Tuesday, April 10, 2007

"the exercise of the intellect"

posted by k

I admit it - I'm a vegetarian. So I'm not particularly interested in the "perfect bacon butty".

If any readers want to know how to make one, this is the formula:

N = C + {fb(cm) . fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc . ta


N = force in Newtons required to break the cooked bacon

fb = function of the bacon type

fc = function of the condiment / filling effect

Ts = serving temperature

tc = cooking time

ta = time or duration of application of condiment / filling

cm = cooking method

C = Newtons required to break uncooked bacon

It's been discovered by scientists at Leeds University.

You may think that scientists should have better things to do than spend 1,000 hours testing sandwiches. But they were paid to do this. They had special equipment. The information, which is all over the press today, comes from The Danish Bacon and Meat Council, which paid for the research.

Hiring university research to private companies is government policy. It was praised by Tony Blair in a speech given on 15th February this year. He is pleased that "scientific ingenuity" is being turned into "entrepreneurial business practice." He suggests doing yet more to reward universities who their researchers and facilities to business.

Bacon butties aren't bad news - except for pigs. But giving industries control over research - which routinely includes discretion to release or control results as they wish - can be dangerous. Should the makers of new drugs be able to conceal test results? Should academics be expected to work in the interests of arms manufacturers?

Who are universities for? What should they do? These questions can't be answered without considering who pays the bills.

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Anonymous Jenny Wren said...

I've never eaten pork since I read, several years ago, that a pig has the emotional intelligence of a four year old child.

7:18 pm  

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