Friday, 27 June 2008

Jeremy Clarkson and the prius

Jeremy Clarkson was just on top gear reproducing the old myths about the toyota prius. There were two strong statements in the program, one I can get on board with, and one where Jeremy Clarkson gave in to lazy temptation of quoting something because you want it to be true, rather than checking it actually is.

Firstly they did a track test comparing the prius against a BMW and found the BMW did better for mpg. This is something I've seen around and I'm certainly open to the fact that hybrids are beatable. They are, after all, just an attempt to make a petrol powered vehicle more efficient. I can't vouch for these tests though, from what I can gather they mostly seem to rely on motorway travel to beat the prius (which is best in the city).

The second thing though is completely contemptible of Clarkson. It's an old piece of bullshit that has been blogged about loads (badscience usually a good place to start) that the Prius is worse over its lifetime than a land rover (last time it was a hummer). I can't do a better job than has been done already, but it comes down to a dodgy report done by a marketing group. Now it's been broadcast on such a huge platform I doubt we'll ever here the end of it.

UPDATE: I think the dodge claim is about 45s in.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

First Post

Welcome to my new blog. I haven't quite worked out what to do with it yet but I think it's good to have a blog, the internet's already full of useless crap so this isn't going to make it any worse.

Right now I'm writing my thesis so I doubt I'll be putting much on here but when I do I suspect it'll mainly be based on the two things: physicsy stuff and statistics stuff. The former should be mainly positive (things I think are really interesting) and the latter will be mostly negative (ranting about stats-abuse). I guess we'll see how it goes.