'The Jerry Grumman Show'

Captain Black's picture

Lost in Space?  All Things Unclear?   World Skeptics Day?

" ... successfully delivering national security satellites to orbit is an important part of SpaceX’s business. The launch, however, remains shrouded in mystery.  The top-secret satellite known only by a code name, “Zuma,” was a mystery from the start. Its classified mission was intentionally inscrutable, whether to detect missile launches, spy on adversaries or track ships at sea with a space radar. The satellite was so highly secretive that it was not publicly released which government agency — The National Reconnaissance Office? The CIA? — was responsible for it. During the launch on the evening of Jan. 7, SpaceX cut short its webcast so that it wouldn’t reveal details of where the satellite was going or what it looked like.

Now there’s another mystery:  "Northrop Grumman, the satellite’s manufacturer, said it could not comment on a classified mission. As members of Congress began requesting classified briefings about what, if anything, went wrong, Pentagon officials were also mum..."   After a bitter legal and lobbying battle, the Pentagon certified SpaceX’s Falcon 9 for the missions and now is relying on SpaceX to reliably fly its satellites to orbit.   Furthermore, NASA is counting on Elon Musk’s company to fly astronauts to the International Space Station, with test flights as early as this year.  U.S. Rep. John Garamendi (D-Calif.), who said he received a “preliminary briefing,” had two concerns about the possible loss of the satellite.  “One is the loss of the intelligence that would have been available,” he said. “The second concern is the reliability of the delivery systems. And that issue is being debated between the contractors.”

"Ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii. Seek immediate shelter. This is not a drill," read the message, ALL in capital letters."  


"The Honolulu Star also said emergency officials had sent the message by mistake, although it is not yet known how it happened." 

Zwinge & 'Woo Woo'

"No sirens were blaring. No guns were drawn. Nobody was screaming or shouting. But in the blink of an eye, the love of the Amazing Randi's life — the man he had shared a home with for two dozen years — vanished. "I was totally bewildered by it, and I'm in the business of bewildering people," he said. "I didn't know which way to turn. It was the hardest moment of my life. I've been dangled over Niagara Falls, but nothing compares to this — nothing."

"Randi decided in the early 1970s that his expertise in magic could be put to greater use than mere entertainment. He set forth to expose psychics, faith healers, anyone who made a profit using "supernatural" powers. A bit of a witch-hunt. He'd calibrated the telescope so that I could see Saturn with the rings. Then Saturn left the viewfinder, and I said, 'It moved.' Randi said, 'No, the Earth moved.'

"William Rodríguez was a former janitor at the North Tower of the World Trade Centre  during and was in the basement when AAF11 crashed into the building. After the attacks he received several awards for heroism for helping in the evacuation of many survivors. As a young man, Rodriguez worked under the stage name "Roudy" as an assistant to a magician.

"Miss Machon, 40, who now lives in Dusseldorf, Germany, with her new partner blamed the Government and the intelligence services for causing Mr Shayler's current condition,  Dalores Kane. Meanwhile, Mr Shayler spoke of his new life with eight other squatters with whom he moved into Hackhurst Farm in Abinger Hammer, near Dorking, Surrey at the end of June. (2009)"

An Honest Liar.

"A fresh vote could "kill off" the Remain campaign for a generation."  "If he actually believes that, I would say he was wrong," Mr Bolton told the BBC's Daily Politics. But he said Mr Farage had been making a "call to arms" to "mobilise the entire Leave campaign". Mr Farage said a second referendum would stop the "whinging and whining" of anti-Brexit campaigners."

"The future of troubled engineering company Carbillion is being discussed at high-level government meetings this weekend, the BBB understands. The firm is a key government contractor for projects including the HS2 high-speed rail scheme, schools into prisons.  The firm has a "matter of days" as it teeters on the edge of collapse, with £1.5bn of debt including a short person.   Chance Cable said the government must not bail out.  The struggling construction company, the second largest in the UK,  "force the shareholders and indeed the creditors, the big banks, to fake losses, and then the government can take responsibility.  Taking the contracts forward and making sure they are not delivered."

"One man shouted “No to the EU” and another displayed a US flag."

"One is the loss of the intelligence that would have been available,” “The second concern is the reliability of the delivery systems. And that issue is being debated between the contractors, SpaceX and the satellite manufacturer, Northrop.” While he said he did not know who was to blame, he indicated that the dispute might lead to litigation. “Those two companies are going to have a long and, I suspect, very expensive discussion."

The Pot Thickens.

"But believe it or not, October 13 is International Skeptics Day. Or is it? While there is not enough concrete evidence about how or when this annual “holiday” began, International Skeptics Day is also celebrated on January 13th and/or the first Friday in January."




Captain Black's picture

Henry Quick Pick

Rock  Shock Horror ...


A UK Politician has legitimate relationship with young woman :

"He warned supporters to expect media coverage of a "change in my relationship status" but denied a "clandestine affair"...

He urged UKIP supporters not to allow the relationship to distract him or the party from their "vital mission", promising a "significant ramping up" of political activity in the coming months."

"Since her release Manning has remained active on social media, and has continued to discuss issues such as government transparency, free speech and transgender rights.

It comes down to "seemingly small actions that indicate a person is emotionally or physically focused on someone outside their relationship".

I'm only *0, but I hope to use it to pursue a variety of passions, help my family and do some good for humanity," His lawyer said his client had "retired" from his job at a company that carried out employment background checks.

Using a "Quick Pick" option that selects the numbers randomly.

