Cycling Bore

I’ve avoided posting anything about the Tour de France so far, as I know I can get pretty tedious about it. But it’s a great spectacle, and the last two days have been fine examples of that. In a 9.5 mile time-trial up the side of a mountain Lance Armstrong finished over a minute clear of his nearest competitor, a truly astounding effort. Then yesterday he chased down a rider who even the commentators had called as the winner over the last 200m to claim his third straight stage win. The willpower he displayed in that performance was astonishing; you could almost see him look up at the guy in front and say “You know what? I’m better at this than you”. Or as Chris Carmichael, Armstrong’s trainer, put it:

Because He Can

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From our Sherlock Holmes department

Brace yourself, because there’s some pretty abstract calculation going on here. According to Forbes:

America’s seniors would have better access to medicines if U.S. drug prices were slashed to the level paid in other industrialized nations, a new analysis suggests.

Now I’m no stats guru, nor an economist, nor even a health professional, but I’ll have a go at boiling the report down for you in words of one syllable or less. Ready?

“If drugs don’t cost so much, more folk can buy the ones they need.”

But that’s not all, there’s an important caveat that I’ll again try to translate.

“That means drug makers won’t have as much money, so they might not make as many new drugs”

Next week: Pope Catholic

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Watching the Big Apple Turn Over

I worked out yesterday that the last time I took two weeks off work in a row was for our honeymoon in ’97 (which was actually 3 weeks). For Americans that might not be a big deal, but our British readers will know just how, well, how unBritish that is. But no more! At the end of August we travel to NYC for 2 weeks, mostly spent with my cousin, but with some time Washington to give them a break from us.

This post is partly a gratuitous opportunity to use one of my favorite song titles – expect a repeat reference after the visit.

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