Welcome everyone to a series of playing 500 with a little bit of review for those who know how to play and a little bit of advice for those wishing to learn. 500 is played around the world by family and friends and has a basic set of rules.

House rules or local rules are prevalent, often different and should be discussed and made clear when attempting new games. We will be sticking to the printed rules as closely as possible to start but I am happy to modify them if enough people wish.

The basic game is for 4 people playing as pairs. It can range from 3 to 6.
The cards are shuffled and dealt.
The cards are dealt * 3 to each player, 1 to the kitty: 4 to each player and 1 to the kitty then 3 to each player and 1 to the kitty.
Everyone has 10 cards with 3 unknown in the kitty.

The 43 cards are red suits from the 3 to the Ace.
Black suits from the 4 to the Ace.
There are three special cards if playing in a suit [trumps], they are the top card, the Joker, the jack of the suit is the second highest card  called the right bower. The jack of the other suit of the same colour becomes the third highest card [left bower] in the suit called even though it did not belong to that suit originally.

There are 13 cards [trumps] in a red suit: Joker, 2 bowers [jacks] and 4-10 plus Queen, King and Ace of the suit
There are 12 cards [trumps] in a black suit: Joker, 2 bowers [jacks] and 5-10 plus Queen, King and Ace of the suit.

To start the player to the left of the dealer is the first to bid which can be a suit or a No trump starting at the 6 level going to the 10 level. Suits are called from the lowest ranking up, Spades, clubs diamonds and hearts. Higher again is no trumps where no suit is named as a trump suit.

The object is to win the stated number of tricks, or more, with your partner. The highest card wins and trumps are higher than all other cards but can only be payed if out of a suit or playing in the Trump suit.

Opponents get 10 points for each trick taken. Each increase of a level is worth a 100 points. The first team to bid to a score of 500 or more wins, If negative 500  you lose.

Today we will separate into newcomers and more experienced and play mostly 4 handed games  though if numbers are uneven we can try a table with 5 or 3 players. Pick a partner and find a table or we can just pair up alphabetically to start. Rounds will last 40 minutes and then pairs will exchange tables North south sitting still, East west going to the right

A few words on basic play.

You need two top cards, aces , Joker or bower and at least 4 cards in a suit, preferably 5 [counting left bower of the other suit and the joker as being in that suit] to bid 6 of a suit. You hope to pick up one more in Kitty.  6 small cards is always worth a bid due to the length. Kitty and your partner will provide the rest.
If you can see that you can win 6 tricks on your own you should bid 7. If you can win 7 you should bid 8.

500 is not a game for the faint hearted so there is one special rule in the  first few weeks. The opening bidder must make a 6 spade call even if they have no points and no spades*. This  is called a holding bid. The reason for this will become clear in following weeks when we learn and use misiere.

*There will be some disasters.
*Remember if you have no points and no-one else bids you only lose 40 points and they miss out on hundreds. Anyone who is the partner of a 6 spade bidder must realise that they have no support from their partner at all.

Always lead a trump when playing trumps. If you have the highest Trumps lead them. If only one of the top trumps lead a low trump and hope you have a special partner.

Raise partner 1 level with good support and 3 winners. 2 levels if you have good support and 4 winners. Remember she was counting on you and Kitty in the first place for 3 tricks.



“In the context of climate change, external factors that can lead to warming are typically called forcings. This would be things like changes to the solar flux, volcanic eruptions, and our release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Feedbacks are then responses to this externally driven warming that either act to amplify, or suppress, the warming. Some of these are fast, such as water vapour and clouds, while others are slower, such as changes to vegetation or ice sheets. Some are also negative and quite strong (such as the Planck response). This means that even though the overall effect of these feedbacks is to amplify the externally-driven warming, it is limited (the negative feedbacks eventually balance the the effect of the change in forcing and the resulting positive feedbacks). For example, if we were to double atmospheric CO2, we’d expect to eventually warm by about 3oC.