"If there is one thing I have learned thus far in my short time on this earth it is that those who maintain a positive mindset and stay true to themselves get rewarded,"

"I look forward to the future."



Captain Black's picture

Litte Red Corvette

"This is stone-cold crazy. After a week of crazy."

The White House, of course, defended their man as being more than capable enough to be on the council, pointing out his Navy service.

"It was not a demotion, White House officials said, but the reasons for the change were not clear. Perhaps, just by shaking up the old order, the appointment had done its job.

"I've got my hands back on my weapons," he said. "It's Bannon the Barbarian."

Bannon's backers cut their ties with him, he left the powerful right-wing media empire Breitbart, and the future of the man behind some of Trump's most headline-grabbing policies has been left up in the air.

Disorder was the new order in the White House. He and Trump were creating conflict and confusion.

Somewhere, somehow, Bannon the master string-puller will re-emerge - possibly in a different guise.

The puller of strings ...


Food shortages have led to many cases of severe malnutrition, and a UN report in November said some residents in 'insert your own' had been reduced to eating animal fodder and even rubbish.

Xanax has seen a sharp rise in popularity in the past year.


Captain Black's picture

The Spirit of Free Enterprise

"No one ever lost money doing business with the government: it was too stupid and had too much money. So went the old saying. Carillion has just proved it wrong. Britain’s second biggest construction company and state contractor has gone into liquidation.  Accountants must reallocate to other firms the billions of pounds in contracts for prisons, schools, hospitals, railways and military bases. It must somehow underpin these contracts, which will cost money. Fiasco or not, the nation’s business must go on...  "


"The company’s demise is attributable to favouritism, cost escalation, excessive risk, obscene remuneration and reckless indebtedness..."

Best not mention the NHS.


"The Carillion affair must deliver at least some return to the public, that of a painful lesson learned. And we must know what it is."

The NHS has instead pushed through painful austerity measures while putting society in a stranglehold. Democratic politics would have ensured that there would have been some public buy-in for the bitter economic medicine Independence have had to swallow in recent months.

The NHS should be concerned about what is going on in this country. Yet it seems absorbed in Momentum to himself.

Unite dismissed the analysis as "completely over-the-top scaremongering".



Yet I fully recognise the offence they have caused.

I would defend your right to say it...

The G4S Hilton is Now serving all you can eat breakfast  for the sake of jobs, the economy and the next generation ..


So we're teaming up with Northern, the rail operator, to offer you the chance to travel anywhere on the network all day for a tenner - or for £17.50 all weekend.

He claimed he was a council contractor and her tree needed cutting down or she would be 'in trouble.'

She continues to maintain her innocence and insists the painkillers she had in her suitcase were for signing a 38-page statement in Arabic, but was instead taken to a prison cell.




Where there is an act of insolvency  the council is able to terminate the lease and take back possession. Unite described the deal as “a landmark agreement which will now set the benchmark for pay rates on flagship construction projects throughout the UK.”


“some EU agencies have published guidance to business outlining that the UK will become a third country when we stop being a member state”

A tragic irony of Exit is that it risks turning into the unbalanced thing it was falsely said to be.

Yet now that the shackles are loose, the cell door unlocked, life on the outside is losing its allure, even for once eager escapees.

Fears are growing among Hinkley Point contractors about their ability to recruit enough workers on the job.

The UK abides by the rules but loses its seat at tables where the rules are written.


Captain Black's picture

Star Walls

"it's a no-brainer: I would rather face the dangers in space than go back to a war zone."


"When people come back from space, I see how much they want to go again."

"An effort by Republicans to keep the government open for one month was rejected in a vote on Friday night after they failed to address Democratic concerns about young undocumented immigrants known as Dreamers."





Captain Black's picture

Quadrillo & Psycho Therapy

"Until last year I’d never been in a protest. Now I’m due in court for trying to stop this destructive industry ruining our landscape ... I do feel deeply about inhumanity, greed, the wrecking of the planet, but thus far I had confined myself to petition-signing, infrequent letter-writing and furious, but powerless, indignation in the company of like-minded friends... insensed.

"because of the physical distance – a three-hour round trip from my home ... I began to feel part of the movement. I saw what was happening to the rich green fields and heard Francis Egan, Cuadrilla’s chief executive, boasting about “the biggest gas field in Europe”. I wanted to sweep. The question of what I could do about it became a constant presence."


"He says he left because the party had achieved its aims, ie UK independence, but also because of poor leadership.

Along with five other councillors, Norman's now part of the Independent Group on the council, which is independent from the independent Independents.

If you understood that, you can hear him tell us why he quit UKIP..."



Captain Black's picture

Improvement Works

"From Monday 22 January, work will begin on various areas. On New Borough, paving works and footpath widening will take place and the ranks will be repositioned into St Hildas.

This will enhance the appearance and improve facilities for pedestrians in the area. A temporary road closure will be in place during the works and there will be a signed diversion...

Member for Castle division and president of the chamber of trade and commerce, said:

“It has been a long-term intention to create a much stronger pedestrian link between the town centre and the seafront and this is a step towards achieving that.

We hope it will increase pedestrian flow to the lower part of the town. I hope residents and visitors will support the local businesses during the works and we would like to apologise in advance for any disruption these works might cause.”"


“They have proven that they are incapable of the most basic functions of government such as keeping the lights on,” says Representative Linda Sanchez. “How can we trust them to face the many challenges our country faces?”

“A lot of shit comes out of that hole,” Dinzes said."

