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Eddie Mair | 05:54 UK time, Monday, 14 December 2009

glasschristmas.JPG

You may have read your morning paper and listened to the radio, and have some ideas you want to hear on PM tonight.

Perhaps a question about something in the news you would like answered - or better still, direct experience of something topical. Or maybe there's an aspect to a big story you haven't heard explored that you would like to hear.

The PM team will meet in this glass box at 11am. Why not be part of the meeting by sharing your thoughts in this virtual glass box?

Comments

  • 1. At 07:28am on 14 Dec 2009, JAlexW wrote:

    Blair displayed the worst traits of Politicians by his continued arrogance and lack of remorse over the loss of life, both UK Soldiers and Iraqi civilians caused by his Iraq regime change venture.

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  • 2. At 08:09am on 14 Dec 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    And they are all broke? lol
    Now that was funny. I have never EVER watched the X Factor (other TV shows are available thank goodness) but the defence of someone for its X Factors - profitability as being the be all and end all - in a music environment made me laugh and decide never to watch it. And ownership of an ego - allegedly bigger than mine - heard about on the Today programme just now - well it was hilarious.
    What puzzles me as a music lover is the alleged total domination aftewards - of what are meant to be artistic individuals by same alleged ego owner. Not many of the contestants have long musical careers was said. And passed extremely quickly. Now I wonder why? lol
    They - a survey has just rated the worth to Society as a whole between different occupations and hospital cleaners in some respect rated more worthy than some City bankers? And Public Relations came.... er nowhere was it or not very high at least in comparison to - well almost anyone in any other job - allegedly.
    Now that strikes me as convincing and not funny at all. I must pay my PR firm less. I am not getting value for money.

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  • 3. At 08:56am on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:

    Will you be probing Cameron's shoogly tax plans? They're a sham. People like Lord Ashcroft and Zac Goldsmith can be fully resident for tax purposes in the UK, but if they are able to opt for non-dom status they will not pay a penny in UK tax on their main fortune outside Britain. So Cameron's words aren't worth the air that breathed them ...

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  • 4. At 08:58am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Anybody concerned about the Independent Safeguarding Authority should listen to Naughtie's interview with Roger Singleton this morning on "Today".
    Naughtie for once asked a question and let the interviewee answer without interupting.
    The interview was informative and I felt that it answered my queries.

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  • 5. At 09:02am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #3. Sindy
    I agree with you this plan is a fiddle.
    Shamron's plans are purely political to stop discussion of Ashcrofts tax status. What the Tories need to be clear on is Ashcroft's tax status now.

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  • 6. At 09:02am on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    " ... many scientists now believe both of these studies are seriously flawed, and that when errors introduced into the analysis are removed, the correlations disappear, with no link between sunspots and global warming."

    http://www.independent.co.uk/environment/climate-change/sunspots-do-not-cause-climate-change-say-scientists-1839867.html

    I don't suppose that climate change sceptics will stop using sun spots as an argument, though.

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  • 7. At 09:06am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Is someone (I wonder who) going to send in a recording of St Albans Cathedral choir to "Today"?

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  • 8. At 09:33am on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    Ben Goldacre very good on climate change sceptics this weekend:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2009/dec/12/bad-science-goldacre-climate-change

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  • 9. At 09:43am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #8. Sindy
    Thanks for the link.

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  • 10. At 09:46am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 7, Not me.

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  • 11. At 09:48am on 14 Dec 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    I think the thing we most need to know today, is what that poster on the wall of the PM office glass box (behind the potted palm) says.

    WAITROSE SAVE CHRISTMAS?

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  • 12. At 09:51am on 14 Dec 2009, Richard wrote:

    Call me a pedants, but thinking about the way language is used, it would be really good if we could stop using meaningless expressions like homophobia and paedophile in every day speech. I'm not a Greek scholar but I believe homophobia means fear of the same (what?) and has nothing to do with homosexuals. Similarly a paedophile is someone who likes children. I guess that's most of us isn't it.There is a perfectly valid word 'pederast'(paederasty) to describe more closely someone who has sexual relations with a child.

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  • 13. At 10:00am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #12. Richard
    Well what is wrong with calling Paedophiles "Child Molesters" because that was what they were called until the 70's or 80's.

