Saturday, March 29, 2014

D'Hondt Method

The D'Hondt method is a highest averages method for allocating seats in party-list proportional representation.

Source: WIkipedia
Source: Wikipedia

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Important Excel Functions

  • Parameters in [..] are optional


Sums the values in a range that meet criteria that you specify.


Range is the range of cells that you want evaluated by criteria.

Criteria is the criteria in the form of a number, expression, or text that defines which cells will be added. For example, criteria can be expressed as 32, "32", ">32", or "apples".

Sum_range are the actual cells to add if their corresponding cells in range match criteria. If sum_range is omitted, the cells in range are both evaluated by criteria and added if they match criteria.


Counts the number of cells within a range that meet the given criteria.


Saturday, March 15, 2014

What can we learn from Pisa?

  • Girls do better at reading than boys
  • Boys do better at mathematics than girls
  • There is no real difference between girls and boys in how they do in science
    • Given the opportunities all children have the potential to excel
  • School systems that invest in helping students learn their subjects the first time around do much better than those where teachers know they can, if necessary, drill the same material, year after year, into the heads of the same struggling students
  • Home background has a major influence on students' success
    • By the time they are 3, children in advantaged families are exposed to many more words than their less advantaged peers
    • If there are no books at home, or if they don't see their parents reading they will be less inclined to read themselves
  • Regardless of their own backgrounds students who attend schools that have a largely disadvantaged student population tend to do worse than the students who attend schools with relatively advantaged peers
  • A country doesn't have to be wealthy to provide high quality education: e.g. Poland and Shanghai
  • Countries can improve their education system. Pisa ranking is not carved in stone
  • Successful education systems make education a priority
    • They show the value of the teaching profession by investing in it
    • So that, they attract highly qualified candidate, they train them well and get the best among them

Thursday, March 13, 2014


  • Pinot noir, Pinot Meunier, Chardonnay
  • Exceptional Grower-produced Champagnes:
    • Chartogne-Taillet Cuvée Sainte-Anne
    • Henri Billiot Cuvée Laetita
    • Pierre Peters Cuvée de Reserve
    • Champagne Gaston Chiquet NV Brut "Tradition" and Blanc de Blancs D'Aÿ
    • Jacques Selosse Blanc de Blancs "Initiale"
  • Top Négociant (NM) Producers:
    • Louis Roederer
    • Jacquesson
    • Bollinger
    • Ruinart
    • Salon (in years that Salon is not made turn instead to Delamotte)
    • Dom Pérignon
    • Krug
  • Most Interesting Single-Vineyard Wines:
    • Jean Milan "Terres de Noël" Brut
    • Pierre Peters Cuvée Spéciale "Les Chétillons"
    • Philipponnat Clos des Goisses

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Sommelier Certificates

  • 4 main accredited wine education courses:
    • International Sommelier Guild (ISG)
    • Court of Masters Sommeliers (CMS)
    • Institute of Masters of Wine (IMW)
    • Wine and Spirit Education Trust (WSET)
  • CMS is specifically a sommelier organisation focusing in service, whereas the WSET is aimed at a broader industry professional.
  • WSET is approachable to the novice
  • WSET Level 3 (Advanced) = CMS Level 1.75
  • CMS Level 1 and WSET Level 3 have a book, but CMS Level 2 (Certified Sommelier) does not.
  • Good course in Switzerland: Académie du vin
  • Great books:
    • Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia by Tom Stevenson
    • Kevin Zraly's Windows on the World Complete Wine Course by Kevin Zraly
    • The World Atlas of Wine by Hugh Johnson and Jancis Robinson
    • Great Wine Made Simple by Andrea Immer Robinson
    • The Oxford Companion to Wine by Jancis Robinson and Julia Harding