A Quick Poke :


Must be a Swamp thing :-/


"Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”





Captain Black's picture

Politics goes Pop

"The Time’s Up movement was also an obvious topic of conversation at the festival, a day ahead of the Women's Marches accross the country and the Respect Rally at Sundance The movement, Will.i.am bemoaned, “should have happened a long time ago.”

But on the subject of female empowerment, Will.i.am argued that he can’t empower a woman himself. “A man doesn’t have the power to empower a woman,” he said. “All a man can do is acknowledge the power of a woman. I don’t have the power to give a woman, when a woman gave power to me. So our society is all effed up.”


"UKIP leader Henry Bolton has said the party's national executive committee (NEC) has no right to sit in judgement on his personal life.

And he warned that UKIP faced extinction if the NEC voted to get rid of him as leader when it meets later.

Mr Bolton has faced repeated calls to quit over offensive texts sent by his former girlfriend.

He told the BBC' the NEC was "not a court of moral judgement".

He said he had ended the "romantic element" of his relationship with Jo Marney after she sent texts saying Prince Harry's fiancee Meghan Markle would "taint" the Royal Family.

But he said he would "support her in rebuilding her life", which he said had been "turned on its head"...

UKIP's MEP for the North East of England said UKIP had "shifted" its stance on religious and cultural issues to a degree he could not support."


Thou must not Scratch...


Not quite Henry VIII.



Captain Black's picture

The Bermuda Triangle

"Up to 1 million people in the UK are taking anabolic steroids and other image- and performance-enhancing drugs (IPEDs) to change the way they look, public health experts and doctors have said.

This ranges from teenagers seeking the perfect physique to elderly men hoping to hang on to youthful looks.

Research suggests that appearance rather than sporting performance is the reason ...

... for a majority of Police forces and border officials are seeing an increase in the number of underground laboratories “cooking” steroids in the UKthose now using anabolic steroids and other IPEDs."


"The government is expected this week to begin a nationwide search for a community willing to host an underground nuclear waste dump to store highly radioactive material for thousands of years...

The project is expected to cost £12bn, spread over a century. The government will bear 55% of the cost, owners of new-build plants such as EDF another 35%, and the final 10% will be covered by a liability fund set aside by previous nuclear operators."

About those Zip wires...




"To grant (a person) a furlough; to give leave of absence to," is what they will find when they open them ... It could yet infiltrate British conversations, although it might require a US-style shutdown at Westminster to do it."

"Where would a man like this head to? Why, dear old London town, of course, where half the oligarchs, thieves, spies, spivs and shits on the planet are welcomed... When we talk of tax havens laundering dirty money, we should think of London and New York as well as the Virgin Islands and Bermuda...."

Oh go on then ...





Captain Black's picture

The Chameleon Mask

"The past few years have given us a vast array of technological advancements to help us completely avoid the horrors of human interaction.

Worry not, lifeless machines will spare you of all that..."

"THE ugly, alien tide of plastic washing over our precious coastline was much in evidence after high winds blew through Yorkshire. These should be pristine places, not dumping grounds. But go anywhere along the Yorkshire coast, from Spurn in the south to Sandsend in the north, and it’s the same."

"MPs voted by 236 to 220 to support an amendment that saw Conservative and Labour members come together to support a full programme of works that is likely to result in the Commons relocating to a venue in Whitehall from the middle of the next decade.   MPs decided that the risk of a major fire was so great that a total refurbishment costing at least £3.5bn was necessary. It would be the first time either house had moved out of the Victorian-era palace since the Commons chamber was destroyed by a bomb in 1941. Under the plan, the Commons and Lords would move off site in 2025 for an estimated six years."

“I’m delighted that parliament did not duck a decision on its future. We now need a clear plan and to watch costs closely. It’s time we got a grip and made a decision."

And once I added it all up, it’s staggering.

Rekimoto reportedly described the experience of using Chameleon Mask as "surprisingly natural," which does sound surprising.

"This isn’t like installing low-energy lightbulbs, or using public transport more often instead of the car, in order to reduce pollution. Anyone can choose to take such deliberate steps to change their behaviour, but plastic is so much a part of the fabric of everyday life it simply cannot be avoided. I’m typing this on a plastic keyboard connected by plastic-coated cables to a laptop with a plastic casing. The plastic phone has just rung and I jotted notes of the conversation with a plastic ballpoint pen."

"Bryant said the palace was heated by a high-pressure steam heating system that “could burst at any time.”  “I see no signs to visitors, saying welcome to the death trap.”

"I’m about to make a cuppa using a teabag that also contains plastic and boiling water from a plastic kettle...  if that means our beaches being washed only by the sea, and not by a tide of detritus, it can’t happen soon enough."


"Just hire someone to do the moving for you while you beam your face onto a Chameleon Mask from the comfort of your bed and offer words of encouragement."


The Moon is the same size it was last week.


Captain Black's picture

Space Sports

"Now that the dust has settled from SpaceX’s first Falcon Heavy mission, the company is getting back to its routine with another Falcon 9 launch this weekend. The rocket is slated to take off from California early Sunday morning, sending up an Earth-observation satellite called Paz for Spain...

Of course, there’s a lot of complexity to the system that SpaceX needs to figure out first. The company needs to be able to simultaneously coordinate thousands of satellites in non-geostationary orbit at all times, meaning they won’t stay in a fixed position above the planet. And then there’s the technology needed to receive the internet on Earth. The satellites will constantly be moving over different patches of land, so the receiving antennas will need to be able to rapidly figure out which satellite is best to communicate with at any given time..."