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  • 14. At 10:07am on 14 Dec 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    #7 Looternite

    On the subject of church choirs, what the nation demands to know from Mr Muir's crack investigating team is why all church organists play so slowly.

    You go to a carol service all set for a good rousing sing, then everything gets turned into a dirge by a plodding organist. Is it that you can't get the players, or are the old church organs so slow to sound a note that it's physically impossible to play a tune at a speed that can be sung without leaving the congregation gasping?

    If it is a lack of players able to cope with carols, then I'm sure I'm not the only person who has been pounding away on his organ at home for years and would be more than happy to get up and knock one out in church.

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  • 15. At 10:07am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    One of the world's largest ISPs (begins with an 'A') has apparently followed the Post Orifice. It won't send or show me my email.

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  • 16. At 10:14am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #14. GiulioNapolitani
    I think modern church organs can bash out a rousing tune if played that way.
    I went to a organ recital at St Mary's church in Luton Town centre some years ago and it was a great sound played by a brilliant organist.

    It may be that the organists play slow because the untrained public may have problems keeping up.

    Your last paragraph sounds like it is from ISIHAC.

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  • 17. At 10:17am on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    "Call me a pedants' - OK, you're a pedants ...

    I doubt this post will last very long, so pay attention; the OED gives these meanings and derivations of the words which trouble you:

    1) [f. HOMO(SEXUAL a. and n. + -PHOBIA.]

    Fear or hatred of homosexuals and homosexuality.

    2) [PAEDO- comb. form + -PHILE comb. form, after ancient Greek loving children. Compare earlier PAEDOPHILIA n., PAEDOPHILIC n. Compare French pédophile (dated to end of the 19th cent. in Robert Dict. Alphabétique et Analogique (1986), although without exemplification, and the word does not otherwise seem to be recorded before the late 20th cent.).]

    A. n. An adult who is sexually attracted to children.

    3) [ancient Greek man who has or desires sexual relations with a boy -, boy (see PAEDO- comb. form) + lover (see ERASTES n.). Compare post-classical Latin paederastes (5th cent. in an isolated attestation; 15th cent.), paederasta (1752 or earlier), Italian pederasta (1687), Middle French, French pédéraste (1584). Compare earlier PEDERASTY n., PEDERASTICE n.]

    A man who has or desires sexual relations with a boy. Also in wider sense (chiefly derogatory): a man who practises anal intercourse; a male homosexual.

    All clear?


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  • 18. At 10:22am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    GN 14, Ln 16, In the recent refit of our Cathedral organ (£750,000 - donations accepted) they installed a cymbelstern.

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  • 19. At 10:30am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 13, Is a child molester a small infant mole? (speaking of ISIHAC)

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  • 20. At 10:33am on 14 Dec 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    #18 davmcn

    But is it a 'go-faster' cymbelstern? And doesn't that cross the fine line between restorating and 'pimping' the organ?

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  • 21. At 10:33am on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #19. davmcn
    According to the Uxbridge Dictionary perhaps.

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  • 22. At 10:34am on 14 Dec 2009, GiulioNapolitani wrote:

    restorating

    ermm...

    No, I haven't suddenly become American. I just failed to negotiate the fine line between 'restoration' and 'restoring'.

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  • 23. At 10:35am on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Sindy, Ashcroft was interviewed, or guest on a panel, recently on R4 and stated that it was "his wife's family's money". That being the case, coupled with being able to afford top financial advisers, it is probably going to be relatively (no pun intended) easy for them to invest abroad and 'avoid' UK taxes on the majority of their wealth whatever the legislation.

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  • 24. At 10:40am on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    JAlexW and others re. Blair: I am bemused that he is saying that he would have "taken the country to war even if he'd known there were no WMD but would have used different arguments for persuasion".

    He did know.

    I find it astonishing that this man is now heading peace keeping envoy in the Middle East.

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  • 25. At 10:43am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    GN 20, For £750,000, I'd hope so. They only use it for Christmas carols like Jingle Bells and Sleigh Ride.

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  • 26. At 10:47am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Where'd this serious stuff come from? I'm turning to another channel. Or going to make another Advent photo thingy. Not far, though. Only a foot or two to my left.

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  • 27. At 10:49am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    GNB 20, They still have pipes to add half-way down the nave. (Donations gratefully accepted. Money that is, not pipes.)

