Walkerwood Reservoir, Harridge Pike, and Wild Bank

I did this walk some years back and don’t remember it particularly fondly, but today it was just beautiful. The light was a low, golden, winter sunshine, and everything looked magical.

Download file for GPS

Next time I do this walk, where I turn up north towards Harridge Pike I’ll try the west side of Dry Clough rather than the east.

Use Ordnance Survey map OL1. Here’s the route stored on Ordnance Survey to load it into an app. It claims to be 591m total ascent, 9.9km in length, and it took me about 3.5 hours including eating lunch and messing around with a drone.

Panorama looking over to Boar Flat

…and naturally this was a great opportunity to play with my present to myself, a DJI Mini 2 drone…

Up over Brushes and Walkerwood Reservoirs
Flying down from Harridge Pike to the Walkerwood and Brushes Reservoirs below
A helix drone shot on Harridge Pike

In my ears

For a while now I’ve been meaning to post about these three great podcasts I’ve had on regular rotation for the last few months since starting running again. The blend is really working for me, and giving this mix some longevity: current affairs slanted to the serious (The Intelligence) and the curious (Kottke Ride Home), with a chaser of strategic commentary (Stratechery).

The Intelligence, from Economist Radio provides an informed liberal world view covering diverse topics from the possibilities and limitations of green venture capitalism, trials with K-Pop, the rise of Korean Trot, and Shinzō Abe’s legacy in Japan.

The Kottke Ride Home, gives me the cool things from the news today. The stories picked by the presenter, Jackson Bird, range from a recently discovered lava planet, how many holes does a straw have, the discovery of water on the moon, tardigrade sunscreen, and a little known history of transgender people.

The Stratechery Podcast from Ben Thompson’s Stratechery provides insights into strategy in the internet age such as Kurian’s helming of Google Cloud Platform to target the enterprise from inside Google, how Slack might successfully compete with Microsoft, and a great series of interviews with leaders like Jeff Lawson of Twilio, Jonah Peretti of Buzzfeed, and Stewart Butterfield of Slack.

None of them are too long and with the judicious application of 1.25x playback I can keep abreast of this trio on my lunchtime exercise and from and to dropping off and picking up my boy from school.

🌡 Log My Temperature – Siri Shortcut

Due to “reasons”, taking my temperature every morning has become commonplace. I’ve worked out a Siri Shortcut to log the temperature, check the data and alert me to changes. If you’re interested, and have an iPhone (the shortcut relies on the Health app, so I don’t think it will work on iPad), you can download the shortcut here:

Important: Because the shortcut reads from the Health app, and because that’s protected personal data, you need to run this shortcut on an unlocked phone or it just… silently fails (bad form, Apple).

The Shortcut runs the following actions:

  1. “Hey Siri, log my temperature”
  2. “What is it?”
    N.B. The answer is expected to be a number
  3. Get my Body Temperature from yesterday, and store it to use in later checks
  4. Log my answer from today as a Body Temperature data point
  5. Check the difference from yesterday, and tell me what the difference is if it’s +/- 1.5ºC
    N.B. This calculation will work with Fahrenheit, but you might want to change from 1.5 to whatever suits the Fahrenheight scale
  6. If the difference check above passes, simply speak the temperature

Let me know any enhancements, I’m happy to collaborate :)

P.S. I wish it was possible to export a Siri Shortcut in a kind of scripting format, so you could view it on a webpage… or maybe an oEmbed for Siri Shortcuts? That’d be cool.

A Hot Toddy

I went with 8 oz hot water, a twist of lemon, 2 cloves, juice of a lemon, a generous teaspoon of honey, a small stick of cinnamon, and 2 oz Talisker; the end result was almost too medicinal, for which I side eye the Talisker, but a definite balm and I’m now off to bed.

Inspired by Nigel Slater, and my friend Zé (I’ll try the Apple juice next time, Zé, I had none in). I also avoided the prevalence of tea in recipes online (thanks due here).

Trump: The Presidential Precedents, Andrew Jackson

To the east coast establishment he was an uncouth demagogue, to his supporters [two term US president, Andrew Jackson] was the tribune of the people, the embodiment of white masculinity.

