The great nativity pilgrimage

Spot on Caroline!

carolinehigh

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I have a theory. The increase in road traffic at this time of year can’t be due to Christmas shoppers as we all shop online nowadays. And it’s too early for the annual dash to the airport for the great Christmas getaway. And as I sat on the A1 the other day in a traffic jam, I had this blinding realisation as to who it was blocking up the lanes – it’s us! Us lot, the over 50s/60s, the grandparents, the proud parents of children who are proud parents of angels, kings, wise men and sheep and what have you. That was it – we were all on the great annual nativity pilgrimage – some driving from one end of the country to another – and mostly, it seemed, on the A1.

Families don’t all live in the same town these days – we know that. So there we all…

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Brexit and Trump – an apology

I’m not a Facebook fan, but today I read something on my timeline written by an old friend and colleague which alone justifies the existence of social media:

phil_cosker_fb_150An apology (by Phil Cosker)

I have no witty aphorism to offer in the face of Brexit and Trump’s victory in the US presidential election. No pithy pun to make me look good. No alliteration to amuse you. And why not? Because Brexit, and now this latest populist insanity in the USA, are not funny. If Brexit was bad Trump’s victory is terrifying. I may have no jokes but I do have something to say – and it’s an apology.

But before that – I am heartbroken that the majority of the people of the countries that make up the United Kingdom (sic) have decided to leave the European Union. Continue reading

George Boole update

I have written before on this blog and elsewhere about the father of digital technology, George Boole, maths genius and son of a Lincoln cobbler, who had his own school near Lincoln Cathedral. Dave Kenyon, co-founder of the Lincoln Boole Foundation has been in touch about another success in his campaign to raise awareness of this great thinker. Dave writes:

The Lincoln Boole Foundation is pleased to announce the upcoming installation of a large commemorative plaque in the centre of Lincoln at the junction of High Street and Silver Street, just yards from Boole’s birthplace. This high-profile memorial has been given the blessing of both City and County authorities. Its size and position will make it arguably the highest profile memorial plaque in the city – as befits the inventor of digital logic. Continue reading

George Boole, Victorian digital hero

I really cannot recall when I first heard of George Boole, the creator of Boolean logic, but I do remember being intrigued when I spotted the plaque on his former house in Pottergate, Lincoln, when I first came to work in the City.

 

When I first mentioned to a few local acquaintances that Boole came from Lincoln I was met with a few blank looks, but now, in Boole’s bicentenary year, there are welcome signs of a growing recognition here of his global importance. Much of this awakening is down to the sustained and dogged influence of my friend, former colleague and co-director of the Lincoln Boole Foundation, Dave Kenyon.

So who was George Boole? Dave has written a brilliant guest post for me, all about Lincolnshire’s Victorian Digital Hero:

George Boole, Lincolnshire’s forgotten genius is 200 years old this year. Unbeknownst to most of us, he’s responsible for the ‘digital DNA’ of everyday life.

Most readers interested in Lincolnshire will probably know that 2015 is the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta. Similarly, most will be aware of Sir Isaac Newton as the county’s most illustrious son. But very few will know of the bicentenary of George Boole, the Lincoln man who has had most recent worldwide impact. He invented “Boolean Logic” which is the binary system at the heart of silicon chips and all things digital. As if that wasn’t enough, he was the youngest and poorest winner of the Royal Society’s Gold Medal for a hundred years. To cap that off, he also laid some of the foundations for ‘Pure Maths’ and gave us many aspects of calculus used daily by scientists and technologists of every type. Continue reading