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  • 28. At 10:51am on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    I think my ISP is on strike. Should I ask for some money back?

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  • 29. At 11:00am on 14 Dec 2009, newlach wrote:

    Fascinating discussion on the words "paedophile" and "pederast". I would like to hear more about this.

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  • 30. At 11:15am on 14 Dec 2009, newlach wrote:

    I remember reading something a short time ago about a senior Roman Catholic cleric who was keen to "re-brand" priests who sexually abused children. I forget the exact term he wanted to use - it might have been "pederast priests" - but here is something I found on a major website which might form part of the discussion:

    "Hebephilia refers to the sexual preference for pubescent individuals; the term was introduced by Glueck (1955).[1] It differs from ephebophilia, which refers to the sexual preference for individuals in later adolescence,[2] and from pedophilia, which refers to the sexual preference for prepubescent children".

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  • 31. At 11:16am on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    1.
    Still think the main problem in the Co2 = global warming case is the rehetorical devices used. (Pause for inevitable 'What, them using truth and logic?' reply, which this paranthetic remark won't stop, I'm sure)

    Even on this issue I believe in democracy and majority government. A people deceived, albeit into doing the right thing, sits uncomfortably with me. Exercise rights by all means, but why not explain rather than declaim and nurse rather than curse?

    Dear Ed always tells it like it is. He can talk of temperature falls or at least non-rises during the present epoch of Co2 forced warming.(He thinks the '45-'85 average hold is due to dirty fuels etc. The causes of the post 1900 one is less clear, I understand)

    'Warming' usually is associated with temperature. Since we are crucially concerned with the latent heat of ice to water melting, would a switch to talking of global heating help?

    Again, and again thinking of the kitchen, cola fizzs when warmed.

    So why are the seas acdifying? Really the law of mass action here is not difficult. Partial pressure increases solubility of gases in liquid, doesn't it?

    Don't tell me, experts are far too busy with regressions to tell us, certainly on a blog to blog, quessy to quessy, basis.

    Which is why I'm recommending a PM Global Hot Spot Question every quarter of an hour on the programme.
    Just make it real PM stuff, play some them tune or pop song. 'The planet is glowing' or Waterworld themes???

    Global Heating cogniscenti stop yelling and explain instead (Everyone knows the very best theories have probs so don't be shy)

    Here's one: Do the relative effects of Co2 parial pressure and sae temperature on Co2 solubility in sea water, change with temperature?

    Is the ocean acidity increase noted today by Benn today, because of the hold on temperature druing the last 1o years of Global Heating?










    2.
    Cleaners more socially useful than banksters.For every quid spent on them, cleaners do a fiver's worth of good, banksters seven quids worth of harm.

    And the pay? So much for marginal productivity theory.

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  • 32. At 11:21am on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    That's supposed to be sea, not a stamped addressed envelope

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  • 33. At 11:28am on 14 Dec 2009, pithywriter wrote:

    Please properly cover the story heard on the Today programme's news headlines re today's Times article by the ex Public Prosecutions guy who has stated his startling view of WMD and Tony Blairs 'subterfuge'.

    Also, perhaps you could get Andrew Gilligan on and Greg Dyke who both amazingly lost their jobs (thanks to Campbell/Blair/Brown...et al... the liars of mass destruction). Shouldn't they now be exonerated and reinstated? And what of the David Kelly affair in the light of what's popped out of Blair's mouth etc.
    thanks Pithywriter

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  • 34. At 11:35am on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Oh dear, the best off minority, (20 per cent owning 91 per cent of all wealth) have made themselves 12 billion quid better off this morning by crahing through hte psychologically important 5300 Ftse barrier

    And they do it just like a private club Antiques Road Show
    'You know those pieces of paper you own, well, they were worth a hundred pounds each, this morning, first thing. Now they're worth 101 pounds. Just because we say so. And who are you to disagree with that? Every piece of paper that everyone in the club owns has gone up too. And none of you beneficaries are to shares what Ratner was to his jewelry, are you? Thought not. As for the plebs and the wretched of the earth outside the club, why, they're worse off 'cos if it weren't for the extra lolly in your pockets governments would be allowed to spend more'

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  • 35. At 11:53am on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    The zero case is interesting. Ftse at nought. Then governements would have to spend, inter alia on pensions but across the board too.

    Then they could make the pensions eqaul, for one and all.

