hirez: (Christmas cat)
There's a Whovian book out there - eleven short stories, one for each Doctor. They all appear in silhouette at the start of each story, and the one that is allegedly Hartnell is actually JG Ballard.

Which of course makes perfect sense in a universe run for the benefit of sensible people.
hirez: (Box Frenzy)
What is the term for the concept that I can only describe as 'smoking a tab to make the bus come' ?

The performance of an act in order to make Sod's Law work in your favour. Or, if not in your favour then applying conceptual leverage in order to ensure the least unfavourable outcome.

Edit: ok, so it seems like I'm explaining this badly. Imagine, if you will, the act of going out for a potter. If you do not take a coat, it will rain. If you do take a coat, it will be warm and sunny. Loud and Muphy-tempting statements to all + sundry along the lines of 'Gosh I do hope it rains because the countryside smells so much nicer when damp' as you peer out of the window won't work...

... I believe I am quoting wholesale from 'Three men in a boat'.

The sensible answer is either a somewhat waterproof technical top, or not giving a flying bugger about getting a bit damp.
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (ii))
A number of months ago I was idly considering a story in which Jolly Dutch Anarchist Astronauts pitch up on a random asteroid with spacegoing versions of a RepRap and fusion reactor in order to hollow it out and bootstrap themselves an orbital habitat.

It was to have been an extended ramble on the nature of gezellig because I had recently come back from HAR2009 and I felt that in an applied form of that environment, all bugs would be an excuse for a hackathon followed by beer and techno.

However, the concept of instantiating a biosphere appeared to be firmly in No Can Has territory.

And now there's this. I'm going to guess that there's a lot more to it than having a bunch of Jolly Jack Tars plant a random selection of trees. Probably to do with airborne insects/microbes/yeasts or somesuch. But given they did just randomly plant things from completely different bits of the planet and it appears to have worked, um, donkey. Yes.
hirez: (tank)
... Which leads a chap to wonder why such images appeal so.

Reading about this in one or other of the original set of Eagle Annuals, which contained pictures of this splendid device, obviously leads to mental images of yon Tucker 743 hauling a motley shed-collection hover platform across a Trackless and Alien Expanse.

We also find this, which is possibly the best collection of pictures in the world ever. With the possibly exception of the late-model Range Rover, because they're just hateful.
hirez: (Happy cycling)
(Newtown Neurotics, from the 'Kickstarting a backfiring nation LP')

Here, here and here. I'd left the phonecam with the wrong white-balance, so it all looks a bit magical-realist.

It was a bit of an event, mind.

I'd been sent an email by those lovely Sustrans sorts to the effect that there'd be a mass potter up and down the Bristol-Bath railway path, and that part of it was starting more or less outside our front door. Well, opposite Morrison's anyway. (Which has turned into a really jolly nice shop) I looked at hailstorm out of the window, thought 'sod that' and resigned myself to painting the bog a different green, and maybe watching a bit of the track cycling.

As it turns out, today's being a bit special in re. weather and I've been itching to take the Road Bike out for a bit of a thrash. No, really. The poor bloody thing's been sitting there gathering plaster dust while Men installed the bog, the weather went crazy ape-shit and I came down with whatever set of bugs the pustulent hordes in the FGW isolation carriages could cough up. Bastards.

So I bed in the pig-dalek and then cycle carefully down to where the picnic benches are between the supermarket and the rocketry warehouse to discover the sort of thing that Bristol's famous for: a mob of people on random bikes with random hats, banners proclaiming random affiliations (Easton Allotment Holders Collective, Bristol Greens, Respect, etc), facepaint, fancy dress, a pink-clad brass band and a particularly fine set of drummers. Oddly enough, I was able to call this research.

