Thursday, 15 December 2011

Newt's on top

On the 3rd January, 2012 Republicans in Iowa will have the first vote in the 2012 USA Presidential Elections. Whether you care or not, this matters: The POTUS is the most powerful person in the World.

There have been some rather sudden changes of fortune. Remember Michele Bachmann? Rick Perry? Herman Cain? Well, they've been and gone, the new "Anyone but Mitt" candidate is Newt Gingrich. According to an NBC/WSJ poll 40% of primary voters would plump for Newt. 17% more than Mitt Romney, in second place.
Newt Gingrich (left) and a Great Crested Newt (right). ©Piet Spaans and Gage Skidmore.
The Republican Primaries have become a battle of "I'm more conservative than you". This may be appealing to Republicans, but it isn't to the general electorate, who prefer the more moderate Mr Romney, although Barack Obama would still win the popular vote by ~2%.

Newt would make a terrible President, it has been said that: Newt Gingrich wakes up every morning with 5 big ideas; 4 are dreadful, and the other is unworkable*. If Obama found Congress obstructionist a President Gingrich would probably fare worse.

You can explore the most recent polls on The Economist, or The Beeb.

Other cute animals are running for US President, why not Vote Hamster?

If you live in London you can also "Vote Newt". Ken Livingstone (Lab) keeps them. Other mayoral candidates are available.

* I think the saying come from Today, I was probably half asleep and have misremembered, but the vague sense was the same.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Cybernetics and Ethics

Cyborgs have appeared across science fiction: The Six Million Dollar Man; The Borg; and Darth Vader but to name a few. They vary from the oddly comic Cybermen to the crime-fighting hero Robocop¹.

In the last decade cybernetic organisms, once confined to the imaginings of authors, have begun to appear across the world. At 4.00PM on Monday, 24th August, 1998 Professor Kevin Warwick underwent surgery to become the World’s first cyborg.

Prof Warwick’s implant, a small glass capsule full of electronics or "transponder", allowed the buildings in his department at the University of Reading to recognise his presence, opening doors and turning on lights automatically.
The Transponder (Ref.)
Kevin Warwick did not stop there;

Monday, 5 December 2011

Lies, Damn Lies and Government Statistics: The Data

I promised to provide the sources and data for a previous post.

The Government Data

The Government Predictions

My Calculations and Graphs

The data is Billion vehicle miles per year.

At the time I used it the predictions were version 1.1 from May 2010.

The data and official projections have been mentioned in articles by The IndyThe Campaign for Better Transport, Pedestrian Liberation and Carlton Reid among others.