Welcome to my random mostly topical blog.
I hope you enjoy it it whatever capacity you feel necessary!

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

The tablecloth trick

Just a note, if you want to try the infamous tablecloth trick, beware of your surroundings as well.

Kids, they always want to learn the hard way.

Thursday, 17 May 2012

News from the Engineering and Scientific World

I find there is often an interesting story relating to engineering and/or science because there is all too often a new theory or a new goal set out by an ambitious person from their specific field. This week a number of stories have come to my attention so I thought I'd share it with you.

Chinese Physicists Reportedly Break Teleportation Record

From a recent news article from the website for "Time Magazine:"

"Harry Potter and Star Trek fans, rejoice! Teleportation is real. Using powerful lasers and optics to manipulate photons, or units of light, researchers in China set a record for teleporting a photon more than 10 miles (16 km), TIME reported in 2010. Now a different team of physicists at the University of Science and Technology of China in Shanghai says it has shattered that record, claiming to have sent a photon more than 60 miles (97 km)."

"Quantum teleportation, which has been around since 1997, is a little different than what you see in sci-fi movies. Considered “one of the holy grails of practical quantum communication,” as the scientists write in their abstract, teleportation is the ability to essentially move one object from one place to another without traversing the space in between. But as Forbes explains, the actual object is not moving from point A to point B. Rather, the distant photon mirrors the information contained by the original photon, essentially becoming an identical twin." 
"As Technology Review notes, “these guys clearly have their eye on the possibility of satellite-based quantum cryptography, which would provide ultra-secure communications around the world.” Experts say this all-but-unbreakable code would be a perfect way to transmit classified information such as military directives or codes."




Engineer Wants Us To Build Real-Life Starship Enterprise 

This is the story of a systems and electrical engineer who has said we should build the USS Starship Enterprise and that there exists the ability to do it today, in this current age of technology (although I doubt it'll have warp capability.)
  This is a story that will make the Star Trek nerds blow their loads and make even casual Star Trek fans like me curious.
  The person, know as "BTE-Dan" on twitter has gone into extensive detail as well:

"His site includes layouts of the proposed ship's size and specs, potential missions it could undertake, a schedule outlining its development and even a backup plan should the ship's creation be thrown off schedule."

According to "BTE-Dan" it would be able to reach Mars in just 90 days, as opposed to the current mission to Mars which will land in August after nine months.

"In addition, as Atkinson points out, the ship would serve as a spaceship, a space station and a spaceport for up to a thousand people and could eventually go on missions to the Moon, Mars, Venus and beyond."

The ship would use and ion propulsion engine powered by a 1.5GW nuclear reactor. Another three nuclear reactors would supply electricity for the entire ship.
  The cost would be a cool $1 trillion (or just short) over a period of twenty years.

So there you go, something interesting to look forward to. 






Monday, 14 May 2012

Who says The Simpsons is past it's prime?

I know quite a few people who think "The Simpsons" is past it's prime and that it's no longer entertaining or decent. However I disagree. I generally enjoy the newer series, especially after watching one of the episodes from the latest season yesterday evening.
 The episode is called "How I Wet Your Mother" and it's from Season 23. In it Homer starts to wet the bed for reasons that are unclear. At first he thinks it's guilt after getting his work friends into trouble but even after an apologetic BBQ he still does it, so Professor Frink sends the rest of the Simpsons into Homers mind and dreams to try and find the problem.

They go into Homers dream, and end up falling off a cliff whilst skiing alongside death, however death escapes by pulling a chute so they go into another dream and another until they reach Homer's fantasy land that is full of beer, doughnuts and other luxuries that he enjoys. There they are confronted by death again but the mask is pulled and it's actually Homers mother who takes them to an empty theatre lined with statues of Homer (since this is in his mind) and plays a flashback from Homers childhood that was the cause of his bed wetting.