A runaway, on the other hand, typically refers to what happened on Venus. Essentially, virtually all of the CO2 was released into the atmosphere, the warming was so substantial that any liquid water evaporated and was eventually lost to space, most atmospheric molecules lighter than CO2 were also lost to space, and the surface warmed by many 100s of oC. On the Earth, such a runaway is simply not possible, because most of the carbon, that can then form CO2, is locked up in the lithosphere. We can’t emit enough CO2, either through anthropogenic influences or naturally, to undergo a runaway.”

A few comments.
“This would be things like changes to the solar flux,”
This happens on a simple yearly basis due to the elliptical orbit
volcanic eruptions,
Clouds deserve a mention. Both reduce the flux.
“and our release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere”
The crux of the matter and also any concerns re possible runaway climates.

“A runaway, on the other hand, typically refers to what happened on Venus”
A description often mooted but not strictly correct on 2 grounds.
Venus’ atmosphere and temperature is due to its size, composition and distance from the sun [orbit]
No runaway involved.
Second the runaway scenario involves an unrealistic approach to the actual scientific effects that can happen.
“Feedbacks generally cannot be negatively greater than the initiating force” Lucia.
Now I understand that some things appear to.
Super balls would be a good example.
The atmospheric temperature and surface temperature of the Earth and Venus.
The problem with free energy problems is that they cannot actually exist.
If the earth, atmosphere or not, continued to grab and build up energy from the sun, not releasing all of it back to space. It would eventually become hotter than the sun but unable to radiate this heat.
Runaway models and ideas are based on this unrealistic approach.

Note nowhere is this a denial of atmospheres heating up in response to GHG. Just the misapplication of the idea of retained heat constantly building up forever.


“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”    ? Oscar Wilde

 To thine own self be true.
Brevity is the soul of wit.‘       (Hamlet Act 2, Scene 2) William Shakespeare.

“Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe.”   ? Albert Einstein

  “So many books, so little time.”     ?  Frank Zappa

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.”  ? Friedrich Nietzsche

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.”    ? Mae West

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”     ? Mahatma Gandhi [Rotary theme

“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”   ? Mark Twain

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause and reflect).”  ? Mark Twain

“It is our choices, Harry, that show what we truly are, far more than our abilities.”   ?   J.K. Rowling

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.”  ? douglas adams, The Long Dark Tea-Time of the Soul

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.” ? Oscar Wilde, 

“They’re all dead. Everybody’s dead, Dave.”   Holly: Red Dwarf TV

Football quotes

“he’s a good ordinary footballer”           jack dyer on peter bosustow

“The ox is slow but the earth is patient” Mick Malthouse
the line  is an ancient Buddhist proverb, made up for the 1983 Tom Selleck movie High Road to China.

“footballers are like sausages … you can fry them, grill them, bake them … they’re still sausages”        – yabby jeans

yogi bera

No one goes there nowadays, it’s too crowded.
Baseball is 90% mental and the other half is physical.
Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.



A young man was an earnest seeker after the meaning of life.

He decided to consult the wisest person on the earth and traveled to Tibet to see the Dalai Lama. After a long and arduous journey through the snow fighting off Yeti’s he found the wise man in a temple.

I see you are a  true  seeker , my son , he said but I am afraid that  we have not yet found the answer. I can help you in your search by directing you to someone else who may know. The great Aztec priest in Machu Picchu.

He  set  off again across the oceans and climbed the Andes fighting off hordes of angry Llamas until he reached the priest of the holy temple. “We too have not found the answer despite the centuries”  he said. “There is one wiser though. Someone who gave me the direction I was seeking when I was a young man too. A hermit who lives in a cave  in the middle of Antarctica.”

1. Cheered up by this prospect the young man set off for Antarctica. Battling his way through hordes of polar bears he at last came to an icy cave with a hermit inside and asked his question.

