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Junk Shots 2008
Ignorance is bliss

Most experts argue nowadays that the answers presented by science simply prompt more questions. They advance our ignorance rather than our knowledge. In one of my school reports, my science teacher wrote that I had gaps in my ignorance. All these years, I thought it was an insult.

Is there something out there to believe in?

Science and Christian religion are not so far apart really. Both contend that the universe originated from nothing at all. Two million (ten thousand?) years of evolution and we all still believe in nothing!

Large Hadron Collider

Captain's Log, September 10 2008. What's happening? Everything I write just seems to slide away into a

Eurosport Fantasy Tennis

On the second day of their French Open coverage, British Eurosport managed to appal and mislead viewers by unwittingly propagating a hoax. During a rain break, Annabel Croft and fellow pundits debated the merits of Larry Scott's alleged plans to introduce a mandatory "Charm and Beauty" course for WTA players. Claiming that Scott would dock 500 ranking points from players who refused to attend the course, Croft reported that players would get makeovers, take etiquette classes and be required to take courses in public relations.

Unfortunately for Eurosport, the source of its news scoop was an internet prank dating back to August 2004. In the original spoof article, Serena Williams is supposed to have responded by saying: "This is total crap. Only the ugly players should be required to attend." Justine Henin is supposed to have said: "Are they going to force me to wear makeup on the court? Give me a boob job? Get a new hairdo? Turn me into some robotic show girl? I'd rather retire!"

Perhaps a hapless researcher was told to dig up information relating to Henin's retirement and stumbled upon the mischievous article. Red faces all round at Eurosport.

Legalise match-fixing!

Governing bodies are finally waking up to the threat posed by the changing nature of modern sports gambling. Perhaps the authorities should adopt a radical approach to the problem. If punters suspect that match-fixing is widespread, won't they be less tempted to have a flutter? So maybe we could burst the sports gambling bubble by announcing that match-fixing will henceforth be perfectly legal! Eventually, tennis will right itself when the players go back to profiting more from winning than losing.

Dave Winship

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