Sunday, December 08, 2013

Daft betting; Debunking stats; Costly flights; Pontevedra's streets & weather; and Smart dogs.

Christmas in Spain bring us two humongous lotteries and people will get up to all sorts of strategies to defeat the immense odds in favour of them losing their stakes on them. Needless to say, the lengths gone to can be amazing. One popular resort this year is a 6-figure number from the date of the murder of a young adopted girl from Santiago. Or the date of the opening of her mother's investigation for murder. It's something like that. I can't recall exactly. As they say, no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the public.

There's a terrific BBC Radio 4 program called More or Less. Several times a week it debunks statistics appearing in the media. Such as claims that left-handers live 9 years fewer than right-handers. And that global warming caused 20m people to emigrate in 2008 and that 200m will do so by 2050. These claims were used, unquestioningly, by the usual suspects and defended by their creator on the basis that 'Science is never 100% accurate' and 'It's better to be roughly right than precisely wrong.' He later conceded his numbers were 'iffy'. British understatement at its best.

Reflecting on the fact Xmas flights cost so much more than usual, the question struck me last night - If they know your DoB, does the computer automatically up the price for you on the same logic - viz. that you want/have to fly on that date. If not, they surely will soon.

All the streets around Pontevedra's town hall are up. It's as if the councillors need to see they're doing something useful. Which is debatable. In one of these streets, the slabs have been raised and re-laid 3 times in 6 years. Why? Presumably because they can be. Here's a pic of this blessed thoroughfare.

We are now in our 3rd - possibly even 4th - week of Mediterranean weather of clear blue skies and constant sun, followed by cold nights. Of Galicia's famed rain, we've seen none at all during this period. Global Warming? Maybe but it's had one odd effect. The bars and cafés around the main square which would normally be packed at this time of year are empty and those which have an outside terrace are doing a roaring trade, especially those which get the last of the afternoon sun. So much so that we've seen the appearance of an unknown phenomenon - winter musicians. Gentlemen who've normally disappeared well before now. Plus all the usual beggarly rag-bag, of course. So it's not all good news.

Finally . . . As a life-long lover of border collies, I just had to post this video of what they get up to when they're not working. And here's another for those who are passionate about these highly intelligent creatures.

1 comment:

Anthea said...

In Manchester city centre you get musicians all year round. Obviously the summer is rarely too hot and so the temerature difference is not so noticeable. What is happening at the moment is that some of them are dressing up in Santa suits. I don't know if that makes passing shoppers more generous.
Love the dogs video. I saw it on Facebook this morning.