Monday, October 29
As the BBC article says, a single chip could hold 18,000 songs - over a month of solid, non-stop music.
Now all you need is the battery that can last that long...
Friday, October 26
1. A probably accurate insight into feline nature
2. PR spokesperson who is clearly talking complete rot.
3. Momentum does not work that way, moron!
52 years ago, a scientist put out a paper. Then he realised it was wrong, and that people were using these incorrect assumptions as "proofs" for their own beliefs.
So what does a scientist do in these situations? Simple. Declare the paper was wrong, and retract it.
So, good on you Dr Homer Jacobson.
And bad news for the creationists.
Thursday, October 25
Pretty much the expected stuff, although well put - scientists should be allowed to comment on controversial topics, as science is about the way the world is, not the way we would like it to be, but crass comments such as Watson's make this harder and thus damage science.
Monday, October 22
Doesn't help the image of your city either, as you know full well all the media and bloggers that have ignored all the high-tech developments and industrial advances year after year (*ahem*) will suddenly notice a bizarre monkey-related demise.
Sunday, October 21
Which isn't going to happen, I suspect. Wonder if anyone from ITV will decide to use the Guillemots' "Sao Paolo" as the ending music - the lines "sometimes I could cry for miles" might be appropriate at that point.
Saturday, October 20
Friday, October 19
So, what do you do when your former Nobel Prize winning chancellor opens his mouth and takes you right back to those discredited days of the early 1930s?
Yep, Watson's been suspended. .
Everyone blames everybody else, nobody listens to the scientists. The countries are all worried about their fishing fleets now, and don't appear to want to consider their fishing fleets of the future (i.e. there won't be any) because they appear to think if they stop fishing no-one else will, so they'll still end up with no fishing fleet but won't have fish in the meantime. "We're friends of the fisherman" they declare, while allowing the fishermen to drive themselves into extinction.
Tuesday, October 16
Well, OK, this is the UK national average, and we're not exactly the lightest treading nation in the world. And this was using the UK government's carbon calculator, which kindly does not include business travel in my travel footprint, allowing me to ignore every flight I've ever taken. And I don't own a car. So that's pretty much my entire contribution to saving the planet.
I'm still 0.3 tonnes above the target footprint, though, since all my household power is from fossil energy. I suppose the cycling does actually contribute a bit, as it means I'm using the washing machine more often as well. As for the green-ness of the home, well I'm renting. If I owned my house, I may well have put solar panels on by now.
Monday, October 15
Sunday, October 14
Oh, well cheers for that. I won't bother next time. OK, I wasn't particularly good at it - it was the first time I did that particular role, anyway - but I've seen far, far worse than my efforts in the past (no-one got hypothermia, for starters...)
(No, I wasn't paid. I didn't even get a cup of tea)
Friday, October 12
Hello Dave?" says Ryan Sidebottom...
One joker complained that the Nobel Prize for Physics is a joke because they didn't give it to Edison.
Edison? Edison? Are you completely utterly frothingly deranged?
OK, apart from the slight problem that the man was an out-and-out thief, he was also by no stretch of the imagination a Physicist. He was an inventor. Then a showman and a marketeer. At *best*, awarding Edison the prize would have been like giving Stuart Parkin a share in this year's prize - Parkin being the researcher who led the IBM team that made the first mass produceable GMR read/write head. But that's a really charitable comparison for Edison (I like Parkin a lot more, and think he should certainly receive an award alongside Fert and Grunberg if the award is for, say, science and technology).
No, awarding Edison would have been like giving the prize to Steve Jobs for inventing the iPod.
Oh, and Mark Thompson should be sacked. Immediately. Just because I don't like him. No, don't need to say why, people who spout of on his channels apparently don't have to explain their decisions either.
The way the BBC should be engaging with the public is in producing great television, which apparently they are still willing to do, not letting the public play in front of the idiot box for a bit.
Cue outrage from US climate change delusionists (and probably some complaints from sceptics that the film is over-the-top, which it is, rather than a pack of lies, which it isn't)
As for the nine errors - that's also open to debate if they were errors...
Thursday, October 11
Back to the literature - Doris Lessing is quoted as saying that in the 1960's they "sent one of their minions" to tell her she'd never get the prize, and then
"So now they've decided they're going to give it to me. So why? I mean, why do they like me any better now than they did then?"
Well, the distinguished gentlemen who didn't like you then were probably over 40. Add 50 years and... well, they're dead, or at least long retired.
Wednesday, October 10
He did express some suprise that it was awarded alone - while Ertl is clearly worthy, he did think that Gabor Somorjai would share the award. Would have been interesting to hear that discussion.