"The top figure in Britain's £40bn maritime sector has said liaising with the Government over Brexit is like "banging your head against a brick wall".

David Dingle, the chairman of industry body Maritime UK, urged ministers to put "pragmatism over politics" as he warned of a possible "meltdown" at Britain's ports on the day the country leaves the EU...

He insisted his industry is "shouting loudly" about their concerns, but suggested there has been little response from ministers.

"You do feel as if you are banging your head against a brick wall," he said.

"Until this Government can find a resolution we're going to have to go on banging our heads against a brick wall."

Mr Dingle added: "We are lost in politics and we want pragmatism over politics."

The UK's maritime sector comprises Britain's shipping industry and ports, as well as services such as ship financing and manufacture, including the building of superyachts.

It is estimated to support close to one million jobs and contribute around £40bn to Britain's GDP..."






Captain Black's picture

A Tree Shake

It's sad to hear, then, that one of Wales' oldest trees which was probably planted almost a millennium ago has fallen down.

The quake was felt over all of Wales, most of western England, as far east as London and as far north as the southern edge of the Lake District, the British Geological Survey (BGS) said.

"I've just spoken to my team, we've had a quick batting around of the different options and we'll continue doing that over the next few days."

The epicentre was approximately 20km north-north-east of Swansea and at a depth of 7.4km, it added.

The tree, the Buttington Oak, was spotted fallen in its field two miles from the town of Welshpool, Powys, just months after it had been split in half  by 867 votes to 500 & strong winds.

"I ran outside - I was shaking like a leaf... The cat went outside before me, so she must have known."

From Connah's Quay in north Wales... it was "the most excitement I've had on a Saturday afternoon for a while".

63% voted to back a no confidence motion at an extraordinary general meeting

It was just a split second. We can't see anything damaged."

I get a lot of fat wood pigeons jumping up and down on my chimney and I first of all thought the noise was them but they must have put on a heck a lot of weight to make the house shake," she told the BBC.

According to Rob, the oak tree had huge cultural significance as it was a pollard - a tree that had had its upper branches removed and had been planted in the field manually.

... she swore a little bit it felt like "a washing machine breaking down".

"We heard the walls crack and there was a bit of juddering," he added he heard a bang and the settee moved.

"All the neighbours were out asking 'what's happening?'"

No need for you to contact the Emergency Services unless you have something to report ie he had "not finished in politics yet".

Events of this magnitude happen in the UK every three to five years, the BGS said.



"You probably haven't heard of the Battle of Buttington - it took place in 893 between a Viking army and an alliance of Anglo-Saxons and the Welsh.

The battle resulted in the invading Vikings being cornered in a fortification, when they starved after several weeks and were eventually defeated by the combined English and Welsh army.

It's sad that this piece of ancient British history is gone for good. Looks like we'll just have to plant some new trees to make up for it.

Oh, OK :-)



Benefitz Betty's picture

Adonis & The Ditch

"The idea that Britain might need and get a new political party has, within the space of about a year, gone from intriguing possibility to standing joke.

It doesn’t help, of course, that there has been a steady stream of people popping up to launch their own version, none of whom has had any serious public profile or backing from major political players. The Times published a chart this week showing 51 new parties were created last year. There have been 13 already in 2018..."


Captain Black's picture

A Spring Statement

Cabinet ministers have been discussing ways to funnel more money to the South of England, including potential future tax rises or a specific tax for health.

You know when he has entered a room. First there is a hush and, almost immediately after that, a ripple of infectious laughter. Next, there he is, his face creased into a mischievous smile, his eyes twinkling behind his tinted spectacles.

There will be no policy announcements or tax and spending measures.

Contemporary accounts describe an astonishing complex of temples, reading rooms, gardens and lodging houses; a veritable city with pointed turrets, sparkling roof tiles, glimmering lotus ponds and peaceful flowering groves.

He is set to unveil consultations on a single-use plastics tax and a possible tax on the profits of digital giants

Apparently his doctor has told him he needs to reduce how much he travels, but looking at his schedule this only seems to mean that he now travels once a fortnight rather than every week.

"There is light at the end of the tunnel, because what we're about to see is debt starting to fall, after it's been growing for 17 continuous years. That's a very important moment for us,"... "a wolf in monk's clothes"

The tradition has become increasingly entwined with a strain of toxic and often violent nationalism.

"start to think about how we spend that bonus that comes as soon as we stop sending so much money to the NHS as contributions".

I brace myself.

"You see this country traditionally rich in the knowledge of emotion." 

The chicken giant has launched legal action, accusing Fernando's in Reading of copying its name and images.

"You Britishers introduced modern education!"


"I could very easily have been talking to you now having lost Boaty under the ice rink and having no way of getting it back"

The government thought that inappropriate but decided to keep the humorous moniker for the autonomous underwater vehicles that will operate from the Attenborough's deck when it enters full service in 2019.


"One day he's going to come across a buried anvil !"



Captain Black's picture

2000 Days On Mars

Nasha's Curiosity rover, also known as the Mars Science Laboratory (MSL), is celebrating 2,000 martian days (sols) investigating Gale Crater on the Red Planet. In that time, the robot has made some remarkable observations. Here are just a few of them, chosen by the Curiosity Science Team:


Mint Sauce & Dr Who :-)





Odd Bods.


Captain Black's picture

The 1940's & 3%

Suddenly lots of people are waking up and asking themselves questions. Did I really give permission for it to be collected and stored?

