It is my birthday, and this year the number is the same as the answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe and Everything in The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.
There are a total of forty-two eyes in a standard deck of playing cards – three two-eyed kings, one one-eyed king, all four queens are two-eyed, and two two-eyed and two one-eyed jacks makes a total of 21, which needs to be doubled as the faces appear twice on each card.
There are 42 spots on a pair of standard dice – 21 on each.
The great game of cricket has a code of 42 laws governing it. Law 42 governs fair and unfair play. The most important phrase in this law is: “the umpires shall be the sole judges of fair and unfair play“.
Adams is not the only famous writer to have used the number 42 – Charles Lutwidge Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll was responsible for the following:
The original Alice in Wonderland had 42 illustrations
“All persons more than a mile high to leave the court” was Rule 42.
The Baker in The Hunting of the Snark had 42 boxes
Some cricket, some music including references to the Classic FM Hall of Fame, some stuff about upcoming local elections and some photographs.
An odd combination of topics to appear in a title, but all will be made clear in the course of this post. There will of course be some of my photographs as well.
The English cricket season is well underway. Because of an alteration to the structure of the two divisions of first class counties last season to a first division of eight teams and a second division of ten teams, it is now possible for all 18 first class counties to be in action simultaneously, as was not the case when there were nine teams in each division. Over this Easter weekend, for the first time since 1999 (the last season of the single division championship) all 18 of said sides have been in action. Glamorgan lost heavily to Worcestershire before today was underway. Leicestershire had also suffered an innings defeat at the hands of Gloucestershire. Essex and Somerset also finished early, a century from Alastair Cook anchoring Essex in their fourth innings chase of 255. Warwickshire only kept their match against Yorkshire alive into the fourth day because of some assistance from the weather, and having started the season with back to back innings defeats, and three shocking batting performances out of four innings, they must be considered heavy favourites for one of the relegation spots from division 1. Of the five remaining matches, Nottinghamshire are nearly done and dusted against Durham (since I wrote this Nottinghamshire have completed the job as expected, with nine wickets in hand), and it would also seem to be only a matter of time before Kent finish the job against Sussex (this match has also subsequently reached its predicted conclusion). A draw looks the most likely result in the Surrey versus Lancashire, although Surrey are not out of the woods yet. Hampshire and Middlesex also looks like being a draw, although again the Londoners are not quite safe yet. That leaves only…
DERBYSHIRE VERSUS NORTHAMPTONSHIRE
Overnight this also looked like a draw was the most likely result, with Derbyshire 128 runs to the good with 10 second winnings standing. However, some behind the scenes discussions obviously took place, since Northamptonshire spent the morning session of today feeding Derbyshire easy runs, handing Reece (168) and Godleman (156 not out) a new record opening stand for Derbyshire. A declaration at 351-1 left Northamptonshire two sessions to score 326 for victory. Whatever happens in these two session neither team will emerge from this match with much credit in my book. While Northamptonshire’s motivation was obvious, Derbyshire could easily have declined the offer, backing their batsmen to score off proper bowling.
The long Easter weekend is when the Classic FM Hall of Fame is unveiled. It is assembled from listener votes. Each participant votes for their first, second and third favourite pieces of classical music, and the votes are all tallied up. The Hall of Fame comprises the top 300 pieces that emerge at the end of the process, and they are played counting down from 300 to 1 between 10AM and 10PM on each day of the weekend (it used when it first started to be 9AM to 9PM). This is the first occasion on which there has been a clash between the Hall of Fame and live cricket. I have resolved that clash by listening to the cricket when it has been on five live sports extra, and to the music at other times. The only exception to this was on Saturday afternoon, when it was time for…
A shortage of available NAS West Norfolk Committee members meant that I was there for both sessions. The attendances were unsurprisingly low in both sessions. However, those who were able to make it had a good time. In the second session I renewed my acquaintanceship with Scratch 2, and next time I shall be moving on to another aspect of this program. Here are some pictures…
Various places in the UK will be going to the polls on May 4th. Last time I mentioned this subjectI said that I was between Labour and Green, and leaning towards Green. Since then, although I have yet to receive anything from any candidates a search of the King’s Lynn & West Norfolk borough councilwebsite turned up the following information about who was standing:
In view of the fact that there are three candidates in this list of four for whom I am absolutely unwilling to vote and that I regard failing to vote as unacceptable my vote will therefore go to Mr Collis, and I urge others who are voting in this election to cast their votes for Mr Collis as well.
