The Economist Technology Quarterly

Economist Technology Quarterly – March 2015

#RichardIII Reburial – Thursday 26 March 2015

The last 3 years has been great for Leicester, and great for the world.

I was blogging about the discovery back in February 2012, when Philippa Langley, the driver of this long journey unearthed the remains of Richard III, the Last Plantagenet King alongside the Richard Buckley (lead archaeology) and the rest of his team at the University of Leicester.

There were rumours that his remains were thrown into the River Soar following the Battle of Bosworth. But, Phillipa over a 10 year quest, set out to find his body.

They started a dig at a car park off Peacock Lane under a parking space lettered ‘K’ and in the first trench, they found a skeleton. This was identified as the Grey Friars. After the press release was given by the University of Leicester team, where Dr. Turi King used ‘wealth of evidence, including radiocarbon dating, radiological evidence, DNA and bone analysis and archaeological result’, to confirm that the identity of Last Plantagenet King who died over 500 years ago.

This led to thousands of people from tourists to international news teams like CNN and CCTV News descending to the City of Leicester in the East Midlands, UK to broadcast this fascinating discovery to the world.

2013-02-12 15.20.35

An exhibition in the Guildhall, adjacent to the Cathedral opened showing the process in finding Richard III’s remains.

Three years on, after a legal battle with York of where the body should be buried. Leicester won the battle at the High Court and the rights to rebury the remains of the Late Plantagenet King.

The reburial took place this morning with thousands stood at Jubilee Square near to the Cathedral watching the Live Service. The Countess of Wessex, Archbishop of Canterbury, Benedict Cumberbatch and many others significant names were all in attendance.

Benedict Cumberbatch (pictured above) read a poem called ‘Richard’ written by Carol Ann Duffy. Duffy said “It was a privilege” and the poem is described as a “meditation on the impact of his finding and the legacy of his story”.

The tomb of the King will be revealed tomorrow (Friday 27 March 2015) and ‘the journey has only just begun’ (Philippa Langley – Richard III Society).

Richard III Discovery – February 2012

2013-02-12 15.31.07 2013-02-12 15.31.25 2013-02-12 15.31.30-1 2013-02-12 15.35.04 2013-02-12 15.35.06 2013-02-12 15.35.08-1 2013-02-12 15.35.12-1 2013-02-12 15.35.32 2013-02-12 15.35.35 2013-02-12 15.36.03 2013-02-12 15.36.43 2013-02-12 15.36.46 2013-02-12 15.37.26 2013-02-12 15.56.35-1 2013-02-12 16.09.21-1 2013-02-12 16.09.24-1

Social Psychology, Philosophy, and Politics Blog

Please can you follow:

mustoesmind.blogspot.co.uk

Its a very interesting blog by someone I know.

If you can share it with your followers, it would be very much appreciated.

Thanks for all the support guys.

More posts to come later…

Osbourne Vs. May for PM for #GE2019 – #GE2015

There has been speculation that David Cameron, the current PM may not run for a 3rd term.

The most likely candidates are George Osbourne, the current Chancellor of the Exchequer or Theresa May, the current Home Secretary.

#GE2015

My posts will not primarily be based upon the events coming up to the 2015 General Election in the UK.

There are 7 parties:

  • Conservatives
  • Labour
  • Liberal Democrats
  • UKIP
  • Green
  • SNP
  • Plaid Cymru

I do follow a political party, but my posts will not reflect the interests of that party but merely present a balanced account of all parties running for this year’s General Election. 

Club Republic Leicester – 20 March 2015

IMG_1171

Every Friday night, Republic runs a night called Skint with £1 entry before 11pm. I paid £3 at 00:30.

It is a very modern club with great ambiance and decor. There are two rooms you can choose from: largest room is hiphop, R&B, and chart music with old skool music; The other room is more funk, smooth, 80s.

Its about 5/10 minutes walk from Highcross Shopping Centre and there is usually people selling tickets near to Clock Tower.

IMG_1160

IMG_1174IMG_1177

Marz Bar – 20 March 2015

 Marz Bar – Belvoir Street, Leicester

If you prefer old skool tunes and current chart music, then go to Marz in Leicester. Entry is free. Crowd is varied.    

