31 October 2009

Nutty Cabinet

I first heard about it on Charonqc's page: I thought that Charonqc had too much Rioja, until I clicked one of his links which took me to the Independent newspaper. And there it was, "Drug Adviser Sacked Over LSD Claims"

"Professor David Nutt, the Government's chief drug adviser, was sacked today after claiming ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol, Home Office sources said."

This is wrong on so many fronts, it's difficult to know where to begin.

Stepping back and looking at the people who made this decision, one wonders how many similar decisions they have made ab initio? That is, how many people have they not employed as impartial scientific advisor because they did not like the anticipated advice that they would receive?

This is such poor politics: they've created a massive open goal for themselves. We can now look at every failing ... the wars, the economy ... and ask what advice they were being given; particularly, were they only being given advice that they wanted to hear?

Then there's the drug policy itself. Yes, the gov has an electoral mandate and yes their electorate are prohibitionists but what about leadership? Why aren't these people acting on scientific advice which may be contrary to the wishes of the electorate. What cowardice.

Not only what cowardice but what stupidity. I can appreciate that scientific arguments may be difficult for people to grasp, especially if you've been steeped in the War Against Drugs propaganda for years. But isn't that what senior politicians should be able to do?

The story continues in today's Times, "Sacked drugs expert hits out at 'Luddite' Government"

"He said [Prof Nutt]: "Gordon Brown makes completely irrational statements about cannabis being 'lethal', which it is not.

“He is the first Prime Minister, this is the first Government, that has ever in the history of the Misuse of Drugs Act gone against the advice of its scientific panel.

“And then it did it again with ecstasy, and I have to say, it’s not about [me] overstepping the line, it’s about the Government overstepping the line.

“They are making scientific decisions before they’ve even consulted with their experts.”

I wonder for how long this story will dog them? There were strong hints in the story that the scientific advisory panel may resign.

Anyway, here's a link to A Drug War Carol based upon the Charles Dicken's story. This time Scrooge is an evil prohibitionist, jailing youths and stealing property; will he slough his chains? Read the book and find out. While you are at it, keep an eye for the origins of Civil Asset Forfeiture laws, references to various gov reports and a historical time line of when anti-people laws regarding drugs were passed. Very interesting reference book in comic form ... after all, CIA studies that the best way to communicate information is through the medium of comics. You may even want to buy the book.

Remember, from Sin City ...

"Power don't come from a badge, or a gun.

Power comes from lying.

Lying big and getting the whole damn world to play along with you.

Once you got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain't true, you get them by the balls.

Whose Profits Would Home Made Sublimaze Threaten?

What is the point of importing heroin when sublimaze (fentanyl) will suffice?

This just doesn't make sense; is heroin so cheap that it is cheaper to import rather than manufacture a more potent substitute, ie fentanyl?

Instead of seeing headlines such as, "Homegrown Pot Threatens Mexican Cartels; why aren't we seeing, "Heroin Substitute Fentanyl Threatens Afghan Heroin Industry"?

Fentanyl (sublimaze) is also relatively easy to make. Assuming you have a lab and can get hold of the chemicals, it would be economically viable to make this compound in a back street lab: unlike for example, amphetamines.

There are a number of synthetic routes on the internet. For example, the DEA write about the original Janssen route (Janssen were the company that invented the compound) and a route based upon N-phenethyl-4-piperidone. Whilst other sources also suggest the N-phenethyl-4-piperidone route.

If I were to make this compound I'd also go with this route, except, it presents a tiny problem. How do you make N-phenethyl-4-piperidone?

Our internet chemists suggest, for example, that "N-Phenethyl-Piperidone (NPP) which can be easily synthesized from Piperidone and Phenethyl-Tosylate or Phenethyl-Bromide."

Well, in principle, yes. But here's how I would make it.

Take some phenethylamine (either bought or made from LiAlH4 reduction of benzyl nitrile) and react with slightly over two equivs of ethyl acrylate to give the Michael product which can undergo condensation in the presence of alkoxide base. Acidification and decarboxylation takes us to N-phenethyl-4-piperidone.

This strategy can be seen on page 147 of Warren.

Once this compound is in hand, I would follow the given route (most probably telescoped) of aniline imine formation, and subsequent sodium borohydride reduction, followed by propionate amide formation.

