May 12, 2013 Leave a comment
More people live inside this area than live outside:
You might also like this graphic of population density.
Show me the numbers
April 2, 2013 Leave a comment
For most periods in the last decade I’ve travelled internationally a couple (or more) times a week for business, often at times of the day that are ‘my hours’. There’s a tradeoff to be made in terms of planning to get to the airport/train station with less time to spare (and therefore increasing leisure time) at the expense of a higher probability of arriving too late if there is a delay on the way.
Let’s say that planning the transit to arrive 90 minutes before departure has a 99% success rate, and that reducing this to 60 minutes corresponds to a 95% chance of getting on the flight. I ran some numbers, and at a cost of an incremental 3hrs of waiting time for each missed departure, plus £200 fees, then at 2 trips per week you’re buying back 40 hours per year at £20 per hour. Wouldn’t you take a £800 wage cut (pre-tax) for 1 extra week of holiday per year? Of course, you need to train yourself to be not stressed at the possibility of missing your flight, and accept that you will miss a small number each year.
If you’re a frequent traveller and always make every flight, then consider that you might be getting to the airport too early.
In The Checklist Manifesto, the author discusses the use of checklists to bring about improvements in frequently performed activities. I have a list I use for packing for trips (hardly as important as a pilot’s take-off checklist!) but does mean I pack slightly quicker, don’t have to put much thought in, and don’t forget to take e.g., the iPhone charging cable because it’s plugged out of site under the bed that weekend.
That said, if you are frequently travelling to the same client site then consider buying all of your usual toiletries, electric tooth brushes, razors, training shoes, cables, etc, twice, and keeping one set of all of these at the client site. That’s a lot less to pack and think about. More business travel tips ideas here.
January 8, 2013 2 Comments
Over 98% of expert games begin with 1 of 4 moves, out of a possible 20:
I used to play the Grob (1.g4) and did quite well with it. It’s a trade off, making a slightly less good first move to very quickly get into positions that your opponent has never been in before and needs to use up clock time to consider options from an unusually early stage of the game.
This is a tactic that Kasparov used against IBM’s Deep Blue, reaching a position after 3 moves that had only ever been seen once before at tournament level.
in any long game of chess it’s quite likely that a position is reached that no two players in the history of humanity have encountered before.
More in Nate Silver’s ‘The Signal and the Noise’.
December 31, 2012 Leave a comment
A quick Google search seems to suggest that one reason to have staff greeting customers as they enter a shop is to deter shoplifters:
Have your employees greet each customer as they enter the store. A shoplifter is less likely to go through with his crime if they think someone might be able to identify them
Or, go for the scarecrow approach:
Welcome to Denton.
November 17, 2012 2 Comments
I attended a lecture this week on research between stress and heart attacks, where this chart (from a New England Journal of Medicine paper) was displayed, showing incidences of heart attacks in the German population over the period of the 2006 Football World Cup, along with the data for previous years for comparison: