From Tuesdays Daily Telegraph: “One in three babies born last year will live to be 100….only one in five babies born in 2007 was likely to read 100.”
Credit to James Hall Consumer Affairs Editor (1)

But thats not whats important: Mrs Blog has written a brilliant new play “The Supper Party “and its being put on in our local Barnes SW13 artspace in April. Details below

http://www.wegottickets.com/f/from/201204/day/19/4268

http://thesupperparty.moonfruit.com/

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Miriam Stoppard in the Daily Mirror today: (didn’t she used to be a doctor?)
“Swine flu can be very severe in young people. Of those in intensive care with flu, one in 10 is under the age of 15, with one in 20 cases under five.”
Now I know that she isn’t saying that swine flu is more common amongst young people – but don’t you think that’s the intention? Proportion of UK humans under 15: 1 in 6; proportion of UK humans under 5: 1 in 16.

So a couple of months ago, David Cameron suggested that there should be a UK happiness index to mirror the GDP figures. Now the more astute of you may have realised that there may be a connection between your bloggeratus and the market research industry and I’m rather dreading the attempt to collect this data.
There will be three problems: the difficulty in maintaining trends in ongoing surveys; the political nature of the interpretation (see the British Crime Survey for a great example of noise about data rather than data noise); the understandable desire of the client to want to know ‘why’ rather than than just ‘how much’.
The result will be that if you are asked to take the British Happiness Survey, about half an hour into the process, you will find yourself being asked questions like:
‘Comparing yourself now to a year ago, have the activities of the Charity Commission in your opinion made you’
– Much More Happy
– Somewhat More Happy
– Neither More nor Less Happy
– Somewhat Less Happy
– Much less Happy
– Don’t Know

Anyway Mrs Blog pointed out that some people were made happy by raping people. I think that she was making the point that this sort of happiness was not desirable, but I am more interested in the problem of measuring such happiness.

My solution is to contact a random sample and collect where possible an anonymous blood sample – obviously it has to be very anonymous to deal with our hypothetical rapist. This can then be tested for serotonin levels to provide an accurate trend information on average happiness levels.
The detailed questions as above can then be collected separately from a different sample where they can be treated with the respect they deserve.

<<From the Guardian The authors of a recent book, Time to Eat the Dog?, warned that the energy required to feed a cat is the same as that required to build and drive a Volkswagen Golf for 6,000 miles a year.

Robert Vale, one of the authors, has said that poultry and rabbits have a lower impact than red meat and fish when used as pet food. “When feeding a pet… the advice is to think feathers and long ears, not horns and fins,” he said.>>

OK, I suppose that the energy used to make a volkswagen is spread over the whole of the cats expected lifespan – but even so this seems a little surprising – I realise that that is the point but

Can we all join in? Please post your most amazing statistics about energy use here. Note that no proof is required.

Another bit of a misuse of this blog. This one has a vaguely statistical purpose to see how easy it may be to spread what I hope is a bit of misinformation and is certainly not literally accurate. Do you remember poster campaigns in which they tried to show the power of the medium by putting up posters wth strange images like “My name’s Amy and I like Slugs and Snails“? Guess what – everyone noticed them in a way that they didn’t notice posters that said ‘Kelloggs Cornflakes are delicious and you should eat lots of them every morning.” Then the poster companies could claim that posters were a very effective advertising channel.
Well this is like that – so please feel free to link to this post if you want to help take part in a completely inaccurate scientific experiment.
For your information, the Jon Sadleir in question is jonsadleir@yahoo.com and his website is nopinchback.com. It doesn’t work at the moment which may well be typical of his underestimation of the power of the interweb thing.

From the NSPCC yesterday (as reported by the BBC website)

More than two million images of child sex abuse had been circulated by 100 offenders who went on to be convicted in the last 20 months, the NSPCC says.

Ms Sutton added: “The scale of graphic child sex abuse pictures and videos over the internet is very alarming.

“The number of images seized in these cases is enough to cover the pitch at Wembley Stadium twice over – and this is just a sample.”

I wonder how they know what resolution the Wembley pitch is set to. Given all the complants about it – its probably pretty low.

Now over the last couple of eventful months, your supposedly neutral blogmeister has become increasingly skeptic with regard to the globwarm question. He doesn’t yet believe that the earth is makiing new oil – so he can’t vote Republican yet
He’s been reading the books and now has a much better idea of the issues – and much more respect for the labourers who have been toiling in the field for many years.
But there is one thing which is bugging him quite lot which is the oft quoted stat that only 3.4% of Co2 emissions are caused by humans – actually the quote you will see more is 1.7% – the rest being ‘absorbed’.
Now the one thing I believe to be true – because it would be so destroyed if there was any doubt, is that CO2 levels have nearly doubled in very recent times. And in the absence of volcanoes of dinosaur extincting ferocity, it does seem to me that we humans and our hugely enjoyable civilisation are likely to be the cause.
So unless anyone would like to set me right, I assume that the 1.7% is the extra that causes the increase – like you only have to eat a little bit extra to gain weight.
Thinking about this I do realise one reason why many scientists are so happy to simplify and to distort when communicating to the GP: they had it done to them. Do you remember how after junior/GCSE level chemistry they suddently said: ‘Oh thats was a load of old bollocks about molecular bonding and the periodic table. We only told you that because we knew you were really interested in 8s and 2s. Actually we havent really got a clue, isn’t that much more fun.”

They never said that to me because I did history but isn’t that roughly the speech?