Ephemerides

A journal of sorts to record Jonathan Sturm's (and others') thoughts and observations on things worth thinking about. Feedback welcome, but be aware that unless you prominently say you want your communication kept private, I may publish it.


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Monday 16 October

Some changes to the way these pages are organised following suggestions from Joe Hartman. Many thanks to Joe for suggesting using a redirector to allow links to older Ephemerides to remain intact. As with all things computer, I expect this to work "sort of" until I iron things out. Any difficulties experienced by readers are down to me, not Joe.

I was taken to task for my comment yesterday when I wrote, "so much for global warming" having noted that it was snowing. Quite rightly, too! My comment was meant to be tongue in cheek, but I did not make that obvious. Mind you, our expected daytime maximum temperature at this time of year is 15-21°C not 3-6! Brrrrrrr!

On 1 July 1841, Thomas Lempriere, the Deputy Commissary General of Her Majesty's Penal Colony at Port Arthur, Van Diemen's Land struck a benchmark on the Isle of the Dead, a small island just off the coast in a sheltered bay. Six weeks earlier the renowned Antarctic explorer, Captain Sir James Clark Ross (after whom the Ross Sea was named) had suggested that they make a mark to indicate the current mean sea level, or Zero Point of the Sea as they called it. The two men both believed it would be of momentous scientific significance for decades, or even generations to come.

In the 1980s, community historian Richard Lord examined archives from the convict era to establish the purpose of the strange mark, and to find out who put it there.  His 1985 edition of The Isle of the Dead - Port Arthur included a few discreet pages about the Lempriere/Ross benchmark; just another little human interest story to enhance his book about this mysterious little islet.

"And then the scientific establishment descended on Port Arthur, alerted to the significance of a sea level benchmark dated in 1841, the oldest known such benchmark in the world, and positioned in possibly the most ideal location for such an important reference point. Since 1985, it has attracted the attention of the University of Sydney, the University of Tasmania, the University of Southampton, the University of Canberra, and the Commonwealth Science and Industry Research Organisation (CSIRO), (the CSIRO being Australia's largest scientific research institution).

It has been the subject of expensive research, the CSIRO having installed a new state-of-the-art acoustic tide gauge at the small Port Arthur jetty in June 1998 to use as a comparison with the 1841 benchmark. There are on-going GPS satellite studies of Tasmanian landforms, and major archival searches in London which resulted in the discovery of Lempriere's lost tidal data. In the last few weeks, the CSIRO has even installed GPS positioning buoys in the seas around southeastern Tasmania including Port Arthur and the `Isle of the Dead', their purpose being to more closely monitor sea levels.

Lempriere's rediscovered tidal data has been subjected to intense analysis, the results and details of which have not yet been made public. However, the CSIRO confirms privately that the data accurately matches hindcasting estimates of the tides in 1841, thus validating Lempriere's measurements."

The IPCC in its 1995 report claims that sea levels have already risen 10 to 25 centimetres this century alone yet Lempriere's mark stands a full 35 cm above current mean sea level. Estimated total uplift since the benchmark was struck in 1841 is somewhere between 3 cm and 10 cm, insufficient to explain the 35 cm gap between present MSL and the benchmark. Dr David Pugh (University of Southampton) claims Lempriere decided to strike the mark, not at the MSL point as Ross described, but instead struck it at a height where the estimated next high tide was likely to be. He was unlikely to have waited until twilight, the time of the high tide that day.

Since the Governor of Van Diemen's Land, Sir John Franklin, was himself personally interested in this project, any backsliding from the original plan outlined by Ross would have landed Lempriere in some difficulty with his superiors. One wonders why Lempriere would have bothered with his meticulous recording and calculation had he not intended to use those numbers. Pugh also hints that Ross had a drinking problem and was suffering from depression at the time without proffering any evidence.

The above synopsis and quotes from John Daly's Still Waiting for Greenhouse. The Isle of the Dead article here.

For those of us old enough to remember, climatologists were warning of an impending new ice age in the 1970s. The switch to global warming came in 1979. The story by Richard Courtney here.

