Monday, 30 January 2012

My kind of advert

Witty, and offends the PC brigade. Perfect.

It's not just me

It's also:

Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris

J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting

Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University

Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society

Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences

William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton

Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge

William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology

Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT

James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University

Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences

Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne

Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator

Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem

Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service

Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva

They express the same opinion that I have been putting forward now for years. The do so by way of an open letter to the Wall Street Journal under the title No Need to Panic About Global Warming in which they point out that:

  • the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true
  • large numbers of scientists, many very prominent, share [these] opinions
  • [there has been a] lack of global warming for well over 10 years now
  • computer models have greatly exaggerated how much warming additional CO2 can cause
  • CO2 is not a pollutant
  • This is not the way science is supposed to work
  • Alarmism over climate is of great benefit to many, providing government funding for academic research and a reason for government bureaucracies to grow
  • There is no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to "decarbonize" the world's economy
  • Even if one accepts the inflated climate forecasts of the IPCC, aggressive greenhouse-gas control policies are not justified economically.
  • Yale economist William Nordhaus showed that nearly the highest benefit-to-cost ratio is achieved for a policy that allows 50 more years of economic growth unimpeded by greenhouse gas controls
  • The Nordhaus recommendation would principally help the third world 
I have nothing to add.

(With thanks to Albert for the link)

Friday, 27 January 2012

Pretty Pictures

I have an rss feed from the lovely site "Between the White Lines", which simply posts up lovely pictures of cars and car-related things.  I don't typically link the photos, because there are (frankly) too many good ones too often.

But I'll make an exception for this one:

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

How to get into a Caterham Academy car and drive off

Plenty of room.  Don't know what you mean?

The car is very simple indeed, with no unnecessary fripperies to distract you. So, getting in and driving off is perfectly simple and straightforward. As I will explain.

Go to the car, and unbuckle the sidescreen so that you can get a leg up from the chassis bar to climb over and lower yourself in via the top of the rollcage. Lean in and spread the harness straps - especially the big buckle, you don't want to sit on that. Climb up and lower yourself in vertically.

Stop halfway down when you remember that you need to take the steering wheel off. Pop it in the passenger side for now.

Carry on down so that your legs go into the footwell and you drop neatly into the seat. Pull the shoulder straps down over you, pull the buckle over and join it to the shoulder straps. Fumble around underneath your backside to look for the other lap strap. Release the shoulder straps so that you can lean to the left to let yourself grab the remaining lap strap, then settle back down as you latch it into the buckle.

Unlatch it from the buckle and sort out the twist in the strap. No, you need to untwist it the other way. Latch it again. Then latch the shoulder straps. Tighten them up nice and snug.

Now it's time to start the car. Get the ignition keys which are... oh, yes, they're in your trouser pocket. Undo the straps and arch your back in the seat so that you can retrieve them. Put the ignition key in the barrel and re-do the straps. You'll need to loosen them first so that they reach, that's ok, now you can buckle up and tighten them.

Loosen the straps again so that you can reach into the passenger footwell to retrieve the steering wheel. Lock it in place, and pull the straps tight again. Turn the ignition key, release the immobiliser, and hit the starter button.

Now we're ready to pull away. You just need to buckle up the sidescreen, so reach over your shoulder for the popper - no, not that far, you'll hurt yourself. OK, let's loosen the shoulder straps first and then buckle up the sidescreen. That's right. Now you can pull the straps tight.

Pop it into reverse and ease it out of the garage. Close the garage door with the remote keyfob - which pocket is it in? No, not that one. Try the other one. Or is it in your jacket? Yes, it's the jacket pocket, the one covered by the shoulder strap. Yes, you do need to loosen it first. Close the garage door, and you're ready to go. Once you've tightened the shoulder strap of course.

Does that feel like rain to you?

Monday, 23 January 2012

Today's xkcd cartoon:

Reminds me of a classic Rory Bremner impression of Gordon Brown from the mid-90s, when the Major government was clearly doomed and Blair & Brown were obviously desperate not to say anything that might upset the result that was so clearly headed their way:

"People ask me what my economic policy is.  My policy is to repeat the words 'prudent' and 'sustainable' as often, and for as long, as is prudently sustainable..."