Thursday, November 30, 2006

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cosmos 1544 Moon Fly-by

I was bored this early evening so was looking on the fantastic Heavens Above Website to see what else is interesting to see apart from the old Iridum Flares. They also show all the over flying satellites which don't flare as such but are just very visible. I remember when I was young seeing these slow moving stars in the skys and having many discussion about what they were.
I think we decided they were comets.

So I picked an easy one to spot. Cosmos 1544 as it was bright with a magnitude of -'4.4'. For the un-nerdy out there.

Examples of magnitude values for well-known objects are;
Sun -26.7 (about 400 000 times brighter than full Moon!)
Full Moon -12.7
Brightest Iridium flares -8
Venus (at brightest) -4.4
International Space Station -2
Sirius (brightest star) -1.44
Limit of human eye +6 to +7
Limit of 10x50 binoculars +9
Pluto +14
Limit of Hubble Space Telescope +30

Satellite Mag Time Alt Dir Peak Alt Dir Leaves Alt Dir
Cosmos 1544 Rocket 4.4 18:46:22 10° S 18:50:43 56° E 18:51:12 52° ENE

The Sky chart said it would be passing right by the moon which we can clearly see from the back garden at the moment so thought it would be an easy one to choose. And right on queue Mr Cosmos 1544 turned up.

Cosmos 1544 was launched into orbit on March 15th 1984 by Tsylkon 3 from the : Plesetsk launch site in Russia. It takes 96.80 mins to circumnavigate the globe.

Tylskon 3

Plesetsk Launch Site Russia.

Friday, November 24, 2006

Potter to join forces with Malfoy?

Yesterday the results of the general election were announced here in Holland. The Prime Ministers' party the 'CDA' (Christian Democrats) won but without a significant majority for government so they will have to negotiate with more than one of the other parties to form a coalition with 76 seats of the 150 needed to control the 'Tweede Kamer', (House of Representatives - UK House of Parliament).

I presume the CDA will be getting into bed again with the VVD but that will only make 63 seats leaving 13 more to lok for. Whatever happens the Dutch are going to end up with such a fragmented government that I can't see any voter being that impressed. "That's not what it said on the packet!"

My Suggestion: (seeing how I'm not allowed to vote after living here for 12 years) The CDA stick with the VVD , join up with the 'Christian Union' and the 'Party for animals' taking them to 71 seats. Then the master stroke. We all know Prime Minster, Jan Peter Balkenende, is know as 'Harry Potter', well the 'Party for Freedom' leader, Geert Wilders, will soon be known as 'Draco Malfoy'. So keep your enemies close to you Harry and get the Slythrin on board.

Harry Potter - Dracos Malfoy

Jan Peter Balkenende - Geert Wilders

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Good Cop, Bad Cop

The CEO of Ebay, Meg Whitman, kindly sent me a certificate this morning to mark my arrival into the eBay community. So kind. Little did she know, the same hour, I also received a email from the accounts department saying my eBay account had been blocked for further usage due to an unpaid invoice of £10 which had been open for a month.

The reason I haven't paid the invoice is that Paypal, eBays preferred method of payment have also blocked my account for depositing money to Ladbrokes. Paypal have told me this is forbidden but still it states on Laddies website that they accept paypal payments.

I have been now busy for 1 month trying to resolve the paypal problem, by faxing bank statements, copies of passports, etc to the USA, to convince them my £20 transfer was not the act of espionage.

Maybe rather than a certificate of celebrating 100 sales on eBay I should be given a EAIT certificate. Commendation for Enduring the Actions of Intolerable Twats.

I love t'internet me!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Runway Incursion

This picture is not relevant just thought it was jolly nice

I received a terrifying press release today to place on my 'other' website. It was concerning a runway incursion in Chicago in July this year involving a B747 and a B737. Since the worst ever aviation disaster in 1977 in Tenerife caused by a runway incursion lots of thought and innovation has been put into systems to avoid 2 aircraft being on the same runway at the same time.

Ground Movement Radars, Enhanced Surface Markings Project. There is currently a new project to develop a lighting system that will light the runway red should a runway incursion beome a possibility so the pilot will at least ask the control tower 'should i really be taking off?'.

At Chicago O'Hare they have some systems to help controllers detect incursions but on the day in question the most important one was not working and even so experts have said it would not have prevented a collision in this incident. Unfortunately you can never stop human error with all the systems in the world. A disaster was only prevented by the pilot rotating the B737 earlier than normal to avoid colliding with the aircraft that had just landed and was basically on the runway in front of him. They missed eachother by 35ft. (equivalent to 5 tallboys).

The most surprising thing about the video of this incident is the real voice recording of the pilot. I would have imagined his heart was in his mouth , but instead he casually replies to the screaming controllers "STOP STOP STOP!" with a cool as you like "don’t worry we got him".

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Nunthorpe School produces Miss Great Britain - Preeti Desai

Miss GB 2006

Preeti Desai was crowned Miss Great Britain at the weekend. Preeti, a 24 year old stunner, from Guisborough was a former Nunthorpe School pupil. If it wasn't for Teddy Sheringham, Preeti would have never won the coveted title.

