3558 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
'Why in Satan's Name would ANYONE think that the UK forces would need 232. '
At any one time half of them will be out of service waiting for a component to come through under the Mastercare extended warranty.
Another fifty or so will have been filled with red diesel to cut costs at the RAF and are having their tanks drained round the back of the hanger.
Thirty of them will be back at BAe because they've been delivered with two left wings.
The pilots of the next twenty will all be on patenity and or maternity leave for the next six months and no one knows how to adjust the cockpit seat for another pilot.
Of the remaining twelve, five of them will be on loan filming episodes of 'Top Gear'; leaving just seven to defend the nation - one for each day of the week as they'll each need six days with their bonnets up just to get them working again.
Big difference between most religions and Scientology
AFAIK, Scientology is the only one that's not happy for its teachings to be widely distributed outside of the organisation.
Xenu turns out to be the bad guy
[END OF SPOILER ALERT]
Campaign for Real Education
Aren't these the lot who've complained every education act since the mid 19th Century has been a regressive step that will only hasten the end of Empire and a lack of respect for the Empress of India?
Yeah but we're getting the Olympics!
I'm surprised the government hasn't pointed out that £70 million of public money spent on stars not only gets you Jonathan Ross and Graham Norton, but also that binary system - Ant AND Dec!
What a crap country...
In accordance with strict new governmental security guidelines when the laptop is left overnight on the backseat of a car, it must now be hidden under a copy of the Daily Mail.
Look West young man
The future of coal isn't in the Appalacians, its the mountain states of Colorado, Wyoming and Montana. These coalfields have been powering the US electricity industry ever since Nixon did one good thing and inaugurated the Clean Air Act.
But the real gold rush is likely to get started if the mining companies start turning the 120 billion tonnes of coal (that's 40% of all the reserves in the US) under Montana into oil. Brian Schweitzer, the current (Democrat) governor is a big fan of synthetic petroleum and got a lot of votes on plans to turn the state into America's gas tank. It's a poor state with few well-paid jobs; open-cast coal mining pays well and doesn't have the health risks of deep mining in the East, so the mining industry has a lot of sway.
Whether Montana's environment can take the strain is another question. The region has been suffering a drought for a long time now, and hydrogenation is a prodigious water user. But I'm sure that problem can be overcome - after all, no one's dammed the Yellowstone yet. :(
(Atomic number 4) is extremely light, strong over a wide range of temperatures, nonmagnetic and corrosion resistant making it ideal for satellites and aerospace applications. It is either used pure or alloyed, especially with copper. Satellites can use beryllium alloys in their structure, or sometimes in their engines.
The serious downside of beryllium is that many of its compounds are extraordinarily toxic, especially when ingested (interestingly, many beryllium compounds are very sweet - at least briefly). It's a top-notch carcinogen and also causes an extreme allergic lung reaction called beryllosis. For this reason, there aren't many elderly experts in the study of beryllium.
Abandon a flagship policy of the last New Labour manifesto? Don't you understand the ID card scheme is the 21st Century version of the 5-year tractor production plan? Just as it didn't matter if the proletariats glorious tractors only had three wheels; it won't matter if the people of Britain don't have working ID cards - they will have ID cards. And isn't that what the late, great David Blunkett would have wanted?
Give up now, just when unreformed science is saying the whole scheme won't work? You might as well say the Dear Leader before the current Great Helmsman showed signs of human fallibility. And we're not quite ready for Gordon's secret speech to the 20th Party Congress on the topic of 'the Personality Cult and its Consequences.'
Re: why no chair with a science background?
New Labour would have to hunt for a long time to find a chairman with a science background - their Parliamentary highfliers are dominated by third-rate lawyers, ex-union smoothies and those who've done nothing but grease the party political machine since leaving their politics course at uni.
For anyone still wondering...
Here's the definitive pocket-sized summary of Scientology:
South Park - it is educational!
Is that a typo in her surname?
Calories are better than 'portions'
Has anyone worked out the governmental busybody 'science' behind the recommended five portions of fruit and vegetables?
According to the nanny state if I eat a banana, a handful of strawberries and wash it down with a glass of fresh orange juice I have consumed five portions. However, if I put the same three quantities into a blender and whizz it into a delicious smoothie it is transmogulated into a single portion.
Is this an example of the GillianMcKeithisation of science?
Church of Mormon
Can't we give the ID card project to the Mormons?
They're obsessed with collecting data about everyone who's ever lived so that we can all be baptised into the church of latterday wacky - and they're somewhat less disturbing than Ross Perot's EDS.
The only way of avoiding a nuclear war is to have a nuclear war.
Clear case of overworked MoD personnel
Everyone on El Reg is being terribly harsh to the real victim in this - yes that unnamed MoD worker who is forced to personally handle the cases of some 500,000 wannabe squaddies.
