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RBW Online ISSUE 233

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Date: 20th April 2012


Richard von Mises It has been asserted - and this is no overstatement - that whereas other sciences draw their conclusions from what we know, the science of probability derives its most important results from what we do not know.

Richard von Mises (19 April 1883, Lwów – 14 July 1953, Boston) scientist and mathematician who worked in the fields of solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, aeronautics, statistics and probability theory. (He was the Gordon-McKay Professor of Aerodynamics and Applied Mathematics at Harvard.) Quotes from Probability, Statistics And Truth - Second Revised English Edition - (1957) I am prepared to concede without further argument that all the theoretical constructions, including geometry, which are used in the various branches of physics are only imperfect instruments to enable the world of empirical fact to be reconstructed in our minds. First Lecture, The Definition of Probability, p. 8 In games of chance, in the problems of insurance, and in the molecular processes we find events repeating themselves again and again. They are mass phenomena or repetitive events. First Lecture, The Definition of Probability, p. 10 Insurance companies nowadays apply the principle of so-called 'selection by insurance'; this means that they take into consideration the fact that persons who enter early into insurance contracts are on the average of a different type and have a different distribution of death ages from persons from persons admitted to the insurance at a more advanced age. First Lecture, The Definition of Probability, p. 18 The whole financial basis of insurance would be questionable if it were possible to change the relative frequency of the occurrence of the insurance cases (deaths, etc.) by excluding, for example, every tenth one of the insured persons, or by some selection principal. First Lecture, The Definition of Probability, p. 26 It has been asserted - and this is no overstatement - that whereas other sciences draw their conclusions from what we know, the science of probability derives its most important results from what we do not know. Second Lecture, The Elements of the Theory of Probability, p. 30 Because certain elements of geometry have for a long time been included in the general course of education, every educated man is able to distinguish between the practical task of the land surveyor and the theoretical investigation of the geometer. The corresponding distinction between the theory of probability and statistics has yet to be recognized. Second Lecture, The Elements of the Theory of Probability, p. 32 The theory of probability can never lead to a definite statement concerning a single event. Second Lecture, The Elements of the Theory of Probability, p. 33 It is useful to have a short expression for denoting the whole of the probabilities attached to the different attributes in a collective. We shall use for this purpose the word distribution. Second Lecture, The Elements of the Theory of Probability, p35 Remember that algebra, with all its deep and intricate problems, is nothing but a development of the four fundamental operations of arithmetic. Everyone who understands the meaning of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division holds the key to all algebraic problems. Second Lecture, The Elements of the Theory of Probability, p. 38 I do not want to defend the occult sciences; I am, however, convinced that further unbiased investigation of these phenomena by collection and evaluation of old and new evidence, in the usual scientific manner, will lead us sooner or later to the discovery of new and important relations of which we have as yet no knowledge, but which are natural phenomena in the usual sense. Third Lecture, Critical Discussion of the Foundations of Probability, p. 74 Equally possible cases do not always exist, e.g. they are not present in the game with a biased die, or in life insurance. Strictly speaking, the propositions of the classical theory are therefore no applicable to these cases. Third Lecture, Critical Discussion of the Foundations of Probability, p. 80

Source Wikipedia Wikiquote Issue 233 Page 2

Apart from this older generation, there is scarcely a modern mathematician who still adheres without reservation to the classical theory of probability. The majority have more or less accepted the frequency definition. Third Lecture, Critical Discussion of the Foundations of Probability, p. 81 It seems to me that if somebody intends to marry and wants to find out 'scientifically' if his choice will probably be successful, then he can be helped, perhaps, by psychology, physiology, eugenics, or sociology, but surely by a science which centres around the word 'probable'. Third Lecture, Critical Discussion of the Foundations of Probability, p. 94-95


heir apparent n (usually monarchy) Someone who will definitely inherit, assuming he survives the one from whom he is inheriting. indign adj (archaic) Unworthy, undeserving. spuria npl Spurious things; especially, a counterfeit or forged written work or one of doubtful attribution. dubitation n The process of doubting or the state of being in doubt; hesitation, uncertainty. A pang or expression of doubt. manumit v To release from slavery, to free. nincompoop n A silly or foolish person. aghast adj Terrified; struck with amazement; showing signs of terror or horror.

ASSIGNMENT: The Queen’s Jubilee or What you can get for a fiver Random Words: loco, Peter, Wednesday, chronic, iceberg, a fiver, random cherish Don’t forget the cryptic clues ... 20 words. (please enclose answer) LIFE OBSERVATIONS Writers must be careful to think things out in three dimensions and not fall into the trap of producing flat words on a page. The Himalayan Balsam which in the summer lines the banks of the River Sow, has been replaced by tall, white, dried grass, which looks for all the world like the stiff, coarse bristles down the spine of a hog. Issue 233 Page 3

Drought: If you‟re old enough to remember 1976 ... stand pipes in the street etc ... then setting up a garden water butt is a no brainer: being able to flush a toilet with saved rainwater in case of emergency is well worth the effort.


