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Blog Comments posted by caldrail

  1. Hmmm... Well, a walk down down Swindon's mercantile areas reveals an awful lot of closed premises, mostly because of Covid, but I have to be honest, I haven't it hard to find the things I want, nor have prices risen substantially.

  2. Ghost - how you view culture & politics is one thing, that's something you're entitled to. But give up UNRV? Why? 

    But this Brexit thing? Truth is the company I work for had already decided to close the UK operation. I know this because they shut down an assembly line early on and transferred production to foreign shores. Again, behind this decision was a strange decision that they wanted everyone in Europe (as well as the UK) to be paid in Euros besides the usual ups and downs of the global economy and all the other stuff the evening news bores us with. What rankles is that the company told us they were committed to maintaining the operation and valued the expertise our operation had to offer. Really? 

    Personally I don't think they understand Europe the way the British do. To them, it's vast tracts of land with dotted lines all over it and lots of mentions in history books. But we live in the shadow of our past, with an identity forged by events. I don't understand why you want to be in Europe but hey, if you feel better about it, that's your choice. But recently I've brushed the cobwebs away from all those photographs I took on hikes. Most aren't that good or even interesting. But you know, some of them encapsulate that special something my homeland has to offer, something to teach us. Leaving Britain would be like turning my back on my ancestors even if my genetic origins are Viking, Norman, or whatever else. I hope you made the right choice.  

  3. Johnson displays genuine passion but his bumbling style and continued reliance on 'get it done' isn't winning support amongst the population who want something more relevant to their daily lives. He is deliberately underplaying that report about the Russians. We've yet to find out why. the trouble right now is this ridiculous election campaign on all sides. it's like watching a high stakes poker game getting completely out of control. The messianic quality of the leading contenders is notable. We Brits aren't used to this sort of dogfight and whoever wins is going to leave a British population unsatisfied with the result years down the line because the players are piling on the chips to out-promise their opponents.


  4. Well it seems somebody doesn't like what I said about flying. Okay, here's the reasoning.


    In the real world I took flying very seriously. Firstly because I need to fly an expensive machine within safe limits. Secondly for anyone who happens to be flying with me. As a pilot by law I must be responsible both for the conduct of the flight and the safety of passengers. Lastly, and most importantly, my own health and safety, as I remain the most valuable part of the flight :D


    Now about the scenario. In the temperatures at the South Pole, a DC6 can only lay up for two hours before the engines freeze and become useless. If you want to go, you have to go, and there's precious little capacity down there for maintenance or rescue.


    Now whilst in real life I would not have begun this flight, there are ways to maximise the take off performance. Optimal flap setting, full power against the brakes before setting off for max acceleration, and lightened load, which in this case would mean losing some fuel, etc. It is true that reaching the Falklands was not a particularly hard task for a DC6, I could have done it with 40% fuel and had no worries whatsoever. That would saved a lot of weight. 


    But what if the weather at Port Stanley was too bad for landing? It's one thing to take off, landing requires more precision and care because instead of leaving the earth behind, you intend bumping into it, hopefully as gently as possible. Had the worst case happened, I would need to reach somewhere else, like Argentina or South Africa, and that required a long flight again over the South Atlantic either way, so I had to choose between making my flight to Port Stanley a one-way affair with no hope of reaching anywhere else, or put up with the weight of reserve fuel (which I did in the event since the scenario used random weather which I could not predict ahead of the flight)


    things aren't always so simple in the real world, and I conducted the sim flight accordingly (or at least I did when the sim reminded me that it was reasonably realistic)

  5. We do resonate with certain sound. For me the subtlety of poetic or socially meaningful lyrics does not compute. It's the expression of instrumental music that gets me tingling, but genres like jazz of folk really don't hold any interest, however well played. For me the sound of an electric guitar in the hands of a master is something else, and as Brian May observed, the electric guitar can emulate any sound the voice makes.


