Saturday, 13 December 2008

Share a jumper to save the planet?

Another way to do the green thing with style and amusement: A bit silly but provides an altrernative to randomly hugging cold people. Well it removes the randomness for a start...

Monday, 8 December 2008

Things I have found in the books of my sone aged 2 1/2

Books are an integral part of Theo's (Theodoric's) life. He has been in to them for a long while and over this time I have noticed that there are some good books out there. I am not dismissing the power of Thomas the Tank Engine and the other staples of young people today, but I find them boring. If I find a book boring I am likely to find a way of avoiding reading it to my son. Thus he has a more varied and interesting collection of books than many children his age. I say all this by way of explanation of the list that follows. All of the following appear in books that are no innapropriate to a child his age, but are somewhat more exlectic a set than might be the norm.

What my son read about:

1) Election rigging, Vote for Duck by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

2) Dynamite, The Three Little Wolves and the Big Bad Pig by Eugene Trivizas and Helen Oxenbury

3) Industrial Action, Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type by Doreen Cronin and Betsy Lewin

4) Biassed referees cheatin in international rugby matches, Misadventures of Dougal by Eric Thompson and David Barnett

5) Meteorology balloons, The Iceberg (The Sagas of Noggin the Nog) by Oliver Postgate and Peter Firmin

6) Untrustworthy used car salesman, Bear Buys a Car: A 3-dimensional Reading Book (Hardcover)

There are a fair few others, but these are the ones I can call to mind right now. I may publish more later...

Rufus Evison

Friday, 15 August 2008

The model of preventing mal-redemption by only letting people print coupons once from their home PCs is just fundamentally flawed!
To see the original go to which is full of wonderful cartoons

Sunday, 3 August 2008


I have now posted a few more double page spreads from Written in Crayon which is my humorous collections of excerpts from fictional books. I have also altered the image sizes to make them more readable. It kind of messes up the whole blog layout, but makes the book legible, which mattes more. I would welcome comments on the book bits you can see there as more will follow.

I am also debating writing a book on the pitfalls you can encounter within start up companies as they grow. It is the sort of topic where I have a fair degree of expertise, so I would want to see if a publisher might be interested before I started.

Rufus Evison

Saturday, 12 July 2008

You can clean the floor if you are good!

The other day (a bit over a week ago now, I have been too busy to blog) I was sitting down at the table in the conservatory with my two year old son Theo. It was his dinner time and he was eating nicely but he managed to drop something.

Now when he was nine months old I taught Theo about tidying up and he is quite good at it. He enjoys the praise he gets when he tidies or cleans up. His first time tidying up was with me in the bath when I got him playing the game of helping me put the bath toys back in their containers. This was in out old house in Cambridge and the containers were wire corner cage things that are stuck to the wall by suckers. Because there are a limited number of corners above the bath this meant that some of the containers were out of his reach even when he was standing up in the bath, so for those ones he handed me the toys to put away. The rest of the toys he could put in the lower container.

Theo has a routine where he has dinner, then has a bath, then goes to bed and is read a story. I added the sub stage where he would put away his bath toys before he came out of the bath.

Not long after I started him on playing this game whenever I was bathing him Theo had a bath with Coralie (his mummy). Now Theo was, as I said, nine months old at this point so he wasn't really talking yet. When Theo started feeling tired and wanted to go to bed he couldn't ask, not being able to talk, but he decided to start putting away his toys. The problem was that there were not many out so that the bottom cage, that he could reach, was full, so he gave the toy he had to his mother to put in the top cage. She did not know about the new game and thanked him for the toy and then gave it back to him. He looked a little annoyed at her not doing it right and thrust it back at her. She did the same thing again. After two or three more passes he went over to the cage while she had the toy and pointed at it. She finally twigged and put it away, where upon he held up his arms to be picked out of the bath.

