Posts by Carol Stewart

  • Up Front: It's Beginning to Look a Lot…,

    Even Roald Dahl was in on the action with this wee verse:

    Where art thou, Mother Christmas?
    I only wish I knew
    Why Father should get all the praise
    And no-one mentions you.

    I’ll bet you buy the presents
    And wrap them large and small
    While all the time that rotten swine
    Pretends he’s done it all.

    So Hail To Mother Christmas
    Who shoulders all the work
    And down with Father Christmas,
    That unmitigated jerk.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: It's Beginning to Look a Lot…,

    With you, Kiwiiano, except that having a big baked ham is not too hard to organise and is a basis for meals for days afterwards. Turkey = not happening.
    With you as well Soon Lee about no, or very minimal, gifts for adults. If I'm going to give anything as gifts it will a batch of mince pies. If I may say so, my mince pies are far better than any bought ones, and have been known to convert lifelong mince-pie doubters. When I get home later on I'll double check the sweet short crust pastry recipe that I use, from the hippie classic cookbook The Vegetarian Epicure, by Anna Thomas, and share recipe here.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Up Front: It's Beginning to Look a Lot…,

    Wonderful post Emma. Thank you so much.
    I remember a Minhinnick cartoon back in the day, that went along the lines of:
    "Mother bought the presents, Mother made the cake
    Mother made the Christmas punch, mother baked the ham
    Mother filled the stockings, Mother dressed the tree
    ‘Oh look Mum, FATHER Christmas came, look what he brought for me!’"

    And Mother doing her best to look delighted.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bourdain,

    What a great interview.
    And how very sad.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs, in reply to izogi,

    That's a great summary from Dave Hansford. Thank you.
    Did you read this more recent piece in the Spinoff? I thought it was quite bleak - he describes the problem very clearly but he seems pretty stumped about solutions.

    And Steven - you might be thinking of ionising radiation..

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    I can't disagree with you on any of that, Rosemary, and I've no doubt that Sue Grey is an effective campaigner for medicinal cannabis reform.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    As for the second youtube thing, yes it's true that the WHO have classified non-ionising radiation from mobile phones as a Class 2B carcinogen. This means 'possibly carcinogenic'. Other Class 2B substances include coffee, kava, pickled vegetables and aloe vera extract. The WHO classification was based on the IARC review that I mentioned above, and was a precautionary approach (appropriate I think) based on weak and limited evidence of an increased glioma risk in heavy mobile phone users. The sensible thing to do here is to limit the amount of time you have your mobile phone pressed to your ear.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    Rosemary, finding one 'expert' to back up your views is not the same as scientific consensus. If you want an expert consensus view on RFEMR hazards to health, go to the IARC monograph here: http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol102/mono102.pdf
    Sue Grey is fond of citing this one, though needless to say she doesn't represent its findings honestly or accurately.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    Respectfully, Rosemary, this comment shows a lack of understanding of what science is about and how it works.
    Science is a robust contest of ideas. Most scientists I know have strong critical thinking skills that they don't hesitate to use on their own work. I can tell you that presenting your work at a scientific conference is not a comfortable place at all. If your evidence for your claims is unconvincing, you'll get shot down in flames.
    Talking about 'science being irrefutable' is a bit of a straw woman, as scientists don't claim this and I certainly wasn't. It's more useful to think in terms of scientific consensus, where the evidence piles up over time and a picture starts to emerge. Like on climate change; for practical purposes we should proceed as though the science were settled as the evidence is strong and compelling.
    Note that there's a famous saying that it only takes one ugly fact to slay a beautiful hypothesis.
    Also: the precautionary principle is only really useful where the evidence is too limited to be useful for decision making. By all means it should be used for new pesticides etc, but 1080 is extensively studied and well understood, and there are costs to not using it, as the PCE's report made clear.
    As for Sue Grey: well, she does represent those with a different viewpoint, I'll give you that. But she also blatantly misleads people and misrepresents scientific evidence. I don't see anything to celebrate in that.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: This is your government on drugs,

    This is an interesting read: Justice Churchman's judgment on the BVCG vs the BWSTrust. Their case was pretty crappy.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2008 • 819 posts Report Reply

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