Obama snubs Royal Society, plays ping pong

Globe Academy -- Obama visit

Post by Ryan Maue:

The British media continues to mock and criticize the President, which has been petty and unfair in some respects.  But how do we reconcile this?  From the UK Telegraph

Barack Obama snubs British scientists by refusing to receive Royal Society medal

Barack Obama has snubbed Britain’s most eminent scientists by refusing to attend a Royal Society banquet in his honour at which he was to be awarded with a prestigious medal.

Quoting from the UK Telegraph (fair use for discussion and future reference disclaimer):

But Mr Obama’s aides responded to the invitation with a “very short” note in which they said the president would rather spend time at a south London state school. Mr Obama visited The Globe Academy in Southwark with David Cameron, the Prime Minister, on Tuesday. The two leaders swapped a number of high-fives with pupils before rolling up their sleeves for a game of table tennis against two schoolboys.

And the cherry on top of this sundae:

Had Mr Obama accepted the invitation, he would have been greeted by Sir Paul Nurse, President of the Royal Society, who won a Nobel prize in 2001 for advances in genetics and cell biology.

Instead he met pupils at the Globe Academy who had won an award for designing a lunchbox which folds out into a plate.

Dish-Dash Lunchbox

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166 thoughts on “Obama snubs Royal Society, plays ping pong

  1. Meaningless prestige with self inflating pomp and circumstance, or being down to earth with the “common people”? This is a choice I can laud both leaders for.

  2. Based on the quality of the input coming from the Royal society regarding the climategate affair. I’d have to say snubbing them is a reasonable act.

  3. Maybe even Obama did not want to associate with scientists that have taken such a vested interest in hiding climate science and lobbying for benefit of clergy from the FOIA

  4. The Royal Society no longer deserves the reputation it once had, so why shouldn’t Obama meet more deserving people.

  5. Obama and Cameron are both left handed. Is there anything else interesting about this story?

    I don’t blame Obama. Why go somewhere to receive a reward when he could go somewhere else to give out an award. It looks much better.

  6. Obama may have been criticized in sections of the British media, but there has also been a lot of positive coverage. In some cases the same paper has carried opinion pieces expressing both points of view.

  7. Let’s think this through.

    Either the society was offering a ‘social’ medal to get a VIP to lend them his prestige, such as it is, or they were making an award for Mr. Obama’s “outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country”.*

    In the first case, begging for a visit is not particularly worthy, even with a metallic inducement. In the second, they were saved from the embarrassment that the Nobel committee suffered from delivering an unearned award.

    I don’t think the Royal Society has much to be offended about.

    *The King Charles II medal is awarded in “exceptional circumstances” to heads of state who have “made an outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country”.

  8. “a lunchbox which folds out into a plate.”

    Could not make it up.

    There was once a comedian in the UK – Spike Milligan http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spike_Milligan – who came out with some weird comedy but even he could not have thought some of these things up.

    Nursie: Mr President, would you like to come to a banquet and meet some people who think they are the finest scientists of today?

    Mr President: No thanks. I want to meet some kids who have made a lunchbox which folds out into a plate.

    ROFL

  9. Sorry, but I have a less noble explanation for Obamas’ declining the invite.
    Simply:

    ” . . . at which he was to be awarded with a prestigious medal.”

    Perhaps that undeserved Nobel Peace Prize is chaffing a bit and the last thing he wants is the public having flashbacks of that embarrassment.

  10. On one hand I say good. It’s not like Obama is deserving of such an honor, and at least he recognizes that (although it didn’t stop him from claiming the Nobel Peace Prize.) On the other hand, seriously… You’re going to snub a major organization for one of our biggest allies in order to visit a school?

    If you want to be a politician, man up and be a politician. If you just want to be popular, host a cable news show.

  11. Don’t worry about the negative vibes from a few people on the newspaper side, the vast majority of the British press (BBC) have been..er…exciting themselves with the presence of ‘The One’. Its still 2008 over here folks……….

  12. I am no great fan of President Obama’s politics, but I have been much impressed by his dignity and courtesy on his visit here. The First Lady, too, has been a delight. We were honoured to have them both as our guests.

    And I’m glad that both he, Mr Cameron and Mrs Obama realised that the right thing to do was to visit our schoolchildren, and hoping that some of their good example will rub off on our future leaders. The alternative, to hear a bunch of self-congratulatory old farts boring everybody to death with just how clever they are, would have been a non-starter.

    And I’m just guessing that, like everybody else, neither leader fancied having their ears bent about global warming once again. A good game of whiff-whaff (table tennis) was much the better deal.

  13. The lunch-box folding out into a plate works for me too. Simple, ingenious and cost-efficient.

    Science at its’ best.

  14. I respect Ryan Maue writings but respectfully suggest that this story is off topic for WUWT.

    [ryanm: how in the world is this offtopic? the President of the United States refuses to meet with the British Royal Society to receive a medal — and meet with Sir Paul Nurse, who was the topic of the previous post by Anthony? You don’t want to know What’s Up With That?]

  15. Personally IMHO it doesn’t make a rat’s a$$ bit of difference. They’re both wastes of time that he should be spending doing his job.

  16. A lunch box that folds out to a plate? Sounds like a pretty good idea, to me.

    School kids vs. the “Royal” Acadamy?

    And, a chance to play ping pong?

    This is a no-brainer. Good for Obama.

  17. Shame they did not put him on a field with 29 other mad Irishmen, hurleys, and a ball after they gave him the hurley in Ireland. It would have made for some interesting viewing. It might have also made Joe Biden president. Here in Boston the locals play it a bit. To say it is a contact sport is an understatement. Oh well, ping pong is at least a ball he can handle without putting it in the gutter. I also fess up to the fact that he is much better at hoops than I am.

  18. While pleased that Pres. Obama snubbed The Royal Society, I have to say that his continual references to “England”, “Queen of England” etc. does absolutely nothing for his reputation everywhere else in Gt. Britain.
    I suspect that he might be annoyed if we referred to him as the “President of Maine” or
    spoke of Oklahoma as if it were the only State in the USA.
    Someone on his staff should educate him a bit.

  19. Very England.

    Our fawning sycophant gets his photo op. The President gets to go … somewhere nicer. what’s not to like?

    I wouldn’t read too much into the “outclassed” story. As people like Richard North have been pointing out for some time, our MSM has completely lost the plot where Cameron is concerned. I guess that when you have a little man of no consequence, some in the media need to enlarge him in order to enlarge their own fantasy world. Truth to be told he is the “leader” of a tiny island just a midges away from bankruptcy but still useful to the US (hence the visit).

    US readers shouldn’t read anything into our MSM output. These people would gladly expend two full pages on the sex life of a Greek footballer currently living in London and none on the riots currently afflicting his home town. It has become a “second life” country. Sadly, one that will shortly be coming to a fork in the road.

  20. So these two want to be seen playing ping pong and high-fiving in the face of tornadoes, etc.? And apparently smack in the face of the Royal Society and Climate Science’s CAGW!

    I sure hope the Warmists don’t get wind of this sleight to their Religion!

    [ryanm: took 25 comments for someone to point this out, u get a bonus point]

  21. Lapogus asks:

    ‘is the POTUS a keen WUWT reader?’

    Sure am! When I can get away from ping pong and other affairs of state.

  22. This is a tough one to get a grip on. Obama snoots the ordinary things that most people hold dear, such as the American flag and the Pledge of Allegiance. He made remarks in New Orleans that he was meeting with the fishermen since they were the ones who knew how to clean up oil spills. He instructed EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to meet with black church members and with the fishermen using the same logic. He also goes out of his way on a continuous basis to meet with and favor minorities. I think this is generally okay. There needs to be some visible “room at the top” for all of us.