And some computer humour:

Drug Dealers Software Developers
Refer to their clients as "users". Refer to their clients as "users".
"The first one's free!" "Download a free trial version"
Have important Asian connections. Have important Asian connections.
Strange jargon: Strange jargon:
"Stick" "SCSI"
"Rock" "RTFM"
"Wrap" "Packet"
"E" "C"
"Stash" "Cache"
"Drive-by" "CTRL ALT DEL"
"Hit (LSD)" "Hit (WWW)"
"Source" "Source-code"
"The Pigs" "Microsoft"
Realize that there's tons of cash in the 14 to 25 year-old market. Realize that there's tons of cash in the 14 to 25 year-old market.
Clients really like your stuff when it works. When it doesn't work they want to kill you. Clients really like your stuff when it works. When it doesn't work they want to kill you.
Job is assisted by the industry's producing newer, more potent product. Job is assisted by the industry's producing newer, more potent product.
Often seen in the company of pimps, hustlers and low-lifes. Often seen in the company of marketing people, venture capitalists and fund managers.
When things go wrong, a "fix" is just a phone call away, but may be expensive. When things go wrong, a "fix" is just a phone call away, but may be expensive.
A lot of people are getting rich while still teenagers. A lot of people are getting rich while still teenagers.
Product causes unhealthy addictions. DOOM, Quake, SimCity, Duke Nukem 3D...
The first thing that you learn is that you spend an awful lot of the time waiting. The first thing that you learn is that you spend an awful lot of the time waiting.
Do your job well and you can sleep with sexy movie stars who depend on you. Damn! Damn!! DAMN!!!

Thought for the day:

The only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.

Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel


Tuesday 17 October

The book about the Irish Rebels I wrote about on Saturday is Patsy Adam-Smith's Heart of Exile. Thomas Nelson Australia, 1986. And there were seven of them, not five.

An interesting and unexpected take on the Arab/Israeli conflict from Joseph Farah, an American Arab.

A very hard frost this morning. Killed the potatoes and young grape vine shoots. Some winters we get no killing frosts at all. A killing frost in mid-spring is a very hard thing. Only the peas, broad beans and some asparagus shoots survived. Everything else looks burnt.

This morning was spent with the plumber and electrician. Thursday I go negotiate price of the steel for the house. We have started the house project again after a 6 week hiatus.  

Thought for the day:

If you want to make peace, you don't talk to your friends. You talk to your enemies.

Moshe Dayan


Wednesday 18 October

I received this from Bo Leuf:

But of course, I was just pointing out the (implied) misconception most have that "average getting warmer" (climate) means "always warmer in any given location" (weather). We have some nice correlation figures in this part of the world showing increasing frequency and amplitude of extreme winds with rising average temperature. The same goes for those who track hurricanes or tornado formation. More energy = more extreme weather = more extremes of cold and hot.

I would agree that we don't have enough data on hand to say terribly much about the relative importance of human activities on long-term climate, compared with other non-human ones, except that there must be some effect -- not clear yet in which overall direction. In either camp, whenever I hear emphatic denunciations of theories from the other side, I am justifiably sceptic. In the end, one will probably find that there are elements of truth in either stance, but that the whole depends on as yet undiscovered factors or relationships.

The feedback systems regulating climate are many and complex, poorly understood, and work over a wide range of timespans. Fortunately or unfortunately (depending on your view), the resulting whole evidently has several kinds of hysteresis thresholds that mean even small additional changes can trigger large-scale run-away swings into new meta-stable states -- ice ages being a fascinating case in point. This makes the study of what incremental changes mean long-term very difficult to judge.

Used to be climate study seemed to have the same impact on our lives as cosmology or palaeontology; the time spans involved were just too long to really be grasped or have human relevance. It's been interesting to see the shift in view with the realization that climatic shifts can occur over a lifetime given the right situations. Then we have all the wildcards such as massive volcanic eruptions, impacting Near Earth objects, solar cycles, and so on -- like the intriguing suggestion that the European "Dark Ages" were in part caused by massive crop failures due to a "small" impact in China.

All of this is entirely reasonable. However the climate debate at the Waiting for Greenhouse site is one about good science versus junk science and the Global Warming scenario seems to be clearly in the latter category. 

The surface temperature record on which the proposition is based is severely flawed. Large areas of the planet do not have proper temperature records, the oceans in particular. For the purposes of classification, a town with a population of 50,000 is considered to be rural and have no heat island effect! There is a measurable heat island effect with 100 dwellings. 

