Monday, March 20, 2017

Shunbun no Hi: Bees

For the past two years I've been an active member of our college beekeeping society. Actually, 'active' may be putting it mildly: I talk about bees incessantly, to the point of alienating my friends and family. Somewhat surprisingly, bees haven't featured prominently on this blog, save for this six-year-old post, written when I had no beekeeping experience whatsoever.

Our hives are on the rooftop of one of the campus buildings, smack in the middle of London. The first time we went up to check on them this year was on January 24. Luke, a professional beekeeper was just saying shouldn't expect much: he had not seen any active bees so far that year. Much to our surprise, our bees were buzzing about like it was springtime – a sign of the good health of the colony.

Happy equinox, everyone!

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Class Consciousness

Yesterday on the train back from Cambridge I overheard some interesting conversations between a small boy and his grandfather.
Boy (noticing the first class section of the compartment, just behind him): So there's a first class and a second class? Like the Titanic?
Boy: That hill would be great for cheese rolling.
Grandfather: What's cheese rolling?
Boy: It's a sport!
Grandfather: Like, on PS3?
Boy: No, in real life!

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tenderness is Relative

From the defendants' statement in Hughes v The Ester C Company (317 F.R.D. 333), a 2016 case before the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York:
At the tender age of 35, Mr. Weir deems himself an "expert" in all of the following fields: statistical analysis, regression analysis, conjoint analysis, contingent valuation, business economics, business accounting, survey research, consumer behavior, consumer marketing, and some areas of business finance.

Friday, December 23, 2016

Talking to Yourself

One of the many things I like about learning a new language is the unexpected social and cultural insights. Japanese for example has different levels of politeness: verbs and even nouns change their form depending on whether you're speaking to, say, your friend, a stranger or your boss.

A conversation from my intermediate Japanese class:
Japanese teacher:
If you're talking to yourself, it's better to use the polite form.
Fellow student:
What! Why??
Japanese teacher:
Because a senior person may overhear.

Monday, November 21, 2016

D7 Bus Stops

The names of bus stops on the D7 route in London are straight out of an Enid Blyton book.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Slightly-Larger-than-Average Moon

The term 'supermoon' may be mostly hype, but it's as good an excuse as any to go out and look up.

Of late my posting has been even more irregular than usual. I have however been writing about bees on the LSE Bees blog, and book reviews for the LSE Review of Books. On the off chance that either of those interest you, go take a look!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Law and Morality

I was in Lyon last weekend, and wandering around the Croix-Rousse district, we noticed this piece of graffiti:

Anasua: I think they mean "what".
Me: Ah. "Was" must be a misprint.
Philipp: ...because they don't know what is right.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Me Time

Like most UK universities, LSE has a system of 'office hours' – weekly slots when students can book one-to-one meetings with academics. This term I'm teaching undergraduate classes, but I'm also a PhD student. This puts me in the interesting position of being able to book an appointment with myself.