I mention all this to give the understanding that he has bought into the concept of tidying things up. So you can imagine that when he dropped something on the floor he wanted to sort it out. Now it had created a splash so it would not be a quick wipe so I had to tell him he needed to finish dinner first. Being an inventive two year old it was entirely possible he could decide, either at the time or in the future that throwing things on the floor would get him a later bed time, so I did not want to set a precedent that would encourage the idea. This left me in the position, if I wanted to break the routine to let him clean up (a good thing for him to enjoy) I needed to set the context properly. I found myself saying:
"You can clean up after dinner if you are really good"

It was about then that it struck me what I had just said. I suddenly thought to myself how lucky I am and how it really doesn't get much better than having to be in the position of saying something like that to your son. At that point I realised that I would have to put this in one of my blogs lest I ever need to look back on it and smile happily.

It was about then that it struck me what I had just said. I suddenly thought to myself how lucky I am and how it really doesn't get much better than having to be in the position of saying something like that to your son.">Rufus

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

This amused me

I saw a cartoon that amused me and thought I would share it. I came across it on Matt's blog, which I highly recommend. I have great respect for Matt, so it seems ironic that my first blog to mention him should be the frivolous one.

Sorry matt.

P.S. Can anyone mail me with a suggestion for which bit of LGM physics I should cover next?

Ostrich doesn't have quite enough points...


Thursday, 22 May 2008

Carbon Footprint

I have been asked to look at the term Carbon Footprint and how it appears to search. It seems that most of what you see when you search for carbon footprint are sites whcih talk about carbon footprint calculators. There is also some descussion of the definition of carbon footprints and how they should be viewed in terms of claims by businesses. Does a carbon footprint include the carbon footprint of your suppliers footprints when they were creating the items you use to creat your products for instance. If not the footprint for your product is misleading, if so then the carbon footprints are going to be double counted.

I will probably have to update this to get it to register on search engines itself, but I will see if it manages on its own for the moment. In the meantime a question to ponder: what is the carbon footprint of a blog article?

Rufus Evison

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Testing a you tube object

This is Bill Hicks talking about how he feels Marketers are evil. It isn't as funny as you might hope, but it illustrates the placing of a youtube object within a blog post which will be usefull to me now and again, so I feel it is worthwhile. Those of you interested in retail media may be equally interested in why I chose this particular object.

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

Physics Explained : LGM Theory and Electricity

When you run a current through a wire you are effectively giving a push to the little green man at the back of the queue of little green men that run through the wire. He Shouts and then starts to run through the wire. The next LGM will run to avoid him and so forth.

Clearly the reason that a wire gets hot when you run a current through it is that the little green men are doing exercise and so getting hot. If you have a thinner wire they will be more likely to run into each other and fights may develop. Also if it gets very thin the crowding will make it much more work. As well as producing more heat this clearly makes it more difficult to get th LGMs down the wire. This is what we refer to as resistance. This leads us to an equation:


V is the voltage (the term for the force you need to get the LGMs going down the wire).
I is for the current or flow of man down the wire. It should be remembered that even though they refer to thuis as I it is the flow of the men, not the men themselves that is meant here.
R is the resistenece they put up to going down the wire at all.

So as you would expect the more resistance the more you need to push them to make them go. The greater the flow of men you are trying to get the more you need to push them too.

If you do not have a circuit the man at the front of the queue will have nowhere to go and so will not be able to move. This means the man behind him is stuck too and so on. In effect this means that is you have a break in the circuit you have a logjam and no one can move.

As the men move they sing, but you will only hear this if you are another LGM. This helps account for a whole lot of intereference effects that I may detail in a later post. Another bit I shall discuss is the blocks of flats people call capacitors and how coming out of a narrow wire can lead to enthusiasm and hence to over crowding and pushback providing oscilations. More details as and when...

It all makes sense really.

Rufus Evison

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Privacy and capriciousness

I wrote the following post a few minutes ago, but have since found out that in fact an email was sent to Bain and Company. The reason I was mentioned is that they are the company I am going to be talking to in a conference call later today. My colleague Oliver Harrison had asked me yesterday if I would take part in the call but did not say which company would be on the call. I am letting this post stand so that we can see if the people I am talking to later have triggered on this post. If nothing else it should be amusing.

Original post follows:

I just noticed some web-evidence (webidence?)that someone from Bain and Company had received an email about me and had followed it up by having a quick look. The evidence is not conclusive but is highly suggestive. It is certain that someone from within that company has been looking at me online, and the way in which they have done this suggests they were prompted by an email. As I have mentioned elsewhere the information available on the web is really quite startling. I find myself tempted to contact Bain and Company and offer more information. I imagine this would have a couple of effects if I got the information to the right person:

1) It would make them feel that big brother was watching them and so understand the privacy concerns some people feel about the Internet.
2) It would make them feel that I was good at what I do, at least in the context of web monitoring.