The Direction is south , young man. The meaning of life is to have a working compass.  This is the North pole.

2  Cheered up by this prospect the young man set off for Antarctica. Battling his way through hordes of penguins he at last came to the  icy cave with the  hermit inside and asked his question.

The Hermit looked at him, shook his head and said the direction you seek is  North.


500 club

500 Card Game Course
A brief introduction.
500 is a card game suitable for 3, 4 or 5 players. It has been around for over a hundred years because it is easy to play and very enjoyable after one learns the basic rules.
It has elements of Bridge and Euchre in it but is unique in having a kitty that allows imagination and bluffing as well as card skill to dictate outcomes.
It is fun to play with unpredictable outcomes and surprises and an ability to choose to win or lose tricks.
The course will be over 12 weeks.
Each teaching session will be brief, 15 minutes, and to the point.
The first lesson will cover the basic rules and two practice hands.
Every session will then have an hour of actual play with supervision as required.
Small points to note.
The teacher is always right unless she/he is wrong.
There are many local rule variations and these can be adapted or adopted if desired.
I hope that there will be experienced players as well as beginners.
People who know how to play should encourage and assist those who are learning.
Remember outcomes in this game can be due to both good luck and skill.
The course will run for 12 weeks on Tuesday afternoons.
There may hopefully be some cross pollination with dedicated card players.
At the end of the course I would hope that a core of players might be happy to continue on a fortnightly basis or form a club if they so desire.
Alternatively we may just run monthly sessions for the rest of the year if requested. 500 is a game that does not need a club once you have established how to play. It is ideal for quiet times with friends on holiday, friends at home and in families, as well as a club setting.
The rules are available on the internet and in packs of 500 cards. Generally the best game of 500 is with a standard deck of cards which does not include the rules. Tactics are a different dimension. Bidding has certain formalities. Misere is a special subclass of 500 play.
So come along and learn the rules, play some games and develop a new life skill as well as interacting with other U3A members in a friendly setting that you might otherwise not have met.
H Lee. ex member Monash University 500 Club 1970.




ATTP wipeouts

angech says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 1, 2019 at 1:48 pm

“we tend to focus more on what we think will probably happen and not enough on what might happen. Even though what will probably happen could be pretty severe, the low-probability, high-impact outcomes carry the greatest risk. So, I do think we should be talking more about the potential worst-case scenarios.
A lot of what is suggested about tipping points is quite speculative; it’s very difficult to quantify the actual likelihood of them being triggered. Also some (like ice sheet retreat) might still be quite slow and may not even be truly irreversible.”

Perhaps if we compare what we do with diagnosing patients and what scientists do with diagnosing climate science it might offer another perspective.
The first comment is that looking for low probability high risk diagnoses is definitely not the way things are done.
Talking about them is interesting but practically they are of little value.
Concentrating on them, worst case scenarios is bad for two reasons.
Missing the obvious diagnosis and treatment is one.
Second is that it can be very upsetting to the patient and their family to be scared about things that are very unlikely to happen.
Medico legally we can see this when you sign a consent to an operation.
Worst case scenarios have to be brought to the attention of the patient.
When done in a one size fits all manner people can become so scared that they do not go through with an operation they desperately need.
angech says:
Your comment is awaiting moderation.
December 1, 2019 at 2:05 pm

Tipping points and turning points, what is so hard? Apart from watching people turn themselves into pretzels being politically correct.
A tipping point is when one condition suddenly changes into another.
Importantly it does not have to be irreversible.
IPCC describes it as an event “The tipping point event may be irreversible.”
The best example would be actually tipping a glass of water onto the floor or breaking an egg.
The trouble with using analogies is that the are not actually the object under discussion and it may behave quite differently in other ways than the example.
Droughts, Floods, Racing and the Stockmarket.
“Its simple. sometimes we know things by modelling.”
Same problem.
The tipping points are “quite speculative”.
We do know after the event but are generally clueless before, despite having a lot of information.




angech says:

Your comment is awaiting moderation.