I saw this on Facebook. It made me laugh, and I guess that was the point of the exercise, so hopefully whoever produced this wanted it to be freely shared around.

Random words. PMW Mrs Wells took her “A” level art group to London, to see an exhibition of the sixteenth century Mannerist school. Some of the paintings were quite inaccessible and difficult to understand, but upstairs in Gallery Two, there were several works by Italian Guisseppe Arcimboldo, one of the artists they were required to study for their exams. Arcimboldo was famous for his strange vegetable paintings, which look normal at a distance, but which, on closer inspection, are made up of various fruit and salad ingredients. The figures depicted seem to be disembowelled, and consist of beetroot, shallots and rocket, amongst others. The class spent some time in front of them, in fascination; especially the one of a grand piano, made entirely of bananas, apple, pineapples and other items of fruit. “Hey Miss”, chirped the class joker, pointing to the musical instrument. “You wouldn‟t get much of a tune out of that!”

Giuseppe Arcimboldo Born 1527 - July 11, 1593 (16th century) Nationality: Italian More information: http://www.artinthepicture.com/ paintings/Giuseppe_Arcimboldo/Autumn/

Cryptic Clue Don‟t go out, but let him know you think he is a clever chap. Issue 233 Page 4


Random words: CMH Mrs Wells came to tune the piano, or at least that was the cover story. Actually she was an special agent from the local gardening club sent by „Big G‟ to check out the rumours that, hidden in an inaccessible part of the beetroot garden, there was a secret patch of rocket, or, worse still, an ultra-secret experimental patch of shallots. “It was the classic story,” she told her host afterwards as she sat in the study drinking tea. “Somebody wins Gold at the show and it‟s in for the kill. Once they taste blood then nothing‟s too low you know? It‟s upstairs to disembowel the piggybank, and once that‟s spent?” She slurped her tea with gentility. “He should get over it in time though. Now he‟s switched to marrows anyway. A severe case of Extreme Gardening I‟m afraid.”

Assignment. CMH The rowing boat was out on hire, or so they said in „The Pig and Nightgown‟, not that Nigela believed them. “It‟s Nigel, my identical twin brother again,” she said to herself, and her identical twin sister, Nagela, agreed. “Not a bit of good trusting him with anything seagoing”, she said as they stared out over the park lake. “He always gets his Port and Starboard mixed up.” “But not his Port and Sherry,” Nigela agreed. “He‟s guaranteed to get them right. Once Hubert, no doubt egged on by him, had formed that Pig and Nightgown Club for the Furtherance of Nautical Wine Tasting there was no holding them.” Nagela nodded in agreement. The P&NCFNWT was the bane of her life, and they made her do the rowing. She shaded her eyes with her hand a she peered out towards the far shore across the vast expanse of water. “I can see them”, she said, “They‟ve got stuck on that dratted island in the middle again.” “Well, I‟m not going to rescue them this time,” Nigela replied. “The last time I paddled out there it quite wrecked my best high heels. Why it must be almost two hundred metres out to the island.” “And nearly ankle deep,” agreed Nagela. “That‟s the trouble with these lakes. Too deep and too big. If it wasn‟t for the guide-rails you could get lost in them.” “Well they are only waterborne dodgems cars for the kids. Safety second, as out motto says, Nag, safety second. It‟s three hundred metres of danger for the over ten year olds.” “Yes but what about that rowing boat? How are we going to get them to bring it back!” “Dead easy girl. Wave a bacon butty or a hamburger in their direction. Works every time!” It did.

Steph‟s second FREE poetry e-chapbook is now published on www.issuu.com/risingbrookwriters (profile page) and on RBW main site and Facebook http://www.risingbrookwriters.org.uk/DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52 The chapbook is illustrated by some of her original artwork. She is a member of Stafford Art Group and has exhibited some pieces locally. CLIVE‟s three free e-books are doing very very well and are NOW PUBLISHED on RBW and issuu and Facebook http://www.risingbrookwriters.org.uk/DynamicPage.aspx?PageID=52 http://issuu.com/risingbrookwriters