    Every person sees things a bit differently but most mix and blend their activities. Obama obviously holds engineers, scientists and technical people in low esteem so uses a snoot to put them in the place that he sees them – below school children. I normally think that the US President is a leader of many things including industry and technology. Obama evidently sees himself as a speechmaker and cheerleader of the have-lesses.

    I suspect that Obama’s background as a Chicago ward healer passing out $50 and $100 bills comes into play lots of the time. We are what we are; it is hard to be something else.

    My only concern in the current affair is that I think the problems of the world will be best answered by those who currently work in science and technology. By the time the school children become old enough to make a difference there may not be many feasible alternatives left to deploy. Snooting the current crop of scientists makes very little sense to me.

  23. I am unsure if Obama took a single science class, much less has an accomplishment in the field.

  24. Right now I have no truck with any politician. But show me the man who has balls enough to stick 2 fingers up at Sir Paul Nurse, and I am suddenly 0.1% on his side. Cameroon could not dare but SOTUS could*. Bravo, Obama – only 5,000 pips to go and you’d get my vote – if I was not here in the UK staring economic armageddon in the face – that is.

    *Caveat: if you believe anything at all these days published in the MSP

  25. After browsing the Globe Academy website, I have to say that going there instead of to the Royal Society thing was a very good call. The Globe Academy still has values.

  26. @Anything is possible @May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
    “Science at its’ best.”

    Grammar at its worst.

  27. @Latimer Alder

    Maybe some of it is dignity and courtesy, but there is far too much ass kissing from this president.

  28. A lunch box that folds out to a plate!

    I wonder if the president needed an FOI or a court order to see the student’s notes, plans or designs for this thing. Likely not, people usually share what they are proud of, and hide what they are ashamed of.

    I guess climate scientologists and the royal slothciety do have some sense of shame after all.

  29. I’ve heard this latest trip referred to as being more error prone than a typical Griswold family. Between bottoming out the presidential limo, entering the wrong year in the guest book, and the inept toast, I would guess Obama wanted to be in a position that even Homer Simpson couldn’t screw up. The man is inept and is likely wary of making other silly mistakes that would further tarnish his foreign image.

  30. Steve says:
    “May 26, 2011 at 11:01 am
    @Anything is possible @May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
    “Science at its’ best.”

    Grammar at its worst.”

    Pedantry at its finest…..

  31. ‘Maybe some of it is dignity and courtesy, but there is far too much ass kissing from this president’

    He’s able to say ‘thank you for the dinner’ to HM the Queen in a pleasant way. If that’s ass kissing I’d opine that the world might be a better place if there was more of it.

    (Unless its to climatologists, where ass-kicking should be made compulsory)

  32. If you good folks want to know what makes Obama tick, read this from WebMD or look it up in your copy of any good psychology book: http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/narcissistic-personality-disorder .

    Partial list of symptoms/behaviors:

    [i]What Are the Symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder?

    In many cases, people with narcissistic personality disorder:

    * Are self-centered and boastful
    * Seek constant attention and admiration
    * Consider themselves better than others
    * Exaggerate their talents and achievements
    * Believe that they are entitled to special treatment
    * Are easily hurt but may not show it
    * Set unrealistic goals
    * May take advantage of others to achieve their goals

    Other common traits of narcissistic personality disorder include the following:

    * Preoccupation with fantasies that focus on unlimited success, power, intelligence, beauty, or love
    * Belief that he or she is “special” and unique, and can only be understood by other special people
    * Expectation that others will automatically go along with what he or she wants
    * Inability to recognize or identify with the feelings, needs, and viewpoints of others
    * Envy of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her
    * Hypersensitivity to insults (real or imagined), criticism, or defeat, possibly reacting with rage, shame, and humiliation
    * Arrogant behavior and/or attitude[/i]

    If he had gone for the Royal Society shindig, he would not have been the “smartest guy in the room”, and his ego would have had a meltdown. Much better to go someplace where he is the smartest guy in the room.

    Putting Obama in the Oval Office was the worst mistake the US has ever made.

  33. Petty and Unfair? Perhaps. I really have not followed it close enough to make that value judgement. However given the US press attitude towards him, I find it refreshing to find some actual criticism of him based upon his shortcomings.

    The only place you can find them is in the Uk Press (and I am talking about his gaffs outside of GB, not necessarily inside of it).

  34. Or maybe he didn’t wish to be associated with the Royal Society and the ability of Sir Paul Nurse to align himself with the foot-in-mouth brigade. Bear in mind that the subject of climate – at least from what I’ve seen and heard – did not intrude on this visit.

    BTW, where can I get one of those lunchboxes? They sound like a great idea.

  35. I see too many people, giving our POTUS way too much credit.

    He’s not that bright……………

  36. “I suspect that he might be annoyed if we referred to him as the ‘President of Maine'”

    Feel free to refer to him as President of the Blue States and the Swing States, because that is how he thinks of himself.

  37. Typical of the Socialist Theoritician mentality. We all know any good Marxist-Leninist can “Think” a better solution to the world’s problems than scientists and engineers can with hands on experience and practical applications. Worked great for the Soviet Union.

    No win situation for Obama, 1/2 the people think he snubbed the Royal Society, but the other 1/2 would have harangued him for accepting yet another unearned medal.

    As to the England thing, it’s a little messy when you call yourselves England, Wales, Scotland, N. Ireland, Great Britain and the United Kingdom, oh yea, and the Commonwealth Countries. You really need a score card to know when to call who what. :)

    Great Britian is the island right? The United Kingdom is the nation.

  38. “If he had gone for the Royal Society shindig, he would not have been the ‘smartest guy in the room’,”

    He probably wasn’t the smartest guy in the room in a room full of table tennis playing schoolboys.

  39. BHO has been covering himself with glory on this trip. First he forgets what year it is when signing the guestbook after a tour of Westminster Abbey. Then he completely bungles his toast to the Queen at the State dinner. Not to mention that after he and his comrades heaped untold venom on Bush because he wasn’t on the ground in New Orleans hours after Katrina struck, why he didn’t cancel this whole worthless photo-op trip to begin with to be on hand to lend leadership and solace after large portions of the south and midwest have been devastated by some of the most destructive and deadly weather disasters in decades.
    As to the Royal Society, they should be less embarrassed that he didn’t show up to collect their award than they should be that they chose to award a scientific medal to a politician who has repeatedly demonstrated that he views science as just a convenient tool to be used as necessary to advance his agenda, and any damage that accrues to the reputation of science as a result is just an inconsequential afterthought.

  40. Sorry, but I must disagree with the overall idea that the President was continually belittled- Quite the opposite, it was embarassing to witness the fawning that went on over both the President and his wife. The BBC were worst but even the papers you cited had loads of favourable coverage. The British Press also had a go at various on the British side-especially the dresses-but what was Michelle thinking with some of her outfits :)

    What is true however is that Obama doesn’t perform well on the big stage without a script and an autocue, but he undoubtedly connects well at people level (as does Michelle) and has charisma. But then again so did Tony Blair….

    tonyb

  41. Typical headline clickbait. Just read the article, it’s a storm in a teacup.

    Bill Hartnett, the Royal Soctiety’s communications chief, confirmed that the offer had been rejected but insisted that no offence had been taken.

    He said: “There were some early discussions about whether the visit was an opportunity for him to come to the society and meet some of the UK’s brightest and best young scientists as well as some of our fellows.

    “We also discussed giving him the King Charles II Medal which is presented to heads of state.

    “We put it to the Department of Business who sounded out his people and we were told it wasn’t possible.

    “We were not offended. The idea was in its early stages so there was never any real expectation of it happening.”

