Saturday, 19 March 2011

how things have changed

I’ve been chatting on Facebook with an old school mate, as a result I’ve been reminiscing about my school days. When I was at school all the brilliant stuff had been done, man had been to the moon, we’d sent probes to Mars and Venus and the Voyager and Pioneer probes were on their way to the far reaches of the solar system. Whilst I was there we were not allowed to use calculators and digital watches were a new invention and cost a million pounds. Computers were things that made spaceships work or tried to murder you, and we were told that they’d never be useful in the home. One thing that has surprised me is how much of what i was taught at school was wrong, Just a few examples are that all Vikings were rampaging barbarians, the Romans were thieves who stole whole countries from the native inhabitants. having taken the time to properly learn about these things is how I have found out that my history teacher was one of the many of the teachers who were wrong, the Vikings were civilised farmers for the most part and the Roman occupation was all done rather peacefully, the real problems started when the Iceni decided that they weren’t too keen on the thought of being disarmed and felt it necessary to tell the Romans to get stuffed. there ya go a bit of history for you. when I left school it all started again, space shuttles huge great leaps in computer technology and digital watches were now cheaper than a house. One thing I was never really interested in at school was sport, I always had issues with sport, the teachers would prattle on about team building and camaraderie, blech! Most of the sporty lads at my school were gits, the chap i referred to earlier is an exception to this, I don’t recall him being particularly sporty either and cross country runs were just an excuse to bunk off for a smoke, note that I didn’t use the word fag so as not to confuse our colonial cousins.

would I do it all again? probably, it depends on whether or not I can know everything I know, although I do see a few paradoxes forming there, my super spiffing digital watch that cost me less than twenty quid would be hard to explain, although I could just let everyone think that I’m a millionaire.

I have to be honest and say that tonights post is somewhat rambling, I have no idea what i wanted to write about and still don’t, so I hope you’ve enjoyed this odd little entry, I do something a little more interesting next time. Who am I kidding it’ll be more of the same old twaddle, I think the reason for the randomness of the post is the fact that very little has happened this week, I hope something rivetting happens over the course of the next few days otherwise I won’t have anything to write about until late next Monday, I’m meeting Piers Sellers don’t you know, well I say I’m meeting him, I’m going along with a few friends to hear him talk, whether I get to speak to him remains to be seen, either way I’m looking forward to it.

Right I really am babbling so i shall stop before I cause a diplomatic incident or end up upsetting the digital watch collectors society.

ta ta

Monday, 14 March 2011

Is it the end of the month yet?

The reason for the title is down to the fact that I have two brilliant events to look forward to, the first is this month’s astronomy club, our chairman will giving a talk on Earth impact, woo hoo! A subject that is a favourite of mine as it ties in with two of my past times, Astronomy and palaeontology. I’m really looking forward to hearing what Drew has to say, he’s a great speaker and I’ve enjoyed all the talks he’s given. The astronomy club is blessed because we have a wide range of members, from the absolute beginner through to consulate professionals; Sir Patrick’s a member you know. As a result we also have some great speakers, other than Drew I won’t express any favourites on here, but I’m sure that a certain chap will know that I also look forward to hearing him prattle on speak. I’m having trouble putting my next talk together, if I haven’t got a decent foundation laid down for it by the end of June I think I may change the topic, after all November is a long way off so it’s not like I don’t have time, he says half way through March!

I’m also hoping for good weather for the 25th, firstly so that I can get some observing done, through Dave’s scope with my Meade and also because a sterling chap called Jason has bought a bit of a beast and I want a clear sky for him so that he can show off his new toy to the other members.

Then on the 28th we go off to Cranbrook astronomy group to meet a chap called Piers Sellers, I’m very excited about this because the man in question is a bona fide NASA astronaut. I’ve never met someone who’s been in space before so this one’s special.

Now for a bit of a moan, here we are in a bit of a financial crisis. We’re all having to tighten our belts and give up a few cakes luxuries. So does the BBC really need to spend a god awful amount of money sending Dr Brian Cox to a desert in the middle nowhere to blow bubbles in order to explain how all the stuff in the universe gets made? The sequence would have worked just as well if he’d filmed it on the beach at Camber Sands and he wouldn’t have needed to hire a Mustang to drive to the desert, he could have gone on the train.

I can understand with wildlife programs, we don’t get Outer-Mongolian tree Frogs in England, but do we really need the creation of everything explained by a bloke blowing bubbles in the middle of the Navajama Desert? I bet if Dr Brian Cox had to fund the working holiday from his own pocket he would have suggested filming in Bognor. Don’t get me wrong, I like his program, I like anything to do with the exploration of space and time, I even enjoy the mudslinging rows that Horizon usually descends into, but does it need to be done at the expense of the license payer? If they can film The Sky at Night in Selsy surely they can film a bubble blowing boffin in Brighton!

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sympathies to the thousands of victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan.