Taking the enviromental mickey Sunday, Sep 28 2008 

The Singapore F1 is a day-night race.  It is the first time this has ever been done, and will be lit by 1500 lights, with double redundent diesel generators.

So one of the most enviromentally damaging sports there is, is going to add more pollution.


Is it  just me, or does Ecclestone really not get it?

All hail the Geek Friday, Sep 26 2008 

This on the BBC website in response to news of the return of “The Krypton Factor”, which used a “K” as its symbol.

I’m excited about TV’s toughest quiz, The Krypton Factor, coming back, next year. Or The Potassium Factor, as I and my friends used to call it, K being the symbol for potassium, not krypton.
Bob Peters, Leeds, UK


I love a bit of scientist geekery.

Sarah Palin, misogynist? Saturday, Sep 13 2008 

A quite unbelievable news story. Sarah Palin, the Republican nominee for Vice President in this year’s US elections likes to boast how she has ‘executive experience’, having been Mayor of a small town in Alaska, the Governor for 2 years. Lots of talk how she will pull female voters, and Hillary Clinton supporters from the Democrats.

How insulted must Hillary be? People think because she is a woman her politics wil be closer to Palin’s (anti-enviromnment, anti-science) than Obama’s? Somehow she is the champion for women?

It turns out that while mayor for Wasilla (a very small town- population 6,000) they enacted a law that made raped women pay $300-$1,200 for the rape evidence kit and proceedures used to gather the forensics. The Alaskan state legislature enacted a law to ban this practice specifically aimed at Wasilla, the only town in Alaska that did this.

In response her hand picked chief of police (brought in by her after she forced the previous incumbant out- and there are allegations she did so illegally and vindictively because he wouldn’t fire her former brother-in-law because of the family breakdown) said this law would now put a burden on the taxpayer of between $5,000 and $14,000 per year. Less that Palin was claiming in expenses to LIVE IN HER OWN HOME.

One obvious question is not just of all the things to charge for surely this really is the one thing a police force should provide out of it’s own budget ($2 per person annually) but exactly how such a small town was registering so many rapes each year- simple maths gives between 4 and 45 annually. Even if it is only 10 (at $500 gives the lower figure of $5k) in a population of only 6,000 this seems rather high- 1 in every 300 women (and that includes babies and 90 year olds). What next- charging for the cost of getting to the scene of crime?

Palin is not alone at such degrading treatment of women. Until recently North Carolina had such a law, but at least when it was called into question they had the good grace to be rather embarressed and repeal it, not rant about costs to the taxpayer.