Originally, I was going to gawp at the people and then sod off to do whatever, but I felt it would be a better idea to join the march and show some solidarity. Which is what I duly did. The centre of Bristol is relatively quiet on a Sunday, but the procession (I'd guess a couple of thousand people) jammed up the works splendidly. Off the end of the cycle-path, down Old Market and across the roundabout to Castle Green, down Baldwin street, then the wrong way around the one-way thingy (Horsefair?) and up to College Green. All very satisfactory, and only two fuckwit drivers decided they were far too important to wait and attempted to drive through the column. Both rapidly dealt with by the marshals and the pushbike polis. (One Beemer, of course, and a WRX)

Mainstream meejah coverage thus far as been exactly as shite as I would expect. However, there was some bloke wandering about with a video camera with promises to upload the result to Indymedia/YouTube. If anyone spots it, let me know.

Last night I got drunk and talked rubbish in splendid company. More weekends like the last couple, please.
hirez: (Laser goggles and raybans)
Daft question one: When did Full Tilt run from/to? And there is/was a small room/bar right up in the top of the building, right?

Or you could tell me things about any terrible provincial rock clubs you might remember.

(My F-L has been rather inspirational today. Thank you. You're all lovely. We should do lunch.)
hirez: (tank)
"And what is it you do for a living?"

"I'm, um, in computers."

"Oh, dear."

... Which is a just and appropriate reaction.

Odd but excellent sort of a day. Pottered round a set of fields, one somewhat oddly-shaped because it was going to be the site of a service station on the M5 and one with lumps in where a bomb had hit it; inspected a variety of sheds, most of which were filled with gladdeningly strange and/or ancient kit; fondled a couple of tractors... And then hoovered down tea and cake while discovering bits of the history of the other side of the family.

I did bag one or two pictures, but it was a paying attention sort of afternoon, rather than a standing behind a camera one. The interesting ones are the two views of a something bolted to the wall of the old forge. (Note that this really is an old forge, as the pile of tools will attest, rather than some stockbroker-belt twattery.)

Then there was chilli, arm-waving and fireworks round at Andi & Mel's. All very fine.
hirez: (Trouble with my worms (i))
I know I'm a captive market, but seven quid for two pills is GSK having a right old laugh. Even if they do come inside a flash-looking holder that's just slightly too large for a chap to carry everywhere.



Still, they might just work.

Elsewhere, I was pointed at this splendid film: Tweed, pipes, ale, Reynolds 531 and an integrated transport policy. What could possibly go wrong?

What could possibly go wrong. Some months ago, I was kicking around some ideas. The thought that agribusiness might cut up rough was dismissed as ludicrous. Mostly I'm just bloody stupid and the to-read pile just keeps getting larger.

MapMyRide and its chums look like fun.
hirez: (Radiation)
... After ingress and Orlan doffing, hot tea or coffee with sugar are recommended, followed by normal meals after a short rest.

That's NASA-speak for 'After a brisk space-walk, you'll want a nice cup of tea and a sit down...'

(From here.)
hirez: (tank)
Poked about on Google maps looking for Kixie's Kountry Kastle. Failed, but found airfields instead:

http://www.martin-baker.com/Acrobat/The_Chalgrove_Meteors.pdf

The satellite imagery is a bit lacking (No, I've not gone to local.live.com just yet), but... A private aerodrome. With Meteors. That beetled back and forth between there and Moreton Valance.
hirez: (Sweep alcohol)
Readers of a nervous disposition or those who still like to believe (against all reason) that drunken mayhem and I don't have a curiously symbiotic relationship should find something else to do. Seriously.

Mur Lafferty presents I should be drinking writing.
hirez: (muddy)
You know you're living in the future when you can find the service manuals for spacesuits:

http://www.spaceref.com/iss/ops/Orlan.ops.service.module.pdf

I am especially enamoured of this section:

Prior to the first use of Orlan
Discard foam-rubber packing:
from under light filter,
from emergency hose connector,
from safety tether hooks,
from safety tether attachment point

... Which makes it sound like it came from the Richer Sounds Aerospace shop.

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