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    3rd April 2013

    Melanie Phillips has been on Question Time twice as often as all scientists put together over the last 18 months. There is still this feeling of “Why would you put a scientist on a current affairs discussion programme?”

    Mark Henderson, formerly science editor at The Times, but now with the Wellcome Trust, makes this interesting point in a piece about the media coverage surrounding the discovery of the Higgs boson. It was published in the eighth issue of the marvellous Delayed Gratification.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2013/04/03/science-communication-question-time-and-melanie-phillips


    1st March 2013

    After the council meeting was re-adjourned politicians set about slashing swathes of funding for much-loved services.

    I assume that this sentence from this article in my home-town newspaper, is an indirect quote from one of the protesters rather than a representation of the view of the newspaper. However, an unfortunate preceding paragraph break makes it appear more like the latter.

    The fact that this actually made me laugh out loud probably says more about me than the newspaper.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2013/03/01/politicians-set-about-slashing-swathes-of-funding-for-much-loved-services


    15th January 2013

    Lectures can, in short, bring a subject alive and make it more meaningful. Alternatively, they can kill it.

    A true, but not altogether encouraging, sentiment in this excellent 2001 paper by Brown and Manogue, sent to me by Newcastle Medical School to help me prepare my first big scary lecture for their students.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2013/01/15/how-to-lecture-medical-students


    27th December 2012

    Ponder the fact that I cannot walk into a pharmacy and purchase six packages of Sudafed, but I can walk into a gun dealership and purchase a .50 caliber rifle of the sort that U.S. snipers use in Afghanistan. In fact, I can buy ten.

    Patrick Radden Keefe writing about gun control for The New Yorker.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/12/27/on-guns-in-the-usa


    6th November 2012

    I am not an MP for any reason other than because God wants me to be. I constantly try to do what Jesus would do.

    So said Nadine Dorries in 2007. Obviously, Jesus has now recommended that Dorries abandons her constituents and takes a month off her regular job (while retaining a full £65,738 salary) to earn about £40,000 appearing on a tacky reality television show. God certainly works in mysterious ways!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/11/06/jesus-the-jungle-and-nadine-dorries


    5th September 2012

    She’s an idiot. It was her fuck-up. We say quite politely to passengers like her: “bugger off”!

    I’m no fan of Ryanair, but Michael O’Leary’s appalling public response to his airline’s disproportionate and punitive fees for printing a boarding pass at the airport is, at least, appealingly honest.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/09/05/ryanair-passengers-are-idiots-who-should-bugger-off


    4th September 2012

    It fundamentally changes what it means to go on holiday.

    It seems it’s a day for hilarious quotes today: following on from this that I spotted a couple of hours ago, this ludicrous bit of hyperbole from Daniel Danker also made me laugh out loud. If, for you, being able to download BBC TV programmes to your iPhone or iPad genuinely changes what it means to go on holiday… well, I doubt we’d get on very well.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/09/04/fundamentally-changing-what-it-means-to-go-on-holiday


    4th September 2012

    For anyone that thought the new Microsoft logo was boring I can’t imagine what this must be like.

    This comment in a review of Avis’s re-brand by Armin Vit over at Brand New actually made me laugh out loud.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/09/04/for-anyone-that-thought-the-new-microsoft-logo-was-boring-i-cant-imagine-what-this-must-be-like


    3rd July 2012

    YouView could entice a large cache of older viewers too technologically timid to hook their set up to a games console to view the world of TV a little differently.

    So said The Guardian this morning. It seems that, for YouView to be successful, Lord Sugar is relying on customers who are all of the following:

    1. Too tech timid to hook up a games console, but tech confident enough to hook up a YouView box using an almost identical method.
    2. Too money-conscious to spend cash on a Sky, Virgin, or BT Vision subscription (all of which offer – or will soon offer – most of the new features), but happy to spend £200 on a box whose additional online functionality is broadly comparable to that of a £49 Roku box.
    3. Have a broadband connection (or are willing to pay for one), despite tech timidity and money-consciousness.

    That doesn’t strike me as a huge market… but perhaps I’m underestimating the power of its big-name backers!

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/07/03/a-quick-thought-on-youview


    30th May 2012

    If people could actually see inside my brain, all the things I was thinking, it really would be a very bad day.

    So said Andrew Lansley, the Health Secretary, in an interview with Amber Elliott for Total Politics published today. This may be a slightly ill-advised soundbite given that there’s a perception that he’s duping the public with his plans for the NHS.

    As it turns out, he’s having a pretty bad day anyway, as doctors have voted to take industrial action over pensions.

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    » Access this online at http://sjhoward.co.uk/archive/2012/05/30/andrew-lansleys-bad-day


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