Hard to believe this is the same team that was wiped out 5-0 last year, but that's probably because they aren't. Back then, going the whitewashed were M E Trescothick, A N Cook, I R Bell, A J Strauss, V S Solanki, J W M Dalrymple, G O Jones, T T Bresnan, L E Plunkett, Kabir Ali, S J Harmison.
Only Cook and Bell remain, joined by Mustard, Pietersen, Collingwood, Shah, Bopara, Swann, Broad, Sidebottom and Anderson.
Tuesday, October 9
Monday, October 8
Evans, now at University of Wales, Cardiff,, derived embryonic stem cells with Matt Kaufman at Cambridge in the 1980s. Capecchi (University of Utah, Salt Lake City) and Smithies (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) used homologous recombination to target specific genes in cells.
The same researchers had won the Lasker Prize in 2001.
Saturday, October 6
On the Aussie side of things - I wonder if some Australian journalists need to barbecue some humble pie today after their articles in the run up to the match. Mr Smith clearly knows rugby - he identified that 'hanging on like grim death is what [the English] do better than anything else' and he did identify the pack and Wilkinson as the England strengths. Amongst his declarations about how the Wallabies would easily defeat England, there is the one prescient line
There might be only so much you can do with a nasty, big pack and a goalkicking genius, but one thing that's possible is winning a World Cup quarter-final.
Hey, Smith, cut the arrogance and you could be a very good journalist...
Thursday, October 4
I have, for various reasons, recently had to stay late at work for a number of days in a row, mostly due to the ongoing but soon to be completed installation of my Very Expensive bit of scientific equipment. Which I'm in charge of, hence my inability to say "forget this, I'm going outside while it's still sunny and warmish". This level of work is really getting me down - I'm fed up of it, I'm starting to resent work again, Mondays are not particularly attractive days to me.
But apparently, my workload wouldn't cause a chemist to bat an eyelid, except perhaps in horror that I don't work 12 hour days on a Saturday as well.
This is why no-one wants to be a chemist. 80 hour weeks to earn 30 thousand pounds a year? That's an hourly payscale up their with non-graduate office workers. For that you're going to slave around noxious and dangerous chemicals? Don't think so.
Chemistry is too hard, is supposedly the problem. But maybe it's not that would-be students are too stupid to do it, maybe they're too smart to.
(Actually, this is slightly unfair on Chemists, some are actually decent, rational people to work with, rather than decent irrational people - so much so, in fact, that I worked late today to get results for a Physicist rather than bump a chemist off one of my machines tomorrow). Next week, I tell myself, I will not overwork.
Attenborough, being the rational chap he is, merely states
"The BBC should take steps to make sure that the minuteness of the meanings are maintained."
Sadly, the BBC doesn't appear to be taking a step yet, since the edits are apparently within their 5 minutes editing limit. Except - isn't the BBC having a bit of a tivvy about lack of truthfulness at the moment? Well, this is another case. Do something about it.
Good to see that the England team has risen so fast from their absolute drubbing by South Africa that the Aussies coach feel the need to put pressure on the referees. Shame I still don't expect England to win, even if the Aussies attempt to ban all the bits of the game that England are expected to be better at fails.
I said it was the first time since the early 20th century they could claim to have one of the best teams in the world with a straight face without getting instantly laughed at. He pulled out the 1978 World Cup team list and said it was one of the best teams in the world at that point. I admitted it had a lot of great players in, but suggested that getting knocked out in the first round of the World Cup isn't a claim for greatness.
Secondly, suggestions that they should be punished for the slap on Dida. Well. Um. Dida would appear to be a bit of a wimp on this evidence...
Wednesday, October 3
Monday, October 1
Mugabe continues to blame the British for this. The British point out that the UN and EU sanctions are aimed at individual officials, not the country. The IMF says it won't deal with Zimbabwe until Harare adopts financial policies that are rooted in reality.
Even the Zimbabwean agricultural minister has had to admit that their new farmers were "failures".
Well, what a surprise. For starters, they weren't farmers. If they'd been handing the white-owned farms over to the black farm workers, they might have stood a chance. But instead you get the distinct impression that agricultural competence was not a factor and party affiliation was.
All particularly pathetic when you consider that Mugabe had claimed his redistribution policy would boost production.
His latest policy - all companies have to have at least 51% of their equity owned by black Zimbabweans. *Government approved* black Zimbabweans. i.e. - Mugabe's supporters. He's like a pilot who is more interested in ensuring that only he has access to the cockpit than he is in stopping the plane tumbling out of the sky.