Willard says:
Let me put forward one single challenge:
1) Define just WTF you are talking about.
Don’t come back before you do-

No fair,
On three grounds.
You let Willis comment first without preconditions.
You then let people attack him ad hom incessantly.
Then you arbitrarily ban him for asking you, first, to 1) Define just WTF you are talking about.

While them that make the rules, enforces them, it leaves a lot of commentators on this site feeling slightly disgusted.


“and a pity that we’re relying on school children, rather than stepping forward ourselves”
Always a problem with playing this card.
Usually means rational argument has failed.

“I partly agree with the general suggestions that climate scientists shouldn’t be seen as having the superior expertise”.
It is the nexus between the scientist and his expertise versus the committed activist who may well be a scientist, but in seeking activism damages his cause.
This is not a comment against taking action and being committed to it, It is a comment against taking action without questioning the facts along the way.
There is a big difference, a gap in credibility and the public see this.

There is a difference between a message,
” the real message that climate crisis cannot be taken lightly,”
and scaring people to death
” and is urgently and ultimately a most horrifying question of life and death.”

We live in a world of scams and fake news. Every headline exaggerates and scares people. The scarier it is the less likely it is to be true. Angech’s law, though I am sure it is a lot older than today.
Urgently, ultimately, a matter of life and death and my favourite, unprecedented. When Joe Public sees this attitude and these words he knows he is being taken for a ride.

As I see it, no disrespect intended, nearly everyone who comments here is an activist first, even if only by a whisker and a scientist second.
Does anyone value stepping back a little and taking a more measured approach to the issues?
Bringing out their inner scientist.
“Looking at the Sun” is the title of a book by an American Psychologist describing our hidden fears of death. Perhaps a read of it would give some insight into why motivating people through fear is a bad though powerful argument,


For any coefficient matrix A(t), the equation

y’ = A*y + f’ – A*f

has y=f as a solution. A perfect emulator. But as I showed above, the error propagation is given by the homogeneous part y’ = A*y. And that could be anything at all, depending on choice of A. Sharing a common solution does not mean that two equations share error propagation. So it’s not OK.

  1. A post elsewhere that highlights the problem Nick is trying to address
    “how is it that we can reasonably accurate calculate GMST with only about 60 gauges? I know that ATTP has had at least one blog post in that regard. Now, I think that error improves as the (inverse) square root of the number of gauges. The average is twice as accurate for N = 3,600, not proportional to the square root of N but proportional to the inverse square root of N.”

    GMST is such a fraught concept.
    Problem one is the definition of the surface on a mixed changing atmospheric world (variable water vapour) plus a mixed solid/liquid “surface of variable height and depth on top of an uneven shape with long term variability in the spin and torque and inclination of the world plus the variation in distance from the heating element plus variation in the shade from the satellite at times and albedo variation from clouds and volcanic emissions and ice and dust storms and heating from volcanic eruptions and CO2 emmision and human CO2 emissions.

    We could get around this partly by measuring solar output, albedo change and earth output from space by satellites and just using a planetary emmision temperature as a substitute for GMST.
    You could actually compute what the temperature should be at any location on earth purely by it’s elevation, time of year and orientatation in space to the sun without using a thermometer.

    In a model world, barring inbuilt bias, one only ever needs one model thermometer. There can be no error. Using 3600 does not improve the accuracy.
    In a model world allowing a standard deviation for error will lead to a possible Pat Frank scenario. The dice can randomly throw +4W/m-2 for ever. Having thrown one head is no guarantee that the next throw or the next billion throws will not be a head.
    Using 3600 instead of 60 does not improve the accuracy at all. It improves the expectation of where the accuracy should be is all. While they look identical accuracy and expectation of accuracy are two completely different things. Your statement on probability is correct.

