* Posts by CTG

123 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Apr 2008


UK climate change funding cut by 25%



You really need to broaden your reading. One of the common memes put about by the denialist spin campaign is that "climate scientists believe that CO2 is the only cause of the greenhouse effect, and ignore all other possible sources like the sun". This is completely untrue.

Climate science is very clear that the greenhouse effect has multiple components. The biggest source of the effect is actually from water vapour. Then there is the effect from trace gases like CO2, CH4 etc. The effect is then further modulated by solar activity (i.e. the sunspot cycle) and internal negative and positive feedbacks from oceanic oscillations and the like.

Now, in the absence of any one of these factors changing significantly, the climate would still exhibit a lot of noise, as all of the various factors play off against one another. But since the 19th century, one of the variables has been steadily increasing - CO2. Result? Temperatures have also increased, exactly as the greenhouse theory predicts.

Solar activity has been pretty much constant over the last 6 or 7 solar cycles (i.e. 70 or 80 years), whereas temperatures have climbed steadily over that period. There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that incoming energy from the sun has increased during this period of temperature increases, so it must be something else, i.e. CO2.

Thumb Down


I don't think there is a problem with people providing alternate points of view. I just think that if people are going to question a scientific theory, they should do it with science. Watts' pretty pictures are just pretty pictures. They do not constitute science. If he actually had some solid, statistically significant evidence that there was a problem, he would be listened to. But to say that you can extrapolate his results to the rest of the world is just laughable.

Just think about what he is saying. If a temperature recorder is situated next to an air conditioner, why would it show an *increasing* trend in temperature over the years? Air conditioners have not been around forever, so the temperature record for each site that is next to one should show a step change in temperatures at the time when the air conditioner was installed. But they don't, they just show the same gradual increase in temperatures that temperature stations in the middle of nowhere also show, that temperature stations all around the world show, because global average temperatures are increasing.

Show me some actual science that contradicts the AGW theory, and I will listen to you. The one thing that climate scientists and skeptics have in common is that they would all love the AGW theory to be wrong. But it isn't.



Um, no. GHGs are the ones that block outgoing IR radiation. SO2 has the opposite effect by acting as an aerosol that blocks incoming solar radiation at shorter wavelengths. Now, when S02 gets into the atmosphere, it tends to precipitate as H2SO4, as the AC pointed out. This is commonly known as acid rain. Regardless of its effect on radiative balance, once the precipitated H2SO4 hits the ground, its effects are all too obvious.

This is why several international treaties were put in place to eliminate SO2 emissions. These treaties took effect from the end of the 70s. This is also why the temperature record shows a relatively stable period from about 1940 to 1970 - the underlying warming trend caused by CO2 emissions was being masked by increased SO2 emissions due to large amounts of dirty coal and oil being burnt during that period.

SO2 and CO2 are not the same thing at all. It is certainly not at all reasonable to call SO2 a GHG, because it is not a GHG. Calling SO2 a GHG would be like calling alcohol a stimulant, i.e utter bollox.



Watts a reliable source? On planet Bizarro, maybe, but you really think a TV weatherman is a more reliable source than hundreds of actual climate scientists? Who do you ask for medical advice, your mailman?

You do realise that a statistical analysis of Watts' work shows that there is actually bugger all effect from his so-called "bad" stations? That 70 of the stations he classified as being "good" still show the same upward trend in temperatures? And you do realise that there is an awful lot more to the world than the US, which is only about 2% of the earth's surface?

Does it matter to you that the temperature record is backed up by changes in sea-surface temperatures and satellite observations of the troposphere?

Probably not. Oh well. Go ahead and listen to the weatherman if it makes you feel better.


Military consequences of climate change

Mmm, let's see. Can you think of any possible military consequences of uncontrolled climate change? How about considering a few relevant facts:

1. India and China between them have about 1/3 of the earth's human population

2. India and China both have nuclear weapons

3. India and China are both dependant for fresh water on glaciers that will disappear if the earth's temperature rises more than a couple of degrees

Nope, I can't think of any reason why the MoD should be concerned about climate change...