  42. Obama’s avoidance of the Royal Society ties nicely with his inaugural speech where he said

    “With old friends and former foes, we’ll work tirelessly to lessen the nuclear threat and roll back the specter of a warming planet. We will not apologize for our way of life nor will we waver in its defense.”

    ie nuclear power is good and not a threat and the warming planet is a phantom (as in not real) and he’s having nothing to do with it.

    Or at least that’s how I read it (;>)

  43. The UK MSM have their own agenda and I can assure you that their attitude is not a reflection of the PEOPLE of the UK.

  44. Anything is possible says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    The lunch-box folding out into a plate works for me too. Simple, ingenious and cost-efficient.

    Science at its’ best.

    But things don’t roll off a lunchbox, much better than a plate. They should have invented a plate that converts to a lunchbox.

  45. Recall that Obama also snubbed the King of Norway after picking up his Nobel Prize ‘bling’ and also snubbed dinner invitations with Sarkozy et ux and later with Chancellor Merkel.

    I’m guessing that he would have accepted an invitation to the Royal Wedding. It’s not as boring to him as science and Michelle would have made him go. But given his treatment of others, it is no surprise to me that he and Michelle were not on the guest list.

    When does he get his Academy Award and his Pulitzer Prize and Medal of Honor?

  46. Curiousgeorge says:
    May 26, 2011 at 11:23 am

    You may find this piece interesting. Dr. Sanity is a psychiatrist who has blogged extensively on the role psychiatric dysfunction in politics.

    http://drsanity.blogspot.com/2011/05/political-left-and-seven-deadly-sins-of.html

    As to this

    “If he had gone for the Royal Society shindig, he would not have been the “smartest guy in the room”, and his ego would have had a meltdown. Much better to go someplace where he is the smartest guy in the room.”

    Despite all the ballyhoo about his supposed brilliance, from all the actual examples of his intellectual superiority that he has shown in his life( i. e. none) I’d say the only way he could be assured of being “the smartest guy in the room” would be to make sure he was entirely alone.

  47. I don’t care what O’bama does when he’s overseas, same as his excessive golfing. At least he’s not in DC f’ing up this country.

  48. So Obama would rather cavort with flat-platers than hot-globers? I’d say that’s a respectable decision considering everything he’s encountered on this trip so far.

  49. Gee, a prize for re-inventing a McDonald’s take-out container in another shape or material? Sounds like a patent violation.

    And I can’t help but wonder if the fact that this Academy appears to be composed only of black students had anything to do with the staging of the picture – or Obama’s visit there.

  50. The climate thing was very conspicuous by it’s absence, and not even included in the Queens speech, not even when refering to the hard tasks ahead for the UK and USA. Anyone know what is going on?

  51. I don’t feel sorry for the ruling class scientists who were trying to use the US president to boost their own prestige. I don’t care to see Obama or Cameron use students to boost their standing either, but I bet those kids got a real kick out of it, so I’m happy for them.

  52. The Royal Society’s motto ‘Nullius in verba’ roughly translates as ‘take nobody’s word for it’. It is an expression of the determination of Fellows to withstand the domination of authority and to verify all statements by an appeal to facts determined by experiment.

    Yet they want us to take the climate scientists’ ‘word for it’.

    Well done Obama! I guess he had had enough of all the pomp and ceremony. ;O)

  53. Or in an Alternate Universe…

    Obama Snubs School Children and UK’s Prime Minister

    Instead he chose to visit the alarmist and elitist members of the Royal Society, tempted with the offer of another medal which he didn’t earn, and as a the narcissist in chief, could simply not resist.

  54. dbleader61 says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I respect Ryan Maue writings but respectfully suggest that this story is off topic for WUWT.

    Read the second line at the top of this page.

    “……puzzling things in life,……….technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”

    The lunchbox is a little puzzling and the Obama snub is recent news.

  55. I think it’s more a reflection of how badly the Society has devalued itself with cheap and unprofessional ‘mainstreamism’. I’m sure they still see themselves as the inheritors of Newton , Boyle and other giants, whereas their antics have made them an irrelevance in the eyes of the masses (whether or not they buy into the AGW scare).

    Rather than thinking ‘wow – an award from the RS’, I’m sure he/they thought ‘who?’.

    It’s actually sad to see what they have done to the institution. I feel the same way about NASA. The way they are going they will be an irrelevance to the next generation.

  56. We have been told that the British people were all for “I AM the ONE who will cause the oceans to recede and the Earth to begin to heal”. At least, that’s what the so called main stream media told us prior to the ’08 election. Considering the source, it may be true-or not.

    It appears that the British got what they asked for. To “HE whose MIDDLE NAME cannot be spoken”, their country is just another stop between Argentina and Zimbabwe, and certainly a full step below Venezuela and Kenya. HE has said that Great Britain is nothing special. HE will bow down to the King of Saudi Arabia, but to the Queen of Great Britain? I don’t think so!

    I am amused by the Brits’ whining.

    (PS: IF I spoke HIS MIDDLE NAME, some would call for my stoning as a racist bigot and that would hurt my feelings. Especially if they DID stone me, just like in the old days. It is far, far better to leave HIS MIDDLE NAME unspoken.)

    Regards,
    Steamboat Jack (Jon Jewett’s evil twin)

  57. 1. There are those of us who theorize that the content of WUWT is driven more by ideology and partisan thinking than by rational, unbiased analysis of data and scientific theories. I view this post & commentary as evidence in support of that theory.

    2. Re: ryanm’s response “how in the world is this offtopic?”- The prior post was about the conduct of science. This post is a pot-shot at the President’s scheduling priorities. Although both mention Sir Paul Nurse, the similarities end there.

    3. Finally, I’m betting there aren’t a lot of Steven Chu fans in the crowd, but I’d argue that his appointment as Sec. of Energy doesn’t foot with the “Obama holds scientists in low esteem” narrative.

    [ryanm: not interested in blog police. this post isn’t partisan]

  58. I’m sure that Obama and his advisers could see the headlines:

    “Obama receives prestigious science medal. Obama won’t release grades from college or law school.”

    Obama didn’t need anymore bad press. And lets face it. The only thing I know that Obama has done to advance science, if you can call it that, is to praise all of the contributions that Muslims have made to the advancement of human knowledge.

  59. @ Dave Wendt says:
    May 26, 2011 at 12:16 pm

    I’d say the only way he could be assured of being “the smartest guy in the room” would be to make sure he was entirely alone.

    I wouldn’t go quite that far, but it’s obvious that he has some serious overcompensation issues as a result of low self – esteem. It shows up occasionally, in unintended public moments of bullying ( ” Elections have consequences “, etc. ). He would no doubt welcome being named “Emperor of Earth”.

    He’s a very scary guy, and it would be a mistake to underestimate the depth of his self-deception, his deviousness, and ruthlessness. History is replete with examples of such unbridled lust for power. Nearly always justified by claiming that it’s all in the best of interests of “his” people, even when the atrocities begin.

    Thanks for the link, btw. :)

  60. Smart political choice! It is better to support young peoples having news and good ideas (because that is future) than hold scientists having noting else to do but to repeat the same song already known in their field.

  61. “Great Britian is the island right? The United Kingdom is the nation?”

    Actually, England, Wales, and Scotland are all nations. The UK is a sovereign state, also known as a country, which contains those nations. I don’t think there are seven countries playing in the Seven Nations Rugby tournament, but I could be wrong. Of course these words have been slopped around so much as to be meaningless, but before “unification,” Scotland, for example, was a “nation state.”

    Sorry. Curmudgeonliness overcame me there for a minute.

  62. I can’t blame Obama for avoiding the Royal Society. I wouldn’t want my picture taken with those fraudulent global warming con men either.