The comparisons that show Global Warming are always with the 1960s, the coldest decade this century, and the depths of the Little Ice Age between the 16th and 18th centuries. A millennium ago, temperatures were as high as now. There was commercial grape production in Britain for instance. The existence of the Little Ice Age and the Mediaeval Warm Period are now being denied by the Global Warming proponents because the computer models cannot hindcast those events. They are now said to be local rather than global events in order to shore up the computer models. The problem is that the evidence from lake and ocean sediments, tree ring records and ice cores, says different.

The most serious flaw of the global climate models (GCMs) is that they take no account of the most important greenhouse gas, water vapour, or clouds. The models use quite huge areas (5° by 5° boxes) in order to be able to perform the calculations; they are very compute intensive and require powerful supercomputers. The kind of massively parallel processing we are using for SETI@home won't work; this is serial as well as serious computing. The sample boxes are far too large to include clouds, the behaviour of which is poorly understood anyway.

GCMs leave out several known influences on climate, either because they are not yet understood, or because there is insufficient computational power even at the coarse level they use. To compensate, the model is arbitrarily trimmed and tweaked to create a temperature curve that fits observation over the course of the 20th century. The model is then used to predict temperatures over the course of the next few centuries. What the modellers did not want you to know is that when run backwards, the temperatures bear no resemblance to reality. After the cat was let out of the bag, instead of admitting the shortcomings of the models, the modellers went on the attack. 

Historic temperatures are measured through proxies. Tree ring growth, relative isotope proportions in ice cores and lakebed sediments are typical proxies of atmospheric constituents and temperatures. By and large these all agree with each other. A major incongruence occurs between the surface, satellite and radio sonde balloon temperatures of the late 20th century. Satellite recording began in 1979.

Note that the satellite and sonde balloons agree with each other, but not with the surface record. Interestingly there is agreement between the satellite/sonde and surface records in the United States, the Arctic, the Antarctic and other places. The main source of variance is from what was the USSR and the patchy records from oceanic records. The GCMs all predict greater warming at the poles than the equator or mid latitudes. Charles "Chick" F. Keller, (Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics/University of California) attributes the lack of congruity to the "unusual weather conditions" at the poles.

One of the problems of the debate is that it seems common sense that if carbon dioxide warms the planet through the greenhouse effect, then more carbon dioxide should produce more warming. The problem is, science isn't about common sense, it's about observation. The climate record shows that elevated carbon dioxide lags temperature increases. That is, temperature appears to drive carbon dioxide levels, rather than vice versa. 

A laboratory experiment by Jack Barrett to measure the absorption of infra red light (heat) appears to indicate that there is enough carbon dioxide in the bottom 100 metres of atmosphere for close to 100% efficiency. Put another way, the carbon dioxide  above 100 metres plays a negligible role in atmospheric warming. Testing this hypothesis remains unfunded by governmental institutions. After all, if there's no global warming there's no excuse for a carbon tax.

John Daly's site has gone well beyond mere scepticism of Global Warming. He has published papers by several well respected climatologists and this has aroused the ire of some scientists, particularly Charles "Chick" F. Keller. Usually, a paper is reviewed by a panel of scientists and only published after they establish it being unlikely to bring the publisher into disrepute. The process is called peer review. John Daly publishes the paper, then scientists from around the planet are free to comment. That is, the peer review is open, rather than secret. The papers do not go unscathed; flaws in logic and conclusions are discussed leading to a better understanding overall of the problems of understanding climate.

Einstein who reviewed many papers submitted for publication admitted that he would not have allowed several of his own papers to be published. Could it be that conventional peer review stifles scientific debate and progress, and that the Internet will allow a new spirit of  openness in science? The Global Warming proponents appear to be opposed to this.

The email commentaries following the papers at John Daly's site are in many ways more interesting than the papers themselves. For instance, the Global Warming proponents are opposed to the sceptics' interest in a possible relationship between the Southern Oscillation and variations in the sun's magnetic fields and output. (The magnetic field has doubled in strength over the last century). Apparently the El Nino and La Nina events are unimportant! Understanding the causes of Australia's weather may be unimportant to some, but to those of us living here it's vitally important. 

Waiting for Greenhouse started as a contrarian voice, but has evolved into much more.

Stuck Here? Have you tried Ctrl-Alt-Del Today?

Thought for the day:

It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed.