– BBC Radio 4 – Trump: The Presidential Precedents, Andrew Jackson

I know little about US history, but this short Radio 4 programme yesterday caught my attention. The programme focussed more on Jackson’s “colourful” campaign, and little on his policies beyond a brief mention of the Trail of Tears and the destruction of The Bank of the United States; but one thing that struck me was that despite how his opposition mobilised against him, he won a second term. How does this section of history inform our view of Trump, I wonder.

Interesting too that Jackson is considered the founder of the Democratic Party.

Political Scrapbooking 

… the notion that large numbers of pro-Brexit voters are experiencing buyer’s remorse is both unproven and irrelevant. … And it is hard to avoid the feeling that much of the Remain camp disappointment comes from people who are simply not used to losing votes that might negatively affect their own lives. As Manchester Professor Rob Ford put it, the English middle class is simply experiencing what UKIP voters have had to put up with for years.

Uniting the United Kingdom by Anand Menon for Foreign Affairs

As so often, political reality will trump the lawyers. Alan Renwick of the UCL constitution unit argues that there is now a political imperative for the next prime minister to hold a parliamentary vote before the invocation of Article 50. But it is hard to imagine that MPs would choose to overturn the majority decision of the referendum on June 23rd.

Who has the right to trigger Brexit? In The Economist

Click to access Brexit%20Options%20A3%20final.pdf

This is fascinating:

…by their silence Corbyn and his troubled, paranoid court have delivered us, in effect, and for the time being, into a one-party state…

Britain is changed utterly. Unless this summer is just a bad dream by Ian McEwan for The Guardian

Political Scrapbooking – Monday 04 and Tuesday 05 July 2016

What concerns me the most, as a historian, are the reports of UKIP party members now defecting and rejoined the Conservatives. This is not a good thing. This means those whose beliefs were considered too far right for mainstream politics, now feel mainstream politics has caught up – that they can rejoin a main political party and find their views supported. It is the most subtle and dangerous form of subversive politics. Racism and xenophobia now wears a mainstream face.

– A Cry Against Anti Intellectualismby Fern Riddell

Leadsom is having none of it. She says the situation is “nothing like” the “systemic crises” of the 2008 global financial crisis or 1992’s Black Wednesday. “I just don’t accept the premise that we have any economic issue with voting to leave…

Brexit Would Have No Impact On UK Economy, Says Andrea Leadsom by Emily Ashtpn for Buzzfeed

The research, carried out online among 18-75 year olds, finds that 89% of leave voters say that the referendum result was the right decision for the United Kingdom, while exactly the same proportion of remain voters say it was the wrong one. Similarly, 80% of leave voters say the result makes them feel more hopeful for the future, but 83% of remain voters say it makes them less hopeful.

Britain remains split as 9 in ten say they would not change their referendum vote, Ipsos MORI

But unfortunately for those who see the UK playing hardball over Article 50 the EU does have other options at its disposal if things get confrontational. The most obvious of these, says Prof Chalmers, is to use a qualified majority vote to pass laws specifically designed to punish the UK and squeeze national finances already under strain from Brexit-related uncertainty. These could, for example, include removing the City’s right to clear euros, or, say, changing terms of agricultural grants that would cut off funds to UK farmers.
Michael Gove avoids questions about invoking Article 50 Play! 00:44

In short, vicious targeted measures aimed at giving Britain the hurry-up. It would take seven to nine months to get the legislation through, but in Prof Chalmers’s view (and top eurocrats delight in saying the same) Europe can make things “pretty nasty, pretty quickly” if Britain delays unreasonably on Article 50 to try and weaken the EU’s hand.

The EU won’t let Britain dither around forever – here’s how it could force us to leave by Peter Foster for The Telegraph

4. Losing a triple-A credit rating is bad news after all

“If a downgrade happens, it is a huge blow for our economy, and will potentially set us back several years on repaying our debts, and returning our finances to health,” Leadsom wrote in 2009.

from 9 reasons you should be truly terrified of PM Andrea Leadsom in the New Statesman

With the resignations of Cameron, Boris Johnson, and now Farage, it seems few leading politicians are keen to “own” Brexit and its consequences. If those individuals wish to step back from accepting the consequences of Brexit, might that tendency spread more generally?