Neither of these seem bad things. A third effect that it would have is that it would amuse me. Taken together these are almost enough to make it worth the bother of trying to find the right person, or at least broadcasting the information throughout their company so that it is heard. Almost enough but not quite.

Instead of making that effort I have decided to leave this to chance. If they are the sort of company they present themselves as being then at least one person from Bain and Company will have a Google alert set up on the company name. They will then see this posting and will either comment or not. If they are not as switched on as they seem they will never know that I noticed them passing.

Rufus Evison

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Physics explained: The LGM Unified Theory

Mathematical models can help describe how the universe works. They are not models of the actual universe, that is for physicists. Methematical models are nice constructs that work within their own scope.

An axiom is a statement of a non-negotiable rule of the model. It is possible to choose a set of axioms that contradict one another. This leads to very boring model universes that collapse in on themselves. If you have a set of rules that do not contradict you can do what you like with them. This can be fun and interesting. It can also be useful. The intention is not to be useful but to increase understanding and knowledge.

When mathematics tries to be useful (as opposed to physics which tries to use mathematice usfully) then interesting things can result. You can end up with things which are clearly wrong, but produce useful results. A good example of this is that a good rough guide to how good someone is at reading is based on their height. There is a strong correlation between height and spelling ability. The reason for this is the obvious one that new born babies cannot spell and many grown-ups can. Providing a mathematical equation for probable spelling proficiency based on ehight is therefore pretty easy. It will generally be reasonably accurate within limits and could even be useful if you had a need to predict the spelling ability of people from their height. To try to turn this into a statement about the real world would be a mistake as the Questionable Cause Fallacy would be easy to fall into.

The LGM unified theory is useful for begining scientists (those with of height) to remember how objects behave in the real world and so predict their behaviours. The LGM theory is entirely based on a fallacy. The fallacious assumption is that all physics is actually the product of teeny little green men. This is pretty easily seen to be unlikely from the fact that many things in this world are not green, but even that can be argued. Ignoring the fact that it is not actually based on a correct set of axiom this theory can be useful and amusing.

I will go into detail in later articles, but an example might be to suggest that Gravity was caused by little green men standing on two objects and pulling them together. Due to the way they have to stand on each other's shoulders in decreasing squares the amount of them that are actually holding each other at the point where one stack reaches the other goes down as the square of the distance between the two objects, so gravity works to an inverse square law.

That is an example of the potentially useful and ultimately frivolous unified LGM Theory. Over time I will be publishing some more ultimately pointless envestigation of this theory. If anyone has any particular points of physics that they feel need explaining just let me know and more will be forthcoming.

Rufus Evison (theoretical physicist*)

(*) In practice not a physicist, but one theory is that I might be a physicist.

Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Rufus What?

I was looking at my post that said I came up quite heavily if you google "rufus web analytics" and so I took to wondering what other terms would find me, as well as what terms might find my friends. I count 'a find' if the person I am looking for comes up in the top 10 on google for a search term (without quotation marks) of their first name and one or two other words. Clearly having an unusual first name helps me in this game, but not everyone I know has that advatnage.

I think it is fair to say that William TP is well known in the field of anagrams as he totally dominates the results for "william anagrams" even though his first name is fairly common. Despite my having an unusual name I only manage two or three in the top ten for "rufus anagams" as I do not really have much of an interest in anagrams except peripherally due to knowing William.

Kirsty, a colleague of mine who works with retail media in digital channels comes up at the top for "kirsty retail media", which is indicative of her expertise.

The question is, what term do you need to put next to your name in order to appear in the top ten? What does that say about who you are?

Rufus Evison

P.S. Other terms I have noticed I do show up on include "rufus retail media", "rufus stag" , "rufus evison", "rufus punt", "rufus director", "rufus entrepreneur", "Rufus reasoned", "rufus coralie" (Coralie being my wife for those of you who do not know). I suspect there will be others that reveal much about me, but without knowing what to look for how will I find them?