(Flames, because there isn't a mushroom cloud icon)

Prof: People reject news which conflicts with beliefs

Thumb Down

Confirmation bias

@Steven Jones - exactly. This is why we get Lewis writing articles about any research that he hopes will contradict the prevailing AGW theory of climate change, while he completely ignores any research that backs the theory up. For example, a couple of papers were recently published that discussed how aerosols affect radiative forcing. Both of these papers were quite clear that the effects they described were in addition to the effects of CO2, but Lewis chose to describe them as though they were in contradiction to the CO2 theory. Confirmation bias also explains why El Reg refused to correct those articles even when it was pointed out to them that they were completely and utterly wrong. It also explains why this comment won't make it past the moderator, just like all the other comments that I post criticising El Reg get nixed.

Top British boffin: Time to ditch the climate consensus


@James Pickett

Wow, that's impressive. I don't think I've seen anyone pack more mistruths, distortions and misconceptions into such a short space before.

Have you even *looked* at the science, or do you just accept everything the oil industry tells you as gospel truth?

Okay, then, let's look at what you said:

Human contribution to atmospheric CO2 is 0.001%: Pre-industrial CO2 was 285ppmv, it is now 380ppmv. That means that humans have put an extra 95ppmv into the atmosphere, or 33% of the pre-industrial level. Not really that insignificant, is it?

"We produce 3.5% of total carbon": There is this thing called the carbon cycle - animals breathe out CO2, and plants and algae breathe it in. The vast majority of the CO2 produces gets consumed, but not all of it. What's left over is the concentration that can be measured in the atmosphere. Before the industrial revolution, this bit left over was about 285ppmv. Guess what, that 285ppmv deficit is still there! It didn't go away! The little bit extra we are producing from fossil fuel is enough that it can't all get consumed, so the concentration goes up, and will keep going up as long as we keep burning fossil fuels. We know this, because the CO2 from fossil fuels has a different isotope signature to the CO2 produced by animals.

"climate that has previously seen levels ten times as high": ten times as high what? Temperature? I'd love to know where you got that data from - I must have missed the bit in the ice core data where all the earth's water boiled away into space. Yes, climate has varied in the past - both hotter and colder - but so did the sea levels. When it was hot, the sea was much higher. When it was cold, the sea was much lower. Now, genius, tell me, where was London the last time the earth's temperature was 4 degrees higher than today? Oh that's right - London didn't exist then. What are we going to do, pick up London and move it somewhere higher up?

"Temperatures are dropping (now down to nearly 1979 levels)": Again, have you actually looked at the data? Here they are: http://data.giss.nasa.gov/gistemp/tabledata/GLB.Ts.txt

In 1979, the temperature anomaly (compared to 1951-1980 baseline) was 0.10 degrees. Last year, which was a bit cooler than the two previous years, it was 0.55 degrees. Now, call me old-fashioned, but I think that 0.55 is bigger than 0.10, so that makes me think that it is actually getting hotter, not cooler. But please do tell me about the amazing new maths you've discovered that says temperatures going up means the world is getting cooler.

"sea levels are pretty static": Significant sea level changes are only expected once the temperature anomaly gets well over 1 degree. It is still only around 0.6 degrees. Your point?

"arctic ice is melting more slowly than expected (ask the Catlin expedition)": Okay, I asked the Catlin expedition, and they said that in fact the Arctic ice is much thinner than they had expected, and multi-year ice is at an all-time low. Again, I'm not quite sure how you arrive at this deduction - less ice than expected suggests to me that it is melting quicker than expected.

"Not much to base punitive taxes and energy policy reversals on, is it?" Ah, now we come to the heart of the matter. Think about it for a minute - who exactly would be paying the taxes for CO2 production. And who exactly would be losing out if energy production moves away from fossil fuels? Oh, the fossil fuel industry.

And who put those factoids into your head? Oh, the fossil fuel industry.

Makes you think, doesn't it? Well, probably a bit late for that in your case...


@Here we go again...

"The dust in the air has more effect on climate than CO2."

I assume you are referring to Lewis Page's rather imaginative interpretation of some recent papers on the effects of aerosols on regional warming? You do realise that Lewis was completely 100% wrong in his interpretation that aerosols are causing warming *instead* of CO2? What both papers actually said was that some aerosols may be *adding* to the warming caused by CO2, at least regionally.

