Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Wednesday, March 18: Other front page nonsense

1) From the 'why don't people respect the police anymore' file:

"Police officers are likely to face drug and alcohol tests to ensure they are not under the influence during "critical incidents" such as the shooting of Steven Wallace.

The Independent Police Conduct Authority's review of Mr Wallace's death in a confrontation with police in 2000, calls for mandatory testing after such incidents.

It says this would 'protect officers from false allegations that they were or may have been impaired by alcohol and/or drugs'."

OK... But it would also protect the public from officers who had been drinking or taking drugs, right?

2) Because you have to have one stupid story on the front page every day, the Herald steals a Daily Torygraph article about the fight to combat malaria. Well, that's pretty important - it certainly seems that, in terms of cost-benefit analysis, fighting malaria is about the best and easiest thing we can do to help people. It's a shame that more money is spent fighting male pattern baldness. But I digress. I'm no scientist or doctor, but I suspect that, if you asked me what was the most efficient, effective and practical way to stop malaria, I would not answer 'lasers'. Apparently, however, that is the answer from two charming gents who worked on the 'Star Wars' laser missile defence system in the 1980s. I suppose when your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail, but this seems slightly ridiculous:

The laser works by detecting the audio frequency created by the beating of mosquito wings. A computer triggers the laser beam which burns the wings off the mosquito and kills it.
Well, let's compare this to my checklist for a successful malaria solution:

  • Cheap to make? Check
  • Reliable in a tropical environment? Check
  • Easily repairable by illiterate farmers should something go wrong? Check
  • No need for electricity so it can be used in rural areas? Check
Of course, maybe I've got this all wrong and it will actually be an orbital system, zapping mosquitoes from low geostationary orbits over Africa. Now that's progress.


  1. actual news about malaria is interesting:

  2. I have spotted the obvious flaw in your Malaria eradication plan. Geostationary orbits are only possible at (or very close to) the equator. Nice try slipping that past us.

  3. You have a laser or two to spare, don't you Shmoe (Tea Coesy)? In that wardrobe of yours, the one with the "Kilngon - be my bride" poster, in your bedroom, of your Mum's house... behind the 'Star Trek Fanclub Convention of 2008' box.


  4. Well with malaria hitting equatorial regions hardest the problems associated with Geostationary "Lazers" maybe be overstated by enemies of this novel technology.

    With an orbit height of 22,000 miles each space "lazer" would cover a large portion of the planet's surface...North and South of the Equator...does anyone know the range of a space "lazer" more importantly does anyone remember high school trig??

    Of course one of the mooted side effects of "climate change" is a migration of tropical diseases away from the tropics, and thus out of the reach of our "lazer"!!!! Natural selection leading to monstrous lazer immune mosquitos.. ravaging the upper latitudes of our warm,ing planet....I wouldn't bet against it!!

  5. Clearly, this news makes climate change more of a problem than ever.

  6. Mosquito looks awesome. I'm going to get on The Pirate Bay after posting this and try to download it.

  7. Can I please make it perfectly clear that Editing the Herald does NOT condone infringement of copyright.

    You wouldn't steal a car, etc.