September 30, 2010
10:10 mini-movie - No Pressure - Bollocks
Unbloodybelievable, read what you like into the mindset that produced it
The blurb says:
Whippersnapping climate campaign 10:10 teams up with legendary comic screenwriter Richard Curtis - you know, Blackadder, Four Weddings, Notting Hill, co-founded Comic Relief - and Age of Stupid director Franny Armstrong to proudly present their explosive new mini-movie "No Pressure". The film stars X-Files' Gillian Anderson, together with Spurs players past and present - including Peter Crouch, Ledley King and David Ginola - with music donated by Radiohead. Shot on 35mm by a 40-strong professional film crew led by director Dougal Wilson, "No Pressure" celebrates everybody who is actively tackling climate change... by blowing up those are aren't.
September 29, 2010
Going Green in the Snow
Going green will push Scots fuel bills up £100
CASH-strapped consumers face a hike in fuel bills of up to £100 a year to pay for the switch to renewable energy in Scotland, industry experts have warned.
The overall bill to pay for the renewables and low-carbon economy has been estimated at more than £200bn - including about £100bn on upgrading the grid alone. The vast majority of costs for renewable energy projects such as off-shore wind farms are financed through consumers' energy bills.
Nick Horler, chief executive of ScottishPower, yesterday warned "Someone has to make the investment and ultimately someone has to pay. We have a fantastic post-recession opportunity to provide large numbers of jobs in renewable energy - but this will have to be paid for and recovered through energy prices and everybody needs to be clear about that."
Drug Deaths Prevented by FDA
Some executions in the United States have been put on hold because of a shortage of one of the drugs used in lethal injections.
Several of the 35 states that rely on lethal injection are struggling to secure supplies of sodium thiopental - an anaesthetic that renders the condemned inmate unconscious - or considering using another drug.
As for the possibility of obtaining the drug elsewhere, the Food & Drug Administration said there are no FDA-approved manufacturers of sodium thiopental overseas.
I gather the drug is being used for an "off-label" use anyway - the manufacturers are a bit sniffy - "Hospira provides these products because they improve or save lives and markets them solely for use as indicated on the product labelling." So why do they need FDA approval, what's the worse side effect that could happen, a rash?
Police pledge swifter response to racism and homophobia than 'ordinary' crime - Scotsman.com News
Police will stress to officers that victims from minorities suffer more when a crime is motivated by prejudice than a member of the general public would from the same offence.
But do they?
The psychological suffering from a crime is often compounded by the inability to understand why one is a victim.
The fear of random violence, or what ever, and the inability to reason why the criminal did what they did prey far more on the mind I believe.
If the scumbag is a paki-basher the poor bloody victim knows they did nothing wrong and has some explanation of the crime and insight into the mind behind it that makes it easier to deal with. An unexplained kicking or turd through the letter box leaves the victim wondering why and when it will happen next without a clue as how to avoid it.
Simply treat all crimes the same.
September 28, 2010
Red Ed - Who's the Daddy?
The Registrar General may by regulations authorise or require the information relating to the father to be provided in a prescribed form or manner.
(3)Subsection (1) does not require the mother to provide information relating to the father if she makes in the presence of the registrar a declaration in the prescribed form stating that one or more of the following conditions is met.
(4)Those conditions are—
(a)that by virtue of section 41 of the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act 2008 the child has no father,
(b)that the father has died,
(c)that the mother does not know the father's identity,
(d)that the mother does not know the father's whereabouts,
(e)that the father lacks capacity (within the meaning of the Mental Capacity Act 2005) in relation to decisions under this Part,
(f)that the mother has reason to fear for her safety or that of the child if the father is contacted in relation to the registration of the birth, and
(g)any other conditions prescribed by regulations made by the Minister.
Ed helped the law to pass - so why isn't he named as the daddy of his partner's child. Not getting round to it or a lack of commitment aren't acceptable excuses in the eyes of the law he foisted on us. So perm any of the above excuses to your hearts content....
When the Royal Navy fails send for the Privateers
A multi-national naval force, including an EU fleet currently commanded by a British officer, has dramatically reduced the number of assaults in the Gulf of Aden in recent months. But seizures continue with 16 ships and 354 sailors currently being held hostage. The Independent has seen Nato documents which show both ransom payments and the period that pirates are holding vessels have doubled in the last 12 months to an average $4m and 117 days respectively.
The maritime insurance industry, much of it based in London, has borne the brunt of the financial cost of the piracy problem, paying out $300m (£191m) in ransoms and associated costs in the last two years alone.
Sean Woollerson, a senior partner with JLT, told The Independent: “We are looking at setting up a private navy to escort vessels through the danger zones. We would have armed personnel with fast boats escorting ships and make it very clear to any Somali vessels in the vicinity that they are entering a protected area.
“At the moment there is a disconnect between the private security sector and the international naval force. We think we can help remedy that and place this force under the control of the multi-national force. We look after about 5,000 ships and have had 10 vessels taken in total, including a seizure where one crew member was shot and killed. Piracy is a serious problem, these are criminals basically extorting funds, so why not do something more proactive?”
A FCO spokesman said it had not yet received a “formal” proposal but added: “We believe that such a concept could be considered. It would need to be endorsed and supported by the UK in close discussion with coalition partners in current counter piracy operations.”
Why consult with the tossers at the FCO? If the British Navy isn't doing its job, and why not? then what right have the useless bastards got in telling private operators in international waters how to protect ships? Just issue them with Marque of Letters and let them get on with it.
Chavez loses but somehow wins
Hugo Chávez, who has ruled Venezuela almost unchecked for more than a decade, suffered a significant setback yesterday, as a resurgent Opposition made a large dent in his parliamentary majority.
Growing disillusionment with the President’s socialist revolution led to the opposition alliance, which includes the Democratic Unity party, winning 52 per cent of the vote.
It was a painful reverse for a leader who has enjoyed untrammelled power and who had framed the vote on Sunday as a rehearsal for presidential elections in 2012.
Changes last year to the weighting of voting in rural areas meant that the Government retained control of the National Assembly, winning 98 seats to the Opposition’s 65, with 2 seats going to the Podemos party (PPT).
President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner congratulated her Venezuelan counterpart Hugo Rafael Chávez Frías after yesterday's legislative elections in the Caribbean country, through Twitter. "Congratulations to you and the Venezuelan people for the excellent election you had," Fernández de Kirchner wrote on her Twitter.
Excellent election, lose the vote but win the seats....
Climate Clues From Out of The Freezer
A perfect example is provided at Juvfonna in Norway, where reindeer hunting gear used by the Vikings' ancestors has been found littering the ground as the front edge of Juvfonna's ice sheet has retreated. A section more than 60ft wide has disappeared over the course of 12 months, exposing several hundred artefacts. "It's like a time machine... the ice has not been this small for many, many centuries," says Lars Piloe, the Dane heading a team of "snow patch archaeologists".