Albert Einstein


Thursday 19 October

My fellow DayNoter, Warlock wrote: "And what are Market droids, but sideshow barkers and shills in every respect, albeit in expensive suits, hustling and shilling people with the biggest lies and exaggerations they can hit the "Marks" with?"

I am sure that Warlock's condemnation was not aimed at me, but twice this week I have been referred to elsewhere as a Marketdroid and the use of this epithet set me to thinking. You see, in the 1970s I learned that marketing is the single most vital aspect of our society, given that most of us no longer grow our own food, build our own houses, or make our own clothes. There is a saying in marketing that "Nothing happens until a sale is made". The converse saying from those who despise marketing is: "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door". A problem arises here in that without a salesperson the world knows nothing about the mousetrap.

Sales and marketing is so pervasive a part of our society that almost all of it goes completely unnoticed. It's like the air we breathe; we don't even stop to think about it unless it's polluted, or moves with excessive force. When you go to a shop to buy something, it probably never occurs to you that the shopkeeper purchased the products you want from a salesperson. He or she almost certainly didn't travel to the farm or factory to acquire the goods you wish to buy.

Three years ago, I was asked to run some Job Clubs. Job Clubs are training courses for unemployed people to help them become more successful at gaining employment. It should be fairly apparent that no matter how good a prospective employee (better mousetrap) you are, sitting at home and waiting for the world to beat a path to your door is not a recipe for success. This is the most common situation where sales and marketing are called for; selling yourself. 

Most job clubs consist of having the clients write a résumé that in truth is merely a list of jobs held, looking through the want ads in newspapers, looking through the Yellow Pages for prospective employers and how to speak well on the telephone. Not much of a marketing strategy.

I started out by asking the clients to list how they had found the jobs they had held and then we categorised them. Nearly all had come by word of mouth through a friend or relative. Only 10% had come by replying to an advertisement or through an employment agency. Our marketing strategy had to focus on relatives and friends.

Next was the résumé. Almost every employer gets to see lots more résumés than they would like. The only thing on their mind is how to discard as many as possible, as quickly as possible, to focus on the few that might enable a decision to be made within a reasonable amount of time. Boring lists don't cut it. In truth, a résumé is a sales brochure and should enumerate what the employer needs to know about you to make a buying decision. A list of skills isn't enough; insufficient skills can be rectified with training. Employers are looking for people that they can trust to get the job done and will fit in with the current workforce.

There's a list of qualities a salesperson must have for success: To be in the top 50%, just turn up. To be in the top 25%, turn up on time. To be in the top 10%, turn up on time and be prepared. To be in the top 5% turn up on time, be prepared and actually do the job. This list addresses most of the key concerns of prospective employers. I have a list of the top ten employer concerns in the office here somewhere, but it's on paper and misfiled (or missing). Been meaning to key it into the computer! Suffice it to say, honesty is down near the bottom and being able to work unsupervised is in the top five.

Having created the sales brochure, the next step in the process was getting the attention of the friends and relatives.  I used my computer to create calling cards for the clients indicating the type of work they were looking for and their contact details. Whenever they were in conversation, they were no longer unemployed; they were looking for work as [specific occupation]. And they were to hand the person a calling card. Think about it. If someone mentions to you that they know of an available job, you think about who you know that can do the job, not every unemployed person you know. The calling card makes your relatives/friends' job easier.

Sample Calling Card

Naturally, we covered a lot of other issues as well: successful interview techniques, appropriate dress and so forth, but they are peripheral to the thrust of this essay. For those among you seeking work, there are two books I can wholeheartedly recommend: Surfing your Horizons by Michael Creagan and What Color is Your Parachute by Dick Bolles.

The final step was implementing the marketing strategy: handing out the cards and getting on the telephone. The first client to succeed surprised us by doing so within a couple of weeks. My employer asked her what she thought got her the job working in a specialty ice-cream factory. "I just done what Jonathan told me," was the reply. Some of the better educated who didn't like this "mucketing stuff" remain unemployed. One client was pleased to report that he now earns more than me, as he has succeeded in finding work as a computer programmer. Overall, more than 50% of the course participants reported success within 12 months. Several report finding much better jobs than they expected to aspire to.

In truth, as I told the course participants at the beginning, all I can do is share with you what I have to do to remain in business. I am a contract computer trainer. My jobs are as short as three hours and only occasionally go for months. If I stop marketing my skills, I will go broke.

