2013 — 21 June: Friday

I should have read Wednesday's email more closely instead of just focusing on the word "Friday". The 480GB Crucial SSD I've ordered is now a mere 22 days away. That strikes me as a bit much for a little package dispatched two days ago from Germany.1

Still, as I sit here twiddling my data thumbs, at least I've "proved" that the result of installing this so-far-virtual device should (assuming it arrives) be noticeable. My current 10,000 rpm Velociraptor SATA II system drive is delivering data transfer rates of just under 50MB/second. The two 3TB SATA III internal data drives are each managing a more respectable 100MB/second or so. The Crucial is rated at up to 400MB/second writing and 500MB/second reading though I don't doubt my mileage can vary. (Link.)

Much more important...

... news today, however. I should see Gill and Chris for the first time since she began her chemo treatment several months ago. Though the choice of silver anniversary cards I was looking at yesterday for them was so pathetic I gave up. (I'm reminded that Christa and I celebrated our 33rd just as her radiotherapy was coming to an end.)

"How could they?"

I refer to the shocking, totally unexpected (I jest) news that drug companies and pharmacies may have 'co-operated' to overcharge the NHS. Not exactly a new allegation, as a moment's dalliance with Mrs Google can confirm. I first read about it in the 1970s at the same time I was learning about resistance to antibiotics.

"How could they?" II

So the Minister of Health says he needs to tell the truth and cannot guarantee the safety of English hospitals. Blimey. No doubt scapegoats will in due course be identified. Blamed. And punished. Blimey, again. And (of course) another £40,000,000 pumped into the inspection process will now cure all that ails the system...


It was very good to see Gill (remembering, of course, to compliment her on her latest non-hairstyle!) and Chris and to share a meal with them down in Lyndhurst. Now that her chemo is finished there remains five weeks of precautionary (daily) radiation treatment. Later, I was happy to watch as they grubbed around in the back jungle here to gather some seeds and roots before they set off home. But, to be honest, I must confess it unsettled me to be driving around in the vicinity of the two hospitals in Soton where Christa was treated. I've not been back there voluntarily even though I had (and have) only very positive experiences of the staff there.

Frankly, it's hard feeling much affection for the places where my Best Girl spent her last month.

"The most successful scientists are bright enough to see what needs to be done, and not so bright they get bored doing it." One of the principles evolved by the guest speaking on NPR's "Science Friday". I haven't yet heard his name, but I'm betting it's EO Wilson. He talks to himself constantly, too. (Guilty as charged.) [Pause] It was indeed he. At 84, he has another book out: "Letters to a young scientist". And he's still studying Pacific coast ants.



1  I could walk it here faster than that, and DHL's tracking website lives in blissful ignorance of the tracking number. And my credit card was charged two days ago, dagnabbit. I'm only a poor pensioner...