rain rain rain

This weather is really starting to get on my tits. It was the wettest June ever, apparently, and it’s showing no sign of letting up. At this time of year we should be eating outside on those long summer evenings with the shadows creeping across the lawn, but no. Even when it’s not raining, it’s heavy grey skies.

Bleagh.

Malachi Stilt-Jack am I

There’s serious flooding in Yorkshire at the moment. I found this brilliant photo on Flickr:

Surfer on Chants Ave!, originally uploaded by Dave Foy.

The Daily Mail asks an unusually reasonable question on their front page today—why do we keep building new houses on flood plains? The trouble is that Britain is a small, rainy island; there are a limited number of sites available that aren’t flood risks. And we need new houses because property prices in England are insane.

It seems to me that there’s a simple answer: start building houses on stilts.

palafitos, originally uploaded by wciu.

I’m serious about this; or at least as serious as I can be without the architectural or engineering background to judge the practicalities or it. To build houses where you know they’re likely to get flooded may be reckless; to build them the same way as you would on high ground is just stupid.

Stilt houses on Pulau Mabul, originally uploaded by Vueltaa.

It’s not just stilts; how about watertight windows and doors? If you can’t keep the water away from the house, at least you can keep it from getting inside.

underwater restaurant

» underwater restaurant by udannlin, used under a Creative Commons by-nc-nd licence.

In your face, folk wisdom!

A green woodpecker has been calling all day, and the sky is clear and blue. There’s a slight haze, but I think that’s all pollen and exhaust fumes rather than cloud.

So that’s one data point against the ‘rain bird’ theory.

pelted with cast off shoon

What wrong with this picture?

snow in March

Answer: the time of year it was taken. Snow is all very well in its way, but I’m about ready for Spring now, thank you.

Rain, rain, go away

We’re currently having a ‘drought‘ in the south-east of England, despite the fact that it’s been raining for the past week. The argument is that a few days of rain don’t compensate for the past year which has been unusually dry, although it seems pretty clear that if the water companies were better at maintaining their infrastructure there wouldn’t be a problem.

Anyway, a meteorologist has taken a close look at the water companies’ statistical claims and shows that they are selective to the point of being misleading. That’s not terribly surprising in itself, but I found the specifics interesting.

It’s nice to see an attempt in the media to actually look at some statistics and explain what’s wrong with them.

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