A sign of things to come?

From the Grauniad: The European commission is backing away from its insistence on imposing a compulsory 10% quota of biofuels in all petrol and diesel by 2020, a central plank of its programme to lead the world in combating climate change.Amid a worsening global food crisis exacerbated, say experts and critics, by the race tocontinue reading

The law’s delay

Summary: Two lawyers hear a murder confession from a client, and out of respect for client confidentiality let another man sit in prison doing time for the killing (which happened in 1982) for twenty-six years. They try to work out the point when they could ethically reveal this, and decide that they might be ablecontinue reading

This doesn’t get any better

By Chris Bowlby BBC News The Olympic torch is being welcomed this weekend in the UK as a symbol of the sporting spirit, uniting people around the world in peaceful competition.But the idea of lighting the torch at the ancient Olympian site in Greece and then running it through different countries has much darker origins.Itcontinue reading

From the NYTimes:

More Heist-able: Your H.D.T.V. or Your A.C.?Burglaries are on the decline across the United States, with at least one notable exception: increasingly, thieves are breaking into foreclosed homes — stripping out the copper pipes, wiring, and appliances — and selling their pilfered goods as scrap. From there, Treehugger reports, the scrap metal is most oftencontinue reading

The angry vexillologist

Site of the day: someone in New Zealand’s cranky effort to give letter grades to the world’s flags. He doesn’t like busyness, maps, text in living languages, weird colour combinations, Union Jacks or automatic weapons. Start with the F grades – you know you want to. (I kind of like Bhutan’s flag, which he awardscontinue reading

Hubbert’s cliff

I’m a peak oil agnostic, more or less – obviously something of the kind has to happen eventually, but I’ll let people who know more about geology than I do argue about whether it’s in the far future, the near future or (as some maintain) has already happened. Still, I was struck by an essaycontinue reading

And now, the weather

I’m not sure how Environment Canada’s new five-day local weather page is supposed to be an improvement on its predecessor. The graphic design is a bit cleaner, but a) the user now has to mouseover for text information which was directly posted on the page before, and b) the icon for flurries and ‘periods ofcontinue reading