Bows and arrows, specialised hunting sticks – used to drive reindeer towards archers – and even a 3,400-year-old leather shoe have been found at the site in the Jotunheimen mountains, home of the "ice giants" of Norse mythology. These finds have been logged with a GPS satellite marker before being taken for examination. From these measurements, archaeologists reckon people using hunting sticks – each about a metre long with a flapping piece of wood attached by connecting thread – were set up about two metres apart. They then drove reindeer toward hunters who needed to get within 60ft of an animal to have a chance of hitting one with an iron-tipped arrow.
Such a hunt would require 15 to 20 people, Piloe adds, indicating that Norway had an organised society around the start of the dark ages, 1,500 years ago.
And where was the ice then? And why?
September 27, 2010
Rachida Dati - Honi soit qui mal y pense
Interrogée sur les raisons d'un plan de licenciement chez Lejaby dans l'Ain, l'ancienne Garde des Sceaux a la langue qui fourche. Facheux.
Rachida Dati: "Je déplore le sort qui est fait à ces femmes et ces hommes qui ont consacré leur vie à cette entreprise. Ces fonds d'investissement étrangers n'ont pour seul objectif que la rentabilité financière à des taux excessifs. Moi quand je vois certains qui demandent des rentabilités à 20, 25% avec une fellation quasi nul, et en particulier en période de crise..."
Easy mistake to make, I do it all the time, which explains a lot....
Unions hail Miliband as he buries new Labour | The Times
Ed Miliband struggled to shake off claims that he was beholden to the unions yesterday as Blair-era donors snubbed his coronation.
Lord Prescott, the former Deputy Prime Minister, failed in his bid to become the party treasurer. Lord Prescott had run a high-profile campaign and won a majority of support among activists, but was defeated by Unite official Diana Holland on the back of union members’ votes.
Paul Kenny, leader of the GMB union, reflected the union mood, saying: “New Labour is gone. It is a product of history. It can go in Madame Tussauds.”
Global Warming And Market Incentives Save Elephants
Russia digs up woolly mammoth remains for guilt-free ivory
It is exporting 60 tons of mammoth ivory to China, the world's biggest ivory market, per year, and scientists estimate there is plenty more where that came from.
In fact, they believe there may be as many as 150 million dead mammoths frozen beneath the Siberian tundra just waiting to be dug up....
as the permafrost beneath the Siberian tundra melts due to global warming their sometimes well-preserved remains are surfacing with growing frequency.
It is a phenomenon that has Russia's businessmen rubbing their hands together as mammoth ivory can command a much higher price than elephant ivory and sells for as much as £330 per kilogram.
Elephant conservationists are hoping that the guilt-free mammoth ivory trade continues to flourish and eventually squeezes out the illegal trade in elephant tusks altogether.
"The large quantities of mammoth tusks imported into Hong Kong, which are mostly sent to the Chinese mainland for carving, probably reduce demand for elephant ivory from Africa," the report, in a specialist journal called Pachyderm, concluded.
"This may in the long run lower elephant ivory prices and reduce incentives to poach elephants."
Would Moonbat file this under good or bad news?
September 26, 2010
Jaffa Miliband - Might as well have L stamped on his forehead
The dignity of David Miliband | The Spectator
We spend a lot of time criticising politicians so it behoves us to praise one when they behave with as much dignity as David Miliband has today
Don't make me laugh, poor old Jaffa, loser to the last. He just is used to it. He now has to grin and bear his idiot younger bother swan about in a job that was his for the taking if he had had any balls, sorry I forgot, he's Jaffa.....
Hurrah for Scepticism - The Observer
One of these statements appears in The Observer - the other is a bizarre fiction.
"The pro-GM lobby has done a fantastic job in persuading the media and politicians that even the most modest GM-scepticism is tantamount to extreme science-hating emotionalism," Jonathon Porritt has written. "To express any reservations about the notional sustainability benefits of current GM crops, let alone about the massively hyped potential benefits of future GM products, is to open oneself up to the charge of debilitating technophobia."
"The pro-AGW lobby has done a fantastic job in persuading the media and politicians that even the most modest AGW-scepticism is tantamount to extreme science-hating emotionalism," Lord Monckton has written. "To express any reservations about the notional sustainability benefits of current "Carbon" regulations, let alone about the massively hyped IPCC reports, is to open oneself up to the charge of debilitating technophobia."
September 25, 2010
Ed The Union Man
Bought and Paid For
Customers prevent staff running business as they want to.
September 24, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Lonesome Road Edition)
Council Modalities - Looking After Your Money
African fraud gang: Could you please send us £102,000? Council: Why, of course we can
AN African fraud gang has succeeded in conning a cash-strapped Scottish council out of £102,000.
Strathclyde Police is investigating the con after South Lanarkshire Council admitted an accounts worker had been taken in by the sting.
South Lanarkshire is not the first local authority in the UK to be targeted in this manner. Police say a number of councils have been taken in by a similar fraud and forces across the country are working together to try and trace the gang.
I think I know how to get my council tax rebate now -
Dear Sirs, Excuse me writiug out of the unknown, but I have ben given you name as a reliable and trustworthy Council Officer who can help me get £24 million pounds that my lat father left in a suitcase out of Wiltshire....
Was uns nicht umbringt, macht uns stärker.
Full, filthy extent of Delhi disgrace exposed - Scotsman.com News
COVERED in filth and debris, with some areas cordoned off with tape...
Just like the London Marathon route after the runners have passed, defecating in the gutters. I don't know what they are complaining about or are they just a bunch of overpaid delicate flowers?
Sound advice for the jobless
I've seen her picture...
September 23, 2010
Ernst Georg Beck - RIP
" Ernst Beck was a biology teacher at the Merian technical grammar school in Freiburg and co-founder of the European Institute for Climate and Energy (EIKE). He was a teacher of the old school, whom nobody could lead up the garden path. If a statement of politicians did not fit into its solid scientific conception of the world, he examined it by intensive study of international technical literature and, if possible, by own experiments. His website www.biokurs.de is still a treasure trove for everybody, who prepares for examines or finding answers to current scientific questions. "
When he published a finding that CO2 levels varied with the phase of the moon I thought it was so bizarre it threatened his credibility. Especially as he did not postulate any mechanism for this correlation.
But he believed in publishing data and then discovering causes, rather than the other way round.
This lunatic idea made me sceptical of his research and lead, I believe, to me being the first to point out a probable cause.
CO2 solubility is temperature dependent and the earth is slightly warmer at full moon - moonlight can warm the Earth slightly more at full moon, although only at night, of course. But the position of the Earth and Moon in the solar system is more important. At full moon, the Earth moves slightly closer to the Sun than at new moon, receiving a touch more solar radiation during the day and raising maximum temperatures.
This temperature rise is well documented, as is the solubility factors of CO2, connecting it all through was what was missing.
He was right on this, how much of the rest of his research will be proven to be right as well time will tell.
His truth seeking will be missed as will his presence.
LIb Dem Conference Round-up
Suffolk Council Points The Way
The Tory-controlled county's "new strategic direction", set for approval tomorrow, could see virtually every service outsourced to social enterprises or companies. The aim is to turn the authority from one which provides public services itself, to an "enabling" council, which only commissions them.
At present, the council employs around 27,000 people, 15,000 of whom work in education, which is set to be taken away from local authority control as the government converts schools to academies and free schools. Many of the remaining 12,000 could face either redundancy or be transferred to a social enterprise or the private sector.
