links for 2010-07-12

  • Alex Dowsett (Trek-Livestrong) tuned up for next week's U23 European championships by winning the Procycling Hot Laps at BikeRadar Live.

    Dowsett clocked a blistering 2'12 for the 1.2 mile (1.9km) lap of the Brands Hatch Indy Circuit, an average speed of 32.2mph (51.8km/h). The time was even more impressive given the extremely windy conditions and hilly nature of the circuit.

    (tags: cycling)
  • So just how true is this perception that motorists are so unfairly taxed? Well in the financial year 2006-07 £28.43bn was raised from taxes on fuel and Vehicle Excise Duty (VED). In the same year around £8.78bn went toward maintenance and £11.91bn new road building, but that is not the whole story. The cost of policing the roads and the expense incurred by the judicial system has been estimated to be £3bn. Also, the cost to the NHS of injuries due to road accidents crashes, according to figures from collated by RoSPA, was £9.93bn. So the total cost to government was £33.62bn, meaning there was a short fall of £5.19bn, which had to be covered from other non-motoring related taxation.

    In addition there is the cost to businesses and other drivers due to delays caused by congestion, estimated by those rampant greens, the Confederation of British Industry (CBI), to be about £19.1bn.

  • Aging rats have had their memory loss reversed, thanks to a compound that helps them form new memories again. The compound could be a breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer's.
  • Religion has at least two weaknesses. One is that it is empirically false, and all of its specific claims are either pointless and unverifiable, or have been falsified. Another, though, that we neglect at a cost of diminished effectiveness, is that it's hilarious. It's a prime target for exposure of religious folly; it's the soft, ticklish underbelly of faith and we need more people to exploit it.
    (tags: religion)