Final thought: instead of condemning Microsoft for its marketing success, should we not be condemning Commodore, IBM and Apple for their arrogance in believing the world would beat a path to their doors?

Thought for the day:

Everyone lives by selling something.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Friday 20 October

There's a TV program on the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) called Media Watch. Originally the show was presented by Stuart Littlemore, but these days the much less pompous and supercilious Paul Barry. Like many, I greatly preferred Littlemore and have shamelessly pinched his byline for the head of this page. The purpose of Media Watch is to point out examples of bad journalism, whether on TV, in the press or on radio. The ABC comes in for its fair share of stick.

I used to view Media Watch every Monday evening, but these days only about once a month. The content remains mostly excellent. The other week there was a piece about another TV channel's exposé of car salesmen. A hidden camera was used to film a typical used car salesman at a dealership and then the spiel was critiqued by an ex used car salesman. He indicated which statements were out and out lies.

Media Watch checked the veracity of the used car salesman's claims and attested that they were in fact not lies, but the truth. He did drive the car he claimed to drive, his previous car was the brand and model he claimed and his wife also drove the brand and model he had said she did. 

The broadcast had caught my attention as we were about to buy a new used car. Our early 1980s Subaru is on its last legs (wheels?) and we wanted another. It will be our third. The usually computer-phobic Marguerite suggested we try the Internet. Second-hand Subarus are not quite as rare as hen's teeth, but there was nothing suitable in the Saturday paper. We found two local used car dealers on the Internet and a car broker. We left messages for the car dealers and broker to contact us regarding the acquisition of a used 1990s Subaru 4 WD wagon.

Our "new" Subaru is metallic silver, not green. Subaru Liberty Waggon

Only the broker, Glen Voss, bothered to contact us and it has taken him a month to find the car we were looking for. It's a 1991 2.2 litre Liberty (Legacy elsewhere) and is in excellent condition. Glen already had an RAC (Royal Automobile Club) check performed and the report detailed some minor faults that will be rectified before we take delivery. It's exactly what we were looking for and finding it took around half an hour of our time all told. The test drive took twice that long. 

Interestingly, the car came from one of the dealers where we left a message.

For the curious, we have just purchased our third Subaru because they are extremely reliable, economical to run and in our hilly district the 4WD allows travelling on steep driveways with ease. In nearly 20 years of driving them, we have had exactly had exactly two breakdowns. The first was the original Subaru. We had just purchased the second and I drove the old one onto the paddock where it "died". The second breakdown occurred two weeks later with the recently purchased one. I realised that there was likely a water pump problem and had one of the local garages check it. Crosby announced that there was nothing wrong with the pump. The following day the pump impeller fell to pieces about 100 metres from Crosby's and we pushed the car past his garage to the one next door for repair.

There are a couple of nice touches in the Subaru's design we have enjoyed over the years. There are little phosphor bronze springs on the brake pads that make horrible noises just before the pads wear out. Much better than grinding grooves in the brake disks. The springs on the clutch started to give out just before the clutch plate was completely worn, so the flywheel remained unscathed.

The "new" Subaru has central locking, tinted windows, electric window winders, an air conditioner and cassette player. All new stuff for us. The seats are as usual above average for comfort. Not that we can get terribly excited about something that is just a means to an end rather than an end in itself.

I made a new discovery in Win2k Pro this morning. When I first installed it on the workstation, I mapped my shares on the server to drive letters and never looked in My Network again until today. There were icons for my two websites that must have been put there by FrontPage 2000. A little experimentation produced two icons for FTP with the option of storing my password. Nifty. 

Tech support at the supplier of the hard disk that gave me the SMART message contacted me when I emailed to ask when it was to be replaced. The tech said there's nothing wrong with the hard disk! That's what he said about the Matrox G400 that refused to work, though the replacement has worked just fine. I wonder why the Seagate diagnostic I downloaded also claimed there's a problem. Maybe it's time to find a new supplier!

Thought for the day:

There are three roads to ruin; women, gambling and technicians. The most pleasant is with women, the quickest is with gambling, but the surest is with technicians.

Georges Pompidou


Saturday 21 October

Struggling to get both Internet Explorer and Netscape 4.75 to agree has become too much, so I intend to spend most of the day outdoors. The weather is warm and inviting; the garden calls.

