Posted in June 2012

Voyager has Left the Solar System

Voyager has Left the Solar System

Way back on 20 August 1977 Voyager One was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, two weeks after its sister Voyager Two. It  is now, unlike many of us alive then,  still going strong. What is really astounding is that its processing power is a fraction of that in a smart phone. It is travelling at … Continue reading

Horsemen of The Apocalypse on The Rails

Horsemen of The Apocalypse on The Rails

The weather in the UK has become utterly ridiculous, with a month’s rain falling in hours, in between occasional outpourings of sunshine. Thank goodness we can blame foreigners for this – or at least a foreign source – the Spanish Plume. Warm air from the Spanish plateau travels north, and when it hits the cold … Continue reading

On Education

On Education

People with kids are plugged into an annual cycle of school related events, especially towards the end of the school year, with exams, sports days etc that leave the rest of us completely untouched. Much of what I hear of the education system is moaning about how hard it is to get into a good … Continue reading

Tomatoes Like Granny Used to Grow

Tomatoes Like Granny Used to Grow

When I was little I apparently broke out of my playpen and went down the row of my mother’s carefully tended tomatoes, taking a bite out of each one, even though they were still green. I have long pondered why this happened – tomatoes are rich in potassium – was I deficient in this salt … Continue reading

Songs about Susan/Suzannes

Songs about Susan/Suzannes

This is a really old one, Oh Susannah, a new take on an old song by the Grungemeister Neil Young: This is a more traditional version of it, but by the Trapp family, of Sound of Music fame: Here’s the Hollies with ‘Sorry Suzanne from Top of the Pops, 1969: This is Dandy Livingston, Susanne … Continue reading

Dominant Senses

Dominant Senses

I seem to recall from the wider spaces of my research that the ancients believed there was a hierarchy of the senses, and that sight was the one that reigned supreme. I saw Al Pacino in ‘The Scent of a Woman’ the other night, in which he plays a solider who has been blinded, and … Continue reading

Russell’s Busy Making a Boat

Russell’s Busy Making a Boat

A few snippets from today’s Independent – or rather the baby, i version. Apparently Russell Crowe has been rumoured to be about to play media mogul Rupert Murdoch, but he has the best excuse ever. He is getting ready to play the role of Noah. “I am off to build a boat. Will be gone … Continue reading

Turnspit Dogs

Turnspit Dogs

These dogs are now extinct, and few records survive of them as they were so badly treated; in fact, they only really existed in order to be mistreated. Back in the days when large animals were roasted in big country stoves with chimneys bigger than modern flats, the heat meant that constant turning was required, … Continue reading

Dovecotes

Dovecotes

These structures were homes for doves, originally built by monks to provide themselves with fresh meat through the winter. But they were long a source of dispute with their peasant tenants, as the birds lived off the grain from their fields, so on top of their normal tithes to the church, they were being indirectly … Continue reading