Monthly ArchiveOctober 2008

Flying Nerd site 21 Oct 2008 06:23 am

16,819 SPAM comments caught by Akismet

This site uses the Akismet anti-SPAM plugin. To date, Akismet has caught (blocked) 16,819 SPAM comments. I think it’s flagged about ten comments incorrectly — a very low error rate. Just thought you’d like to know.

Humour 20 Oct 2008 09:22 am

A message from the Queen to people of the USA

This came across my desk today. It’s fun.

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II:

In light of your failure in recent years to nominate competent candidates for President of the USA and thus to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up ‘revocation’ in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

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Formula 1 20 Oct 2008 08:40 am

Team orders in F1

The FIA’s Formula 1 Sporting Regulations state (at Article 39.1):

39.1 Team orders which interfere with a race result are prohibited.

In the post-race press conference following yesterday’s Chinese Grand Prix, Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen, being quizzed as to whether he had followed ‘team orders’ and allowed Felipe Massa to overtake him towards the end of the race, said:

I mean we know what we want as a team and that’s what we did it.


Like I said, I know what the team expects and I know what we want which are results. It is racing and I have nothing to lose or win in a way. I am driving for the team, so it is a normal situation.


I know what the team expects from me and I’m happy to try to achieve the maximum points for the team, what we need.


Now, I don’t have a problem with what Ferrari did yesterday — they clearly optimised their chance of taking the Driver’s World Championship at the last race of the year, in Brazil. But, it seems to me that what they did was against the regulations. Should Ferrari be punished? Is the FIA turning a blind eye to Ferrari once again?

Formula 1 19 Oct 2008 09:58 am

F1 engine and transmission supply for 2010

Would you like to manufacture and supply engines and transmissions to all the F1 teams for the period from 2010 to 2012? If so, you can download the FIA’s request for tender here.

This is a fascinating concept — and one that the F1 manufacturers and teams have not even agreed to support. The idea appears to be to find a way to massively reduce the cost of participating in Formula 1, and thus to ensure the viability of the championship.

Just don’t think that building F1 engines will make you famous. The conditions of the RFT document include the following:

The selected tenderer will not be granted any rights to associate its name with the Championship and may not refer to its right to supply in any advertising, publicity, marketing materials or other commercial communications.

F1 fans will find the document interesting, even if they don’t have space in the shed to actually make the engines!

Formula 1 13 Oct 2008 07:55 am

FIA stewards penalise Bourdais at Japanese Grand Prix — but why?

The FIA continues to take advantage of every opportunity to damage its credibility, with yesterday’s post-race penalty applied to Sebastien Bourdais being just the latest example.

Bourdais was racing strongly and had just left the pits (after his second stop) when Felipe Massa ranged alongside him. TV coverage appeared to show Bourdais holding his ‘inside’ line for the first corner, while Massa appeared to simply ‘turn in’ on him. When I saw that the incident was under investigation, I expected the outcome to indicate either (i) that Massa had been in the wrong, or that (ii) it was a ‘racing incident’. I never believed that Bourdais’ actions would be questioned (or penalised)!

Bourdais is equally confused by the incident, stating: “For me it’s very clear. Yes, I exit the pits, yes I’m supposed to be careful and I was. I stayed inside and I didn’t push him out, I didn’t overshoot the corner. I did everything I could not to run into him and he just squeezed and turned and behaved like I didn’t exist, like I wasn’t there. What am I supposed to do? I’ve been in this position many, many times and I never had any incidents. It’s just a little bit of respect, you give each other room and then everything goes right, but if you don’t for sure it’s going to be an incident.”

The nett result of the penalty: Bourdais drops from sixth to tenth (not material in terms of the World Championship), and Massa moves from eighth to seventh (scoring an extra World Championship point). This seems like a very strange outcome to me.

Formula 1 09 Oct 2008 07:54 am

Overtaking in F1

For many years, it has been difficult for Formula 1 cars to overtake each other.

Here‘s a fascinating article that explains why, and also provides information about plans to remedy the situation for 2009. Very worthwhile reading for F1 fans.

Miscellaneous 09 Oct 2008 07:33 am

Toll collectors strike on Sydney Harbour Bridge

This morning, toll collectors on the SHB will strike for an hour in protest at State Government proposals to make all toll collection on the bridge ‘cashless’ (using electronic tags).

I can understand that toll collectors are fearful for their future employment — after all, if no cash tools are to be collected, there would seem to be little need for toll collectors. But won’t this sort of action simply hasten the end? I guess the toll collectors don’t have much leverage left!

Curmudgeonliness &Humour 02 Oct 2008 01:14 pm

NSW Health advice on how to deal with hot days

The following advice about what to do on a hot day, provided by NSW Health, appeared on the Sydney Morning Herald web site today:

“Our tips are that you need to drink more fluids, particularly water.

“Staying indoors in an air-conditioned place is a good idea, having cool showers if needed, wearing lightweight clothing.”

I wish I’d thought of that!