    But where would the money come from?

    Why, by governments creating it (to the extent that the wealthy, otherwise then to be taxed, would be wiped out).

    (But banks would be made to hold almost all of it at the BoE)

    Anyway, make Ftse hay, banksters. Dammerung has tipped you the wink.
    Take what you can get now. No gamble necessary. We're all agreed. It's stock market boom time until next year's crunch reprise.
    (But 5-10 gilts down again, quite sharply today. You sure Japan, China and India know their place in the Gisborne-Dammerung UK-US hegemony scheme? Could they conceivably doubt our OUR credit worthiness?)

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  • 36. At 11:57am on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    EtE: "would a switch to talking of global heating help?"

    No.

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  • 37. At 12:14pm on 14 Dec 2009, newlach wrote:

    I am deeply shocked by the admiration expressed by Stephen Venner, the bishop to the armed forces, for the Taliban. He greatly appreciates the "conviction to their faith" that they demonstrate. Why are taxpayers paying for this man to make statements that will serve only to demoralise our troops?

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/8411574.stm

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  • 38. At 12:19pm on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    36

    It does. Adding heat is not the same as raising temperature. Think latent heat.


    Blair's position seems to be he would have waged war even if there were no WMD, the majority of people here were against it, Iraq were a democracy with an anti-West stance, and Bush were against it.

    Cross out that last bit.

    As said above, the first two bits are scarcely counter factuals. So much for UN and UK democracy.

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  • 39. At 12:26pm on 14 Dec 2009, Sindy wrote:


    EtE - if you already knew* the answer and weren't prepared to change your mind, why did you ask? The whole world uses the phrase 'global warming' - if you don't want to use that phrase, you don't have to join in. I did ask elsewhere what you meant by 'ice hang ups' (or some such thing). It doesn't help a complex discussion when people start making up their own terms and meanings.

    *or believed you knew

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  • 40. At 12:42pm on 14 Dec 2009, vainly_here wrote:

    I am a pedant, and I think the OED needs to be corrected. I wonder how one goes about that.
    I am also sceptical about MMGW and cynical (ref today's TFTD) about governments' plans after Copenhagen. Interesting report about Australia on this morning's "Today."
    Does the Bishop appreciate the Taliban's conviction, or only admire it? I used to admire the dedication of people who braved the elements to try and sell the Workers' Press. I didn't appreciate it.

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  • 41. At 12:46pm on 14 Dec 2009, The Stainless Steel Cat wrote:

    newlach (30):

    Branding and rebranding them sounds good to me. Forehead would probably be best, then we wouldn't need all this confusing announcements and climb-downs from the government re: CRB checks.

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  • 42. At 12:48pm on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Because you define 'helping' as helping you. So...to help you out I pointed out it helped me. One all so far.

    As for what you're hung up about, what it means is well described in the post you got it from. Where I got it from is also mentioned there.

    Latent heat as a term can cause problems 'cos it's heat 'latent' in the water (not the ice) which the heat source must actively give to the ice for melting.

    Cold is of course the absence of heat, not a force in itself.

    (If, like me, you've spent years outside formal science, such things can come back as a surprise)

    The discussion specifically on this blog suggests temperature rises and heating need to be more clearly distinguished in ways that don't anger one side and illuminate things for the other.



    Another danger seems to be an increase in the acidity levels - of the exchanges. (Smiling emoticon)

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  • 43. At 12:53pm on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    n 37, I assume that as a Bishop, Venner is paid by the C of E.

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  • 44. At 1:00pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #37. newlach
    Bashing the Bishop and the bankers. Seems to be going on a lot nowadays.

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  • 45. At 1:03pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Vyle@40: "I think the OED needs to be corrected. I wonder how one goes about that." My late hubby thought the same and went through the OED writing up "better" definitions of words he felt needed clarification. Before he died he had submitted over 1,000 which were accepted and he was credited accordingly. No money but a fun hobby for a 'pedant'.

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  • 46. At 1:04pm on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Ln 44, Bakers and bananas as well.

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  • 47. At 1:05pm on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    Shame about Berlusconi...

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  • 48. At 1:10pm on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    There was a TV program about researching the meaning of words.

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  • 49. At 1:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    If anyone wants to add their name to the petition to charge Blair with war crimes, it's here:

    http://www.petitiononline.com/BWCF/petition-sign.html

    The least we can do for all the dead.

