A thousand Dr Scholls

This is not another protest against some megalomaniac Arab dictator, but rather a bunch of indignant Krauts mit PhDs fuming about an aristocratic government minister found to have plagiarised large parts of his doctoral thesis on constitutional law. The now plain Mr Karl Theodor Maria Nikolaus Johann Jacob Philipp Franz Joseph Sylvester Freiherr von und […]

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Iraq – violent deaths and persons unknown

The Iraq body count is no longer considered newsworthy among those politically opposed to the 2003 invasion, especially given that the evidence points away from imperialist invaders as being the root cause of Iraq’s current ills. But science doesn’t work like that, and the facts continue to be analysed and discussed by those who care […]

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Fragile Aotearoa

Terrible news this morning coming out of what is for me the old country. New Zealand is where I spent the best part, and indeed only happy part, of my childhood, and the sights, sounds, cultures and peoples of that land are burned indellibly into my synapses. My home town, Dunedin, is several hundred kilometres […]

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Anthropic nonsense

Norm the philosopher appears not to appreciate the appeal of the many worlds hypothesis, and the so-called anthropic cosmological principle. I know how he feels*… “There has to be a way of explaining this that saves it from its prima facie air of total unreasonableness. If such-and-such, no one would be around to notice does […]

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British government supports pseudo-science

Her Britannic Majesty’s Government has rejected the recommendation of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee that state funding for homeopathy be withdrawn… “The Department of Health will not be withdrawing funding for homeopathy on the NHS, nor will the licensing of homeopathic products be stopped. Decisions on the provision and funding of any […]

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Silly twit off

From the Torygraph, Peter Oborne on David Cameron’s sporting skills… “There was a longish run-up, carefully marked out, and he was able to bowl an accurate, probing delivery.” On second thoughts, let’s not go there. Hat tip: Norm

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From Faraday Partnerships to Turing Centres

The Science and Technology Committee of the UK parliament has today published a report that looks at government plans to set up a network of Technology and Innovation Centres (TICs), and discusses the policy in the light of previous unsuccessful attempts at translating academic discoveries into real world economic benefits. Established in the 1990s, the […]

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Seventy billion reasons to be smug

Beyond the cash in your pocket, money is an intangible thing, and hiding $70 billion is in this electronic age a relatively simple exercise. Or it is as long as you have a few days head start. Unless the world’s governments act quickly, they will lose the opportunity to seize the vast assets stolen by […]

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From slime you came, and to slime you may return

Forget about missing links; evolution does not necessarily imply a forward march to ever more sophisticated organisms. Evolution can also go backwards, with organisms losing characteristics that were common to their ancestors. Biologists led by Hervé Philippe at the Université de Montréal compared the genomes of two types of marine flatworms – Xenoturbella and Acoelomorpha […]

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