Mark W

Senior Member
  • Content count

    32017
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    306

Mark W last won the day on August 3

Mark W had the most liked content!

Community Reputation

5407 Excellent

2 Followers

About Mark W

  • Rank
    cleanzine.co.uk
  • Birthday 12/29/86

Contact Methods

  • Website URL
    http://www.cleanzine.co.uk

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Trials, photography, filming, fun.
  • Location
    Bristol

Previous Fields

  • County (UK Only)
    Bristol
  • Real Name
    Mark Westlake
  • Bike Ridden
    24"
  • Quick Spec
    Inspired Arcade.
  • Country
    Wales
  1. First response to that is a spade is a spade. Being anti-vax/anti-vaccination is being opposed to vaccinations. It doesn't specify which. People being less sheepish about using that term might give some people a wake-up call. Second response is that you can be two things at the same time. A lot of the arguments I see people making could basically have "covid" replaced with "MMR" and be fairly similar to the stereotypical anti-vax chat. I think the difference now is that while MMR or general anti-vax chat is more fringe, it's much more widespread for covid and people don't want to have to face up to the fact that some people they are friends with will hold views that should have "extreme connotations linked to [them]", or have a complete denial of what is actually happening in the world (referring again to my friend - who's vaccinated - maintaining that half the people who've been vaccinated are 'seriously ill'). It is what it is at this point though. My family and most of the people I'm closest to are all vaccinated, so from my/our POV they've got reduced risk of serious illness from covid which is the main thing for us. They're all healthy and well having had the vaccine, and the overwhelming data suggests that nothing is likely to change from that in terms of ill effects from the vaccine itself, especially given the time since they had their injections. EDIT: Should probably clarify that I would say vaccine hesitancy is different to being anti-vax, but the two generally use reasoning that makes it pretty clear which side of the line they fall on.
  2. It is purely the incubation period. All viruses have different incubation periods. A regular cold is approx. 1-3 days, AIDS is approx. 1-10 years. Evidence suggests with Covid-19 it's 2-14 days. The testing is done at two stages purely to see if you test positive at those times, and therefore counting back from either of those test dates (if you have it at the first date, it's possible you didn't get it from the contact they're getting in touch about) to work out who would need to be contact traced. I only raised the cancer thing before as your position on testing appeared to be "if it isn't perfect, we shouldn't do it". I have several family members who are alive now because their cancers were caught early through testing, so my point was more that although cancer testing isn't perfect, it can still save lives. I agree that the desire to keep people alive at all costs does cause compromises on quality of life, but again, it's a little baby/bathwater to lump them all in together. Again, also worth pointing out that covid 'problems' aren't just death. I know several people with long covid - you and I have a mutual friend who has been having issues with it for some time now - who were/are young, fit and healthy. It was and continues to be a shit time for them. Also worth noting that in the US, the Delta variant has caused a spike in younger people being admitted to hospital seriously ill. It's no guarantee that it's 'just' an old persons illness, and the more people who have it the more scope for mutations that can cause changes in the age ranges who could potentially be affected by it. But yeah, that's about it I guess. I think we both have fairly different views about this, and neither of them are going to change whatever Boris (or Mark Drakeford this side of the Severn Bridge) are going to do about it so we're in for the ride either way!
  3. Cheers dude Have been impressed by it. Have to follow the upshift hints to get it to around that level which feels weird to do. It's super quiet in the cabin, and they want you to upshift it pretty early - always think it's bogging down, but it seems pretty happy to trundle along at low revs. Totally unrelated, but been listening to a bunch of different podcasts from different providers recently about autonomous cars. I'm not that interested in the technological side of it, the philosophical side has always been interesting, but a few I've listened to recently have been more about the practicalities of it. For example one was where someone hired a Waymo (Google's autonomous vehicle platform) to see what it was like. They decided to do some rudimentary tests in a car park to see how sensitive the sensors were to things being in its way on the road, like throwing a beach ball in front of it. The ultimate test was having someone step out in front of it. He initially ran along side the car and was able to make it alter its speed/course to give him a wide berth, and then naturally, when he stepped out in front of it, it did an emergency stop. Thing is, if they're programmed to stop instantly if someone steps out of it, that means that if you had a fairly high percentage of cars in a city being autonomous, it would be super easy for people to cause gridlock. If you know that cars around are always going to defer to pedestrians out of fear of knocking someone over, there's less incentive to play by the rules. The sensors/radars on cars will obviously be set to be pretty sensitive so if you're in the middle of London (so fairly slow moving traffic anyway), you could just walk out and not really give a shit because if you can see it's an autonomous car, it'll stop for you to avoid an accident. As soon as one person does that then traffic will either stop or significantly slow, meaning more people can then do the same because it effectively becomes safe to do so. It also suggests that it would be super easy to f**k with autonomous vehicles from doing their thing if you were so inclined. An