    I think Blair thought he was being clever [he isn't as clever as he thinks] by dodging charges of lying about WMD, implying he too was fooled. But it won't wash; that was what the dodgy dossier was all about, he can't claim to have been fooled by a forgery he himslef helped craft. I also remember the push to get the weapons inspectors out of Iraq before they declared categorically that there were no WMD.

    And then there's David Kelly, whose death was so transparently not suicide... who ordered it?

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  • 50. At 1:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #46. davmcn
    Well I'm waiting to hear of Bankers, bashing the Bishop.

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  • 51. At 1:16pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #49. DoctorDolots
    Of course Blair is clever, he went to a top public school!

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  • 52. At 1:16pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    47. davmcn

    He has no shame

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  • 53. At 1:24pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Looternite, if you aren't innately clever then it doesn't matter what school you go to. You might get "a better education" at a "top public school" but no school can 'make you clever'.

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  • 54. At 1:28pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #53. Lady Sue
    Er.. yes I know, I was being cynical. Many people who go to public schools "Think they are clever".

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  • 55. At 1:48pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    Five reporters from the Associated Press picked through all the emails at the centre of 'Climategate'. Seven experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy were also consulted.

    The emails appear to show nothing more than a group of scientists frustrated by what they saw as "frivolous" Freedom of Information requests made by climate change sceptic "frauds".

    http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/57349,news-comment,news-politics,climategate-emails-not-fakery-climate-research-unit-east-anglia-university-phil-jones

    Precisely what I said. Will the denialistas now shut up? Of course they won't, these experts in research ethics, climate science and science policy are clearly part of the conspiracy these brave souls have exposed...

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  • 56. At 1:51pm on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Are we being dumbed down wrt to technology?

    Before the war to know about radio was to know how to build a crystal set.

    Last century, knowing about computers meant knowing about logic gates and Fortran


    Last century to know about cars was to know about cars was to know how to adjust the tappets.


    Now, to know about computers is to know how to open a lap top and call up a PC suite to blue tooth from a phone

    [Pause for inevitable quotation and 'It isn't' from Sindy]

    Personally I think it started with video recorders when the 'use' demands for skill and knowledge seemed to exceed the 'understanding the technology' demands.


    And the skills in use required have got more complex with every technology. In fact one suspects that built-in complexity in use is a sales point and quite deliberate. 'Understand how to work THIS machine and you are at the cutting edge!'

    (The man in Curry's told me puzzling for 4 hours how to blue tooth on a particular PC was the fun - what peopel liked doing!!!!!!)

    With such use hang-ups the real technology changes get less focused on, and, by extrapolation, every sort of basic science is progressively negelcted. (The world is as it were, full of people who can call up a fractal on their machines but can't tell you how many numbers there are between any two rationals, let alone discuss the theory of fractals, despite "Benoît Mandelbrot and others [who] worked hard to communicate this area of mathematics to the public".).

    Small is another thing.

    Whaddaya think? Anyway, I'll try to find somme readable stuff on Mandelbrot (for myself!) without accidentally erasing this post and making too many typing errots on this belwo the line, too small (but it didn't need to be) keyboard.

    Small is beautiful, too small is a nuisance. Bring back Dom Joly sized mobiles.


    So, topic: It's the way the technology is sold to us that is dumbing down. Simpler usages would make understanding the technology behind the application itself seem potentially more accsssible.

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  • 57. At 2:13pm on 14 Dec 2009, pithywriter wrote:

    WELL, is there a case now for reinstating the BBC 'sacked' Director General Greg Dyke and Andrew Gilligan? Get them on the prog to comment on Bliar's Blurtings also today's (ex DPP's) accusation of SUBTERFUGE (= deception/ruse/trick)(lovely word )! Yes, and the question of David Kelly!!!!!!!!!!!

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  • 58. At 2:15pm on 14 Dec 2009, pithywriter wrote:

    PS #57 is from Pithywriter. I still do not understand who 'You' is!

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  • 59. At 2:24pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Looternite@54: in my experience, an awful lot of not terribly bright kids go to public school as they are able to get in simply because mummy and daddy can afford it. I don't know any who have been who think they are clever just because they have attended public school - however, I can think of a few who might affect a slightly superior air because of it.