Discovered I hadn't finished my second pot of coffee and looked at the source code for this page in NS. This was the code at the Internet server rather than on the local machine. And it's NOT the same code!!! I have been editing the HTML code using the HTML tab in FrontPage not realising that FrontPage then changes this when it's published. The changes are NOT reflected back into the code that shows when I am editing on the local machine. I was beginning to think I was either utterly stupid, or even losing my mind.

I am going to try DreamWeaver. If anyone has any other suggestions for a WYSIWYG editor that allows editing the underlying code as well, I would appreciate your comments

The Six-Lesson Schoolteacher by John Taylor Gatto, New York State Teacher of the Year, 1991 articulates many of my feelings about the schooling system.

Thought for the day:

Of all cursed places under the sun, where the hungriest soul can hardly pick up a few grains of knowledge, a girls boarding-school is the worst. They are called finishing schools, and the name tells accurately what they are. They finish everything but imbecility and weakness, and that they cultivate. They are nicely adapted machines for experimenting on the question, "Into how little space a human being can be crushed?" I have seen some souls so compressed that they would have fitted into a small thimble, and found room to move there -- wide room. A woman who has been for many years at one of those places carries the mark of the beast on her till she dies.

Olive Schreiner


Sunday 22 October

My HTML woes continue and are even more puzzling. It turns out that as far as I can tell, it's Netscape 4.7 that's the source of my problems. When I view the source code for this page in NS, there's a BASE HREF to the directory that's the parent of the directory the document you are viewing occupies: 

<BASE HREF="http://www.sturmsoft.com/Writing/Old_ephemerides/">

This breaks the pointer to the directory containing the style sheet resulting in my background failing to display and for the bold (or strong) attribute not displaying. My initial suspicion was that Front Page was posting different code than that on my local machine.

When I look at the code by opening the page at the web server with FrontPage, or by viewing source in IE, or by using Netscape Composer, etc etc the offending line does not appear. My conclusion is that Netscape itself is inserting the BASE HREF at the beginning of this page for reasons of its own. What those reasons are escape me, but I am even less enamoured of NS than I was before. And there is no mention of this anywhere that I can find in my HTML 4.0 book! 

Surfing around the web found some interesting information about HTML. The Demoroniser page gave me some insight as to why typographers' quotes and other typographers' marks do not translate from MS products. Currently I am exploring W3C and that promises to consume lots of (hopefully rewarding) time.

The philosophy behind these pages is simplicity. Simplicity for the user: no frames, minimal tables and graphics; simplicity for me: style sheets, no Java, no Shockwave etc. I have found that nearly always the more graphically "exciting" a page is, the less real content. (Exception here). 

The death penalty for certain crimes occurs as a topic from time to time and as usual I have my own opinion. When I was a boy in England in the 1950s, the name of the infamous murderer, John Christie, was still on everybody's lips. Some years before, a young man of sub-standard intelligence had been hanged for two of John Christie's murders.

Evans, his wife Beryl and baby Geraldine lived in a flat (apartment) upstairs from John and Ethel Christie. Evans was a violent man and a compulsive liar. John Christie strangled Evans' wife, Beryl and also later strangled the baby. 

Evans was tried for the murder of the baby and was subsequently hanged for the crime. Christie had already murdered at least one woman at this time. The police investigators failed to notice a human femur used to prop up the garden fence, or a skull in a dustbin. Christie went on to murder several other women and was eventually discovered. Subsequently, Evans was pardoned for his crime though of course it didn't do a great deal for him as far as we know!

The full story is at Number 10 Rillington Place. A film by the same name and based on the book by Ludovic Kennedy was made in 1970, directed by Richard Fleischer, and starred two of my favourite actors, Richard Attenborough and (the British) John Hurt.

One murder case does not make statistical evidence, but the hanging of a next door neighbour does not appear to have deterred Christie. There is a very small chance that Evans rather than Christie murdered Beryl, but he was never charged with that crime. The presentation of Evans' case and the police investigation were shoddy to say the least. Evans' first confession was almost certainly beaten out of him. Presumably the lack of diligence was because of Evans' unpleasant personality, poverty and substandard intelligence. This appears, to me at least, insufficient reason for his legalised murder.

Thought for the day:

Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgement. For even the very wise cannot see all ends...

Gandalf in The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien


 

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Home |Ephemerides Index | DayNotes Gang | Site Map|Top | Next

© Jonathan Sturm 2000