Oh good grief Guardian, seriously now……

Even you can do better than this:

A rare earth like neodymium begins life as a mineral encased in another mineral. Once pulled from the ground, the rock has to be crushed and cracked – a process that involves heating the material to break the chemical bonds that bind it together. After that comes “leaching”, where a chemical wash is used to dissolve the rare earth so it can then be gathered up as a concentrate. From there is refined into a pure oxide ready for manufacture.


Why not try getting someone who knows some science to write your science articles?

How excellent this is!

At least a third of French wine production worth almost €2bn (£1.7bn) in sales will be lost this year after rare freezing temperatures devastated many vines and fruit crops across France, raising concerns over the climate crisis.

It was only weeks ago that the same French vintners were bemoaning the fall in consumption which had led to a collapse of prices.

Self-solving problems are, well, self-solving.

OK, and?

Private schools have been accused of “virtue signalling” over bursaries as a new analysis has found that the majority go to middle class families.

Bursaries do “remarkably little” to make fee-paying institutions more socially inclusive, according to a report presented to the British Sociological Association (BSA).

An organisation spends its own money its own way. Why should that be done in a manner that the British Sociological Association approves of? Why must that be done in a manner which promotes social inclusion?

Rather the point of private property is the “spends its own money its own way”…….


When SoftBank Group Corp. made a last ditch-infusion of $440 million into Greensill Capital last November, the money was earmarked to pay off investors in Credit Suisse Group AG investment funds, according to people familiar with the deal.

But the cash never made it to the Swiss bank. Greensill put the money into its own German banking unit instead, according to a report released Thursday from the bankruptcy administrators for Greensill’s Australian parent company and some of the people familiar with the deal.

Both Credit Suisse and Softbank are supposed to be the adults here…..


The weird thing about this story is that it is a story. The absurdly high failure rate of these lateral flow tests has been known for some time. They are not even clinically licenced for use in the way the government is using them.

So if the tests don;t work then why was it such a surprise that the test and trace system didn’t work?

To define Agnotology

Agnotology: the study of how ignorance and doubt is spread in society



My word

UK strategy of backing several Covid vaccines seems to be paying off
Analysis: buying new and existing technologies ensured alternatives if a vaccine failed or had supply issues

That idea of having multiple suppliers – markets in effect – seems to work. Rather than government decisions to pick the one loser…..

This might work for airlines, trains, steel, hey, maybe health care more widely……

Choices in life, choices

Laura Hancock started practising yoga when she worked for a charity. It was a job that involved long hours and caused a lot of anxiety. Yoga was her counterbalance. “It saved my life, in a way,” she says.

Yoga brought her a sense of peace and started her journey of self-inquiry; eventually, she decided to bring those benefits to others by becoming a yoga teacher. She studied for more than eight years before qualifying. That was about 10 years ago; since then, she has been teaching in Oxford, her home town.

At first, the work felt like a privilege, even though she was working a lot and not earning much. “There was a sense that, if you gave it your all and you did it with integrity and love and all those things, then it would eventually work out for you.”

But recently she had a moment of realisation. “I can’t afford my rent, I have no savings, I have no partner, I have no family. I’m 38 and most of my friends have families; they’re buying houses,” she says. “There is a lot of grief around that. I feel like I’ve just landed on Earth, like a hard crash on to the ground, and am looking around and feeling quite lonely.”

Oh well, perhaps yoga teaching wasn’t quite the thing then love.

Or possibly, the sort of people who go to yoga classes – bored haute bourgeois houswives – aren’t willing to pay the servants properly. That has been a regular complaint about British life for a long time now……..

The rest of the piece seems to be about how women don’t find peace and happiness in their careers so much, but would welcome relationships and children.

Hmm, yes?

Such lovely power

Locking down entire streets could be an important way of keeping outbreaks of new Covid variants under control, an expert has suggested.

Oh aye?

Step outta line and I’ll lock down your street sonny.

Who doesn’t think that such a power, if extant, will be misused?

This might be a stretch

In at least one sexual abuse complaint for which Tygart served as USA Swimming’s legal point person — that of Venezuelan-born swimming coach Simon “Danny” Chocron — the documents raise questions about a personal conflict of interest. USA Swimming’s 68-page dossier on Chocron describes his conviction and banning by the review board, in absentia, in 2001.