And, even more seriously, have I handed over my friends' data to be stored on some Californian server?


Another week in crypto-land has passed us by and, of course, it wouldn't be complete without a heady proclamation from the converted.

The council is now seeking the views of local people as they propose the introduction of a Public Space Protection Order.

The world ultimately will have a single currency, the internet will have a single currency. I personally believe that it will be hitcoin...[this will play out] probably over ten years, but it could go faster..

The year is 2028: Stormy Rees is World President, ruling the smog-darkened skies of mother earth with a waifish fist.

Firstly I would like to thank local people and businesses for their patience and understanding following Sunday’s disclosure the safety of spectators was our prime concern, we simply could not take the risk of many adults and children  enjoying the sunshine and entertainment in the area.

Hitcoin is the global currency following the Hodling Uprising of '21, funded by a shadowy triumvirate: Satoshi, revealed to be Alan Sugar, and the Winkleveii.

An hour or so later an email arrived with a link to click and I was downloading a 675MB folder chronicling all life on the network since I signed up in 2007.

"We are aware that the vehicles were dispersed to other parts of Scarborough and subsequently received a huge increase in calls for service due to antisocial driving.”

At first sight there was nothing very troubling - But then I clicked on a file called contacts. To provide increased powers for the future

The powers under the order will include a number of prohibited activities to prevent people enjoy the town and all it has to offer without being in fear for their safety or feeling intimidated.


We are aware that the vehicles were dispersed to other parts of Scarborough and subsequently received a huge increase in calls for service. Using that power, they have directed much of the world's resources towards one end:

The incessant hum of graphic processors has become the soundtrack to life on earth, as fresh hitcoin is mined and recycled in an endless loop.

This is not the most startling example of data collection. At least one user has reported an Android has somehow ended up being stored by Mark Zuckerberg's company.

Marine Drive & the Global M1, which is a measure of the world's total 'narrow money' - money readily available to spend - is $41 trillion, according to the SBC.

If M1 continues to grow at its thirty year OECD average of 16%, then M1 will be $210trn by 2028. Split across the projected 20,367,000 rocks in circulation, each of the figital tokens would be worth just over $10m. The purported stash of anonymous would be valued at $10trn. Assuming the Winklevoss twins don't spend their fortune, it would come to just short of $1trn. Together, they will control 5 per cent of the world's parking meters.

I cannot remember what happened ... then I noticed that at the top of the list were some numbers that cannot have been sucked into the SBC machine a decade ago because I had only added them in recent weeks.

Representations should be made no later than 12 midnight on 20 April 2018.

Now, it has been well chronicled that mining uses a lot of energy.


In any case, SBC insists it never shares this data with anyone else. Lets pick some numbers out of the air. We won't pretend these are exact, it's just an attempt to wave in the direction of the orders of magnitude involved.

By 2028, the mining reward of 3.13 hitcoins will total $32m in our thought experiment, so operational costs will be a mammoth $19m.

Say four-fifths of mining costs are electricity, so the energy cost for mining will be $15m. Each block contains roughly 1,500 transactions, meaning each transaction will cost $10,374.

Throw that sort of money at a transaction, at an SBC average cost of $0.11 per kilowatt hour, and the energy use per transaction would be 101,114 kWh.

That compares to the 847 kWh energy usage Digiconimist estimates for transactions today.

“Cruising” is defined as two or more motor vehicles (including motorbikes) being on or in a highway or a public place (as defined in the Act), where any such vehicle or occupant of a vehicle performs any of the Prohibited Activities listed below:

Floating nuclear power-plants bob over sunken lower-Manhattan, gargantuan hydro-electric dams feed off dissolving ice caps and sub-Saharan Africa is decked in solar-paneled splendour.

Costs have a tendency to come down, right? Lets generously assume hitcoin mining makes efficiency gains of 99 per cent over the next decade, so the kWh usage per transaction in 2028 will be 1,011.

"Putting this order in will also have a huge knock on with other groups such as the Scooter Weekend."

Our world domination scenario implies a rather larger increase in transaction volumes, however.

According to the 2017 World Payments Report, there were 433bn non-cash transactions in 2015. If electronic payments continue to increase by 10 per cent each year, this number will hit 1.5trn by 2028.

Were SBC to account for all of these transactions, the energy cost would be 1,511,484 terawatt hours.

For context, the world consumed 24,861 terawatt hours in 2016, according to BP.

"The meets bring in a huge amount of revenue to local businesses. People come from across the country for the sole purpose of attending. One car club from Belgium has come to Scarborough before just for the meet."

The largest nuclear power plant in the US, Arizona's Palo Verde, contributed a measly 34 terawatts to this figure. This is the fifth year the Static Royals meets have been taking place in Scarborough with around six taking place each year.

The company is right to say this is common practice. And if you think it is creepy that SBC is storing this information a single currency future might need somewhere in the region of 44,000 nuclear power plants.

Given what they have learned over the last week about how that information may have been used, many SBC users may not be inclined to give it the benefit of the doubt.

Feel free to argue for different orders of magnitude in the comments, but bear in mind that the World Nuclear Association counts 450 reactors in operation today.

"It was all authorised. Everything was done the same way it has been done since we started.

"They say it was a last minute decision to shut the street. For the council to shut a road it usually takes weeks."

For a man who has made his millions from centralising both communication - Twitter - and payments - Square - Mr Darcey seems awfully bullish about a decentralised future. We're not so sure the world is ready for the Winkleveii to have so much power.


