Friday, September 28, 2007

The clock is ticking

This is Mount Tungurahua in Equador.

A nice, sleepy volcano that rises in a perfect cone to 5016 meters. It has a sleepy little town called Banos on its sides. Tungurahua has been increasing its activity since 1999 when it melted its ice cap during recent seismic activity. This sent a torrent if mud and water called a Lahare that washed all the roads away, but missed the town.

But they still keep living in Banos. The Government did evacuate them in 1999, but couldnt really stop them returning, although it did say it was at their own risk. It'll get them one day, but until that day people will still want to live in this fertile, farming land.

As this final, fantastic photo shows - the clock is ticking!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


I saw this image on the news, and it struck me hard. I grabbed my snazzy camera phone and took this snap!

I do wish them well! I am reminded of my memories of the fall of Eastern Europe when I was a teenager; a small swelling of people becoming a torrent over a few days. Early reports today show that the soldiers have already opened fire on the crowd - a monk has been killed!

Good luck, Burma!! Keeping heading towards the light!!

We wish you all well!

Autumnal Equinox

These 2 fantastic photos are of the Sun and the Moon at the Autumnal Equinox.

The first is Equinox sunrise as seen from the Shuttle cargo bay.

The second is the Harvest Moon, so named as the farmers could work late into the night using the Moonlight (which is, of course, sunlight reflected off the surface of the Moon).

Next up is the Winter Solstice, then.......Ho Ho Ho

Happy Christmas! Now wheres the year gone, Kasia?


Monday, September 24, 2007

Pangea Ultima

How's your geology?

Pangea is the name of super continent that exicsted 100's of millions of years ago. All the landmasses of the earth were in one giant block, and with the shifting of the Eartrhs tectonic plates, we get the continents that we see today. Britian and Europe were once in the tropics. We know this by the vast qualitities of coal we all have. The remanents of ancient rain forrests.

Scientists have worked out, using exisiting data on continental drift, that in 250 million years time the continents will have lumped into one giant landmass again.

They have named it, of course, Pangea Ultima.

Britian looks awfully far north now! Brrrrrr!

Friday, September 21, 2007

The ultimate freedom

This is US astronaut Bruce McCandless II ( could he be anything other than American with that name!). This was taken in 1984 from Challenger. The very next mission the shuttle blew up on take off due to a faulty O Ring in the booster rockets.

Bruce is doing a spacewalk un-tethered - the furthest un-tethered spacewalk ever. He is manouvering using a jetpack on his back; the Manned Manouvering Unit (MMU) by firing little jets of Nitrogen in various directions.

The MMU was replaced by SAFER (Simplified Aid for EVA(Extra Vehicular Activety) Rescue). Modelled by the lovely Mark Lee - SAFER is smalled and, well safer, than the MMU.

Mark is wearing 1994 seasons white space suit, and is hanging 200km over the planet Earth.


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


This is one of my favourite photos I've ever taken. Shot in 2005 at the magnificent Victoria Falls in Zambia; its captures the falls and two rainbows. Very David Bailey of me.

This snazzy photo has six rainbows in it! Well three real ones, and their refelction lol.

Pretty :)

Saturday, September 15, 2007


I fallen out with They have deleted my account for showing copy-righted material. Apart from ALL my holiday movie clips including all my bungy jumps,I had a few funny adverts on there, and some music clips filmed from TV of Glastonbury; oh and a few scenes from some favourite movies ;) lol

Thank god I recently uploaded all my clips into my Picassa online album (see link) otherwise I could have lost some irreplacable memorys that I had entrusted to Youtube.

But its not as if I was profitting off them. They were just funny to watch. This is a direct result of Youtube having been bought by Google. And Google have stopped being web friendly after the business boys came and offered them billions of dollars for a working stake. Now Google, whos moto is Do No Evil, are pandering to every request by the media companies and striking millions of clips from Youtube, or demanding royalties. Google recently agreed to do business in China, so have blocked millions of sites from its search engine at the Communist governments request. Dont think of going to look up Tianamen Square massacre from a server in China; you wont find it! Other dangerous websites, like are also blocked by Google. Lest the Chinese public reading that dangerous, un-censored site - the Beeb!

But it could be worse. They could do what Yahoo did, and give the IP address of a blogger who was un-flattering to the governement, to the Secuity Services. He was arrested and, as far as I know, has not been seen since. Ah, China in the year 2007!

But I digress. What ever I think of the business politics of Youtube, I cannot deny the cultural impact it has had on the world. The incredible pace the world is changing due to new technologies is something I have commented on before on my blog. The digital age has brought us new ways to communicate with the world, that would never have been conceivable before. Here are two videos I have watched recently. Both say an awful lot about the current world we live in. The first has been watched 5 million times and climbing in a week.

These are strange days indeed, dear reader :)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Birthday present

Its my birthday today. I am 34!! Boo! I do not want to be 34. But theres not a lot I can do about it lol.

Well, if I could have my perfect birthday present I would get a stay in the new space hotel they are planning to build (2012).

It will cost a mere $2 million a night! :) There are just a couple of things they need to iron out before they accept paying guests - both are things guests do in hotel rooms.

They need to sort out a comfortable toilet system. The vacuum pump system that the astronauts use may be a little un-subtle for billionaires to put their bums against lol. Shocking!