#Budget2015 Summary – 18 March 2015

  • UK grew 2.6% in 2014, faster than any other advanced economy but lower than 3% predicted in December
  • 2.5% growth forecast in 2015, up from 2.4% predicted in December, followed by 2.3%, 2.3%, 2.3% and 2.4% in the next four years
  • Record employment in the UK, with jobless rate to fall to 5.3% this year
  • Trade deficit figures “the best for 15 years”
  • Living standards “higher” than in May 2010, according to OBR data, with households better off by an average of £900 in last five years
  • Inflation projected to fall to 0.2% in 2015

Public borrowing/deficit/spending

Money
  • Deficit halved since 2010 as a share of national income
  • Borrowing set to fall from £97.5bn in 2013-14 to £90.2bn in 2014-15, £75.3bn in 2015-6, £39.4bn in 2016-7, £12.8bn in 2017-8 before reaching a £5.2bn surplus in 2018-9
  • Debt as a share of GDP to fall from 80.4% in 2014 to 80.2% in 2015-16 before falling in every year, reaching 71.6% in 2019-20
  • Additional £30bn savings needed in next Parliament
  • Public spending squeeze to end a year earlier than planned in 2019-2020, with spending from then to grow in line with total economic growth
  • Welfare bills set to be an average of £3bn lower each year than predicted in December, and interest charges on government gilts £35bn lower
  • Sale of £13bn Northern Rock and Bradford & Bingley mortgage assets

Pensions

Pensioners
  • The lifetime allowance for pension savings that can be accumulated free of tax will be cut from £1.25m to £1m from April 2016, saving £600m annually
  • Pensioners will be able to trade in their annuities for cash pots, with the 55% tax charge abolished and tax applied at the marginal rate
  • Widows of police officers and firefighters who choose to marry again will have their existing pensions protected
line

Alcohol, tobacco and gambling and fuel

Man drinkin pint of beer
  • Beer duty cut by 1p a pint and cider by 2p.
  • 2% cut in excise duty on scotch whisky and other spirits
  • Wine duty frozen
  • No changes to tobacco and gambling taxes, with tobacco duties set to rise by 2% above inflation, equivalent to 16p on a packet of 20 cigarettes.
  • New “horse racing betting right” to replace the 50-year old horserace betting levy on British bookmakers
  • Petrol duty frozen – September’s planned increase cancelled
line

Personal taxation

  • The tax-free personal allowance to rise from £10,600 in 2015-6 to £10,800 in 2016-7 and £11,000 in 2017-8
  • The threshold at which people start paying 40p income tax to rise by above inflation from £42,385 in 2014-5 to £43,300 in 2017-8
  • Annual paper tax returns to be abolished, replaced by digital accounts.
  • Transferable tax allowance for married couples to rise to £1,100
  • Class two national insurance contributions for self-employed to be abolished in next Parliament
  • Review of inheritance tax avoidance through “deeds of variation”

Savings

  • New personal savings allowance – first £1,000 interest on savings income to be tax-free for basic rate taxpayers and £500 allowance for 40p tax ratepayers.
  • Annual savings limit for ISAs increased to £15,240
  • “Fully flexible” ISA will allow savers to withdraw money and put it back later in the year without losing any of their tax-free allowance
  • New “Help to Buy” ISA for first-time buyers will allow government to top up by £50 every £200 saved for a deposit

Armed forces

  • A further £75m from Libor fines to go to charities for regiments which fought in Afghanistan and government to contribute towards permanent memorial to those who died in Afghanistan and Iraq and help renovate Battle of Britain memorials
  • £25m to support army veterans, including nuclear test veterans

Business

  • Tax on “diverted profits” to come into effect next month, aimed at multinational firms moving profits “artificially offshore”
  • Annual bank levy to rise to 0.21%, raising an extra £900m. Banks to be barred from deducting compensation for mis-selling from corporation tax
  • Supplementary charge on North Sea oil producers to be cut from 30% to 20%while petroleum revenue tax to fall from 50% to 35%. New tax allowance to encourage investment in North Sea
  • Review of business rates
  • Automatic gift aid limit for charities to be extended to £8,000
  • Farmers allowed to average incomes for tax purposes over five years
  • New tax credit for orchestras and consultation on tax relief for local newspapers
line

Health and education

  • Consultation on proposal to offer loans of up to £25,000 for UK students studying for PhDs and research-based master’s degrees.
  • Mental health services to get £1.25bn in extra funding
line

Infrastructure and Housing

Source: BBC News – no copyright infringement intended.