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  • 60. At 2:55pm on 14 Dec 2009, Fifi wrote:

    The tax system explained in layman's terms...

    Suppose that every day, ten men go out for beer and the bill for all ten comes to £100. If they paid their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this...
    The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
    The fifth would pay £1.
    The sixth would pay £3.
    The seventh would pay £7.
    The eighth would pay £12.
    The ninth would pay £18.
    The tenth man (the richest) would pay £59.
    So, that's what they decided to do.

    The ten men drank in the bar every day and seemed quite happy with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.
    "Since you are all such good customers," he said, "I'm going to reduce the cost of your daily beer by £20." Drinks for the ten now cost just £80.

    The group still wanted to pay their bill the way we pay our taxes.
    So the first four men were unaffected.
    They would still drink for free. But what about the other six men? The paying customers?
    How could they divide the £20 windfall so that everyone would get his fair share?
    They realized that £20 divided by six is £3.33. But if they subtracted that from everybody's share, then the fifth man and the sixth man would each end up being paid to drink his beer.

    So, the bar owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each man's bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the amounts each should pay.
    And so the fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings)

    The sixth now paid £2 instead of £3 (33% savings).
    The seventh now pay £5 instead of £7 (28% savings).
    The eighth now paid £9 instead of £12 (25% savings).
    The ninth now paid £14 instead of £18 (22% savings).
    The tenth now paid £49 instead of £59 (16% savings).

    Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to drink for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare their savings.
    "I only got a pound out of the £20,"declared the sixth man.
    He pointed to the tenth man," but he got £10!"
    "Yeah, that's right," exclaimed the fifth man. "I only saved a pound too. It's unfair that he got ten times more than I!"
    "That's true!!" shouted the seventh man. "Why should he get £10 back when I got only two? The wealthy get all the breaks!"
    "Wait a minute," yelled the first four men in unison. "We didn't get anything at all. The system exploits the poor!"
    The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.
    The next night the tenth man didn't show up for drinks, so the nine sat down and had beers without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered something important. They didn't have enough money between all of them for even half of the bill!

    And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax system works.
    The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from a tax reduction.
    Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they just may not show up anymore.
    In fact, they might start drinking overseas where the atmosphere is somewhat friendlier.

    .... or there's Fifi's interpretation. If the rich had just paid up and stopped being so nit-picky and greedy, it would all have worked out nicely with everyone feeling happy and nobody feeling miffed.

    Harrumph.

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  • 61. At 3:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    50. Looternite - 'bashing the bishop' sounds like a euphemism

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  • 62. At 3:20pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    59. Lady Sue - Blair does

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  • 63. At 3:21pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    1. Will the Baghdad Taxi driver, the source to the 45 minute warning be summoned to appear in front of the Chilcott Enquiry?

    2. Were the other countries vindicated by not following us and the Americans into Iraq? If the French were cheese eating surrender monkeys what is Blair for spinning that whopper of a fib?

    3. Is it any wonder other countries are staying out of Afghanistan given the dodgy tale to justify the invasion of Iraq?

    4. Is Blair like one of those kids that you don't want yours mixing with? Your kid could get a lift with them from the school expedition 20 miles away, but you drive there anyway just so your kid doesn't mix with them?

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  • 64. At 3:24pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #61. DoctorDolots
    Oh dear is it. Do you mean like a "bunch of bankers".
    :-)

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  • 65. At 3:27pm on 14 Dec 2009, DoctorDolots wrote:

    64. Looternite

    Perhaps the collective noun for them should be a bonus [of bankers]

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  • 66. At 3:36pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #65. DoctorDolots
    I thought it was a J. Arfur of Bankers.

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  • 67. At 3:46pm on 14 Dec 2009, steelpulse wrote:

    22 December 2009 until 02 January 2010?
    Unite(d) We Stand? A banner flying - oops sorry - behind three man Press Conference. Well I was very depressed watching the walk out in Copenhagen - they have just gone back I hear? but the later news conference added to the gloom that is steelpulse. I am lucky not to have planned to fly anywhere in the near future. But according to my TV - a Union has cancelled Xmas and New Year for many people. Including Simon Calder and his family? Bad move airline and union.
    So I thought, Eddie watching the allegedly "we were given no choice but to pick those exact dates" - I repeat 22.12 - 02.01 next year? performance from a Union - I sighed. The fictional film world of "I'm Alright Jack" lives seemingly. On a day when Julie Andrews has announced a return next year for a one off London stage return. Let's all go fly Fred Kite allegedly and a rapid purchase of Mary Poppins umbrellas perhaps?
    I am really depressed that people cannot talk anymore. I wont apportion blame but the words "united we stand"? Well as flying anywhere seems out of the question if booked with one particular airline - standing I suppose is an option. Walking towwards talks very quickly now people? How about that instead?

