bookmark_borderDevaluation

Today the pound fell below 9 Danish crowns, and below $1.50.

The fall against the crown (which follows the euro) has been gradual – when I moved here in 2002, the exchange rate was around DKK 12 to the pound, but it soon fell a bit, and it stayed between 10 and 11 for quite some time. However, since Brown was made Prime Minister, it’s been falling and falling, but this is a new low. I’m sure it hasn’t been that low since the early 1990s.

The fall against the dollar is much more recent – just a few months ago, the pound was worth more than $2.

For some reason, people in the UK don’t seem overly worried. Perhaps they didn’t learn at school like I did that devaluing your currency is like peeing in your trousers on a winter day – it feels good at first but soon makes you feel much colder than before!

bookmark_borderFamous for the wrong books

I forgot to blog last week that Michael Crichton has died.

Most people probably know him for Jurassic Park, or for the older generation The Andromeda Strain.

However, his first work that made an impression on me was The First Great Train Robbery, and I consider his best book Eaters of the Dead.

His ideas got progressively worse, I’m sorry to say.

Timeline is based on a flawed understanding of the Multiverse, and Prey demonstrates a lack of understanding of basic evolutionary principles.

In spite of this, his books were always a good read.

bookmark_borderIs torture better for kids than naked breasts?

I don’t get the UK ratings system.

A movie like Coming to America, which is entirely harmless but contains a few naked boobs and sexual references, is rated 15.

On the other hand, Casino Royale, which contains graphical scenes of a naked man getting his testicles whipped, is rated 12A (which means that no kid is too young if accompanied by an adult).

I think I prefer Spanish ratings for violence (Casino Royale: 18) and Swedish ones for nudity (Coming to America: 7).

bookmark_borderElection night

I’ve found two good British guides to tomorrow’s US election night: The Times and Spectator Americano. And here’s an excellent American one on Newsweek

The first results will come in shortly after midnight UK time (1am Danish time).

As for which states to watch, FiveThirtyEight has this to say: “Also, there are some states that truly do appear to be “must-wins” for McCain. In each and every one of the 624 victory scenarios that the simulation found for him this afternoon, McCain won Florida, Georgia, Missouri, Indiana and Montana. He also picked up Ohio in 621 out of the 624 simulations, and North Carolina in 622 out of 624. If McCain drops any of those states, it’s pretty much over.”