Beware the number ‘13’ (Official Government Advice)


Earlier this year, I blogged about how an elected parliamentarian proposed that the Irish government make arrangements to move the country three inches to the left in order to avoid hitting a fairy. Well, nearly. He actually proposed that the government change the format of car registration (i.e., license) plates in order to avoid having the number ’13’ emblazened on them. You see, the conventional system requires that plates include the final two digits of the calendar year in which the car is purchased. So for cars bought in 2013, the default would be to have ‘13’ right there…on your CAR! That you drive around in! With your KIDS! Continue reading “Beware the number ‘13’ (Official Government Advice)”

Chief Scientific Advisor gets the chop: Getting DNA backwards not the reason

I have been reading a lot recently about the Irish Government’s decision to get rid of its Chief Scientific Adviser. My fellow blogger Maria Delaney has covered this well both on her award-winning Science Calling! blog and on The story is that, due to budgetary cutbacks, the supposedly independent Adviser role is to be given to the head of the government’s own science research funding body. Scientists say that this essentially abolishes the post of Adviser, and worse, creates a “conflict of interest“. It’s all a bit nuanced. Do check out Maria’s blog for the details.

What I do know, however, is that there’s something a little strange with the logo on the Chief Scientific Adviser’s own website. It features an oft-used design based on a stylised DNA sequence. You know, the whole double-helix-image-that-has-become-iconic-within-our-culture thing. Except there’s one problem. They got it kinda backwards…

Continue reading “Chief Scientific Advisor gets the chop: Getting DNA backwards not the reason”

Scientific literacy on the rise (Must put a stop to that then…)

Late last year, I posted a piece on a hoax news story then doing the rounds online, concerning a local councillor in Ireland who claimed that his area was especially suitable for cloud computing because of all the clouds. The post received a bucket load of hits, scooping the Daily Telegraph (who ran the original story without realising it was a hoax) and getting picked up by bloggers at Slate magazine.

Today I bring you the story that an Irish parliamentarian (yes, a member of the national parliament rather than of a local council) has proposed a change in the law regarding car registration plates, to allow motorists to avoid license plates that contain the number ’13’. You know, because ’13’ is so unlucky.

And this time, I kid you not, it ain’t a hoax. Continue reading “Scientific literacy on the rise (Must put a stop to that then…)”

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