See, that's the problem when you judge the science by what the media is saying, rather than by what the scientists themselves are saying. Especially when the media has a particular agenda to pursue.

Thumb Down

@Paul M

See, there's your mistake right there. The BBC does not do science. If you listen to the actual scientists, you will find that they don't actually say that three warm days equals global warming. It's the denialists who do that - one slightly cool year in 2008 and suddenly we're heading for an ice age. Yeah right.

Look at the data. In the last thirty years, global temperatures have been higher than at any time during recorded human history. The last decade is the warmest decade on record - a long way from the global cooling the oil industry wants us to believe.

Oh, and David R, please do tell me how a dead person manages to sign a petition? Have you actually looked at who signed the Oregon petition? M. Mouse, D. Duck, etc etc. Yeah, those are the kind of scientists we should be listening to.


Science must come before politics

The problem is that much of the science coming from the anti-AGW camp is just bollocks.

There are several examples in the comments here. Take the "the world has been cooling for the last 10 years" stuff. The only way you can support that statement is by throwing out all the basic principles of statistics. There is no scientific evidence that the climate has been "cooling for the last decade" - in fact in climate science, that statement just doesn't make sense at all. Climate looks at long term trends, with 30 years being the standard for determining climate trends. The fact that 1998 was exceptionally warm, and 2008 was cool compared to the other years of the last decade is just a coincidence.

If you compare 1995 to 2005, you would say that the rate of warming has actually increased over the last decade - except that climate scientists don't do that, because 10-year comparisons are meaningless when considering climate. What you actually need to do is look at smoothed averages over several decades, and when you do that you can see that there has been a long warming trend that is still going on.

The problem is that there are a lot of people who claim to be doing science, who are actually just responding to a political agenda. Yes, there need to be different views about how we solve the problems, but first of all we need to get rid of the politics from the science.

Can you talk and drive?


Invisible bunny

The fact that the bunny is invisible to most people is because they took advantage of the search image phenomenon.

The instructions say that you should assign the values 2, 1 and 0 to red, yellow and gray t-shirts, and then sum the points value at the end. If you take that literally, then you would count the number of gray t-shirts, multiply that by zero, and add that to the total. But that would be pointless, so the vast majority of people will translate that into "ignore the gray t-shirts". They only form a search image for red and yellow t-shirts, so that is all they see. Anything gray is ignored because you don't have a search image for it.

So what they seem to be saying is "you are a prick because you didn't see something we specifically asked you to ignore". It's like asking someone to do a "Where's Wally?", and then saying they failed because they didn't count how many non-Wally people were in the picture. FAIL

BOFH: Grand Theft Auto


Excellent comments

Great set of comments this time. For a while there, BOFH commenters got stuck in a rut of always saying "back to top form, Simon", and then of course there has been that recent run of "why so long between episodes", but now the comments are spot on, just like in the good old days when comments on BOFH were first enabled (if you weren't commenting on BOFH back then, then you're not a true fan).

'Scuse me, I need to lie down.

Fighting Thermageddon just got £1 trillion cheaper



If you had read the reference I gave you, you would understand how an increase in radiative height forces warming of the troposphere, and how this induces warming of the surface below it.

David, there is no marxist conspiracy among climate scientist to ruin your life. AGW is true, sadly, and it is the failure of people like yourself to accept it that is the biggest obstacle to doing something about it.


CO2 101

Dave, please do tell me where you are getting this from, because it's not in any of the scientific literature I have read.

The greenhouse effect is nothing to do with reflection. It happens because certain molecules *absorb* long-wave radiation (i.e. infrared). Short-wave radiation (light) enters the atmosphere from the sun, and is reflected back off the earth's surface as infrared. Nitrogen and oxygen, which make up the bulk of the atmosphere, do not absorb infrared, but the small amounts of water vapour, carbon dioxide and other molecules do absorb infrared. This means that the energy from solar radiation is in the atmosphere much longer than if it were simply reflected straight back into space.

The energy is not trapped in the atmosphere forever, though. Absorbing infrared causes the CO2 to be heated, and as you rightly point out, heated objects rise. Eventually the heat will be emitted back into space, and the now cooled CO2 will sink back down into the lower atmosphere. It is the height at which the heat gets emitted back into space that determines the heat of the planet underneath. Increased CO2 in the troposphere causes this radiative height to be increased, which in turn means that the troposphere and the earth's surface get hotter.

