Good writing

And the heat goes on: 35C yesterday, another 35C forecast for today, then 34C on Wednesday and 37C on Thursday, again 37C on Friday. Another heat wave, in autumn. Luckily it’s not too hot in this house at night and I’m sleeping well, although I’m having to get up three times a night for a pee. I can almost set my watch by it: 1.30am, 3.30am, 6.30am. Sigh.


This is a paragraph clipped from the IEEE Journal ( Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers ) about Vannevar Bush, one of the great US scientists and engineers in the 1930s and ’40s. I thought this paragraph was especially apt:

Engineers and Good Writing

Writing is essential to the success of an electrical engineer, Bush wrote in 1922, in his first textbook, The Principles of Electrical Engineering (coauthored with a colleague, William H. Timbie). The success of any engineer’s plan, Bush insisted, often depends on good writing:

“Once the plan has been decided upon, he must convince his superiors that the plan should be carried out. This convincing requires that the engineer write brief clear English, which adequately and concisely conveys the meaning in a convincing way. Good proposals have been turned down because the engineers who drafted them could not present them in convincing form.”


I’m amazed every day by the atrocious standard of writing on Facebook posts. Ridiculous spelling, almost unintelligible grammar, stupid ideas. People just don’t check or read back what they write, and obviously don’t care whether it’s correct or not. People, you should hang your heads in shame.

I pride myself on my writing and it should be obvious that I edit my posts, both here and on Facebook, before I hit the Enter key. If you post garbage, I’m not going to bother reading you. You’ve wasted the few seconds it took you to write your stupid piece.


Damned scam calls!! I’ve had six yesterday and today so far, the latest about ten minutes ago. Luckily my phone displays the calling number and so when I see +63 xxxxxxx, I know it’s the Philippines, although I also get calls from +44 (UK) and other odd places. I just don’t bother answering any more. Anyone trying to call me from an 02 or 03 number had better leave a message, because I ain’t going to let you through. I’m seriously thinking it’s time to drop the landline phone. I pay $20 a month for it and if it gives me this much annoyance, why continue. Most businesses use my mobile number anyway.


Further to my lament about Ukraine a couple of days ago, I should say more. Although, there’s nothing I can say that better qualified people than me have already said.

The main thing is how dangerous Putin is with his threats to use tactical nuclear weapons. I truly believe that he would do it, and if he did, then NATO would have no choice but to retaliate and then it would be true war.

What I often think about is the destruction of the great architecture and buildings, not to mention the great artworks and sculptures. I don’t think there’s any doubt that the Kremlin would be obliterated early in any nuclear exchange. Putin would have missiles programmed to rain down on him very quickly. But the Kremlin is in central Moscow, and that’s home to magnificent churches, palaces and museums. Same for St Petersburg. To think that all this could be wiped away is too horrible to contemplate.

The other thing is that Putin and the Russian military have caught a tiger, and having done so, how are they going to control it. They’ll never be able to kill Ukraine completely, so they’ll forever have this tiger by the tail, dragging on their soldiers’ lives and on the Russian economy.


Crazy. Some ads on for N-gauge model trains include in the description the word “haematopoiesis”:

Why? Haematopoiesis is a muscle building drug as far as I know, notoriously used by athletes and cyclists. What’s it got to do with model trains? This is not the first time I’ve seen this.


I’m watching the Netflix series “Inventing Anna” at the moment. Anna Delvey is a mysterious European young woman, only about 26 years old, who appears in New York and through boundless self confidence and guile insinuates herself into the NY money, property and fashion scenes. Her accent is a strange mixture of Russian, German and some other argot, untraceable.

She says she has a wealthy German father who has endowed her with a €30 million trust fund, which catches people’s attention, naturally, but strangely, there always seems to be some impediment to accessing it. She obtains money by credit card fraud and sheer effrontery, though, and manages to make high level connections in NY society.

It all starts to come undone, as it must, and she’s in prison awaiting trial. A writer for Manhattan magazine sees a story and follows the trail.

There are only eight episodes. I’m on no. 6, and I’m enjoying it.


Aaaarrrgh, there seems to be a gadget available from or somewhere, that’s called a turbo whistle. I don’t know for sure, but it seems as if you attach it to your car engine somehow and it gives a rising shriek/whistle as you accelerate.

At least one car has it fitted around here and I’m being plagued by this shriek about a dozen times a day. Grrrrr!


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