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McSpredder

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  1. UK modellers Rhys Green and Debbie Pain reported that they “used observations from two studies of Greenland adults (Bjerregaard et al. 2004; Johansen et al. 2006) to derive an empirical relationship between the mean daily intake of dietary lead from the meat of shot birds and mean B-Pb”, omitting to mention that the Greenland scientists found lead concentration in one species (eider) to be 8.3 times as high as in the other species (thick-billed murre). Anybody who has actually looked at the various papers from the Greenland studies can hardly fail to have noticed that the numbers of samples were small and the variability within each species was also very large, leading to: an eight-fold range in the 95% confidence limits for the 25 carcases of eider; a twelve-fold range in the 95% confidence limits for the 32 carcases of thick-billed murre. I assume that HSE staff who prepared the Annex 15 Restriction Report might have been unaware of small sample sizes and great variability of data on which the mathematical model was founded, otherwise they might not be presenting it to government as a basis for legislation. Ornithologists issuing predictions about child health have excluded any mention of data published by the UK Health Security Agency’s Lead Exposure in Children Surveillance System (LEICSS) or Public Health England’s Surveillance of Elevated Blood Lead in Children (SLiC). Why? Could it be because real data does not agree with the model? The ornithologists predict that 48,000 children may be at risk solely as a result of eating game meat. By contrast, health professionals have recorded on average fewer than 40 cases per year in which UK children suffered elevated blood lead concentration from any source. The most common cause was ingestion by very young children of non-dietary objects, and no cases at all were identified as resulting from food intake. Publications cited by HSE indicate that high-level consumers of game meat tend to be people with higher income and higher position in society, whereas health professionals report that cases of elevated blood lead concentration in children were mostly found in areas of considerable deprivation. The HSE consultation refers to official records in relation to animals under the Veterinary Medicines Directorate National Surveillance Scheme, but excludes any mention of the equivalent records relating to children (LEICSS and SLiC). I can only assume that modellers and HSE staff: considered official surveillance information to be irrelevant, OR examined the data recorded by health professionals and decided that it was incorrect, OR were ignorant of the existence of surveillance schemes relating to child health. Presumably the papers published in scientific journals would have been subject to peer-review. The reviewers might have been insufficiently familiar with the subject matter, and failed to notice the omission of surveillance data; alternatively, they may have regarded it as perfectly acceptable. Predictions about effects of lead ammunition on human health have often been written by the same people who assert enormous damage to wildlife and the environment. If they have withheld or distorted information relating to human health, anything they have written on other topics might be equally unreliable.
  2. Agreed, behaviour of Western nations has often been less than perfect, but some African economies have been seriously distorted due to actions of Far Eastern countries over the last 50 years. Recipient nations are not above criticism, that goes back a long way, and many of their rulers have been intolerant of criticism. I shall never forget the roars of laughter from the audience during a performance of HMS Pinafore in Kampala (1970) at the line: "...it is one of the happiest characteristics of this glorious country that official utterances are invariably regarded as unanswerable." We weren't laughing so much the following year, after Idi Amin had become president.
  3. Are you certain they were all from the West? I seem to remember reading about one strategy that apparently proved successful in Africa. It went something like this: Identify politicians who truly understand economics (for some unknown reason they were described as Wa-Benzi) and help them to obtain good reliable motorcars (obviously for official duties and for the purpose of visiting their constituencies). Provide lots of poor countries with new roads and bridges and railways and power stations and luxury hotels and presidential palaces, always on the never-never. Send food supplies so that regimes can distribute largesse to the starving millions, and ensure that power does not fall into in the hands of the wrong people. Don’t press for repayment in the short term, but do keep reminding all those countries of how helpful you have been. They might be willing to return the favour in future when big international organisations are deciding policies under the “one nation, one vote” system. Unfortunately I cannot recall which country came up with that scheme. Maybe Ditchman would know?
  4. Re insurance, I do wonder about ring bulges near the muzzle. Perhaps not a safety issue in the case of a fixed-choke single barrel gun, but what about a double? Would ring bulging in one of the barrels be likely to affect the other barrel and/or their attachment to the ribs? Perhaps one of the gunsmiths on PW can advise. And what about multi-chokes? If the threaded portion of the barrel becomes bulged, the chokes will certainly be looser. Is there a risk that loosely-fitting chokes might then be blown out of the barrel? Also, what would happen if the shotgun was subsequently involved in an accident totally un-related to the bulge? An expert examining it would be bound to report that the shooter had been using a gun with damaged barrels. Lawyers and insurers will jump on anything that could be construed as careless or reckless behaviour, and the FEO might also take note. Any answers?
  5. It is difficult to respond to a consultation until you know exactly what is being asked. I have only looked at the opening page, which demands contact details (and consent to use of unspecified cookies) before even the first question can be revealed. Can anybody (perhaps one of the shooting organisations) can reveal the full content?
