2/8/2001 What can one say about Dubya that hasn't already been yelled from the rooftops? A man who's bailed out of five major international treaties since Christmas -- including one about biological and chemical weapons -- while simultaneously rescinding the US' own rule that it mustn't assassinate foreign heads of state has clearly got one hell of an agenda going on. No wonder Blair looks so nervous these days. But while it's easy to point to Kyoto and despair, let it not be said that he's all vested interests. Why, today he signed into law a rule banning federal vampires. No, not that sort (did you know that the Queen Mother's nickname when young was Buffy? What an image) but the little power supplies that charge cellphones, run answering machines and so on. These tiny darlings spend most of their time just plugged in and keeping warm, but there are so many of them that they soak up entire powerstations' worth of energy. It's not that hard to redesign them so they're orders of magnitude more efficient, and now Bush says that only the most efficient can be used by government employees. Not only will this go a tiny way towards stopping planetary meltdown, but it will also help your ears. Many of these tiny vamps have rather grotty power switching designs and radiate all manner of noise into the aether. You'll hear that as buzzes, growls and whistles on your radio; redesigned ones won't do this nearly as much. A small bonus, but let's count our blessings.