Odds stacked in Schumacher’s favour on his return to F1

This may seem like an odd headline to be claiming in relation to a 41 year old coming out of retirement back into the unforgiving world of F1. However on closer inspection, several changes in formula 1 may be more familiar to him than some of his rivals. He has great experience of slick tyres from his early days, refueling was not a feature when he first started (it’s now banned) and downforce levels have been reduced in an attempt for the cars to race a bit more (i.e. Cars may handle similarly to pre 2000 levels).

The choice of team is also perfect for him. Small new team without expectant and restless fanbase like Ferrari, a previously winning car that has been developed on from early in 2009 and most important of all, a teammate who is also new to the car. This way Schumacher won’t be under the same immediate pressure of racing against a well established driver within the team, in the way that Jenson Button will have to face with Lewis Hamilton at Mclaren.

Expect to see Schumacher near the front of the grid in 2010!

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Robinho’s change of heart over staying at Man City

Robinho
Image via Wikipedia

This morning I saw this most incredible story that Robinho actually wants to stay at Man City for 5 to 10 years! One amazing thing is that he even uttered these sentiments in English. However much more astounding is how this is a significant change of heart relative to his previous desire to go to Barcelona only a few weeks ago.

So, what’s changed? Well Barcelona seem to be doing just fine without him, so he may have been told he’s not wanted. However, I reckon Man City have promised him a bit of a sweetener. That can’t be in the form of money cos he already has plenty of that, but what about a superstar world class player as a new teammate in the upcoming January window? Which one? I have no idea but anything is possible given the way Man City went after and nearly succeeded in getting Kaka a year ago.

So don’t be surprised if a new face is playing for City by the end of January. I suspect he won’t be a forward as Robinho’s joy of being at City would fast diminish if he was relegated to bench-warming.

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Untimely cut on NHS IT system in pre-Budget report

UCL quad + UCH
Image by G’n’L photos via Flickr

The latest move in Whitehall to claw back some of the huge amounts of money spent to save the banking system and tackle the recession, is to reduce funding and scope of the NHS IT system.

Now, this has definitely not been a perfect project, with delays, imperfect implementation and large costs. However, results are beginning to bear fruit. Most hospitals have digital radiology (X-rays, CT, MRI, etc…). Nearly all GP practices are computerised. Hospitals that are hooked onto the main computer system can now request scans + tests all online, resulting in huge time savings. The initial interface is constantly being modfied to increase functionality, and finally staff are becoming familiar with its workings (which itself improves efficiency).

In view of the above, it seems incredibly short-sighted to pull the plug on this long-term and promising project. Then again, long-term sentiments don’t win short-term elections…

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Swindon and Disney World – perfect fit, right?!

SWINDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 22:  A Mini logo a...
Image by Getty Images via Daylife

British Town Is First Twinned With Disney World

Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Park
Image by Mastery of Maps via Flickr

What a bizarre story. Two magical kingdoms?

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Fairtrade Nestlé chocolate still not fair enough for our health

https://i1.wp.com/memberfiles.freewebs.com/08/18/40351808/photos/Cruzmissle39/kit%20kat.jpg

It’s very admirable to see Nestlé, a company previously villified for its negative contributions to public health, now paying Fairtrade prices for its raw ingredients. However it must also be reassuring to the farmers that the UK government has backed this move. Surely, for the good of the nation’s health, they should be discouraging consumption of chocolate, putting more taxes on it and reducing sales, thereby reducing the Fairtrade revenue of developing world farmers. Good thing for them that our ethics mix better with finance than our public health system.

I’m not against Fairtrade at all, but chocolate bars being cheaper than a piece of fruit is not an effective way to impact on the developed world obesity epidemic.

Nutritional Analysis of Kit Kat Bar

Breakdown
Nutritional Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values (based on a 2000 calorie diet)

Legend
Fat Protein Carbs Alcohol Othe


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 3 2/5 oz (96.0 g)
Amount Per Serving

Calories

463

Calories from Fat

252
% Daily Value*

Total Fat

28.0g
43%

Cholesterol

35mg
12%

Sodium

458mg
19%

Total Carbohydrates

42.0g
14%

Dietary Fiber

1.1g
4%

Sugars

30.1g

Protein

6.0g
Vitamin A 0% Vitamin C 0%
Calcium 6% Iron 7%
* Based on a 2000 calorie diet

// See more extended nutritional details

Breakdown
Nutritional Breakdown
Daily Values
Daily Values (based on a 2000 calorie diet)

Legend
Fat Protein Carbs Alcohol Other

courtesy of Caloricount.about.com

Blatant plagiarism of Subway restaurant shopfront style

Unless Subway has now gone into partnership with a betting firm in these hard times!

Rocky Baptiste – The Miss of the Century

Speechless…

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Eight goals were scored in this match – Harrow Borough beat Waltham Abbey 5-3 – but the only topic of conversation in the bar was the astounding miss by non-league legend, Rocky Baptiste.

France vs Ireland: this is getting out of hand (!)

2009 Ireland - 0 https://i0.wp.com/www.comparestoreprices.co.uk/images/fa/faw-sign-arrow-horizontal-125-x-125mm-adhesive.jpg FOOTBALL Robbie Keane celebrates scoring for Ireland against Cyprus 2009 - 0

Given that they weren’t able to replay the game, the Irish have now asked FIFA to be added as a 33rd team to the World Cup, 4 days before the draw is made.

These sentimental approaches to football just don’t work. Who’s to say that France wouldn’t have scored later in the game even if Henry’s infringement had been spotted? How many other incorrect refereeing decisions in any of the other group matches do we want to retrospectively correct? If FIFA accept this request (which I’m sure they won’t), they’ll end up very quickly with a massive list of countries trying to correct all sorts of results in the past. Perhaps we should turn the history books into some sort of Wikipedia experiment, which can just be edited by anyone depending on their point of view of the historical course of events.

Montreal back on F1 calendar

Gilles Villeneuve circuit Gilles Villeneuve circuit

Finally, Formula 1 is adding back a traditional venue to the calendar, where good quality racing and passionate fans often go hand in hand. Now for Silverstone hopefully….

The revolving doors of Formula 1: here come VW

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Car manufacturers have been dipping in and out of Formula 1 for many years now, and I’m beginning to think that all this talk of developing cutting edge technology and applying it to road cars is a lie. It’s surely all about publicity. No sooner have 3 manufacturers (Honda, BMW and Toyota) left, then others have tried to take the exposure slot off them. First Mercedes increase their involvement by buying a team, and now VW want a piece of the action too. I guess there’s no rules to stop companied doing this (and after all they do bring investment into the sport), but it just highlights how Formula 1 has, sadly, become foremost a shopfront for manufacturers and sponsors to make short term impacts in other markets. Oh and there are also highly skilled drivers that offer exciting races…