But the other thing that humans do in hotel rooms? ;)

Sex! lol. They need to figure out the machanics of zero-G sex. There have been male and female astonuats in space for a number of years; some of them spending 6 months on the space station. Surely one of two of them have got jiggy with it in space? It occurs to me that they may need to send a couple into space just to have sex, so they can see what happens lol. What a job.

Forget the mile-high club. I want to join the 150 mile-high club!

Happy birthday to me!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Instructions included

Now what the hell is this?

This is Mankinds message to any aliens out there. This, and another like it are imbedded into the Voyager 1 & 2 space probes that were launched into out solar system in the 70's to photograph the outer planets. They did spectaculr work, proving us with the orignal shots of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and there moons. It also manages to be the baddie in the original Star Trek movie, when a souped-up Voyager 1 was sent back to Earth as a killer probe (V-Ger).

When the Voyagers had photographed their final missions of Uranus and Neptune, the two probes were still working fine - their power sources still full of juice; so they were left to continue on their present trajectorys and they have continued ever since. They both left out solar system a few years ago and are both in Deep Space on the way to who knows where.

It is a 12 inch record cast on gold-plated copper. On the disk is sounds and images of planet Earth as decided by a pannel of do-gooders in the US in th 70's.

And cast on the back is the directions to Earth, and instructions to aliens on how to listen to our record.

Good stuff!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Teamwak wins big at PKR

Thursday, September 06
EXCLUSIVE: "PKR Speaks!" Page 5 BREAKING NEWS: "Tourneys heat up" Page 6


Poker world thrilled as Teamwak takes huge $1498.60 tournament prize. "Fame won't change me" says Teamwak
By Special Correspondent.
PKR NEWS - Teamwak fought a field of 222 tough competitors to take 1st place in the PKR $5,000 GUARANTEED Tournament and $1498.60. "It was an incredible display", said one observer, "everyone was on the edge of their seats".
The result marks another big step in Teamwak's meteoric rise to poker stardom. "I predict big things from Teamwak", said a poker insider, "all the ingredients are there; skill, determination, guts - and a slightly funny haircut."

Teamwak took 1st place and a $1498.60 prize.

Poker is a game of stats and numbers. For every suckout (the name given when someone with far worse cards than you beats you) there must be an equal chance of your hands holding up. It had seemed over the past few months that no matter how good my hands were, people were beating them with all sorts of rubbish. Last night, every hand held up; as it should have done. I was nearly always in with the best, and they all held up :)

Now that is probably a years worth of good luck I used up last night. Back to hard-work poker, I think.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


So what could be more fun than a supernova? You know, them REALLY big explosions that you get when massive stars die. They make nebualas and send shock waves rippling into space across 1000's of light years. They end up making blackholes or neutron stars.

Well there are explosions out there upto the size of 1000 supernova! Thats right, explosions equal to 1000 supernova all in one go! They've been named Hypernovae, formobvious reasons. A guess of what causes them is two blackholes, or a neurton star and a black hole colliding.

The have been detected by whats known as Gamma Ray Bursts (GRB). These can only be detetced from space, so where first discovered on in the 50's when spy satalites started being put on orbit. The explosion collapeses into as spinning ball, and jets of pure energy, in the form of gamma radiation are fired out from poles at each end. The power of these jets is plane staggering and is hard to comprehend.

When they were first discovered, it wasnt know that they were very narrow-beam jets; the scientists asumed it was the whole explosion they were witnessing. So they did the maths and calculated that the explosion was bigger than the Big Bang - which wasnt possible. That would have blown the whole Universe up! So the energy coming from either pole in a beam across space is measured in the same terms as the explosion that created of the universe. Nows thats big! :) It was 13 Billion lightyears away, and still was the largest release of energy man has ever witnessed.

If one of these beams ever hit Earth it would fry the atmosphere in seconds, and that would be that! But as the GRB's are only ever in a very narrow beam we would have to be, very, very unlucky for Earth to be lying in the direct path of one of the beams - but its possible. Oh, and we witness about 50 every year. Now wheres my odds calculator?

Have a nice day! :)

Sunday, September 02, 2007


It was my parents Sapphire wedding anniversary on Saturday 1st. For those of you not familiar with the tradition of an metal or stone signiftying and occasion; sapphire is 45 years! lol

45 years!! I suppose i cant get my head around that leangth of time. Not yet, anyway.

I wont say it was plain sailing all the time. It wasnt - I remember. But they stuck to it, and worked through it. It think it is an incredible testament to them both. And they seem to love each other now, more than ever before. :)

We had a massive family do in a hotel in Harrogate. All Mums cousins from Huddersfield came to visit (who are all getting very old now). Being from the salt-of-the-earth part of Britain brings some very dark humour from them all. The running joke is that we only ever see them at funerals; but actually theyre not wrong!

So Richard, my brother, hired a hotel suite and invited them all. It was a fantastic day. Mum loved seeing all her old cousins again. Much beer, wine, and laughter followed. And I, of course, was wheeled out to play the piano again. Just as "Aunt Jesse" used to play. Aunt Jesse was my grandmother, and an excellent pianist. All these old men and women still remember very fondly Aunt Jesse playing the piano in all the big hotels in Huddersfield and Leeds over 60 years ago when they were all still children.

Family and nostalgia. A great combination on a day like that! :)