Showing posts with label astronauts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label astronauts. Show all posts

Thursday, 2 July 2009


I say that because I actually fell asleep last night, which will teach me because some flesh eating insect got into my bedroom and bit me on the left eyelid, so I now have monocular vision.

And a leer that would get me nicked if I ventured out into the world, so I will sit her in my torpor and attempt to write something vaguely sensible, which would be a first.

The opening gambit was something I heard on Radio 4 this morning, and concerns the digital switch over, Digital UK - Home which is represented by that annoying little robot which I personally could melt down for scrap.

I have already converted my TVs to digital and am ready for the off, which won’t be until 2012 in Hampshire.

The thing that caught my attention was: what will happen to our FM radios when the switch over happens, the reporter said that we will have to scrap them and buy digital radios, and that I suppose includes car radios.

The only reference I can find to this is Nicholas Lezard: Don't force digital radio on us which seems to reinforce the fact that we will not be able to use our FM radios once digital comes in.

Or we will have to listen to “local” stations, and will lose the access to radio 1, 2,3,4,5 the world service and Uncle Tom Cobbly and all.

Bloody cheek, I pay my license fee and this entitles me to watch BBC TV channels and listen to BBC radio channels, will I get a refund if I refuse to buy a new alarm clock/radio, a new Hi-Fi with a tuner and a new portable radio, as well as a new car radio?

Of course I WON’T, because the Government and the BBC have given me no choice in the matter, it is a case of do it or lose it, and never mind the cost to the public, I like digital TV, there is a good choice of programmes, and the quality is much better than analogue, but why haven’t the “powers that be” told us about the radio thing?

Moan over, but it is worth a thought.

Back to the “real world”

Hedge that never forgets:

Gavin Hogg became concerned his hedgerow was getting so overgrown it resembled a jungle he took matters in hand and transformed it into a herd of elephants

Mr Hogg, 49, fell in love with the wildlife during a safari in Kenya that when he returned home he decided to recreate a little bit of Africa in his back garden.

He painstakingly carved out a seven adult elephants and three babies from his hedgerow.

It took two days to craft the herd with a trimmer, shears – and a pair of scissors for the fiddly bits.

The result is a striking 100ft-long trail of green elephants that stretches around the corner of his family home outside Brecon in Mid Wales.

Great idea, wonder how long it will be before someone complains?

Mobile Phones can kill you; at least they can if you drop it on a railway line:

A man had a miracle escape when he was hit by a 100mph train as he went to retrieve his mobile phone from the railtracks.

Noah Hodgkiss, 56, did not notice the train thundering towards him because he has cataracts and hearing problems.

To make matters worse, the batteries on his hearing aid were flat and he had no idea the train was there until he glanced over his shoulder at the last second.

"I was right in the middle of the two tracks when it happened. Before I knew what was going on it was on me.

"I tried to leap out of the way but it was too late and it hit me from behind. I can't describe how it felt, I was just thinking what was going to happen to me."

Mr Hodgkiss flew several metres down the track but remained conscious.

Mr Hodgkiss's ordeal happened as he walked in Tibberton, Worcestershire, on Saturday.

He dropped his mobile from the railway bridge but, as he was looking for it, the train slammed into him.

I don’t want to be pedantic here but what use is a mobile phone to someone who has cataracts and is deaf?

Nanny state:

Britain's towns and countryside are being blighted by unnecessary and patronising safety signs, according to a new book

Photographs taken around the country for the publication show beaches featuring warnings that they have "uneven surfaces", and cemeteries advising visitors that "all memorials have the potential to harm".

Railway stations display posters telling passengers to "use escalators safely" while flower beds are decorated with CCTV signs.

A poster next to a hedge tells passers-by to "be aware of wasps nesting in this area", and traffic cones are used to designate a smoking zone in a supermarket car park.

Between the Royal Festival Hall and Waterloo Bridge on London's South Bank there are now 95 safety signs, it is claimed, while a double-decker bus displays 24 separate cautions.

The Manifesto Club, a libertarian campaign group that compiled the book from pictures sent in by members, says in many cases the signs do not warn of real dangers.

And with their loud colours and hectoring tones, the book says, the notices disfigure buildings and public spaces.

The book is available at

You can read it but only if you read the warning sign about cutting yourself on sharp paper.

And finally:

Want to be an astronaut?

Guinness has launched a competition offering drinkers the chance to win a trip into space aboard Sir Richard Branson's. Virgin Galactic Spacecraft

The brewer is putting three once-in-a-lifetime experiences up for grabs themed on the colour of its famous black stout beer.

To mark its 250 years in business, the company is sending one winner into space, another to the depths of the ocean, and a third to an exclusive Black Eyed Peas concert.

The competition is open to adults in 28 countries at its website until the 250-year anniversary on September 24 – dubbed Arthur's Day.

The Guinness space experience gives one person the chance to become one of the first non-professional astronauts to venture into space with Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Galactic, the world's first commercial spaceline.

After training in New Mexico at the Virgin Galactic's home at Spaceport America, the winner will take a flight through the Earth's atmosphere at almost 2,500mph – three times the speed of sound.