This greenhouse effect is the reason that the earth is not a big ball of ice - without it, the average global temperature would be about -18ºC instead of around +15ºC.

As I said, there is no *reflection* involved in this. It is the very fact that CO2 can absorb infrared (i.e. be heated) that causes the process. You don't have to heat CO2 to 800ºC *before* it can cause the greenhouse effect. Indeed, CO2 is such an efficient absorber of infrared that it will capture very small amounts of IR. Look at Tyndall's experiment from 1859. The heat sources he used were Leslie cubes - a small metal cube that you fill with boiling water. The heat produced by a Leslie cube is considerably less than 100ºC, and yet Tyndall was still able to observe CO2 absorbing the IR.

If you have to heat CO2 to 800ºC in order for it to "produce a signal" as you put it, how on earth do you explain Tyndall's results?

All this stuff is well documented in the scientific literature. I suggest you start here:



@David Robinson

There *you* go again, trying to kill the messenger because you don't like the messenger. The comment about marxism is the giveaway.

Please do cite your sources for your assertions about CO2. Or is this original research that you have yet to publish? Please do publish it as soon as possible, coz you're bound to get a Nobel prize. It's not often that someone completely overturns the laws of physics.

CO2 is a greenhouse gas because it *absorbs* infrared.

It's okay to be in denial, David. It's a natural response. You just have to recognize that you are in denial, and then move on to acceptance.


Wait a minute...

Are you saying you actually *believe* that stuff about CO2? I thought you were just trolling, but reading your posts again, it seems that you really do believe that nonsense.

Take half an hour and google for "John Tyndall" and "Leslie cube". Then go ahead and build Tyndall's apparatus and see for yourself - CO2 is a very efficient absorber of even small amounts of infrared radiation.

Tyndall was doing this in 1859, so Al Gore sure as heck didn't have anything to do with that.

Try it. Seriously.



I don't know how you arrive at your conclusions, but I reach my conclusions by reading the science.

The science is actually fairly simple:

1) CO2 is a greenhouse gas. This has been known for over 100 years, and can be demonstrated with laboratory experiments.

2) CO2 concentration in the atmosphere has been rising steadily for the past 150 years. This is an emprical observation that doesn't require any computer models. The main reason for this increase is the activities of humans, chiefly burning fossil fuels and deforestation.

3) The global average temperature has been rising steadily for the past 150 years. This is an emprical observation that doesn't require any computer models.

1 + 2 = 3

Which bit of this do you not understand?



Ok, David Robinson, you want to talk about misinformation?

Have you heard of a blog called Watts Up With That (WUWT)? One of the leading proponents of the "AGW is a hoax" theory. A brave, concerned individual called Anthony Watts, who is bravely outing the AGW scientists for the frauds that they are. Or is he?

Recently, Watts posted an article about a paper that had just been published concerning the Ozone hole. He suggested that this article said that the Ozone hole is not caused by CFCs after all, but by cosmic radiation. A veritable howl of indignation was let loose upon cybersphere - after all, if the scientist have been lying to us about CFCs, they must be lying to us about climate change as well, right?

Unfortunately for the ignorati who hadn't bothered to even read the paper, it actually said the exact opposite. The role of cosmic rays is that they act *upon* the CFCs in the atmosphere to produce the Ozone hole. The paper was actually explaining *how* CFCs cause the Ozone hole. When this was pointed out to Watts, did he correct his (surely innocent) mistake? No, he attacked the people who pointed out his mistake.

Much like the way you yourself have attacked a whole field of science, because it doesn't agree with the way you think the world should work. For your information - not that you will care - those 2,500 climate scientists have spent their entire careers looking at the information, and hoping beyond hope that AGW is not happening. The 32,000 you quote are not leading scientists at all, but anyone who has spent more than 5 minutes at college who happen to vote Republican.

As for claiming that billions of dollars have to be spent on solving climate change, those numbers look pretty small compared to the numbers being thrown about to "solve" the financial crisis. Which do *you* think would be a better investment.