Sheringham, the 40 year old 'veteran' striker saw fit to award his maximum 12 points to Miss Warrington, aka Danielle Lloyd, a 23 year old shapely beauty from Liverpool. The problem was that the ageing football star forgot to reveal he was dating the scouse stunner.

Eventually she was stripped of her crown and the voting was re-staged with our Boro 'knock-out' topping the totty league table. Well done Preeti!

Check out her myspace site Is that the real Mark Schwarzer leaving her a message on the 12th October?

Miss GB 2006. Cheers Teddy Boy!

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Broadsword calling Danny Boy

'Do you actually have a broad 'sword' Dicky?'......"Oh yes!, just ask Liz"

For almost a year now we've had digital TV, offering a wide range of channels for your viewing pleasure. The main reason I signed up for it was BBC3 and BBC Prime. BBC3 at the time was showing comedies 6 months prior to them being released on terrestrial TV in order to seduce the UK public on to digital. But as it seemed to succeed they are not doing this anymore so BBC3 is now a "oh bugger I missed that and we don't have a HDD in our DVD player so we can catch the repeat on BBC3" channel.

BBC Prime on the other hand is a godsend. Gone are the days of watching crappy daytime TV. With Prime you can catch My Family, 2.4 Children, Only Fools and Horses, Casualty repeats every afternoon. My afternoons are no longer fuelled by improving my knowledge of property vaules or how collectable a Two-handled Jubilee Mug is.

Along with Hustler tv another channel I Never watch is TCM (Turner Classic Movies) . A movie channel that serves up American crappy movies mostly. But this afternoon they treated us to Where Eagles Dare. Richard Burton and Clint Eastwood defeating the Germans on their todd.

Tomorrow TCM will be treating us to a small independent movie from India titled 'The Crazy Street'. X-Box are rumoured to be making a new game inspired by this short film.

Here's a clip

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Leonids, Shart & a £17m Apple Tree

The Orionids dissapointed but the Leonids are on the way

Last Month the Orionids meteor shower was a little dissapointing as clouds obscured the skies, but this month we will be treated to another chance for fireworks when the 'Leonids' shower will arrive.

The Leonids should peak around the 17th with 10-15 meteors per hour, but can be seen from now until the 21st. The meteor storm is associated with the comet Tempel-Tuttle, which has a 33 year cycle. In a good year thousands of meteors have been seen per hour.

From Erik Arnesen, Oslo: A critical Look at our Godless Society (1913) inspired by a Leonids shower


I was once told that the definition of 'Shart' is most aptly explained by the sound of 'shart rockers' "The Fisticuffs". The Turd Dictionary defines it as 'Poop that is emitted when you fart. Often an accidental occurance'.

My definition today was inspired when I had to walk past several art exhibits in my workplace by a local artist. I do often enjoy modern 'random colours on canvas' but these paintings left me more than unispired to get out my paint brush and start splattering. The only saving grace of the exhibition is that someone allowed the artist to recreate a painting on a brand new E-Class which adorns our reception.

£60,000k to Scrap-Yard fodder in 2 days.

From Shart to over priced apple trees

On the other end of the art spectrum, an art auction fetched a record breaking £255m in New York yesterday. One of the paintings on sale was Gustav Klimt's 'Apple Tree I'. the painting looks surprisingly similar to one of the 'Sharts' gracing the office walls. But selling at £17.2m I guess it must be superior.

Klimt was an Austrian artist born in 1862 who was often critiscise for the 'pornographic' nature of his paintings. He was comissioned to paint three works for the Great Hall in the University of Vienna, but due to their erotic nature they were never exhibited. The 3 paintings were destroyed by the retreating SS in 1945. (A likely story - please see 'Allo Allo' episodes 1-42 {or rather not}).

Herr Otto flick and Olga , the erotic element of the sitcom 'Allo Allo'

Friday, November 03, 2006

Don't go in the House

in honour of the recently re-united Captain Cakeshop

When I was at University me and 2 other renegades (the Ape and Captain Cakeshop) chipped in 20 quid each to buy an outdated VHS player to fill our dull evenings at Larch Court with video entertainment from our local (very pants) video rental store.

We quickly realised that it was possible to use a microphone to record music or voices on to tapes and soon we being the 'pranksters' that we were decided to abuse crap horror movies from the afore-mentioned store.

One in particular was the movie 'Don't go in the house' . Apart from the Cinematographer 'Oliver Wood' this seems to be the only or last film of almost the whole cast's career. So I don't feel at all guilty that we spoiled the film for future rentals by whispering 'Don't go in the house' at various points of the film.

After random sabotage, I decided to use this facility to make short videos to music by using clips from music vidoes and reportages of the music scene we were into at the time.

If youtube was around at the time I'm sure i would have been on uploading these videos.
Alas it wasn't so now it is I decided to have a bash at vidoe editing again this afternoon. It took me an hour so don't expect anything 'Oliver Wood' quality as I only had 4 video clips on my camera.

I present for your delectation 'Please Please Please', created and inspired by my recent refutation by my employee for another position.