brian's soapbox
     
FEBRUARY 2013

EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and Freeview Notes

 

 

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**Wed 27 Feb 13**
OXFORD UNIVERSITY
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Bri just before his address to the Oxford Union.

It was a great meeting. Nicely packed and buzzing. The Q & A session was very entertaining for me !

Bri

Brian May next to Oxford Union sign

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**Tue 26 Feb 13**
THE DAILY MAIL DOES IT AGAIN !
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The Daily Mail does it again ! Always finding new depths to sink to.

This ridiculous story has obviously been drummed up by the Daily Mail's offers of filthy lucre for stories that denigrate our wild animals.

It's a lame attempt, of course, to justify the imminent cull of badgers, as if this were remotely relevant to the discussion.

This stupid bit of writing has no scientific relevance whatsoever, of course, and the notion that an anecdote like this shows that badgers are vicious predators is fatuous.

Any scientific evidence there is points clearly to the true cause of the decline of hedgehogs - pesticides and herbicides. Slug pellets alone probably account for the death of literally hundreds of thousands of them every Summer. And it's across the board, from short-sighted householders trying to grow ugly spindly marigolds, to farmers covering the land with poisons, which kill not only slugs and snails but ALL the animals that feed on them - birds, mice, voles, hedgehogs, and even family pets.

The Daily Mail needs to grow up and start putting truth before financial gain and cheap politics. Disgraceful.

Bri

Daily Mail Letters
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**Sat 16 Feb 12**
METEORITE THAT FELL TO THE URALS
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I was shocked to see the devastation that the unexpected meteorite caused in Russia.

My sincere condolences to all those people affected. Of course the world is excited by such an event, but for the people in its path, it's a tragedy.

I understand that the asteroid that passed close to the Earth tonight had no connection with the Russian event.

Bri

Alaine wrote:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wDG0Vk9VHBI

Hello, dear Brian! I send you this video from Russia. in my country, the Urals. We have a fallen meteorite. He was 9 tons. It exploded in the fall. affected many people. 9 people otdenenii resuscitation. many received various injurieof the buildings were shattered windows. another meteorite expect tonight at 11 o'clock. He must fly very close to us. at a distance of 25,000 kmetrov. I know that the astral plane is very close! like to think that he is not caught us! I hope this video will be interesting for you!

With respect to you ....... Alain ..

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**Sat 16 Feb 13**
FOXES AND THE PRESS

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We have all been watching the Press - especially the Telegraph and the Mail - get on their usual bandwagon this week, seizing on an isolated reported fox attack, making it appear like a massive conspiracy among foxes to harm humans, whipping up terror and panic, and fuelling hatred against foxes.

Most of us have seen all this before; and we know that behind the ballyhoo is a gleeful bunch of people who need foxes to be regarded as vicious predators, so they can continue to practice their vile sports. These people give themselves away on radio programmes and the like … with pitiful attempts to convince us that fox-hunting is about controlling numbers of foxes, rather than the pure sadism that it really is.

So, after a solid week of intense anti-fox babbling, the Daily Telegraph puts up a poll, to see if has managed to bully its readership into believing that foxes are vile creatures that ought to be slaughtered at will. You can see it here.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/wildlife/9862006/Fox-attack-wildlife-programmes-encourage-ridiculous-attempts-at-taming.html

Saturday morning it looked like this … predictably confirming that many Telegraph readers actually swallowed a lot of the invective whole.

Telegraph Poll early

But a while later, after many non-readers of the Telegraph had tumbled what was going on, the tide seemed to be turning, with the Handsome Foxes moving ahead.

Telegraph poll later

What does it all mean? Well, very little probably, except that the war is still on. And it's a war of Good versus Evil. There are comparatively few evil people in our society, who feel a need to do cruel things. They hurt animals, they hurt children, they hurt innocent bystanders - they hurt just for the feeling that they can hurt.

The advocates of this kind of behaviour are a minority, but they have the ability to shout very loudly, because many of them are in positions of power, because they are rich, because they are major land-owners, or are in Government, in Parliament, in the Press, etc ...

Society HAS progressed over the years … we no longer tolerate the burning of witches, or the keeping of slaves, or bear-baiting, and there are laws against cruelty to children, and cruelty to animals. But there is long way to go, as the perpetrators find ways to elude the law, and work constantly to try to justify their cruelty, and pervert the law and its interpretation so they can continue to enjoy their cruel pursuits. There is much work to do, to defeat the powers of Evil in our land.

Who will stand up and fight for decency?

I wonder what the statistics really say? Which animals are the most dangerous? My estimate is that, in attacks on children, MEN would come out at more than 100 times more dangerous than foxes, and certainly dogs, whose bites hospitalise 6,000 children a year, would be top of the list. Do we need to cull men, or dogs? I don't think so. So lets start insisting on a sensible approach to relating to the animals that we are lucky enough to be able to enjoy, living around us, sharing this coming Spring.

Cheers

Bri

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**Sat 16 Feb 13**
MOON QUERY
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Moon Image

[In reply to LETTER asking about cause of halo effect around the Moon.]

Lovely picture, Phil. Thanks.

Halo effects around the Moon are normally due to some kind of atmospheric effect.

Depending what is on the air you are looking through, in the upper atmosphere (or even lower atmosphere, for that matter), there will be various kinds of light scattering effects.

Water droplets as found in clouds can give various effects, sometimes diffuse, like this, or sometimes arcs of coloured light very comparable with rainbows … the same kind of refraction is involved.

Ice crystals give different effects - coloured rings around the Moon at various distances which can be quite stunning.

Cheers

Bri

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