Saturday 25 October 2008

Population Density

A caller to Any Answers today was allowed to get away with the statement that the UK has the highest population density in Europe. That's not true. It's not even true of England. The UK's population density is 246 people per square kilometer, and England's is 392/km2.

These compare directly with Germany (232) and the Netherlands (395), and Belgium (341) is up there too. Of course, all the city states of Europe have much higher population densities. Here are the top nations in Europe, with their world rankings and population densities.

2 Monaco 16,754
5 Gibraltar (UK) 4,654
6 Vatican City 1,866
8 Malta 1,272
12 Channel Islands (two Crown dependencies) 766
22 San Marino 461
25 Netherlands 395
31 Belgium 341
51 United Kingdom 246
53 Germany 232

Other notable entries in the world list are
1 Macau 18,196
and, all with populations over 10,000 [edit:... 10,000,000]
11 Bangladesh 1,045
15 Taiwan 636
21 South Korea 498
32 Japan 339
33 India 336
39 Sri Lanka 316
45 Philippines 277
48 Vietnam 254

In fact, 26% of people the world (1.7m), and 35% of people in Europe (0.17m) live in countries with population densities at least as high at Germany.

Data source:wikipedia

PS: some local comparators:
Lewes District: 324
East Sussex County: 424
Lewes Town: 1,420
Brighton and Hove: 7,880
London: 12,331

Buddhists with Bottle, Green Religion

Ley found this article about a Buddhist Temple, made of a million beer bottles.

It put me in mind of this solar power project at the Vatican City - 2,700 solar panels on the Paul VI auditorium. Part of a bid to become the first carbon neutral state it the world - mostly through offsetting, though.

So, can we see similar examples from other religions? Well, yes we can. Here in the UK, Levenshulme, Manchester has an eco-mosque. And, there's a green guide for western Muslims, available for download.

The Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation in Evanston, Illinois, USA has won a platinum award from the US Green Building Council for their eco-synagogue.

California has a solar powered Hindu temple.

The Brahma Kumaris World Spiritual University (hi, mum!) has built the world's largest solar powered kitchennear Mount Abu, in India. It has an impressive array of parabolic dish concentrators.

Perhaps the ultimate comittment, though, is the designation [PDF] of Lao-tzu as God of Ecological Protection, but a group of Taoist temples.

More on this topic at

Sunday 12 October 2008

Upgrades don't cost nowt

How daft is this, from the Apple store? They can't process my "payment" for a set of free software updates!

It turns out that the problem was that my debit card had expired. So, on entering details for its replacement, they ask:

Lessons from Alaska

"I grew up in Deal on the Kent coast - you could see France across the Channel from the end of our street". Antony Hook's manifesto for election to the Lib-Dems International Relations Committee.

There are other reasons to vote for him.

Saturday 11 October 2008

Missing consonants

One may be regarded as unfortunate, but two are worthy of a blog entry. From this week's Sussex Express:
In print:

and online:

Friday 10 October 2008

Pay cuts for the poor.

The lowest paid staff at the University of Sussex are being threatened with a cut in take home pay. It's a result of changes to their pension scheme, which will mean an increase in their pension contributions, and a reduction in the University's contribution.

Naturally, people are upset about this, so Amicus members were out on strike today. Unison are balloting soon.

So, while the city fat cats are still getting their bonuses, the poor are being asked to pay the price.

[Edited to add]:

What the University should do is allow all its staff the join the same USS pension scheme. Then the interests of all staff, including senior management, would be aligned.

Monday 6 October 2008

Independence for Alaska

Is it true that Sarah Pailin used to be a member of the Alaskan Independence Party? The claim is made at 2 minutes 4 seconds into the video, but corrected on their web site. Her husband has been, though.

Saturday 4 October 2008

Why so bloody miserable?

"Why's everyone so bloody miserable about the economy?"

"Because they're worried about losing their jobs, Mr Harris"

Wednesday 1 October 2008

Love her or loathe her?

Cameron's speech:

"Thank God we swapped [Calaghan] for Margaret Thatcher".

"For Labour there is only the state and the individual, nothing in such thing as society... You cannot run our country like that."

Er, but wait a minute...