Think about it - how would you like to know the well-being of half a million people is your responsibility? Doubtless the poor fellow was so stressed at being made to carry his work home at night that he made the perfectly understandable mistake of forgetting to take his laptop with him when he popped into the local Spar (or another one of the metropolis' innumerable high-quality all-night self-service consumer boutiques) for a family pack of ProPlus and a barrel of full-fat own-label cola.
Hold on, my associates wish to raise another possibility (although I am shocked to think that they would consider it), that this is a clear case of irresponsible data security with excessive numbers of personal records being duplicated, processed and stored on unsupervised machines.
I think I much prefer my scenario; one where Gerald (I think it should be a Gerald) works tirelessly to serve Britain's finest armed only with only a hot laptop, a cup of Mellow Blend and a chocolate HobNob.
So let's not berate Gerald, let's pray that the Civil Service (especially that magnificent edifice the Home Office) is staffed solely by Geralds!
Ah yes, government listening to scientists
Like the scientists who tell them to stop cod fishing in the North Sea - and then they promptly ignore them. Cut carbon emissions by 90% or face disaster - press on with plans for a new generation of coal-fired power stations and new runways. Biometrics are snake oil, your security plans are nonsense and you're endangering the privacy of everyone in the country - ID cards please (for which John Denham voted).
As for MMR, the government tried to have it both ways, the DoH said MMR was safe, but the Prime Minister turned it into a long-running media circus by refusing to say if it was sufficiently safe that Leo Blair had been injected.
'Gerrard insisted that the proliferation of CCTV cameras in public spaces was being driven by local communities, or rather local authorities and other public agencies.'
For which the Home Office makes available seemingly endless amounts of public money.
This is government policy.
So no Blu-Ray for the 360
Makes sense, the console's core technology is getting on a bit and an expensive redesign would be a nightmare for compatibility and push back that elusive day when the XBox division becomes profitable.
What Microsoft isn't saying is that whatever comes after the 360 won't use Blu-Ray.
Speaking of which, isn't it time for the next-gen console rumour mill to start up again?
No change in policy
Actually Brown is just being inarticulate in telling us the state of the ID Card legislation.
When it looked like the New Labour sheep might have woken up to the scheme, the Home Office came over all emollient and said that their would be no element of compulsion in the Act. Which is true(ish) - but as people have pointed out above, not really necessary since Blunkettcards will be needed to function in society. Satisfied by the government's ability to listen, the backbench androids duly all pressed the button marked 'Police State' and the government got its way.
When the ID Cards Act became law, one of the Home Secretaries (can't remember if it was the one who looked like a garden gnome or the drunk who cuddled up to warmongers) said that if Labour were re-elected at the next election, they would publish a second ID Card Act that would make the cards compulsory.
Bearing in mind I'm fully expecting cloud ceilings at about 20ft and permanent rain - we'd better get used to ducking as these things whizz around.
The sleeping giant here is the whole issue of DRM and how it is not providing rights to users.
Region coding of DVDs, games and Blu-Ray distort the whole market which the government is supposedly in favour of - why isn't Triesman making loud noises about companies who continue to prevent users making a free choice?
Why is it permissible for companies to produce content that can't be transferred between devices when the user upgrades to a new machine, or their XBox 360 goes west like so many others?
If the government is serious about the issue of intellectual property it has to start fighting a bit harder for the consumer and not just be seen as helping out Microsoft and Cliff Richard.
Argh! Now you're making me remember all sorts of cool 1950s and 1960s Brit stuff like the GT3 gas turbine locomotive (http://www.enuii.org/vulcan_foundry/oddities/gt3.htm) and the TSR2 (http://www.thunder-and-lightnings.co.uk/tsr2/history.php) aircraft.
No wonder Gerry Anderson was able to make Thunderbirds in those days, he just had to look around to see the best of British boffinry inventing the future. If he were to start again today he'd be forced to produce a puppet series set in a futuristic celebrity estate agents.
I want my future back!
France and reprocessing
Whilst I'm generally pro-nuclear, the French example isn't all positive. The French PWR programme was built with public money, making the then state-owned EDF one of the most endebited organisations in the World. Most of this debt was written off when EDF was privatised.
It's still not clear whether private money can build and safely run a nuclear programme.
Finally, we do have to consider the scarcity of uranium if we're going to rush for nuclear fuel. There is plenty of it - for now, but if the World is going to embrace the atom we have to start seriously thinking about the unpalatable question of reprocessing and breeding fuel - both environmental and economic catastrophes to date. At the same time we'll have to ask the hardest question of all - can we possibly morally stop countries we don't like seeking access to plutonium?
