Episode 162 – 16th November 2012

New Twitter prosecution rules, the National Health Action Party launch, a report on freedom of expression from Azerbaijan – it’s an eclectic show! We also speak to a man crowdfunding some scientific research, find out about fusion reactors, hear how humanists are excluded from Remembrance events and laugh at how some Americans on the right aren’t taking Obama’s re-election victory terribly well.

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More DPP Social Meeja Woe (2:06) by Matt Flaherty
National Health Action Party (12:54) by Trish Hann (ft June Hautot)
Kids & Free Expression Online (20:31) by Kate Russell
Crowdsourcing Science (30:10) by James O’Malley (ft Ethan Perlstein)
For All Who Serve (40:24) by James O’Malley (ft Chris Holden)
Fusion Reactor (49:35) by Liz Lutgendorff (ft Nick Balshaw)
Crazy Obama Reactions (61:25) by Blakeley Nixon (ft the vocal stylings of Marc Silk)
The sketch at the end is by David Lovesy & Brian Two

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3 thoughts on “Episode 162 – 16th November 2012

  1. Nuclear Fusion. It’s worth pointing out that nuclear fission doesn’t have to have the problems it does, and of course, fusion will have risks and problems too, this is the real world after all.

    Meltdown, nuclear waste etc. are all problems related to Uranium and pressurized water reactors.

    Liquid Fuel Thorium Reactors (LFTR) can’t meltdown because it works by ‘melting the fuel down on purpose!’, in principle at least is a lot easier to do than fusion. It would still take billions in R & D, but so would covering every rooftop with solar panels or every hill with windmills.

    Climate change needs everything we can possibly think of thrown at it, this weeks rather ‘cheery’ cover of New Scientist states “It’s much worse than we thought”

    The hard part is getting around the fear of ‘N’ word.

  2. Firstly, apologies for posting without my name. I’m not a fan of anonymous comments, but my professional situation right now makes it tricky for me to give my name.

    My response is to Trish Hann’s bit on the NHA party – whose aims I think are totally laudable. I’m confused by this party’s, though, based on the following:

    1. There is a premise that political parties don’t keep their promises (“No top-down reorganisation of the NHS”). This is the justification for the first seats chosen.

    2. They are looking to field ~50 candidates. In their dream scenario, they will form a minority party.

    Since they argue that Labour has been ignored in the reforks, and given point 2, they patently don’t have a hope of major policy influence if elected: the majority party will simply rid roughshod over their ideas.

    This suggests that they’re in the game to get candidates talking about the NHS and raising it as an issue at the election. But given point 1, that’s pointless, as the other candidates will promise everything and deliver nothing.

    So, according the their own logic, elected NHA MPs can only shout at deaf ears, and standing NHA MPs can only elicit promises which their own campaign casts as worthless.

    Add to that the impossibly low likelihood of election of any MPs from a single issue Party – it took the Greens nearly four decades to get a single MP elected – and one wonders… what’s the point? Why not work within the existing system to effect change?

    Secondly, June Hautot’s point that no one should profit from illness is, whilst well-meant, a little naive. Are all facilities, drugs, building contractors etc etc etc really going to be prevented from profiting from the NHS? Are we going to produce all drugs ourselves, not licencing anything from a multinational pharma company lest they make a profit? Are we going to end institutional subscriptions to journals with the latest evidence as funding publisher’s profits is unethical? It’s a nonsensical point. The question is surely of degrees, not absolutes.

  3. It’s also worth pointing out that Richard Taylor stood on a platform of restoring A&E services at Kidderminster and failed to do so: his example in that regard is one of futility, not success. And he stood twice more after “failing to deliver”, only booted out in 2010.

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