“How is he the victim in this scenario? This is a pregnant woman who had to arrange new levels of protection because of the amount of racist abuse she was receiving, which escalated when she announced that she was pregnant. She’s always had racist abuse, but when she announced her pregnancy it multiplied because there is so much toxic racism in our society. … That’s not Danny Baker’s fault but what is Danny Baker’s fault is that he did something which was so offensive that when I first saw it I actually thought it was a prank. I just thought nobody, nobody who the BBC gives a platform [sic] could be stupid enough to say this and not intend it to be racist. Because it is one of [sic] and we could talk about unintended racism or micro-aggression, this is none of those. This is the most blatant, clear cut example of racism. It is a [sic] Generations of people have recognised this as an overtly racist trope. Within people’s lifetimes, black people still being compared to monkeys and dehumanised regularly. … So, I’m not interested in him. I’m not interested in him or what happens to him. By the way, he’s already done a show which was more successful than his previous shows since he’s been sacked. So, if you are worried about his career then I suspect there is no reason to. I am not interested in him, I’m worried about the millions of black people who regularly live with this kind of abuse and then have to be in spaces like this where everybody denies it’s a problem. That is something that I could not feel more strongly about and I’m living it right now in this conversation. It’s not good enough.” Afua Hirsch
“The modern world’s cherished ideas of liberty, equality and prosperity are more popular than ever before. The problem is that it is difficult for the vast majority of the human population to realise them.” Pankaj Mishra appearing on yesterday’s Newsnight programme. www.youtube.com
“We know there’s no magic; the money will come from the cuts and deficit reductions and benefit targets and financial squeezes on those Cameron knows won’t be voting for him anyway.” Armando Iannucci regards the Conservative Party as unfit to govern the United Kingdom. www.theguardian.com
“The problem is, if you choose to believe Armstrong, that it’s a witch-hunt, then you are also a conspiracy theorist, because the only way you can explain all the witnesses who are willing to testify is to say that they are part of a massive conspiracy against him. One that spans the Atlantic Ocean, includes former team-mates, journalists, doctors, administrators, soigneurs, strangers and mechanics.” Ross Tucker joins the debate. www.sportsscientists.com
“Spending billions to force the terrorists to alter their plans in one particular way does not make us safer. It is far more cost-effective to concentrate our defences in ways that work regardless of tactic and target: intelligence, investigation and emergency response.” Bruce Schneier debates the former head of the Transportation Security Administration, Kip Hawley, on airport security. This is from the first of Schneier’s three statements on the topic.
www.economist.com 20 March, 23 March, 28 March
“What the Jobs hyperbole means is that your world is no bigger than your media. Or your computer. There can’t be a more tragic expression of the internet’s self-absorption.” Following the media’s response to the death of Steve Jobs, Andrew Orlowski would like to keep things in perspective. www.theregister.co.uk
If you are a cyclist and would like a more comfortable ride, you might want to consider switching to a seat post made from carbon fibre. At a diameter of 27.2 mm, the Easton EC90 is the most compliant seat post that I have used to date. With enough of the post exposed, it offers a much more comfortable ride. If you require a larger diameter seat post, the theoretical advantages of carbon over other materials are much less likely to be realised in practice. At a diameter of 30.9 mm or greater, I’d stick with aluminium. Use a torque wrench and carbon assembly paste.
This is a picture of my Roeckl 3104 803 MTB gloves, which I picked up towards the end of the summer. In certain ways, these really are the best cycling gloves that I have used. Feel, grip as well as comfort are outstanding. But while I am aware that light gloves such as these cannot reasonably be expected to last forever, the amount of use I got out of this pair is disappointing at best.