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* Posts by Graham Dawson

1511 posts • joined 5 Mar 2007

Angry Birds boss: Piracy helps us 'get more business'

Graham Dawson
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mccp got here first with the essential argument, but let me expand a little by re-using an argument I made a little while back.

Consider your favourite purveyor of cakes and sweets. You visit, look around at a particular cake and think that it would be rather tasty. Then you notice the price and think that, whilst it looks tasty, it's just too expensive. You realise that you could make it yourself so you go home and do just that, trying to make it look like the cake you saw. You're quite pleased with the result.

A month later you're arrested for cake piracy because you caused the cake shop to lose a sale by not buying the cake and making your own instead. You're fined for the potential losses the cake shop suffered in addition, as you shared the cake with some friends.

Ok the analogy isn't perfect but it should demonstrate the complete idiocy of the "lost sales" argument. Lost sales are a fallacy: if the means of duplication didn't exist, those sales still wouldn't have been made, because the price is beyond the means of people who resort to piracy. If cake ingredients were banned then the cake still wouldn't be sold because it's priced at a level the market can't bear - and if it's priced so high nobody buys it, then it's actually worthless.

The solution is actually quite simple: reduce the price. They probably don't have to go too low to generate much greater sales. They might even turn a bigger profit.

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Millions face Megaupload data deletion by Thursday

Graham Dawson
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*Allegedly* illegal. They need to prove it's actually illegal before they do anything else.

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Soul Calibur V

Graham Dawson
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I think you may be imagining it. She's no Bridget.

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Sexy Girls Puzzle: Android Trojan or eager ad-slinger?

Graham Dawson
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Hey! I resemble that remark!

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New Earth-observing satellite snaps 'blue marble' shot

Graham Dawson
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It's a wide-angle lens attempting to capture the entire hemisphere from a relatively low orbit, of course it looks distorted.

Idiot.

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Starship Voyager dumped into skip

Graham Dawson
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Mike, tealights are used in my household in the little oil burner I crafted for the wife. I've not really see the point of them anywhere else, but apparently they're quite good for keeping certain kinds of food warm.

Other than that I don't allow candles except for special occasions because they're a fire hazard in a flat with two kitties hanging about.

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Graham Dawson
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"What is the difference between a 'throw' and a 'blanket'?"

About thirty quid.

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Graham Dawson
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Annihilator, what is its "correct price"? Goods are priced at a level the market can bear. There is no "correct price", there is only the price a buyer is willing to pay.

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Try a 'shroom before ruling on chill pills, boffin tells gov

Graham Dawson
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Actually sport is a cure for some people. The natural production of endorphins during physical exertion can have a very positive emotional effect... it's just that the people most likely to benefit are usually suffering the sort of depression that destroys their ability to motivate themselves to act on such things.

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Plus is king now: Google shutters more products

Graham Dawson
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iSee® what you did there.

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Graham Dawson
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King of the Mountain View.

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E. coli turns seaweed into ethanol

Graham Dawson
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On the other hand, the seas would be a gigantic dirty martini. Add a few million olives and, hey presto, you can party like it's the end of the world.

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Asus Eee Pad Transformer Prime Android Tablet

Graham Dawson
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You can't pull the screen off and turn it sideways to make reading easier.

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'Why would I make any more Star Wars movies?'

Graham Dawson
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You don't have to be a celebrity chef to know when food tastes like shit. Likewise movies. I've achieved a lot of things that I've wanted to achieve in my life (including what I consider to be the perfect low heat chilli) but I've never made a movie. Does that disqualify me from saying that George Lucas has produced a very large amount of crap over the years?

It's obvious that he had a great writing team around him on the first three movies. He didn't write more than spec scripts. People told him when his ideas were stupid and made him change them. On the latter three movies he was in complete creative control. He had nobody to say "That's a stupid idea George" and it really, really shows. Oh how it shows...

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Iranian gov mouthpiece Press TV finally gets taken off the air in the UK

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

Funny, I object to the BBC for pretty much the opposite reason. What's going on here?

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Graham Dawson
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It embraced it, it extended it. Next step is...

