Michael Winston

  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Community Reputation

29 Good

About Michael Winston

  • Birthday 07/08/54

Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    Birmingham U.K.
  • Interests
    Photography, music, travel and my wonderful wife and son.

Recent Profile Visitors

2,591 profile views
  1. Link here to the Ice storm currently in the states:- http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/7137682.stm Looks pretty rough, Regards, Mike. Edit: From Oklahoma Dept. of Emergency Management:- ''Winter Weather Event December 9 - Present, 2007 On Saturday December 8, an Arctic airmass moved into Oklahoma from Kansas. As the cold air settled in across Oklahoma, temperatures dropped below freezing. A storm system moved across Kansas/Nebraska early Sunday morning and produced widespread freezing rain in Oklahoma, especially along the I-44 Corridor. Many areas received 1/4 inches of ice with some areas up to 1/2 inches by Sunday evening. Additional freezing rain is expected through Monday night.''
  2. Eh? I'm puzzled. What does this mean exactly? Can anyone enlighten me? Kind regards, Mike.
  3. From Ananova News: Deckchair trapped testicles ''A Croatian man got a nasty surprise when he tried to get out of his deck chair and found his testicles had got stuck. Mario Visnjic had gone swimming naked in the sea at the Valalta beach in western Croatia, reports 24sata. His testicles had shrunk while in the cool sea and slipped through the wooden slats when he sat back down on his wooden deckchair. But as he lay in the sun they expanded back to normal size and got stuck between the slats. He was eventually freed after he called beach maintenance services on his mobile phone and they sent a member of staff to cut the deck chair in half. '' All true, apparently!! Regards, Mike.
  4. Here's a couple........ and.......... Enjoy! Regards, Mike.
  5. Teacxhing, thinking, learning.

    I'm reading with keen interest the arguments presented here about belief systems. My favourite educationalists, Neil Postman and Charles Weingartner, in their seminal book 'Teaching As A Subversive Activity' promote the argument that discovery comes not by design but largely by inquiry. They cite Galileo and Copernicus as two examples of scientists who challenged contemporary thinking and were roundly persecuted for it. Of course, now we know the earth is not the centre of the Universe, but such talk in medieval times was heretical. Galileo and Copernicus challenged orthodox thought by inquiry; they didn't decide to get up one morning and 'discover' the motion of the celestial bodies; through inquiry, they perceived and described that which was already there. Their challenge to the belief system, however, was so profound and so iconoclastic that it nearly cost them their lives. Postman and Weingartner also note the subtle shades of language we use and the profound effect it can have on our perceptions e.g. when we say, 'John (or Jane) is stupid', we are in fact talking more about ourselves than John (or Jane). 'Stupid' does not exist. It is a convenient expression of disapproval of the behaviour we see in others, a kind of label we use to describe our feelings of frustration about the behaviour of others. This observation draws on Earl Kelly's assertion that 'my language is me' - that is, what I say is who I am and the language I employ confirms my beliefs and prejudices. A fact is a statement of a human judgement and is, therefore, subject to all its fallibilities. Bear with me: I'm half-way through. The inquiry method of education advocated by Postman and Weingartner is a student-centred method of education focused on asking questions. Students are encouraged to ask questions which are meaningful to them, and which do not necessarily have easy answers; teachers are encouraged to avoid giving answers when this is possible, and in any case to avoid giving direct answers in favour of asking more questions: just like the GW/AGW debate, in fact. In this sense, education takes the form of Socratic methodology, giving open-ended answers to problems not yet clearly defined, or speculative, or open-ended in themselves. (e.g. like GW?) The inquiry method is motivated by Postman and Weingartner's recognition that good learners and sound reasoners centre their attention and activity on the dynamic process of inquiry itself, not merely on the end product of static knowledge (''The right answer! Well done Fred''!!). They believe that certain characteristics are common to all good learners : * They enjoy self-confidence in their learning ability * They find genuine pleasure in problem solving * They have a keen sense of relevance * They have reliance on their own judgment over other people's or society's * They have no unfounded fear of being wrong * They are not hasty in answering - they are reflective * They have a flexible point of view * They have a respect for facts, and the ability to distinguish between fact and opinion * They feel no need to seek final answers to all questions, and take comfort in not knowing an answer to difficult questions rather than settling for a simplistic answer. While this might not be entirely pertinent to the AGW/GW debate, I think that some of the above points are relevant and worth considering when we present our beliefs, opinions and facts for examination. It sure does cut down on the meandering (except in my case, alas!). Incidentally, I have no idea if AGW/GW is taking place, despite a great deal of reading and thinking. I genuinely value the opinions of posters here in guiding me to some sort of conclusion at some point in my lifetime! Regards, Mike.
  6. Anthropomorphism

    It was, I believe, the painter John Ruskin who originally used the phrase. In his paper 'Modern Painters' (to the R.A. if I remember rightly) he stated that the meaning of pathetic fallacy was ''to signify any description of inanimate natural objects that ascribes to them human capabilities, sensations and emotions.'' He saw the pathetic fallacy as a scientific failing as he argued that art should be a truthful representation of the world as it appears to our senses, not as it appears to our imaginative or fanciful responses to it. Hope this helps, Kind regards, Mike. drinks.gif P.S. Sorry, PP, but I think it's a point worth pursuing. I'll say no more! Kind regards, Mike.
  7. Robert's faith system

    faith system Hi, Paul. I've got no strong opinion one way or another about Robert's methodology, but I don't think he's being immodest, malicious or inappropriately self-promoting :-he's being quite the opposite as I see it. Faith? I got out of bed this morning convinced that I would not die today - isn't that an act of faith, considering that many people in the same boat as myself are now dead? Arthur C. Clarke remarked that today's technology would be indistinguishable from magic to a person born 100 years ago, so what sort of call can I make, both as a scientist and a Christian, about anyone's methodology or beliefs? Every scientific methodological / analytical system is a belief system: look what happened to Galileo and Copernicus for challenging the prevailing methodology with their 'heretical' science . There are plenty of scientists alive today who are convinced that they are going to Heaven when they die. 'There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio...' and if nothing else, Robert is a one-off that spices up the forums: particularly when those forums can be peppered with badly informed observations such as my own! Relax! It's fun. One way or another, we'll all know for sure whether he's right or wrong in about 50 years or so!! (sooner, in my case!). George Santayana reminds us in his writings that a fanatic is one who redoubles his efforts long after he has lost his way - postings by a very small number of people who are convinced they are absolutely right annoy me much more than a harmless individual like Robert with a 'discredited' outlook on the world. This isn't a diatribe against you Paul; please don't think it is - I would never criticise folks on NW; that's a cardinal sin in my book. I simply believe that we all have our tale to tell and it's very important that we find our voice in order to tell it. Life's brief enough - enjoy it while you can. When you've been dead for 100,000,000 million years, that's just a fraction of the time you'll be dead for!!!!!! By the way, its sleeting now in Birmingham and I'm extremely p****d off at those on the 'other side' for allowing this to happen - to say nothing about the b*****s at the Met Office for their unerring inaccurate short-term forecasts! It's bell, book and candle time, I'm afraid!! With every best wish, Thanks for putting up with my ramblings and sincere apologies, mods. Mike.
  8. Curses!! I was just about to do that!! http://nwstatic.co.uk/forum/public/style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/cool.gif Many thanks, Shugee. It looks promising: I'll believe it when I see it, though! Regards, Mike.