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Memories of the Wild West

The Perth of my youth was a friendly West Australian town, half asleep by the bays and reaches of the Swan. We called ourselves the “Wildflower State”. Perhaps the “Flogging and Hanging State” would be more apt. First, I’ll reminisce about the hangings, then the floggings. In 1964 when I was a reporter and part-time … Continue reading

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Tinkerbell wins Gold at the Sydney Peace Prize …but I’ve nominated Donald Trump to take home the big one!

Tony Thomas How nice of the Sydney Peace Prize people to award its Gold Medal for Human Rights this month to Christiana Figueres, top negotiator of the toothless 2015 Paris climate accord. The Sydney Peace Foundation, backed by the City of Sydney and Sydney University, somewhat incoherently cited the good lady’s ‘relentless drive to ensure … Continue reading

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Into the Unknown

Climate science and the stock market have this in common: both are obsessed with observation of, and speculation about, a simple time graph, showing, in the one case, movements of average global temperature over periods from months to millennia, and in the other, movements of share values over periods from milliseconds to months. Zapping from … Continue reading

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Freeman Dyson’s War by Numbers

Freeman Dyson verified statistically at Bomber Command’s Operations Research  that  crews’ chance of survival on missions did not increase with experience. About 75 per cent of crew never completed their 30-ops tours, but which planes were shot down turned out to be entirely random… My science hero is Richard Feynman, but his understudy, Freeman Dyson … Continue reading