Author Archive

Do More Expensive Wines Taste Better?


Computers That Trade on The News

and David Brooks The Return of History

Google Canal View: Etang de Thau>Agde’s Circular Lock>Grau d’Agde

There is a route through the circular lock on the Canal du Midi at Agde for boats to get from the Etang de Thau to the Mediterranean coast at Grau d’Agde.

Click the Google Map to activate and view the route

The unique circular lock at Agde has three gates. Two of the gates give access to the Canal du Midi for boats going downstream (on the left, to the Etang de Thau) and upstream (on the right, to Bezier). The third gateway (on the top) leads into a spur canal that runs south to join the Hérault River several hundred metres later. Following the Hérault downstream through the town of Agde leads into the Med after 2.5 kms at Grau d’Agde.

We were interested in this route from the Canal du Midi to the sea because it is the closest place to enter the Med for reaching Gruissan, 30 kms west along the coast, where we plan to moor Tempus Fugit over the winter. However, in planning for the trip, while we could find information about boats using this spur canal, we could not locate data on the clearances under the bridges across it. From initially viewing Google Earth and the historical diagram of the lock and the railway bridge half way down the spur it looked rather tight. But by using Google Earth along Google Street View and associated photographs we have been able to gauge the width and height clearances under the bridges and think we will be able to get through.

Death by PowerPoint?

We have met the enemy and he is PowerPoint

But not everyone agrees

Including people specializing in the visualization of data

Climate Change Economics and Politics: Ramp vs Big Bang Strategies

In Building a Green Economy, an April 5, 2010, article published in The New York Times Magazine, Paul Krugman provides a most accessible overview of the arguments for and against proposals for using cap and trade vs. emissions tax strategies in meeting the challenges of climate change. In the process he gives an easily understood introduction to environmental economics and convincing reasons for possibly combining the two strategies. In concluding he considers the relative merits of  “ramp” vs. “big bang” approaches to acting on climate change threats in the light of the uncertainties involved in assessing their benefits and costs. His approach to this latter choice and conclusion that the “big bang” approach should be preferred, particularly caught my attention because of my interest in exploring arguments for adopting “strong sustainability” strategies sooner  rather than later.


I  am still in the process of building the basic components of this blog with its integral set of web pages. Please read the About for an overview of what I have in mind. And you will find the first pages for the Serendipitous Pracademic and Waterway Cruiser each tell a story – they are background to the eclectic collection of posts you can read by scrolling down below. The sub-pages of the web site are listed in the drop down menus above and can also be accessed from the navigation to your right, beneath the recent posts.

Tony in the Pink