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Was 2012 the weirdest year for weather?

by Geoffrey Dobson

Roger Harrabin is the Environment Analyst for the BBC, and maintains close links with green organisations like the World Wildlife Fund and the Tyndall Centre. In 2006 he organized the “28-gate” meeting of BBC executives with climate change activists at which they decided that only positive messages about the “Anthropogenic Global Warming” theory should be broadcast on the BBC. No skeptic scientists were invited to that meeting, after which the BBC decided that it was in the public interest to exclude any skeptic opinion from broadcasts.

On October 18 2012 Harrabin wrote this:

<<The UK has experienced its “weirdest” weather on record in the past few months, scientists say. The driest spring for over a century gave way to the wettest recorded April to June in a dramatic turnaround never documented before. The scientists said there was no evidence that the weather changes were a result of Man-made climate change. But experts from three bodies warned the UK must plan for periodic swings of drought conditions and flooding. The warning came from the Environment Agency, Met Office and Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) at a joint briefing in London. Terry Marsh, from the CEH, said there was no close modern precedent for the extraordinary switch in river flows. The nearest comparison was 1903 but this year was, he said, truly remarkable. >>

And on January 17th 2013 he wrote:

<<The UK Chief Scientist tells me weather extremes now worry scientists as much or more than overall global warming. “If this gets worse, how are farmers going to operate?” he asks. Yet at the same time there’s a relentless spread of climate confusion in parts of the media. The Met Office, a world-leading purveyor of climate information, recently suffered reputational damage that will increase public confusion over whether climate change is important at all. Scientists have been puzzling for some time over exactly what combination of factors is preventing the earth getting even warmer – maybe changes in solar activity, ocean currents or emissions of aerosol pollution. >>

"For the next hundred years the weather will be perfectly normal, but UK Met Office long-term climate predictions will become more and more divorced from reality - just like me"

Harrabin makes contradictory statements in the above two reports. In the first he admits that “The scientists said there was no evidence that the weather changes were a result of Man-made change”, and then Continue reading “Was 2012 the weirdest year for weather?” »

Anglican Church Boulogne ~ February newsletter

The latest edition of the Anglican Church, Boulogne Congregation newsletter is now available.  It contains news of services, social events, a Diocesan appeal, a recipe for a traditional Polish Shrove Tuesday (or Thursday, in Poland) treat, and much more.

You can download it by clicking on the link below.

February 2013 Boulogne Anglican Church Congregation Newsletter

In The Dark About The Universe? Patrick Moore tribute by Geoff Dobson.

Frogsiders publishes today a special article by our Science Correspondent, Dr Geoff Dobson, written as a tribute to the late Sir Patrick Moore who died last week.

Here is a short extract from the obituary notice published in The Independent:

“By the 1960s Moore was becoming a recognised television personality, having begun The Sky at Night for the BBC in 1957, just before the launch of Sputnik 1 in October that year. Moore’s timing was again impeccable: what delights, what overturns of long accepted concepts took place in the years and decades that followed. In 1957 few would have thought that 40 years later, for that long-lived programme, Moore would do a tourist description of a flyover of the surface of Venus from the results of radar mapping.

He had a gift for simple presentation of complex and difficult ideas and technologies. He knew the professional astronomical community well and kept up a flow of astronomers to explain and enlarge upon the latest findings. Again, it is hard today, when colour television and sophisticated computer simulation are developed to such high standards, to explain just how much Moore achieved in those early days of black and white. His presentational skills and sheer enthusiasm brought astronomy to many for whom science was otherwise a closed book. People were enthused and excited by the torrent of discovery in astronomy unleashed by the sheer technical ability to work without the constraint of the Earth’s atmosphere.

Moore was a prolific author, writing at least one book a year. His books conveyed his overarching love of, and enthusiasm for, astronomy. He was at his best on topics of a Solar System nature, but he tackled all aspects of astronomy. He wrote for the under-10s on astronomy and space; he wrote a textbook on astronomy for GCSE students. He also wrote on non-astronomical matters.”

The impossible Christmas Quiz – again!

Just a reminder that you can have many hours of head-scratching fun this Christmas by trying to fathom out the answers to The Impossible Quiz devised by Graham Hughes.

If you want to have a go, just download the quiz in .pdf format by clicking on this link.

If you are already doing the quiz and (most likely) you’re stuck, or if (very unlikely) you think you have completed it correctly, you can get all the answers by sending a donation, via Graham, to the Anglican Church in the Pas De Calais.

I have now added Graham’s contact details to the Quiz sheet, but if you don’t find it when you download the file, (right click on the speech bubble at the bottom of the first page) please contact Frogsiders via our Contact Page and we’ll put you in touch.

Another Impossible Quiz!

You might remember a fiendishly difficult quiz that was set by Graham Hughes for Frogsider readers 2 years ago.  Well, he’s done it again.

