Talk about Newsnight

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Thursday, 8 March, 2007

  • Newsnight
  • 8 Mar 07, 06:35 PM

patrickmercer203.jpgConservative Homeland Security spokesman Patrick Mercer is forced to resign over an interview about racism in the Army. Was David Cameron right to sack him, or does he stand accused of trying to stifle debate and argument?

Plus: TV phone-ins - as another show is pulled we ask if we can trust anything on tele anymore? Northern Ireland goes to the polls; Science student Steve Smith goes to Colombia; and International Women's Day in Iran... or not.

Join Kirsty at 2230GMT on BBC Two or the website for Thursday's programme - and then join the debate below.

How to test the braking distance of airliners...

  • Stephen Smith
  • 8 Mar 07, 02:44 PM

aircraft203.jpgClick here for details of Science Week
If I didn't know before that physics is a capricious mistress, as likely to dash me to earth as to lift me out of my prosaic daily round, then I certainly found out the day I boarded a flight to Colombia. I was on my way to undertake the latest stage of my scientific education.

My grandfather built and ran railways through the beautiful but implacable South American countryside, where he and other engineers coaxed steam locomotives all the way from the Atlantic coast through bug-loud jungle into the faint-making high sierras of Bogota, the Colombian capital. The country where my grandfather spent so many years of his life now enjoys a well-deserved reputation for kidnapping and violence.

But as I took my seat aboad the jet, I little suspected that physics had hazards of her own to mete out, that my fellow passengers and I were about to find ourselves at the centre of a summary experiment concerning the braking distance of a fully-laden airliner...

Continue reading "How to test the braking distance of airliners..."

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