Peter Rhodes on an overdue landslip, a whiter shade of pale and the risk of a fire on the moon

I referred recently to the war generation, now gradually passing from our sight. It's not an elegant or imaginative term and a reader aged 99 suggests something better.

A future fire risk?
A future fire risk?

He likes to refer to his generation as “intrepid decrepits".

Back in 2012 I suggested that after some outrageous weather, Devon's Jurassic Coast was long overdue for a major landslip. I didn't think we'd have to wait nine years.

In a spectacular collapse a few days ago, thousands of tons of earth spilled on to the beach and into the sea near Bridport. The local council says more slips may be on the way. It raises a grisly prospect.

For a start, if anyone had been walking on the beach at the time, would we ever know they had died?

And assuming someone went missing in the area, which authority would organise the shifting of thousands, or even millions of tons of soil and rock in the hunt for a single body?

Beware what you wish for. Labour, having spent a year being forced broadly to support a Tory government over the pandemic measures, has a new battle-cry.

“Tory sleaze” gives it an issue which would seize the moral high ground and maybe even win a few votes. The snag?

If past scandals are any guide, Labour politicians are as likely as the wicked Tories to have, if not their fingers in the till, then their snouts in the trough.

Writing in the Independent, Tom Peck uses an endearing office-life analogy: “If it (Labour) is hoping to waft the stench of corruption entirely over to the Tories’ side of the lift, it might find it rather more difficult.”

There are several advantages to working from home. Like not having to worry about things wafting in the office lift.

More smells. An article in the British Medical Journal advises us to socially distance.

A doctor explains: “If you can smell your friend's lunch, you're inhaling some of that air . . . we call it the garlic-breath distance.”

Fine in theory but it takes no account of etiquette.

It's an old rule of behaviour that when friends dine together, you either both have the garlic or neither has the garlic. Either way, nobody can smell the garlic.

You cannot begin to imagine how amazingly, brilliantly white is the latest white paint developed by engineers in Indiana.

It is so dazzlingly white and super-reflective that if you paint your roof with it, the more the sun shines on it, the cooler it gets. A coat of this stuff on your roof is reckoned to be more efficient than an air-conditioning system.

And if millions of roofs were painted super-white, it could make a massive contribution to reducing global warming.

And what could possibly go wrong as mankind's global array of super-reflective roofs pump vast amounts of heat back into space?

One bright day the moon catches fire.

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