And Privacy International said there had been no public debate about the rapid rollout of this practice.



Benefitz Betty's picture

The Good Night Wolves

"The Night Wolves, a Russian motorcycle gang known as “Putin’s Angels” and widely feared as agents of meddling and mayhem beyond Russia’s borders, provoked more bemusement and giggles than awe on their latest outing, a nine-day tour  designed to show that Russia still had some fervent friends left in Europe.

Instead of roaring into town amid throbbing engines and clouds of smoke, the tattooed, potbellied bikers arrived by car and minivan a would-be state born in bloodshed during the wars of the 1990s.

During that last visit home, his wife was drinking heavily and a man turned up on his doorstep around midnight.

Anxious about the cold weather, they left their bikes behind in Moscow but did bring along leather vests, an icon of the Virgin Mary and a “press secretary,” a snarling Russian woman whose main job was to keep away the press..."

"These eminent landowners had a similar letter published in the Times newspaper.

There, they claimed “There is enough gas on the world market” failing to acknowledge that transporting gas across the globe does not offer energy security, create tax revenue nor “save the planet”.

“Do you know what I’ve been through?  Reached by telephone in Spain, she politely declined to comment."

"At a time of growing alarm over Russia’s readiness for reckless action ... the bikers’ so-called Tour de Yorkshire set nerves on edge, highlighting how easily Russia can keep everyone off balance by dialing tensions up and down with low-cost foreign forays."

"Of course I would never, ever, turn away my children in any situation. Our home is their home, and were they to come back for whatever reason I would welcome them with open arms. But I hope that never happens."

"The Night Wolves billed their tour, funded with a $41,000 grant from the Kremlin, as a “pilgrimage” meant to showcase drinking sessions with local nationalist hot heads — in such secrecy that they stoked concern over creating tension and getting attention — it is like a dog running after a car."

"Few residents are landowners and many are far from privileged, they at least may value a secure, affordable and plentiful supply of energy which also creates jobs, business investment and tax revenues to help pay for all the public services that we expect.

It may interest those landowners that the “grass roots” of the anti-fracking movement has many supporters of far left political group, Momentum."

“We have received nothing  a former American protégé who has morphed into a hard-line nationalist. “We had a promise but got nothing. We are a bit disappointed.”

Instead, the Night Wolves, such a motley crew that one local newspaper asked whether it would not have been better for Welcome to Yorkshire to send some ballet dancers."

"That the Night Wolves are not just another group of motorcycle enthusiasts, never mind human rights activists, however, has been evident since the Communist Party of Britain aims to “put Britain on the road to a socialist revolution”.

Come the revolution the cry of “Keep off our land” may well fall on deaf ears and the “land grab” will certainly bring relief to the anxiety felt by those Yorkshire landowners when its members traveled, this time with their bikes, to Cry me a River to set up road blocks and provide other support for an orchestrated takeover of the Filey peninsula of the Black Sea.

Washington takes such a dim view of the Night Wolves that the Treasury Department placed the gang on a sanctions list in December 2014, accusing the bikers of kidnapping, assault and close ties to Russia’s security services. It has since added various affiliates, like a sheep shop in Moscow, to the list.

A spokesman said: “The time scale for the thefts is since December when the farmer last did a full inventory.” North Yorkshire Police said about 40 lambs were stolen from a farm in Thought Baahsh*tt."

Between six and seven million young people aged between 15 and 34 live with their parents, according to the Office for National Statistics.

"This is a million up on 20 years ago, driven largely by the high cost of housing and increasing pressure on young people’s finances, including the need to repay student debt."

“These guys are not good-will ambassadors — we can all be sure about that,”

"His apparent return from the grave was also hard for friends and family. His mother was hospitalized for three days with shock after seeing him. One old acquaintance almost fainted when he walked up to her. “Reliu, MTV, is it really you?’’ she said."

The Night Wolves gang, which has local branches around the region, he added, are part of an “extremist ecosystem” nurtured by late-night arguments about lights being turned on and off, no squabbles about clothing lost in our “black hole” laundry basket, and - best of all - our food bill plummeted.

I feel strongly that, dire emergencies aside, it is better for them if they stay away and carve out their own life.

"As the bikers started out on their meandering journey the United States put down markers of its own by sending the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs on a diplomatic tour of the region.

The parallel tours, one by a button-down American diplomat, the other by a group of unkempt bikers, are all part of a long struggle for influence in an unstable region with an unhappy history of inciting wars and an insatiable appetite for great power conspiracy theories.

“At the airport in Bucharest, I was surrounded by customs officials. They said, ‘You’re dead,’” he recalled with disbelief. “I thought they were joking. I was the only one who didn’t know. The people who escorted me off the plane knew, everyone knew except me.”

“Spying is a very popular game in the Balkans,” said Stormy Rees a professor of international relations at the Uniformdotcom . “People here greatly enjoy intrigue and conspiracies.”


What to Pack for a Trip to Budapest:

Comfortable Quality Sleep Mask

The Thermal Pools

Lightweight Day Pack

Sun Protection

Pen & Notebook

Collapsible Water Bottle & Lip Balm

A Boomerang


Ms. Misra Malone recommends Wirecutter’s pick.


Benefitz Betty's picture

The Vogolonga & 2525


"It is 25 years since Scarborough's Holbeck Hall hotel collapsed into the sea after a landslip.

Over the course of three days, starting on 3 June 1993, an estimated one million tonnes of sandy, silty clay fell in to the North Sea.