  63. Well Duh!

    The whole purpose of this visit is a last ditch effort to revive a lame duck Presidency.

    The Europeans who are honored by the attention they are receiving are mere fools or pawns.

    This is about photo opportunities and winning back the adoration of teh American public – so of course he wants to be seen with a culturally diverse group of kids!!!! After all many voters have kids and this behavior is much more likely to gain votes.

    I mean who do Kate and William think they are kidding and why was JK Rowling invited!!

    This visit is all about a lame duck President and absolutely naught to do with special relationships or honoring democracy…bla di blah!

  64. Latimer Alder: Unless its to climatologists….

    OK, Steve, where are you when we need you?

    And you keep out of this, Anything Is Possible. : > )

  65. As for the Royal Society, didn’t they change the motto to “Respect the truth”?

    DaveE.

  66. Smartest move Obama has made since he was elected President of Maine. Meet Paul Nurse? Or play pingpong? Get a piece of tin from a bunch of ineffectuals that call themselves the “Royal” Society? Or get to see that “lunch-box folding out into a plate?” Hot dang! No contest! Between his recent statesmanship and personally shooting Osama bin Laden, his stock has now gone up 100%!

  67. The Royal Society was simply touting for support or recognition – that they were snubbed (allegedly) is brilliant! Not really an Obama fan – but am pleased if this means what I hope it means!

  68. He’s a dumb jock. All he wants to do is play ball games. He’s most at home with children playing childrens ball games. How did this joke become president?

  69. this type of discussion lowers the tone of wuwt so far that it is disturbing. I viewed Obama in Ireland, a superb diplomat, an excellent speaker, a credit to the country we expect to champion democracy. To the PEOPLE WHO PEDDLE negative pathetic rhetoric here as opinions, GROW UP.

  70. Once again Obama puts one of his delusions on display. He believes that he is a well coordinated multi-skilled athlete.

    However, numerous videos show otherwise. He is the master of the gutter ball when bowling; he is a total klutz on the golf course; twice on national TV he proved that he cannot throw a baseball as well as a girl: (http://www1.thetvnet.com/watch-EJBlwUfIoDk/obama-s-first-pitch-d-oh.aspx); and Charles Barkely describes his basketball skills as one-dimensional.

    I guess he did not want to put his “stuck on stupid” personality on display before the Royal Academy.

  71. Smokey says:
    May 26, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    “Something tells me that BCC is an Obama voter.”

    I’m sure if the topic was the supposed suppression of scientific “evidence” for global warming by the Bush Administration, BCC would be all over it…

    I’m actually giving President Obama kudos for not accepting a useless Royal Society medal (BTW given last year to Angela Merkel of Germany). Given the present state of Britain’s economy, I can understand why the Royal Society would want to bribe convince a head of state to give more money to foreign CAGW research (after all, didn’t Phil Jones get a bunch of DOE money??).

  72. PS: Obama show cased his forehand shot by pounding the ping-pong ball into the table that bounced three times before it reached the net

  73. Bravo, Obama! I doubt that he was thinking about the climate stuff, but he is making a genuinely American point. Favoring Edison over Einstein, practical imagination over academic theorizing.

  74. Lessee…. He could rub shoulders with some old stuffed shirts in a event few would remember a week later. Or he could to a go hang out with some bright kids, and leave a good impression with them that’ll last a lifetime.

    I didn’t vote for him. But I’ve got to admit that sometimes I like the guy.

  75. Looks like Obummer has started to distance himself from the scientists and their many failed hypotheses. It’s not just about climatology – even the hard sciences, like physics, have made little real progress for the last 30 years and even big expensive projects like the LHC are unlikely to justify their cost because the theoretical underpinnings for the experiments are ill thought out and detached from any sort of mechanical reality.

  76. Aww, c’mon. put yourself in the poor guy’s shoes.

    You’re the POTUS, the Big Cheese, the Great Enchilada, etc… you’ve already got a Nobel Prize under your belt… you’re looking for a challenge. Are you really going to imagine for one moment that the Royal Society is that next big photo-opportunity?

  77. Good for him. I would be delighted if he would also snub the National Academy of Science climate brayers.

  78. Obama clearly didn’t want a repeat of the fiasco over the Nobel Peace Prize. Maybe the prez is finally wising up. Since this school visit was scheduled prior to the award event, it would have been a serious breach of protocol, and an insult to his host, to go galavanting off for another trophy for his awards shelf. Obama has developed a reputation for coddling America’s enemies and insulting America’s friends. It’s good to see him making the right choice for once.

  79. moptop says:
    May 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm
    I don’t think there are seven countries playing in the Seven Nations Rugby tournament, but I could be wrong.

    Six Nations old chap. They are (in alphabetical order, not as a statement on sporting prowess) England, France, Ireland, Italy, Scotland and Wales. Note that Ireland has players from all the provinces of the island of Ireland (i.e. including Ulster), but I don’t think anyone named O’Bama has ever represented them.

  80. JFD says May 26, 2011 at 10:53 am:


    I suspect that Obama’s background as a Chicago ward healer passing out $50 and $100 bills comes into play lots of the time. We are what we are; it is hard to be something else.

    To the heart man, to the heart. It came three of four paragraphs in and caught me QUITE by surprise … +1000 … LOL

    .

  81. Dave Springer says:
    May 26, 2011 at 12:08 pm
    “Obama’s stock just went up a smidgen in my book.”

    That’s what Obama (or his advisers) intended.

  82. @Smokey- Your awesome powers of deduction serve you well. Your taste in comedy… perhaps less so.

    @ryanm- The police analogy doesn’t really hold. I’m not trying to run the blog or enforce any rules, I’m just providing some constructive criticism. My comments appear here at the pleasure of Mr. Watts, and that’s fine by me.

    The claim that this post isn’t partisan doesn’t really hold very well, either, given the leading paragraph.

    Examples: the “criticize” link in this paragraph goes to an article by Nile Gardiner, whose recent work includes: “The Great Liberator: remembering Ronald Reagan at 100,” “The Obama presidency remains in decline, despite the killing of Osama bin Laden,” “Barack Obama’s ‘leading from behind’ foreign policy: No wonder the US president looks weak and confused”, and so forth. Yes, I’m quite sure his commentary is representative of the British media as a whole. Find me a centrist who mocked Obama.

    And the “petty and unfair” link goes to an article that is actually quite positive with regard to Michelle Obama. A rather strange choice, there.

    Please do keep going with off-topic, ad-hominem posts like this. They are quite revealing.

  83. The Royal Society recently changed its motto.
    It used to be “NULLIUS IN VERBA”, loosely translated ‘on the word of no one’ ie take no one’s word for anything – go do the science.
    Its new motto is, “Respect the facts”. Leaving aside its banality, it rather describes the current views of Prof. John Mitchell FRS: facts are respected but can then be ignored. At a large party you respect the hosts but don’t spend whole time talking to them, similarly the RS nods at the facts and then gets on with its ‘modelling’ as being more important.

  84. Anthony, you say: “The British media continues to mock and criticize the President.”

    Your perspective may be valid, but from my perspective, the British media are positively fawning over Obama, as they have always done. He is considerably more popular in Europe than in the USA. Politicians fight for photo opportunities with him.

    All the best.

  85. moptop says:
    May 26, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    “Great Britian is the island right? The United Kingdom is the nation?”

    Actually, England, Wales, and Scotland are all nations.
    ***********************************************
    I believe it is the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. England and Scotland are nations (united under one crown), Wales is a principality, and Northern Ireland is a province.

    Hope that helps.

  86. The PM and President snubbing the RS and maybe even CAGW itself, the Queen reportedly not mentioning ‘climate change’, and the G8 probably not going to discuss it…? Are some people finally taking their meds?