extreme example obviously, but it did make me think about how things will actually play out. Going back to the philosophical side of it, even down to the decision of "who should the car sacrifice" people can't agree. I heard about a study where they polled people about whether an autonomous car should always protect the driver, even if it means sacrificing more people outside of the car, or sacrifice the driver if it protects the greater number of people. The majority said that it should be the latter. However, when asked whether they'd buy a car that sacrificed others to save the driver, or sacrifice the driver to save more lives, they all said the former. Is it up to car makers to decide, or should it be government level? The concept of insurance also changes pretty significantly too. If you're not actually driving the car, who should insure it for accidents? The company who sells the car? The company who made the software? The company who made the sensors? The owner? There was an interesting interview I heard with the CEO of Ford where he was saying that they are looking at it being a fundamental shift in the concept of car ownership, where most people in built up areas will never need to own a car again and that instead it'll be like a subscription service where you can just use any car you find, or more akin to the rental scooters that are in a lot of cities now. I can see that happening, but again it poses a lot more questions too... I guess I'd always assumed that autonomous cars would basically like-for-like replace cars in our lives as they do now (to an extent), but I can't really see how that would be possible, or even if that's really practical.
  4. Yeah, the main post I saw that was stuck in my head had that phrase tagged on to a thing about how "half the adult population is seriously ill from taking the vaccine" amongst other 'interesting' claims. Especially interesting because they're double vaccinated themselves, but now say that they regret making that decision because they didn't have all the "facts". In their case, we're definitely talking more Trump-esque "alternative facts".
  5. That isn't about PCR tests, that's about rapid tests. In the conclusion they mention that they were looking at them as possible alternatives to PCRs, or for when PCRs can't be done in a timely manner. The inaccuracy of rapid testing is why the self isolation stuff is typically based on results of PCR tests. PCR tests for viruses have been around for a long time and why they're described as the 'gold standard' for detection, it's the rapid tests like the lateral flow tests and so on that appear to be the less reliable ones in studies like the one you linked to. Those are only around because PCR testing takes longer to process due to the results being sent off to labs, and they wanted to try and find a quicker way to see if someone might have the virus or not. Can't work out how to do quotey stuff again, but related to "Is it that a virus is completely undetectable until it has incubated? Or is it that the current tests can't do that? And if they can't, why are we carrying out testing?" There will be a lower limit of viral load for a test to pick it up, but that's inevitable purely because of the nature of any testing for any illness/disease I'd assume? Whatever the lower threshold is, it's low enough to catch people who are asymptomatic, so I'd assume from that that it can be a fairly minimal amount. Just because there is that lower limit (whatever it may be), I don't really see why that means that we shouldn't do any testing at all? It became clear early in the pandemic that asymptomatic spreaders were driving infection rates, so even if it's people like that that are getting positive test results and finding that they need to isolate that still helps reduce spread. To look at it another way, breast cancer screening doesn't always work, so would you also advocate for not having any breast cancer screening? A lot of people aren't keen, some with fairly good reasons. As before, I'm not sold on the idea either.
  6. It's essentially along those lines, yeah. I believe the app was more popular earlier in the pandemic, but now less so as so many people are being pinged as things reopen. There's been stories of employers (especially in hospitality) requesting their staff either uninstall it or disable it while they're at work to minimise the chances of them getting pinged and having to isolate. I downloaded it to see what it was like/how it worked, but uninstalled it afterwards as it seemed pretty shit, and also had quite a few people saying there were security concerns with it. I believe they may have been addressed now. EDIT: It's interesting seeing on social media how "I'm not anti-vax, but..." is the new "I'm not racist, but..." with some of the things people are coming out with. The cognitive dissonance involved in saying that other people who are against vaccinations are anti-vax, but they themselves, despite being against vaccinations, aren't anti-vax is really something. The clue is in the name.
  7. Because the incubation period can be up to 10 days. "A negative test result means you probably didn't have COVID-19 at the time you took your test. However, it is possible to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 but not have enough virus in your body to be detected by the test. For example, this may happen if you recently became infected but you don’t have symptoms, yet." The WHO guidelines recommend a 14 days isolation period as there have been some cases where that period has been up to 14 days, but it seems governments are deciding that 10 is a more realistic/workable number. I'm not sure where you're getting that 50% accuracy thing for PCRs? The link you posted before was some random rapid test rather than the PCR test itself (which was used to verify the results of the rapid test they were referring to in that article).
