Work in the media? Struggle with statistics? Stan's irreverent (and often irrelevant) review of the latest media reports, news and gossip may not help at all...
Stan # 106: Climate change - is there intelligent life on Earth?
Those crazy people who believe in aliens turn out to be in the majority. Not
only in the UK, but in Germany and the USA as well,
more than half the population reckons there's intelligent
life out there in the universe. So next time you watch E.T. with the kids,
remember that not believing in aliens puts you in the minority.
And you know those do-gooder lefties who are all morally righteous about
helping the poor and needy? Turns out that's a myth too. In fact,
right-leaning people are significantly more likely to believe that they are
morally superior than the rest of society.
Finally, how posh is your pint? We've finally settled the
of the lagers with new analysis from YouGov Profiles. Stella Artois may
brand itself as "reassuringly expensive" but actually Peroni and Heineken
have the highest percentage of middle-class customers. And if you want to
make sure to avoid all that and keep your pint real, head to the bottom of
the lager league and order yourself a Carlsberg or a Carling.
Some lesser known facts about Disneyland:
1. Steve Martin worked in Disneyland while he was a teenager.
2. Under the Candy Palace & Candy Kitchen window on Main Street there's a
small vent. This vent shoots the fantastic candy smells into the streets.
3. Many backstage buildings around the resort are painted a colour called
4."When the Jungle Cruise originally opened, live alligators were kept in
pens near the queue to entertain guests.
5. Only Coca-Cola soda products are sold within Disneyland. Anyone who has
ever been to a Disney park will know there is nothing but Coca-Cola
products. There's even a Coca-Cola store at Disneyland!
6. The ground when you first enter the park is red brick. Walt Disney wanted
it to feel like you were walking in on a red carpet.
7. Each Disneyland Cast Member name tag features their first name and
8. The queue of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters is lined with big 'battery
boxes' that make reference to special members of the Disney corporation.
9. The landmarks throughout the parks are called 'weenies' because they draw
people toward different areas.
10. When Fantasyland initially opened, the star characters from 'Peter Pan,'
'Snow White,' and 'The Adventure's of Ichabod and Mr. Toad' made no
appearance in their respective attractions.
11. The Partners statue has several easily missed references to Walt.
12. From top executives to street sweeper, everyone goes through a training
program called 'Traditions' before beginning work.
13. "Nothing is better than the sounds of Main Street, U.S.A. when the parks
open" because the horses have special hooves to make the clip-cloping sound
14. Originally, the Tiki Room was designed as a restaurant. Only later was
it turned into a show guests could come to watch. There's a restroom inside
that lots of visitors don't know about.
15. The land across from the park increased in value from $10,000 to
Gavin Doyle is the 17-year-old whiz kid behind the website Disney Dose,
which he started so he could "educate the Disney enthusiast".
December 2015 was the wettest on record according to the UK's Meteorological
Office. But according to the same Met Office's own records, it was actually
the 20th wettest. I can think of three explanations. The Met Office needs to
support the idea that there are an increasing number of extreme weather
events in order to support the notion that this is evidence of climate
change. It could also be explained by the Met Office wanting to get some
free publicity and, "20th wettest December on record" just isn't going to
appeal to editors. It could also be explained by the nerds at the Met Office
who think that the world started in 1980 when computers were invented (they
were, of course, invented long before then).
The wettest according to the Met Office's records (as opposed to the Met
Office) was in 1876. There is no evidence of anyone screaming climate
change' in 1876. So, if the record rainfall in 1876 was not due to climate
change, then why is the 20th wettest in 2015?
It reminds me of the Met Office's claim of, "the hottest July day ever" in
2015. Further investigation by those shivering souls in July, discovered
that it was an extremely short-lived spike probably caused by the heat from
an aircraft taking off at Heathrow and affecting the temperature gauge at
Even if temperature gauges around the world were placed in neutral spots,
the environment around them could change such as a runway extension, housing
estate or aluminium smelting factory. The temperature rises because of other
factors and has nothing to do with global warming, sorry, climate change.
We now have the warmest December (2016) on record. Maybe the records they
looked at only went back to 2015.
Will the next step be the Met Office issuing staff with blow torches and a
supply of gas to give the gauges a little help to produce some nice high
There is no evidence at all that there is a long term trend to more rain.
Some months or years will be very wet and others, dry. It wasn't that long
ago that we had a Minister for Drought and scientists were telling us that
we were over due for another ice age.
The ice around the North Pole would completely disappear by 2013 we were
told. In fact, it is the same as a decade ago. Why do those pesky data get
in the way of a good theory?