Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Daily Fail

Quite apart from giving some really abhorrent people the time and space to vent their poisonous spleens to the World, the Daily Mail in the UK has been well and truly caught out blatantly making things up.

Thursday, 22 September 2011

The view from up here...

Somewhere over the Aurora Australis, way up high......


A time lapse video taken aboard the International Space Station of a magnificent natural event: http://bbc.in/psO1fL

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Subtitles

In work we're lucky enough to have a flatscreen television in the canteen so we can watch whilst having a break. Unfortunately it's normally tuned to Sky News rather than BBC news (bit of a snob in that regard but at least it's not ITV).

One thing I really do like, however, is the occasional belly laugh I get due to the subtitles. For these live subtitles, most are produced using speech recognition software and are backed up by trained Stenographers to correct when things go wrong (which is fairly often).

Two recent examples that spring to mind are: "Now we're going to cross live to labia where there is heavy fighting" and "These girls are modelling Burkini's" (which is a gigantic clash of culturally significant clothing - I can only presume it's a burqa worn above a skimpy pair of knickers).

An update to the Sally Morgan blog

I've previously posted about Britain's self-proclaimed "best loved psychic", Sally Morgan. As an addendum, I spotted this interesting piece in the Guardian where an entirely believable accusation is levelled at her.

Now, in the interests of balance, I have to say that the claim is anecdotal, it's based on no harder evidence than Sally herself uses and it's written by a confirmed "Skeptic". With that in mind, read on...

Guardian piece: http://bit.ly/olX3Vs

If true, it would mean that it's not the spirits talking to her, it's Terry, sitting up in the sound booth...

Friday, 12 August 2011

Oh, to be in London in September...

Looks like a really interesting public lecture coming next month at Imperial College, London.

"Join Imperial’s Institute for Security Science and Technology for an evening of codes, ciphers and computers, as they bring together four leading speakers to take you on a tour of cryptography through the ages. From its beginnings in pen and paper to its future in quantum computing, the panel will discuss the science of secrecy in its many forms and then take questions from the audience."

http://bit.ly/pJz5J2

Thursday, 11 August 2011

An excerpt from "Why does E=mc2?"

One of my more recent reads was this enlightening book by Professors Brian Cox and Jeff Forshaw, both from Manchester University. In it, they try to talk through the theory of Einstein's famous equation and discuss topics like energy, mass, light, particle physics and the like in an accessible manner to help the lay-reader (like me!) understand the science behind this astonishingly simple and, to physicists, beautiful equation.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Other Universes

An interesting piece on the observational tests for the existence of other universes

http://bit.ly/pugJg1

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

The new Derek Acorah

Sally Morgan seems to have assumed the position of the UK's best known psychic recently with shows on satellite television and the like. Here she is with a recent appearance on BBC Five Live's Richard Bacon show in which the host's mother joins on the phone.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

Today's offer: Colonic Hydrotherapy 60% off

I subscribe to a daily offers website where local businesses offer specific discount deals to the local community to generate business.   There are all sorts of deals on items as varied as a fish pedicure, a professional photography session, cake decorating courses, gadgets, hotel breaks and the like.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Who watches the watchers? The PCC (aka no-one)

The whole News of the World scandal running in the UK at the moment was uncovered by a Guardian journalist called Nick Davies, adding another considerable feather to his already extensively plumed hat. His admirable reporting-on-the-reporters stance seems to be a bit of a labour of love for Mr Davies - journalistic malpractice is also the prime focus of his most well known book - the scathing, intoxicating and truly important 'Flat Earth News'.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Storm

The sharp, cutting wit of the mighty Tim Minchin: Storm

Monday, 27 June 2011

Wikigame

Here's a game you can play on Wikipedia. Choose a page, any page: aardvark, Zulu, strawberry, scapula or whatever you like.

Now, ignoring the words in the title and any words in brackets, click on the very first hyper link in that page of text. From the resulting page, click on that first word and so on and so on. You will end up (after a number of 'moves') at Philosophy.

The game is to be beat your score for the highest number of clicks achieved before you reach Philosophy.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

UK petrol prices - broken down

Petrol prices in Britain remain at near record levels and it's certainly true that the instabilities of the middle-east have led to higher oil prices recently.  Media outlets are quick to point to the rising price of a barrel of oil but this doesn't tell the whole story.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Shorts from 50's America.

Des Moines Register, 20 September 1957:  East Hampton, Conn.  (AP) - A search of Lake Pocotopaug for a reported drowning victim was called off here Tuesday when it was realized that one of the volunteers helping the search, Robert Hausman, 23, of East Hampton, was the person being sought.


Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Collisions

The polished cue slides back and forth under the pool player's chin; he holds his breath as he pushes it forward decisively.   The cushioned 'thunk' of the cue hitting a ball rings out, followed shortly afterwards by the 'clack' of two or more balls colliding. 

It's a familiar sight and sound to anyone who has ever played pool except - here's the thing - those items never actually touch.  

Monday, 13 June 2011

Playing Snakes And Ladders In School

Some good friends told me recently of an issue they were having with their child in school.   This young man, 5 years old now, goes to a school which was recently visited by Ofsted who gave it bad report, being told it must improve.

One of the initiatives brought in since that time is to try and improve the behaviour of the children and it's this motivational concept that the child in question is struggling with (along with his parents and, I admit, me).

Thursday, 9 June 2011

The Emperors New Clothes in 3D

I don't even begin to understand the current craze for all things 3D.   We are seemingly in the grip of a fairly astonishing, 1984 style embrace of 3D technology from the major media outlets;  to paraphrase Orwell, "War is peace, freedom is slavery, ignorance is strength, 3D is desirable".

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

I wonder....

What would it cost to get Brian Blessed to preside over a wedding?   http://bbc.in/bydc97

A beautiful, unique photograph

If Neil Armstrong gave us a great leap for mankind, the international space station is mankind regaining our balance and standing up straight. As such, I think it's quite apt that as a chapter ends in this incredible feat of engineering and discovery, the occasion is marked with a thing of beauty.

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

More trees, less footprint

Very pleased to read about the latest research on the increased density of managed forests leading to larger carbon sinks:  http://bit.ly/j3XSWa

Monday, 6 June 2011

Simon Cowell

Okay, the first rant:  Simon Cowell.

Whatever you think of him, he's damned good at what he does.  Infuriatingly so - you only have to look at the last few weeks of stories in the papers to know that.

In this age of churnalism and flat earth news, a constant

Photos added

So, I've discovered how to add a page of my photos and I've indulgently chucked them up for viewing.  I'm not putting on pictures of people for myriad reasons including that I hope anyone viewing will find pictures of things much more interesting (unless you happen to know the person depicted). 

Breaking the cherry

Let's get this over with.   This time, though, there's no need to be flat on my back and thinking of England.

My first blog. 

Inspired by the truly inspirational Rachel (my beloved fiancĂ©e), this is mostly to ensure that I beat her to the first blog post. I don't intend this to be particularly coherent, cohesive or anything more than just stuff really.   If no-one else ever reads, enjoys or comments, then I'm really fine with that.   If you do find something of interest though, I'm pleased.

Anyway, I should say:  welcome.