I’m not sure this is a “popular science” book at all, not because the lessons are difficult or contain equations (they aren’t and don’t), but if you approach this slim volume from a scientist’s perspective, there is an insight available to you that maybe the man on the Clapham omnibus will miss. Carlo Rovelli’s broad-brush sketches of six important physics concepts are watercolour impressions of scenes that you may have gained intimate familiarity with over years of study, and yet have never really seen. The final lesson addresses our own place in the universe that we have discovered and reconnects us to what brought us into science in the first place.
We found a new place for our annual June birthday lunch: Copper Blossom on George Street and North Castle Street. The menu is varied and inviting, with a range of great food from “bites” to deli sandwiches, to a full Sunday Roast.
I settled on ham and eggs and it was excellent: tender and perfectly cooked gammon under a light glaze, a perfectly fried duck egg and home fries in a bucket. There’s a short wine list that covers most preferences and a similarly short but irresistible dessert menu. The horror of there being no trifle left was amply mitigated by a compensatory Eton Mess that did not disappoint.
One particular delightful surprise was Alicia Ukelele, who sang for all of us as we enjoyed our meal. She has a really good voice and interprets a great catalogue of songs in a way that’s summery and joyous. I particularly loved her rendering of Joni Mitchell’s “A Case of You”. Alicia is a music therapist and that’s not a surprise when you hear her performing.
You can hear more of Alicia over at Soundcloud, or better still why not go along to Copper Blossom and see her live on a Sunday afternoon?
I use Apache’s Solr to provide a global search facility on Moodle. Now that my courses have ended for the summer, it’s time to bite the bullet and upgrade the Solr server software from version 6.6.0 which I installed last year, to the current 7.3.1. This turned out to be more straightforward than I feared, and did not require me to touch the PHP solr module that I had to compile from source when I installed it the first time. Here are the steps:
# cd /opt # wget http://apache.mirrors.nublue.co.uk/lucene/solr/7.3.1/solr-7.3.1.tgz # tar zxvf solr-7.3.1.tgz # cp solr-7.3.1/bin/install_solr_service.sh . # rm -rf solr-7.3.1 # ./install_solr_service.sh solr-7.3.1.tgz -f
Notice the -f flag which tells the script to upgrade an existing installation. The script stops the currently running instance, extracts the new code and starts the instance. A quick check of the admin interface on port 8983 shows the new code running OK, the cores intact, and the client service on Moodle nominal.
EDIT: At present (June 2018) Solr 7 is not supported on Moodle 35. The latest version of the Solr server that works with Moodle 35 is 6.6.4: the instructions above will install Solr 7.
If you want global search to work with Moodle 35, replace “7.3.1” with “6.6.4” and fetch the code using wget from the Apache archive at http://archive.apache.org/dist/lucene/solr/6.6.4/solr-6.6.4.tgz.
So, we thought we’d catch up on Channel 4’s Humans with some popcorn. On with the Sky box and the telly and press the TV guide. Catch up. Here we go. Microwave is on. Sounds of corn popping.
Sky says we have to contact them because that channel isn’t free to view on demand on the downstairs telly. Weird. We can watch Channel 4 for free on the internet-connected upstairs telly OK, but we wanted to sit with our popcorn, now ready to eat, downstairs.
OK, no problem. XBox. There’s an app.
XBox says it won’t connect to the internet because it wants to do an update first. Sake.
Update eventually installed and restarted and we can sign in and find the app. It needs installed. No problem. Popcorn almost finished now. App installs, but Channel 4 wants us to sign in. Why?
We can’t sign in, we don’t have an account. Why would we have an account for a free-to-air TV channel? It seems we have to visit their website first to create one. Uckfay offhay. Have you people never heard of GDPR?
Popcorn finished. The moment has gone. Casualty it is.
Bring on the AI revolution! Technology is no threat to us.
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