Assignment: The Rowing Boat. PMW My mother. Ah. Now there was a strange relationship. In later life, she always gave the impression that she hated me, or at least, resented the fact that I was still here, whilst dad had long since gone. He died when I was 20, and though they never showed any obvious signs of affection towards one another, there was no doubt that they were devoted to one another, and he was the only man for her. She never spoke about her loss. They both thought emotions should be private, and it was bad form to express them openly. This old-fashioned notion rubbed off on me. Never able to cry easily, people think me cold. Not so. Just repressed by my upbringing. But then again, I don‟t admire public displays of feeling, which often seem to me to be shallow, or cynically designed to elicit sympathy. No, my parents went to great lengths never to praise me or spoil me. I knew deep down that I was loved, especially by dad, and as a small child, I recall mum reading to me every night, and singing my two favourite songs before bed. “Sing Tony-o” I‟d ask. And she would go through the verse of “Oh oh Antonio, he‟s gone away” to my huge delight, followed by the Harry Lauder favourite “Keep right on to the end of the road”. Only then would I settle back and go to sleep, when the familiar routine was accomplished and I was satisfied. She had a pleasant, though not outstanding voice, and could draw quite well, as could dad. She made me several little story books about rabbits and other creatures, and illustrated them with her own pictures. Sadly, as I grew up and went away to college, we drifted apart. Even though I returned home most weekends, and gave up many a chance to enjoy the social side of student life. She never told me she loved me, and were it not for a poem I discovered amongst her effects, following her death, I would have gone on believing that she hated me. But there was that day in my youth when we were out on the boating lake together. We‟d gone off for a day trip somewhere. I can‟t recall where. I was around 10 or eleven, and young at that. She rowed us round the lake, and it was so good to draw my hand through the cool water on that warm day. But more, that we shared that moment of togetherness.

STAFFORD ART GROUP SUMMER EXHIBITION ANCIENT HIGH HOUSE Tuesday 8th May to Saturday 26th May 2012 Oils — watercolours — pastels — acrylics landscapes — portraits — sketches etc Issue 233 Page 6

(Image: man in red scarf (1) oil on canvas board )


Announcement ... RBW are pleased to announce that the result of the vote means that “Going to the dogs” is to be the scenario for the 2012 jointly written fiction project. Now is the time to sign up for this project. Naturally it is a farce set in Trentby. Two charity shops, Puss in Boots and a dog charity Man‟s Best Friend, are in rivalry from opposite ends of the High Street. They each have a mismatched cast of charity volunteers —- and a lost scarab beetle broach worth millions to add to the mayhem. The action will take place over five days beginning with the charity collection van making collections and deliveries to both shops. The driver of which, a said Mick Grabble, being a dishy “poster boy” for Ragmen and an object of desire for both manageresses of the rival charity shops— one a former military type in gumboots and tweeds and the other a retired dancer in fluffy pink slippers. If you‟ve ever wondered how we do this, it is not as easy as we make it look, but, by following a few simple rules everything eventually drops into place. Each piece of action has to take place within a few minutes time frame and be complete within itself. Characters cannot be in two places at once so it is important to keep abreast of what other contributors are writing. The characters are not for the sole use of any one writer. The characters are for joint usage. This is very hard for some writers to get their heads round. If you start a plot line then you have to complete it. You can‟t write one piece and leave it hanging. This exercise has a real purpose — it teaches plotting, team work, character building. It imposes discipline and the concept of writing to deadlines. It improves use of dialogue and encourages research. It also is a lot of fun and there is a real sense of achievement when it is finished. Issue 233 Page 7


Police Constable Daniel Smithers was a policeman by day, but a glamorous drag queen by night. Consequently, he was often found during off-duty periods, combing the local charity shops for items of clothing etc which could be used in his act. This week, he was appearing on stage in one of his favourite roles; that of Cleopatra, fascinating and beguiling queen of the Nile, and he was looking for some special finishing touch to his costume. He didn‟t know exactly what it was, mind. “Don‟t know what I‟m after, but by George, I‟ll know it when I see it!” he told himself. He wandered into the shop, casting a quick look round, to check out any new arrivals. His eyes were drawn to a basket on the end of the shop counter. It contained various items of cheap costume jewellery; pearl necklaces, marcasite earrings, a Victorian mourning brooch, containing a lock of some dead person‟s hair… “Yuk!” he thought… and two dress rings with huge glass „stones‟, like knuckle-dusters. “Hm. They could do someone some serious damage”, he mused, in full lawenforcement officer mode. He rustled about in the basket, and BINGO! pulled out what at first glance appeared to be an authentic scarab. Not that Danny would know an authentic scarab if it jumped out and bit him on the bum. But then again, it would do! Oh yes, this was indeed the object he knew he would know when he saw it, and here it was! It would look splendid perched on top of his/her flowing, brunette locks, right in the middle of his/her forehead. Just what he needed to complete the look. “Great! A cheap bit of old plastic, but… just what I need to complete the look!” he said out loud, parting with two fifty pence coins.

