Peter Rhodes on ice-cream rage and how scientists sometimes get it wrong

Heavily pregnant with her first child, Downton Abbey star Tuppence Middleton says she is “absolutely raging” with her local ice-cream van man for failing to keep a “regular schedule of times and locations.” If you think the ice-cream man is unpredictable and unreasonable, just wait until the baby arrives.

Tuppence Middleton
Tuppence Middleton

I smiled at a colleague's discovery that a T-shirt bearing the woke-on slogan: “There are more than two genders” comes only in male and female fittings. So what are all the other genders?

I went online and found Teen Talk, a website operating in Manitoba, Canada. Now, bear in mind that this source, like hundreds of others, has a mission policy of explaining and clarifying things – in this case gender identity - to impressionable children who probably grew up thinking they were either male or female. And this is what the kids get: “There are many different gender identities, including male, female, transgender, gender neutral, non-binary, agender, pangender, genderqueer, two-spirit, third gender, and all, none or a combination of these.” All clear?

How much further will wokeness go? A reader flicking through a streaming service found the Laurel and Hardy 1938 classic Block Heads. It now comes with a warning that the content may not be suitable for children. So that's another fine mess, Stanley.

Farewell, Paddy Hopkirk, the legendary Mini rally driver, who has died aged 89. Although we 1960s kids followed his many driving successes, his name was best known on the range of must-have accessories for Minis, including Paddy Hopkirk roof bars, pedal covers, mirrors and racing stickers. Paddy Hopkirk Spray-on Rally Mud was just a rumour.

“Read the Science,” declared a banner in the weekend Extinction Rebellion protests. Why? Because scientists get it right, right?

Or do they? For the past 16 years researchers into Alzheimer's disease have read the science about the disease and swallowed the received wisdom that it's caused by a protein. But in the past few days it has emerged that some of that early evidence could have been “manipulated.” As the Times put it: “One of the most influential studies on what causes Alzheimer’s disease may have been based on manipulated data. Researchers said they feared that falsified results had misled scientists for 16 years, wasting vast sums of funding.”

Just keep reading the science, kids. What could possibly go wrong?

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