Perhaps the paper titled, "A Convenient One-Pot Synthesis of Fentanyl" (DOI: 10.1002/chin.200549130), is the route above? I don't know. The authors haven't published in an open source journal which suggests that they don't want to be read; I'm avoiding taking up an Athens account in order to maintain some sort of solidarity with the disenfranchised. If anyone knows, please drop me a line.

30 October 2009

Massive Wealth Transfer

Chemistry World Blog reports about european leaders tackling environment change in, Money makes the Earth cool down…, where they explain that it all comes down to money.

The article explains that money is needed in order to cool down the planet.

What they don't spell out is that this money comes from someone and goes to someone else. The process is a wealth transfer mechanism. The money comes from the EU taxpayers and is transfered to global corporations.

The cooptation of the environmental movement by the corporations makes Berevosky's role in the Orange revolution look quite feeble in comparison.

I wonder how much the sponsors of the COP15 (scroll down) are contributing in order to reap these massive rewards?

28 October 2009

Helicopter Rumours

A quotation from Orwell's 1984,

"In some ways she was far more acute than Winston, and far less susceptible to Party propaganda. Once when he happened in some connection to mention the war against Eurasia, she startled him by saying casually that in her opinion the war was not happening. The rocket bombs which fell daily on London were probably fired by the Government of Oceania itself, "just to keep people frightened." This was an idea that had literally never occurred to him."

Followed by a quote from an Asia Times article, "Helicopter rumors refuse to die", By Ahmad Kawoosh, 29th October 2009,

"For months or even years, rumors have been circulating in Afghanistan that the Taliban are being financed or even directly supported militarily by the foreign forces [ie, the US and the UK].


Rumors have reached the point where US ambassador, Karl Eikenberry, felt compelled to address them last week at a ceremony honoring the more than 5,500 Afghan police and soldiers who have died during the present war.

The reports were "outrageous and baseless", said Eikenberry, as reported by McClatchey newspapers. "We would never aid the terrorists that attacked us on September 11, that are killing our soldiers, your soldiers and innocent Afghan civilians every day."

Analysis is predicated upon suppositions: if the point of this war is to transfer wealth from the taxpayer to the arms industry then this makes sense, as did the crafting of the dodgy dossier. For some, war pays.

Of course, nothing is ever new. Here is some of what war hero Major General Smedley D. Butler wrote in his essay, War is a Racket.

"WAR is a racket. It always has been.

It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives.

A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small "inside" group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.

In the World War [I] a mere handful garnered the profits of the conflict. At least 21,000 new millionaires and billionaires were made in the United States during the World War. That many admitted their huge blood gains in their income tax returns. How many other war millionaires falsified their tax returns no one knows.

If you can stand this treachorous, liberal-pansy, pinko stuff, there is more if you follow the link. (Smedley's essay on medals is also quite interesting).

ps All this reminds me of James Bissett's (the Canadian Ambassador for Bosnia) reporting that Mujahideen were being smuggled into the country to fight against the Serbs. Denied at the time but now they're being kicked out of the country, as reported by the BBC, "Former soldiers fight to stay in Bosnia".

27 October 2009

Continuous Flow (Crystallisation)

Hot off the press, "Continuous Crystallization of Pharmaceuticals Using a Continuous Oscillatory Baffled Crystallizer" DOI: 10.1021/op900237x.

"... delivers the isolation of the model API in just over 12 min compared to 9 hours 40 min in a batch process."

The world of chemical processing is changing from batch to continuous flow: this is an example of such. Expect many more.

Subjective and Objective Realities

In UK schools, some science teachers use thunks as a pedagogic device. Where a thunk is described as,

"a beguilingly simple-looking question about everyday things that stops you in your tracks and helps you start to look at the world in a whole new light."

Throwing in a thunk as a lesson starter usually wrong foots a pupil, it shatters their expectations of the upcoming lesson and raises their critical awareness.

So consider the thunks,

do borders exist?

Or, do countries exist?

Imagine you were in a class and the teacher began the lesson by asking these questions. The pupils would say, yes, of course they exist.

But how do you know?

This is where it starts to get interesting. They exist 'cos everyone says that they exist comes the reply; or rather, the replies can be clarified and condensed to give this response.

