"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Saturday, March 31, 2007

Sam Leith on Patriotism

Another storming piece from the Telegraph comment page.

Wedding Belles

Anyone else see this? We videoed it on Thursday and watched it last night - pretty good, I thought, probably better than anything else Irvine Welsh has done post Trainspotting. His range might be limited but he does what he does very well.

I was also impressed to see cameos from Balamory's Eadie Mcreadie and Archie.

Friday, March 30, 2007

From the New Scientist

"If your baby has a fever, you go to the doctor. If the doctor says you need to intervene, you don't say, 'I read a science fiction novel that says it's not a problem'" - so said Al Gore when testifying to congress, as quoted in New Scientist this week (with Michael Crichton in mind I'm sure).

In a similar vein, they've also got an interview with Darwin's great great grandson Matthew Chapman, who attended the court hearing in Dover Pennsylvania last year when they were trying to teach intelligent design in the local school. He makes some good points, relevant to our earlier discussion about how people can convince themselves about particular theories contrary to the apparent evidence. He talks about how the intelligent design advocates 'would intellectually and morally contort temselves to cling to ideas one felt even they did not quite believe', and about how there must be 'some part of the fundamentalist mind that recognises the facts that contradict a literal biblical interpretation, yet they insist that another truth in conflict with this exists.'

His rather elegant suggestion is to teach intelligent design in classrooms, and then use the scientific method to challenge it - thereby teaching kids how the whole process of scientific enquiry works.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Global warming doom mongering thought for the day

From the Al Gore testifying to Congress story:

Representative Joe Barton, the leading Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, challenged global warming science as "uneven and evolving".

"You're not just off a little, you're totally wrong," he said of Mr Gore's conclusions that carbon dioxide emissions contribute to global warming.

Given that people like Barton, N Lawson (snr), Crichton et al must appreciate that there is consensus among climate scientists, it strikes me they can't be too worried about what later generations think of them. I'm a bit surprised they're not more concerned about their Historical Legacy.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Warmer, Warmer

I know I'm always posting about this stuff (maybe we need a sister blog just for global warming doom-mongering), but there's an excellent piece by the ever-reliable John Lanchester in the current LRB: Warmer, Warmer.

"I don’t think I can be the only person who finds in myself a strong degree of psychological resistance to the whole subject of climate change. I just don’t want to think about it. This isn’t an entirely unfamiliar sensation: someone my age is likely to have spent a couple of formative decades trying not to think too much about nuclear war, a subject which offered the same combination of individual impotence and prospective planetary catastrophe... I suspect we’re reluctant to think about it because we’re worried that if we start we will have no choice but to think about nothing else."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Real Climate's take on last week's TV

Specifically the Great Global Warming Swindle. Didn't bother to watch the program, not surprised to read it was a load of mendacious tosh.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007