Oh, that's right, you don't think. You just regurgitate the tripe you've been fed by the oil companies. I hope you sleep well at night.

Dead Vulture

One sided reporting

This one-sided reporting by El Reg is getting very tedious. Climate change is real and it is happening now, guys. Arguing over how much it is going to cost doesn't alter the fact that we still have to do something about it. In fact, by helping Big Oil spread its misinformation, you are only adding to the eventual cost of cleaning up, because the more you fuel the denialist lobby by printing their garbage, the harder it is to persuade politicians to do something about it.

Meanwhile, it the real world, the effects of AGW are becoming more and more obvious, but I don't see any stories on El Reg about that. Take a couple of examples from the last few days:



Why have those not been covered on El Reg? Too *inconvenient* for your denialist fantasies?

Boffins list sci-fi words which wormed their way into dictionary



Is smeg not in there? OK, it is derived from a real word, smegma (ew), but the derivative is much more widely used than the original, and is also more versatile; e.g. smeg off you smegging smeghead.

Stoke me a clipper...

Who is going to run IBM?


@Moffat is top of the list

"Another criteria is you have to be tough so that leaves out the ladies...sorry....Linda and Ginni are great people."

You've obviously never worked for Ginni, then. She is a very smart, and very tough, lady. It would not surprise me at all if Ginni got the job.

Kiwis scrap 'three strikes' P2P policy


U-turns all round

Would this "well-organized internet blackout campaign" be related to the "feeble protest" that El Reg described at the time? I think we should be told.

And why exactly did TelstraClear grow a pair and stand up to the govt on this one? It couldn't possible be because it listened to the "feeble protest" and realised that if they meekly agreed to the law that they would soon be losing customers in droves.

I don't use Twatter myself, and think all the hype about it is tosh, but there is no denying that all the media coverage about the protests on Facebook et al were a major factor in raising public awareness about section 92a. The politicians would have just ignored the issue if it hadn't been on One News, and it wouldn't have been on One News if the protest hadn't happened. For once, a grassroots protest has actually achieved its goal. It wasn't Facebook or Twatter that did it, though - it was the media's gormless obession with Web 2.0.

Kiwi telecom inks contract with convicted hacker



He is 19, not 16. He was 16 when he started creating botnets... 3 years ago. Funny thing, time.

I don't see what the problem is. Hire a thief to catch a thief is one of the oldest sayings around. Bear in mind that akill has Apserger's, which may have affected his ability to interpret right and wrong (or at least the impact of his actions on other people). Giving him work in this domain may be all that he needs to keep him away from the dark side. Even the police have talked about giving him a job.

Sun and IBM - What price Bigger Indigo?

Thumb Down

Open source

I would stick to commenting on hardware, TPM.

"If there is one thing that IBM has shown no propensity to do, it is to open source its own software"

Really? Eclipse? Cloudscape/Derby? Geronimo? Nothing to do with IBM, is that what you're saying?

Back in the real world, OSS is pretty much at the heart of IBM's software strategy. Most of its software lines have an OSS version at the bottom end, with an easy upgrade path to the mega-bucks versions once you've got them hooked. IBM is way better at this than Sun has ever been.

MS security chief becomes DHS cybersecurity boss



I think amfM's programmer has just discovered evolutionary algorithms...

Obama CIO on leave after cuffing of former employee


@Michael Habel

Thanks, that was the best laugh I've had all week.

Presumably you are referring to the fact that the Bush administration only ever broke *international* laws, which can of course just be ignored by the US if they feel like it. Cheney, a criminal? Never. Rove, a criminal? Never. Dubya, a criminal? No way.

Keep taking the pills, Michael, keep sipping that Republican Kool-Aid. Heaven forbid you should actually wake up and see the reality around you. Fuckwit.

SEC: Magical stock brokering software was a fraud


I just hate banks

Obviously none of the people they conned had ever seen the film "The Bank", which incidentally has The Best Final Line of a Film. Ever. (see title)

MS coughs to hokey-cokey IE8 option in Windows 7



Now all it needs is an option to turn off Windows and download Ubuntu...