Chocron had coached at the Bolles School, an exclusive private prep school in Jacksonville, Florida, both for the school itself and for a USA Swimming club that used the school’s facilities.

Tygart was born and raised in Jacksonville and attended Bolles, graduating in 1989. He played baseball and basketball at the school, and later was employed by the athletic department as an assistant coach before moving on to pursue his law degree. From the documents, it is not clear whether Tygart was assigned to Chocron’s USA Swimming case because his personal history at Bolles was perceived as an asset, or whether no one at USA Swimming even noticed the apparent conflict of interest or cared about it.

The case was in 2001. Someone who graduated from the school 12 years before is conflicted? Seriously?

I’m civil society, me, I am

was one of the 79 signatories to a letter

Corporate Accountability Network – Ritchie

Fair Tax Foundation – Retired Accountant from Wandsworth

Tax Justice Europe – P

Tax Justice Netherlands – P

Tax Justice Network Africa – P

Tax Justice Network – P³

Civil society’s a wide network, isn’t it?

The Quantumscape breakthrough

No, I have no idea what it is either.

However, I would scream with laughter if this foolish idea of what it is were in fact true.

So, their problem. They want to use solid lithium. OK, but that means dendrites. Akin to tin whiskers that so plagues solders. With solder you get around it by adding lead, or bismuth.

They have patented at least one step on the path to solving that, alloying with lanthanum, a rare earth.

OK. So, now the leap. What if it is scandium which provides the non-dendrite forming solid state battery material?

You heard the rumour here first – there is, after all, a one in 91 chance that it’s right too…… and given that Li and Sc both alloy well with aluminium it’s not an entirely stupid and ridiculous leap either.

Now isn’t this a hell of a surprise?

In California, after a bill was passed in July 2020 that authorized inmates to be housed according to gender identity and not biological sex, despite their status as regards sex reassignment surgery, more than 260 inmates have requested a transfer since the beginning of the year when the law took effect.

So, you’re doing life – say, just as an example. Stick on some lippy and get into the women’s prison. Well, wouldn’t you?

PayPal Suspended Us 🛑

  1. I was wary about getting involved with PayPal to start as i’ve heard about them terminating accounts, but…

Over the weekend PayPal informed us that they would no longer be willing to process payments for us due to “inappropriate content”. What this actually means is “we dont believe in your political opinion” both yours, and my own. Fine, they’re free to go about their business as they wish.

With this is mind we will no longer be able to accept PayPal for donations or for the purchase of literature.

Let’s move on, plenty of more payment processors in the world..

If you have a recurring donation with PayPal we ask that you cancel your recurring subscription HERE or via  your DonorBox login (DonorBox is still good for Visa and Mastercard Payments) and move to our Visa and Mastercard system powered by Stripe also through DonorBox (its also somewhat easier).

This is once again the big guys weighing down against the unpopular (but nonetheless true) opinion.

But on the brightside, one week to go till the pub in the UK (lets hope the weather clears up!)

We still need your help more than ever.

Ah, no, that’s not how Madoff worked

At the exchange rates prevailing at the time, it seemed that Madoff had made off with £33 billion of private and professional investors’ money. It was a sum roughly equivalent to the total spent by the British government on defence in that year.

It was a Ponzi scheme. That means that the people who made off with the money were the early investors at the expense of the later ones. Madoff took a cut, sure, but the vast majority of the losses were paid out to investors.

Which is, of course, why the administrator went after those early investors and made them pay back their earnings….

Association with Madoff made hedge funds appear prone to the lowest forms of witless foolishness, instead of being staffed by brilliantly intuitive experts as had been widely assumed.

That’s good tho’.


A panel of US lawmakers has advanced a decades-long effort to pay reparations to the descendants of slaves by approving legislation that would create a commission to study the issue.

After an impassioned debate, the House judiciary committee voted by 25-17 to advance the bill late on Wednesday, marking the first time that it has acted on the legislation.

The bill will now be considered by the House and Senate but prospects for final passage remain poor in a closely divided Congress.

The legislation would establish a commission to examine slavery and discrimination in the United States from 1619 to the present. The commission would then recommend ways to educate Americans about its findings and appropriate remedies, including how the government would offer a formal apology and what form of compensation should be awarded.

Perhaps I should write up those notes I’ve got for a book on how the correct amount of slavery reparations is zero – after the schools and education system have been reformed?