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Science communication, Question Time and Melanie Phillips

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.

This 2,006th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Media, Quotes, , , .

Politicians set about slashing swathes of funding for much-loved services

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.

This 1,994th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes.

How to lecture medical students

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.

This 1,975th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Health, Quotes, University, .

On guns in the USA

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.

This 1,945th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes, , , , .

Jesus, the jungle and Nadine Dorries

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!

This 1,877th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, News and Comment, Politics, Quotes, .

Ryanair passengers are idiots who should bugger off

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.

This 1,796th post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes.

Fundamentally changing what it means to go on holiday

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.

This 1,793rd post was filed under: Diary Style Notes, Quotes, Technology.

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