When will the United Kingdom invoke Article 50? by Tyler Cowen for Marginal Revolution

Further Brexit scrapbooking

No one seems capable of stepping forward and offering reassurance. The Leavers, who disagreed on what Brexit should look like, do not think it is their responsibility to set out a path. They reckon that falls to Number 10 (where they have appeared in public, it has mostly been to discard the very pledges on which they won the referendum). Number 10, however, seems to have done little planning for this eventuality. It seems transfixed by the unfolding chaos; reluctant to formulate answers to the Brexiteers’ unanswered questions.

Britain is sailing into a storm with no one at the wheel by Bagehot at the Economist

The fifth [leave] group is those who like and benefit from both cultural and economic globalisation – but not as much as they would like. They want more of both … People with these kinds of views voted Leave. Some of them ran the campaign. This is – in varying degrees – the political and economic theory of Dominic Cummings (who ran Vote Leave), Michael Gove and Steve Hilton (Cameron’s former advisor). There is an argument out there that Leave didn’t really want to win. Don’t believe it. These men wanted to win.

Who won the referendum? by Alan Finlayson at Open Democracy

But some notes were significantly more gloomy. John Llewellyn, founder of Llewellyn consulting and a former chief economist of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, said the UK was heading into recession at a time when its economy was not fixed and the BoE appeared to be the only functioning authority.

– Osborne’s calming words undermined by economists by Chris Giles and Emily Cadman at the FT

Our membership of the European Union has conferred a host of legal rights on British citizens, some through incorporating statutes, some granted directly in domestic law. Applying the common law principle found in The Case of Proclamations and Fire Brigades Union, the Government cannot remove or nullify these rights without parliamentary approval. Its prerogative power cannot be used to overturn statutory rights. Statute beats prerogative.

Pulling the Article 50 ‘Trigger’: Parliament’s Indispensable Role by Nick Barber, Tom Hickman and Jeff King in UK Constitutional Law Association

Many of the comments on the above mention this seems like an exercise in wishful thinking, including:

Sorry to disagree, but I think this is an exercise in wishful thinking. I don’t think you can reduce the principle of the dualism of domestic and international law to a mere technicality, and I think you are making too much of Fire Brigades Union, which not only involves very different facts, but a wholly different policy area, where there are no strong issues of justiciability.

– by Aileen McHarg

Very interesting, but will not bear up to serious scrutiny. Also, just pause and think about the politics – London based lawyers go to Judges to thwart the will of the people. An interesting academic exercise, but pursuing this line of attack would not be well advised. If there is an ‘answer’ to Brexit it will have to be a political one, following a general election.
– by Joe Barrett

perhaps, there is the language we use. Who cares about “the economy”, “growth”, “trade”, if we can’t translate them directly into “incomes”, “jobs”, “living standards”. We must start speaking more plainly. And we must also link these things to real people, to the poor, to those in the middle, to parents, to families, to workers and to pensioners.

We economists must face the plain truth that the referendum showed our failings by Paul Johnson for The Times

Britain is now a source of global instability, economic turmoil, and political uncertainty. This may not last more than a few years, but London’s reputation is damaged forever. When UN Security Council reform belatedly arrives, it is unlikely that Little England will keep the permanent seat that has been reserved for Great Britain over the last seven decades.

Brexit Threatens World Peace and Security by Alex de Waal for the Boston Review

The referendum was a vote against something but it wasn’t a vote for anything. It tells us nothing about the new relationship people want with Europe. The Brexiteers never told us what they collectively stood for.

It’s not too late to negotiate a way out of this disaster. But it’ll take courage by Jonathan Powell for The Guardian

The point is that neither Trump nor the Brexit leaders have ever believed for one moment that any of these promises are real.

Brexit and the politics of the fake orgasm by Fintan O’Toole for the Irish Times

Politics however is just exploiting an information ecosystem designed for the dissemination of material which gives us feelings rather than information.

The truth about Brexit didn’t stand a chance in the online bubble by Emily Bell for The Guardian