  87. Anything is possible says:
    May 26, 2011 at 11:16 am (Edit)
    Steve says:
    “May 26, 2011 at 11:01 am
    @Anything is possible @May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
    “Science at its’ best.”

    Grammar at its worst.”

    Pedantry at its finest…..

    Humor at its driest…..

  88. Obama and Dave went to school
    To play kids at ping-pong and look cool
    The Royal Soc’s medal
    Ain’t worth the B.S. they peddle
    And Sir Paul once again looks a fool

  89. The British media continues to mock and criticize the President, which has been petty and unfair in some respects. But how do we reconcile this?

    Several points.

    One: You only mention one thing. You need two for a reconciliation.
    Two: The Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail do not constitute the British media. How about the Guardian, the Independent, the Times, the Daily Express, the Sun, the Herald, the Scotsman, just to name some newspapers. Have a look at BBC coverage. They dote on your President.
    Three: Most of the time the comments on this blog are virulently anti-Obama. Now, all of a sudden the commenters have become ever so protective. Wonder why?

  90. From the pictures it looks like Mr. Obama’s racial bias may have determined his decision.

  91. My King Charles Cavalier Spaniel is most incensed at this. The award was the Charles II award after which his breed is named. Remind me to get a small Obama statue and put it in my dog pen. That way he can show his proper respects to our president.

  92. This is the funniest post in WUWT for a long time! The posting was funny, thanks, but the comments maybe even funnier! Thanks to all the posters at WUWT for the entertainment!

    Obama and the Royal society…..it reminds me of norwegian foreign minister Jonas G. Støre together at the podium with Al Gore in Copenhagen. Surely the most embarrassing moment for Støre, ever. How he wished it never happened!

    And it is such a moment Obama wants to avoid. It would be like showing up at a podium, what was his name again? Harold Camping;

    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304520804576341310352792784.html?mod=WSJ_Opinion_MIDDLETopOpinion

  93. Barack Obama says:

    May 26, 2011 at 10:49 am

    Lapogus asks:

    ‘is the POTUS a keen WUWT reader?’

    Sure am! When I can get away from ping pong and other affairs of state.

    Uh oh.

    This means he’s here most of the time!

    I’m assuming he doesn’t define “affairs of state” the same way Clinton did.

    :)

  94. I can’t help but think this is perhaps one of Obama’s better decisions. Can you imagine the pompous drivel he would have been subjected to from the functionaries of that moribund organisation.

  95. My opinion here in the UK is that the media have been worshipping Mr & Mrs Obama. The Telegraph today devoted about a third of its paper to it. No mention of carrying on with his toast to the Queen after the band struck up the National Anthem.

  96. The royal society is a disgrace to science

    I wouldn’t accept anything from them either

  97. I don’t get it. Sir Paul Nurse thinks man emits 7x more CO2 than nature, people shouldn’t ask awkward questions of scientists, and scientists shouldn’t have to explain themselves to the public. With views like that, why is the Royal Society relevant or important?

  98. BCC whines:
    May 26, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    “Please do keep going with off-topic, ad-hominem posts like this. They are quite revealing.”

    Indeed. It already has revealed quite a bit about you!

    And, hey, many of us are praising President Obama for his stance against the climate elites of Britain. Where’s the love??

  99. Kum Dollison says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:42 am
    “This is a no-brainer. Good for Obama.”

    Kum,
    You have indeed captured the essence of Our Dear Leader! I’m so glad he had time for ping pong in Great Britain, while our nation groans under resurgent +9% unemployment, a +$14 Trillion dollar debt, and a series of natural disasters (floods and tornadoes) that are wracking the heartland!

    A ‘no brainer’, indeed!

  100. The visit by Queen Lizzie to Ireland and a few days later by Obama had one thing in common – forced entry by gun wielding foreign security teams which searched people’s private property and turfed them out for the duration. Lizzie’s armed police aided and abetted by the Irish searched premises and closed down businesses along her route, sealed them up and turfed out the owners, in some streets in Dublin for two or more days; Irish police planted and then conveniently found ‘a bomb’ on a bus to justify all the security. Obama’s visit to his great-grandfather’s village was welcomed by the excited locals, so it was reported; they had paint donated by Dulux to smarten up their houses, pot holes were filled; and American armed security searched all the houses and sealed them not allowing the owners to return until it was all over. Obama arrived in his $1million armour plated car with everything and was fauned over by the yokels locals, Lizzie travelled through empty streets of Dublin city centre closed for the duration.

  101. Smokey says:
    May 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm
    “☺☺☺I knew these would come in handy one day:”

    A treasure trove! Thank You, Smokey!!!
    17 months to election day… and counting…

  102. Probably Obama is sick of these groupies, he thinks they want to drive him.
    I think the Nobel Medal made such a bad taste to him that he despises this kind of people even if will resort to them when needed. They are “Useful Idiots”.
    Btw Remember the speech he while receiving the Nobel medal.

  103. Public support for carbon dioxide emissions limiting is virtually dead in the US, the Occupant in Chief knows he has to force it through by fiat with the EPA… Now we see how the self-appointed Carbon Elite treat the formerly “useful idiots.”

    Oh well, they got what they wanted while it lasted, funding and prestige. Now we can watch them fight over the remaining scraps as the (C)AGW scaremongering winds down.
    ===

    From Kum Dollison on May 26, 2011 at 10:42 am:

    A lunch box that folds out to a plate? Sounds like a pretty good idea, to me.

    Only if the juicy stuff doesn’t drip out through the hinges and edges.

    Personally I found in my youth that the small single-serving box of cereal that transformed into its own bowl was pretty innovative, very handy for camping. For some reason while the small boxes are still sold, I haven’t noticed the directions for the changeover anymore. What happened?

  104. Obama has snubbed the UK every chance he’s had. He sent back a bust of Churchill, he gave one of the PM’s a bunch of dvds that don’t work in the UK, he touched the Queen as if she were just on of his crew, he gave her an IPod with his speeches on it, plus other left-handed salutes. The theory running around as to why he has shown the UK such disrespect is that his maternal grandfather had been imprisoned in Kenya during its rebellion, and according to family “history” was tortured. That he would snub such a historical society was one more snub at the UK.
    This however does not change his personal view of AGW, a useful tool to continue imposing federal control over each US citizens’ lives and the economy in general. With Lisa Jackson working feverishly to impose cap and trade through regulatory shennanigans, Stephen Chu running the worthless Department of Energy, and his cast of Constitution-destroying cohorts, he is doing his flatout best.

  105. The Daily Telegraph is a rag. Nobody pays any serious attention to it. It used to be lampooned as ‘The House Magazine of the British Conservative Party’, but it actually wasn’t that good. Just sensationalist scaremongering nonsense for people who cannot think.

  106. This was special – Barack gets car stuck at Dublin Embassy May 23rd 2011

    Crowd reaction was telling on several different points, too.

    .

  107. JC says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
    Personally IMHO it doesn’t make a rat’s a$$ bit of difference. They’re both wastes of time that he should be spending doing his job.

    To the contrary, anything that keeps this President from “doing his job” is devoutly to be wished.

    /Mr Lynn

  108. After farmlands flooded, barges anchored, killer tornados and stagflation… what game will he play if hurricanes landfall?

    Riding bicycles and commenting that “It brings out the kid in me” like Bush did while greedy bankers and speculators were looting the country?

  109. Mr President can perhaps be forgiven for not using the Queen’s full title.

    Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God – of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Saint Christopher and Nevis and Her other Realms and Territories – Queen, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

    Still – he gets the USA.