But unions warn thousands of jobs are at risk. "We are led to believe that the council could end up only employing 200 to 500 people at the end of this process", said Helen Muddock, branch secretary of the Suffolk branch of Unison. "We are talking about having a local authority where the only people employed directly will be dealing with contracts."
"Warn"? "raise hopes" I think is the correct phrase.
Stuffed Sturgeon on Ice
Members of Holyrood's health committee blocked the flagship SNP policy, when MSPs approved a Conservative amendment to remove the minimum price of 45p per unit from the Alcohol Bill.
The defeat came after the policy was voted down at an earlier parliamentary stage by MSPs.
A defiant Ms Sturgeon vowed to bring minimum pricing back to the full parliament at the third and final stage of consideration of the bill, despite the two defeats.
DO NOT FOLLOW THE LINK - sorry it has a picture of Ms Sturgeon looking particularly gloomy and Scottish (apologies for the tautology) and if you don't need a quick restorative after viewing that then you have a stronger constitution than me.
Though I note that Labour has called for a limit on the amount of caffeine in alcoholic drinks, which would mean no more splash of the cooking stuff in the morning coffee or a steaming mug of Kye to revive after a morning on watch....
September 22, 2010
Gavin Schmidt - It's not about temperature, it's just we should be living pre-Victorian lives
There is a bit of a kerfuffle reported in the Guardian with various scientists disputing what Lord Monckton told the US Congress. Usual "He said - We say" stuff. They probably have landed a few blows on over simplifications and inaccuracies, go read it all here;Climate scientists respond to Lord Monckton - guardian.co.uk
But my eye was caught by this:
Response From Dr. Gavin Schmidt
Monckton’s premise that current concern rests on the supposedly unprecedented current temperatures is simply false. It is well known that past climates have had much warmer temperatures than today and much colder temperatures as well. The difference between the Cretaceous hothouse and Snowball Earth is vastly bigger than possible changes projected for the 21st Century. But the point is not the absolute temperature today, or in 2100, but in the rapidity of the change and the fact that society – in a multitude of respects – is adapted to the relatively stable conditions that have existed over the last few centuries.
At last the crux of the matter, forget the temperatures, it is all about the fact that humans can't adapt to changes in society since Jane Austin's time.
There was me thinking that this electrickity stuff was being coped with, back to the candles. That Gloucestershire fool of a Doctor Jenner had better forget about playing around with milkmaids and the pox. Park those tractors up and get behind the breast plough. Tell the poor and women that the vote will only confuse them. And as for the Darkies maybe Gavin would volunteer to explain to them that they just couldn't cope with adapting to freedom, those chains are for their own good. In return I will happily accept those beads and mirrors back from the natives who should still be owning where he lives and works.
September 21, 2010
C for Cumming - A Spunky Idea For A Bond Film
In June 1915 Mansfield Cumming, the first chief (or C) of the SIS was "making enquiries for invisible inks at the London University".....that the best invisible ink is semen", which did not react to the main methods of detection. Furthermore it had the advantage of being readily available.
A member of staff close to "C", Frank Stagg, said that he would never forget his bosses' delight when the Deputy Chief Censor said one day that one of his staff had found out that "semen would not react to iodine vapour".
Stagg noted that "we thought we had solved a great problem".
However, the discovery also led to some further problems, with the agent who had identified the novel use having to be moved from his department after becoming the butt of jokes.
In addition, at least one agent had to be reminded to use only fresh supplies of the 'ink' when correspondents began noticing an unusual smell.
Damned awkward for female spies though, having to spit into an inkwell....
Polar Bears in Cornwall
ITV embarrassed by report of polar bear washed up on beach - Telegraph
The presenter of ITV's West Country breakfast bulletin informed astonished viewers that an animal more commonly spotted near the North Pole had turned up in the seaside town of Bude. Video footage showed a large, white beast lying on the shore.
"A walker in Cornwall has caught an extraordinary sight on camera. A polar bear has washed up on a beach near Bude," an excited Miss Lloyd said. "The bear comes from the Arctic Circle and an investigation is under way as to how it could have ended up there."
(Closer examination revealed it to be a dead cow rather than either a globally warmed Polar Bear or the bleached bloated corpse of Al Gore as I rather hoped.)
Huhne - Not as green as cabbage looking
Motorists and holidaymakers face 'green tax' rise of £800
Motorists and holidaymakers face paying hundreds of pounds a year more in green taxes to help low earners, Chris Huhne has signalled.
The Energy Secretary, who addresses the Liberal Democrat conference tomorrow, told delegates today that he had not yet determined where extra green taxes would fall, and asked them for ideas.
But insiders confirmed that, realistically, such a large increase would come largely from carbon duty – meaning more pain for motorists and holidaymakers.
Mr Huhne will argue that drivers will accept a rise if persuaded that the money will be used for tax breaks elsewhere, including a possible cut in employers' national insurance payments.
And we are accused of being cynical when we say Green Taxes are just another tax. Carbon taxes to mitigate the problems caused by carbon has a certain logic and objection to them requires a comprehensive demolition of the whole carbon scenario. Carbon taxes to cut NI contributions besmirches what little credibility green taxation has.
Bed Turners Rather Than Degree Holders Needed
Scots hospital deaths from bedsores are criticised as 'third world' - Scotsman.com News
Scottish Government statistics showed that 78 people have died because of bedsores and pressure sores in Scotland during a five- year period.
Parliamentary questions also revealed that there have been 566 cases during the same period where pressure ulcers or sores were mentioned on the death certificate either as the underlying cause of death or as a contributory factor.
I haven't found up to date figures from England or the USA but older figures are as high or higher so maybe it isn't just in Scotland that patients are dying from neglect.
September 20, 2010
No easy hopes or lies Shall bring us to our goal...
The enlightenment? Fun while it lasted.
What all this means is that there is not a single effective instrument for containing man-made global warming anywhere on earth. The response to climate change, which was described by Lord Stern as "a result of the greatest market failure the world has seen", is the greatest political failure the world has ever seen.
You would have to have a heart of stone not to giggle at Georgie as he rents his clothes and smears himself with ashes...
The Hun is at the gate!
Our world has passed away
In wantonness o'erthrown.
There is nothing left to-day
But steel and fire and stone.
Dirty Map Stat Pron
A series of maps of Europe labelled according to national stereotypes has become an internet sensation with half a billion hits.
Excellent maps, but half a billion hits? With an Alexa rank of about 300,000 for the last month (with a small peak for a couple of days much higher) that would give an average daily visitor number of the order of 1000.
Maybe 50,000 visitors for the month? And that is half a billion?
Damian Thompson - Have you got the right word?
Damian Thompson has got in a huge huff over a blog post by Roger Helmer MEP in which he says: "It would not be fair to describe the Church as “institutionally paedophile”. So far as I know it has no rules or systems designed to support or promote paedophilia. But I think it would be perfectly fair to describe it as systemically paedophile."
I have a terrible feeling that the whole row is over a misunderstanding between systematically and systemically. The latter means "of a system", "affecting the entire organism or bodily system", and would seem to be fair criticism. And if it is not Damien doesn't attempt to argue why it isn't, he just demands Roger's head on a plate.
