Saturday, 29 January 2011

First casualty of Kraft take over of Cadbury.

Mini Eggs. They just don't taste the same. It may just be me, but I'm sure they don't have that certain taste I remember any more. Both the outer shell and the chocolate inner taste different. Anyone else noticed?

Nimrod: Not just a Plane

Much wailing and gnashing of teeth this week around the scrapping of Nimrod and to be honest, there's much to discuss.

First off, who made the political balls-up of employing a demolition contractor who chops planes up in the open with machines meant for building demolition? Then we wouldn't have emotive pictures of planes being ripped to shreds.

Second, who made the political balls-up of letting the project incur such time and cost overruns? We're billions of pounds worse off and have nothing to show for it except now a pile of scrap. It highlights the piss-poor state our defence procurement process has reached. It has to be changed. We can't go on fudging about this, its costing the country serious money. Defence contractors (and to my mind any contractor applying for government contracts) should make proper costings and bid appropriately. If the cost overruns then the contractor takes the hit. Technical specs should be agreed and set in stone, with no leeway to change. Once the project is completed, then new capabilities can be added. This has the advantage of making project designers aware of the need to have provision in the project platform of easy upgradeability.

Too many times modern defence projects have suffered from lack of clarity: too many and too varied roles, lack of upgradeability, changes to specifications mid-project, changes to specs merely for political purposes.

Lets just spec the thing up, make it easily upgradeable and bloody build the thing, not let the thing drag on for decades, ramping up the cost and ending up with an already obsolete platform.

David Willetts gets some company.

Anyone know why there was a big crowd this evening outside David Willetts' Havant constituency office and a rather larger Police presence?

Any of his senior party chums making house calls? Or was the mob just out for him?


It was a mob protesting against the scrapping of EMA. If I'd known I'd have joined them.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

Horizon: Science Under Attack.

I'm watching this at the moment.

I've never seen such a poor science program and such a blatant piece of propaganda.

For instance showing two screens showing actual weather data and modelled weather data. On its own very compelling: the real and modelled weather tracked almost exactly.


(Lets ignore the warmist's argument that weather isn't climate and look at what we're being shown). Okay, the screen at the top is showing historical data. The lower screen is showing modelled data (also it can be assumed, historical as it runs at the same time as the top screen). Whats not clarified (as its key to the AGW argument) is how well the modelled data showed future weather patterns. It only shows the correctly modelled historical data, without any mention of the number of data runs, tweaks to data or how far ahead of what really happened the data was modelled. Anyone can get it right with hindsight; the clever thing is to get it right and model weather several hours, days and months ahead of the fact.

Without the  information behind the computer model, we can't make an objective decision. Instead we are asked blindly to accept the program's supposition that the weather model accurately predicts weather in real-time hours, days and even years into the future. Because that's what warmists want you to believe: that they can accurately predict the climate many years into the future.

Lets get down to the facts about global warming: yes, climate is changing BUT it has changed in the past and will continue to change in the future. It has been far cooler in the past, which we call Ice Ages. It has also been warmer in the past. Its been significantly warmer before the industrial revolution. So if the huge amounts of CO2 humans are producing is to blame, then how is warming without CO2 explained?

The science of man made global warming is one of observation: climate has been observed to warm up and CO2 levels are rising. But there is no link between the two: only because the two happen at the same time are we asked to believe there is a link. And you'd believe it, if you weren't in possession of the facts that climate has warmed without CO2 in the past.

The tone of the program is pure propaganda. When covering climategate, we're told Freedom of Information requests are "harrassment", when all thats being asked for is the raw data the scientists used to come to their conclusions. FOI requests aren't harrassment, they're perfectly legal and just means of requesting scientific data in order to corroborate findings. There is no scientific reason why the data wasn't released: in fact the only reason appears to be that the scientist in charge has a huge ego and didn't like oiks asking for his precious data.

There are so many apparent flaws in the program it can only be classed as propaganda. There was no debate, no balanced views from either side, instead all that was proffered is the usual warmist line that the science is settled, there is no dissent, man made global warming is real, we can predict future weather and climate accurately because our computer models are so good, despite failing to predict successive cold winters, we understand fully what is happening, the mechanism causing global warming is identified, man made CO2 is causing global warming, despite it having been far warmer before the industrial revolution..

I used to enjoy BBC scientific documentaries when I was a kid. Sadly tonight I was reminded why I don't watch them any more.

Our Military: Pride and Sorrow.

There are a lot of ways our Military personnel give us pride, the main one being the way they selflessly follow orders and put themselves in harms way. Our military personnel are highly trained and highly respected throughout the world.

But there is a lot to to give us sorrow: a couple of weeks ago I caught sight of H.M.S. Ark Royal. Now laid up at Portsmouth, her carrier deck now resplendent with containers, no doubt part of the decommissioning process. Its a sad sight to see the flagship of the fleet so unceremoniously pensioned off with such indecent haste. The same goes for Ark Royal's carrier force. And the Hawker Siddley Dominie radar and navigation training squadron now also pensioned off.

Look on google maps at the many RAF airfields around the country. Lots of them appear empty. Look at our military ports and you'll see a handful of large ships docked there. Just what has happened to our military over the decades?

Do we have a military worth having these days?

Monday, 24 January 2011

"Project Merlin" not so magic after all.

It seems that the government's attempts to get banks to start loaning money to small businesses has stalled.

Not a suprise.

Right now, thanks to all the repackaging of bad mortgage debt, the banks have an unknown amount of toxic assets on their hands. When anyone tells you they know exactly how much toxic debt the banks have on their books, just look at them and laugh. Because no-one knows exactly how much toxic debt there is in the system. Bad mortgages were repackaged so many times that its virtually impossible to unpick the whole thing.

So under those circumstances, its no wonder banks don't want to add more debt risk to their portfolios.

And the government can't force them to start lending money again. I mean, what if it all went pear-shaped, we'd have to bail them out again....