So what, says the teacher. Just because everyone says they exist doesn't mean they really exist, does it?

This question usually doesn't tease much else from the class so more is needed.

If we say that there is a border between one side of the class and the other, does that mean that there really is a border between one side of the class and the other? What usually stops us going from one side of a border to another?

The answer to these questions is violence. The pupils get there with the usual prompting, the Elvis 'uh-uh' and the carefully guided re-expression of what they have said.

On the board is written ... "everyone says so" and "violence" make borders real.

Now that we have illustrated subjective reality (myth supported by violence), we can compare and contrast this with objective reality.

When the class is asked something like, "what force makes an apple fall from a tree?" Almost everyone in the class can give the answer, gravity. Using gravity (our objective reality), we can ask, "would gravity still work if nobody knew about it?" Or, "if we took hostages or threatened to commit terrorist atrocities, would we able to stop gravity?" Also, "when people thought that the Sun went around the Earth, did it?"

In this manner we can illustrate the difference between the two realities to the class. Once done, it is possible to capitalise on the exercise by explaining that science deals with objective reality, (avoiding using words such as objectivity and subjectivity). One can explain that science studies phenomena that are independent of us and our ideas.

Afterwards, the science lesson can begin and the pupils will have a greater appreciation of science.

26 October 2009

Blacklisted Teachers

Do the heads of UK schools keep and maintain an illegal blacklist of teachers?

People who have done teacher training courses say that there is an overhanging threat that heads of schools seem to find out about failings, real or imagined, of teachers. Whilst I have met teachers who have been threatened with 'never working again' after falling out with their school heads.

The word failings is being used here in a very broad sense, and it includes such failings as 'rocking the boat', 'being critical of senior management' and similar.

Following the recent Court Case involving Steve Acheson; blacklists have been on my mind, and I wondered if the teaching profession had the same sort of shadow cast upon it.

Scientific Expert Witnesses

Uncertainty by Ella Guru.

There's a thread running through this blog regarding evidence; particularly expert opinion evidence, and especially scientific expert opinion evidence.

It seems that the law in England and Wales just can't cope with the admissibility, or otherwise, of this sort of evidence. This is in contrast with the US jurisdiction, since they have Daubert: a court case that clarifies the position on the admissibility of scientific expert opinion evidence. I do have criticisms of some (well, one of) the criteria described in this case but at least there are admissibility criteria.

In our jurisdiction we have to witness the humiliating spectacle of Mr Justice Weir crawling over broken glass as a means of begging for the introduction of the Daubert criteria (or similar) to be introduced into our jurisdiction (R v Hoey, para 64).

I'm sure that I've blogged about this before but the subject keeps on coming up again and again. There is a good chance that a lot of potential litigation would evaporate (eg The BCA and Ancient History) if admissibility criteria were introduced.

Instead we have expensive litigation.

What a waste.

22 October 2009

My Idea Is In There!

I haven't read the paper and so I don't know whether or not I've been referenced but ... my idea, from a good few years back, is in the molecule displayed.

Very few people realise it - I suppose my PhD supervisor - but beyond that, just me.


21 October 2009

First they came for the Muslims ...

but I wasn't a Muslim so I did nothing.

There are reports of terrorism legislation being used to prevent a trade unionist (Steve Acheson) picketing a power station. It appears that he is doing this in order to fight against the use of black lists by people who employ contractors.

Instead of awarding him a medal, blog Northern voices (Terrorism Act 2000 being used against Blacklisted workers ) provides a report (picked up by IndyMedia) as does a construction industry newsletter (Terrorism Act may stop worker protesting at power station) that anti-terrorism legislation is being used against him.

Reading between the lines (and looking up the particular Acts), it looks as though a control order is being sought at the High Court using the Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005.

In this Act, section 1(1) explains that,

"In this Act “control order” means an order against an individual that imposes obligations on him for purposes connected with protecting members of the public from a risk of terrorism."

I would expect that the application will fail and I'd give odds of 80:20 that it will.

Incredible isn't it?

Update. I was right! The Manchester Evening News reports, "Power station fails to block protestor,

"A POWER station company has been refused an injunction against an electrician protesting outside the site because he claims he was made redundant for being on a construction industry secret blacklist.

