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Messages - jonnie63

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I would say morally OK if the person running the site was finding running costs had escalated and only asked members to help pay for website hosting and was only charging enough to keep the thing alive. I am sure people who have contributed would understand that case - presumably they would want their posts to survive and be useful to others.

If a website started off free and contains "donated user" content and then they charge more than is necessary to just keep the thing ticking over, making a big profit then I think that its a different moral matter.

But for general balance....

A domain name can cost up to £20 per year - my HTTPS certificate costs me around £100 a year and my hosting costs me around £500 a year for a site I run ( not curry related ) ok you can find cheaper web hosting but often at the cost of quality and reliability. I have to say as a webmaster I do find it amazing sometimes what some people expect from a free service and how a culture of free online stuff leads people to forget that people are in some cases giving up time to make a very modest income.

 My website ( in a totally different area to curries ) has offered a free service for years - this year we have grown big enough to offer a premium paid service ontop of the free service but even then I am probably no even scraping minimum wage despite the fact that the website is very popular.

I am not moaning - I choose to offer a free service because it was the only way we could grow and we have grown steadily but a get rich quick plan it is not.

I am not saying that everyone running a website does it for low returns or indeed that some people are not making a fortune because some people are probably minting it in and possibly making a high hourly rate - but I do suggest that there are a lot of people trying to offer something online and taking payment who spend more time than they would care to mention doing all the house keeping and like the trusty gold prospector keep doggedly at it because they believe at some point their hard work will pay off.

I don't want to confuse the main issue however which is whether it is ok to get people to contribute on a free forum and then close it off to paying customers only so I am not disagreeing with you just trying to add another perspective :D :D

Talk About Anything Other Than Curry / Re: Is Climate Change real?
« on: August 04, 2019, 02:02 PM »

But just taking countries close by here in Europe, governments have gone to incredible lengths to get people to breed more. Russia offered draw entry to win prizes of white goods and cars to parents., Hungary offered zero income tax for life to those who had 4 or more kids, Denmark has had TV advertising to encourage Danes to "breed for Denmark", the Nordics offer large child benefits and subsidised day care. The story is similar in Hong Kong, Korea, India, Japan, etc, etc.

Hmmmm - I take it you are not Danish.

My wife is Danish and I lived in Denmark myself for five years, I could not believe your bit about "encourage Danes to 'breed for Denmark' - so I asked my wife and she howled with laughter - she had tears in her eyes. 

She showed me a series of  TV adverts which she thinks is the one responsible.


This is from a travel agency called Spies travel - its a complete piss take, the premise is that the parents fear that they may never get grandchildren so the travel agent is suggesting that wanna-be-grandparents send their adult children on holidays so that they can rest and de-stress and do activities that improve sex drive so that they have more chance of producing grandchildren. Its pure comedy - sarcastic and not to be taken seriously.

If you read carefully through the leads that show what the worlds press made of this you will perhaps come away with the impression that many did not fully understand the tongue in cheek nature of the advertising campaign, that a there was slight increase in birth rates but that few people seriously think it was actually down to the advertising campaign.

My wife is reasonably confident that there has been no serious TV advert on Danish television promoting population growth, admittedly she has lived outside the country for the last four years but since her parents are currently staying with us I asked them as well and they said they were unaware of any serious campaign of the nature you mention - all they could think of was the spoof TV campaign covered above.

I could be wrong but in the age of fake news and more innocently misinterpretation due to us having increasing access to selected snippets and translations of media from cultures and languages we may not understand that the Danish angle you mention above might belong in the basket labelled "not properly understood due to language and cultural differences".  If I am right and you have got the wrong end of the stick then I feel its a good example of how careful we all need to be when we react to tweets, soundbytes and snippets of media taken from around the world, often misunderstood and taken out of context.

My wife also says that there HAS been a serious TV campaign to get first time Mums to conceive earlier in life because there has been a gradual trend to late motherhood later in life and there are concerns over complications. The advice was not to have more children but to have children earlier in life to avoid complications.