Moving on from my own area, there also elections taking place much more extensively in Wales and Scotland.
The big debate in Scotland at the moment is over whether or not there should be a second independence referendum (#IndyRef2) following the UK’s decision to withdraw from the EU, when Scotland was strongly pro-remain. It is not for me as a Sassenach to comment on whether or not Scottish independence is desirable since the only people who should be making decisions about the future of Scotland are the Scots, but I do believe that brexit is a sufficiently major change in circumstances as justify #IndyRef2, especially since one of the main claims of the no camp in 2014 was that an independent Scotland would not be able to join the EU. It would appear, if the article to which I link at the end of this section is anything to go on that the Tories seek to make the local elections in Scotland a sort of ‘pre-referendum’. Anyway, here courtesy of the website indyref2.scot, is a post that goes into detail on the issue, titled “Sending a message“.
I posted some photographs in the music section of this post, and I finish the post with some pictures mainly from outside…
ENDNOTE – CRICKET REVISITED
During the time it took to put the above photos up both Middlesex & Hampshire and Surrey & Lancashire have shaken hands on the predicted draws. These means that only the ‘declaration bowling’ game between Derbyshire and Northamptonshire is still to be settled.
England, having won the opening match of the three match series on Friday could ensure a series victory by winning again yesterday. What follows is my account of how they did this. Cricinfo’s account can be viewed here.
WEST INDIES POOR WITH THE BAT
I missed most of the West Indies innings, but caught the closing overs. Some decent bowling from England and very ordinary batting from the West Indies at that stage meant that with a total of 250-260 (which on that pitch would have been respectable) having looked possible the West Indies ended up with a mere 225, which should not have been much of challenge for England…
A GLIMPSE OF THE 1990s
Sam Billings fell without a run on the board, but then Jason Roy and Joe Root settled in. At 87-1 with Roy having just reached his 50 England looked in full control. At that point Roy was out playing a bad shot, which seemed to trigger a time machine that transported as back to the 1990s. The England middle order simply disintegrated, that high water mark of 87-1 transmuting to 124-6, at which point the West Indies were looking like favourites.
Then, came a reminder that this was 2017 and not a revisit to the 1990s, as Chris Woakes demonstrated his continuing improvement, albeit with some assistance from the Wesr Indies fielders who dropped two absolute sitters. With the imperturbable Root in the anchor role, Woakes’ aggressive 68 not out saw England home with four wickets and an over and a half to spare (Root was 90 not out at the other end).
Here is a photographic commemoration of the England middle order yesterday…
For the uninitiated a score of 0 in cricket is referred to as a duck. And 1990s England really were as bad as all that.
SOME THOUGHTS ON THE PLAYER OF THE MATCH AWARD
Predictably enough the Player of the Match award yesterday went to Root for his 90 not out. However, while this decision is understandable I consider it incorrect. Although Chris Woakes was wicketless from his eight overs they only went for 26 runs (a rate of just over three an over compared to West Indies overall 4.5), which in conjunction with his 68 not out when England had got themselves into a big hole, should have secured him the award.
My renaming of Mr Davies as the Downright Dishonourable Phil E Buster (Con, Shipley) is because he has a long and disgraceful record of such behaviour and because in Britain this kind of behaviour is known as filibustering. It is right and proper to condemn this kind of behaviour, especially in relation to a bill that is about tackling domestic violence (being put forward by Eilidh Whiteford of the SNP), but that leads on to the next question…
WHAT SHALL WE DO ABOUT IT?
