blueprint media

Month: October, 2015

Russian Roulette

Fifty-three years ago this week, as the Cuban Missile Crisis played out, the world came closer to catastrophe than at any other time in history.

Quite how close can be measured by the fact that the US President, John F Kennedy, put the odds of disaster  – “meaning a thermonuclear war that could have claimed the lives

of 100 million Americans, more than 100 million Russians and comparable millions of Europeans” –  at “between one out of three and even”.


Source: Kissinger 1923-1968: The Idealist, by Niall Ferguson, published by Allen Lane, 2015, p545.

Blueprint brief – 23rd October 2015


Stuff Happens

Mass shootings may appear commonplace in the USA but according to figures from the FBI the murder rate is in decline.

There were 9.4 murders for every 100,000 people in the US in 1990. In 2012 the figure had fallen to 4.7.

Of 33,363 Americans gunned down in 2013, 21,175 (63 per cent) were cases of suicide.

Source: Justin Webb, The Times, 9th October 2015

blueprint brief – 15th October 2015

French Revolution

France today imports most of its edible snails and exports more vodka than cognac.

Source: review of The History of Modern France by Jonathan Fenby in the Times Literary Supplement, 9 October 2015.

blueprint brief – 8th October 2015

Nuclear Number

The Government has guaranteed the operator of the planned Hinkley C nuclear power station £89.50 per  Megawatt hour.

According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change the cost per Megawatt hour of generating electricity by other means is as follows:

Combined cycle gas turbine – £80

Onshore wind – £101

Biomass – £108

Offshore wind – £113

Large scale solar – £158

Source: Barometer, The Spectator, 26 September 2015.