High Court judge Mr Justice Mann said claims that Steve Acheson posed a threat to the security of the power station were 'fanciful to the point of paranoia'.


Gaby Dosanjh-Pahil, representing Scottish and Southern Energy, claimed Mr Acheson posed a threat to the site and should be restrained from trespassing on grass verges outside the perimeter fence of the power station.

She said he had threatened employees and posed a nuisance to people using the entrance road.

Mr Justice Mann, who said the allegation of a threat was disputed, ruled there may be a technical trespass involved but this should be dealt with at county court level.

"This court exists to grant injunctions in urgent cases. It does not exist to grant injunctions which might be thought to be convenient to applicants."

He awarded Mr Acheson the costs of the hearing.

So what was all of this talk about Terrorism???? It looks as though this case was simply about an application for an injunction?

Will await for some sort of law reports and post again. In the meantime, keep up the good work Mr Acheson.

Interesting Metathesis

Just imagine trying to do your work as a chemist if the only access that you have to the literature is the abstract of a paper. Well, thanks to JACS and others; that is all that the vast majority of chemists do have.

Welcome to the age of endarkenment.

20 October 2009

RU-486 or RU-Thick?

I first heard the news on the radio, most probably Radio-5-lies, that a doctor had been found guilty of trying to poison his ex-lover. The story explained how he had tried to induce an abortion in her by dosing her drinks containing prescription drugs: the drugs weren't soluble. They left a white powder in the bottom of her drink (orange juice) which analysis revealed to be an abortion drug.

Poirot's little grey cells wouldn't break into a sweat banging him to rights, thought I.

The idea of a general practitioner - not a proper doctor, you understand - being caught out by his ignorance of the drugs that he was using was a trifle amusing. Hence the 'oh-aren't-I-clever-pun' in the title of this post; RU-486 is an abortion inducing drug. Geddit?

But I discover that the chap isn't a general practitioner but a proper doctor: his doctorate was awarded by an institute after academic research and study; not as a consequence of public ignorance. I further discover that his doctorate is in pharmacology from a report in the Times, "Dr Edward Erin 'was not sure Bella Prowse's baby was his'", which in part says, "... Dr Erin, who has a Phd in Pharmacology, ...".

Hang on a minute? Someone with a PhD in pharmacology not understanding about drug solubility?


A massive part of pharmacology is the study of the solubility of drugs. It's hardly surprising that his wife is saying, "It's a miscarriage of justice, says poison doctor's wife".

As to what happens now, I don't know. In the absence of any new evidence or a failure in the application of the law, there are no grounds for appeal. It looks as though he has to do his time.

I wasn't on the jury or in the court but from what I've read it doesn't make sense to convict him. Does anyone know anything different?

Rubber Ducking Stupid

There's an advert running on UK TV that sums up the fatuous nature of the UK's economy.

The advert can be found on youtube; its purpose is to promote a webpage. Nothing wrong with the website, nor the company behind it. Instead, my problem is with the potential UK customers of this website.

This is illutrated by the rubber ducks. Character A walks into a room and says to Character B, in a concerned manner, "we've just got an order for a thousand of these", he shows Character B a rubber duck and asks, "where are we going to get them from?"

This is the cue for Character B to say, "don't worry, we'll look on this website", and ... a thousand rubber ducks magically fall from the air.

The question is ... a customer wants one thousand rubber ducks; there is a manufacturer in China, so why do we need Characters A and B? What do they add to the deal? There isn't anything wrong with the website that Characters A and B visit but ... can't the ultimate customer visit this web page and sort of cut out Characters A and B?

In fact, the web is set up for this very process - cutting out the middle man, or

The problem is we seem to have built a large part of our economy on the fantasy of being a necessary middle man. We've exported and continue to export our capability of making things, we set ourselves up as project managers but we have no praxis of what we manage. A huge section of our economy is thus useless.

"We're Doomed!"

Every time I see this ad; I think of this continuing economic disaster.

19 October 2009

Public Interest Test

"CPS consults on changes to prosecution principles" 19th Oct 2009, asks the public for their opinion of the prosecutors code.

The consultation document can be found here.

These consultations tend to be closed affairs with the manner in which the questions are phrased, and indeed the particular questions, steering the outcome of the consultation.