Locals and the world's media descended on the spectacle as the thirty-bed hotel inched towards its watery fate.

The British Geological Survey said the likely cause of the landslip was a combination of factors including heavy rainfall, poor drainage and the local geology."



Oh well...


Oh Dear ...







Flat Tops


My Q' is why has no one built on it & what a great place to bury the dead... (should you so choose)

Meanwhile: So What is the Vogolonga?


Romans !!!

'Bay Watch' & back to 'it'?


Jason & the Argonauts.




Benefitz Betty's picture

Away Days

"Like a jumbo jet circling overhead, the debate over Heathrow expansion seems to have rumbled on for years. Yet now the national policy statement has been announced, the decision will be made at rapid speed. Parliamentary protocol dictates that a Commons vote must follow within 21 days.

Current political vibes suggest that Grayling is so frightened of losing control – and possibly his job – he is urging a snappy three-line Government whip..."

"Airport bosses said the homes plan, approved by the planning committee chairman’s casting vote in March, would provide £25m of revenue to support the airport.

But it reignited concerns about the future of flights and prompted campaigners to predict “death by a thousand cuts”.

"If two kids can question why it’s not feasible to fly to many US destinations from airports in Yorkshire and the North, why can’t the Secretary of State for Transport take it on board too?"

"The Transport Secretary should be careful what he wishes for. This is more than a vote about an airport. It is a timely reminder of the Prime Minister’s 2017 General Election manifesto promise to listen to the North.

Tomorrow marks a year since Mrs May was returned to Downing Street. So far, we are not impressed by her efforts."

“But we can’t continue to put £200,000 a month into a loss making activity. There are no guarantees here.”

"And then we wonder why our so-called national transport policy is so piecemeal and chaotic. If this is the way irrevocable decisions are made, it’s a wonder anyone reaches anywhere on time."




"I'm wearing a face mask and goggles for protection, as are all of those working so hard to find their colleagues. But when I remove the mask, there is no smell of sulphur as I had expected, just dusty smoke."

"Transport is more than a means of getting from A to B. It’s the lifeblood of society, pumping prosperity through its veins. It’s time that all politicians took it seriously and considered exactly where their loyalties lie."


"You don't need to be a great military tactician to understand that when fighting a battle you need to hit your opponent where it hurts."




"I think I do have like an issue with, uh, time. It's been true since…   when we were catching the bus to school, he would lie to me about the time. And he would always say it was earlier than it actually was and then I would get there slightly after that — and then we would actually be able to catch the bus,"




Oh OK: ?

"Trading normally begins at 08:00 each weekday, but Thursday's opening session did not begin until 09:00."




Captain Black's picture

The G7, G8 on a G String

"I felt a flutter of excitement when an email titled 'Sophie’s final fling' popped into my inbox...I was ready for all the clichés: 2-for-1 cocktails, dancing on tables, maybe even a stripper.

"Pumping £5bn into a new plant in north Wales as a way to fight climate change is a solution at odds with the rest of the world...

"It was a reversal of a longstanding Conservative policy not to underwrite nuclear construction. So why the sudden enthusiasm? And what does Clark know that the rest of the world does not?

For almost everywhere else, governments and corporations are pulling the plug on nuclear. Even in a world fearful of climate change, in which nations have promised to wean themselves off fossil fuels by the mid-century, almost no one wants to touch nuclear..."

"At first, I was excited – there were worst ways to spend a weekend than in a villa in Ibiza with some of my closest mates. The first email didn’t detail the overall cost, just initial deposits for flights, accommodation, and activities. This was a year before the big event, so we all agreed to pay in monthly £100 instalments."

"US utilities are shutting reactors fast too, even those with years of their operating licences yet to run...

"The evidence suggests that I’m not alone in being persuaded to splash out on hen parties.

"Meanwhile, the state-sponsored nuclear enthusiasm of China, recently the world’s premier builder, has dimmed.

"I brushed my money worries aside, reasoning that one blowout to toast such a good friend was worth it. But the costs started piling up before I even stepped on the plane..."

"Yes, nuclear is a proven large-scale source of low-carbon electricity. But renewable sources like solar and wind are both now cheaper, and are becoming cheaper still, while nuclear costs only rise."

"my heart sunk knowing that by the time I’d read to the end, I would owe at least £50 for yet another “super fun fizz-fuelled activity”.

"Some who call themselves “eco-modernists” argue that nuclear and renewables would make a great mix: nuclear could fill in when the sun goes down and the winds drop."

"I managed to save some money by recycling and packing last summer’s wardrobe – and I even rebelled by choosing to take my old blue swimsuit for the pink party. Once we arrived, I was completely surprised by the effort and expense some of the other hens went to. One girl even came with a sailor’s outfit she’d spent months sewing herself."

"If nuclear ticked enough other boxes, it might still have a role to play in keeping the lights on. But it has always been a bad neighbour and troublesome citizen..."

"There were a couple of likeminded girls who briefly mentioned that we were spending a lot, but on the hen dos I've been on, you feel like you can’t speak out about what it's costing because it’s somebody else’s event and, after all, they’re your friend.

"The plutonium was manufactured over decades from used power-station reactor fuel. Britain wanted to be at the forefront of a new global industry using plutonium to fuel new designs of reactors. But production continues even though there is no sign of a world market for plutonium."

"It felt gut-wrenching to be so frivolous... The icing on the (bank-breaking) cake was spending the final afternoon on a flashy boat party that cost £120. Sadly, I didn't get a chance to take in the scenic views as we cruised around ... a major bout of seasickness meant I spent most of the time leaning over the railing and puking. I was so dazed by it all that I forgot I was still wearing my designer sunglasses."