    Once at a gig I watched the support band beside the lady who did our sound desk. The Drummer made a mistake during one song and I mentioned that to her. She looked quizzical and replied she hadn't heard anything wrong. Ahh, says I, but I know drumming, so I pick up on details like that. "Doesn't that spoil it for you?" She asked in all seriousness. No, I replied, because I also notice when someone does something that little bit special. And much later, when she had learned more about music herself, she told me she finally understood what I meant.

  6. I know the feeling. Instead of five terrestrial channels we used to get in the hazy days of analog signals I now receive something in the region of one hundred and fifty, albeit some are locked out, others restricted like those ridiculous *or* channels, and radio. In one sense it's great because if I miss a program, you can guarantee it'll be repeated at least once during the week, sometimes even the same day, only.... Truth is I only generally watch five channels out of the plethora my television is bombarded with. Isn't Freeview wonderful?

  7. The problem with the BBC as is popularly known in Britain is that it's irredeemabl;y politically correct. It doesn't like car driving, doesn't like Clarkson, and doesn't like the public deciding for itself what is responsible television viewing, or at least in general. As to the specifics of the 'fracas' I can't say - I wasn't there - but one gets the impression that certain people were tired of Clarkson and only to glad to remove him one way or another.


    The Beeb say Top Gear will be back in a revised format in 2016. It won't be any better than the other Top Gear programs shown in America, Australia, Germany, or where-ever, and might even prove to be somewhat worse. We shall see. At any rate I'm not interested in a program discussing car safety, green issues, lorries that can save the whale, or fun packed city electric mobility buggies that drive available in pink and other inducements toward liberal social groups.


    But then I'm the same generation as Clarkson and to be honest, I do share many of his sensibilities.

  8. Working for a living is pretty much an unavoidable necessity. Firstly as unemployedI cannot officially refuse an offer of paid employment. Secondly, since the Job Centre have been pulling every trick in the book to avoid or delay paying me, I'm now looking forward to a christmas £1000 worse off than I should have been. Not sure which game is more mug-friendly.

  9. It's an interesting point because strictly speaking fame is a matter of degree, not simply a label you can attach to yourself at some point. If I am actually famous it certainly isn't earning me millions nor do I live in a country mansion with armed security dudes everywhere. Okay, I do occaisionally communicate with arab sheiks and african dynasties, but most people seem to dismiss my musical career rather quickly and as for being Lord, you ought to see the arguments I get into with Swindon Job Centre. But then they're just a bunch of pompous communist desk jockeys and snobs.


    A few years ago I mentioned on my CV that I was known around the world for various things, Roman history among them, in order to accentuate the positive rather than any attempt to be big-headed. At one particular interview the office manager held up my CV with no shortage of moral outrage and demanded to know why I thought I was famous. I don't recall using that word, I told him, but that didn't prevent him from challenging my CV. In the end I simply shrugged and said "My name's been published in credits - that pretty much cuts it". Well that shut him up. I didn't get the job.


    Am I famous? I honestly don't know. So far I'm not being invited to all the right parties.

  10. Drawn out? You mean like the plot vacanct modern Doctor Who which assaults the emotional state of the viewer for an hour just because someone wants to say "See you later?".


    But I do see your point about US series in general. They do occaisionally have screen writing issues (Next Generation did - the whole thing was nearly scrapped early on and emergency writers were brought in) but then writing for television is a very mutable process. Anyone submitting a script has to accept that the end result might not be anything like their conception.


    Very often an american sci-fi series, especially these days now that sci-fi is marketable, is that someone will sell an idea to a producer and the series only gets written once the market returns enough interest. They're often single idea themes that get gradually stretched further and further, often seen as proving grounds for up-and-coming actors rather than saleable stars, re-worked to conform to american media sales concepts, and unlike Dr Who, which has a strong writer basis, american series can easily lose steam because they were never fully planned out in terms of series plotlines and because they rely primarily on a self contained story format for each episode. You can always tell when someone is getting bored - cue the flashback episode.