So, in answer to the question that hasn't been asked,

"What would you add to the public interest test of the code?"

I would add the reasonable man test, viz ...

4.12 A prosecution is likely to be needed if:


v     A reasonable man would expect to be prosecuted if he did what the accused did.

I have in mind such things as ... (i) stealing money from the general public by rigging telephone votes; (ii) making lewd and offensive telephone calls to the grandparents of women boasting about sordid sex acts with their grand daughter; (iii) accessory to Hinks theft ie the dishonest appropriation of property (I have in mind donations to political parties that knowingly breach the rules).

These are just a few of the prosecutions that I think a reasonable man would be expected to be prosecuted for if he had done what was done in these cases.

Can anyone add any others?

Corporate Cooptation of Environmentalism

The Guardian reports, Copenhagen climate change talks are last chance, says Gordon Brown, 19th Oct 2009.

Brown, with a certainty that is borne of stupidity, warns of climate catastrophes such as floods, droughts and such ...

May I invite readers to compare this massive campaign with what is written in, The Corporate Climate Coup, where the takeover of the environmental movement by corporate groups is analysed.




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From Copenhagen 2009.

Odd comments from the RSC ... with no sense of irony,

"In 50 days’ time, leaders from across the world will meet in Copenhagen to craft the successor to the Kyoto Protocol, and try to save the planet from the dire consequences of extreme climate change."

Yet we do not have an agenda as to what they are trying to agree.

Update 18th January 2011. I found the following lecture from David F Noble. It makes an interesting point that both the global warming narrative and global warming denial narrative come from the same source. Noble argues that they are both threads of propaganda from the same source, the result is that any other opinion doesn't get a chance to be aired. You're either a warmist or denier otherwise you don't get a say.

This reminds me of the essay by John Fraim called, "Symbolism of Control". In the essay Fraim explains,

"Control was originally gained through the visible 'hard' power of strength and power maintained through sanctions of penalties and punishment. But through the ages society has grown wise to these hard methods of control. For this reason, modern holders of control have realized that control is now gained and maintained through the invisible 'soft' power of public relations, propaganda, entertainment and media."

Fraim goes on to illustrate the shift from a vertical power structure,


to a horizontal structure

left v right

which disguises the relationship of power.

So, when we see the following symbols,

Global Warming Advocates v Global Warming Deniers

the relationship that this has to power is hidden.

15 October 2009

Border Area

The Independent reports,Terror Act used on climate activist, in which the journalist explains that a climate activist was stopped from travelling to Denmark.

"Chris Kitchen, 31, said he was prevented from crossing the border on Tuesday at about 5pm when the coach he was travelling on stopped at the Folkestone terminal of the Channel Tunnel.

Mr Kitchen told the Guardian that police officers boarded the coach and, after checking all passengers' passports, took him and another climate activist to be interviewed under schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000, a clause which enables border officials to stop and search individuals to determine if they are connected to terrorism.

The article talks about "crossing the border" - what border? We're in the EU, there isn't a border. Or is there?

When in doubt look at the Act, Paragraph 1 of Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act 2000 explains,

"1 ...

(2) In this Schedule—
“the border area” has the meaning given by paragraph 4, ...

while paragraph 4 says,

"4— (1) A place in Northern Ireland is within the border area for the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3 if it is no more than one mile from the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.

(2) If a train goes from the Republic of Ireland to Northern Ireland, the first place in Northern Ireland at which it stops for the purpose of allowing passengers to leave is within the border area for the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3.

Last I looked, Folkestone wasn't in Northern Ireland.

Entick v Carrington anyone? Illegal search, illegal detention.

Moving on from the legal points; the whole case reminds me of the phrase,

"... freedom of expression should not be measured by how likely the average person is to be silenced, but by how likely someone with something to say is."

The quote by John Allen Paulos can be found on page 82 of,

It is puzzling to consider why Chris Kitchen hasn't tried to challenge his detention. I wonder what one could reasonably abduce from his inaction?

14 October 2009

Jet and Jay-Jay 9th Nov

The PC who let his dogs die in his car back in the summer has had his sick note accepted. He's considered to be unfit to plead. No explanation has been given for why the hearing was late and no one has commented on whether or not that invalidates the unfitness to plead. The next hearing is scheduled for 9th Nov 2009.
Links here, here, here, and here.