Tight time limits on speaking should be set in place as a matter of urgency and they need to be enforced rigorously. I believe that as well as being arrogant and contemptuous this “tactic” is deeply antidemocratic and cowardly (if you think you can defeat the bill you should present a coherent argument against it and back yourself to win the vote). The time limits should be a proportion of the total time set aside for the bill to be discussed, and will therefore vary according to circumstances. As for the punishments, I suggest a rugby style three tier approach, making the punishment fit the offences as follows:
For a first offence a ban on speaking for 1 weeks worth of parliamentary sessions (the equivalent of being sent to the sin bin).
For a second offence a ban on speaking for 1 months worth of parliamentary sessions (yellow card in rugby terms)
For a third offence automatic termination of parliamentary career on ground of unfitness for office, thus triggering a by-election, and of course debarring the offender from ever standing for elected office again. This is the red card equivalent.
This approach to dealing with what has become a serious problem mirrors my approach the curse of slow over rates in cricket, which I would deal with by the insertion of the following clause into the laws of the game:
The bowling side is required to deliver 30 overs per session (i.e 15 per hour) and at the end of each session if they have failed to achieve this their opponents will be awarded penalty runs for the unbowled overs at a rate of 10 per over or double the batting side’s scoring rate, whichever is the greater.
Note the inclusion of an insurance policy to make sure that the measure is absolutely guaranteed to be properly punitive.
Regular visitors to this site will know that I always like to include pictures in my blog posts, so here are some:
My 1,000th post on aspiblog, a typically eclectic mix of stuff – read, enjoy and please share!
As the title suggests this post contains a variety of different elements. There is another reason for choosing this title which will be revealed later.
With two scheduled days to go the 4th India vs England Test Match in Mumbai seemed to be headed for a high-scoring draw, but two things happened thereafter – India got right away, pushing their first innings total up to 631, and then England fell in a heap in their second innings – all out 195, beaten by an innings and 36.
THE NAS WEST NORFOLK COMMITTEE CHRISTMAS MEAL
This took place on Thursday at Frankie and Benny’s on the Hardwick Industrial Estate. Here are some pictures…
THE DUKE’S HEAD HOTEL
Those familiar with my 2017 wall mounted calendars will recall that the Duke’s Head Hotel frontage featured as the April picture. Well, since then it has been done up – here are a couple of pictures…
THE PUZZLE IN THE INTRODUCTION
My title for this post “Monday Mixture” is apt given its nature, but I also chose this particular title because both parts thereof begin with the letter M, the Roman numeral for 1,000, and this is my 1,000th post on aspiblog.
LINKS AND CLOSING PICS
My first link is to a petition on avaaz protesting against an Australian plan to put a toxic coal complex next to the Great Barrier Reef. Please click on the image below to sign and share the petition.
My next link, also contained within a picture is to a piece on whyevolutionistrue titled A Photobook of Biological Marvels and My Own Take on Them.
Rachael Swindon’s new blog continues to impress and amuse. Her target in this post, struck in the bullseye as usual for her, is hard right Tory MP for Witham, Priti Patel.
I started this links section with an environment related piece and I end it with another, courtesy of the Guardian, which provides this report of a study detailing how wind power is key to curbing greenhouse emissions – click the image below to read more…
I end this post with some more of my own pictures…
My 999th post on aspiblog – an appropriately quirky melange – share if you agree!
The title of this post comes from a cricket related quirk, explained by the image below, which is an extract from Mike Brearley and Dudley Doust’s book about the 1978-9 ashes series (six matches, Australia 1 England 5):
The ‘nonuple’ part of the title comes from the fact that this is my 999th post on aspiblog, and like the old Gloucestershire spinner Bomber Wells who deliberately retired on 999 first class wickets I have decided the commemorate 999 rather than the more conventional 1,000. By the way, although 999 is indubitably part of the ‘Nelson’ sequence I suspect that never mind me as someone immune to woo in all its forms even the late legendary David Shepherd might have considered that at 999 there was little to worry about (in point of fact it is 0% success rate as a score at which wickets fall – twice in first class cricket a team has scored that many – Victoria both times, against Tasmania in 1922 and New South Wales in 1926 and both times they reached the 1,000 safely and won the matches by monster margins – an innings and 666 and an innings and 656 runs respectively).