  8. If it was a "proper" tapered head tube (1.5" lower) then I'd agree, but the tapered standard Jitsie have used is unique to them and so you can only ever use Jitsie's forks with them. The same is true for the headset. To the OP, it's hard to say which is really best in terms of parts. Getting a fresh setup means that you're starting from scratch so you know that everything should work well, but if you've got a decent amount of good parts on your current bike to swap over then you may benefit from going for the Varial and upgrading it with the bits you have. You should be able to sell on any other parts you don't need to help bring down the cost of the bike overall, or improve the other bits on the bike to a similar standard to the Race bike.
  9. Forgot to update this, but I have a giant silver limo on my drive now... Picked up that Passat that I linked to in this thread earlier on. The bodywork had a few scuffs here and there, but it's a well used 10 year old car so not entirely surprising. Everything else felt fine on it, and it had a few bonus features as a result of the previous owner installing an aftermarket Android setup instead of the standard VW console. I put about £35 or so of diesel in it in Preston, then drove back to Caerphilly. Did a bunch of random trips down here (shopping, runs to the tip, living the dream) as well as a couple of drives to nearby trail centres, and it was only after I'd had the car for a week I realised I hadn't had to put any more fuel in. Slight contrast to my MX5. This is the most I've spent on a car, and although it's relatively basic compared to a lot of cars out there it is nice to have a 'nice' car. Those VW peeps definitely put a lot of handy features into them. Fair play to the previous owners too, the interior was mint! It's just had the cambelt and water pump done which removes some concerns about it, and has just been serviced and MOTd so hopefully I won't have to do much to it over the next year or so at least. It's got a 15 month warranty on it which provides surprisingly decent cover (at least in print), so if there is anything major that pops up at least I may be covered for it to some extent.
  10. Something to note with getting them on/off - making sure you push the bead fully into the rim well makes a massive difference to how easy it is to get a tyre on or off. All my bikes are tubeless with inserts so doing anything with them is faff, but on the same tyre setup I went from snapping a tyre lever to almost being able to put them on by hand simply by pushing the tyre bead across and into the rim well. It reduces the tension around the rest of the bead so it makes it much easier to pop the last bit of the bead over. If you're at a point where you're trying to pop the last bit of the bead over and you end up doing that thing where you start basically chasing that last bit of bead around the rim, you need to push the bead into the rim well elsewhere. I was on a mountain bike ride last week and there were a couple of guys struggling to re-fit a "tight" tyre having had to replace a tube. They were using metal tyre levers and a wide array of swearwords, but when I gave the tyre a squeeze around the rest of it and got it into the well, the last bit popped on easily by hand. It's insane how much of a difference it makes, and is something I wish I'd known way earlier in my life! The profile of Spank rims means you don't get quite as pronounced a benefit (because of the Oohbah profile), but if you get it into the little dips to the side of the 'bead bite' setup, it gives you more slack.
  11. The incubation period of the virus is estimated to be between 2 to 10 days* from being in contact with it. Extreme example, but if you got pinged by the app in the morning, then had a PCR in the afternoon and tested negative, you could still have the virus in your system. That's why they recommend having two PCR tests during self isolation - one at day 2 (if it's positive at that point, they would then contact trace people you'd been around) and one towards the end of the isolation period to double check if you do/don't have it. It was frustrating as shit being in self isolation knowing in all likelihood we didn't have it, but because of that difference in incubation periods in different people it's just how it is. For most people it takes 2-5 days, so our second test could well have come back positive. Either way, we didn't know for sure so we had to wait it out. If everyone who was supposed to self isolate did, the virus would have died down way earlier. You can't spread a virus if you aren't around other people. *It was initially thought to be 14 days in the early days of the pandemic which is why self isolation used to be for 14 days, rather than 10.
  12. Just measure the inner diameter of your steerer. You need a starnut 1-3mm wider than that.
  13. It's been used for various things since 1989 - it's not quite the instant new wonderdrug that the mRNA vaccines are being portrayed as. Not that I'm saying it's the same thing, but that was exactly the line of response people used when seatbelt laws were brought in in the UK. That was the biggest argument against it, but the second was people saying that they felt that they could be more dangerous in the event of a crash. Just on the vaccination passport thing, the concept of requiring vaccinations for travel to certain countries is nothing new, and hasn't been for decades. Again, not saying they're the same thing, but it isn't some new plot - it was and is standard in many countries for various diseases. In terms of this whole idea of it being some huge overarching plot to enslave us all, it just doesn't add up. The government haven't even been able to build a railway line they've spent billions of £s on and dedicated over a decade to. They seem to be f**king inept at most things, and largely populated by opportunistic people who happen to have either been born with the right name, have enough money in the family or went to the right schools. It's just another example of Hanlon's Razor to me - "never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity". It's a massive public health crisis, and unfortunately the people we have in power are f**king inept at dealing with most things, let alone the largest public health crisis in our lifetimes. I don't agree with Boris on many things, but I do when he said that Matt Hancock is "totally f**king hopeless". It's not really surprising that we