Update 21st December 2009,

"Dear Sirs

I am following your prosecution of PC Mark Johnson with interest - see this news link http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/nottinghamshire/8306381.stm

However, I am puzzled about one particular legal aspect of the proceedings thus far.

There was a preliminary hearing on 10th Sept 2009 where the defence sought permission to obtain psychiatric reports with a view to submitting that the defendant is unfit to plead.

See link here - http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/126228/Handler-may-be-let-off-for-police-dogs-that-baked-to-death-in-car

My understanding is that this procedure is governed by Section 11 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000. Further, section 11(2) of the Act says that the defence has four weeks in which to submit their psychiatric report.

The problem is that, as far as I understand, the defence submitted the doctor's note on the 14th October 2009. Isn't this more than the four weeks allowed under the Act? If so, hasn't Johnson lost his right to unfitness to plead procedures?

I would be grateful if you could point out my misunderstanding of the situation.

Thank you for your web enquiry.

In technical terms, the answer to your question is yes. However, a Court always has discretion in the interests of fairness.

In this case, the reports have shown the defendant to be 'fit to plead and stand trial'. The matter is due to go ahead in February 2010.

Thank you for contacting us.

Kind regards
RSPCA HQ Advice Team

13 October 2009

Wilders Wins

As predicted back in Feb, with analysis by Head of Legal (well worth a read for the analysis found in this piece), Geert Wilders' exclusion (pdf) from the UK, under regulation 21 of the Immigration (European Economic Area) Regulations 2006, has been found to be unlawful by the Asylum and Immigration Tribunal.

See the report in the Guardian under, "Geert Wilders wins appeal against exclusion from UK."

Well done Jaqui Smith - pointless, predictable.

Carbon Capture Creates a Lake Nyos Near You

The Times reports that,

"Millions of tonnes of potentially lethal carbon dioxide may have to be stored deep under towns and villages to prevent climate change, according to a senior government adviser."

in, "Lethal gas may have to be stored under villages, says adviser."

This is quite a terrifying story: surely they can't be that stupid? We've all heard of the enviro-whiner trinity of "expensive, shoddy and deadly" but that only applies to the imposition of crack pot ideas upon the third world by first worlders, doesn't it?

When I read the story the first thing that came to mind was Lake Nyos. This is a volcanic lake in Cameroon: carbon dioxide continually gasses into this lake from the depths of the earth. One night back in 1986 a mud slide disturbed the vast tonnes of carbon dioxide that had dissolved in the lake over many years. The gas permeated the air and suffocated thousands of people and their animals for miles around.

We plan to bring this threat to Blighty.

Since this disaster, the lake has been and is being carefully degassed.

As we capture carbon dioxide, wasting energy and hence environmental resource, volcanic activity spews it into the air.

Pointless isn't it?

Notes - Activist Teacher on Global Warming.

12 October 2009

Diaries Gents?

Sept - Oct 2009


Back in July (2009) a police officer left his dogs in his patrol car: when he returned they were dead due to heat exhaustion. The police officer is being prosecuted; a preliminary hearing was held on the 10th Sept at which his brief told the court that the defence will be obtaining a psychiatric report regarding the officer's fitness to plead.

Section 11 of the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 20006 provides in part,

"11 — (1) If, on the trial by a magistrates’ court of an offence punishable on summary conviction with imprisonment, the court—

(a) is satisfied that the accused did the act or made the omission charged, but

(b) is of the opinion that an inquiry ought to be made into his physical or mental condition before the method of dealing with him is determined,
the court shall adjourn the case to enable a medical examination and report to be made, and shall remand him.

(2) An adjournment under subsection (1) above shall not be for more than three weeks at a time where the court remands the accused in custody, nor for more than four weeks at a time where it remands him on bail.

My emnphasis.

So what's happened to the trial?

Looking at the diary, four weeks from 10th Sept was 8th Oct.

10 October 2009

Entrap a Terrorist

It was at GeekLawyer's blog where I saw the story about the Home Office running the,

The press release explains that the next generation of designers are being invited to submit creative anti-terrorism solutions to prevent the problem of vehicle borne terrorist attacks in public spaces. The competition is called 'Public Places, Safer Places'.