  110. hehe
    What funny photos in the petty link.The Duke has 3 hands in one,and Michelle is wearing a plant on her head in the other.Somebody should tell her to smile all the time,she looks surly when she is not smiling.

  111. From the Telegraph link: “The honour was to be conferred on the US President at a dinner …” – when exactly? Apart from their unscheduled stopover to avoid volcano ash on Monday evening the US President and First Lady spent two nights here. On Tuesday evening they were guests at a state banquet at Buckingham Palace and on Wednesday they hosted a return reception and banquet at the US embassy.

    What made the self-important RS jonnies think that the President would consider staying over another night for dinner? A “short note” was exactly the right response – I can think of a couple of single-syllable words that would have fitted very well.

  112. johnb says:
    May 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

    “…is likely wary of making other silly mistakes that would further tarnish his foreign image.”

    Err.. how do you tarnish rust and corrosion?

  113. The Royal Society?

    Defender and peddler in chief of some of the most eye wateringly wrong headed and mistaken theories throughout the history of modern science. Never have so many puffed up establishment toadies been so wrong for so long about so many things and never before has an organisation refused with such fanatical determination to see sense or recognise their own stunning ignorance.

    The Royal society has been heavily involved through the centuries of scientific endeavour in some of the most hilarious errors/misjudgements/failures/ludicrous theories and it has defended some of the most indefensible theories in history long after they should have been consigned to the dustbin of failure. From tectonic plates to volcanoes on the moon to the speed of sound, right across the scientific spectrum there is one thing the RS has been famous for, it is the last to see reason and it is the last to accept the truth.

    Throughout its history the RS has doggedly defended the wrong against the right, it has snubbed and insulted the pioneers in favour of the vested interest establishment, it has held back scientific advance with fanatical zeal. The crusty arrogant establishment seeing itself as defender of the old establishment status quo and seeing those mavericks who really advance science as enemies to be destroyed. The RS is nothing more than a gang of complacent old seat warming in crowd inbred back scratching nincompoops.

  114. Anybody notice the basket ball hoops on the wall –

    Do they telescope out from that wall? (How would you do a lay-up if not?)

    Or, are they fixed in position?

    WUWT?

    .

  115. What? politics on a scientific site again??
    Ok! I’ll bite, for the last time, I’ll explain how this works!! (loosely).
    “Obama” is The democratically elected president of the United States of America (It’s fue and far between, neither here nor there even if Americans accept this fact or not) The whole point at hand is, when an American president visits my country I want the utmost respect to be shown with the most humble and friendly welcome that our nations leaders can possibly provide, to represent us in kind.

    That’s basically my view on international politics, you can (hopefully, “You can do it!”) democratically sort your own domestic political issues out!

  116. Cassie, couldn’t have put it better myself, right on. The RS, led by Sir Robert Hooke refused to publish Newton’w paper on the nature of light because they believed that light was pure white and couldn’t be made up of other colours. Newton, who was probably the most charmless and spiteful scientist in history, who took any slight as an attempt on his life, later became the President of the Royal Society, and Head of the Royal Mint, where he pursued counterfeiters to the gallows with the zeal he’d put into his scientific work.

    Later he came out with one of the most beautiful quotes of any scientist when he said:

    “If I have been able to see a little further it is because I have stood on the shoulders of giants.”

    Robert Hooke, of course, was very small in stature, and many saw this beautiful quote as revenge for the snub given to Newton when the RS refused to publish his paper on the theory of light. They’re probably right.

    For those who are confused the United Kingdom is the “United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Island”. (Pop 60 million) Five of the countries within the United Kingdom have their own parliaments for internal affairs, these are, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands. The only country that doesn’t have it’s own parliament is England (pop around 50million). Who says the Brits aren’t eccentric?

  117. Perhaps one of the reasons Professor Nurse extended the invitation was the hospitality he was offered by the USA by appointing him, a Brit, as the President of Rockefeller in New York, one of the USA’s most prestigious research institutions, for a 5 year stint?

    Disgusting behaviour would have been to take all that America had to offer then be snooty and rude afterwards, eh?

  118. When our (then) Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, met with his US counterpart for his only White House meeting with Barack Obama, he was denied an official dinner or Rose Garden press conference, and was received as though he were the head of a Third World country. He brought with him several thoughtful gifts including “a pen holder fashioned from the timber of HMS Gannet, a sister ship of the Resolute that also served for a time on anti-slavery missions off Africa”. And what did Brown receive in return? A collection of 25 DVDs, including Toy Story and the Wizard of Oz, which couldn’t even be played in Britain. When asked by The Sunday Telegraph why Brown had been treated so badly, a senior State Department official in charge of protocol sneered: “There’s nothing special about Britain. You’re just the same as the other 190 countries in the world. You shouldn’t expect special treatment”.

    It is important never to underestimate the extent to which this US administration is capable of riling America’s allies, from removing a bust of Sir Winston Churchill from the Oval Office within days of taking office to the president playing golf on the day of the funeral of the Polish president, tragically killed in a plane crash. Or siding with Argentina’s calls for UN-brokered negotiations over the sovereignty of the Falklands, and throwing key allies Poland and the Czech Republic under the Russian bus. Or siding with Marxists in Honduras, and humiliating the Prime Minister of Israel. The list is endless.

    In fact, the Obama team has done more to offend America’s friends than all post-war American administrations put together. Throw into the mix some strong anti-British and anti-foreign sentiment among some Democrats on Capitol Hill in the wake of the BP Gulf oil spill, and you have the potential for another diplomatic incident.

    The ramifications of a public snub for Cameron, or a perceived insult from the White House, are far greater than they were with Brown, and would lead to a furious backlash in the British press and in Westminster. President Obama and his advisers must tread carefully and recognise that it is not in their interests to alienate the new Prime Minister, not least at a time when US and British troops are fighting shoulder to shoulder on the battlefields of Afghanistan. America has no greater friend than Great Britain and the British people, and his welcome for Mr Cameron should reflect that.

    David Cameron would earn more respect if he withdrew the blank cheque of UK support for all US policies worldwide and required a quid pro quo not least over British interests in the Falkland Islands. He should also insist that the US renegotiate the servile extradition treaty negotiated by Blunkett to the UK’s massive disadvantage. He should also ask the President to turn off his anti-BP rhetoric and remind him yet again of the 40% of BP shareholdings held in the US. He should also remind him that all the sub-contracted companies and employees responsible for the oil spillage were all American, and none were British.

    Finally, how much do we get for allowing the US to use Diego Garcia? If we get anything at all, when are we going to treble the rent?

    All our political class since Blair has been afflicted by the delusion that international relations are about friendship, rather than national interest. They’ve sacrificed the vital interests of this country for the sake of ingratiating themselves with whoever happened to be the American President, throwing away the lives of British soldiers and squandering taxpayers’ money in a war in Iraq fought on fabricated evidence, fighting an unwinnable conflict in Afghanistan against an enemy that had previously never been responsible for the death of any British citizen, and now there’s the possibility that the Americans will pick a fight with Iran (one of the 4 state regimes that the “neocons” who control American Middle East policy had publicly marked for destruction for being enemies of Israel, well before 9/11, the other three being Saudi Arabia, Syria and Iraq – mission accomplished re the last).

    Our government has conducted itself with all the dignity and self-respect to be expected of America’s fawningly loyal, number-1 bitch-poodle: and yet people whine that the British government gets no respect.

    There’s nothing special about O’Barmy. He’s just the same as the other 190 presidents in the world. He shouldn’t expect special treatment. Do you think that O’Barmy really cares what the British think? Or any British PM? To expect anything else but arrogance from this hateful person is a mistake. He still thinks he is “THE ONE” and that the UK is responsible for all the ills of his country – Kenya.

