Monday, November 27

Royalties for the dead

For once, someone in charge of copyright appears to be considering the public as well as the industry. The BPI's attempt to have copyright on recordings extended to 95 years (which if applied retrospectively would copyright music back to 1911 - is there *anyone* alive who was recording music in 1911?) has got short shrift from an independent review commissioned by the Treasury. Hurrah.

In celebration, here's the Open Music Archive. Don't worry about not paying the recording artistes, as a) you don't have to, and b) they're dead.

Saturday, November 25

Is it cowardly to pray for 41 days of rain?

Unless some unlikely accident with a forgotten cricket ball reoccurs, England are looking to be in a very bad state indeed after the first three days of the first Ashes Test, which is unfortunate given the prediliction a number of Aussies have for rubbing it in (well, at least we have something else to watch on TV). Fortunately, none of the Aussies I know are that sort (probably because they're either scientists or female or both).

Either way... oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. I hope it's just rust and we'll be able to at least put up some resemblence of a fight later.

Friday, November 24

A rather original music video

He can't play the piano, and he can't play the drums. What he can do is edit:

Wednesday, November 15

Monckton vs Monbiot

In much the same was as a stopped clock can tell the right time twice a day, Monbiot does occasionally get it right.

But Monckton is defending himself "At least I got the science right". No you didn't, Monckton.

"In 1988, James Hansen, a climatologist, told the US Congress that ... sea level would rise several feet"

- he said no such thing. Although fiction writer Michael Crichton, basing his claims on dubious analysis of Hansen's work by Michaels (who deleted plots off of Hansen's graph) alleged he did.

"Scores of scientific papers show that the medieval warm period was real, global and up to 3C warmer than now. Then, there were no glaciers in the tropical Andes: today they're there. "

And they're getting ice cores from them. That go back earlier than the European medieval warm period. (doi 10.1002/1099-1417). Explain that one if they melted.

There was little ice at the North Pole: a Chinese naval squadron sailed right round the Arctic in 1421 and found none.

Complete fiction. It's mentioned in one book, and no historian has ever found any evidence whatsoever for this happening. You might as well base your theories on CS Lewis!

And so on, and so forth.

It would appear the Sunday Telegraph has declared war on science.

Saturday, November 11

Don't bother me with your fairy tales.

From the BBC:

Dr John Sentamu told lay readers illiberal atheists were undermining Britain's religious heritage.

Oh, I do hope so. Liberal atheists can't do it all on their own. Because, let's be blunt, he's complaining about a council not sending cards that greet his religious ceremony only - they're sending cards that will apply to everyone, Christians, Jews, Muslims, pagans, Jedis, Pastafarians and people who don't believe in some random spirit. So who's the illiberal one, then?

Wednesday, November 8

One down...

Hurrah. I am rather cheered that at least one major politician has now been forced to resign over the debacle that is Iraq. Another career deservedly ending in defeat.

Not quite the same level of importance, but I wonder if Blair will hang around and preside over another local elections stuffing in May 2007? Or will he go earlier to avoid the situation?

Friday, November 3

Silly placename of the month

I've decided to try and do something puerile regularly, so I've settled on the intrinsically silly placename (along with 10,000 other blogs, probably). Hey, this is just for my own entertainment, I don't really believe anyone else is reading it.

This month's settlement saddled with an unfortunate moniker is: Elephant Butte, New Mexico. Situated near the Elephant Butte Reservoir, it is named after a volcanic plug that looked a bit like an elephant.

Elephant Butte chamber of commerce