Of course, anyone submitting information to the competition in order to win it must be in breach of Section 58 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

"58 — (1) A person commits an offence if—

(a) he collects or makes a record of information of a kind likely to be useful to a person committing or preparing an act of terrorism, or

(b) he possesses a document or record containing information of that kind.

Well, that is, they are in breach only at the whim of the prosecutors. So, if you're a young, talented designer; who happens to be Muslim and has brown skin ... go on; I dare ya!!! Submit a design.

Of course, if you are a terrorist ... what a convenient cover. Thanks Home Office.

09 October 2009

Bun 'n' Sixpence

There's an expression from Yorkshire - the equivalent of 'having his cake and eating it' - namely, wanting his bun and sixpence. Imagine someone coming into your bakery, putting down sixpence for a bun and then wanting both, the bun and the sixpence.

The expression sprung to mind when I read "Legal risk to property investors"; an ignorant whinge by naifs led by the BBC. The story is tiresome to tell; tiresome to read. In short, "investors" are trying to get out of paying for properties that they bought that were not completed. During the time taken for the properties to get completed they have found that the market (read money supply) has changed and so they don't (and in some cases can't) honour their contracts.

These people give the impression that what they are suggesting is reasonable and their plight demands a degree of sympathy. Well it doesn't.

Perhaps some sympathy can be found for Jane in Paradine v Jane. A contract was struck; it was for the lease of some land; it was anticipated that the land would be farmed and the money made from the enterprise would be used in rent. However, the land was invaded by a foreign Prince; it couldn't be farmed and the rent wasn't paid.

The person who was owed the money sued for it. Now, I think that we can all have sympathy for the person who couldn't generate the cash from the farm to pay his rent but ... the court found against him.

"when the party by his own contract creates a duty or charge upon himself, he is bound to make it good,"


"as the lessee is to have the advantage of casual profits, so he must run the hazard of casual losses, and not lay the whole burthen of them upon his lessor;"

But Jane was still liable. He had signed the contract. He was bound by his word in law.

Next Health Fad - Essence of Celery

(S)-(−)-3-n-butylphthalide is found in celery seeds and is thought to be beneficial to ones health.

Twelve or so hours ago my feed reported to me a synthesis that allows for the preparation of this compound.

In the abstract (DOI: 10.1021/ja907711a) the author says,

"Herein we communicate the first atom-economical approach to phthalides by using enantioselective ketone hydroacylation."

So, not only talented scientists but witty, "atom-economical"; err, would it be possible to design a synthesis that is any more atom-economical?

In short, a cheap clean synthesis of a compound that is most probably very easy to scale up with a potential market awaiting it.

All very impressive.

For a mechanistic insight check out doi: 10.1021/ja806758m whilst not exactly the same platform as the above chemistry one can easily extrapolate from what is given in the paper.

Other examples from another group (DOI: 10.1039/b912850f):

08 October 2009

New Paclitaxel Route?

The picture above comes from "C-H oxidation proves its worth" and describes a novel route to a macrolide; instead of using the usual esterification route, the authors used a catalytic coupling between a carboxylic acid and a methylene carbon.

Would this methodology be amenable to the synthesis of paclitaxel? If the usual 10-deactyl baccatin III were modified such that it lacked an OH at the appropriate position (C13): would it be possible to use the methodology outlined in the paper in order to synthesise the compound?

All of the above is academic, an appropriate protecting group choice for the side chain would be needed but ... if there was a natural source of 13-deoxy 10-deactyl baccatin III; the chemistry may be worth exploring.

Hydrogenolysis of Carbon Carbon Sigma Bonds

Very interesting paper from JACS (DOI: 10.1021/ja9076815); I've only read the abstract since I can't persuade anyone to pay for a subscription for me. However, when I saw the paper I immediately thought of biodiesel.

Fillion's paper will most probably have a discussion of the mechanism of the reaction; he may even have discussed biodiesel. For those not in the know, biodiesel is prepared (conventionally) by transesterifying a triglyceride with methanol to yield the methyl ester. In the absence of reading the full paper, and simply on the basis of the abstract I would suggest that it may be possible to prepare biodiesel by the hydrogenation of the triglyceride. This comparatively trivial step would be a huge improvement for what is a commodity chemical.