Diesel is the new tobacco — 16 Comments

  1. I can remember when we were told that if you ate more than two eggs per week your cholesterol would go through the roof and you would have a heart attack. Now the same 'authorities' say you can eat as many eggs as you want, no problem. Same goes for butter and full cream milk, not long ago they were deadly, now they are ok. And yes, what did happen to the aluminium and Alzheimer link? These scares are just a passing fad it seems.

    The high tobbaco tax on health grounds has set the precedent. If you're a politician and want to raise taxes, just mention the H word and it's all ok. They did it to smokers and few complained, now they will do it to everyone else. And of course there is now the extra excuse of climate change/warming/cooling or whatever they are calling it this week. Same old shit different year.

    Going back to a previous post. Comedy on TV. Dave Allen, he used to crack me up. Whiskey and a ciggy on TV. How times have changed.

    • They are constantly changing their minds over what constitutes a hazard [usually causing cancer?].  Now they are debating cholesterol, with some saying it's evil while others are saying it might actually be good, or something.  The simplest answer is just to ignore them altogether.

      Dave Allen was brilliant!  They sadly don't make 'em like that any more.

      • Apropos of nothing in particular it was discovered, long ago, that birds collect magnetite in their little birdie brains as an aid to navigation, they literally have a compass in the head.

  2. wonderful, owing diesel jetta and smart car i'm toast it seems. maybe i'll forget i'm supposed to be forgetting

  3. Here where I live, diesel cars are the thing to have, as diesel sells at about €1.05 / litre as opposed to petrol at about €1.50.

    Off topic, here's an interesting progression on the continuing saga of the 'Head Rambles' site. Ten minutes ago, I clicked on my bookmark for 'Head Rambles', and up came yesterday's post. Ok, I thought, no new post today. I then clicked on my bookmark for 'Dick Puddlecote', and while reading his post, noticed in the sidebar today's post on your site, which I clicked on and came here. I then clicked on your site bookmark in my list (in a new tab this time), and was again taken to yesterday's post.

    Am I to be locked into a 'Groundhog Day' situation where your site is concerned, GD? Condemned to read 'Birthday girl' for ever? I suspect it may get a little tiresome after a while… Or will I have to visit via DP's blog now?

    • Dammit!  What is it about Greece?  When the site was giving fierce trouble for the rest of the world, you were happy and screaming about how fast it was.  Then I fix the site and you start having problems again?  If it's any consolation, today's effort is way up on yesterdays [wouldn't you know it was a Monday and everyone can surf from the office?!] so some people are seeing it. 

      All I can suggest is that it is a temporary thing and hope that it fixes itself.  If not, drop me a line and I'll have to get my hands greasy again.  But I ain't rebuilding the site this time!

  4. Don't knock electric cars. You can drive them for thousands of miles if you carry a portable generator in the boot and some fuel to power the generator.


  5. The supposed link between aluminium and Alzheimers disease was from the very first study on the brains of people who’d died of that disease; one had very high levels of aluminium in it. Further work didn’t substantiate the link, so it was dropped.

    What is going on is that the people doing this research are educated past Ph.D level, and are experts in statistics, epidemiology and biology. They are not expert in explaining stuff that it takes nigh on a decade to read up on to people who want an explanation of all of it in five minutes; generally if you want to get a good knowledge, then take a few down the pub, buy a round of beers and get them talking.

    You also have to understand that a lot of this is what my old Ph.D supervisor calls statistical stamp collecting. Take a load of epidemiological and environmental data, and throw it at what used to be called a supercomputer and is now called a perfectly normal small cluster, and order the machine to hunt down every single correlation it can find. Generally speaking, this throws up a lot of spurious results.

    A good example of one such would be this: “Wearing a leather jacket is correlated with dying in a road accident”.

    Given such a snippet by some bod in a white coat (trying furiously to avoid grinning madly as they do so) and most newspapers will solemnly and uncomprehendingly publish this result as though it is gospel truth. Indeed, it is a correlation, the magic computer says so.

    It is also utter bollocks.

    People who ride motorbikes generally wear leather, and are also much, much more likely to die in road accidents than the general population. The correlation is _really_ saying that riding a motorbike is, statistically speaking, bad for you, but it is doing this in a roundabout way.

    This is what I suspect the “diesel fumes cause cancer” thing means; the exposure to diesel fumes is a proxy for something else or for a lifestyle that’s bad for you, not for the diesel fumes themselves per se.

    • The problem with all these studies is that they make for great headlines – "Your saucepan is giving you Alzheimer's Disease".  This, naturally enough gives people pause for thought and they will remember it.  However when the study is debunked [as they invariably are] it doesn't make the news and the myth stays in widespread circulation.  After all, "Your saucepan is not giving you Alzheimer's Disease" will not sell newspapers?

      Personally I have reached the stage [though actually I reached it a long time ago] where I don't bother reading any of these alarmist headlines.  The chances are that they are false, or at the very least heavily exaggerated.  Announcement by press release is one of the scourges of modern times.

    • All I can do is laugh [which is good for the blood pressure incidentally].  Who the fuck do they think they are kidding?

      Two fingers to them too….

  6. I’m a diesel mechanic for Deere and I can attest to the fact that… that…oh fuck. Where’s my keys?

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