  6. My S7 permit allows me to possess the guns I already own, but not to purchase or acquire any others.
  7. Lots of spare parts listed, and advice on how to fit them, on this website: https://www.espares.co.uk/search?SearchTerm=dishwasher sump hose https://www.espares.co.uk/advice/howto/how-to-replace-the-drain-hose-on-a-dishwasher
  8. Handle bent round and back out through sidewall, just visible in photo.
  9. http://www.streetmap.co.uk Just press the "Print" button.
  10. "Cet animal est très méchant. Quand on l'attaque, il se défend." That would appear to be Vlad's logic.
  11. Brought this three rouble note back from Rostov many years ago, because it reminded me of the old USA expressions “as …… as a three dollar bill”
  12. In case anybody is wondering what the 8-week extension letter looks like......
  13. I bought a pair of Sealskinz shooting gloves about 10 years ago. Fabric on the back, leather (or look-alike) on the palm. The trigger finger folds back, but the Velcro does not hold it in place very securely. OK in the wet. Nothing like as warm as I would have expected, considering the price. The thin leather gloves (think they were by Dent) that I used for 20 years, until they finally disintegrated, were far warmer than the Sealskinz.
  14. I was at a farm demonstration (late 1970s) where a chainsaw was being used to cut out blocks of silage from a clamp. It seemed a very quick and efficient way of doing the job, but the safety aspect did concern me -- anybody who has worked with silage will be aware that the top surface (immediately below the plastic cover) can be a very slippery place on which to stand. I am not sure what effect the acidic material would have on life of the chain and bar. The demo was using an ordinary chainsaw, but there were some models were being sold specifically for this job.
  15. Sounds more like a new Arthur Ransome book, but I am fairly sure the original "Coot Club" managed to sort out the Hullabaloos without any need for tasers.
  16. Or else what? Accrording to one post on SD website, "The Home Office has told GPs that they can de-prioritise the provision of firearms licensing letters in order to concentrate on Covid 19 booster vaccinations."
  17. "Marriage is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. Second marriage is the triumph of hope over experience." (Oscar Wilde)
  18. Azeem Rafiq receives six-figure payout ..... “Your cruel remarks made me so unhappy I cried all the way to the bank” (response by the pianist Władziu Valentino Liberace, when an adverse newspaper review made him even more famous than before).
  19. Colion Scott is just across the border, near Hawick. www.bordertaxidermy.co.uk
  20. £2 invested in Premium Bonds since they were first issued in 1956, total income nil to date. Could have put the money in my Post Office savings account and got sixpence in the pound at that time. Alternatively, I could have bought 86 Eley "Fourlong" (£2-6s-6d per 100) and had a lot more fun.
  21. If a teacher rode a horse in a race and was filmed repeatedly using the whip, would that be grounds for dismissal?
  22. Which would you say is a bigger risk to human health in UK – eating game meat or playing football? Several million people in UK play soccer or rugby, tens of thousands every year need hospital treatment for fractures, many suffer severe concussion, some are disabled for life due to spinal injuries, others incur head injuries leading to serious loss of mental capacity in later life, and occasionally a player dies. There are actual medical records for these cases, not just predictions from a mathematical model. "well understood scientific understanding" is not always quite as reliable as people expect. Money talks. A wise person remarked that “Universities were once populated by people in search of the truth, and are now populated by people in search of funding.” Funding, promotion and salary for a scientist depend mainly on the numbers of publications, and the number of times those publications are quoted (“citation count”). A very effective way to increase your number of publications is to join the jet set and present the same information (with minor alterations) at meetings and conferences around the world. Each set of conference proceedings will then contain a paper published under your name. Just add a little bit more information and you'll be ready for the next round of conferences. Citation count can be boosted by quoting your own previous publications (“self citation”). Deborah Pain managed to cite no fewer than 14 of her own publications in a single paper at the Oxford Lead Symposium. Citation counts can grow quite quickly when a group of like-minded individuals start writing papers on the same subject and quoting each other. I am sure the majority of scientists steer well clear of any dubious practices, but a combination of ambition and zealotry is apt to influence the way investigations are carried out and reported.
  23. I agree there is likely to be ever-increasing pressure on shooting, but that doesn’t mean we must accept low standards from within the scientific community. Poor quality work deserves to be exposed. People campaigning vociferously against use of lead shot are in many cases the people who constantly attack every aspect of shooting. It is within their rights to do so, but I would not expect any reputable scientist to ignore actual health records and cherry-pick data in order to “build a case”. Bad science could quickly undermine this country’s reputation for excellence in scientific education and research . If you wanted to take a degree in zoology, would you apply to a university department where professors seemed to think protein intake would be a measure of energy expenditure? If you wanted information about the potential market for a new medicine, where would you award the research contract? To someone who will find out how many people actually suffer from particular health problems, or to a university department that prefers ten-year mathematical modelling studies? Do you believe that a 2.5 year old child eats 100g of meat in a single meal? If so, you have probably decided that the modellers are right and the Great Ormond Street Hospital nutritionists don't know what they are talking about (they suggest 20-30g meat portions for a child of 2-3 years). Have the modellers been striving to improve health and welfare of the people most likely to eat a lot of game meat (ie the shooting community), or do they have different objectives? Decide for yourselves.
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