  11. Just use 'Lord' instead of 'Mister'. I'm not entitled to anything else. Most people try to avoid using it and in particular the Job Centre has an aversion to that sort of admission that they're not actually superior to unemployed claimants in every way. In fainess many advisors simply accept politely that the title is valid even though they avoid using it. Some have been quite vocal in condemnation of me however. Briefly :D

  12. Well, we've already hunted ours into extinction. Now the eco-brigade are hunting anyobne who so much as looks at a fur coat in envy. There was a badger cull in Wiltshire just of late but so far they haven't been recorded as attacking anyone. I nearly stepped on an Adder once. It's our only poisonous snake. It hissed at me and I got the message. Very impressed you were able to take photographs of a bear attacking you. In your place, I'd probably be pooing myself, screaming, and generally trying to run away. But then we're not allowed huntin' rifles in darkest Wiltshire.

  13. Yes. Darkest Wiltshire. Our rural rainforest is a land of wild white woolly wolves,  loud and hairy late night primates, druidic weirdoes, speed cameras, and herds of cows that inspect you closely should be so unlucky as to encounter that particular hazard. Otheer than that it raons a lot.

  14. He pretty much takes your stance, but with the attention to further
    detail on the objective-subjective divide and atomic structure, coming
    to the conclusion that each atom, when it becomes molecular, is evidence
    of atomic consciousness.

    I don't necessarily share the views of atomic conciousness - though in fairness it comes uncomfortably close to my own personal religious beliefs - and I should point out that physicisyts are concerned about the existence of 'Bolzmann Brains', sentient entities formed by fortuitous interaction of quantum particles, or if you  like, the sort of energy creatures you see on Star Trek quite a lot. The moral or philosophical questions however are no different - at what point does an entity assume conciousness? Research suggests much lower down the tree of life than we realise, in some primitive way, but conciousness involves more than simple existence and unless particles are complex enough to harbour conciousness, then it's no more than quantum/chemical/physical change without recognition.


    is weight and mass inherently different?

    No. Mass is instrinsic to atomic structure and weight the multiple of mass caused by the strength of the gravity force acting upon mass.


    How would relativity work if they were different.

    The same, with different values and results.

  15. Can you prove all the atoms are still in existence, or are we just assuming?

    I haven't invented a Macroscopic Quantum Quantizer yet, nor has anyone else, so the total number of atoms is an estimate and will remain so for the forseeable future, or perhaps until Professor Cox's next Christmas lecture. However, the condition of Change within our universe does not, as I underatand it, prevent the migration of atmoic substance to other forms of existence. Such transformations are part and partcel of phycis and chemistry, without which you or I (or even socially aware ravens) are impossible.


    Do objects keep the same mass, or just a relative form?

    Mass is dependent on atomic structure and the total of atoms within that object. Please note that metric stabndard weights are very carefully kept to prevent minute changes in mass caused by decay or chemical reaction. Also please note that mass and weight are different. Mass is defined by atomic structure, given a scaler value by the efect of gravity acting upon that weight.


    Can a concentration of form attract like particle formations, and can
    they quantitatively thin over time, similar to how frost expands and

    Newton says yes. Einstein says it's a result of space-time deformation caused by mass. I say they knew better than I do. Since our solar system is a glaringly obvious example of mass-attraction and electro-chemical interation, I guess the answer is basically Yes.


    Secondly, how do we know photons move faster than us?

    Two or three centuries of theoretical and experimental physics.


    Dont we have quite a few in us?

    Actually we do, becauae it is now known that human beings have a very low level of bio-luminesence. Not quite enough to show up on special forces imaging systems, but we're already giving off enough heat or reflecting enough light to make thiose things work.


    In a relativistic universe, we gotta be going somewhere.

    Not necessarily, because movement is relative to the observer, not intrinsic, thus we have no way of knowing whether we're moving or the surrounding universe is moving around us unless we can compare our position to known values and locations, which are themselves of course potentially in motion.


    Hope my answers are of use to you.