And no, we aren't any better, or any safer from censorship here, despite $FAVOURITE_BROADCAST_NETWORK being able to air here. If I've learned anything on my travels it's that most allegedly free nations exercise a great deal of ideologically-motivated censorship and many media organisations engage in a great deal of equally-motivated self-censorship. It's just that the targets are a little different depending on each nation's culture and recent history.

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NASA shuts off Voyager 1's central heating

Graham Dawson
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Neither. V'ger was yoyager 6. It didn't exist in real life.

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SOPA is dead. Are you happy now?

Graham Dawson
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Innocent UNLESS proven guilty.

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NT daddy turns his hand to Xbox

Graham Dawson
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can't install XBMC on the current 360 releases or I'd have it on there right now and never need to have my main box doubling up as a media centre.

Nice idea though...

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Facebook litters Timeline with apps

Graham Dawson
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Muphry's Law.

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Boffins quarrel over ridding world of leap seconds

Graham Dawson
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DST doesn't affect farmers in the slightest anyway, they all get up at godawful in the morning and go to bed and fuckmeit'sdark in the evening no matter what the clock says. DOn't blame the farmers, blame the politicians who wanted to have a long afternoon in the stranger's bar.

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Graham Dawson
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Daylight savings was invented by people who thought you could take time off the start of the day, tag it on the end and have a longer day. IT IS AN ABOMINATION UNTO NUGGAN.

However leap seconds and suchlike are a necessary evil, otherwise you end up with calendar year slowly drifting through the siderial year. Not adding a leap second will very, very, very slowly cauyse havoc with calendars and lead to some future generation having to reset the calendar to make it match the siderial year again, as with the Gregorian to Julian calendars. Our descendants in the year 28822 will rue the day we stopped adding leap seconds.

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Pirate Bay dropping torrents after magnetic attraction

Graham Dawson
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I don't know how they work but, apparently, lobster sticks to magnet.

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Billions of potentially populated planets in the galaxy

Graham Dawson
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Again, "in the image of God" doesn't refer to physical appearance.

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Graham Dawson
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David Icke wrote the bible?

Oh but to be serious, the bible isn't a metaphor. It contains a great deal of metaphor (neatly buggering up the still annoyingly popular "metaphor was only invented in the last 400 years" belief that I keep seeing EVERYWHERE), but it isn't one in total. It's a collection of sociological and historical documents charting the evolution of a set of religious beliefs over approximately 3000 years. Once understood in a correct historical context - and when parts are understood within the context of other parts - it becomes much less obtuse and much more readable.

Well, not readable... but at least understandable. Frankly, the sheer number of misconceptions people have about scripture still stagger me. I' often staggered by how much of it I completely misread.

And now back to Arkham City. Batman keeps dying for my sins, poor chap.

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Graham Dawson
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"And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd."

And if you think "made in God's image" means "looks like a monkey" you're really not thinking very hard. This may be remarkably demonstrative.

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Profs call for harsh taxes on sweet carbonated beverages

Graham Dawson
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Of course they aren't. Diet drinks contain nasty chemicals that are known to the state of california to cause cancer and brain disease and all sorts of other nasty things, including hydroxilic acid and oxidane, not to mnetion carbonic acid. They release dangerous amounts of CO2 as well - a typical can contains CO2 at levels that would suffocate an adult male in minutes if they were in a room with the same percentage of the stuff in the air.

Besides, you really think they'd let a little thing like a drink not containing the thing they're taxing prevent them from taxing it?

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Duff Russian Mars probe spotted flying in reverse

Graham Dawson
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Simples.

The ship is in orbit. It doesn't turn as it orbits in order to maintain the position of the panels. If it had been the right way around it would have had those panels facing towards the sun. As it stands, they're facing away from the sun and, since the ship doesn't turn, they aren't going to face the sun. Ever.

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HSBC pinpoints branches with sub-atomic accuracy

Graham Dawson
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Utter cock-up? It's better than the showers of shite RBS and Natwest foist on people.

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Study finds piracy withering against legal alternatives

Graham Dawson
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Yet anther etc, piracy on the high seas doesn't *have* any jurisdictional issues. If a suitably capable vessel comes across another vessel being seized on the high eas they're entirely within their rights to act to prevent it, no matter where either vessel is flagged and then dispose of the malefactors however they wish. The reason te navy are releasing captures pirates isn't jurisdictional but legal; if they are brought back to the UK for trial they'll be able to claim all sorts of rights under the human rights act and get away with their piracy essentially scot-free so, because of that, there's no benefit in bringing them to trial and they may as well just be released.

