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Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Gore Effect

Following my little rant in my last post I was reading Instapundit when I saw this:

Okay, actually just as (contrary to media treatments) a spell of hot weather doesn't prove global warming, cold weather doesn't disprove it. But I think that the real cause of this cold snap in the L.A./Hollywood area is that Al Gore has been shortlisted for an Oscar. Al just can't catch a break.

Glenn next shows how it has even made the urban dictionary:

Gore Effect

The well documented phenomenon that leads to very low, unseasonal temperatures, driving rain, hail, snow or all of the above whenever Al Gore visits an area to discuss global "warming". Hence the "Gore Effect."

You know it sickens me that these folk just can't stop pounding Al Gore. It's as if he is public enemy number 1 for them.

Look I'll make it simple for you fools, Al Gore has recognised that global warming is a serious, disastrous problem for the world and he is trying to do his bit to combat the threat. Instead of whining about it or pretending it isn't happening he is actively travelling around and using his supernatural abilities to lower the local temperatures enough to mitigate the effects of global warming. The guy is fighting against the odds though; an unwinable battle, combating a global phenomenon with his astonishing, though comparatively meagre, local weather-effecting powers.

Al Gore should be commended for his actions, but instead he is mocked by the usual suspects. If only more of us were to work on manifesting these powerful cooling abilities and get behind Al Gore then maybe we would have a chance of saving our way of life.


Loss of thunder a consequence of climate change

I was watching the ITV 10:30 news last night because my dad had mentioned they were doing reports from Antarctica and I have a passing interest in the research conducted down there. They were, of course, discussing the impact of climate chage with particular reference to the loss of the ice-sheets and the consequent acceleration of glacial flow into the sea; a phenomenon that will increase sea levels. The report then had film of Stephan hawking declaring that climate chage was a greater threat to our way of life than terrorists.

That is great. It's nice to have famous, respected scientists pointing to the very real danger of increased global temperatures and the changes that accompany it. What bugged me though takes some background explaining.

The field of study I am in has ties to the climate change field; we study the effect of the sun on the earth though we are supported by the same research council as astronomy (solar system science is packaged as a subset of astronomy). The real astronomers outnumber us significantly and recently it was decided that a lot of what we do was less important than other areas and consequently funding (which is low overall) was cut. This, of course, limits our ability to monitor and understand how the sun affects the Earth. Add to this that for years it has been difficult (impossible?) to get the research councils who support our activity to work hand-in-hand with the research council who support things like lower atmospheric science so that we can accomplish real joined-up thinking.

So it is a little galling that on this background we see the most famous theoretical astrophysicist/cosmologist talking about how important climate change is.

Rant over.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Obama throws his hat into the ring

Edwards, Biden and Kucinich have all opted to run and now someone else has joined the party:
Barack Obama has initiated the process that will lead to him declaring his intention to run for the office of President of the United States in 2008:

Mr Obama, a Democrat, said on his website he had formed an exploratory committee, which would allow him to raise money and hire staff for the run.

Good luck to him, he'll need it if the US news companies continue to point out the similarities between 'Obama' and 'Osama' and to play up that his middle name is Hussein. Some of it has been a bit bizarre, some funny, but mostly quite unbelievable that so many mistakes can happen about one person.

No sign of Hilary yet but her little spat with Edwards might be a clear indication of her intentions.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Germany, the EU and the holocaust

McQ at QandO has drawn my attention to the following BBC article. Apparently Germany wants to make holocaust denial a crime across the EU:
Germany hopes to make Holocaust denial a crime across the EU as part of a package of laws it wants to introduce during its presidency of the bloc.
This is not a good thing. See this post for a summary of my views.
Such moves may be seen as curtailing freedom of speech and could prove controversial in several member states. But the German justice minister says she is confident of winning support.
It certainly is a curtailing of free speech and if the EU adopts it then it will be a regression rather than a step forward. See this earlier post from McQ for some reasons why.

My hope is that the UK will reject this on the basis that is does curtail free speech and provides a dangerous, underground breeding ground for the anti-semites in our midst as well as giving cover to the deniers themselves. We should be a free society as an example to others. My fear is that some will use this as another example of British anti-semitism rather than looking to the true motive behind any attempt to block it.

Losing weight, by gum!

This from the BBC web site:
Scientists are looking at whether an appetite-suppressing chewing gum could be used to tackle obesity.The Imperial College London team are developing a drug based on a natural gut hormone that mimics the body's "feeling full" response.

This is all well and good, I just hope that the excess stomach acid generated by chewing gum does not lead to increases in heart-burn. Though of course this could be (and probably is) an urban-myth.

Anyway my main point is how the hell did they get that picture of my belly????

New Ferrari

So Ferrari have unveiled their new car for the 2007 season (bring it on!). Now you may know that I am not Ferrari's biggest fan and nevre have been so I might be biased but from the shots I have seen the new car is ugly! To be fair it may just be the way the photos have been taken as they have all tried to be artistic and so don't really show the car clearly in my view.

Of course being ugly doesn't mean that it won't be fast...

In other F1 related news it seems that Adrian Newey would prefer that the expectations be lower for the new RB3. Development of last year's car was put on hold inorder to maximise time devoted to this, the first Newey car for Red Bull Racing.
“Perhaps the brake pedal or something is the only common part.
Newey is put up as a car-designing genius and there is a lot to back up that assertion. However I cannot blame him for wanting to keep expectations low:

"We are still a young team and that means that some of our infrastructure and resources aren't yet as good as some of the more established teams. How much that will hold us back? That sounds like an excuse – it's not meant to be, it's a fact."

Add to that fact that recent Newey cars have not performed as well as one might expect from the hype and the RB3 is in danger of being a craching disappointment even if it does a vastly superior job to last years design.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Dum de dum de dum dum dum

It's 6:30 on a Friday night and here I am sat at my desk trying to do some work. Whatever happened to the good old days of going to the pub at 5:30?

Nothing interesting to say.

I see Mr Blair has given a speech. That's nice.

I guess as far as military campaigns go it comes down to a few simple questions:

  • Should the UK still be a leading world military power or are we struggling to hold onto something that has passed us by long ago?
  • Do we even have the capability to pursue military engagements at the levels neccessary to sustain our current foreign policy?
  • Should our armed forces be expanding or declining?

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

New Look

Okay, the new look is done for now.
Comments are welcome but I think it looks spiffy and a lot better than previously.


Inspired by the new look Lies and Statistics I think it is time to start tinkering with the look of the blog. Obviously I have no new content and so the next best thing is to change the design :-)

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Update complete...

... for now. The blog looks kind of how I want it for now and so it will do.

Undergoing some small changes as I learn to find my way around the new blogger controls. Hopefully the normal shoddy service will resume shortly...