 In the beginning of the episode you see Homer and Bart fishing, this triggered a recollection in Homers mind about when he went Fishing with his dad. He caused the boat to tip over and Homer and his dad went back to his mother empty handed, furthering difficulties between Abe and Homers mother. Homers guilt resided inside his mind since then. But Mona (Homers mother) wasn't angry because she was just glad Abe brought Homer back safe, saying she knew Homer was "in safe hands."
 With this said the theatre starts to collapse, and Mona's parting words are "The three of us will always be together, in your memory."

With that Homer and his family say goodbye and escape to their previous dream and then the dream before that until they are back in reality, and when Homer wakes up he realises he hasn't wet himself.

It's a powerful episode that has to be watched rather than explained. The music fits the suspense of the premise and backs up the excellent story line that delves into Homers past and shows that once upon a time he had two parents that cared about him dearly.
  I really have to take my hat off to the creators of the show, it's pretty exceptional.

I watched it online on a site that probably isn't legal so I won't link it, but if you look in the right places you'll find a good place to watch episodes of "The Simpsons." If you do I really recommend you watch this episode.

Oh Shit was that today?

The good and bad of British football

Yesterday marked the end of another season in British football in what could be described as one of the most spectacular endings. Manchester Utd and Manchester City both had a chance to win the title, and in the very last minute Man City clinched it.
  Similarly both Tottenham Hotspur and Arsenal had to win to try and secure third place. In that instance, Arsenal won (thankfully.)
  It was a spectacular day with a lot of great football and great moments, however two instants stood out for me. One was good and the other was not so good.

The good was Arsenal winning, obviously since I am an Arsenal supporter. Not just that though, it was the fond farewell to assistant manager Pat Rice who has been with the club for forty-four years. He was a player, starting in 1966 and then captain, and then later a coach. His contributions to the club have been numerous and the amount of years he has given is staggering.

"Rice has been assistant manager throughout Wenger's tenure, having previously been a caretaker manager, a youth coach, and a player from 1966 to 1980. "I would like him to forgive me the bad moments I've given him as well," Wenger continued. "He's been a constant, loyal supporter. I'm just very grateful and privileged to have had him at my side for such a long time."
If there was to be another statue placed outside the Emirates Stadium, I truly believe it should be of Pat Rice.
 I'm very keen about his replacement though. Steve Bould was one of Arsenals Legendary back four in the 90's. He played for Arsenal for eleven seasons, being part of the double winning side. Altogether he's won the league title/Premier league in 1988-89, 1990-91, and 1997-1998. He's won the FA cup twice, The football league cup, The Community Shield twice, and the Uefa Cup winners cup. Plus he's been part of the Arsenal  Youth side for quite a while, gaining success there. A wise choice indeed.

To Mr Pat Rice, I salute you sir!

Now onto The Bad! Who else but Joey Barton? In Queens Park Rangers match against Manchester City (the one Man City needed to win) he stuck out an elbow sending Carlos Tevez to the floor. I don't think the referee saw it but the linesman did and he informed the referee who promptly issued Barton a straight red card. What followed was a disgusting performance by Joey Barton who then lashed out by kicking Sergio Aguero. 
 It's ironic really. A few months ago I bought a copy of "The Big Issue" which I so often do these days, and in it was an article by none other than Joey Barton. In it he portrayed something different, explaining how he'd grown up and changed and was more responsible now so I decided that perhaps he had and that I should try and look at him in a different light. I guess old habits die hard. Ironic really considering he posts tweets like this:

Hmm, yes why indeed I wonder. From a news article:

"Later Barton took to Twitter to claim that he had been told by a team-mate to "take one of theirs with me". "The head was never gone at any stage, once I'd been sent off." 

So a teammate told him this and as captain he decided it was a great idea? That's great leadership, not to mention being a great role model. I think it goes without saying that he should be stripped of his captaincy, although I don't think he should be allowed to play for QPR at all. He is a disgrace to QPR and to professional football.

I don't think he even holds any remorse considering one of his tweets read:

"Still not my proudest moment but who gives a f*ck, we are safe and that is all that matters."

Enough said. But if you don't want to take my word for it, read this article:


It hits the nail on the head.