It's not just the farm lobby, it's the Iowa Caucus for the Presidential election that drives ethanol. On January 3rd, Iowa voters will become the first people in the US to vote for who they want as presidential candidates. If a candidate doesn't stand up in Iowa's cornfields and take the pledge to ethanol they will sink without trace. A candidate does badly in Iowa and that gets mentioned all the way to New Hampshire and beyond, hindering their chances of getting the final nomination.
There's an episode of 'The West Wing' about just this pork-barrelling.
So 85% are good?
That's worrying - for instance we don't know if things like HMRC and MTAS qualified as 'naughty' or 'nice'. Knowing this lot and relentless inflation of exam grades, a computer system would actually have to kill someone and be found at the scene of the crime to be considered 'failing'.
Don't forget, the MoD was the organisation that failed to design an Army boot that wouldn't fall apart, melt and/or cripple the user.
If the MoD can't work out how to join a bit of dead cow to a bit of rubber, I don't think it's fair to expect them to specify a workable helicopter containing hundreds of thousands of precision-engineered components and millions of lines of code designed to work in the most hostile of ingredients.
provision for fire fighting in Cornwall is already a joke with no 24 service in Penwith at all. This summer's hotel fire in Newquay should have been an unnecessary warning to the bureaucrats about cutting retention, but it seems to have only encouraged them.
On a slightly lighter note, how long before the all-inclusive, community-hugging, drop-in people's* fire stations have to be stripped of unsightly working class boots, carbon unfriendly diesel fire engines and health and safety non-compliant fireman's poles?**
Still, with a bit of imagination, all that space will make for a lovely Seattle style coffee bar complex with teenage baristas polishing fireman's helmets behind the biscotti***.
* on the subject of which, when did the Post Office become the vaguely Orwellian People's Post Office?
** stop sniggering at the back.
*** that's it! You're banned!
The answer to this madness is that the whole farrago is a round of Censored Songs from 'I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue' that's run out of control.
...and so, as the Wee Willy Winkie of time pops out of the nightgown of eternity...
Shame the FSA don't run HMRC
If Norwich Union have to stump up £1.28m for around 600 breaches, Alistair Darling would be crapping himself right about now.
Oh I forgot, unlike businesses, local authorities and charities; government ministers can't be surcharged for serial incompetence, fraud and illegality. Otherwise Darling and Ruth (the Poison Dwarf) Kelly would be out of a job and bankrupt.
'@ Joe Cooper: WHAT "good hard evidence"? I've always found there to be suspiciously little good or hard evidence. You're not referring to those silly photos are you?'
[Putting my geologist hat on]
That'd be the rock samples brought back by Apollo which are profoundly different from rocks on Earth; heavily depleted in volatile elements, relatively enriched in refractory elements, radio dates way different from those on Earth, zero water content, enriched in helium 3....
None of these results were expected before Apollo landed on the Moon, and were confirmed by the Luna sample return missions performed by the Soviet Union.
Doesn't the same group own Pixmania? 'Cos I have to say they're really rather good - excellent prices and top-notch service. I picked up a 40" 1080p Sony Bravia with free delivery for £800.
Can't knock that.
'Actually the Americans used pencils as well, but the lead would often break and could have got into the on board systems causing havoc. That's why they invested in the pens.'
Actually NASA never invested a penny in pens. The space pens were developed by the Fisher company who saw a market for a non-flammable (remember early American spacecraft used 100% oxygen atmospheres) pressurised pen that could be used by astronauts and pilots. Fisher sold the pens to NASA from 1967 onwards at a discount. Eventually both sides switched to the Fisher pens on all their missions.
Yes Mars probes are routinely sterilised before launch, usually by popping them into an autoclave for several days.
However, this is a fairly recent procedure dating from Viking onwards; AFAIK none of the Mars landers launched by the Soviet Union were sterilised as the planet was thought to be completely barren. Although none of the Soviet probes returned any useful data from the surface, Mars 2, 3, 6 and 7 all landed on the planet.
Has the government rounded up all the tritium-powered Trimphones that are out there?
If al-Qaeda manage to get hold of a Trimphone, all that stands between the West and certain thermonuclear destruction are several kilos of plutonium, a few hundred kilos of U238, a supercomputer and a multibillion Pound budget.
And another cost...
According to today's Telegraph, things have managed to get even worse for the government.
Amongst the names on the disks are the original and new names of several hundred police witnesses to serious crimes who have been given new identities and addresses after testifying. All of them will now need to be moved again and given new identities. The costs? Unimaginable, let alone the real fear these people will be in.
I am stunned that no one has been fired for incompetence - surely the Revenue had people nominated under the DPA to administer personal information. They've clearly failed in their jobs and should be out of a job. If I was as casual with personal data as the Revenue I would have been sacked long ago.
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