Friday, March 23, 2007

PS3, potholes, and drugs

Hmm for all the muttered shortages it's interesting to note that my boss who only pre-ordered his PS3 a couple of weeks ago has had it delivered this morning, ironic as he's away for the week skiing. Of course I could open it all up 'just to check' that everything's okay and I've no doubt that when he returns he'll express surprise that I haven't been playing with it. Sadly I've been burdened with a high moral conscience and the simple fact that it's not addressed to me prevents me from closer examination. I've gone as far as confirming what it is and that the main PS3 box is intact and that's it. Ah my conscience - annoying for me; a blessing for the world. Gods one of the directors has wandering in and said that as I'd be taking it home for safe keeping I should have a go with it and I'm still having a fight on my hands. Gah Sonic and Casino Royale have just turned up too.

Nice news for some gamers as the BBC reports that the first 100 UK buyers got a free 46-inch HD television, oops I should say the first 100 London buyers; ah London, UK it's all the same thing isn't it.

GMTV ran a tiny report on potholes, showing the sheared tyre of one family who'd driven over a cluster of some in Coventry. £58 million spent repairing potholes, not including London, with an eleven year backlog. Of course the point is they don't repair them they patch them. The tar then wears away; the fill, not being homogeneous to the rest of the road, washes out; and you're left with the same hole though occasionally larger.

Right assume all cars are Band D tax rated that's £140 per car (actually quite close to the mean). Assume a yearly drive of 20,000 miles (based on a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty), assume a standard 40mpg (based on me). Assume a fuel duty rate of 48.35p (from HMRC).

2,273 litres of fuel needed makes a total of £1,099 pounds per year, add the tax and that makes £1,239 per year per car (not even counting VAT). The DVLA give a figure of 26,208,000 for cars on the road. Multiply that up and you get £32,471,712,000. That's £32 billion a year from cars. I wonder how much of that is actually spent on things to do with vehicles?

A news story about drug classification might slip some by. A team of scientists suggests the outrageous notion that we classify drugs according to the 'harm' they do. Outrageous as it found tobacco and alcohol to be more harmful then some Class A drugs.

The article itself I can't find, I can only go by the summary presented by the MRC. It appears the definition of harm is comprised of three elements - Physical harm, dependence, and social harm. The first is pretty objective and should be easy to score - needle tracks, lower antibody counts etc. Dependence is not so easy as people differ in will-power, just compare those who try and succeed to stop smoking compared to those who don't; although you can examine how long it takes for the body to purge such drugs from its system. Social harm is a tad more difficult. By the nature of their definition illegal drugs may be deemed to promote more harm then legal ones. The only proper comparison would be to legalise or illegalise them all and then run the test. Though again, those drugs that increase violent tendencies, or cause hallucinations may be marked for this category.

Get a panel (of how many members?) to score for these then total them. The response to the report from the Government...

Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker said: "We have no intention of reviewing the drug classification system. Our priority is harm reduction and to achieve this we focus on enforcement, education and treatment."
or to put it another way, 'Every time we try to declassify some drug the tabloids start screaming at us, so we've given up. We much prefer to do the quiet things the media tend to ignore' <sigh>