Metal Express

One of the (many) cool things about the Intarweb is that everything is local – or to put it another way, you’re not stuck with what is geographically local any more.

Just one example: I’ve been doing the mind-numbing work of entering research survey results into the computer for a couple of days now, and making it a lot more fun by listening to Metal Express web radio from Norway. It’s all in English, and they play an amazing range of stuff, all the way from Christian metal to black metal, the occasional ballad but mostly just good, classic heavy metal. (Very little whiny pathetic nu metal nonsense.) And they’re not scared to kick in some old ZZ Top, Jane’s Addiction, KISS or Black Crowes. (There’s a whole other rant there about authenticity – maybe tomorrow.)

North American stations seem to program much more narrowly, whereas these guys are all over the map, in a good way. I listen on iTunes, which is a free download for Mac or Windows, but there are lots of freeware mp3 players that will tune in web radio. Welcome to the globalisation of metal!

Science Stuff

Wake Up, It’s Hot!

Evidence for Climate Change from the BBC.

Even there, they have to go for the ‘balanced’ position of ‘some scientists say this (basically 100% in a recent study) and some other scientists (mysteriously with heavy oil industry funding) say the other’.

There are few absolute certainties in science, and climate is an area that really needs perspectives from complexity science and is hard to make solid claims in. But to me it’s pretty much certain that the world is warming – there are patterns of melting ice and even changing migration and breeding patterns in animals all over the world that point to it. It’s not 100% certain that the change is anthropogenic (human caused), but greenhouse is a plausible model, and we certainly are changing the composition of the atmosphere at an alarming rate.

Even if we leave aside Kyoto as a specific issue, reducing our production of greenhouse gases is just a Good Idea. I’m taking the One Tonne Challenge – which is challenging for me since I already take the bus and turn off the lights and so on. Maybe turning off my computer when I’m not using it, and using it less, would be a place to start.

It’s going to take bigger challenges to our lifestyles than that, and even then it’s too late to avert a lot of climate change. But if we make a start now we might turn it around in 50 years or so…