The Widmann Blog: June: 2008

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Transfat

There's an excellent article in The Independent today about transfat.I knew Denmark had outlawed transfat altogether, but I didn't realise so few countries had followed suit so far (only Switzerland in Europe).Also, I didn't realise the results were so staggering. According to the article, "the rate of heart disease among Danes has dropped by a staggering 40 per cent" since...

The right size of a constitution

Although I would vote yes to the Lisbon Treaty if there were a referendum, I must admit I'm not a great fan of it.Just like the European Constitution it replaced, it's full of specific rules accumulated over years that just makes the whole document incomprehensible and unlikely to last very long before amendments are needed.I firmly believe a constitution should...

Firefox 3

I’ve just upgraded to Firefox 3.

It seems to work well, and many of my extensions have survived.

The main casualty seems to be Google Browser Sync which I tend to rely heavily on. :-(

I’ll write more once I’ve had more time to test it out.

Linguistic sophistication

Léon has for some time known that dragons and kites are called the same in Danish (en drage).Today Phyllis decided to test whether he would calque this into English.She showed him a picture of a kite (knowing that he's very familiar with dragons already) and asked him what it was:– What's that, Léon?– What's that?– What's it called?– A flying box? [sounding uncertain]– Is it a dragon?– Yes, it's a dragon! [sounding relieved]This shows that's he's analysed that Danish drage...

Ireland and the Gricean maxims

The latest opinion polls seem to indicate that the Irish referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon will be very close.For some reason, most referendums tend to end up with a close result, even if one of the sides is far ahead before the campaigns start.I've been thinking a bit about this, and I think an explanation might be found in...
Joining the euro
Even in The Telegraph blogs people are now seeing the light. :-)Fraser Nelson criticises it but a commenter, Oliver Kamm, replies to the rhetorical question about what we would gain:Increased trade flows, owing to removal of exchange-rate risk in our...
A downwards slide
The Telegraph have a pretty grim article about how prices are rising while salaries are staying flat, so that people are able to buy less and less for their salary.However, they forgot to point out that one of the main...

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