It seems nothing can stop Graham from taking delight in torturing innocent people who only want to spend a little time over Christmas taking part in a harmless family intellectual entertainment.  Be warned!  This quiz is not for anyone of a nervous disposition.  Any attempt to find all the answers to Graham’s questions might lead to you spending Christmas and New Year under sedation and round-the-clock medical care.

But, if you are determined to try to do yourselves serious brain damage, click this link to download the Quiz questions. Frogsiders will not be responsible for the consequences.

The aim of the quiz, by the way, is to raise money for the Anglican Church in the Pas De Calais.

Dr. Desfrites Answers Your Questions!

by Dr. Professor Leroy Desfrites

Doctor Leroy Desfrites

Bonjour mes amis!

I am back from a long and exhausting lecture tour of South America.  It should not have been a long tour, as I was only booked to speak once – a talk on “Chaos Theory And Its Relevance vis-a-vis  the  Effects of Argentinian Corned Beef on  Climate Change”, at the People’s Free University of Fray Bentos.  Unfortunately I made an rather unwise and  possibly politically incorrect proposition to a mature but expensively dressed woman, who turned out to be Madame President Kirchner.  My suggestion of a quiet weekend, à deux, in my Falkland Islands holiday home, resulted in a stay of several weeks under house arrest at a remote Holiday Camp formerly owned by the Secret Police.

On my happy return to La Belle France I found a massive bag of unanswered mail, among which was the following question from one of my most dedicated fans, who wishes to remain anonymous  – let us call him Jean Deaux.

Jean asks: “Dear Dr. Lesfrites, When will house prices in France recover?”

But my dear Jean, house prices do not need to recover.  They have never fallen.  I have decided, for instance, to ask a higher price now, for my charming apartment in the picturesquely named fashionable Paris quartier of Clichy-Sous-Bois, than I was asking 2 years ago.  Clearly the price has increased!

Luxury Apartment For Sale - €1.5m

In fact, Jean, I am very happy to say that this substantial increase in the price of my house has made me feel much richer, as a result of which I am planning to call on my Bank Manager for a large loan, and to invest the money, through my brokers PMU,  on a promising horse that I have been told about.  I may even enjoy the extravagance of a coffee and a little Calvados as I watch the performance of my equine investment on the TV.

All I need now is a footballer, football club owner, or other person of huge wealth and great naivety to hand over several million euros for my slum luxury apartment!

I hope this answers your question, Jean, and helps you to understand how we of superior intellect are always the creators of wealth, while everyone else is condemned to a life of miserable poverty.  Enjoy!

BOGOF Week in Restaurants 17 to 23 September

You know how the French keep inventing new Festival of this and Foire de that kind of things?  Well, apparently there’s a week called “Tous au Restaurant“, from 17 to 23 September, which is supposed to get us all rushing off to eat in a local restaurant.

Here is a link to the Tous au Restaurant web page.  Like many French websites it is not very well designed, not particularly informative at first glance, and full of exhortational wordy messages that don’t really tell you what the benefits to you, the customer, are.  For instance, “A week during which more than a thousand restaurateurs throughout France mobilise themselves for the public.”

Isn’t that what they should be doing every week?

It falls to Frogsiders, therefore, to explain, before you get too bored with wading through the French text,  that this is a BOGOF offer in a number (unfortunately a small number in our region) of restaurants throughout France.

A special menu is offered at the participating restaurants, on the basis that the second diner eats free.  You can find out which restaurants are taking part in the offer, and reserve your table, by searching on the Tous au Restaurant website.  It doesn’t necessarily tell you the price of the menu, though, or what’s on it, so you might have to phone the restaurant if you want to know more.  We found one restaurant, in Le Touquet, where the price was given as 25 euros, Monday-Friday only.

Don’t get too excited – there are two restaurants in Le Touquet, three around Boulogne, one in Calais, one near Ardres , and three in the Bethune area.  That’s about it for the Nord/Pas De Calais.

Editor’s Note:  Since writing the above final paragraph, we have found out there are, in fact, several dozen Nord/Pas De Calais restaurants taking part in the Tous au Restaurant promotion.  Here is a link to the complete alphabetical list of participating establishments.

Macmillan Cancer Care Coffee Morning

Jeremy and Anne Towler

invite you to

a fund raising coffee morning

in aid of

Macmillan Cancer Care

on friday September 28th.

10.00 hours until midday


10 chemin de la Forêt, 62270

Boubers sur Canche.

5€ at the door to include Coffee, tea, Home made cakes and biscuits ad infinitum.

Tombola, Gift Stall and Book exchange.

We hope you will join us.

Please forward this to all your friends and colleagues (or use the Facebook “Share” button, below).

PS, Do not forget that there will be a “Pink Soiree” on Friday October 19th.

19.00 – 21.00 hours in the Centre Culturel, Arras in aid of Breast Cancer Research, France.

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