Dr Hussein Al-Mossawi – St. Edmund Hall, Oxford

I attended a talk at Beauchamp College in Oadby, Leicestershire yesterday with the speaker Dr Hussein Al-Mossawi telling us about his specialty in Rheumatology, going to Oxford University and the processes involved in working in medicine. My overall impression was a very informative presentation for the year 12 students who were there.

Taken straight from his page on the Oxford University website, is his background:

‘Hussein Al-Mossawi completed his medical degree at Trinity College Oxford in 2006. He went on to complete his foundation and core medical training at the Oxford Deanery and moved to the Severn Deanery in 2010 to commence his specialist training in Rheumatology.

He returned to Oxford in 2012 to commence translational immunology research as part of the Bowness Group funded by a Wellcome trust fellowship. He has been teaching pathology and immunology at St Edmund Hall since 2009 and was appointed as a non-stipendiary lecturer in cellular pathology in 2012.

Current research interests are focused on characterising immune responses in autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as ankylosing spondylitis.’

In particular, his research stresses the importance of why this specific disease affects men rather than women.

He distinguished between the adaptive and innate immune system.

The innate immune response involves the usual dendritic cell that detects the foreign material and the macrophage cell that kills the foreign cell, eradicating this threat to the person’s immune system. This is known as the primary response.

However, the adaptive immune response is a bit more complex involving T cells and B cells. This subdivision of the immune system has a memory, so if the body detects a bacteria it has already come into contact with. It will initiate a secondary response.

Method used

The method used is flow cytometry. This involves assigning a particular gene with an excitation to an antibody and attaching a fluorescent tag.

The cytokine that Dr Al-Mossawi is interested in is IL17A . By using mathematical algorithms to draw gates, he concluded that T cells with the disease produced more inflammatory cytokine.

Why does this matter?

The applications of Dr Al-Mossawi et al.’s research is that it allows pharmaceutical industries to create drugs that bind to transcription factors (the molecules that causes DNA to be turned into mRNA in order to form a protein).

With further research,  the aim is to develop new drug targets for treating patients with Ankylosing spondylitis.

Andrew Grene Foundation – Fundraising in Leicestershire

I am Arran Patel, an 18 year old student at a college in Leicestershire. My economics teacher invited Jane Holden, the Head of UK Operations for the Andrew Grene Foundation, who raise money to fund microfinance and education projects in Haiti.

The foundation was created to honour Andrew, who ‘worked for the United Nations in the cause of peace in some of the world’s most precarious situations, among them the Central African Republic, Ethiopia and Eritrea’.

Andrew gave his life, aged 44, in the service of peace, in the earthquake of January 12, 2010 when the UN HQ building in Port au Prince collapsed.

I am fundraising to help Jane and the rest of the team fund the wonderful projects they are investing in like the building of the first 21st century school in Haiti ever following the Haiti Earthquake.

Please can you donate what you can. You can text PEQV91 to 70070 to donate £2 or alternatively donate through our JustGiving page.

Kind regards.

Arran Patel.

DigitalBanner_300x250_PEQV91_1426454189734

Introduction to Dambisa Moyo – ‘Dead Aid’

In Economics at the moment, we are discussing the constraints to economic development. One of those is aid which is defined as the voluntary transfer of resources from one country to another or a loan based on concessionary terms.

Dambisa Moyo, a Zambian economist, strongly believes in the idea that we should not send endless aid to Africa. One reason for this is that it leads to a dependency culture by the government – it helps to finance the corruption that exists and maintains the ‘African elite’. In contrast to this, the aim of this foreign aid is to benefit the citizens of the country.

