A cup day bet. For my Melbourne Cup Day bet I’ll be having a dollar on a reduction in the Reserve Bank’s official interest rate.

As I pointed out on The Stump over a month ago a revised method of calculation by the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that inflation was not as much of a problem as originally published figures indicated. Now the just published minutes of the Bank Board’s last meeting show that it too notes that the pick-up in underlying inflation had been “more gradual than initially indicated”.

That’s a good enough tip for me even though the Crikey Interest Rate Indicator still has no change as the most likely outcome at the next Board meeting on the first Tuesday in November.

A majority say legalise it. Public opinion in the United States has moved to favouring the legalisation of marihuana. The pollster Gallup reports this week that a record-high 50% of Americans now say the use of marijuana should be made legal, up from 46% last year. Forty-six percent say marijuana use should remain illegal.

Einstein can rest easy. Relativity lives on. It seems there was a mistake in the measuring the speed of those neutrinos at the CERN lab at Geneva that I mentioned in my snippets last month and that my wise colleague Guy Rundle predicted at the time would turn 0ut to be faulty.

They didn’t travel the 450 mile circuit from Switzerland to Italy and back again faster than the speed of light. It’s all a bit complicated for a mind like mine but researchers at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands reckon the CERN boffins did not make the right adjustments to their measurements to take account of relativity.

Einstein’s theory of relativity is not only safe, but confirmed once again.

Proof from the United Arab Emirates. Some evidence from Abu Dhabi on the significance of mobile phone use when it comes to traffic accidents.

The influence of Alan. Thanks to the marvels of internet radio we are Alan Jones listeners in our house and thus are aware of the growing controversy over the activities of energy companies seeking to tap gas deposits lying under rural land.

Alan is very much on the side of farmers and against the miners in this dispute and the National Party must be thankful for that as Labor and Liberal parties are committed to the gas industry cause.

Tomorrow the outspoken broadcaster will have an even wider forum for his views when he addresses the National Press Club in Canberra.

Peter Fray

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