Episode 119 – 20th January 2012

This week we look into the SOPA blackout and more importantly, finally DISCOVER THE TRUTH about the Teletubbie Tinky Winky – plus much more!

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SOPA Blackout (2:05) by Georgia Gale Grant
Behind the scenes at the Wikipedia blackout (9:33) by Tom Morris
Figshare (17:58) by Jon Treadway (ft Mark Hahnel)
Teletubbies Scandal (27:36) by Salim Fadhley (ft Dave Thompson)
The Sex Party (39:33) by Chris Huang-Lever
Scotland and Tory England (45:17) by Keir Liddle
A Bugs’ Life (50:16) by Adam Jacobs (ft Matt Shardlow)
Videogames and Morality (60:16) by Trent Burton
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy and Brian Two

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Follow-Up Links:

Georgia’s SOPA Links:

Adam’s neonicotinoids links:

4 thoughts on “Episode 119 – 20th January 2012

  1. Skyrim; According to my wife who has played the game for over 100 hours now, hasn’t found the ‘hand out leaflets’ quest yet, the Imperials are also unpleasant and racist, all the books you find in the land are based one way or the other. Maybe that’s the point of the story; six of one half dozen of the other…

  2. Cheers Chris, that was sort of my point, that it’s a skeptical approach to do as much reading as you can so you at least have something to base a decision on rather than the obvious ‘the man vs the rebels’ narrative setup that’s available if you want to go that route. History is written by the victors though and all that. Even when it’s fake history.

    The church flyers quest is in Riften by the way if your wife wants to seek it out and then not do it!

  3. Great episode, although I thought the Bugs Life bit was not as good as it could have been.

    Firstly (cos I’m a chemist) conflating nicotine with Neonicotinoids is a little bit tabloid. But only a little bit, so I’ll let it lie :)

    There is, to me, a slightly bizarre argument at play that says the problem with this insecticide is not that it is killing insects and bugs, but is killing some of the ones we like. We don’t care about the nasty bugs only the happy friendly ones like smiley bees. A bit like saying that antibiotics are bad because they kill good bacteria and not just bad bacteria.

    If you use an insecticide then you kill things, that’s the point. Of course there is an environmental argument for how much impact interventions have, but if you decide some bugs are worth keeping and some bugs you are happy to let die, then I think you also have to accept that it may not be exactly as you want. finding that point of acceptable impact is where the debate should be.

    The research into Neonicotinoids is not clear but there is isn’t really much evidence to show it’s a huge problem, when it is used correctly (which is becoming more the major issue). However, I’m still wary of them and when I kept my bees on a rapeseed farm, the farmer would let me know when he was spraying, I’d close up the bees for a few days, in the hope of reducing any risk. The plight of the bees seems to be an excuse for every crank to hang their preferred doomsday reason on their decline -pesticides, mobile phones, power lines yadda yadda yadda , although pesticides (as mentioned in the piece) are a more likely part of a the multivariate issue – varroa mites appear to be the biggest issue tho.

    There is often a argument put forward about big nasty chemical company lobbying the gov to make sure they don’t get banned. There’s probably some truth in it, but it’s also worth mentioning that one of the Eastern EU countries (Slovenia?) banned Neonicotinoids after heavy lobbying by Monsanto as they had a GM product they wanted to flog. Muddy waters indeed.

    To suggest that people might want to buy organic as a result is I think an odd suggestion, but that’s maybe just me.

    Anyway, maybe I’m being over harsh, I thought Matt spoke fairly even-handedly, although I can’t understand why he’s ok with one bug being vaporised but is getting animated about preserving a different one!


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