Flames, in anticipation :-)

Bletchley's Colossus makes beautiful music



Heh. Yeah, we used to do something similar with the ZX Spectrums (Spectra?) in John Menzies - send it into a loop displaying the "loading" screen. Used to drive the shop assistants mad, as they didn't have a clue how to stop it. Ah, those were the days.

NASA teams with Cisco to track carbon in 'near real-time'


Editorial line

Dear, dear, Austin, I think you are forgetting El Reg's editorial line on global warming. Anybody who is involved in climate change research is to be ridiculed as a pea-brained doom-monger seeking to justify their own cushy job. You forgot to mention that NASA is involved in a huge conspiracy to plunge the world economy into 14th Century poverty, and you also missed out the quote from the courageous, noble-browed anti-AGW campaigner pointing out the many flaws in the scheme. Mild sarcasm just isn't enough. FAIL.

Still, won't be long before we get the usual howls of protest from the "skeptics" saying what a waste of money this is. I can hear the drool hitting the keyboards already.

Judge issues radioactive 'pr0n downloader' alert


Radioactive man

I was working on a client site with a colleague a couple of years ago. She was pregnant at the time. She has always been on the, erm, larger side, and now with the baby was... well, you get the picture. One of the client's techies had just had this iodine therapy, and he was told that he was radioactive enough that he had to stay away from people who might be sensitive to radiation. So he comes into our room, looks at the two of us and says, "There aren't any children or pregnant women in here, are there?"... My colleague was not amused.

IE8 for Windows 7 beta in 'reliability update'

Gates Horns

Windows Error Reporting?

wtf is Windows Error Reporting? Oh yes, that annoying dialog that comes up whenever an app crashed. The one with the "Don't Send" button that I always click. Well, that'll be a reliable source of statistics, then

Nudie subterranean rat protein could arrest human ageing


@Anton Ivanov

No, *you* are wrong. The reproductive suppresion is reversible - when a queen dies, one of the other females will take over and become reproductive, so even the workers have the *potential* to be fertile right up until they die. This is quite different from the haplodiploid mechanism of Hymenopterans, where the workers are genetically incapable of breeding.

NMRs really are one of the most fascinating creatures, second only to the babelfish in their usefulness in the "There is no God" argument.

Satellite-hacking boffin sees the unseeable

Black Helicopters

Confidential... yeah, right

At a conference a few years back, there was a talk by an engineer from CESG (the InfoSec part of GCHQ). Somebody asked him for more technical details of the bit of kit he was demonstrating. He said "No problem, just send me a fax with the details you are after and I'll get back to you". "What's your fax number?" asked the guy in the crowd. "Any number will do." replied the engineer...

Twitter breaks Jam Festival record


@Kirsten Campbell

Yes, well, you've always been good at organizing affairs...

Unix world braces for geekgasm



"UTC is universal time coordinate"

If you are going to be pedantic, at least get it right. UTC expands in English to "Coordinated Universal Time" and in French to "Temps Universel Coordonné". The abbreviation UTC is deliberately used to avoid implying that either the English (CUT) or French (TUC) version is the correct one, because the French are a bunch of moany whiners who can't even spell NATO (they call it OTAN).

Wrong kind of winter brings England to a halt

Thumb Down

@Global warming clints

I wondered how long it was going to take for somebody to say "if it's snowing, then global warming can't be happening".

Listen, take a deep breath, wipe the spit from your chin, and then look in a dictionary. Weather is not the same thing as climate. The thing that is changing at the moment is climate, not the weather. AGW does not mean that it will never snow again in Britain. In fact, there's a pretty good chance that the Gulf Stream will get switched off and Britain ends up under several feet of snow for most of the year.

I'm sure even then there will still be people denying the facts in front of their eyes, but what else can you expect from a species that still things digital watches are a pretty neat idea.

Swiss cops sniff out dope plantation on Google Earth



Thanks for so neatly demonstrating the muddle-headed circular logic that keeps drugs illegal.

Me: Why is cannabis illegal?

Dickhead: Because it is bad

Me: Why is cannabis bad?

Dickhead: Because it is illegal...