That said, you're right, there's no link between physical piracy and copyng music.

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David Cameron gets custom prime-ministering iPad app

Graham Dawson
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Coat

That won't last forever. When the inevitable split with the lib dems happens, Cameron won't have Clegg to stand on.

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Graham Dawson
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"making an iPad app for David Camerons."

CameronS? One is more than enough, thanks.

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ALIEN ARTIFACTS can best be FOUND ON MOON

Graham Dawson
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FAIL

Great idea?

Given the conspiracists propensity to see any nearly-straight-edged object as CONCLUSIVE PROOF OF ALIENS (see, for example, the "5 sided pyramid" on Mars that looks almost symmetrical until you actually pay attention) and a constant drone of "it's a city!" every time someone spots a jpeg artefact on a picture, I'm not sure this is going to produce anything particularly useful.

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Chinese confirm Beidou satnav system is operational

Graham Dawson
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Facepalm

I initially misread that as astronaut and was about to ask a silly question...

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Ofcom maps out what 'psychics' are allowed to do on TV

Graham Dawson
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Easy to say. They get most of their funding from international sales of their intellectual property, EU grants and other such funding channels. The license only counts for a very small part of the BBC's income these days. They could survive without it, they're just addicted to the free cash.

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Graham Dawson
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Well, it's better than being called a paid shill I suppose.

What part of "I don't watch tv" don't you understand? Top be frank I wouldn't watch anything from sky, either; it's all shite too now. My point, which you spectacularly failed to understand, was that the BBC is funded by people who don't want to watch or pay for it's output but may want to watch other channels, but who don't have any choice in the matter. Its funding is gathered by a set of odficious thugs who use the power of the state as a ckub to extact money from people who can't afford it. It regularly brings prosecutions against people who watch teelvision but never watch the BBC.

explain how that is in any way just.

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Graham Dawson
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@Robert Carnegie, really you're demonstrating my point (and I know MS tried it, that's why I mentioned them in the first place). There are some differences of course: a phone with data capabilities is an essential piece of equipment, even when you're a sparky, whilst watching TV is a luxury and largely pointless but, in both cases, the injustice of one party using the power of the state to extort money from others to pay for a service those others don't desire is the same. In that sense the BBC is marginally better inasmuch as they do at least provide a service of some sort, but I'll be damned if I'm going to pay so someone else can watch television.

My phone, however, is a Sony Ericsson. Unless I'm mistaken, Sony-Ericsson has no licensing deal with MS so for now I'm in the clear.

Except for the whole "it's made by Sony" thing, which is another issue...

And, for the record, there are far better things to do in a pub that watch TV. They only show football anyway.

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Graham Dawson
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The thing about the BBC is, if you refuse to pay the license fee, you get fined and potentially sent to prison. If you refuse to pay the SKY fee they... cancel your service. That's it. You have a choice with SKY and other subscriber-based services but you have no choice at all with the BBC. If you watch TV, you pay for their output whether you like it or not, whether you watch it or not. I don't watch it, but if I were to choose to watch just the toss on ITV (which apparently not many people do these days given their collapsing viewing figures) I'd still have to pay for the BBC. I object to the BBC on that principle alone: they provide output I don't want or need and use threat of force to extract the funds to pay for it. I don't care how "efficient" they are, how much "value for money" they provide, they have no right to that money because I don't *want* to watch the BBC and I don't want to pay what is actually a significant amount of money when you're on a low income for a service I don't use, just so some middle class twat can feel smug about the "quality" of the BBC's output.

As a consequence I don't pay a license fee on principle. It means I can't watch television but, to be honest, it's not much of a loss.

But think about that... if I don't want to pay for the BBC, I can't watch live television without breaking the law. How is that in any way moral, ethical or fair? If it were Microsoft in the same position with computers you'd all be screaming moral outrage but, because it's Auntie and the goggle-box, suddenly it's perfectly okay to extort money from single mothers and the working poor to pay for a bunch of never-had-a-real-job trust-fund babies to prance around on TV and pretend they're worth listening to.