All Labour Leaders Back Robin Hood Tax
Robbing Bastards - the new phrase is now "International Tax", watch the rebranding of it.
Fat Cat Bashing Time
PUBLIC SECTOR SALARIES
38,045 earn over £100K
1,000 earn over £200K
9,187 earn more than PM
10 GPs earn over £300K
1 GP in Hillingdon PCT earns £475K
17 teachers earn more than PM
331 BBC managers earn more than £100K
362 local council employees earn more than PM
The research threatens to undermine calls by trade unions for “civil disobedience” and co-ordinated strike action over the Coalition’s proposed programme of cuts to public sector pay and perks
More on tonight's BBC Panorama programme.
And a snippet of gossip from The Times
BBC ‘tried to influence Panorama TV report on fat cat pay’
Those involved with Panorama say they faced pressure from BBC management over how they covered the corporation. One senior member of the production staff said that dealing with senior managers had been a “f****** disaster”, as executives sought to argue that the BBC, which is funded by the £145.50 licence fee, should not be compared with other public bodies.
September 19, 2010
News of the Screws going Pay for View
Find out more about the all-new News of the World website | notw.co.uk | News Of The World
We will soon launch the all-new News of the World website.
In October we will replace this site and launch a paid-for website that will bring you agenda-setting showbiz, sport and news stories.
The redesigned site will be packed with unique video and pictures that you can't see anywhere else.
Find out more about the new features. You can also sign up for more information and see an exclusive Cheryl Cole video ....
Thank you but I will pass on your kind offer, exclusive Cheryl Cole videos not being high on my list of wants.
Obviously old Murdoch is happy how the paywall experiment is going.
Whilst obviously it is no great shakes if the NoW disappears off into a secret walled garden, inhabited by sad people with comb-overs and wearing nylon cardies, it is a shame that the more serious parts of his empire are ghettoising the worldwide web of news and views.
Elfen Safety Under Attack
The vast increase in the number of regulations over the past two decades, and in the number of officials paid to enforce them, has had enormously damaging effects. Much of the cost has been economic, with the additional burden imposed on companies by over-zealous officials being enough to put some of them out of business. But it has also been cultural, creating an unhealthy climate of fear – of the health and safety bureaucracy, of specious lawsuits, and of risk itself.
Lord Young's report is laudable, and he has a reputation as a doer but the dead hand of the petty tyrant has become so used to using the H&S excuse it will take, I fear, more than recommendations to lift it.
Please let his name be Bob....
September 18, 2010
The Scots' Fatal Addiction
NATIVE Scots are more than twice as likely to die of alcohol-related causes compared with residents who were born south of the Border and then move north, according to a new study published yesterday.
The Edinburgh University study into drink-related deaths in Scotland showed there were clear "ethnic divides"....
Dr Bruce Ritson, chairman of Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems, said that it was proof of the need for minimum pricing. "This research underlines why Scotland needs to act decisively to tackle problem drinking," he said. "Whilst we may not yet fully understand why Scots are more likely to die from alcohol-related conditions, we do know what will work to save lives."... a "record" investment of almost £100 million in prevention and treatment services.....
In other words they haven't got a Scooby-Doo why people born in Scotland drink themselves to death (I have a feeling that all the information needed is in that sentence) but they know the solution, bucket loads of English taxpayers cash.
Reason must be warned to keep within its proper limits
The awesome mind of Pope Benedict XVI – Telegraph Blogs
Westminster just received a dose of some of the finest theology written in the last half-century. That might sound over the top, but this fact is widely acknowledged: even if Joseph Ratzinger hadn’t entered the clergy, he would have been a world-famous academic and theologian. The speech he delivered in Westminster Hall was as profound, then, as it was historic.
“The role of religion in political debate,” he said, is “… to help purify and shed light upon the application of reason to the discovery of objective moral principles.” He continued: “Without the corrective supplied by religion… reason too can fall prey to distortions...“This is why reason, too, must be warned to keep within its proper limits, and it must learn a willingness to listen to the great religious traditions of mankind. If it cuts itself completely adrift and rejects this willingness to learn, this relatedness, reason becomes destructive.”
I'm happy for Will that this twaddle enables him to achieve rapture, but step away from the smells and bells and examine it slowly.
Leave aside the very questionable assumption that there are such things as "objective moral principles" (the proper term probably lies closer to a collective subjective morality) and read it for what it is.
It is an attack on the use of reason.
Reason is only useful so long as it agrees with what my imaginary friend tells me late at night. And if MIF tells me something different then go with that rather the application of facts.When this is commanded to be applied to the way countries are run then it is right we protest it.
At last a use for Twitter
Winston S. Churchill (Churchill_Quote) on Twitter
Some of his greatest quotes, tweeted every day.
Buying Peer Reviewed Articles by the Yard
Ghostwriters for Drug Company behind Dozens of Journal Articles?
.....dozens of peer-reviewed articles prepared by ghostwriters
Peer review is the gold standard, who could doubt it.
September 17, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Moonshine Edition)
September 16, 2010
The Pope in Glasgow Video
He seems to have had an enjoyable and successful day in Glasgow.
The Flying Greenmail Tour
Ecuador asks for $3.6bn not to drill for oil in rainforest
In exchange for not drilling for the fossil fuel in a 200,000-hectare area of Yasuni national park, the government is asking rich nations, foundations and individuals to give it $3.6 billion (£2.3bn).
Ecuadorean officials are flying around the world this month - including trips to Japan, Germany and the United Nations - meeting with prospective contributors to drum up support.
Good idea that flying round the world to save CO2 emissions...If I promise not to drill for oil in my back garden will you stump up a million or so?
Brian May Culling to go ahead
The cull could start in May 2011 and as many as 6,000 Brian May look alikes would be shot in the first year, according to officials who devised the proposals. A cull is certain to be controversial and the farming minister, Jim Paice, said he expected to face legal challenges and "some aggravation" during the culls, adding he had been in contact with the Home Office over policing of the culls. In July, legal action by the Brian May Trust halted a planned cull in Wales.
"This is a very, very nasty ...and since the 1970s it has spread dramatically," said Paice, adding it had a devastating impact on farmers. "We can't go on like this, it's as simple as that."
It has died out in urban areas but the hairstyle is still devastating rural areas, I'm afraid culling is the only answer. Though not with a Golf Club, even if it has a Mars Bar in its mouth...
September 15, 2010
It is old but it is beautiful....
Some Climate Realism from The Castle
The losing climate realist, Mike Castle.... Castle supports US participation in international agreements and a cap and trade programme based on the best available science.....it is also a resounding message to any Republican in Congress - or Democrat from a conservative or oil and coal state - of the political costs of being seen to accept the science of global warming....
"Cap and trade based on the best available science" - Noooooo!
Leave aside whether the best available science shows globalwarmageddon or not; let us assume it does. It still does not say cap and trade is the answer. That is a political economic policy based on a scenario. There are other possible policies. The choice between policies is a political choice and is not science based.
(I'm taking it as read that no one believes that political economics is an actual science.)
