Wales no longer a unit of measurement

If a press release from the European Space Agency is anything to go by, the continent’s masters have de-recognised Wales as a fundamental unit of geography (e.g., “an area the size of Wales”). Melas Chasma viewed from Mars Express (credit: ESA/DLR/FU Berlin/G Neukum) The once noble but now old and decidedly shabby colony of England […]

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Coroner fires off a funny

The coroner who presided over the inquest into the shooting dead of a barrister who had gone off the rails and engaged in a five-hour armed standoff with itchy-fingered police officers, has called for changes in guidelines governing the use of firearms by the police. There is currently “slavish adherence” to written documents and procedures, […]

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Climate denial: more Machiavelli than Derrida

Writing in Eos, the house journal of the American Geophysical Union, Kenneth Verosub, a geologist at the University of California, Davis, portrays climate denial as a manifestation of “postmodernism”. In doing so, Verosub displays an ignorance of postmodernism, and appears to hold to an out-dated, positivist view of science. Basing his thesis on a Wall […]

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Bra for Norge, bra for menneskerettigheter!

What splendid news, Chinese intellectual Liu Xiaobo winning this year’s Nobel Peace Prize! China’s status as an emerging superpower "must entail increased responsibility", says the Norwegian Nobel Committee president Thorbjørn Jagland. “China is in breach of several international agreements to which it is a signatory, as well as of its own provisions concerning political rights.” […]

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Climate science drowned in politics

The non-scientists among you may be aware of a climate science paper just published in the journal Nature. According to the popular press and broadcast media, this shows that the Sun’s role in global warming is possibly less than had been thought. Journalists and information consumers must be very bored indeed if they feel the […]

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Nobel nano

I was pleasantly surprised to hear that Andre Geim and his Manchester University colleague Kostya Novoselov have been awarded this year’s Nobel Prize in Physics for their discovery of graphene: a material consisting of carbon atoms arranged in single-atom-thick layers which may be stacked to form a bulk substance with unique chemical, electrical and mechanical […]

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Sun journalist makes joke about roadside bombs

Scene: the Any Questions studio, somewhere in BBC Radioland… In reply to a comment from Labour parliamentarian Chris Bryant, who charged the Murdoch-owned press with hypocrisy for defending cuts in the defence budget despite complaining vociferously that the previous Labour government had denied essential kit to British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, Sun newspaper columnist […]

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Consolidating the climate change record

There is an interesting article in a recent issue of the American Geophysical Union newspaper Eos concerning the climate change record, future projections of global temperature, and the need to reinforce the data record so as to convince an increasingly sceptical public that man-made global warming is real.   The article by Utah geophysicists David […]

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