branding them “health tourists”. The UK Independence Party leader made the claims in ITV’s leadership debate this evening. He said: “Here’s a fact, and I’m sure other people will be mortified that I dare to talk about it. “There are 7000 diagnoses in this country every year for people who are HIV positive, but 60 percent of them are not for British nationals.

To break this down "In 2012, there were 6,360 new diagnoses of HIV". "There were 6,000 people (4,480 men and 1,520 women) newly diagnosed with HIV in the UK in 2013". The 7000 figure sounds high. Lets see what data is produced to back this up.

"60 percent of them are not for British nationals."
Thanks to Roma in the comments who pointed out 'new diagnoses reported among people born in the UK ... to 46% (2,220/4,980))' from the 2014 report. This is not a nationality figure. But it is pretty close to one. Some born in the UK won't be British Nationals and a fair few born abroad will be. A graph from here shows

Implying from ethnicity to nationality does not really work I think. But it does make the 60% claim look like it needs more evidence. The figure for Asians and Black Caribbean's is about 500 or under 10%.
Another vaguely nationality source of data I can find is from HIV in the United Kingdom: 2013 Report Appendix 1 total men+women African born 11,100+20,700 out of 98,400 which is about a third of HIV carries in the UK seem to be African born heterosexuals. Again with the assumption that all African born people are not British nationals.

To me these claims, of 7000 new cases and 60% of them not British Nationals, look dubious but I am open to evidence correcting me.