Norwegians – seriously weird

Someone at the Norwegian MetOffice has been having a very lazy day, by the looks of it. He or she has spent much of today nosing around this site, inputting the following search strings: “dalek” “uncertain lederhosen” “heisenberg” “oligarchy ghurkin” “cucumber” “thing” Is this what €7 a pint, lutefisk, cross-country skiing and an amazing choice […]

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Will great migrations soon be a thing of the past?

As a child I was awestruck by photographs and film of vast herds of wildebeest roaming across the Serengeti, and flocks of geese flying to the other side of the globe. Long-distance migration brought home to me that humans are not the only animals with purpose and intent. It also gave scale to the world […]

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UK undermining renewable energy mandate

Last week the BBC and others reported that Britain’s government department responsible for business enterprise and regulatory reform, BERR, has been accused by environmentalists of reneging on European commitments to renewable energy. Specifically, BERR was shown to be undermining a commitment to give renewables priority access to the national grid, using the argument that gas-fired […]

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To see a black hole don your shades

Astronomers based in Hawaii have found a way of peering through the clouds of dust that surround supermassive black holes: they simply place sunglasses over their telescope lens. Or, to be more accurate, they fit a polarising filter in the UK Infrared Telescope that sits atop the now thankfully dormant Mauna Kea volcano. As well […]

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“The Union, she cannae take any more, Captain!”

Oh how I laughed as a bible-bashing nerd who can barely string a coherent sentence together took the Westminster parliamentary seat of Glasgow East for the Scottish National Party with a swing of nearly 23%. This, following a concerted fightback by a party that until recently could have put up a monkey as candidate and […]

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Auroral substorms – a space weather mystery is solved

Around the world there are space scientists who have built and sustained their careers on the back of what seemed an endless controversy over the origin of the majestic light shows known as auroral substorms. But the mystery has finally been solved, thanks to a multi-spacecraft mission called THEMIS. Auroral substorms are short periods of […]

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Brilliant minds and a messy house

At the invitation of my friends John and Anja, authors of the esteemed weblog Salacious Puddings, I went on Sunday to visit the house of Charles Darwin at Downe near Bromley in Kent. Down House is owned by English Heritage, and has been nominated as a World Heritage Site. Open to the public throughout the […]

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Great Global Warming film – we were swindled

…but we should expect to be swindled some more. It is over a year now since I and 265 others complained to the UK broadcasting regulator Ofcom about Furedi cultist Martin Durkin’s execrable documentary for Channel 4, The Great Global Warming Swindle. I wrote then that Ofcom was waiting on a “substantial complaint about the programme […]

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Multi-faith perspectives on embryo sanctity

I’ve just been sent an invitation to attend a conference that will debate the question “Is the embryo sacrosanct?” from a number of diverse religious faith perspectives. The event, to be staged in London on 19 November, is being organised by the Progress Educational Trust: a charitable organisation that focuses on stimulating public debate on […]

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Oil consumption and taxation

The truth is out there, but it’s not quite as simple as those who call for tax increases to reduce demand claim. Take for example, the table of world oil consumption figures published by BP, and cited by Labour Party-supporting blogger snowflake5. The figures extracted by snowflake5 show the consumption of various countries in 1997 […]

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