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Graham Dawson
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No, that's what the BBC is for. Sky has to actually work and sell itself for the money, whilst Auntie just has to sit on her bloated arse and have it handed over for nothing.

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Graham Dawson
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Blair never said he got an answer. I doubt he would have heard one over the sound of his own ego anyway.

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Hasbro sues Asus over Transformer Prime moniker

Graham Dawson
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There's a project to get Ubuntu (and presumably any other debian distro) on the TF101 that's been very successful. I think there might be some driver issues. Go look on the XDA forum for more info.

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Graham Dawson
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Trollface

It wouldn't surprise me if they argue that the popularity of Transformers-themed mods for the TF101 is proof that Asus are passing off. There have been crazier arguments.

On the face of it, there's no case to answer. Transformer and Prime are both generic terms that have a multitude of uses similar to but distinct from Optimus Prime the Transformer. Manufacturers of electrical transformers aren't being sued by Hasbro (not even when those transformers are manufactured by Prime Electric Ltd), and nobody raises an eyebrow when someone uses a Mellin transform to prove a Prime.

Now for the mandatory Apple conspiracy: Obviously Ha$bro are deep in the pocket of Apple and Steve Jobs is personally directing their actions from beyond the grave. It's likely their entire management team now has brand new iPads and iPods whilst the legal team are being paid secret billions by Apple's marketing department. BILLIONS I TELL YOU!

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Asus Zenbook UX31E

Graham Dawson
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As many as it takes.

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Feds propose 50-state ban on mobile use while driving

Graham Dawson
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Yes, I think I'd rather pull the gun. It creates enough time to mediate a more peaceful solution.

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Graham Dawson
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"That slower lap time translates directly to lack of concentration on actually driving."

That' there is where you make an unwarranted leap of logic. Running is not the same as driving, slowing down is not the same as "distraction". If you were talking to someone running with you, you'd slow down as well - should we then ban people from having conversations in a car or listening to the radio?

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The cure for US job woes: More immigrants

Graham Dawson
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WTF?

So let me get this straight... they have record unemployment, thousands of people literally hanging around in parks crying for jobs* that apparently just aren't there, and their solution is to... bring in EVEN MORE people? Am I the only one that sees the fundamental problem with this plan?

Reality time: a bunch of corporations and politicians see advantage in importing cheap labour: the former because they can pay them a pittance, the latter because they can turn them into a fairly reliable voting block to stay in power.

Yes I am a cynic, why do you ask?

(*Of course some of them quit jobs to go hang around in the park, which is a stupid idea if you ask me, and some of the refuse any jobs they're offered because... well, they're dumb enough to think you can get a job just hanging around in a park. But the majority I'm sure would take any job they could get.)

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CERN: 'New physics starts now'

Graham Dawson
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Windows

Drank it all on november. Cheers!

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REVEALED: People write things on Twitter, Media

Graham Dawson
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And now you're writing about them, and I'm writing about you writing about them.

I'd better go tweet this...

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Steve Jobs' last design: New Apple HQ pics

Graham Dawson
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Look at it this way: If the wondows keep breaking, there'll be lots of jobs.

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Mythbusters cannonball ‘myth-fires’

Graham Dawson
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Jay, the strongest tornado recorded in the UK was no more than an F0. That's the smallest they bother to record. Typically we'll get one or two a year at most.

A minor F0 will do a little bit of damage. Suck off a few tiles, blow over a wall maybe.not much more.

Now, think about how many tornadoes the US gets in a year. Most of those will be greater than F1, and a good (and dangerous) number will be F5, the quarter-mile wide monsters that destroy everything in their path. An F5 would turn a brick terrace into a neat pile of rubble on the other side of the street, turn every tree on the road upside down and pile all the cars on top of each other just for fun.

Compare like with like.

Now, as for why we use brick, I'll tell you: weather and resources. We're a wet country and we have lots and lots of clay, whereas the south-western united states is a dry country that has lots of timber. In cool, wet environment the most appropriate materials are those that keep out moisture, require little maintenance to avoid rain damage, and which still provide decent insulation. Brick fulfils all three requirements very well.

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