Imploding Wikipedia

The Isle of Wight article on Wikipedia is currently citing the BBC quiz show QI as the source for its ongoing “Is the IoW larger than Rutland at low tide?” debate, leading one contributor to note the following:

I also believe that QI has on occasions relied on facts taken from Wikipedia, which would mean that if we were to accept these as authoritative, then it would lead to a cyclical series of refences which would eventually cause the city of New York to explode in a ball of flame. [citation needed]Neil (talk) 11:17, 2 June 2008 (UTC)

If nothing else, I love the citation needed comment at the end… lovely touch 🙂

Citation Needed

Image: XKCD

For what it’s worth, I’ve also been told Bristol is technically a county in its own right, and is smaller than both Rutland and the Isle of Wight. Who do we believe nowadays?

Fuel Surcharges

BBC Brent Crude price at close 22-05-08This month Wightlink -one of the main ferry companies operating between the Isle of Wight and mainland UK – introduced a fuel surcharge which “is linked to the price of oil (Brent Crude)”. Wightlink’s surcharge is based on the previos month average, which looks from here to be within the $105-115/barrel bracket for April 08. Wightlink have published a chart which shows their surcharge against month-start oil prices, which shows that the surcharge this month (if my figures are about right) is therefore £0.20 on foot passengers, £1.50 on cars, and so on.

While the local newspaper carries a set of letters from upset locals despairing at the increase in prices, I don’t think anybody has really noticed that it is a linked price, which means that come the first of every month it will be revised again. Based on current figures, my thumb-in-air guess is that we should sit in the $115-$125 bracket, which puts the surcharge at £0.25 and £2.00 for foot passengers and cars respectively.

Today; Brent Crude briefly hit a $135/barrel high and if prices continue to hover around or above the £135 mark we can expect another surcharge increase in July (in fact, Wightlink would have to republish their charts, since they don’t cover £135+!)

The simple evident fact is that we appear to be witnessing a potential £0.50 increase every month (for foot passengers alone) as long as the oil prices continue to grow at this pace. Naturally the oil prices may stagnate, or even decline – I’m certainly no expert on oil economics, but I think it’s really beginning to hit home how directly our lives are influenced by what appears to be a very unstable commodity.