Sunday, May 15, 2016

Today's reading matter

The title may seem slightly abtuse but it's actually very interesting: Factors affecting the adoption of Online Auctions by Internet Users in Hong Kong. It would be reasonable to ask why I am reading this as I rarely participate in online auctions and I am not situated in Hong Kong.

Apart from the intrinsic value of the document itself (this may spur me to buy a used autoharp via Ebay, a purchase which I have long been considering), there is an ulterior motive: this document is a DBA thesis from Heriot-Watt, published February 2014. In other words, I am very interested in looking at the framework of this document in the hope that I can extract some value for my own thesis.

About a month ago, I tried to read a doctoral thesis which was much more connected to my subject matter - something to do with spreadsheets - but it was written very badly, implying that my programme requires much higher standards from its doctoral candidates than does the university which published the spreadsheet thesis. This is why I specifically wanted to find a thesis from my university.

This thesis appears to have a tenuous connection to mine: apart from coming from the same doctoral programme - and thus having the same research committee as I do - it is also hypothesis and research based. This is the section from which I hope to glean some value. It will take some time before I get to the interesting sections, but in the introduction, the author writes "The data from the questionnaire will be analysed using the Kruskal-Wallis test". 

Without going into details, this is a non-parametric statistical test, meaning that the data is not normally distributed (not 'bell shaped curved', for the non-statisticians amongst us). It's interesting that this test is mentioned with no surrounding statements; it's also interesting that the data apparently does not have a normal distribution. I wonder whether the researcher tested for such a distribution; I also initially assumed that my data would not be normally distributed but my supervisor queried this. As I have only performed a limited pilot test, I don't have enough data to establish whether there is a normal distribution.

As the current problem with my intermediate submission is the data analysis section (once again), insights which I can glean from this thesis will be very welcome,

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Unconnected snippets

  • My wife sent a copy of one of the baby pictures to a friend in America; the response was that the baby is 'adorable'. Not knowing what this word meant (in English), my wife asked me and I explained, using the Hebrew word 'hadar' הדר. It then occurred to me that maybe the English word is derived from the Hebrew - children often replace an 'h' at the beginning of a word with an 'a' - so the root could easily have been corrupted, from 'hdr' to 'adr'. If 'adorable' were a Hebrew word, then its root would indeed be 'adr'. But the online etymology dictionary tells a different tale: late 14c., aouren, "to worship, pay divine honors to, bow down before," from Old French aorer "to adore, worship, praise" (10c.), from Latin adorare "speak to formally, beseech, ask in prayer," in Late Latin "to worship," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + orare "speak formally, pray" (see orator). Meaning "to honor very highly" is attested from 1590s; weakened sense of "to be very fond of" emerged by 1880s. Related: Adored; adoring. The Latin root seems correct. I will try my theory out on a Hebrew linguist.
  • While in Italy, I may have hinted obliquely at trying to find a pair of slip-on shoes that I like. I did buy a pair (for 40 euro) but soon came to realise that they had very thin soles; walking with them was not as pleasant as I would like. One day during the Passover holiday, we were in the local mall, shopping for bits and pieces; I went into the Crocs shop and found a model which I very much like - Walu Accent. These cost about 75 euro but they have thick soles (which also massage the feet) and are definitely a good purchase.
  • There's nothing like 100% hindsight. I now discover that there is a Crocs shop in Sorrento: Vitulli, at Corso Italia 173. Checking this on a map, this is quite some way out of Sorrento which is why I never saw this shop. I might have passed it one morning when I took a long walk in the direction of the neighbouring village, S. Agnello.
  • Another reason for that shopping trip was that the day beforehand, I had lost a USB stick. There was nothing important on it, but I used it for transferring files between computers and for showing pictures on our television. So I bought a new one - 16 GB for the equivalent of about $6.5. I have since obtained an HDMI cable which I will leave plugged in permanently to the television; I will then display pictures from my new mobile computer. I have yet to try this out but have no reason to assume that it will not be successful.

Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Grandpa No'am

My (as yet unnamed) grand-daughter was born yesterday (2 May 2016) at 14:18, weighing 3.1 kg. Both baby and mother are fine.