Monthly Archives: January 2015


screenshot20140213atfebruary1391312pm_thumbGenerally, if something could be either cock-up or conspiracy, it is usually cock-up.

But this looks as if it might well be something else. Paul Homewood is a retired accountant who has taken to checking up on what climate scientists are doing to the historical temperature record. It does not look good.  There has apparently been widespread doctoring of the past data, reducing the recorded temperatures, in order to make current temperature look comparatively higher.

Obviously, governments like reasons to tax people. And a perception of climate change is a jolly good excuse for more tax. And climate change scientists have been raking in the grants like never before since they have been fuelling the fire. And we know since Climategate that the climate change community of climate scientists (the people getting the grants) have been working together to try to prevent any contrary view getting traction. But they are not supposed to falsify data.

Take a careful look Continue reading

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Filed under Climate, Politics, scandal

A cautionary tale about the precautionary principle

fennec foxThis piece is about the fennec fox, and in particular about circumstances in which the fennec fox might well take over from the polar bear as the standard image used by the alarmists to try to persuade us that the world as we know it is at risk from human activity.

I should say at once that the fennec foxes got absolutely nothing to do with the Fenwick family. The word “fennec” is simply the Arab word for fox. The fennec fox is a fox which thrives in desert conditions.

But first, we are going to take a bit of a diversion, and to ask the question, “What are the three biggest risks we face in terms of global catastrophe?”

The answer to this question tends to be cultural. The was a time when Semitic tribes of various persuasions in the Middle East would have you believe that the biggest risk was that of divine retribution, with lots of fire and brimstone descending from the heavens, to be dished out if the people at large worship the wrong sort of imaginary friend. But that view is rather out of fashion now. About a hundred years ago, Continue reading

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A Credo for Humanist Lukewarmers

Anyone who has lived in a big city like London, and who sometimes got out into the country,  will have experienced the Urban Heat Island Effect.  Only an idiot would deny that lots of human activity has a warming effect. And I do not think anyone sensible denies that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. By the same token, only an idiot – IMHO – would be not be sceptical of the doom mongering of activists like Al Gore, particularly in light of  the insignificant amount of warming (if any) this century.

marlo lewisMatt Ridley is a good example of a lukewarmer,  and has just blogged a very good piece on how this goes down. He also includes a sort of a credo for those who are not neo-religious on the topic

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Breast stroke

Page3Feminists have been crowing about the decision of The Sun newspaper in the UK to no longer to feature topless models on page 3.

They are right to say that it is anachronistic. But this is not because Rupert Murdoch has finally woken up to the dreary feminist view of the world that has been peddled since the 1970s. It is much more because far more potent pornography is so readily available on the Internet. It is something of a surprise that page 3 lasted for as long as it did; Rupert Murdoch has been remarking that it is somewhat out of date for a while, but obviously the market research as to its popularity delayed its demise. And also, perhaps, the “No More Page three” campaign might have kept it going for a while longer than would otherwise have been the case; The Sun seems to like nothing more than Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Manners, Politics

Smoke without fire

Cigar6Like a number of my friends, I enjoy an occasional cigar. Not very often. I have not kept count, but it probably smoked less than one cigar a year in my adult life. I rather like Cuban Romeo y Julieta Romeo No.3 TUBOS; not too big and not too small.

And yet, in order to buy a cigar, I have to endure the absolutely revolting images mandated by Nicola Roxon under the previous Australian government by the misleadingly titled Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011. There is of course nothing “plain” at all about packaging like this. Continue reading

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The lighter side of terrorism

We are going to get on to Charlie Hebdo in just a moment. But first a brief excursion.

Imagine that you are a rather old-fashioned Roman Catholic priest in Ireland in the mid-1980s. You have been a member of the IRA all your life, as your father was. You genuinely believe that it is God’s work to kill Protestants, and to shoot any of your fellow Catholics who get in your way in the knee. You are desperate to get rid of filthy Protestant practices, such as contraception or legalised abortion. But you’re getting on a bit, and you need some help with the killings and the knee-cappings from the younger generation. You are happy at the level of financial aid which isevery_sperm_is_sacred coming in from NORAID, so you have plenty of guns and materials to make bombs. You are not at all happy that Monty Python’s song “Every Sperm is Sacred” has just won a BAFTA award for Best Original Song in a Film. They are heathens.

You think you’re doing quite well with one of your young parishioners explaining the seriousness of the cause, and how hell and damnation will result unless more heathens are killed. But then your young charge cocks his head on one side, and gently starts singing “Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”.

You have lost him. It would be very frustrating.

Hmm. Estimates vary as to how many people were killed by the IRA – probably more than 3,700 with tens of thousands more injured, particularly by bombs. The killing eventually stopped. Happily, the British government never resorted to bombing the Republic of Ireland, although the demise of the IRA might have been assisted by the British security forces killing a few of its particularly unpleasant members. More to the point, it seems that in the end the Irish preferred shopping to war, and having a fine sense of humour, actually thought that Monty Python was quite funny.

Certainly, ridiculing the terrorists would have helped. But not all governments think like that. Take for example

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Filed under Culture, Legal, Politics

Playing Chicken

ChickenOverheard in the supermarket today, from an assistant talking to a shopper at the egg department:

“Would you like free range or normal?”

It is rather a shame, I thought, that anyone would think it normal to eat eggs laid by chickens kept in battery conditions.  Chickens are hardly the brightest of creatures, and I am neither vegetarian nor vegan. But I do think that common decency dictates Continue reading

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Filed under Culture, Food, Manners, News from at home

A Good Day for Bad News

Katrina DawsonAm I alone in wondering if it a little cynical for the police to wait until the newspapers are full of the terrible events in Paris before acknowledging yesterday that it was they who shot barrister Katrina Dawson in the Martin Place siege 4 weeks ago?

The perpetrator of the siege, Man Haron Monis, was armed with a shot gun.  The police who stormed the cafe were armed with high velocity rifles. The injuries caused by these weapons are entirely different , and it would have been obvious from the outset whether it was Man Haron Monis or the police who had shot and killed Ms Dawson.

It was an accident

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Sex Toy

extractorPresumably Hasbro, who make Play-Doh, do not read  The Online Slang Dictionary, or at any rate the page which explains that “tool” is slang for a penis. Otherwise they might have worded this recent press release differently:

We have heard some consumer feedback about the extruder tool in the Play-Doh Cake Mountain playset and are in the process of updating all future Play-Doh products with a different tool. Should any consumer want a replacement extruder for this item, they can contact Hasbro’s Customer Service Department at 800-327-8264.

“When you are down a hole, stop digging

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How to Avoid the Explosion of a Double-Walled Glass

Carpetus thumbThis is a video post; see

If you are a pedant, you might suggest that Continue reading

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