A few things: York, the bicycle and the IPCC

I spent the morning wandering around central York today. I took my last walk down the Shambles,


sat and enjoyed a pot of tea at one of the cafés there and generally felt a bit teary about saying goodbye to my fair city of York.

Then I transported our living Christmas tree to a friend’s house,


where I enjoyed some more tea, some delicious home-made baklava and wonderful company.

Some good news: we have found a babysitter for Busby the bakfiets. Some friends will look after him while we decide what to do with him. I am sure he will be in good hands. Even if I did not have children, I would still choose to ride a bakfiets. They really do command the road; their handling and maneuverability is not compromised by their large size – they corner with smoothness and grace; pedestrians smile and comment when you cycle past and say things like “cool” and “awesome”; and you can carry all sorts of things in them like children, Christmas trees, nieces and sister-in-laws. The bakfiets is the king of all bicycles.

Some other news I want to write about here is that last year, a climate scientist friend who reads my blog, Victor, suggested I create an ios app which contains the latest IPCC report. I thought this was a fine idea and so began developing something after Christmas. I have a basic app on my own phone now which essentially just presents the table of contents as shown on the IPCC website and you can select and display, as pdf, the relevant chapter. It doesn’t do much other than let you read, print, email etc the report but there probably wasn’t much more to add except for searching and annotating maybe. Anyway, I thought I’d better write to the IPCC to ask for permission because I imagined there would be copyright concerns and there are. To my surprise, they said no, I cannot release this app. The reason they gave me is because they intend to make their own app. This sounds fine I guess, but why does it matter if there are two? I would not charge for my app, and I said so, and I am making it for free, so why not? They will no doubt pay thousands of dollars to create their own now so why is it so bad to have an amateur developer create and release a version for free which can be downloaded for free? This is very odd to me. Unless they fear I might alter the report in some way but I made clear that I would not do this. Anyway, I’m busy packing and moving now so it doesn’t really matter.