A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

It's a funny old world.....

"Follies and nonsenses, whims and inconsistencies, do divert me, I own. I laugh at them whenever I can....." (Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice). And, in the immortal words of Mrs. T., it sure is a funny old world.....

(a) Now, I wonder about Ms Gwyneth Paltrow's cup size and type? See: 'What is cupping therapy?'.

Enjoy also Anthony Cox's riotous little 'Black Triangle' blog for further thoughts on Ms Paltrow's now infamous cupulous shoulders: 'Allsorted quackery' (July 10):

"Above is the back of Gwyneth Paltrow [We, of course, shun such tabloidesque pictures here, recognizing the essential high-mindedness of the 'EnviroSpin' readership, who, like Niles Crane, are above such trivia], advocate of cupping. Cupping is an ancient Chinese practice, also known as fire cupping, body vacuuming, and the horn method. In today's world, antiquity trumps science, especially if you have more money than sense. The American Cancer Society provide information about cupping. The evidence for cupping? Zero."

You will also surely enjoy, perhaps even more, his appended comments on Our Very Own Charlie, Dr. Windsor;

(b) I am further delighted to learn that Professor David Bellamy is a man of action and not just a man of words (see yesterday's blog, below) where the nonsense of 'global warming' and wind farms is concerned: 'David Bellamy chain threat' (Cumbria Online [News and Star], July 5 - again a hat tip to Anthony Cox for this):

"Conservationist and broadcaster David Bellamy has threatened to chain himself to a wind turbine in Cumbria to protest against plans for what would be the country’s biggest windfarm.

Bellamy was among hundreds of people who took to the fells yesterday to protest against plans for some of the tallest turbines ever planned for England.

Opponents of the planned Whinash windfarm near Tebay claim the turbines will be clearly visible from some of the Lake District’s most popular peaks.

Cumbrian peer Lord Melvyn Bragg, mountaineer Sir Chris Bonnington are also against the proposals."

Wow! It's reet good to have our Melvyn, Northern intellectual of all time, on board too. A BBC hero;

(c) And one doesn't laugh out loud at The Groaniad too often these days, but in this morning's Gloomiad there are such wondrous examples of the environmentalist triumph of hope and optimism over reality that one is reduced to great guffaws:

First, only the poor-old Guardian (July 13) could possibly lead its special section on Gordon Brown's 'Spending Review' of yesterday with an article purporting to show that Our Gordon has done the environment a few favours! As all the other newspapers are at pains to point out, Brown (as ever) hammered the environment, The Times curtly noting that Margaret Beckett's Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (I always think the last should refer to Jilly Cooper's novels) received one of the lowest settlements going, growing by only a measly 1.2%! Indeed, one possible advantage of Mr. Brown - who is about as sentimental as Peter Rabbit's Mr. McGregor - becoming PM is that we might well be spared Our Tony's PC and gushing environmentalist 'talk-the-talk';

Then it just has to be Our George. In a truly Savonarola-like piece (largely gratuitously attacking BBC journalists and journalism!), 'Greasing up to power', George (note his Blair-like grin) tells us that he "applauded at the end" of Fahrenheit 9/11. He would, he would! Yet, in the very same newspaper, The Guardian's excellent 'Review of reviews' ('Is Moore too much?') awards the film a dire average rating of just above '2', the category for 'undesirable' films! About right, I would say. One critic is reported as saying: "I went to this fim expecting it to be unscrupulously selective and intellectually dishonest. I did not expect it to be quite so lazy, incoherent, foolish and dull", while even Will Self writes: "That this tendentious compiliation of TV clips and manipulative japes should have won the Palme d'Or at this year's Cannes festival is a sorry comment on the film industry....." And The Observer's view of Moore: "... a hectoring, self-righteous blunderbuss." Moore and The Moonbat seem to have been made for each other!

(d) Finally, who can resist yet more about that new Swedish GM beer, 'Kenth'? '"Modified" beer makes entrance in Europe' (Winston-Salem Journal, July 12). Great name, great beer!

This must be a quintessential signification of true globalisation - an earnest discussion of Swedish beer, reported from Denmark, in northwest North Carolina on the WWW! John Boy and Mary Ellen [Yes, I know they're Virginian, but it's all the same to us over here across the pond] would wonder what the world was coming to! Walton's Mountain Draught will never be the same again.

Philip, the richer and more healthy we are, the dafter we become. We will believe in anything, from 'global warming' doom to cupping and to films like Fahrenheit 9/11. Still, it makes the world go round. But thank goodness for David, Melvyn and Chris! A cuppa for breakfast, then, Gwyneth? (By the way, I once met Ms Paltrow's 'Coldplay' husband! Oh! I am so coooool.....)

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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