"Green jobs" could ease the impact of spending cuts and drive the recovery, Energy Secretary Chris Huhne has said.
He told MPs thousands of new jobs could be created....
No Pang Here!
BBC News - Hardtalk - Lord Patten on the Pope's UK visit
I hadn't realised that the despicable Fatty Pang was in charge of the the visit.
I don't want to be accused of stirring up religious hatred so I will say no more.
Nef Knows Best
Cambridge, university city of ancient colleges, spires and towers, of hidden gardens and river vistas, is betrayed by its high street shops, a new report claims.
Their lack of variety, and their domination by big chains, make Cambridge Britain's top "clone town", says the New Economics Foundation.
Five years ago the foundation came up with the concept of clone towns – urban areas which had lost their identity as global and national chain stores drove out local businesses.
A spokesman for Nef, Paul Hurst, said: "This is a warning that local diversity needs to be actively maintained and supported and won't necessarily survive on its own."
I'm sure Nef have wonderful plans for mandating what shops selling what goods are allowed to open where. The public is so stupid they don't know what they want and they must be told!
Old Castle Falls To Sceptic Movement
Republican 'climate zombies' could claim the US Senate | Leo Hickman | Environment | guardian.co.uk
You might want to find yourself an indelible marker pen and draw a large black circle around 3 November – it could be the morning the world wakes up to discover that the US Senate is now controlled by climate sceptics.
With the mid-term elections now only a few weeks away, the Wonk Room, a blog run by the Center for American Progress Action Fund, has compiled the most definitive list yet of on-the-record comments made by Republican candidates for the US Senate in which they express varying degrees of doubt about the reality of anthropogenic climate change.
The startling conclusion is that "nearly all dispute the scientific consensus that the United States must act to fight global warming pollution". In fact, the Wonk Room could find only one – Rep. Mike Castle of Delaware – who supports any action at all on climate change.
Make that none now....
Christine O'Donnell brings unlikely Tea Party triumph to Delaware | World news | guardian.co.uk
The surge of anger among US conservatives both with Barack Obama and the Republican party reached a new high point early today when the Tea Party candidate, Christine O'Donnell, ousted the Republican establishment favourite, Mike Castle, in Delaware.
(The Guardian and BBC are convinced that Ms O'Donnell is unelectable because she is so "right-wing" - she even shockingly believes masturbation is a sin! I seem to remember Jimmy Carter also saying something similar. If you believe your Bible that is what it says, and shockingly a lot of Americans do, much to the Guardian and BBC's incomprehension.)
Public Sector Worker Round Up
Workshy the first in line to lose jobs as Cuba feels economic strain - Scotsman.com News
LAZY Cuban workers face the axe first, according to government plans to slash the Communist state's public payroll by 500,000 within six months.
The plans, along with a timetable for which government sectors will feel the cuts first, are laid out in an internal Communist Party document, which emerged yesterday.
'The trouble with the public sector is bone-idle staff' - Telegraph
Tony McGuirk, the chief officer of Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service, said there was an "epidemic of failure to deal with poor attendance" in the public sector.
He said managers should be brave enough to root out lazy staff rather than sacrifice key infrastructure such as fire engines or stations.
The Office for National Statistics found that full-time public sector staff earned an average of £74 a week more than those in the private sector. Once employer pension contributions were included, the gap rose to £136, illustrating the generous pay-and-perks deals enjoyed by local and central government workers.
September 14, 2010
The Climategate Inquiries
A detailed assessment of the Climategate inquiries set up by the University of East Anglia and others which finds that they avoided key questions and failed to probe some of the most serious allegations. The report The Climategate Inquiries, written by Andrew Montford and with a foreword by Lord (Andrew) Turnbull, finds that the inquiries into the conduct and integrity of scientists at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia were rushed and seriously inadequate.
For the full report click here
There is a final lesson to be drawn from the inquiries and Andrew Montford’s
report. Gone are the times when the “authorities” could largely assert their
message without challenge using their superior resources, and thereby ensure
that diffi cult issues remain hidden. We increasingly live in the world of
Erin Brockovich versus Pacifi c Gas and Electric or David versus Goliath, where
committed individuals with few resources can dig away at an issue. Armed
with strengthened rights to information and the forensic power of the internet
they will eventually get to the truth and quick but superfi cial inquiries will not
stand in their way. Andrew Montford’s report is such an example and the authorities
would do well to accord it the respect it deserves.
Louise Gray Foxy Writer
Arctic fox joins polar bear on new list of Arctic species in danger of extinction - Telegraph
The US Center for Biological Diversity (CBD) claim 17 Arctic animals are at risk from the melting ice.
“The polar bear is the best-known victim of rapid melting in the Arctic, but if we don’t slash greenhouse pollution, many more creatures will follow it down the path to extinction,”
It is estimated that eight of the world’s 19 polar bear populations are declining as they struggle to raise young and hunt for food on shrinking ice sheets.
However, climate change sceptics claim polar bears are thriving in areas where the animals have been able to scavenge from the growing human population as the temperatures increase and big industry moves in.
Quite right, the Polar bears are getting jobs drilling for oil and then buying Big Macs with the dollars they earn; us right wing climate sceptics see this as an excellent example of getting the lazy buggers off welfare dependency and becoming productive members of society.
I wish the same could be said for Louise Grey as she uncritically recycles yet another press release...
Britain's taste buds destroyed by processed food - National Trust
Climate change is inevitable, says Caroline Spelman
A Picture Nails The Argument
The Guardian in praising Nottingham's green transport shows exactly why it is a crap idea - look at that cold wet dark miserable morning and tell me you want to wait at a bus stop to be taken only somewhere close to where you want to go, or that you want to splash through the puddles on your bike with your front wheel slipping into the tram line rather than drive from door to door in warmth and comfort....
Recycling Costs In Jobs
Ambitious targets to increase the amount of rubbish recycled in the UK could help create more than 50,000 jobs, a report suggested.
The study by Friends of the Earth said 51,400 jobs could be created if 70% of waste collected by local councils were recycled.
And another 18,800 jobs would be created if commercial and industrial waste were recycled at the same rate.
According to the study, recycling creates 10 times more jobs per tonne than sending rubbish to landfill or incineration, with posts generated in collection, sorting and reprocessing, as well as in the supply chain and in the wider economy.
How many times must it be said?
September 13, 2010
Green Party Games
The Green Party is beginning to be taken seriously after nearly four decades beyond the political fringe.
For almost all its 38-year history it has, indeed, been paralytically unfit for purpose.It all began, inevitably, with a bunny hugger – Hugh Hefner, who published in Playboy an characteristically wrong headed article, predicting global famine, by the arch-pessimistic American professor, Paul Ehrlich. The jeremiad inspired a Warwickshire solicitor and his wife, Tony and Lesley Whittaker, to get together a group to found Europe's first environmental party.
Having started off on the wrong foot, the party continued to go on putting it forward, combining doomsterism with just plain daftness. It's first election manifesto was based on the scarcely less fatalistic tract, Blueprint for Survival, edited by the late Teddy Goldsmith, who stood for parliament complete with a white witch as his election agent and a camel, loaned by John Aspinall, to draw attention to soil erosion in Suffolk.
