You may remember that a few weeks ago I posted about the dumbing down of GCSE physics. As a follow-up to that post the instigator of the complaint, Wellington Grey, has created a petition on the No. 10 website. If you agree with his stance, that the dumbing down of GCSE physics is generally a bad thing, then I would urge you to sign his petition.
I follow an online blog and cartoon published by Wellington Grey. For the last three years he has been teaching physics to high school students in the UK. Recently the examination board AQA changed the physics syllabus from what was a science based course to what is increasingly becoming a political debating subject. Please read his letter of complaint to the government. I received a C at A-level physics, I don’t recall what I received at GCSE. However the sample questions that Wellington posted are not the physics that I was taught and in my opinion belong more in a politics class than a physics class.
Tonight the BBC documentary program Panorama are going to be broadcasting a half hour show investigating the claims that electronic smog and modern living can cause long-term health effects. Today’s papers have been gearing up for this by yet again getting themselves worked up about the safety of wireless data connections otherwise known as wifi and its use in schools.
Considering that I have two wifi access points in my flat along with a microwave oven and several cordless phones you might think I would be worried about this. However, I am not and neither do I think wifi should be banned in schools and colleges. I refer you to an article by Bill Thompson published on the BBC News website who sums up the arguments far more eloquently than I.
He concludes by saying that you can’t ever prove that wireless communications are safe, you can only aim disprove the supposed damaging effects on health.
Yesterday a total of 5,567 people turned out in London’s Trafalgar Square to take part in the world’s largest coconut orchestra – and I was there!
Led by Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam the orchestra clip-clopped along to “Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life” and set a new world record, beating the American total of only 1,789 people.
Just browsing through the BBC News website and found this:
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The original story has probably been changed by now.
It begs the question, is Becky writing for the BBC?
UPDATE: We, as in us in the office, just spotted this from the headline writers:
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For years now I have been thinking that “Dr” Gillian McKeith and her claims are farcical. Now someone at the Guardian has provided me with evidence. While the message of “eat your greens” is reasonable her claims of being a doctor and the pseudo-science mumbo-jumbo she often spouts have always sounded a bit far fetched.
- What’s wrong with Gillian McKeith [guardian.co.uk]
For a number of years I have been helping a local cancer charity, Hope for Tomorrow, with their online systems.
Last week, on Valentine’s day, they launched Britain’s first mobile chemotherapy unit. Over £150,000 was raised by selling original art work, through charity fundraising events and corporate sponsorship.
Run by the oncology team from the Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, the unit will begin treating chemotherapy patients in Cirencester and Ross-on-Wye in March this year. It is hoped the unit will eventually travel further afield, bringing the life-saving treatment to patients throughout Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire.
The Mercedes-Benz unit has a bespoke body designed and built by Conestoga and WHF Ltd, who build many of the Formula One hospitality units. It will be able to treat five people on board at any one time – up to 20 patients a day. It has been fitted with the latest technology to provide a hygienic, safe and comfortable environment for patients and staff.
Christine, who runs the charity, said: “This is a ground breaking project and our most ambitious to date. Along with Dr Sean Elyan we share the same vision for this unit. I feel I have done the easy part – it is the commitment to this project from the oncology team at the Trust that I think is incredible”.
The Prime Minister’s website has, since November, a facility that allows members of the public to create online petitions. The assumption being that your views might be heard by someone in a vague position of power within the government. When I first saw this system I thought it was a good idea. I thought that for once the government was using the Internet, and specifically the web, in an innovative and useful way. While a number of petitions are a bit of fun there are also an equal number of quite serious topics being highlighted by the website.
Today the London Evening Standard is reporting that:
One high-ranking member of the Government said the idea [of an online petition system] had been dreamt up by a “prat” and was proving to be a public relations disaster.
I would like to point out to the high-ranking member of the Government that you can’t have your cake and eat it. You can’t say you are listening to the views of the public and then get all stroppy when the public don’t go along with the party line.
I hope that the online petition system remains on the website. It will be a shame to see a progressive system die because a high-ranking prat can’t handle a vocal public.
Most news organisations are reporting that heavy snow is causing travel chaos around the country. My local news, BBC Points West, told me that there was heavy snow in Wiltshire including Chippenham, where I work, and various other towns around the county.
What I want to know is what counts as heavy snow these days? Because last time I checked 1″ of snow is not considered heavy. I wonder what the news would call it if we actually had some proper snow in this country.