  119. tom roche says:
    May 26, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    this type of discussion lowers the tone of wuwt so far that it is disturbing. I viewed Obama in Ireland, a superb diplomat, an excellent speaker, a credit to the country we expect to champion democracy. To the PEOPLE WHO PEDDLE negative pathetic rhetoric here as opinions, GROW UP.

    Huh, “superb diplomat”, championing democracy, able to read a teleprompter?

    Oops, tom, then apparently you must have missed Obama’s very recent unilateral, public, off-the-wall bullying “diplomacy” in regard to his attempt to get the only free and democratic Nation in the Mideast, Israel, to commit suicide via a retreat to its indefensible pre-1967 War borders as a precondition for negotiations? And, likewise, PM Netanyahu’s completely devastating response – itself based upon Obama’s own unilaterally imposed rules for “diplomacy” in this instance – with Bibi effectively schooling Obama on the transparently obvious realities of Israel’s situation amidst some of its enemies who are totally dedicated to Israel’s complete destruction, as they officially state – see Hamas’ own Charter, with Fatah now in official unison with Hamas; and then Obama’s subsequent and well deserved walkback, as promised and delivered on by Bibi? [of course, accompanied by the echoing Obama syncophants, such as Juan Williams, essentially whining about the uppity Israeli Jew who dared stand up for his democracy’s existence, using Obama’s own rules for “diplomatic” engagement!]

    tom, how did you miss it? Bone up, man, before it’s too late!

  120. Running around collecting medals from foreigners isn’t exactly part of a good plan to win reelection. He’s already got a Nobel anyway.

  121. Obama and Cameron had to attend the GLOBE thing, after all I always go where my boss tells me to go.

  122. Smokey says:
    May 26, 2011 at 4:11 pm

    Hooray for Smokey. I hope you included as an Obama achievement his closing of Gitmo! Bid Bad Booosh was just so out of touch with reality, don’tchaknow. At any rate Obama [now a.k.a. the action figure, Rambama, as per an admirer] did in fact show a good deal of wisdom and compassion by killing Osama instead of capturing him and having him then endure a rest-of-life “torture” right there at that very same [Club] Gitmo, along with the destruction of “our values” it would have entailed – you know, Osama having no criminal trial and all.

  123. Moptop, Pullmyfinger et al,

    The name of the country is “Great Britain and Northern Ireland”. (With 4 partly autonomous States, two of which were independant sovereign Kingdoms until 304 years ago, i.e. England and Scotland.)
    The type of country is a United Kingdom.

    Similarly, the name of the country is “France”.
    The type of country is a Republic.

    The name of the country is “The United States of America”. (With lots of individual semi-autonomous States.)
    The type of country is a Republic.

    The name of the country is “Spain”. (With some parts more autonomous than others.)
    The type of country is a Kingdom.

    The name of the country is “Australia”. (With 6 mainly autonomous States and a Territory.)
    The type of country is a Commonwealth.

    (Although nos. 1, 2 and 4 are really governed by an unelected beaurocratic dictatorship in Brussels.)

    End of nitpicking.

  124. Some of the extremely partisan anti-Obama rhetoric here on this thread is not an accurate reflection of the way the majority of the Brit media or the Brit public views the US President on his current tour. Most of the press coverage is, as is usual here, quite unstinting, almost to the point of fawning, in admiration of anyone who acknowledges their humble antecedents and acheives a position where they rub shoulders with royalty. Obama is no exception, but from my point of view, a ‘colonial’ from a far-away former British colony, the POTUS and the First Lady are acting and speaking with decorum, dignity and considerable charm. He has made the odd small blunder, but nothing of any moment or liable to give offense. The UK Media tends to have a generally socialist (note the small s) view, even those parts of it that consider themselves to be ‘right wing’, very different from the USA, where the very word ‘socialist’ seems to be a synonym, particularly among ‘conservatives, ‘ for absolute and sinster state control on a par with Communism or Hitler’s Nazis.
    The old saying that the ‘ US and the UK are two countries divided by a common language’ is very true; the the same words can have very different meanings on either side of the Atlantic.
    Finally, I suspect the brouhaha over Obama’s slighting of the RS was more imaginary than real. It seems, according to some UK press reports, that the RS invitation to the POTUS did not get beyond the exploratory stage and the RS were informed that schedule was aleady filled when the RS’s enquiry was made.

  125. I must concur with ‘Catherine’ above, and add that we here in the UK have a very deep suspicion about the President. He has made it quite clear that he is no ‘special’ friend of the UK (although we have taken a shine to his wife!). We have always been aware that the US will do whatever it takes to please the US, and that’s fair enough. However, Americans really do need to learn that very often their masters do things which are ill-advised on the world political map. It became knowledge here a few years ago that during our skirmish with Argentina, we phoned the US airbase on Ascension Island (we govern the island) and told them that we would need to land our warplanes. Amazingly the US said “No”. Apparently our ministers were astounded – and rightly so since we only allow the US to run the airbase there. Thatcher phoned Reagan and politely informed him that we WOULD be landing there – and we did.

    Then of course a little while back the US administration expressed its (bizarre) number one special relationship with France! That didn’t go down well here, and I’m afraid to say that (as friends though we no doubt are) there is a slowly-growing annoyance with the US as a ‘taker’. And Obama’s actions and words have done nothing to help. His silly stance over the BP fiasco was very revealing, as he continually referred to the company as “British Petroleum”. Oh how we laughed. To be honest, we’ll be glad to see the back of him (as long as the replacement isn’t Sarah Palin!).

  126. There might have been some disparaging cover of Obama’s visit, but the BBC has more than made up for it. They are absolutely drooling at the mouth with excitement at all details of the visit.

  127. I find it a stange notion that a lunch box would ‘fold out’ to a plate. Surely it would ‘unfold’ to make a ‘plate’?

  128. Anything is possible says: May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am
    The lunch-box folding out into a plate works for me too. Simple, ingenious and cost-efficient.
    Science at its’ best.

    Love it. These kids should be supported to market this to developing nations. Food sealed from dust, vermin and grubby hands and then served up on a plate at a communal [school environment] gathering, after washing one’s hands, is a fantastic idea.
    And if the ‘lunch box’ is reasonably ‘leakage’ proof, a useful container afterwards for filling with water to brush teeth and washing face.

    And then when the areas decide to recruit decent teachers to teach in these areas, the science of the mining and technology to develop these items for the good of human usage and development can be taught.

  129. Wise call Mr Obama. The Royal Society in years past was responsible for holding back new science thinking for decades. Very little has changed to the present day and I refer of course to the cringe worth programme Sir Paul Nurse the President of the Royal Society did as part of the BBC’s propaganda on climate change and the leaked emails.

  130. Cassie King says:
    May 26, 2011 at 9:25 pm

    The Royal Society?

    Defender and peddler in chief of some of the most eye wateringly wrong headed and mistaken theories throughout the history of modern science. Never have so many puffed up establishment toadies been so wrong for so long about so many things and never before has an organisation refused with such fanatical determination to see sense or recognise their own stunning ignorance.

    The Royal society has been heavily involved through the centuries of scientific endeavour in some of the most hilarious errors/misjudgements/failures/ludicrous theories and it has defended some of the most indefensible theories in history long after they should have been consigned to the dustbin of failure. From tectonic plates to volcanoes on the moon to the speed of sound, right across the scientific spectrum there is one thing the RS has been famous for, it is the last to see reason and it is the last to accept the truth.

    Throughout its history the RS has doggedly defended the wrong against the right, it has snubbed and insulted the pioneers in favour of the vested interest establishment, it has held back scientific advance with fanatical zeal. The crusty arrogant establishment seeing itself as defender of the old establishment status quo and seeing those mavericks who really advance science as enemies to be destroyed. The RS is nothing more than a gang of complacent old seat warming in crowd inbred back scratching nincompoops.

