Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What do YOU think?

Newsnight - what amazes me is the quality of replies so far. Looks like the show went as predicted, and I'm not sure it's worth watching.

"Iran - Is anyone likely to carry the can for the public relations fiasco?"

Ye jest, surely. Who these days ever is? And... was it all just PR? Remind me, who was where when one nation took another nation's representatives hostage at gunpoint? I can't wait to see what The Sun says.

"And... is it time to admit that the European strategy of engagement with the Islamic regime has failed?"

Er... now? Guess that's why they get the big bucks in Brussels.

"A Paedophile pilot scheme"

As a parent I would feel soooo much better knowing some individual who poses a potential threat to my kids is 'in the vicinity'. Big up to the guys who thought that one up and the media who gave them airtime.

Just hope these guys haven't figured out how to move about a bit. Maybe that's what's meant by a 'pilot scheme'.

"Does the net need a new code of conduct? "

Like a country near here needs a moral compass that's not provide by its 'leaders' in government, clergy, military or the media. Ans: Probably, but it ain't going to happen, or make a whit of difference. Fills some airtime 'debating' it, I guess.

Make sure you wheel on a twofer for the nightly spectacle. I'd suggest a rabid shock jock and a leftie luvvie to be truly representative of what 'we' should think.

Gotta pay the bullet-proof, gold-plated, index-linked pensions with a ratings booster. Nothing like them old media values.

'Now, viewers, tell us what YOU think.'


I wrote first before I watched, as the questions asked seemed answerable. Having read the above I don't think I'll even bother checking the online feed to see what actually transpired.

If those who care enough to write are your most important 'customers', perhaps a few more questions are in order, internally, from editorial upwards, before the credibility of one of the few worthwhile news outlets joins that of the rest of the UK media wasteland.

Stop interupting me with proactive ideas. I have a deabte to win!

I am pretty committed to not bothering any more with the debates about climate change as they are so predictable from instigation to the flame wars that follow. But, hey...

There is climate change censorship - and it's the deniers who dish it out

Meanwhile...back on THIS planet.

Reading all this I was thinking how clever it was to have a banner ad to match a post about climate change that said something like 'How do you like things... Hot?' or 'Cold?''. Then I realised it was targeted at Guardian readers planning their next holidays abroad... a long way abroad.

Bless. Still, it's good to talk.

I blog, therefore I am... in need of being nannied

One more from the Ministry of Pointless Protocols (MOPP), hot on the heels of telling folk that a paedophile (presumably one that is too chicken to cross the road, get on the bus or drive a car) is 'somewhere' in the vicinity to 'reassure' parents:

Weblogs 'need content warnings'

Howls of protest as web gurus attempt to banish bad behaviour from blogosphere

Me, I prefer good manners, common sense and courtesy. Sadly there are those who do not operate this way, never have and never will, and no hyped-up job-creation nonsense by society-parasitic jobsworths and complicit ratings media will make a damn bit of difference to that. Ever.

Telegraph - Pilot scheme will allow parents to find out if paedophiles live nearby

Guardian - Civil engineering

Phew! I thought the bloggers of the world had rather cleverly united under the banner 'the only thing worse (to a medium) than being abused is being ignored'.

But now the damn, and blast, has broken, I can pop in my t'pennyworth at last.

IMHO... why not? It keeps those with nothing better to do amused, gives the hacks something to froth about, and allows a few pond-dwellers to vent on something new.

As to actually making any difference, they'll be suggesting letting folk know that paedophiles (presumably non-mobile ones) 'are in the vicinity' is a good way to reassure the community.

Bless. If the news got any slower, we'd need the Tardis to read it.

Isn't it Ironic?

Or was that Alanis Morrisette who wrote that? No matter. I still think it is pretty ironic.

Sheryl Crow starts global warming tour

Now I'm the first to applaud mitigating the effects of going about one's business, but when we stray into going the extra mile to boost awareness of the damage of going the extra mile then, well, that is just... typical. And a tad barking.

BBC - Madonna heads UK Live Earth bill - about which we will doubtless hear more... a lot more

My Friend's Electric... Dreams

I thought worth publishing in full as it (if true), puts what I have been banging on about for a long while as regards some 'eco'-cures and the media's reporting of same:

Letters: Electric cars
Electric cars will work only as limited urban transport

Published: 10 April 2007
Sir: Johann Hari sometimes talks sense but, on electric cars, he is talking through the back of his neck (Big Oil's vendetta against the electric car - Comment, 5 April). Battery-driven electric cars are charged with electricity from the mains, the majority of which is generated by fossil-fuelled power stations.

Electric cars would simply transfer the atmospheric pollution from the cars to the power stations.

If all road vehicles were switched to battery-driven electric it would require at least a 40 per cent increase in electricity-generating capacity. At present, we are struggling to achieve even 5 per cent of our electricity from renewable sources. But let us imagine we have Johann's magic battery.

At what rate could we charge? The largest appliance on our domestic circuit is the cooker, which might use 6kW at its greatest rate of use. Let us assume we could charge our battery at this rate for nine hours. We would then have stored 54kWh of electricity.

A modern car has an engine capable of producing a power output of anything from 100kW to 350kW. Most of the time, it is using only a fraction of that output. To drive up the motorway at 70mph probably requires something of the order of 45kW, depending on the size and weight of the car. Our 54kWh would enable us to drive for just one hour and 12 minutes.

We would need the ability to charge at a higher rate than is feasible on a domestic supply before we could think of using battery cars for anything other than limited urban use, no matter how clever our battery is.

Stan Ovshinsky's battery that Johann said "could run for 300 miles at 70mph on a single charge" would clearly require charging at about 20kW if it was charged in nine hours.

The exhaust pipe is merely in another place. So while in some ways going electric may be seen to be better than nothing, not going at all is better still. Try making a fun op-ed piece on that!

Why do so many 'solutions' involve making more stuff and simply adding to the problem?


From Grist - - A more reasonable look at what is possible and desirable

This is truly inspirational.

I (and, I suspect, a few others - http://junkk.blogspot.com/2007/04/my-friends-electric-dreams.html ) have had certain concerns on the promotion of electric power as non-polluting.

When it is in this form, aside from the consequences of manufacture, it seems a rare beacon of solar-powered reality in transport. To get a craft charged up, aloft and to its destination with no power input other than the sun is awesome.

It seems viable battery capacity is the only restriction on realising his dream of a 2 or 4-seat version, which is where the practicalities of personal or indeed small-scale cargo (couriers?) transportation kick in.

Now all we need in the UK is the weather. Mind you, looking out the window, and with a certain sense of irony global-warming-wise, that may soon not be such a problem.