Afternoon, readers. Another week and in the UK politics is still front and centre with a particular focus on our relationship with Europe. In about 10 days our House of Lords will have its say. Yes, my American friends, there is such a place and it has strange powers! But for now we have a week or so of quiet! So let’s take some time to take stock and think! A shorter post this week. In the words of our French friends, Un petit Morceau 

On February 20th the Lords will begin their debate and vote on our Government’s initiation of the process from the EU. One of two things will happen. Either it will pass simply, or they will defy Parliament and also the people! So afterwards it could be an exciting and eventful time!

Lord Bragg has, of course, been contacted to ensure he attends and votes. It is rumoured he has agreed to help the Government on the one condition that after the EU split his Bragg’s range of spicy marinades will be granted full approval for sale in the UK. Currently these distinctive sauces do not pass EU Health, food and even Nuclear emission regulations!

These ingenious spice combinations are not for the faint hearted but Lord Bragg insists they are perfectly safe with on average 7 out of 10 customers NOT being hospitalised after use!  “The statistics speak for themselves” – Lord Lee exclaimed!


Statistics, statistics!

It has been a steady week in onein400 land. I continue to have my weekly soft tissue massage at the Boxgrove, which to me is a game changer. I have also started having what I call “Friday Feet”. Our next door neighbour is a reflexologist, and offered to give my feet a good going over every week! It is refreshing. On the weather side Monday started off great, with lovely weather, but it has now turned nasty and cold again. We have a couple of outbuildings, which are near our house. In one of these we keep some fridges. Yes, we are stocked, as our daughter in law often tells me, in preparation for a “Zombie Apocalypse“. Anyway, I just ventured down there at 5pm for a warming Cornetto and it was like the Ice Age. I am so looking forward to decent weather. But seriously with MND, walking a short distance in the cold is like walking a mile for a normal human being. To override my instability I have got better at relaxing whilst walking. The way the human brain works is amazing.

On the subject of the amazing human brain. This week Hans Rosling died of Pancreatic cancer. You may not have heard of him, but he was famous for bringing statistics to life in riveting lectures. However, not only did he bring value to information that was not immediately obvious, he also used his particular specialisation, the study of human health to bring real understanding to how diseases like Ebola and Konzo spread. I don’t know much about him, but just a brief investigation on the Internet shows that he was slightly controversial. I will come back to this in a few minutes. However, for now, let’s focus on his most public achievement, the vivid and dramatic presentation of data. Grab a coffee, and enjoy this 20 minute video. It’s gripping on many levels.

Did you enjoy it? Well, I watched it as I was in the midst of writing a new page on my blog regarding data and statistics. This video has firmly stopped me in my tracks! I am now attempting to rewrite my forthcoming page on disease statistics in a more entertaining manner, perhaps in a tribute to Rosliing’s presentation style! Watch this space. I hope I can do it justice. It one was one of those “screw all your paper up and throw in the bin” moments! Start again!

But why was he a bit controversial?

His analysis was based on “factual data” and he often used it to show how the media distorts news. So he occasionally came up against the press and politicians and it was no surprise he ruffled feathers. Sound familiar in the current climate? Take a read of his work in relation to world health factors.

You may know that I am not a fan of Epidemiology in relation to complex disease causation research. Because of the “infinite” environmental factors it is in fact a near impossible science. I wrote about this very subject in my post Serendipity or Strategy. However, Hans’ work is founded on observing the patterns of disease and health, rather than direct causation. More about this in my forthcoming research post on the phrase “environmental” and how epidemiology is changing.

But one thing is certain, Hans Rosling’s genius was his ability to capture imagination and attention! We need more people like Hans!

Back to onein400 land. Over the last year we have been automating a few things around the house. The use of a mobile app to control heating, and also light automation using simple little hand held devices that enable me to turn lights on and off without bending down or walking all around the house. Bending down I have the agility of a 105 year person! It’s a bit dangerous!

Lord Bragg has been working on a new device that will enable me to order a coffee and snacks from the bedroom! It’s only in testing currently. I am having some issues with the Barista! She is rather upset by her zero hours contract!


That’s it for this week readers. As promised a short one.

I will attempt to return to my Friday publishing time next time.