Gross-out headlines, spurious sci-fi and hotel smut

Plus MOD agency clarifies position of wind farms

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Letters Let's get business out of the way first. Regular readers might remember that a couple of weeks ago we ran a short piece on reports that the MOD is freeing up land for wind farms.

Here follows a clarification of the situation from Julian Chafer from Defence Estates, the part of the MOD responsible for managing its land:

Firstly I would like to confirm that none of the proposed turbines around Eskdalemuir are on MOD land - indeed the seismometer array itself is currently leasehold although steps are being taken to ensure the future of the site through a mix of land purchases and new leases.

As soon as the potential problem of seismic noise vibrations generated by turbines was brought to the MOD’s attention we joined forces with the Department of Trade and Industry and the British Wind Energy Association and retained the services of Professor Peter Styles of Keele University.

At that early stage we imposed, with the full backing of the DTI and BWEA, a temporary 80 km consultation zone to ensure that the operation of the array was protected pending the outcome of Prof. Styles’ research.

Prof. Styles’ recommendations, which have the full support of the MOD, DTI, Scottish Executive, the Government Offices for the North east and the North West, and the BWEA, can be summarised as;

  • no turbines of current design can be constructed within 10 km of the array
  • a seismic noise limit for the area between 10 km and 50 km from the array has been set and a model developed to allow the MOD to calculate the seismic noise which proposed turbines will generate. Once the agreed limit as been reached the MOD will object to any additional turbines closer than 50 km to the array
  • turbines more than 50 km from the array are unlikely to cause any problems
  • because of the way in which seismic noise travels through the ground it is likely that turbines more than 17.5 km from the array will provide the greatest benefit in terms of generating capacity
  • all of the above relates to turbines of current designs and construction methods. If new designs and/or construction methods which transmit less seismic noise into the ground are developed we will look at the issue again

These recommendations have enabled the MOD to lift its concerns with approximately 1.6 GW of wind energy in the area (this is comprised of wind farms which either have planning consent, have applied for consent, or which are close to submitting planning applications).

The full version of Prof. Styles’ report can be found here.

Finally, I would point out that all of the above relates specifically to MOD concerns with the effect of turbines on the operation of the array at Eskdalemuir. We also consider the effect of turbines on other MOD operational and training activities such as radar and low flying.

Julian Chafer FRICS

Head of Safeguarding Defence Estates

Now, on to the more colourful contributions...

First up is the distressingly headlined story about an unexpected eBay purchase. Yes, that's right. Man fingers daughter in Elvis eBay cock-up.

Well, we'd like to say it was an accident. So we will. But it works on so many levels, don't you think?

D'you think you could change the headline on this article? Maybe it's just me or the effect of too much spam, but it just looks a bit unsavoury...



Honestly, no. We quite like the headline.

"Man fingers daughter in Elvis eBay cock-up" - the worst headline I've ever seen on el Reg.


Tell your stateside people that the phrase "man fingers daughter" means a WHOLE different thing in the UK and is really an offensive thing to say.



Hate to break it to you, but Lester Haines is very much on this side of the pond...

Did you really mean...not to edit the slang in this story?


See above.

Then, from outta nowhere:

I love The Register. It is a thing of beauty. But now I realise, stupidly and belatedly, that that bird in your banner is not a dodo; it's a vulture. Most disappointing.


Er. We're sorry. We think.

Dr. Who is the (British) nation's favourite Sci-Fi TV programme, according to a wonderful survey out this week. But wait - what has snuck in there at number 10 on the list?

In your article about the top 10 Sci-Fi shows, I'm surprised you didn't mention entry 10: Robin of Sherwood.

Robin of Sherwood??????

Now, I remember this, show, and really liked it - I would rate it above many of the others in that list, but not as a SCI-FI show.... Unless it turns out the merry men were really using lasers cunningly disguised as bows, of course...


One has to wonder what 'Robin Of Sherwood' is doing on there. Granted, there were a few peripheral fantasy elements to the show, but in the main it was a tale of a bunch of rather middle-class-looking treehuggers stealing stuff.


A fair point, and one well made by both of you. We like to imagine it was included on the list because the series involved time travelling back to the original forest and that it starred the actual Robin Hood. Sadly, we suspect it is more likely that the list had already exhausted all other Brit sci-fi possibilities...see below...

I think the line "and old favourites such as..." sums up the state of British sci-fi quite well... as in there isn't anything but 'old favourites'.

"This list shows we have some of the best and most talented writers, producers, directors and actors and actresses in the UK." ...but didn't go on to say that unfortunately they are all but dead now...

A McKinnon

When is a planet not a planet? When it is a big lump of rock orbiting the sun at many billions of miles distance:

I wouldn't call the home world of the Warrior Princess a 'lump of rock'. She'll beat you up for dissing her world. You forgot to mention it was shiny too. The surface is mirrored - very handy for warrior princesses to brush their hair and see their enemies trying to sneak up on them at the same time.


Boffins don't know when a rock is a planet ? I have a suggestion : when the rock has enough mass to retain an atmosphere, it is a planet. I think that having an atmosphere is a defining quality. Our planet has one, therefor it seems logical to consider that such an attribute is required in order to qualify for planethood. Pluto does not have one, and the reason for its classification seems a trifle vain to me. Xena may be bigger, but I guess it doesn't have an atmosphere either. Of course, Jupiter's Titan also has an atmosphere, yet it is a moon. Well, we'll just have to get used to saying that Titan is a planet that orbits a gas giant.


Interesting suggestion. That would classify our moon as a planet, though...

And finally, the utterly fabulous news that itis possible to access porn for free in hotel rooms with a little bit of infrared trickery :

If Mr Laurie spent more time in the hotel bar, he'd be more likely to find someone to give him the real thing, rather than watch it on TV.


Quote: Laurie discovered the security loophole when he was "mucking about with hotel TVs to get the porn channel without paying for it".

What he really meant to say: On discovering that the hotel did not provide a 5 minute preview, Laurie was unable to knock one off. So he hacked the system.


Lovely. And with that thought, we'll take our leave of you. Adieu. ®

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