The party denounced all economic growth for decades, alienating even the rest of the green movement. After that enormous EU election ballot, nine out of ten top British environmentalists told me that they had not voted for it because, as one explained: "We actually know what its policies are" (the exception was Jonathan Porritt, a former chair of the party).
But that was nothing compared to the party's internal feuding. It split even before it started – most of the group the Whittakers gathered opposed forming a political party – and went on from there, making a particular speciality of purging any figure who showed signs of becoming popular with the public.
At the 1992 party conference, for example, members fired Sarah Parkin, who was largely responsible for the 1989 success, just two weeks after she had been officially declared the party's "greatest asset" – and then went on to give a rapturous reception to David Icke who, apart from claiming to be "an aspect of the godhead", was early in developing the belief, now widely promulgated by extreme climate sceptics, that global warming is a scam designed to impose global government.
Old Geoffers likes a laugh doesn't he, "taken seriously"! Of the course the fruitcake party isn't, why should it be when it's fruitcake policies are now government policy? All it can offer is even nuttier choices, which are picked up by Huhne before they can used to differentiate the Green Party.
‘Anti-poverty’ fat cats live in luxury
Damning documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal eye-watering expenses claims by officials at the Commonwealth Development Corporation.
Taxpayers were billed for a £700 dinner by Sir Malcolm Williamson, the CDC’s chairman for five years up until 2009, at London’s Michelin-starred L’Autre Pied restaurant.
Another executive at the Government quango, Anubha Shrivastava, claimed £530 for a night at the Four Seasons Hotel in Hong Kong, while Richard Laing, the chief executive, who is paid £970,000 a year, claimed £7,414 in expenses.
Miriam de Lacy, the CDC’s communications director, said: “The expenses we incur are reasonable.”
The CDC was set up after the war to invest in the world’s poorest countries. It has access to Government funds of £2.5billion.
That makes Georgie's job a bit easier, another simple cut.
UPDATE - The CDC defends itself...
CDC: this non-quango doesn’t take money – it makes money | The Times... before you write off CDC — formerly the Commonwealth Development Corporation — as another indulgent quango, take five minutes to find out who we really are and why we are needed. We are not a quango or a charity. We take no government money. Instead, we are a company that is fully owned by the Government, whose job is to stimulate economic growth in poor countries by backing promising private-sector businesses that find it hard to secure long-term risk capital.
Eye of Newt, Bowl of Sputum....
An investigation has now found that some homeopathic practitioners in Scotland are offering the remedies to patients who decide they do not want to use vaccines, such as the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) jab.
...Katie Jarvis, who is based in Inverness, told them that she only offered so-called "homeopathic prophylaxis" to patients who said they were interested in it, and did not tell anyone that they should not use conventional vaccines. When asked about the practice, she told the BBC documentary: "The alternative that I would offer would be a homeopathic remedy made from diseased tissue, that comes from someone with that disease, and then made into potentised form so that is given in a homeopathic remedy. It can be given instead or as well as the vaccination.
What we can use is something called nosodes. These are homeopathic remedies made from tissue that is infected with a particular disease.
"For example, if it was whooping cough then we would use the mucus from the chest of someone with whooping cough to make a remedy to protect against getting whooping cough.....some people and myself are doing are using these nosodes as an alternative to vaccination.
Checks calendar for century, yep, says 21st down here. But luckily I believe the Witchcraft Act is still on the books north of the border...
September 12, 2010
Greenwrecking the Scottish Economy
Climate change law to rip £8bn hole in budgets
SPENDING on schools, hospitals and other key services is set to be hit by the estimated £8 billion cost of Scotland's world-leading climate change laws, the government have admitted....
Officials insisted last night that the country will gain a competitive advantage and extra jobs by being at the forefront of the "low-carbon economy".
So as the hospitals close, the schools go underfunded, the police force shrink who will get the blame?
September 11, 2010
Stand ye steady?
Rick Rescorla reminded everyone to "...be proud to be an American ...everyone will be talking about you tomorrow", and sang God Bless America and other military and Cornish songs over his bullhorn to help evacuees stay calm as they left the building, including an adaptation of the song Men of Harlech:
Men of Cornwall stop your dreaming;
Can't you see their spearpoints gleaming?
See their warriors' pennants streaming
To this battlefield.
Men of Cornwall stand ye steady;
It cannot be ever said ye
for the battle were not ready;
Stand and never yield!
September 10, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Here's One I Made Earlier Edition)
Friday Night is Dance Night
Police are investigating a citizen's arrest in New Zealand during which a couple forced two alleged vandals to dance while they waited for officers to arrive.
A New Zealand man and his wife tracked down two men after their garden fence and bins were 'tagged' with graffiti.
They then took the pair back to their home and forced them to perform a dance which they video taped while waiting for police to arrive.
In the video posted on YouTube a woman can be heard saying "you ---- with us, we'll ---- with you twice as hard". The video has since been removed.
The man filming the performance, identified only as Izzy, told New Zealand's Nightline that when the first two police officers arrived at the incident, one took photos and the other had to leave because he was laughing so hard. Four other policemen were then called in to view the spectacle.
It remains unclear how the couple captured the teenagers, named only as Karl, 20, and Shane, 18, although Shane has claimed he was forced from his home at knifepoint.
Karl has since been charged with wilful damage after appearing in court for the vandalism.
Whangarei police are also investigating the couple and their own police officers' conduct.
They recommend that anyone apprehending an alleged criminal contact the police and let them deal with the incident.
The man filming the incident, who has been identified only as Izzy, told 3News.co.nz that when police showed up at the house they burst out laughing.
Four other officers were allegedly called in to watch the performance.
Tears of joy are running down my face, a beer or two is called for.
Eco Warrior Nomination - Please Back My Choice
Green heroes working for the right kind of environmental change | Environment | guardian.co.uk
Next week we will publish a list of the top 10 green heroes as chosen by you. We'll also run a poll so you can vote for your favourite green hero in the top 10.
For a chance to have your suggestions included, please tell us in the comments below who you would like to see included in the readers' top 50. For example: "I nominate Brian Jones for the reader top 50" or "Vote: Joanna Smith". You can also send your suggestions to our Twitter account, @guardianeco, or post them on our Facebook page.
I nominate Michael O'Leary for telling the truth about Global Warming - http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/blog/2010/sep/10/michael-o-leary-ryanair-global-warming.
Global warming is 'horseshit' - and other insights
Ryanair's chief executive rips into 'fucking eco-warriors', 'bogus' scientists and aviation's 'crap' tax deal...
(Apologies for the language but I'm merely quoting the Guardian...)
I recommend you also nominate him.....
Bin Statsi Fear
Households will no longer have to install slop buckets in every kitchen after a Government report warned that forcing people to separate food waste could lead to an increase in fly tipping.
Bloody hell, common sense is breaking out. My work is done.
Cheer Moonbat Up
Faced with the mind-numbing bad news about the environment over recent months, a couple of us at the Guardian decided to try to cheer ourselves up....
Umm, what was the mind-numbing bad news George? The oil spill is cleaning it self up quicker than expected, the ice isn't melting as much as last year, errors in climate science have been rooted out... am I getting warm yet?
