February Desktop

Wow. Was it just me and everyone else, or did January rush by like a seemingly quick month? All of which relativity means that it’s February and that in turn means number 2 in a series of… well… 2 so far of our monthly desktop wallpaper offerings for you.

This one is part of the set that I captured and blogged here. But while the photo on that post was taken with my basic – yet perfectly adequate – cellphone camera, this one was with the real thing – or as close as I have to the real thing, anyway.

Please download the 16:9 version by clicking here and I will try to be back on March 1st with another offering to titivate you for a further 31 days. You can see the original photo on black here.

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Who’s Your Favourite?

It’s a silly question for any parent dad to ask, but Maddie’s daddy just had to ask it, didn’t he?

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Just for the record, I have never asked either of my kids this. The answer would probably be too depressing or would put me (and them) in a very dangerous situation at home.

Safety first…

Leave a comment | Tagged , | Posted in learning curve, that's a bit mad, the parenting bunny

Neutron Star Facts

I love science, me.

But I struggled to get my head around this particular bunch of facts about Neutron Stars, which I happened across.
As you do.

A neutron star is so dense that one teaspoon (5 millilitres) of its material would have a mass over 5.5×1012 kg, (5 500 000 000 000 kg) about 900 times the mass of the Great Pyramid of Giza.
The resulting force of gravity is so strong that if an object were to fall from a height of one meter it would only take one microsecond (0.00001 s) to hit the surface of the neutron star, and would do so at around 2000 kilometers per second, or 7.2 million kilometers per hour (7 200 000 kph).

Always handy to have masses measured in Great Pyramids of Giza, I find.

“Hey – I have’t seen you in weeks! Wow – have you lost weight?”
“Why yes. I’ve exercising more and eating less and I’ve lost about 0.000000001636 Great Pyramids of Giza. I feel great.”

Anyway, to put that into perspective, here on earth 5 ml of water weighs 0.005 kg and an object falling from 1m would take about 0.1 sec to hit the floor and would do so at 35kph. Which you really should survive, depending on your landing position.
Personally, I’d feel less confident about coming out of a collision with the floor at 7.2 million kph unscathed.

Consider yourselves educated.

It’s a pleasure.

1 Comment | Tagged , , | Posted in learning curve, that's a bit mad

Tunnel of Love

In a moment of nostalgia, I downloaded Dire Straits’ Making Movies album from1980 last week and it assisted in enjoying a heady weekend at the cottage. It seems only right that I should share some of it with you, so here’s 8 minutes of the remarkable Tunnel of Love, from an age when music videos were… well… less important than they are now.

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Got to love the lights coming up on the faces of the band (0:29), revealing Mark Knopfler as some sort of rough looking Geordie version of John Travolta. And the recurring girl in the outfit fashioned (and I use the word loosely) from the contents of her Mum’s kitchen drawer – tin foil and cling wrap – is pretty special too.

Incidentally, the “Spanish City” referred to in the song:

And girl it looks so pretty to me,
Just like it always did.
Like the Spanish City to me,
When we were kids.

is not Madrid or Barcelona, but the Spanish City Amusement Park in Whitley Bay, Tyneside. Now we know.

I would have shared the video for my favourite track on the album (and possibly my favourite track by the band), Hand in Hand, but it was never released and never got a video. Still – you can have a listen to it and look at the completely unremarkable album cover for 5 minutes if you wish. Just click here.

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Goodbye Old Friends

This is a sad post. I’m finally saying goodbye to my Nike Total 90 flops that I bought for [exorbitant] Rands, [several] years ago.
If each dog year is worth seven human years, then each flop year must be worth about twenty. And the fact that these guys made it well into triple figures is testament to the effort of the kids in the southeast Asian sweatshop in which they were created.


They’ve been everywhere and done everything with me. But now they are on their last legs and cracks are beginning to appear. Literally.
On Monday, barefoot, I’m going to be scouring the sports shops of Cape Town searching for a replacement pair, with a tear in my eye.

2 Comments | Tagged , | Posted in uncategorized