See you in 2018 people, and please wish me luck in Tromso

January 2, 2018

Aidspeak: some of your best/worst responses to my call for examples

January 2, 2018

Links I Liked

January 2, 2018
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Welcome back, those who’ve been away. The twittersphere never stops, so here’s some random links to help you Sun in Burgoscatch up.

48 superimposed photos of the sun, taken during a year, one per week, in the same place and time, in the Cathedral of Burgos. The highest point is the summer solstice and the lowest is the winter solstice. But can someone please explain to me why it’s a figure of 8, rather than an ellipse? h/t Roberto Alonso González Lezcano

Excellent post by USAID about how to better ensure evidence is used by decision-makers. h/t Michael Zanchelli

Ten commandments each for economists and non economists, from Dani Rodrik. But why divide up the world like this rather than, say, ‘anthropologists and non anthropologists’?

Bosch twitterHieronymous Bosch does Twitter, h/t Paul Cooper

Geek heaven. Inaugural Statistic of the Year award. 2017 winner is 69 (= number of US citizens killed on average in lawnmower accidents each year, compared with the two killed by immigrant Islamic terrorists.)

Important piece on geo-engineering as a development issue from Andy Norton of IIED: ‘none of the techno-solutions under consideration will have equitable impacts between rich and poor nations, between powerful and powerless people.’

What’s happened to civic activism in Brazil? Excellent from Marisa von Bülow. On the surface, all is apathy. Below it, two kinds of campaign are filling the vacuum: moral panics from the right and defensive activism from the left

Extraordinary way to run a discipline, and a great title: The Running of the Economists


  1. Why the sun moves in a figure of 8 over a year…

    This happens because the earth orbits around the sun in an ellipse and not a perfect circle.

    The average length of a day, from one solar noon (sun at it’s peak) to the following noon is 24 hours, but this is only an average and the real length of each day depends on where we are on the elliptical orbit, it can vary by plus or minus 15 minutes (approx),

    The 24 hours are mainly due to the rotation of the earth, but with each day the earth has moved in its orbit, so a small part of the 24 hours is due to the earth being a bit further around the annual orbit. This extra bit due to the orbit varies depending on which part of the ellipse we are on. When we are close to the sun we go faster (through a bigger angle), so the sun is directly overhead a bit earlier. At the ends of the ellipse the sun takes a bit longer to get overhead.

    This is confusingly called “The Equation of Time” and most places on the web describe it better than me.

    The effect is noticeable in winter in the UK. The solar noon is getting later at the moment, so the earliest sunset in the northern hemisphere was about 12th December but sunrise continued to get later until the end of December. By this date the sunset was already 10 minutes later.

    As for the photo of the sun performing a figure of 8, it is recording how far our average midday is from the solar noon.

    1. I doubt anyone cares…. but the info above was badly expressed (aka wrong). The real length of a day varies by a maximum of about half a minute. It is the cumulative difference that is plus or minus 15 minutes approximately.

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