April 25th, 2005

Useful Box Day

Monday was 'useful box day' on Play School. It was also the last day of the week on which Play School was shown only on BBC2 with 625 lines, so I had to go along to watch it at my friend Alan's house. Yes, I am that old. And as well as only having 2 TV channels in 405 line black and white we didn't have Subscriber Trunk Dialling either (*), we had to ask the operator to connect us.
I wonder what happened to Alan? His mum was in the local women's football team, the Amersham Angels, and his gran ran the corner shop (cue Dvorak's New World Symphony). And, now I come to think of it, he was in a serious accident when a football in a bag caught in his bicycle tyres and he fell in front of a car, but survived.

But I digress.

Just as Monday was useful box day on Play School, it is eco catastrophe day in the Indy. Which leads me to the following questions for the floor:

1. Am I right in believing that the Peak Oil thing is all nonsense, as there are vast reserves of Oil Shale which are unexploited primarily because it is not economically viable to extract it - not because it is particularly difficult? I am putting aside the reasons we might not want to extract it, obviously, because for the purposes of the 'lights will all go out' argument they are irrelevant. Though, not of course from the 'frying tonight!' perspective. Which leads us nicely onto...

2. Am I alone in having the red mist provoked by the loathsome Mr Hari in his column today ? So we have an arts graduate (double first in social and political science at Cambridge FWIW) writing a 'how dare this scientist say this, because I have done a crash course in atmospheric physics, personally looked at the models run, checked their assumptions and the algorithms used, checked that the algorithms are coded correctly, looked at the results and on this basis he is wrong wrong wrong'.
No, obviously I am lying, it is 'how dare this scientist say this, because lots of other peer reviewed scientists say something else'. And somehow the rights and wrongs of the matter are irrelevant, for a clueless arts graduate to write this in the tone of this particular article seems very distasteful to me. Sort of like one of the small kids cheering the school bully from the sidelines.

I think I shall stop buying the Indy on Mondays.

(*) at least everyone has forgotten the STD = Subscriber Trunk Dialling and Sexually Transmitted Disease joke these days, who says the world doesn't move on?