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Entries from December 2003

The Price of Ideals

December 24th, 2003 · 1 Comment

“Are those what I think they are?” I asked incredulously, while walking down to the station with a friend. My friend affirmed that yes, the government had built a rather large wind farm off the shore of my home town.
This was a bit of a shock. I had absolutely no warning that they were building [...]

Tags: adrian · politics · tech · westkirby

The Road to Mars is Paved with Money

December 23rd, 2003 · 1 Comment

I haven’t been following the Beagle 2 Mars Mission anywhere near as much as I ‘ought’ to be, but I loved this quote from the lead scientist of the project, Colin Pillinger.
Interviewer: What happens if you find life on Mars?
Prof. Colin Pillinger: I’ll find it a lot easier to get funding for the next mission
Spoken [...]

Tags: mars · politics · space

A Cure

December 22nd, 2003 · 2 Comments

I was out in Liverpool doing some shopping and sherpa-duty for a friend when I saw a wonderfully stupid sign for a herbalist in a shopping mall. I lamented to my friend that I didn’t have a camera with me, and then did a double-take and realised that I did – I’ve just bought a [...]

Tags: bio · silly

A Bright Picture

December 20th, 2003 · No Comments

It’s not often that I see a piece of science writing that concisely explains a difficult concept in an accessible way, but this article at Wired on a pill that could prevent hearing loss had some well-written passages. The reporter, Noah Shachtman, used a nice turn of phrase to describe how a buildup of free [...]

Tags: bio · science

Inappropriate Award

December 19th, 2003 · No Comments

And the award for the most inappropriate music in a movie trailer goes to Peter Pan which used an instrumental version of ‘Clocks’ by Coldplay. What were they thinking? Other than the fact that Coldplay are popular these days, I can think of no reason why they used them as backing music. Don’t get me [...]

Tags: film · music


December 19th, 2003 · 1 Comment

I have long wanted to see a movie – any movie – in which the audience applauds at the end. I’ve always thought I’d have to go to America to do this since they are certainly more unrestrained than the English, but at the end of watching Return of the King in London on the [...]

Tags: film · usa


December 16th, 2003 · No Comments

After you’ve lived in Cambridge and Oxford for three years, you begin to appreciate two things. One, they’re really, really small. Two, nothing ever changes in those cities, and doubly so for anything related to the university. There’s a ‘joke’ that goes:
Q: How many college fellows does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: “Change? Are [...]

Tags: cambridge · oxford

More inaccurate reporting

December 11th, 2003 · 1 Comment

I was initially pleased to see that the Guardian Online had an article about Alternate Reality Games today, and then disappointed to see an inaccurate and overly simplistic piece of journalism. Soon after reading it, I wrote an email to the author, Andrew Losowsky, which I’ve included below:
I have a few comments on your article [...]

Tags: arg · newspaper

Ask Metafilter

December 11th, 2003 · No Comments

Ask MetaFilter – truly one of the best ideas that’s hit the Internet this year. There are other websites that provide general advice, but none with the community and (some might say) highly intelligent and educated userbase of MetaFilter.

Tags: mefi

Dishonest science

December 3rd, 2003 · 1 Comment

BoingBoing linked to this interview about ‘brain technologies’ today which I think will inevitably give people a completely wrong impression about the field. The interviewee, David Pescovitz (a science writer, not a scientist) touches on all the popular stuff at the moment including the laughable ‘neuromarketing’:
Volunteers in one study completed a survey about their likes [...]

Tags: bio · science