Showing posts from August, 2012

Good Luck Mr Gorsky

Life seemed bleak and I was feeling sorry for myself - there didn't really seem to be much point in anything I was involved in and I could see no hope for the future. Then scrolling past in the Twitter stream came the news that Neil Armstrong had died. The sad news instantly took me back to childhood where my heroes were all scientists and explorers rather than sporty types or warriors. Neil Armstrong was the first and the only one with whom I felt a real time connection. Along with most of the rest of the species who were alive at the time and had access to television receiver, I clearly remember watching Armstrong step onto the surface of the Moon. It was the middle of the night but my parents had the foresight to wake me up and plonk me in front of the set. Despite my young age I knew exactly what was going on. Back then the Space Race was everywhere and I knew in my bones that it was only a matter of time before we were all living out there. It is a shame that collectivel

The Three Faces of Promotion

It is of course typical that when  I write an entry making a big song and dance about how I am going to temporarily return the blog to its original purpose by writing about my short trip to the Edinburgh Fringe it mainly covers my journey up and then before I get the chance to write part two I get so distracted by space knockers that I have to write a blog in defence of the Mars Curiosity Rover . And then do nothing for several days. Of course it's not strictly true to say that I haven't been doing anything. I have been very busy. For a start, I have been writing, just not blog entries. And when not writing I have been commuting back and forth between Dolphinton and Edinburgh on the local buses. This means that I haven't been able to stay in town as late as I would have liked as the last bus is at 9.35pm. Nevertheless I have managed to see a few good shows - some of the best being  Bad Musical , Michael Legge: What a Shame and My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver

Curiosity's always been my downfall...

I am pleased to see that the Curiosity rover landed safely on Mars after such a long journey. And having seen simulations of the landing itself I'm impressed with the technology involved - the rover was winched down to the surface from a hovering descent section. That's a far more exciting and suitable example of unsupervised robotic drone technology than some I could mention. I hope we can look forward to at least five years of planetary trundling and would like to think that in my lifetime I'll see TV pictures of Curiosity being retrieved by the men and women of the first human mission. Of course every time something exciting happens in the space programme there is a backlash from people who think the money would be better spent curing disease and feeding the hungry. Whilst I  applaud and share the core sentiment - who doesn't wish the sick cured and the starving fed? - as soon as I start unpacking this assertion I find it's riddled with flaws. For a star

What I Did On My Vacation

Far back in the mists of time when I first started this blog its main purpose was to make sure I didn't forget things. That was six years ago. But then it evolved and I started waffling on about any number of old things, often to do with philosophy or science. Then I started becoming busy with other forms of writing and blog frequency was one of the victims of my lack of time. In an attempt to remedy this I am now going to temporarily return the blog to its original purpose. I'm off to Edinburgh again to, amongst other things, see some shows on the Fringe and it would be nice to have a record of what I end up managing to see. I hope it's more than I used to - previously I seemed to simply end up sitting in bars drinking with the idea of going to see a show hanging over me like an unpleasant obligation. Ridiculous. After all, I can sit in a bar and drink any time. Of course I have to get there first. The trip did start suspiciously well when a Brighton bus driver l