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Show Notes: Oil Prices and Potholes, Games and Leadership

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Chris Vallance | 10:48 UK time, Saturday, 21 June 2008

works_sign_226pa.jpgDownload the podcast here. Our lead story on this week's podcast: how rising oil prices aren't just making the cost of driving soar, we hear claims they are also making the roads we drive on worse.

According to Jim Crick of the Asphalt Industry Alliance, the price of asphalt has doubled thanks to rising oil prices which have increased the cost of production four-fold. In an earlier report the AIA highlighted significant funding problems, a view echoed on the programme by Anthony Pearce of the Institution of Civil Engineers who gave a grim assessment of the state of the roads. David Sparks of the Local Government Association, told us that the rising price of asphalt was making the situation worse, and likely to lead to a worsening of the state of the roads. For their part the Department for Transport told us that central funding has increased. Feel free to add you own thoughts on the state of the roads in the comments.

Our exploration of the state of the roads began with an email we received a while ago, asking if it was possible to make roads greener. Well there are several projects looking at just that. We heard from the leader of the University of Sheffield's Eco-lanes scheme.

Bringing us full circle, they told us their system, which uses concrete rather than asphalt could see reductions in fuel consumption of up to 5%.

Our favourites this week came from Arianna Huffington.

And lastly following a story in Prospect Magazine, which in turn picked up an earlier report in Harvard Business review, we decided to put to the test claims that playing massively multiplayer online role-playing games can develop useful business skills. Sir Gerry Robinson, gamely gave a mock job interview to World of Warcraft Guild Leader Adam, but in spite of top-flight gaming skills, Adam found himself fired rather than hired.

Finally, Tom Chatfield of Prospect told us that increasingly the trend was going the other way. Thanks to Adam for being a good sport - you can judge for yourself how he did on the podcast - personally I think he was a pretty convincing candidate.

Next week we hope to hear from Sir Clive Sinclair, and I'll be at the Global Voices summit. Any suggestions for question to Sir Clive, or people you'd like me to interview at the summit do drop us line, ipm at bbc.co.uk or leave a note in comments.

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