Actually researchers at Copenhagen university are suggesting we need to seriously consider limiting population growth if we want to do something serious about climate change....


Talk About Anything Other Than Curry / Re: Is Climate Change real?
« on: August 04, 2019, 01:19 PM »
Just because a theory is supported by mainstream science, it is still "just" a theory; it doesn't gain extra credence just because you preface it with "Scientific".  If ever evolution were/could be incontravertibly proven, it would cease to be a theory and become a fact; until then, it remains "just" a theory, no matter what additional adjectives you choose to use with it.

Actually Phil I think the word scientific does add credence and for the record I was a research scientist in the early parts of my career. I take the tag "scientific" to imply that we are talking about the scientific method.

The cycle here is

Theory and prediction
Verification by experiment - analysis of errors and willingness to reformulate theories

I assume it is widely accepted that some scientists have in the past been rewarded for adopting certain viewpoints - for instance scientists paid by tobacco corporations who have denied the link between cancer and smoking, however my understanding of the academic world suggests to me that a very healthy proportion of scientists are not biased in this fashion.

What truly separates healthy science from religion is the willingness to admit that our current theory is not quite right and the willingness to refine it or in some cases to throw it out altogether based on new reproducible observation and measurement often those new measurements being in some way more accurate or extending into newer territories that were previously not possible.

In my own field of Physics there have been numerous wrong turns but against this a very successful history of refinement - Issac Newton is many respects was and is still correct - Relativity can be seen as a refinement, Very often scientists do not get it 100% wrong - they get it "nearly right" - a great deal of science is about refinement, about a process of continual improvement. Indeed if you take Einsteins relativistic equations and adjust them for moderate speeds then you get Newtons laws of motion - it is just too simplistic to ever say Newton got it wrong he just did not have access to the same experimental observations that Einstein had access to - but most importantly Newtons theories served just about any application or decision that could have been made in Newton's day so they served society perfectly.

Some people like to "poooh pooh" science when the implications dont suit their personal viewpoint - people who like driving gas guzzlers rarely like to hear about climate change but the scientific method in its purest form is simply the best possible answer we can come up with right now. It is not "wrong" in the sense of "yeah I heard scientists said this ten years ago and now they say this - you cannot believe scientists" - it is the best guidance we have at any particular moment.

Sure you need to watch out for the scientists who have a personal agenda and ones who just make mistakes or aren't very good but one the whole if you listen to the majority verdict ( or wait for one if no consensus currently exists ) then you will be acting on the best and most informed knowledge currently available and knowledge that is  based whenever possible on actual measurement and reproduction of results - scientific papers are published in part so that other scientists in other institutions can confirm that they also make the same measurements or can agree with the same results.

Problem is that people who don't like the implications of climate change think a few scribbles on the back of a beer mat and a few hand waving  anecdotal observations can stand against a body of scientific work - sure there may be a maverick scientist out there who does prove everyone else wrong with something written on the back of a beer mat but we know that most people trying to set the record straight on the back of a beer mat most likely know nothing very useful knowing about climate change.

Its strange that people who seem to have little faith in science will gladly use and indeed trust their lives with a rapidly advancing collection of technologies all around them which have arisen directly from the scientific method - they may think quantum physics is a load of wierd non-sense except for the fact that they are using devices that only work because of quantum effects everyday of their life - science has been remarkably successful at explaining our world and enabling us to do all sorts of amazing things that were not imagined by our parents - the only thing here that is really amazing is the number of people who think they know better.





Talk About Anything Other Than Curry / Re: Is Climate Change real?
« on: August 04, 2019, 12:35 PM »
If you look at government, religious or social policy worldwide, it's mostly about increasing the population.

Not entirely sure that is accurate.  More, I think, that there is widespread acceptance that limiting a family's choice as to how many children to have is not acceptable, and therefore "we" must ensure that no matter how many are born there will be adequate housing (etc) for them.  To the detriment of our countryside, of course, but only the CPRE, "real" farmers (as opposed to those who farm purely for profit) and the odd informed individual care about that ,,,

I think it depends on what you mean by limiting - if you mean government and laws then I think most people would agree - that path would seem to lead to despots and tyrants.

