Le Monde devoted a page to a report on “Hiroshima: What the world never saw” last weekend. It recounted the discovery of “ten pictures hidden for more than 60 years by an American soldier which show for the first time the victims of the bomb dropped on the Japanese city on August 6, 1945”. It emerged however that the pictures, from the Hoover Institution of Stanford University, depicted the aftermath of a 1923 earthquake near Tokyo. They were immediately recognised by experts in Japan and the US.
Get digging : coal makes a comeback
If oil prices remain above the critical threshold of $50 per barrel, there's even a good chance we will soon be flying in coal-powered airliners. Indeed, if you have flown from Johannesburg International Airport in the last seven years, your aircraft ran on a mixture of kerosene and liquidised, pulverised coal.
Coal-rich and oil-poor, South Africa became a pioneer of this work during the apartheid era. Sanctions blocked imports of oil, but it required transport fuel at any cost. Now Sasol, the South African chemical firm that leads the world in coal-oil production, is to offer a new version of its aviation fuel, 100% derived from coal, for international approval later this year.
Soaring oil prices now mean the rest of the world is getting interested, too. The US Air Force spends $4.5bn a year on jet fuel, and is already showing interest. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, recognising that many USAF scenarios involve bombing its own traditional oil suppliers in the Middle East, has ordered his forces to explore alternative fuels that don't require foreign oil. In September the USAF will conduct its first test flight with a synthetic fuel derived from natural gas, using technology similar to coal-to-oil.
That name rings a bell :
Big Gordy from Kirkcaldy ? Hmm.
He came to the attention of Durham Police after he was arrested by officers in Scotland, where he was sending indecent images of children to somebody called “Big Gordy from Kirkcaldy.”
In January last year he was jailed for 14 months by a Scottish court for emailing 10 images of youngsters aged between five and 12 to “Big Gordy.”