Because of what I think is Sciatica in my right hip and leg and have not done much other than sit and suffer :-(( This evening though has been excellent because of 1. Top Gear and 2. James Martin and the Mille Miglia an even better programme. I hope some of you watched them both as well as me.
Once again I was frustrated by the lack of technical explanation in the Mille Miglia programme. They never tell you what was bloody wrong with it! "A valve" So I must assume that the hardening had failed on the valve stem? Definitely a half speed knock, so top end valvish - but I would really like to know as would - I suspect - so many others who watch this sort of stuff.
Scientific illiteracy all the rage among the glitterati
By Steve Connor, Science editor Saturday, 27 December 2008
Kate Moss, who believes diet can detox your body
When it comes to science, Barack Obama is no better than many of us. Today he joins the list of shame of those in public life who made scientifically unsupportable statements in 2008.
Closer to home, Nigella Lawson and Delia Smith faltered on the science of food, while Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all get roastings for scientific illiteracy.
The Celebrities and Science Review 2008, prepared by the group Sense About Science, identifies some of the worst examples of scientific illiteracy among those who profess to know better ? including top politicians.
Mr Obama and John McCain blundered into the MMR vaccine row during their presidential campaigns. "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate," said President-elect Obama. "Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it," he said.
His words were echoed by Mr McCain. "It's indisputable that [autism] is on the rise among children, the question is what's causing it," he said. "There's strong evidence that indicates it's got to do with a preservative in the vaccines."
Exhaustive research has failed to substantiate any link to vaccines or any preservatives. The rise in autism is thought to be due to an increased awareness of the condition.
Sarah Palin, Mr McCain's running mate, waded into the mire with her dismissal of some government research projects. "Sometimes these dollars go to projects that have little or nothing to do with the public good. Things like fruit fly research in Paris, France. I kid you not," Ms Palin said. But the geneticist Ellen Solomon takes Ms Palin to task for not understanding the importance of studies into fruit flies, which share roughly half their genes with humans. "They have been used for more than a century to understand how genes work, which has implications in, for example, understanding the ageing process," she said.
Hollywood did not escape the critical analysis of the scientific reviewers, who lambasted Tom Cruise, for his comments on psychiatry being a crime against humanity, and Julianne Moore, who warned against using products full of unnatural chemicals.
"The real crime against humanity continues to be the enduring misery caused by the major mental illnesses across the globe, and the continuing lack of resources devoted to supporting those afflicted," said the psychiatrist Professor Simon Wessely.
In answer to Moore, the science author and chemist John Emsley said that natural chemicals are not automatically safer than man-made chemicals, which undergo rigorous testing.
"Something which is naturally sourced may well include a mixture of things that are capable of causing an adverse reaction," Dr Emsley said.
Other mentions went to the chefs Nigella Lawson, who said "mind meals" can make you feel different about life, and Delia Smith, who claimed it is possible to eliminate sugar from the diet. The dietician Catherine Collins said that Lawson's support for expensive allergy foods is a wasted opportunity and too costly for those on limited incomes, while Lisa Miles of the British Nutrition Foundation said that sugars are part of a balanced diet.
Kate Moss, Oprah Winfrey and Demi Moore all espoused the idea that you can detoxify your body with either diet (scientifically unsupportable) or, in the case of Moore, products such as "highly trained medical leeches" which make you bleed. Scientists point out that diet alone cannot remove toxins and that blood itself is not a toxin, and even if it did contain toxins, removing a little bit of it is not going to help.
But top prize went to the lifestyle guru Carole Caplin for denouncing a study showing that vitamin supplements offer little or no health benefits as "rubbish" ? it is the third year on the run that she has been mentioned in the review. Science author and GP Ben Goldacre pointed out that the study Ms Caplin referred to was the most authoritative yet published. "Carole should understand that research can often produce results which challenge our preconceptions: that is why science is more interesting than just following your nose," Dr Goldacre said.