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„How much is this mate?‟ asked a voice hidden behind a rail of vintage costume garments. Randolph gulped, he hated having to guess the price items when the label was missing. Geraldine could go ape if he messed up again. How was he supposed to know a Lalique glass vase was worth more than 50p? The reedy little voice asked again, „Excuse me ... How much is this?‟ a hand waved a pink satin 1950s brassiere on the end of a spindly arm from behind the clothes rack. Randolph did a double take, that was a very hairy spindly arm and didn‟t he know that voice? He shuffled in behind the clothes rack. „Well, well, well ... if it isn‟t Barry Norman-Stanley, just the bloke I‟ve been wanting to have a word with.‟ „It wasn‟t my fault ...‟ the bra waver moaned, his eyes flashing terror stricken. „How was I to know you were Victor the Vulongarian? I‟d have done mates rates, if I‟d have known. Straight up. Cross my heart and hope to ...‟ „What d‟you want this old bra for? You coming out or sommat?‟ asked Randolph holding the offending object at arms length and sniffing. „Pink satin, Barry?‟ „It‟s a prop.‟ „What a manga prop? Do you mean to tell me, you draw from props?‟ „Of course I do,‟ retorted Barry his professionalism piqued. „What, you think I can just imagine whale bone corsetry? It‟s my attention to absolute authentic detail that ...‟ „That brings in the buyers ...‟ Randolph suddenly saw £-signs floating in front of his big baby blues. „Barry old fruit ... you and me need each other. Bra 50p‟


„Wrap it up,‟ grinned Barry. „What are you working on at the moment, dude?‟ Barry grinned. This was a whole new experience for him. Someone taking an interest in his work. This must be something called “having a conversation”. He couldn‟t remember the last time that happened. Besides this was Randy Andover talking: a dude he had accidentally screwed over big time. That Randy, the tattooed wonder, hadn‟t pounded him into the pavement was a very pleasing outcome. „I said, what ...‟ „Sorry, I was thinking the answer but it didn‟t get as far as my mouth,‟ replied Barry as if this was completely normal. „Understood,‟ nodded Randolph, who had only recently realised that verbal communication was the norm in the world outside his bedroom. „1960s animation.‟ „Wow!‟ said Randolph his eyes on stilts. „You‟ll need...‟ „Retro gear and ...‟ „Comic book heroes.‟ „Zundar Girl, Princess Fellinda, Mindina the Merwoman,‟ drooled Barry his skinny arms waving like fins. „So the conical bra ...‟ „Zundar Girl.‟ „Of course,‟ nodded Randolph. Rose looked up from the bag of baby knitting patterns she was sorting and shook her head: what were those pair up to with her mother‟s old brassiere? „Such workmanship,‟ said Barry running his fingers over the elaborate wiring. „Firm control,‟ agreed Randolph his imagination running wild. „That‟s quite enough of that,‟ snapped Rose shoving the garment into a plain carrier bag. „Ring it up Randolph, and next time it‟s ladies‟ underwear, please ask me to serve the customer.‟ Grubby little tyke she thought crossly. „Certainly, Rose,‟ said Randolph winking at Barry as his new best friend scurried out of the shop his eyes blinking in the sunlight. Randolph watched Barry struggle with the door to the beamer. Brand new, still under warrantee ... Randolph eyed Rose with pity, poor old soul dusting away to her heart‟s content. All he had to do now was make sure he did the sorting and price fixing on the retro gear destined for Barry‟s artistry and to fix the profits cut with Barry, too whom he was going to be indispensible. Things were looking up and didn‟t his parole officer say he needed to make new friends and get a new hobby.

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POETRY LIBRARY UPDATE: Latest Competitions: Swale Life Poetry Competition April 2012 | Closing Date: 30Apr-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1129 Grey Hen Poetry Competition 2012 | Closing Date: 30-Apr-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/competitions/?id=1176 Latest News: Items added to the Poetry Library in March 2012 | 01-Apr-12 http://www.poetrylibrary.org.uk/news/library/?id=893

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NB: RBW does not endorse any third party competitions.


I wandered lonely as a Cloud That floats on high o'er Vales and Hills, When all at once I saw a crowd A host of dancing Daffodils; Along the Lake, beneath the trees, Ten thousand dancing in the breeze. The waves beside them danced, but they Outdid the sparkling waves in glee: -A poet could not but be gay In such a laughing company: I gazed—and gazed—but little thought What wealth the show to me had brought: For oft when on my couch I lie In vacant or in pensive mood, They flash upon that inward eye Which is the bliss of solitude, And then my heart with pleas ure fills, And dances with the Daffodils.

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