Letters: In Brief
Thursday 29 July 1999
B J CAIRNS
Sir: Deborah Orr writes (27 July): "... it is recognised that chimpanzees, sharing at least 98.4 per cent of our DNA, are not much different from us." That chimps share 98.4 (or 97.8, or 99.2, or whatever figure the enthusiast chooses) per cent of "our DNA" is compatible with massive biological differences. We have quite a lot of DNA in common with zebras, still quite a lot with penguins and still some with dandelions. All it means is that we're carbon-based organisms, as evolved on planet Earth.
Sir: Every year or so, a weekend supplement traces the origins of the bikini back to 1946, as did The Independent Magazine on 24 July ("Bare essential"). Invariably a reader writes in (as I do, for the first time) to point out that a Sicilian mosaic of circa AD400 shows two women wearing two-piece costumes remarkably like modest bikinis. One of the women carries a sunshade, suggesting that they are outdoors in the sun.
T S CRAWFORD
Sir: Extract from a book published by the Great Western Railway: "... 376 track miles have been installed with the equipment for automatic train control .... It was recently decided to extend the equipment to no less than 2,130 miles of main line .... This system gives audible signals to the engine driver in the cab of the locomotive .... If ignored, the brakes are automatically applied." I bought this book as a schoolboy. The date of publication? 1934. Perhaps the present operator would like to borrow it ("Record fine over train crash", 28 July).
Sir: Tony Blair's view that it could take 10 years before any marked improvement in the NHS is seen should perhaps be taken with a pinch of salt ("How does your government rate?", 27 July). The PFI initiatives to build new hospitals will mean smaller hospitals, fewer nursing staff and fewer doctors and consultants, forcing people to seek private health treatment. That is the real effect of the Government's plans for the NHS in 10 years from now.
Cowes, Isle of Wight
MusicThe band accidentally called Londoners the C-word
Film 'I've never been comfortable on-screen', she says
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
- 2 This letter from a reader explains why women can’t play football
- 3 'You should come to my house and eat cheeses with me': 4-year-old sends adorable love letter to girl at school
- 4 Scientists predict green energy revolution after incredible new graphene discoveries
- 5 Michael Buerk wishes he'd killed Jimmy Savile when he had the chance - by pushing him overboard a cruise ship
I'm A Celebrity 2014: Jungle security stepped up after murder and 'suspicious death' close to camp
This house and dental clinic 'piled up like bricks on the brink of collapsing' is why Japan wins at architecture
Exodus Gods and Kings: Ridley Scott never considered casting 'Mohammad so-and-so from such-and-such' in lead role
James Cameron hypes up Avatar sequels: 'You will s**t yourself with your mouth wide open'
Marilyn Manson denies involvement in shocking Lana Del Rey rape video
Ukip says babies born to immigrants in the UK should be classed as migrants – which would include Nigel Farage’s own children
The young are the new poor: Sharp increase in number of under-25s living in poverty, while over-65s are better off than ever
Tamir Rice: 12-year-old boy playing with fake gun dies after being shot by Ohio police
Rochester aftermath: Sacking of Emily Thornberry will make work of Labour MPs '10 times harder'
Ed Miliband's 'north London set' must be demolished to save Labour, say critics
Green Party Caroline Lucas interview: 'We could be on the edge of something very big'