Quota crystal ball photo

Having given the crystal ball an outing in the Derwent Valley in Derbyshire last month, it seemed only natural to give it a go in Newlands Forest this morning.
No, I’m not quite sure on my thinking there either.

Anyway, here you go:

It was a wonderfully clear day, and – perhaps predictably for a forest – our view was only obscured by trees. Occasionally, we escaped these arboreal obstructions and this was taken at one of those times. Readers willing to go the extra mile will be able to zoom in and see Cape Hangklip in the magical glassy globe, and that’s some 60kms south east of where we were.

More photos of the day can be seen on Flickr.

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Fire Sunset

A large veldfire in Rondevlei Nature Reserve this evening made for a superb sunset over Cape Town.

In this hastily-snapped phone pic from our bedroom window, you’d be forgiven for thinking you were looking at the fire itself. But no. That smoke is coming in from the left of shot, and all the orange you see is setting sun.

We left the firefighters to their valuable work and headed off for a very decent meal at The Avenue, which, once again, comprehensively failed to disappoint.

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Tyre ski jump

You, like me, have often wondered which sort of tyre would fly furthest when sent down a (snow-free) ski slope. I know this, because a recent study on the causes of insomnia indicated that wondering about which sort of tyre would fly furthest when sent down a (snow-free) ski slope was given as a factor by almost 100% of respondents (n=1).

Don’t worry: you can sleep easy tonight: we’ve got you covered.

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The six tyres you wanted to see tested are tested right here, and they’re each travelling at some considerable speed (like 140kph) when they reach the bottom end of the slope.

Yep, whether it’s the 11kg, low profile sports car tyre or the 225kg rubber from a monster truck, you’re going to know what sort of tyre flies furthest when sent down a (snow-free) ski slope, simply by watching this video.

And you also get to see what happens to the tyre once it has done its jump. Because stopping a tyre with that sort of mass, velocity (and therefore momentum) might prove to be quite a task.

So, so good.

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in learning curve, that's a bit mad

Egyptian Space Dagger

New research suggests that the find of an “unusual” iron dagger entombed with King Tutankhamun might have come from outer space.


Italian and Egyptian researchers analysed the metal with an x-ray fluorescence spectrometer to determine its chemical composition, and found its high nickel content, along with its levels of cobalt, “strongly suggests an extraterrestrial origin”.

But those researchers then went off the obvious trail of the Stargate movie franchise – which would conveniently and completely answer all queries about the ESD – and instead reckon it came from “Kharga”. Sadly, it turns out that Kharga isn’t a planet in the Alpha-Centauri system (or something).

They compared the composition to known meteorites within 2,000km around the Red Sea coast of Egypt, and found similar levels in one meteorite. That meteorite, named Kharga, was found 150 miles (240km) west of Alexandria, at the seaport city of Mersa Matruh, which in the age of Alexander the Great – the fourth century BC – was known as Amunia.

But yes. Jokes aside, King Tutankhamun had a dagger that was made from space rock.

The iron dagger - picture 1

It would obviously have been better if the meteorite that they matched had been from somewhere on the other side of the world. Or one that they’d found on the moon or something. That would have got people talking.

But, that aside, an ESD in an ancient tomb?
Pretty cool.

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Bergen rooftops

I’m missing Bergen.
Weird? Mmm.
Somewhat inexplicable? Possibly.
A bit disconcerting? Certainly.

Time to revisit it in the form of photography, then.

And while Norway has an amazing amount of outstanding natural beauty, a lot of which I photographed to death, this distinctly urban scene, ‘togged from the top of Mount Fløyen is one of my favourites from our visit.

OK, so it may not look like much here, but you should see it full screen on black.

You really should.

(i.e. please do)

2 Comments | Tagged , , | Posted in cast in steel 2016, flickr, positive thoughts, travel