Thursday, January 08, 2009

Experts, what do they know?

Fools are my theme, let satire be song -
Byron: English Bards and Scotch Finance Ministers

It's fashionable, sort of, to look for silver linings in the storm clouds gathering over our heads (continues for several paragraphs of purple prose intended to convey the message 'we're all fucked'). You know the sort of thing: people will be healthier, spend more time with their families (whether or not they want to) and learn what's really important in life.

Mostly wishful thinking, of course. But as the full economic horror show unravels over the next few months my one prediction is that the less than wholly delusional might start to realise one important fact about life: no power on earth can withstand the force of human folly. Were I not such a feckless idler, I might promise to develop this argument with regards to politics and economics or even, God help us all, international relations (Exhibit A: the Middle East). But for now I'll just stick to scientific rubbish.

Two surveys here. One warning that even 'third-hand smoke' contains tiny particles that might be harmful to babies. Obviously were there any babies who were never exposed to say, second hand traffic fumes (or in places where there is no traffic a range of horrible and life-threatening illnesses) it might be something worth worrying about. But I doubt this is a hypothesis that will ever have much practical application.

The second: where you sit on the bus determines your personality. Even if you didn't spot that the study was the work of a Salford University hackademic, a Londoner would spot instantly that it was the work of a northerner. In the capital you don't need a study to tell you who sits where. Life is so much simpler here:

Bottom front: pensioners, nutters.
Bottom middle: mother with oversized push-chair and more than usually squalling and snotty infant. (Sometimes accompanied by husand looking on with horror at what he wrought).
Bottom back: incredibly annoying and LOUD teenagers, innit, who are too lazy to walk upstairs.
Top back: psychos. More energetic and even more annoying teenagers.
Top middle: someone who never quite understood the jokes 15 years ago about how annoying people who shout down their mobile phones are.
Top front: Someone who wants to be near the stairs in case of needing to make a quick getaway.

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Blogger Quink said...

Stairwell: pickpockets

8:21 am  

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