The UK and other western countries tries to overcome these issues by undertaking schemes of ‘Glamour Aid’ as Moyo says. They attach a celebrity name to a cause like Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day yesterday as an example. However, she argues that only 20 cents of one $ gets to the average African citizen experiencing absolute poverty.

She then goes on to argue that this is ‘Dead Aid’, the current 60 year aid model has had little or no effect on the progress of economic development in these third world countries.

Moyo obviously has her critics including the infamous Bill Gates who is pro-aid with his foundation that provides vaccines and education projects in African countries. He is against the view that aid is ‘becoming a self-perpetuating industry’.

More to follow…

Sustainable living in Leicestershire

Whilst out and about in Leicester earlier, I stumbled upon this piece of fully sustainable living.

This couple redo this garden every year and transform the design. This year they are incorporating climbing plants like Bamboo trees and all-weather hardy plants to create an all year round appearance.

A friend called this design similar to that of restricted outside spaces of properties in cities like London and Birmingham, for example.

This low-maintenance layout is perfect for young professionals working long hours in the week, wishing to unwind and relax at the weekend.

The area at the bottom of the garden is the sunspot, suitable for hosting garden parties, eating alfresco with your family or having a barbecue in the summer.

The owner of this property in East Leicestershire preferred not to be named but it is a perfect example of living sustainable and self-sufficiently through composting and growing fruit, vegetables and herbs.

This is currently a work in progress in preparation for the summer but I will return in the summer to see the end product.

#AppleLive Event – 9 March 2015

Yesterday at 5pm GMT, Apple revealed at its #SpringForward event – it’s Apple Watch, the application of the Health app to medical research, a new 12″ Macbook (not an Air or Pro) and updated the people present and live streaming of its progress with the sales of the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus.

However, the specs of the new 12″ Macbook include:

Display

12-inch (diagonal) LED backlit Retina Display with IPS Technology

2304×1440 resolution at 226 pixels per inch with a greater pixel aperture

16:10 Aspect Ratio

Processor

1.1 GHz or 1.2 GHz dual-core Intel Core M processor

Can be turbo boosted up to 2.9 GHz with 4MB L3 shared cache

Memory

8GB RAM

Storage

256GB or 512GB PCle-based onboard flash storage

Size and weight

  • Height: 0.35–1.31 cm (0.14–0.52 inches)
  • Width: 28.05 cm (11.04 inches)
  • Depth: 19.65 cm (7.74 inches)
  • Weight: 0.92 kg (2.03 pounds

Graphics and Video Support

Intel HD Graphics 5300

Dual display and video mirroring

Wireless

802.11ac Wi‑Fi wireless networking;IEEE 802.11a/b/g/n compatible

Bluetooth 4.0 wireless technology

Charging and Expansion

One USB-C port with support for:

  • Charging
  • USB 3.1 Gen 1 (up to 5 Gbps)
  • Native DisplayPort 1.2 video output
  • VGA output using USB-C VGA Multiport Adapter (sold separately)
  • HDMI video output using USB-C Digital AV Multiport Adapter (sold separately)

480p FaceTime Camera

Keyboard

  • Full-size keyboard with 78 (US) or 79 (ISO) individual LED backlit keys, including 12 function keys and 4 arrow keys with ambient light sensor
  • Force Touch trackpad for precise cursor control and pressure-sensing capabilities; enables force clicks, accelerators, pressure-sensitive drawing and Multi-Touch gestures

Battery

  • Up to 9 hours wireless web
  • Up to 10 hours iTunes film playback
  • Built-in 39.7-watt-hour lithium-polymer battery
  • 29W USB-C Power Adapter; USB-C power port

The New Macbook will be shipping from April 10th and is available in Space Grey, Silver and Gold.

After speaking to an Apple Store member of staff, it is designed for academics, students and researchers.

My view is it is perfect for when I go to university as it is portable, durable and long lasting. My current MacBook Pro has lasted 5 years and I have experienced no problems with it compared to the previous Windows laptops I have had.

With student discounts on the Apple Store For Education, it will cost £902.40 for the 256GB model in Space Grey.