UK’s Prince Harry and tartan-clad Meghan wow Edinburgh

Britain’s Prince Harry and his fiancée, US actress Meghan Markle arrive at Social Bite, a social enterprise cafe in Edinburgh during their visit to Scotland. (AFP)
Updated 13 February 2018
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UK’s Prince Harry and tartan-clad Meghan wow Edinburgh

EDINBURGH: Prince Harry and his American fiancee Meghan Markle, who was dressed in a Scottish tartan coat, were welcomed enthusiastically in Edinburgh on Tuesday on an official joint visit to Scotland ahead of their marriage in May.
Crowds who had waited hours in the cold outside Edinburgh Castle, which dominates the skyline from a rock in the city center, were thrilled with the smiling couple.
“They are just amazing, so down to earth and people’s people who bring everyone together,” said Amanda Scott, from Edinburgh.
Markle wore a blackwatch tartan coat, one of the checked fabrics associated with Scottish traditional dress.
Harry, 33, and Markle, 36, were officially welcomed to the city by the Royal Marines Scotland Band at the castle, where they observed the firing of the one o’clock gun, a tradition that dates back to 1861.
They were also visiting Social Bite, a charity that runs cafes and distributes food to the homeless, as well as employing staff who have been homeless. The eatery has attracted visits from other high-profile names such as actors George Clooney and Leonardo di Caprio.
The royal couple’s social work spoke highly of them, Scott’s 13-year-old daughter said.
“I think it’s great they do all this stuff for charity, that they are in power but they use their power for good,” she said.
Harry and Markle were also due to attend a reception at the Palace of Holyroodhouse, meeting youth representatives from several charities.
“They are active in the community and they are not sitting up in a castle somewhere barking orders at people so I think this is a good generation for the royals,” said Richard Aylward, a 46-year-old Australian visiting family in Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth’s grandson, fifth-in-line to the throne, and Markle, star of the US TV legal drama “Suits,” announced their engagement last year and will be married on May 19 at Windsor Castle.
As part of a tour of Britain before their big day, they have also visited the English city of Nottingham and the Welsh capital Cardiff.


What We Are Reading Today: Millions, Billions, Zillions by Brian W. Kernighan

Updated 19 October 2018
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What We Are Reading Today: Millions, Billions, Zillions by Brian W. Kernighan

  • Numbers are often intimidating, confusing, and even deliberately deceptive
  • Misunderstanding numbers can have serious consequences

Numbers are often intimidating, confusing, and even deliberately deceptive— especially when they are really big. The media loves to report on millions, billions, and trillions, but frequently makes basic mistakes or presents such numbers in misleading ways. 

And misunderstanding numbers can have serious consequences, since they can deceive us in many of our most important decisions, including how to vote, what to buy, and whether to make a financial investment. In this short, accessible, enlightening, and entertaining book, leading computer scientist Brian Kernighan teaches anyone — even diehard math-phobes — how to demystify the numbers that assault us every day.

With examples drawn from a rich variety of sources, including journalism, advertising, and politics, Kernighan demonstrates how numbers can mislead and misrepresent. In chapters covering big numbers, units, dimensions, and more, he lays bare everything from deceptive graphs to speciously precise numbers. And he shows how anyone — using a few basic ideas and lots of shortcuts — can easily learn to recognize common mistakes, determine whether numbers are credible, and make their own sensible estimates when needed.

Giving you the simple tools you need to avoid being fooled by dubious numbers, Millions, Billions, Zillions is an essential survival guide for a world drowning in big — and often bad — data.

Brian W. Kernighan is professor of computer science at Princeton University. His many books include Understanding the Digital World: What You Need to Know about Computers, the Internet, Privacy, and Security (Princeton). He lives in Princeton, New Jersey.