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Channel Four's application of Muphry's Law

Channel Four just did a classic foot in the mouth moment. Sniggering at `ignorant American' Glenn Beck for garbling the location of the CRU ("East Angerleer"), they became yet another in the long list of failures to falsify Muphry's law: just moments after their moment of mirth at Mr Beck's expense, they managed to interview someone called "Benny Peisner" from Liverpool John Moores University. 


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Reader Comments (12)

Who is this "Muphry" you speak of? Well I suppose that's Sod's Law in action.

Nov 24, 2009 at 8:02 PM | Unregistered Commenteradamskirving

Make that: Murphy's law.

Nov 24, 2009 at 8:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterPops

Pops, Sod


Nov 24, 2009 at 8:58 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

OK you got me. After posting I realised it couldn't be a typo or a spellcheck error.

Nov 24, 2009 at 9:02 PM | Unregistered Commenteradamskirving

See here for further examples.

Nov 24, 2009 at 9:23 PM | Registered CommenterBishop Hill

Did not see the C4 interview but did watch the Glen Beck offering. Getting past the East Angular moment he did encapsulate and present several elements of this news and if C4 were up for the news content one would like to think that they could also focus on the germane. Much of what Beck said and more is encapsulated in this video based around an interview with Climate Scientist Dr. Tim Ball. I found his summation of the usage of the Peer review process particularly revealing.

Nov 24, 2009 at 9:32 PM | Unregistered CommenterMick J

I like to go with this theory of Murphy's Law:

"Murphy's Law prov. The correct, _original_ Murphy's Law reads: "If
there are two or more ways to do something, and one of those ways can
result in a catastrophe, then someone will do it." This is a principle
of defensive design, cited here because it is usually given in mutant
forms less descriptive of the challenges of design for lusers. For
example, you don't make a two-pin plug symmetrical and then label it
`THIS WAY UP'; if it matters which way it is plugged in, then you make
the design asymmetrical (see also the anecdote under magic smoke).

Edward A. Murphy, Jr. was one of the engineers on the rocket-sled
experiments that were done by the U.S. Air Force in 1949 to test human
acceleration tolerances (USAF project MX981). One experiment involved a
set of 16 accelerometers mounted to different parts of the subject's
body. There were two ways each sensor could be glued to its mount, and
somebody methodically installed all 16 the wrong way around. Murphy then
made the original form of his pronouncement, which the test subject
(Major John Paul Stapp) quoted at a news conference a few days later.

Within months `Murphy's Law' had spread to various technical cultures
connected to aerospace engineering. Before too many years had gone by
variants had passed into the popular imagination, changing as they went.
Most of these are variants on "Anything that can go wrong, will"; this
is correctly referred to as Finagle's Law. The memetic drift apparent
in these mutants clearly demonstrates Murphy's Law acting on itself!"

It may lead to me being humour impaired at times, but it does make me remember an important principle.

Nov 24, 2009 at 9:40 PM | Unregistered Commenteradamskirving

At least C4 are running this story. But the angle was weird. They introduced it as "US bloggers piling on poor CRU expert" then ran the Glenn Beck footage.

Then they all sniggered about the East Angular boob. These are the same people who can't get Todmorden right.

Nov 24, 2009 at 10:34 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes

PS: thanks for your coverage, Bish.

Nov 24, 2009 at 10:35 PM | Unregistered CommenterJack Hughes


Nov 25, 2009 at 10:44 AM | Unregistered CommenterPops

Unfortunately, Glenn Beck *is* quite incompetent, and because of the track record of Fox (and Beck) to invent their own facts, and the lack of coverage elsewhere, US progressives aren't understanding that this is real.

It's really a travesty.

Nov 26, 2009 at 5:37 PM | Unregistered Commenterrainfade

Come on guys, Americans like Beck (but unlike Brits and maybe New Englanders) don't put the letter R where there isn't one and drp them where there is. I watched the video and he reversed the L and the I in Anglia to pronounce it East Anjeela. Maybe because his notes had a typo. You won't normally hear an American say "lore and awdah" for "law and order" as Brits do.

Regardless, many of us are thankful we have the honesty of voices like Beck and Fox to counter the tawdry orthodoxy of the left we get on CNN, and other mainstream TV media outlets (including the BBC).
It's the latter that have conspired to suppress the climategate fraud.

Nov 26, 2009 at 11:02 PM | Unregistered CommenterJFJ

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