    Finally this presupposes a model world and temperature and reasonable behaviour. Thermometers break,or degrade over time, people enter results wrongly,or make them up or take them at the wrong time of day or average them when missing ( historical). The accuracy changes over time. They only cover where people can get to easily, like looking for your keys under the streetlight, spacial, height, sea, polar, desert, Antarctica etc. Collating the information in a timely manner, not 3 months later when it all comes in. Are 3600 thermometers in USA better than 60 scattered around the world.

    60 is a good number adequately sited for an estimation. 3600 is a lot better. As Paul said any improvement helps modelling tremendously.
    Not having a go at you, just pointing out the fraughtness

Chapter 12 reflections

the man on the stair who was not there.

How did America come to this sad impasse?
The same pastiche of our own personal lives is to blame.
We all want to succeed in life, have friends and control our lives.
On the largest scale America, Russia and China are no different from squabbling families.
They push their own interests first and only if all is going well can they afford to be magnanimous.

On the grand scale Russia an America have been friends in the past, One brought Alaska from the other. Both fought in the first world war against a common foe 100 years ago.
Both threw off monarchist systems for individual rights but there a giant gulf developed.
Both advocated for better lives for people under their systems of democracy and communism. equal rights for people to vote and have a say but with a fundamental twist.
Democracy does not specify a heart, Communism does not specify a soul.

Communism has been a dirty word in America since the 1950’s with McCarthy.
Worse both nations have nuclear weapons. For many years the worst insult that could be used in America, and their are some choice ones, was to be called a communist.
While this attitude has changed somewhat with the 70’s. with information technology and TV  there is still a deep fundamental distrust in the American soul which can be and is manipulated when needed.
Christianity is also large in America. Recognised in the Constitution. With this comes a decent serving of morality. Which also died a part death in the 70’s. Still breaking sexual mores is often a death sentence to any political or business career. Made worse by the recent #Metoo movement.
Business is big. Ruthless. Money talks. Yet behind it all is the notion, a notion onlty, that Business should be fair. Robbing the bank is still robbing the bank. Fiddling the books, defrauding people is still a major nono.

There is a two party system in America which has a similar struggle on a more local scale for political sway. Both have been staunchly anticommunist but the Democratic Party has been the more progressive with allowing some freedom of choice and  and expression of alternative views over the last 30 years, moving to the left towards a more socialistic, dare one say communistic way of doing things, without openly saying it.

Hence the choice of tactics, to accuse an American citizen, of being a secret Communist agent is on the surface all the more surprising coming from the Democratic Party but not when you are trying to throw mud.
Accusations of sexual impropriety  are the icing on the cake.
Finally throw in the idea that the fix is in, that money is being made illegay and the Tax Office gets you.
It got Al Capone.

Most of us are prepared to believe bad things, particularly about people we do not like.

Democrats believe bad things about Republicans on the surface which look ridiculous, and vice versa.We want to believe because they appeal to our identity in that the other side has to be bad.
So a few home truths need to be set out. In reverse order.

1, Donald Trump files tax returns.
The Tax office looks at them closely. Since the election they have looked at them even more closely. Everyone in the know in America has seen every last bit of dirty laundry in those tax returns even if the general public has not. Every business dealing he has had, every disgruntled partner has had years and years to come forward. Every investigative journalist knows how much he earned, how he earned it and who he did business with.

2 Donald Trump has had affairs. He has been married 3 times. He has said, off the record, crass things. At the same time he was admired for his bling and lionised by people when doing his TV show.

chapter 3 timeline of a conspiracy

‘I looked in the mirror and saw the enemy was us” Pogo

Getting very interesting now.  News of the day
Jospeh Mifsud missing presumed dead  21/12/209 in Gateway Pundit.

Explains a lot about why no one has actually published an interview with him though I guess no one has done one with Ghislane Maxwell either..

Arkancide or CIA?
Or just disappeared under a new name. Safest option is the second.