September 8, 2010
How are the Cinque Ports Suffering from Rising Sea Levels?
The Cinque Ports along the South East Coast of England, were originated during Henry ll reign in the 12th. Century, being first mentioned in the Royal Charter of 1155.
They were started with five ports: Dover, Sandwich, New Romney, Hythe and Hastings, originally to provide the Crown with a "ships service" of 57 ships, each with a crew of 21 men and a boy, for 15 days each year.
The main five Cinque Ports (pronounced SINK, not SANK) weren't always able to provide the needs of the King, so two more main ports were added - Rye and Winchelsea
The Cinque Ports reached the peak of their powers in the 13th Century, acting on many occasions for the King, but earning some disgrace by their acts of robbery, pillage and smuggling.
The cause of their decline however, was due to the coastline changes that were taking place; some ports were no longer navigable and in some cases actually landlocked.
Dover is now the only Head Port to retain an important Harbour. Much of Hastings was in the 13th century washed away by the sea.
New Romney is now about a mile and a half from the seafront
Hythe is still on the coast. However, although it is beside a broad bay, its natural harbour has been removed by centuries of silting.
Sandwich is now 3 km (2 miles) from the sea and no longer a port.
Rye stands approximately two miles from the open sea.
Winchelsea retains its medieval setting on a hill surrounded by largely empty marsh
September 5, 2010
Just who is Guido Fawkes asks Rod Liddle
Just who is Guido Fawkes, aka Paul Staines — the semi-literate, extreme-right-wing, public-school-educated, foreign-born former bankrupt and convicted criminal blogger whose ineptly written innuendoes may yet put an end to the career of one of Britain’s better politicians, William Hague?
Well, Mr Staines is Bloggsville incarnate — the very essence of that vast network of talentless and embittered individuals tapping away at their keyboards in the intellectual vacuum of cyberspace, only occasionally leaving their computer screens to heat up a Tesco microwave-ready mini filled garlic and coriander nan bread with Indian dip selection (mango chutney, pickle, cucumber raita ©) before returning to spew out some more unsubstantiated bile.
This is anti-journalism, and nobody takes any notice of it — except, of course, the mainstream media and the government.
Pots and kettles.
September 4, 2010
I'm a Firestarter
Busy week coming up selling and demonstrating unbreakable cords and laces so if I'm not here please excuse me...
Peter Melchett Promotes Soil Association Display Of Ignorance
Choose Organic Everday?
Everyday, rather than "every day".
Everyday is an adjective meaning "daily."
Every day is a time expression meaning "each day" or "regularly."
Note the difference in the following sentences:
1. Jane goes to class every day (each day)
2. Jane has an everyday class. (a daily class)
So "Choose Organic Everyday" doesn't make grammatical sense, of course "everyday" is also a noun meaning "the routine", but then the slogan would have to be "Choose Organic For Everyday Applications..."
It is just a display of ignorance.
Peter Mond, 4th Baron Melchett, heir to Sir Alfred Mond's ICI fortune, educated at Eton and Cambridge, is the front man of the campaign so maybe he can explain this lamentable lapse by the organic movement. Or does it show that the family money was wasted on his education?
Could he and the Soil Association be ignorant and wrong about other things as well?
Bucky Ball Fun and Happy 12th.
Of course it is also the twelfth birthday of Google. Twelve short years ago the company was incorporated on September 4, 1998...Early in 1999, while still graduate students, Brin and Page decided that the search engine they had developed was taking up too much of their time from academic pursuits. They went to Excite CEO George Bell and offered to sell it to him for $1 million. He rejected the offer, and later criticized Vinod Khosla, one of Excite's venture capitalistse after he had negotiated Brin and Page down to $750,000.
September 3, 2010
Friday Night is Music Night (Swellegant Edition)
Hope For The Starving Millions
In less than 30 years Brazil has turned itself from a food importer into one of the world’s great breadbaskets...The increase in Brazil’s farm production has been stunning. Between 1996 and 2006 the total value of the country’s crops rose from 23 billion reais ($23 billion) to 108 billion reais, or 365%. Brazil increased its beef exports tenfold in a decade, overtaking Australia as the world’s largest exporter. It has the world’s largest cattle herd after India’s. It is also the world’s largest exporter of poultry, sugar cane and ethanol. Since 1990 its soyabean output has risen from barely 15m tonnes to over 60m. Brazil accounts for about a third of world soyabean exports, second only to America. In 1994 Brazil’s soyabean exports were one-seventh of America’s; now they are six-sevenths. Moreover, Brazil supplies a quarter of the world’s soyabean trade on just 6% of the country’s arable land.
No less astonishingly, Brazil has done all this without much government subsidy.
Brazil has more spare farmland than any other country. The FAO puts its total potential arable land at over 400m hectares; only 50m is being used. Brazilian official figures put the available land somewhat lower, at 300m hectares. Either way, it is a vast amount. On the FAO’s figures, Brazil has as much spare farmland as the next two countries together (Russia and America). It is often accused of levelling the rainforest to create its farms, but hardly any of this new land lies in Amazonia; most is cerrado.
Brazil also has more water. According to the UN’s World Water Assessment Report of 2009, Brazil has more than 8,000 billion cubic kilometres of renewable water each year, easily more than any other country. Brazil alone (population: 190m) has as much renewable water as the whole of Asia (population: 4 billion).
Like almost every large farming country, Brazil is divided between productive giant operations and inefficient hobby farms.
From the point of view of the rest of the world, however, these faults in Brazilian agriculture do not matter much. The bigger question for them is: can the miracle of the cerrado be exported, especially to Africa, where the good intentions of outsiders have so often shrivelled and died?
There are several reasons to think it can....
And we must hope it does, the reasons it may not are probably Government and Greens...
Blair Sold Out Millions To Protect His Rich Friends
..what really shocks me about Mr Blair’s autobiography is his account of how millions of ordinary people’s retirement plans were reduced to a mere bargaining chip in what sounds like a game of political strip poker between him and Gordon Brown.
Mr Blair claims Mr Brown said he would expose what became known as the ‘cash for honours’ scandal unless Lord Turner’s proposals were dropped.
Mr Blair’s revelation of what goes on behind closed doors in Downing Street demonstrates why our pensions have been so badly mishandled by several governments. Saving for retirement requires long term planning but, on the evidence of these memoirs, most politicians seem to struggle to think further ahead than the next publicity stunt or botched back-stabbing.
Grubby bottom-feeding venal politicians - not the haloed statesmen they see in the mirror. Already the rose tinted nostalgia is setting in, let us never forget how utterly rotten Blair and Brown were.
The Big Story - Food Shortages
Anxieties over the rising cost of food are bothering consumers in rich and poor countries alike, and stoking fears of social unrest in impoverished, unstable parts of the world once again.
On Wednesday, at least six people - including two children - were killed during violent demonstrations over soaring prices for basic necessities, including bread and fuel, in and around the capital of Mozambique
The violence echoes the food price crisis of 2007-2008, which helped push the number of hungry people in the world above a billion, and sparked protests and riots in nearly 40 countries, including Mozambique, Egypt, Haiti and Lebanon.
