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Author: thompson

The St. John’s Road air pollution data has been turned into a video and set to the music of Tchaikovsky’s Waltz Of The Flowers   As part of the EVERYONE project coordinated by Stacey Hunter  the St John’s Road air pollution data, described on my previous blog pages, has been incorporated into a video (1:38 […]

Free Zoom webinar (Thursday 9th July 16:00 British Summer Time)   During Covid I began blogging about geo-statistics, predicting Covid deaths in countries all around the world, and UK air-pollution. E.g. ‘EVERYONE: Making data tangible through material cultures’. One of my blog page images is to be exploited by a group of artists who […]

COVID-19, ‘big data’ and rebound from lockdown. The Calcutta Cup (the oldest rugby rivalry in the world: Scotland vs. England)  helps validate Apple’s mobility product – a key potential forecaster for a safe exit from lockdown. Summary How is the rebound from the lockdown progressing in Scotland? That is, how rapidly are Scots starting to […]

Local air pollution update (10 June 2020). Summary The declines in pollution levels, as caused by the downturn in vehicle emissions during the COVID-19 lockdown, provide clear and direct examples of what might be possible in ultra-low emission zones of the future. Scottish network of continuous, ground-based monitoring sites Local air pollution continues to be […]

“I’ve seldom had so much fun reading about people dying.” The Times (June, 09, 2018) Preamble The catch-line is taken straight from a Times review, from almost exactly one year ago, of Laura Spinney’s magisterial account of the Spanish flu of 1918 and how it changed the world. Laura’s highly readable narrative (my current bedtime […]

Weight gain and lockdown: empiricism vs. physical modelling   Summary Life in lockdown has disrupted our daily lives, creating the perfect setup for putting on pounds. In a poll of 1,000 people, nearly half of the women and almost one-quarter of the men reported that they had gained weight “due to COVID-19 restrictions”. I presume […]

Can predictive curve-fitting models pass that most pragmatic ‘litmus test’, namely usefulness? In recent days I have been posting blog pages about a geostatistical technique popularized by Marion King-Hubbert for analysing oil reserves, but instead applied here to curve-fitting COVID-19 epidemics. In particular I have tried to forecast the future trajectory and magnitude of the […]

Coronavirus lockdown: the end is in sight! Summary The end is clearly in sight. Let me qualify that statement slightly – the end of phase 1 of the COVID-19 pandemic across Europe is definitely in sight. Right-handed, fat-tailed lemur.   Forecast As we have seen in this series of blog pages epidemiologists find predicting pandemics […]

UK and Scottish coronavirus mortalities: how many more deaths will there be?   Summary The UK and Italy have been following very similar COVID-19 pathways. Italy being 15 days ahead, the UK with worse mortality rates. Taking data from the cruise ship Diamond Princess at face value Neil Ferguson’s intervention, which altered the course of […]

  Edinburgh St John’s Road air-quality monitoring site.  ID: ED1 Environment Type Kerbside Coordinates (Lat/Long) 55.942500, -3.281111 Altitude 53m Kerb Distance 0.5 Site Comments The nearest road is 0.5m from the site. Summary Good news. Concentrations of pollutants, especially those mainly emitted by road transport have shown a sharp drop in many European cities, including […]


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