Before I brave the snowy wastes of the Hill of Doom (a requirement of leaving my flat, these days!) I’d like to share a few stories I found.

The good:

Spinal Tap (of This Is Spinal Tap fame) are recording new material. I do have a soft spot for Spinal Tap, if only because of the quotes  that they provide me with. “Certainly, in the topsy-turvy world of heavy rock, having a good solid piece of wood in your hand is often useful” springs to mind. As it were.

The bad:

Carol Thatcher has referred to somebody as a “golliwog”. I say no more.

The ugly:

Yet another sexual assualt makes it into the news. This time by a sixteen year old boy, who’s pled guilty in Scotland to “lewd and libdinous practices and behaviour” towards a three year-old girl. He’s previously been convicted in England of taking an indecent photograph, and sexually touching a girl “under 14”, which earned him a 12-month referral order. Anybody think he might be getting worse?

The downright painful:

Doctors remove a healthy kidney (from a living donor) through her vagina. Apparently, “removing the kidney through ‘a natural orifice’ speeds up recovery and gives a better cosmetic result – avoiding a six inch abdominal scar”.

Altogether now… OUCH!

“Once the kidney was cut from its attachments to the abdominal wall and its arteries and veins were stapled shut, the surgeons placed the kidney in a plastic bag inserted through an incision in the vaginal wall and pulled it out through the vaginal opening with a string attached to the bag.”

The article goes on to say that the surgeons hope that this will mean that more women become donors.

I’ll leave that thought to sit for a while, along with this one: is it only me that’s wondering whether vaginas scar too?

And, just for good measure, I had a quick look at The Grauniad, and by ignoring any articles likely to annoy me, I found two that I actually liked. Amazing! Ben Goldacre’s Bad Science* column says that “nothing has changed, people continue to have stupid ideas, newspapers continue to laud them, and lives will be lost”. Worth remembering. Stupidity really can kill, especially if you deny the existance of HIV/Aids.

Lastly, Kira Cochrane has issues with all of the newspapers going for sensationalism over sense regarding the Children’s Society report – perhaps she read my blog and extrapolated?! Funny, she seems to have missed her own newspaper from her list. But they do devote a good five paragraphs to the working-mothers debate. Out of sixteen. Just less than a third of the article, then. So maybe it’s not too bad. Right? Or maybe, since it’s The Grauniad, it was just a typo that left it out of her list? Yeah. Must be that.

Edited To Add: Can’t anything be good? Ben Goldacre, I am officially disappointed.

Hat tip to The F-Word.

… Use the number zero, of course! Breasts and zeros are both (roughly) round, you can see them pretty much anywhere you go, men didn’t understand either concept for many, many years…

More to the point, through the geeky amusement that is Bad Science, I’ve been alerted to the truly awful formula published in The Sun. See what I do in the name of research? I actually go to The Sun’s website. Be proud of me. Even Ben Goldacre didn’t do that.

I like to think that if we pitted the articles against each other, something like this might happen:

The Sun: BOOOOOOBS!!!!

Ben Goldacre: Um, your maths is totally wrong

TS: Ha ha – “Boobfin” – geddit?! “Boffin” – but for BOOBS! Geddit?!!!

BG: Oh, God, and your pet mathematician went to Cambridge..

TS: Look! Numbers!! 0 x 70 x (20 x 5 + 32) /75 = 123.2.**

BG: No, you fools! No! 0 x [anything] = 0. Seriously. Stick to thinking about breasts. Or hire better mathematicians.


BG: Yeah, that’s better.

*Of course, an easier way of combining maths with breasts is to remember that women can count. But this is The Sun we’re talking about!

** The actual “formula” is as follows:

“The equation is O=NP(20C+B)/75.

To figure out the naughtiness rating (O), you times the number of nipples exposed, from zero to two or expressed as fractions of nipple shown (N) with the percentage of exposed frontal surface area (P).

The sum in brackets is 20 multiplied by the cup size (C), where A cup is one, B is two, C is three and D or above is five.

Add that figure to B, the bust measurement in inches. Then divide your answer by 75. Any score higher than 100 is counted as obscene.”

And I wholeheartedly apologise for letting the words “naughtiness” and “rating” into the blog. It will only happen again if The Mail decides that they, too, want a stupid, pointless, non-news item involving numbers and breasts.