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  • 68. At 3:58pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    Oh look, there's a "bash the Bishop" thread begun.

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  • 69. At 4:06pm on 14 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:

    Fifi,

    I prefer the one you told about the animal collectors buying monkeys, was it (?), from jungle villagers, and the scam that ensued.

    Can you link back to it or even better re-tell it here? Pleease!

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  • 70. At 4:12pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lady_Sue wrote:

    Looternite and Doc D: I understood the correct collective noun for bankers was "wunch".

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  • 71. At 4:30pm on 14 Dec 2009, davmcn wrote:

    EtE 56, '(The man in Curry's told me puzzling for 4 hours how to blue tooth on a particular PC was the fun - what peopel liked doing!!!!!!)'

    Now you know how we feel reading your posts.

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  • 72. At 5:16pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Didn't and Don't grammar schools improve social mobility?

    I'm not sure how TV sensations like the X-Factor can be lauded while grammar schools are nasty because people that fail are barnded failures for life? So you can become famous if you are deemed good enough to play a part in a premium rate phone scam make millions?

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  • 73. At 5:22pm on 14 Dec 2009, katie wrote:

    Have just heard your piece on BA strike. Doesn't sound like a bad wage to me, but maybe if your used to earning that much...I wasn't around at the time but this does seem to be not disimilar to what happened with strikes by dockers at the Port of London - once one of the busiest docks in the world, now home to the dome. Need I say more?

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  • 74. At 5:22pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/today/reports/politics/benbradshaw_20030630.shtml

    Handy audio link :)

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  • 75. At 5:25pm on 14 Dec 2009, katie wrote:

    Infact it does make me wonder whether that delightfully awful man from Ryan Air hasn't had a hand in all this???

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  • 76. At 5:45pm on 14 Dec 2009, Looternite wrote:

    #72. Lepus_Madidus
    Didn't and Don't grammar schools improve social mobility?
    No
    Maybe for a portion of the 10 to 20% who go to Grammar Schools.
    However, for the 90 to 80% who don't, it makes it worse.

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  • 77. At 5:45pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    What's with the trailer where Blair is calling the press a 'feral pack'?

    Of course his appearance with Fern was nothing to do with managing the news agenda following his Chilcott Inquiry appearance?

    Perhaps those that say you have to be wary of those that want to be in charge because they've some deeply worrying personality abnormality are correct?

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  • 78. At 6:43pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Public Schools and Comps? That's two streams.

    Grammars aren't a third way?

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  • 79. At 6:57pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    We have a government that seems to use 'choice' when it suits it, choice of schools, choice of GPs, choice of GPs opening hours when all we want is stuff that works.

    Grammar schools may have gone, but we have people trying to get their kids into 'faith schools' because of the better discipline, better standards, or even just a better reputation.

    Across cities the different schools have different reputations, just as certain public schools have better reputations?

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  • 80. At 6:59pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    Kids can't be labeled failures at 11 or 13, but we have no issues with those same minors becoming employees that are to be used, abused and disregarded by their employers and the government?

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  • 81. At 10:31pm on 14 Dec 2009, Lepus_Madidus wrote:

    [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Perhaps the Baghdad Taxi driver was a Journalist?

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  • 82. At 10:39am on 15 Dec 2009, GotToTheEnd wrote:


    What worries me about Fifi's story is this. If we can afford to produce that much beer why do we need the spending power of the rich to buy it?

    It's Andrew Bailey's signature on the note in my pocket not Richard Branson's Paul MacCartney's or Wayne Rooney's.


    81

    Looks interesting. did you link to a pdf or sumfink?

    If you mention some Google terms to find it, it'll be ok or even the URL without www. or wahtever.

    It's a technical thing, not censorship.

    ld has a very clever way of converting any pdf to html and then reading off hte url.

    I think Google always gives you an HTML option

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