SOME RECENT FINDS
First a story which I reblogged from Why Evolution Is True yesterday, but which is so spectacular and so well presented that I am sharing a link to it today as well – click the picture below to visit:
Second, a suggestion that London should take its cue from Paris and make public transport free of charge (what are you waiting for, Sadiq?). I have already shared this on my London transport themed website, and now take the opportunity to promote it here – via two pictures, the first of which contains a link to the original article on www.independent.co.uk:
My next link concerns libraries, and the fact that they are being hit by huge funding cuts. At the bottom of the article mention is made of the library from which the most items have been borrowed this year – Norwich Millennium Library (and although that is the library I use least frequently of my three regulars my visits there are not entirely unconnected to the large number of items borrowed there!). Click here to see the original piece.
My final link in this section is appropriately cricket themed. Before getting on to it I note by way of observation that as the third day draws to a close the current test match between India and England seems to be capsizing under an overload of runs (Eng 400, Ind currently 445-7). A new cricket blog has appeared on my radar, and I introduce it to my readers by way of a link to a review of Steve James’ book The Art of Centuries.
To end this post here are some coin images from yesterday at work (on this occasion high-res scans rather than photographs as these were small lots):
A link to petition that needs more signatures, plus links to the supporting information. Some pictures, a few thoughts about the recently concluded test match and a couple of extra links.
I will be covering other stuff as well, but I am giving top billing to an autism related petition.
EDWARD TIMPSON MP MAKE BRIGHTON & HOVE DISTRICT COUNCIL CEASE ILLEGAL SECTION 47 SS INVESTIGATIONS
Here is the petition – main link is in the infographic:
Here is the opening paragraph of the petition:
Too many LAs are conducting illegal S47 child protection investigations and traumatising families. Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting at least one such an investigation right now against an innocent autism family (my own – autistic parent with autistic children), which indicates a pattern of behaviour is likely, as it wouldn’t be a one-off incident. Brighton & Hove City Council is conducting this investigation on the basis of entire autism ignorance (towards parent and children) and illegal disability discrimination. How can an autism parent perform their usual superhero job whilst being put through this trauma? LAs behaving illegally must be stamped out.
Here are links to all the updates that have been posted on this petition:
You now have access to all the information I have seen about this case and should know what to do. If in signing this petition you mention me and this blog I will receive an email notification telling me that you have signed.
After a large chunk of text it is time for some pictures. There are some from yesterday and some from today:
A TEST MATCH SETTLED BY A COIN TOSS AND A DISASTROUS 49 MINUTES
Test matches are scheduled to last for five days, and this one made it deep into the fifth of those of five days. India beat England by 246 runs and are to be congratulated, although as the title of this section suggests they were helped by good fortune. Winning the toss meant that they got to bat when the pitch was at its easiest. England’s disastrous 49 minutes occurred on the second evening, when they surrendered four wickets to end that day on 103-5 in reply to 455. Of the five wickets England lost that day only Cook got a really difficult delivery – the others assisted in their own downfall.
Facing 405 to win or 150 overs to survive on an increasingly difficult pitch England were never in the hunt, and the dismissal of Joe Root for 25 was the death knell, leaving the lower order to fight it out for as long as they could. Haseeb Hameed showed great concentration and determination at the top of the order before one shot along the ground to pin him LBW (a genuinely unplayable ball).
Virat Kohli demonstrated his skill with the bat, amending a decidedly dodgy previous record against England with scores in this match of 167 and 85. The latter was an innings that made it look like the match was taking place on two different pitches – at one end everyone else was struggling in the face of an excellent bowling performance from England, and at the other Kohli met every ball with the middle of his bat.
England showed enough to suggest that this series is not a lost cause, especially with three matches still to play.
A COUPLE OF LINKS TO FINISH
First, a petition on 38 Degrees calling for the scrapping of the ‘Sovereign Grant’ (I would prefer to scrap the Royal Family outright, but at least making them pay their own way would be a move in the right direction).