In Britain too, shoppers will have noticed their supermarket bills going up again. The overall price of food and non-alcoholic drinks rose by 1 percent from June to July, the biggest single monthly rise ever recorded in government figures...
Still looks like a good idea to put food into the tank of your car?
Cold beats climate change protest - Scotsman.com News
Greenpeace said freezing conditions and strong winds forced campaigners on board the Stena Don rig to abandon their protest action against the drilling plans of Edinburgh-based Cairn Energy.
September 2, 2010
Only Tories Should Be Allowed To Drink - Research Proves
BBC News - Problem drinking shows up north-south England divisions
There are stark geographical divisions in the toll alcohol takes on health in England, with men in the North West more likely to die prematurely than those in the South East, figures in the Local Alcohol Profiles in England report show.
The number is an extrapolation based on a list of 40 conditions, and includes those known to be directly caused by alcohol, like liver cirrhosis, to those which may be caused by drinking too much - such as high blood pressure or assault.
Although there is no medical confirmation that patients have these conditions through alcohol consumption, the researchers assume on the basis of a previous studies that a certain proportion will have been caused by misuse.
Well let's go with their assumptions - let us also go with the reasonable assumption that drinkers would be prepared to die up to a year early as a price of their vice.
It is therefore only the darkest of patches that have a problem - they are mainly urban (apart from a patch in Norfolk which is probably just Theo) and non Tory voting.
In fact the correlation between the harm map and the voting map is so strong that in the interest of health it seems that punitive alcohol taxes on socialists and liberals are fully justified.
Never mind the quality, look at the results
Climate scientists should not write their own software, says researcher | Environment | guardian.co.uk
A study by a computer scientist at the University of Toronto suggests that the computer models used to predict climate change may be undermined due to a lack of programming expertise.
Steve Easterbrook at the University's Department of Computer Science, has had his paper, Climate Change: A Grand Software Challenge, accepted by the 2010 FSE/SDP Workshop on the Future of Software Engineering Research. In the paper, he suggests that because many climate prediction software modelling tools are built by climate scientists rather than software engineers some of the resulting software has room for improvement.
Prof Steve Easterbrook then comments ...
Thanks for writing about my research. The article itself is quite good, but your headline and the opening paragraph are entirely wrong - my research shows the opposite is true. The fact that the scientists write their own code is one of the most important success factors in ensuring global circulation models produce high quality, scientifically valid simulations.
Please change the headline as soon as possible. I'd be happy to provide you with a more detailed interview if you would like.
Prof Steve Easterbrook
I think he means that because some of it is well written and all of it gets the right answer it doesn't matter that some of the code is crap. It is bit like going to church, some of the hymns are well crafted and sometimes trendy vicars insist on strumming out their own compositions on the guitar, it doesn't matter because it all leads us to salvation.
Bears no longer shit in woods - BBC
Mr Thompson told the New Statesman magazine: 'In the BBC I joined 30 years ago [as a production trainee, in 1979] there was, in much of current affairs, in terms of people's personal politics, which were quite vocal, a massive bias to the Left.
'The organisation did struggle then with impartiality. And journalistically, staff were quite mystified by the early years of Thatcher.
'Now it is a completely different generation.
'There is much less overt tribalism among the young journalists who work for the BBC.'
It's the unique way they are funded that ensures we get all that lovely balance...
Pace Iain - An Excellent Day For Political Blogging
Iain Dale thinks it a "A Bleak Day For Political Blogging", I disagree, I see it as an excellent ranging shot across the bows of politicians. That the innocent have been caught in the crossfire is regrettable but is a risk that goes with the territory they chose to occupy, and the traditional English way of doing things...
En causant ainsi ils abordèrent à Portsmouth; une multitude de peuple couvrait le rivage, et regardait attentivement un assez gros homme qui était à genoux, les yeux bandés, sur le tillac d'un des vaisseaux de la flotte; quatre soldats, postés vis-à-vis de cet homme, lui tirèrent chacun trois balles dans le crâne, le plus paisiblement du monde; et toute l'assemblée s'en retourna extrêmement satisfaite. Qu'est-ce donc que tout ceci ? dit Candide; et quel démon exerce partout son empire ? Il demanda qui était ce gros homme qu'on venait de tuer en cérémonie. C'est un amiral, lui répondit-on. Et pourquoi tuer cet amiral ? C'est, lui dit-on, parcequ'il n'a pas fait tuer assez de monde; il a livré un combat à un amiral français, et on a trouvé qu'il n'était pas assez près de lui. Mais, dit Candide, l'amiral français était aussi loin de l'amiral anglais que celui-ci l'était de l'autre ! Cela est incontestable, lui répliqua-t-on; mais dans ce pays-ci il est bon de tuer de temps en temps un amiral pour encourager les autres.
September 1, 2010
Weather not Climate
Last month was the coldest August for 17 years, recording the chilliest average temperatures since 1993 without a single "hot day", figures show.
CPRE Spreads False Panic Over English Hedges
Are we losing the fight to save our hedgerows? - Nature, Environment - The Independent
They are the living seams that have typified the British countryside for centuries. But now hedgerows are disappearing fast, and a report published tomorrow will say we are not doing enough to protect them.
Research from the Campaign to Protect Rural England has found that though hedgerows enjoy more protection than ever before, in England their overall length fell by 26,000 kilometres between 1998 and 2007. The study, England's Hedgerows: Don't Cut Them Out!, calls for current legislation to be strengthened....
Actually the research on the length of hedgerows was done by the Countryside Survey a couple of years ago and this is where the numbers come from. All the CPRE has done is gather some anecdotes and demand more powers, especially to keep the countryside all neat and tidy.
Because the story is actually that shrubby linear features in the countryside aren't in serious decline - there has been a small change in management as some hedges have not been cut as often. There have also been many new hedges planted, especially since the last figures were compiled.
The survey splits up these feature into hedges (where trees don't take their natural shape) and lines of trees etc (with or without fences) where the trees do take their natural shape.
English landowners are doing a fine job of protecting the countryside without the need of any more legislation, and if it is turning more natural rather than the CPRE preferred manicured look then I for one am happy.
The data, in kms of length, is presented below, full details in the links.
Greenpeace in Greenland
Greenpeace, an organisation of toffs dedicated to driving humanity back to the bronze age, is now openly declaring war on Greenland, one of the poorest nations in the world, as it tries to improve the conditions of the people through exploring and exploiting oil finds.
Unfortunately, Greenland only had the Danish Navy watching its back, and they seem to have been pretty much useless.
The Greenlanders need to get some proper naval forces who won't be afraid to turn heavy machine guns on the posh boys and girls who are determined to keep the people down and living in misery.
The Scotsman's commentators offer some robust views on Greenpeace...
Deep-fried beer invented in Texas - Telegraph
The beer is placed inside a pocket of salty, pretzel-like dough and then dunked in oil at 375 degrees for about 20 seconds, a short enough time for the confection to remain alcoholic.
When diners take a bite the hot beer mixes with the dough in what is claimed to be a delicious taste sensation.
I know I shouldn't, but I want.
(No news if Glasgow has perfected deep-fried Irn-Bru)