Pack up your things, kids…

…we’re headed for Wet Wipe Island!

OK, so the headline is accurate in so much as an MP – Fleur Anderson – did apparently say that, but it’s still a bit clickbaity: the “major English river” is the Thames; and it’s still a bit sensational: the “changing course” thing sadly hasn’t meant that the whole of Fulham has flooded or anything like that.
But still, there is a Wet Wipe Island according to Anderson:

There’s an island the size of two tennis courts, and I’ve been and stood on it — it’s near Hammersmith Bridge in the Thames, and it’s a metre deep or more in places of just wet wipes. It’s actually changed the course of the Thames.

Thankfully, as a family, we’re now well passed the wet wipe stage, but I completely agree that they are horrible things. I’ve had to unblock a drain clogged with them and they are pretty much indestructible. I would fully support a ban on them – especially now that it would have absolutely no effect on my life.

So yes, they’re awful and they don’t biodegrade, but there might be more to this story that no-one has noticed. Plenty of other things – biodegradable or not – float down the Thames on a daily basis, so if this island is truly made up solely of wet wipes, then it does (to me, at least) suggest that they may somehow have become sentient and are gathering for a potential attack on the city. Otherwise, how have they managed to conglomerate with such precision and at the exclusion of all other flotsam and jetsam?
Fulham might not be flooded yet, but an army of wet wipes (possibly controlled by demons?) (just a working theory) forming numerous wet wipe islands and eventually blocking the Thames would certainly cause major issues for London.

Look, I’m not saying that that’s what’s happening. All I’m saying is just to keep an eye on this story.

And to stop using wet wipes.

Interesting graph

From a famous mathematician.

Your chances of sharing a space with someone who is Covid positive, based on a given prevalence of Covid in the local population and a given number of people in the space:

So (using the arrow as an example), when 7% of the local population have the virus, if you share a space (supermarket, pub, restaurant, SA taxi) with about 20 people, there’s a 50% chance that at least one of them will be Covid positive.

For those that are interested in the maths, I’ve calculated the probability of at least one person in the room having Covid as 1-(1-p/200)^N Where p is the population prevalence as a percentage and N is the number of other people in the space.

In the UK at the moment, prevalence is somewhere around 4%: 1 in 25 people are positive. And that means that if you are packed tightly in any given space together with any more than about 90 people, there will be at least one of you who is positive…

Oh. Oh dear.

And yet there are still no precautions of any sort being put in place. Quite bizarre

Of course there are a few terms and conditions to Kit’s graph.
Some people might isolate if they are Covid positive. Some people might be Covid positive but asymptomatic. Some people might not have bothered getting tested, so they won’t know if they’re positive or not. All of these might affect the assumed prevalence.

And then, of course, just because you share a space with someone who is Covid positive doesn’t mean you’ll get infected (although, see headline above). That will depend on the size of the space (and therefore your proximity), the amount of time you and they spend in the space, the ventilation in the space and – of course – whether either (or both) of you is wearing a mask.

But it’s a super useful tool for just showing how likely any of us is to be sitting next door to someone who is positive. Lovely stats. Only mildly scary.

This weekend, I will mostly be…

…watching and listening to Glastonbury via the BBC. It’s back after two (so actually, three) years!
(Glastonbury, that is. The BBC never went away.)

If you are a Brit or you can pretend to be one via internet subterfuge and naughtiness, you too can enjoy 4K coverage of many of the performances from the Glastonbury Festival.

Here on the radio (no subterfuge required).
And here on the radio, but with pictures, aka the internet.

Here’s an guide to what’s on and when.

Please don’t throw things when I say that I’m not very keen on any of the headliners this year (William Eilish, Paul McCartney and Kendrick Lamar). Nor Diana Ross in the Legends slot.
They’re all probably great, but they’re just not my thing.

I mean, compare and contrast REM, Radiohead and Moby in 2003. No contest.

But don’t hate me: there are plenty of other acts that I would love to see: Wet Leg, Pet Shop Boys, Elbow, Skunk Anansie, Little Simz, Róisín Murphy, Kae Tempest, Phoebe Bridgers, Arlo Parks, Metronomy, Caroline Polachek, Billy Nomates, Jon Hopkins, Tim Burgess, Floating Points, Amyl and the Sniffers, Bicep, Confidence Man, Nubya Garcia, Warmduscher, St Etienne, Sigrid, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Sleaford Mods, First Aid Kit, Khruangbin, Primal Scream and maybe Mitski.

And we’re still only scratching the surface, because you can always find something new to listen to on a weekend like this.

So it will be this lot and Series 3 of Stranger Things for the duration. See you on Monday.

Tough questions

I’ve somehow ended up watching Tipping Point on TV this evening.

It’s a quiz show, but I have to say that the questions aren’t exactly taxing. I’ve just had to watch the contestants struggle with the rather difficult:

When written in the English language…

(It’s a British show full of British people, by the way.)

…how many of the four seasons…

(They had to remind them that there were four.)

…begin with the letter S?

I was amazed at Carole’s speed at hitting the buzzer, if slightly less impressed at her answer of “one”.
Clearly, in her haste, she’d forgotten about Summer and Sautumn.

Right, I would write more, but my mind is otherwise occupied with this vexing puzzle which has just been thrown out there:

Which three letter word is another word for frozen water?

Fortunately, I’m not playing the game in the studio like the poor contestants, so I’m going to fire Google up and see if it can help.