Apr 17 2009

Bitter Sourness

Category: UncategorizedMarcus @ 12:45 pm

There’s been various stories about the kid who fell into a vat of caustic soda in Rotherham, including whether it was reported as an acid or an alkali. I think the confusion comes from this BBC News story where one of the kid’s friends ran to his parents’ house to report that he had fallen into some acid, and it kind of went on from there. I can understand junior school kids thinking “hurty chemical = acid”, but I think it’s only lazy journalism that means reporters didn’t bother to correct it. When I started high school in 1990, after we’d got past the tedious distillation of brine bit we spent a lot of time going through acids, alkalis and the pH scale.

I suppose an interesting point to consider from this is what things could be like if everyone used GCSE level maths and science on day to day basis. Being able to point out that some govt survey is nonsense through knowledge of basic stats, or being able to humiliate Dr Gillian McKeith and her atrocious pseudoscience would certainly help to get rid of some of the dodgier practices that the media currently gets away with.

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