Friday, September 28, 2007

turn to the dark side

You start out writing politics but you find you have to get pretty deep in there with things that aren't to do with argument and morality.

As climate change becomes such an important issue, it's important to really understand the science, to get the difference between certainty and probability, to be able to sift knowledgably and rigourously through the reports, claims, theories and downright lies.

The information age has changed the nature of research. It is no longer about being able to find information, but to be able to gauge the credibility of the information.

In science, the only stuff to really trust is the peer-review system. There are august journals for every specialist field, and some very broad ones, and scientists publish their ideas, methods and findings in them. Then others who also have expertise can see what's gone on and comment, presenting their stuff to reinforce or counter what's said. Soon, everyone whose opinion is worth anything has weighed in and hopefully something like the truth - as best as we can ascertain it at that point in time - emerges.

So it is that I can find myself reading whole books on hydrogen as a fuel source or in the pages of the new edition of the mighty Science.

Despite being the most respected scientific journal on earth, not all of it is for the inquiring intellectual mind. Some of it best serves that joyously brainless smut-loving part of you that never left the playground. Check out this paper. Turn to the dark side.

Friday, September 14, 2007

elton john: why?

Been a long time, I know. The Camp for Climate Action turned out to be a staggering success and I've been enjoying time since away from political stuff, computers and news media. Hurrah for my allotment (apple crop time, unspeakably exciting) and the Firefly box set.

This hasn't stopped my questing pioneering mind from working, and I can report that one part Tia Maria in two or three parts chocolate soya milk is among the finest discoveries of our time.

I'll get back into blogging gently (a couple of things to write that came out of the Camp, and the new Tory eco-report needs talking about), but not quite yet. For now, let's turn our minds to the more pressing matter of Elton John.

He played the O2 Arena in London last week. The London Paper's review was headlined 'Elton Rocks It!'.

You need go no further. Elton John is clinically incapable of rocking. Across the entire spectrum of opinion on Elton, surely there's no point at which anybody can think that he can, does or ever could, rock. If we were to sort the human race into a thousand different degrees of ability to rock, Elton would be on a level with your gran and Arthur Lowe.

Whenever Elton does an interview he talks intelligently about popular music, very well informed and with impeccable taste. Then he goes and turns out another album of turgid turd.

People try to tell me he's a 'great songwriter'. My standard response is to ask for his ten greatest songs. I mean, with Jagger/Richards, Bowie, James Brown, Dylan, Patti Smith or whoever you run out of breath before you've got to the end of the list that comes off the top of your head. But with Elton John, by a faltering number five they're trying to tell me Nikita counts as a great song.

He played just after charity fundraiser Jane Tomlinson had died. He said that Paris Hilton and Britney Spears should take a lesson in dignity from Tomlinson.

As a diamond earring shaped like a cock and balls dangled from his ear.

Before he went back to playing songs in front of a 40 foot screen showing him driving about in a buggy that had a giant pair of glasses on the front.

Elton John, literally a dickhead