haven't got a great track record of dealing with it with people like Johnson, Hancock and Cummings playing substantial roles in how things are done. Just by way of a comparison, I think it's generally acknowledged New Zealand smashed the shit out of dealing with the virus (although even there people called for their PM to resign for her handling of it because they said that it was an over-reach). They have a smaller population so naturally it's easier, but the early and decisive steps they took stopped it in its tracks. Just look at the system they created for paying workers in businesses that were forced to close temporarily - not hard, but something the UK government totally f**ked, and continues to totally f**k. We could have done so much more in the early days of the pandemic but politically it was viewed as too damaging so we didn't, and everything from those decisions has cascaded and led us to where we are today. If they hadn't kept the borders fully open as long as they did, we'd have had fewer cases. If they'd enforced isolation/quarantine for arriving travellers months earlier than they did, we'd have fewer cases. I mean they said they were specifically protecting care homes, then forced them to accept a load of patients from hospitals without even testing people. There have been so many mis-steps along the way that mean we're in the shit situation we're in now, and that's why I just don't believe it's some Machiavellian plot. Just to be clear as well, I don't particularly agree with the vaccine passport idea. I don't really have much of an issues with the vaccines themselves (they were given a massive headstart in terms of creating a vaccine by getting the gene sequencing for the virus back in January 2020 so they knew what they were dealing with, and to me it just shows what's possible when pharma and governments all exclusively turn their focus on one problem and then throw unlimited time and cash at it), but I can see why not everyone would want to get involved. I'd definitely put it in a different category to masking/social distancing. While I don't think vaccinations should be mandatory, I can see why masking/distancing was/is in some places as those are simple, proven, effective, non-harmful ways of limiting spread that some people weren't willing to do until it was turned into a law. There was that chat before it was turned into law that it required people to just "use their common sense", but that clearly doesn't work. To use a local example, during lockdown a minibus full of mixed households from Cheltenham turned up at Storey Arms to walk up the Brecon Beacons. "Common sense" wasn't at play there. You f**k yourself on the Beacons, mountain rescue has to come and get you (not an uncommon thing there), that then immediately means you've got X amount of other people on that rescue team potentially exposed to it who then have to isolate until they're tested, while their close contacts will also have to isolate. That's just one possible aspect of it that could lead to causing issues for others. A lot of people don't seem capable of thinking of anyone or anything beyond themselves, and this sort of situation isn't one that gets resolved with that kind of thinking.
  14. Yes and no - it's still relatively low risk to most people even if it is more contagious, so I was thinking more along the lines of a variant that has a significantly higher risk of serious illness/death across more age bands. The delta variant isn't ideal, but it could definitely be worse.
  15. It'd be interesting to know how much of it is people's level of risk tolerance changing, and that leading to an increase in situations for people to get exposure to the virus? What I mean by that is I'm assuming people who are getting vaccinated now are probably more likely to have adhered to the lockdown rules when they were first implemented, so it's whether you've got this cohort of people who have been less exposed to the virus in general who are now being given more freedom and consequently there being a greater pool of people who were less likely to have had it before now getting the risk of exposure to it? Worded it like shit, but basically I'm guessing people who were having illegal raves last year are unlikely to be getting vaccinated, whereas the people who were shut in their houses for most of last year will probably be more likely to get the vaccine. Ultimately the only way out of this is some form of herd immunity, so whatever the ratio of vaccinated people is to people who have got antibodies/whatever from having already had covid it doesn't really matter too much. At least the whole 'flattening the curve' thing last year will have reduced the chances of a mutation happening earlier along that could have led to it being a much worse illness than it already is/can be. Know a few people down here who are +/- 10yrs of my age who have had long covid despite being previously healthy and it sounds like dogshit. That's not even including those who've lost family members, etc. How relatively indiscriminate it is is the weird thing too. Obviously older people are more susceptible to death/serious illness from it, but just within my friendship circles down here there are a lot of people I wouldn't have expected to really be at risk of any serious complications who have been somewhat f**ked by it. EDIT: Just read that link you posted Ads - guess it kind of covers what I was asking up there further into the article: ZOE study leader Professor Tim Spector said overall the data suggested incidence rates were starting to plateau. But he added: ‘In the UK, new cases in vaccinated people are still going up and will soon outpace unvaccinated cases. ‘This is probably because we’re running out of unvaccinated susceptible people to infect as more and more people get the vaccine. ‘Whilst the figures look worrying, it’s important to highlight that vaccines have massively reduced severe infections and post-vaccination Covid is a much milder disease for most people. The main concern is now the risk of long Covid.’ Sounds like we're getting to that herd immunity point now. Hopefully there's not some dick of a variant to come along and f**k it all up.