Archive for March, 2008

First our bodies, now our souls

March 11, 2008

The British National Labour Party continues to destroy individual liberty. First our bodies are to become the property of the State, then we are to be branded like cattle. And now the latest terrorist recruitment campaign by the British government is to introduce an oath of allegiance for teenagers.

If it were me, I would without a moment’s hesitation decide to support anyone who promised to destroy the Royal Family and the Westminster government. Assuming there are some children with more than an micron of self-awareness in the U.K., I think this will go badly. It’s worth noting that the architect of this evil proposal, might be behind bars if he were a nasty Conservative.

However, keeping in the spirit of things, I offer my version of the oath of allegiance (with apologies to Babylon 5):

I WILL COOPERATE WITH THE STATE FOR THE GOOD OF THE STATE AND MY OWN SURVIVAL.

I WILL CONFESS TO ALL CRIMES OF WHICH I HAVE BEEN ACCUSED.

I WILL BE RELEASED AND RETURNED TO SOCIETY A PRODUCTIVE CITIZEN IF I COOPERATE.

RESISTANCE WILL BE PUNISHED.

COOPERATION WILL BE REWARDED.

I WILL COOPERATE WITH THE STATE FOR THE GOOD OF THE STATE… [repeat until brainwash complete]

Advertisements

What’s Maths for then?

March 4, 2008

Here’s something new from this morning’s Metro but for whatever reason, it’s not on the website.

I’ve been thinking about the significance of mathematics recently, what with Brian Micklethwait’s writings on the subject of teaching.

Professor Darren Crowdy, of Imperial College London, has apparently “fixed” a flaw in the Schwarz-Christoffel formula, which as the Daily Telegraph helpfully explains:

was independently discovered by two mathematicians in the1860s to enable them to translate the unusual and angular shapes of the real world, whether brains or aircraft wings, into a simpler circular shape so that they are much easier to model and analyse.

It sounds like a perfect answer to two questions I imagine Brian hears: “What’s Maths for then?” and “Haven’t they worked it all out yet?”

The whole story has a very Arthur Conan Doyle feel to it, I think:

“Its importance can hardly be exaggerated. It has been the most jealously guarded of all government secrets. You may take it from me that naval warfare becomes impossible withing the radius of a Bruce-Partington’s operation.”

1,000 words were 3 will do

March 2, 2008

In the interests of science I bring this up:

I can’t help it, but reading about such episodes of screaming, gushing and swooning makes me wonder whether women — I should say “we women,” of course — aren’t the weaker sex after all. Or even the stupid sex, our brains permanently occluded by random emotions, psychosomatic flailings and distraction by the superficial. Women “are only children of a larger growth,” wrote the 18th-century Earl of Chesterfield. Could he have been right?

Charlotte Allen has things to say about women swooning for Obama, the Clinton “campaign,” why men are better at things that count etc.

Diplomacy à la française

March 1, 2008

You can generally tell which countries the French government is trying to get an arms deal going with by the amount of diplomatic effort going in.

So this story of a $40,000,000,000 contract to supply new air tankers for the U.S. Air Force indicates a serious amount of lobbying.

Bad news for the U.K.’s influence in the U.S.A.: previously, the lack of sufficient air tankers for the U.S. forces meant they had to arrange help from the R.A.F., for example before the invasion of Afghanistan. Presumably, once this contract is up and running, the U.K. becomes just that little bit more expendable.

For this reason, the U.K. government should have tried to block this deal. But I have no doubt that Nicolas Sarkozy would have innocently pleaded that the EADS contract was a “European” deal and how could the British be so cynical?

Indeed.