However I strongly believe that there are an increasing number of people who want to promote a general awareness that we cannot continue to grow in numbers and expect everything to simply be ok and there is a lot more to this argument than simply climate change, it also hinges on resources and not all resources are renewable. I would certainly like to see more thought about people having smaller families not because they are made to have smaller families but because they choose to have smaller families.

We should not think all solutions will come just from better and better technology - right now we are riding on a wave of eco-optimism because electric cars are becoming viable and we can presumably all drive around on wind turbine powered cars with no harm to planet Earth? Well yes and no ! Lithium is a finite resource and yet demand is going to rocket as we all expect electric battery powered cars. Its just to easy to cast our responsibilities in the direction of technology, make a few personal concessions and hope its all going to be ok.

We do not and probably cannot ever hope to use the worlds resources in a completely renewable and recyclable fashion - there is a fundamental thing here called entropy - put simply it is very easy to put milk into coffee and to mix it evenly but it is extremely difficult to un-mix the milk and coffee to get back to the two things you started with. There are parallels with the way we use the worlds resources - we often mix, distribute and combine either chemically or physically in such a way that it is very hard to get back to the raw ingredients through a recycling process and then go off and manufacture something entirely different.

The only sure way to reduce or slow down our impact on the planet is to have fewer people and its better that reasonable liberal people find reasonable ways to influence and persuade rather than leaving it too late so that extremists and people with other agendas. I would suggest that the rise of extreme and populist politicians who appear to have only a thin veneer of (questionable) respectability hiding either a personal agenda of intolerance or a wish to exploit people easily lead in that direction is in part a reaction to the pressure ordinary people feel in their perceptions of a shrinking world with more demand and competition for resources and a feeling that "if we do not grab our part of the pie now someone else will". 

We find a way of talking about population growth in a way that does not judge or alienate, a way that does not open the door for extremists and people loaded with hatred or tribalism but we do need to talk about it and find ways to show everyone that we all need to look carefully at population growth and that does mean at least trying to simultaneously be non-judgemental and yet face the fact that on average we need to aim for the target of each adult in their lifetime having two or fewer offspring.

Whatever we do we must not subscribe to the hopeless panacea of relying just on technology to fix everything.


Wow JB what can I say,

Thanks so much for posting this recipe.
I cook curry gravy in bulk because I am worse than Lister off Red Dwarf.
Over the years I have been looking for elusive ingredients or the magic secret.

I am not sure how to fully judge the result I came up with following your recipe, I think its best to explain this way. I am in Ireland for a few years, but born in the UK - I found very good local restaurant in Ireland. I did not feel their offerings were "mainstream" they have a certain unique quality but the point is I really love the flavour.

Following your recipe landed me pretty much bang on my favourite dish from this restaurant - actually I preferred the one I cooked !!!

Has it opened the door for me to be able to replicate curries from other restaurants I have enjoyed? I am not sure about that.
Has it opened the door for me to be able to replicate gorgeous curries from one particular restaurant that I have loved - ABSOLUTELY YES !!!

I have followed sooo many recipes over the years, always hoping that in exchange for my time and effort I could open the magic pandoras box and have free ( well almost ) restaurant quality curries whenever I wanted them, I have put in a lot of effort but I am not an intuitive cook and so I need to learn from others.

I feel your gravy has provided me with the means to reliably produce fantastic tasting curries of a distinctive style and right now that is enough for me, I am still smiling about it.

Two things stood out for me....

1. Yes everyone says cook the onions really well but somehow the way you described it persuaded me to go much further than usual - as if I was trying to cook them into oblivion.

2. I think the coconut block has something to do with it as well - I have tried coconut milk in the past but the solid stuff is completely different.

Finally after buying all the usual BIR at home books I think I am now on the path I wanted to be on.



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