Cui bono?

honor hominesque honesti floreant

Month: October, 2013


I have been asked who I am.  It has been suggested that I am one of the Cold Salad crew, and even that I may be Old Boore.  That suggestion can be firmly squashed, since as some of you may already know Old Boore is a splendid lady in her nineties, addicted to sea-bathing, and living on the south coast of England.  However, it was Old Boore – she prefers to be referred to here only by her nom de plume – who is responsible for my appearance on this page, and I feel therefore I must consult her before identifying myself properly, which I hope to do tomorrow, together with a comment or two about the recent kerfuffle about anglophone spying agencies doing exactly what one had been assuming for years that they were there for (though how they had the nerve to prompt friends in the media to produce articles on the wickedness of the Chinese trying to do the very same thing is a mystery.)  I can, though, also deny being a member of the Cold Salad coterie although all except a couple were well-known to me.  (If newcomers would like to learn how they acquired and then dropped that sobriquet, please visit again tomorrow.)

            Meanwhile, since I am producing nothing of my own today – spent most of the day finding accommodation for a visiting professor in phonetics who had broken his jaw in trying to demonstrate the Oshkosh double-click consonants to the rugby class who misinterpreted the whole thing – I will sign off by citing something my eight-year-old nephew put beside my porridge bowl this morning (sly little bastard).

            Investigate, investigate, till the public’s thoroughly bored;

            that’s the way the ‘innocence’ of the guilty gets ensured.

Percentages and their interpretation: no. 13 and a half

I had to rugby tackle my sexagenarian aunt last Thursday as she was about to bound down the steps of our residence with a view to leaping into the post chaise which Chalmers had waiting for her.  Just in time I’d discovered she had picked the lock on my safe and extracted several thousand in cash. When she came round it transpired she had been intent on heading for the City to stash the lot in the US markets as soon as might be, as a result of seeing a report in that estimable digest of the media, The Week.  This related that a financial commentator had come up with some jolly news for all of us who like to play the markets (or at least the lucky minority of us who still have enough spare dosh to do so).  He was reported as noting that the market (in the US) had in recent decades dropped 24 times by more than 13% over three months, but – the good news! – over the next year ‘about two-thirds’ of these drops were followed by a gain of more than 20% over the next year.  As 24 gives an exact two-thirds figure of 16, I am not clear as to why the phrase ‘about two-thirds’ made its appearance (and also as to what happened on the other occasions); but that is neither here nor there.  My worry is whether it’s all that much of an advantage to act on this basis.  If you start with 100% and subtract 13% you get 87%.  A subsequent gain of 20% of 87% is 17.4%.  So you would have a net gain of 4.4% over a year and three months.  Can anyone advise as to what the average market gain – in, say, the past fifty years – has been over a fifteen month time span?


[Answer to yesterday’s question:

 None of (a) to (c).  These words form the tagline which appears at the head of each page of the mission statement of the Campaign to rebrand Nick Clegg as a success.]

Puzzle corner

Q.What is ‘cute, cuddly, and quirky’?  Is it

(a) Lloyd George’s description of his favourite girlfriend?

(b) The title of a new biography of Angela Merkel?

(c) The official BBC term for the item which the presenter must find to end any ‘news’ programme? 

Answer to be posted tomorrow

Percentages and their interpretation: no. 47.5319


A quite recent survey in France (pays de liberté, égalité, fraternité) claimed that 83% of the population believe that the Rom are not interested in becoming integrated into French life.  But perhaps the more accurate interpretation here could be that 83% of the French population is not interested in  helping the Rom to integrate into French life. 

            (How many of the 83% have ever tried adressing a friendly remark to a Rom?)


How odd that, just when progressives are demanding quotas for women in various aspects of life, many of the same people are also calling for an end to a current 50% female quota in marriage.  (The option for up to 80% in some countries is a different matter, since the extension appears generally to be at the discretion of male participants.)

It appears there may be some possibility that abnormal service will be resumed in the near future