Saturday, August 29

Sky whinge about the BBC

Why exactly is the boss of Sky, James Murdoch, whinging about the BBC, news? Of course he's going to whinge about the BBC - if they weren't there, Sky would be more dominant, be more able to persuade people to give Sky money to watch adverts with some programmes in between, and be more able to force politicians to grovel to them.

As it is, the BBC sits there, providing people with both quality and crap, but not showing adverts (except for their own programmes) as people have already been made to pay in advance.

As standard with many a major businessman these days, it seems, Murdoch appears to view the point of anything - television in this case - is to make someone money. Not for any higher purpose - say, to entertain, educate and inform. And this is why he should never be allowed to become the dominant force in British television.

Thursday, August 20

Killer nanoparticles?

Or just another case of poisoning by inhaling plastic fumes in an enclosed, unventilated space for months on end?

A news item in this week's Nature starts with the journalistic sensation, but boils down to the facts in the end - the victims had been working in quite horrendous conditions, with not just nanoparticles but plastic fumes at toxic levels.

But then, nanoparticles kill is news, total failure in health and safety procedures at a Chinese factory sadly isn't.

Tuesday, August 18

That sinking feeling

I sometimes wonder if, when faced with a continuous production line of sporting greats, others start thinking "oh no, not again".

So how must track cycling teams feel when faced with the prospect that, judging by the Junior World Track Championships, the next Victoria Pendleton may have been found, with the good news that she's not English being followed by the bad news that she's Welsh...

Friday, August 14

Not Tresco time

Yeah, well done, wishful thinkers. You've given a man with a stress-related condition nightmares. Now let him get on with playing for Somerset and living in peace.

Key's happy to do it, Ramprakash is apparently happy to do it, but the cost of asking Trescothick to return to the England fold is too high. There's a difference between wishing he could, and trying to persuade him to when the reason he had to stop still exists.

Thursday, August 13

Coming up easy

Heard a new track recently - Paolo Nutini's "Coming Up Easy". It claims to be a track by a 22 year old Scot of Italian descent, but sounds more like a 70s track that's part Van Morrison, part Marvin Gaye.

Not getting the album yet - reviews suggest that as many of the tracks are misses rather than hits, so may just download the track.

England to right wing US - we have a Cambridge too, you know.

More depressing news from the US, where the increasingly shrill and insane wing of the Republican Party continues to be increasingly shrill and insane.

Threatened with the possibility that US consumers will be given the opportunity of top level healthcare without having to pay for it, they have been opposing it by... well, lying.

Apart from their insane screams that the term "end-of-life care" refers to a panel persuading you to die, rather than the care that you get at the end of your life (i.e. hospice), they are also listing those who "Would be Dead if they were in the UK"

Among them were firstly Teddy Kennedy (not true, the NHS would provide).

Now comes the new one. What better example than a brilliant scientist. With a disability. Declare how the evil British NHS would have abandoned him. Yes, what a great idea that is. Hold up Prof Stephen Hawking as an example...