Me: Fuck off dickhead

Flash cells near shrinkage limit


@Steve again

FOLDOC is being lazy. An acronym is specifically a word that is formed from initial letters. Any abbreviation that can only be pronounced by spelling out the letters (e.g. BBC) is not an acronym. I think the practice of calling any abbreviation an acronym comes from TLA, which is generally expanded as Three Letter Acronym, rather than Three Letter Abbreviation (ironic given that TLA itself is an abbreviation, not an acronym).

I'll have to go now, I have a few more hairs to split.

[Favourite FOLDOC entry: http://foldoc.org/?The+story+of+Mel,+a+Real+Programmer]

Tell Santa to bring more assault rifles


History lesson

Wars of conquest started by the Americans:

War of 1812: failed attempt to steal Canada from the Brits

Mexican-American War: successful attempt to steal Texas, California etc from the Mexicans

War of Northern Aggression: successful attempt to conquer the Confederate States of America

Spanish-American War: successful attempt to steal Cuba, the Phillipines etc from Spain

Second Gulf War: successful attempt to steal Iraq from, er, the Iraqis

Not to mention all the little "interventions" like Grenada, various bits of Central America, SE Asia etc.

Do we see a pattern here?

Attack of the quarter-ton, 'fridge-sized' killer jellyfish


@Neil Barnes

Um, Scyphozoa and Hydrozoa are both classes within phylum Cnidaria, so what exactly is your point? Lewis is perfectly correct in that true jellyfish are members of the class Scyphozoa, but several members of the Hydrozoa are often referred to as jellyfish even though they are not.

If you're going to be pedantic, at least get it fucking right.

Story withdrawn


2.0 barf

I feel physically sick when I hear people use the term Web 2.0. One of my clients recently had some consultants in who told them they needed to get more "Web 2.0". They actually have this in their strategy document now. It's so embarrassing.

Have to say, though, it was a pretty close call with Webinar, which is pretty stomach-churning as well. Yuck.

World's first 'thought images' seen on screen

Black Helicopters

Dream Police

In this court of law

This court of common pleas

The crimes that you committed

You claim were only a dream

Ev'ryone has the same dreams

On diff'rent days of the week

We are the watchdogs of your mind

We are the dream police

David Byrne (Rei Momo, 1989)

Harvard prof slams US nut allergy hysteria


Sense of proportion

My wife is allergic to peanuts - probably not enough to kill her, but she does get pretty sick with even a small trace of peanuts. Our son's school just had a vote on whether to ban all peanut products from the school (there are 2 or 3 kids out of 800 who actually have an allergy). Even my wife thought this was totally over the top, and voted no.

Fortunately, the result was a resounding No, but even so, the school is still requesting that people "think twice before allowing your kids to bring peanut products to school". Sure, the kids in question need to be careful, but why punish everyone else? I know some kids who will *only* eat peanut butter sandwiches for lunch, so what are they supposed to do, starve? ffs, get a life.

Why the IWF was right to ban a Wikipedia page


@Drew Cullen

"And since when did criticism of article A, appended as a comment to article B, become on-topic?"

Er - when I can't get any comments on Article A actually published, unlike the legions of climate skeptics who get every bone-headed, drool-filled, knee-jerk, thought-free remark published immediately.

If you actually let my comments get published, perhaps they wouldn't be so critical...



Of course, El Reg would never stoop to censorship, particularly of anything involving criticism of El Reg itself. Although curiously, whenever I try to post a comment critical of El Reg's stance on climate change, it never gets published. I get plenty of comments published about other things, just not on climate change. Odd that.

2008 goes into one-second overtime



My son just pointed out that I would be counting in septillions, not quintillions...

Shown up by a 9 year old... <hangs head in shame>



My 9-year-old son will be delighted to see yoctoseconds mentioned. He recently did a project for school involving SI notations, and has been measuring time in yoctoseconds ever since. I'm getting quite good at counting in quintillions as a result :-)

There's gold in green: profiting from climate change

Thumb Down


Of course, oil companies funding sceptical scientists to try and prove that AGW is bunk is not a conflict of interest at all. Oh no. That's just keeping the establishment on its toes, evoking the spirit of Galileo etc etc.

Do you have any conflicts of interest to declare, Ben?

Armed anti-paedophile cops swoop on video site uploader



Yeah, that ad makes me sick - I have to change channel whenever it comes on. I'd like to charge the government with promoting child abuse for producing that ad.