    Come on Cassie, don’t be coy, tell us what you really think.

  131. The adverse media coverage was definitely in the minority. Most people here were very pleased to welcome a US president (whatever you think about his politics). That’s why it’s called a state visit.

  132. Please stop giving President Obama credit for not going to the Royal Society. You can think he did it for reasons listed above but I believe the truth is he is uncomfortable speaking in public without the benefit of a pre-written script. After the “toast to the Queen” episode he is laying low and staying away from anything he is unsure of or cannot have total control of.

  133. Perhaps of interest in light of students and access to technology (and fun) with leaders

    “THE lives of 5000 students in remote Australia have been turned around during the past 12 months, courtesy of a small green and white laptop.
    Over the next three years that story will be writ large across the country, with the One Laptop Per Child scheme aiming to provide the computers to 400,000 children aged 4-15 in remote and regional Australia by 2014.

    The OLPC program is a global scheme established in the US in 2005. To date, the non-profit organisation has given laptops to almost 2 million children worldwide, true to its charter of using technology to help bridge the gap between children in remote communities and their city cousins.

    Yesterday, the local arm of the charity – of which The Australian is a sponsor – celebrated its two-year anniversary.

    The executive director of the program in Australia, Rangan Srikhanta, said educators in the field had reported that the laptop roll-out had “literally changed children’s lives”
    “If we can provide an XO to each of the 400,000 remote Australian children by 2014, we will have made a marked contribution to educational reform,” Mr Srikhanta said.”

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/laptop-program-hailed/story-fn59niix-1226063774046

    One Laptop per Child

    http://one.laptop.org/

  134. Latimer Alder is “much impressed by [Obama’s] dignity and courtesy on his visit here.” As an American who has lived and studied in the UK, I am too.

    But perhaps the genius is really democracy in action: “the prospect of death [by losing the 2012 election] concentrates the mind wonderfully” – to borrow from Samuel Johnson.

  135. To those who consider this topic ‘off limits for a science blog’…

    Come off it, since when has GW been anything other than political, lets be honest about this. If it was about science, sceptical views would be mainstream, the GW’s would be struggling to make themselves heard.
    As it is, a political clique allied to big industry/banking/insurance sees GW as a meal ticket. Its Statism against Libertarianism…so its bound to be political.
    But in the UK we have a ‘conservative’ party who are so pro GW (prob due the fingers in pies) it makes your head spin. I dislike both our UK parties for their use of GW as a schtick to increase the power of the state over the individual.
    In ‘The One’ you guys have voted in someone who seems to be the worst type of character regarding GW, sponsoring and promoting the GW hoax for his own ends. I disliked your Texan for going with the ethanol corn lobby…but I can see he needed the votes and did not really believe the GW hype himself. I think this guy actually believes it, or perhaps does not care?
    So this blog is going to attract people who are anti GW, which tends to mean anti Statism, which will tend to be anti O’bama.

    Kudos for shooting OBL though (am just amused by the lack of reaction to that in the media…had Bush done it, it would be seen in the media as a ‘war crime’…!!). But hey, lets be careful not to slate the guy too much…don’t want a bunch of Seals knocking at my door eh?

  136. When, during the course of his State Of The Union Address IIRC, Mr. Obama mentioned Global Warming and got a smattering of laughter, he made a mental note not to risk that again. (You can see him look at the crowd and make the decision to delete the topic in future…)

    I think that just extends to ego stroking plastic medals too… and the empty suits handing them out. Easy equation, really. No gain, significant “smirk risk”. Pass…

  137. Looks like POTUS is playing ping pong on the least-used table in the least used room in all of Great Britain. For a sports room to not have a mark or smudge tells me the kids were shooed out of the room for some days while it was cleaned up and glossed over. Rather like the entire presidency of this idiot.

  138. Jimbo says:
    May 26, 2011 at 12:47 pm
    dbleader61 says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I respect Ryan Maue writings but respectfully suggest that this story is off topic for WUWT.

    Read the second line at the top of this page.

    “……puzzling things in life,……….technology, and recent news by Anthony Watts”

    The lunchbox is a little puzzling and the Obama snub is recent news
    ————————————————————————————-
    Point taken, although I am well aware of the header to WUWT. And notwithstanding Dr Maue’s response to BCC May 26, 2011 at 12:59 pm, that this wasn’t a partisan post, the comments went partisan and this post primarily became a bash the POTUS event. I have no love for Mr. Obama; I vote Conservative in Canada (finally a majority!); and would be a Republican if I resided in the US, but really don’t have much appetite for snark about any leader – at least those of the free world.

    Just my opinion on a single post as I think WUWT is the best run blog on the the internet bar none. I do hope we can stay away from party and leader bashing for the most part and stick to puzzling things in science. This post and its comments were certainly fun.

    I like your posts, Jimbo, and all that post here.

  139. Phil’s Dad says:
    May 26, 2011 at 8:04 pm
    Mr President can perhaps be forgiven for not using the Queen’s full title.

    Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God – of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Grenada, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Antigua and Barbuda, Belize, Saint Christopher and Nevis and Her other Realms and Territories – Queen, Duke of Normandy, Lord of Mann, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith.

    No he can’t. Can you see the word ‘England’ in that title? No, neither can I. Come on, the chap’s as ill-informed as most Americans but you would think that there would be somebody in the US State Department who might know better.

  140. Catherine says:
    May 26, 2011 at 11:32 pm

    Encore!! Encore!!!!!
    I award you both ears and the tail, Oh Toreodora Fabulosa! Your picaodora like ‘skewering’ of our politicians was ‘Spot On!’

    My president has insulted our greatest ally and friend, the citizens of Great Britain. Many like myself are profoundly embarrassed by the petulant, childish behavior he has directed towards the leaders and citizens of Margaret Thatcher’s GREAT Britain. Please accept my sincere apology, on behalf of the adult citizens of the United States of America, for his shameful behavior.

    We have 17 months before we can correct this political travesty via the ballot box, begin to regain our national self respect, and again earn the respect and mutual allegiance of our time tested allies. I assure you, many like myself are working hard to make that a reality! As for the others, they have only to look at the +9% unemployment, +$14 Trillion US debt, rapidly escalating inflation of basic commodities, clothing, and food costs, to realize we are on the wrong bloody path and must change course now.

  141. dbleader61 says: May 27, 2011 at 9:32 am
    Just my opinion on a single post as I think WUWT is the best run blog on the the internet bar none. I do hope we can stay away from party and leader bashing for the most part and stick to puzzling things in science. This post and its comments were certainly fun.

    Speaking of puzzling things, science (as in measurement) and games with balls this witty piece was published about Wayne Swan (Treasurer) and his take on the mineral resource rent tax and decarbonising Australia.

    A Ball Short of a Tennis Match

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/commentary/a-ball-short-of-a-tennis-match/story-e6frgd0x-1226062946085

  142. The visit honoring student creativity was the more consistent choice as the Prez has demonstrated his own creativity by showing that he can make private sector jobs fold up into tin cups and unemployment checks. (sarcasm).

  143. Error! Error!

    John Brisbin says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:20 am

    Let’s think this through.

    Either the society was offering a ‘social’ medal to get a VIP to lend them his prestige, such as it is, or they were making an award for Mr. Obama’s “outstanding contribution to furthering scientific research in their country”.*

    Here, I’ll fix it:

    John Brisbin says:
    May 26, 2011 at 10:20 am
    … Mr. Obama’s “outstanding contribution to furthering futtering scientific research in their country”.*

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