Talking sense: Two who got it right
*The writer Jilly Cooper gets nine out of ten for making a stab at why alternative treatments might work: "If you believe them, then they work." That describes the placebo effect, where a harmless but useless remedy seems to work because the patient feels as if it is working.
*The vocal coach and singer Carrie Grant is applauded for raising the profile of Crohn's disease without abusing the science. "There are so many therapies available, but none of them are going to cure you," she said.
I used to love those, old Laithwaite and his linear induction motors,gyroscopes etc. I was really excited when some time in te mid
1970's our school actually got to go to the RI - not for the Chrissy lectures but something called "Industry matters OK!". Worked on me - I never really considered anything other than an engineering career, but unfortunately nobody told the government which proceeded to destroy most of our major industrial concerns over the next decade or so!
But that one went while being driven in anger by a certain Mr. Moss, and probably after a deal more than 200 miles - I think James Martin would be quite justified in strangling his engine man! Mind you, I never really understand people who are really enthusiastic about old machinery of whatever sort yet admit to not knowing ne end of a spanner from the other.
I must admit I'd lost interest by halfway through, & when another family member wanted to watch something else I didn't argue. I'd been distracted by the phone at the start of his technical problems so missed most of that anyway, but the whole programme seemed to be degenerating into what has now become the standard 'will they, won't they do it in time' formula.
I'd still like to know what the problem was, though!
On Mon, 29 Dec 2008 20:53:49 +0000, NHH finished tucking into their plate of fish, chips and mushy peas. Wiping their mouths, they swigged the last of their cup of tea, paid the bill and wrote::
They usually have the money to employ people who know one end of a spanner from another...................
............. which brings a question to mind: if the Lottery came up with a 7-figure win, what would YOU preserve, that exists but which (at the moment) you don't have the money to restore or house?
My choice, oddly enough, wouldn't be an engine, but a trolleybus.
One morning, more years ago than I care to remember, I dressed up warmly on a Sunday morning to ride in the back of a short-wheelbase Atkinson tipper lorry, powered by a Gardner 5LW, to Bradford Corporation's Thornbury depot, where stood the famous Tin Shed in which Bradford housed its "spare" trolleybuses, including the last batch of Notts & Derbys trolleybuses, which had, very unusually, ran in Bradford without being rebodied and had been stored in The Tin Shed, not to be sold, for a good few years.
Eventually, Bradford released two for preservation. Ours was Bradford
774 (ex-N&D 357 - the last in the fleet) and we were bound north to collect it and take it to our museum site at Plumtree, near Nottingham.
In extracting the vehicle from The Tin Shed, they'd managed to stave in the rear quarter panel (the O/S/R panel that "turned the corner" from side to back) but we were delighted that it had been taken into the workshop and given to the apprentices as a practice piece - it looked as good as new!
We'd travelled north with an original set of N&D destination blinds and a bottle of Nitromoors, so we could remove the paint Bradford had put on the display and so that when we came out of Thornbury Works proudly bearing the route number "A1" and the destination "NOTTINGHAM VIA HEANOR, EASTWOOD, BASFORD".
I was now riding in rather more comfort on 357 - I'd got 56 seats to choose from but mostly rode on the back platform. We were on a motorway, somewhere in South Yorkshire, when there was an almighty BANG as one of the "slave" tyres gave up the ghost and punctured, raising a huge cloud of dust in the lower saloon. Fortunately no damage was done (apart from to our nerves) and we did have a spare wheel, jack and wheel nut wrench on the lorry, so after a short delay (during which I was roundly cussed for taking pictures of the operation) we continued, eventually arriving at Plumtree having entered Nottingham by the old A1 route.
Since then, the bus has suffered from a long period of outside storage but is now stored, under cover, "somewhere in Nottinghamshire". The money to restore it would be fairly horrendous (and the "other" one is stored, under cover and in working order) in Bournemouth, but |I'd want to restore the one I was involved in rescuing. THAT's what I'd like to take on.
Brian L Dominic
Newsgroup readers should note that the reply-to address is NOT read: To email me, please send to brian(dot)dominic(at)tiscali(dot)co(dot)uk