Sitting 68 miles above the Earth's surface, they will experience the feeling of weightlessness before they view Earth from the blackness of space.

No thanks, I have seen what happened to Branson’s balloon flight and his speed boat.


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico


Saturday, 6 June 2009


Well, the county elections are over and the country is singing the Blues, and Gord has done his version of the soft shoe shuffle and we still have almost the same Government but in different seats and wearing different hats.

More like a game of musical chairs than political nouse.

First up:

The British justice system, but only Sunday to Friday Lisa Partington, was given a curfew for assaulting another woman at a party but was told by a judge she could have Saturdays off "because it's summer".

Judge William Hart told Partington, 19, the terms of the curfew meant she had to agree to stay home every night of the week apart from Saturday - the same night she had carried out the drunken attack at a party.

At Gloucester Crown Court, Judge Hart sentenced Partington, of New street, Gloucester, to a 12-month community order with supervision and a curfew from 9pm to 7am every day for the next two months except Saturdays.

He said: "I give you one day off a week because it is summer and I don't think it is necessarily in your interests for you to be confined to your home every evening of the week for the next two months."

Partington had admitted assaulting Kimberley Moxham causing her actual bodily harm at a party in High street, Tredworth, Gloucester, on the night of Saturday Sept 6, 2008.

Nice to know we have a robust legal system that we can be proud of.

Another giant crop circle appears in Wiltshire, this time it is a Dragon fly, Crop circle enthusiasts claim the succession of animal designs have been created in an attempt make people more aware of the threat of climate change and predict they could continue throughout the summer.

"I imagine this will not be the last one we will see this summer and it has already been a busy summer for spotting them as they are well ahead of schedule."

In past years the crop circle season has typically run from July to August but already four have been found in barley fields stretching from Wiltshire to Oxfordshire this year.

They have been found across the ancient 'ley lines' - believed to have mystical qualities.
"People believe they will increase in frequency up to 2012 where there will be some kind of cataclysmic world event."

I’ll tell you, if there are Dragon flies that big in 2012 Im off!

Space travel makes you ugly astro-biologist Dr Lewis Dartness revealed at the Cheltenham Science Festival that living without gravity would cause space travellers' bones and muscles not to develop properly, leaving them stunted and weak.

Meanwhile, the lack of effort needed to move around in low gravity and a temperature-controlled environment would mean that "future spacemen and women are likely to become pretty chubby."

And it gets worse. "Without gravity, fluid would float up to pool in the skull, which would cause the head to look permanently swollen out of proportion", Dr Dartness added.

Warming to his subject, he continued: "Also, with no need for hair to insulate the head or eyelashes to flick dust from their eyes, future humans may become completely hairless."

So space “men” will be short, fat, bald and ugly, that is me to a tee, where do I sign up.

Pulling power A Chinese man lost his hand when it was ripped off at the wrist during a tug-of-war contest, Mr Shi, 30, of Shenzen, joined the beach tug of war competition with more than 100 of his colleagues.

"I had done tug-of-war before. It was all fun and safe," he told the Guangzhou Daily newspaper.
Entrants were divided into teams of five with Shi taking up the back position on his team. To stabilise himself, he wrapped the rope around his wrist and threw the loose end over his shoulder.

His match was heading for a draw when members of the audience started helping both teams to try to end the stalemate - without noticing Shi's hand trapped in the rope.

"I called on people to stop, but my voice was too quiet to be noticed," he said.

The competition was eventually halted when people noticed Shi holding up his damaged limb.
He was rushed to the Guangzhou Harmony Hand Hospital where his severed hand was reattached in a five hour operation.

That’s handy, they would have heard my voice if it had been me.

How to curry huge profits A London restaurant has launched the world's most expensive curry - at £2,000 a portion.

The dish, called the Samundari Khazana, or Seafood Treasure, contains caviar, sea snails, a whole lobster and even edible gold, reports The Sun.

Prahlad Hegde, head chef of Bombay Brasseries in central London, said: "There are still people out there with money to spend and this curry is a real experience."

Ingredients include Devon crab, white truffle, Beluga caviar, quails' eggs, sea snails, and an £80 Scottish lobster coated in gold leaf.
Prahlad explained: "The idea is from a basic Indian recipe I got from my mum but we are using the finest ingredients in the world."
The curry has been created to coincide with the DVD launch of Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.

If I want my bum to burn the next day I can do it for £9.99 from the local takeaway.

And finally:
Blind justice police in New York repeatedly ticketed an illegally parked minivan for weeks before noticing that its occupant was dead, the deceased man's daughter has claimed.

The body of George Morales was discovered on Wednesday after a city marshal attempted to tow the vehicle away from underneath a flyover in the city's Queens District.

Jennifer Morales told the New York Daily News that she last spoke to her 59-year-old father in early May. She believes that he may have died from a heart attack while sitting in the family's Chevrolet Ventura.

Wonder if he will have to go to court for non payment.

Only Robinson Crusoe had everything done by Friday.” Anon


NHS Behind the headlines

Angus Dei politico