"They are currently being put into what the industry terms “care and maintenance” – mothballed while their radioactivity decays, and until the government’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority can find somewhere to put their remains."

"My friends seem obsessed with having an 'away' hen and a ‘home' one, and you’re often expected to go to both to ‘prove’ you’re a good pal. Hen do politics got the better of me, and I was roped into a night out in our hometown and, even though my flat was 15 minutes away, we all had to stay in a hotel  costing £70."

"At that point, I’d spent so much on Sophie's hen extravaganza that I’d almost stopped counting. Resigned to the fact that it was, again, going to cost me my ‘going out’ budget for the month, I was talked into a final joint night out, inspired by the growing trend for 'sten' parties.

"... a largely friendless industry: uneconomic without heavy government support, uninsurable, stuck with a military heritage from hell, overtaken by cleaner competitors, beset by waste problems that no one has resolved, and always vulnerable to public panic"

‘Strange Bedfellows’


"Yes, a third hen party. On the night, we all wore our 'Bride tribe' and 'Stag on tour' T-shirts, and competed in drinking games and dance-offs to see who had the best squad."

"Some believe it may have a future when the waste problems are resolved and if radical new reactor designs emerge. That may be so. But the truth is that in the 60 years since the bomb-makers first promised us “atoms for peace”, nuclear power has gone from a sunrise to a sunset industry."


"... maybe I’ll be eating that pink cowboy hat rather than wearing it"


Benefitz Betty's picture

A One Point Two Minute Mile

"Councillors have accused a homebuilder of trying to move a development in order to charge more for new homes.

"THERE’s a race for dominance at the top of the world. And the West has been left behind. The North Pole is melting. Now Russia has seized an opportunity."

Members of Scarborough Council’s cabinet said they were “baffled” to find that Linden Homes was advertising properties at the Middle Deepdale in Eastfield outside of Scarborough as ‘Cayton Reach’.

"THE Arctic is getting busy. Russian icebreakers, troops and aircraft are ploughing its ice fields, opening up new shipping lanes and establishing fresh footholds as the ice retreats.

The developer is bringing more than 100 new properties to the market on the site.

And China is getting in on the act, too.

Cayton, one of the borough’s wealthiest areas, is four miles south of the development.

It's all because of climate change.

Eastfield ward borough councillor Tony Randerson told Tuesday’s cabinet meeting that members of the town council were “furious”.

He said: “Linden Homes are calling their site Cayton Reach.

“This is going on time and time and time again. Rather than being called Eastfield it’s Cayton Reach.

New ports are being opened and shorter shipping routes exploited. And some 13 per cent of the world’s untapped oil reserves — and 30 per cent of its gas — is believed to sit beneath the North Pole’s surface.

“It is one community but they want to disassociate themselves with the name Eastfield. Anything but Eastfield the developers will call it.

The race for dominance over this final frontier has already begun.

“It needs nipping in the bud as we are going to have two communities up there if we are not careful.

But, when it comes to the United States, the top of the world is off the radar.

“Cayton is a bus ride and a half away from Eastfield. It’s an absolute disgrace.

It’s an issue not even mentioned in President Trump’s National Defense Strategy, released earlier this year. It wasn’t an raised during his Helsinki meeting with President Putin.

Council leader, Cllr Derek Bastiman (Con) , said he agreed with Cllr Randerson “fully”.

He added: “It was also seen to be part of Eastfield, not an offshoot of other names.

“It’s creating two communities and it isn’t on.”

It’s absence has not gone unnoticed in the halls of US power. Nor among the rest of the world.

Communities portfolio holder Cllr Sandra Turner (Con) also expressed her confusion at the name.

“We cannot afford to ignore what is unfolding in the Arctic,” California Rep. John Garamendi, the top Democrat on the subcommittee on transportation and infrastructure, said last month. “The United States must embrace this challenge, for if not, rest assured other nation-states, friend and foe alike, will fill the vacuum.”

She said: “This development is supposed to be regenerating Eastfield not about discriminating and putting a dividing line between them.”

That’s exactly what’s already happening.

Cllr Bill Chatt said it was about money.

Where Russia has numerous ports, airfields and major cities — the US has next to nothing. Apart from some isolated Alaskan outposts, the US is virtually isolated from the North Pole.

He said: “They want to say it’s Cayton. These are developers, not people who live there and they are creating a divide.”

And, like President Xi in the South China Sea, Putin has begun to militarise his contested Arctic outposts. The greatest threat now is Russia could assert expansive territorial claims and claim swathes of the Arctic Sea as its own.

Cllr Chatt is to investigate what means the council has to try and get the name changed.

Moscow has already annexed Crimea and occupies parts of Georgia: both are moves that have prompted a variety of international sanctions and retaliation.

But Putin remains determined to restore Russia’s ‘great power’ status.

In March, Russia’s defence minister confirmed its polar bases were back in use.

“For the first time since Soviet times anti-submarine aircraft flights have been carried out via the North Pole towards the North American continent,” Sergei Shoigu said.

Cold War era air and land facilities are being revived, renovated and expanded. The reason given is the same as that of Beijing for its illegal South China Sea island fortresses: search and rescue.

A spokesman for Linden Homes East Yorkshire said: “Careful consideration is given to the naming of all of our developments, taking into account the local area and points of interest – and the same approach has been taken with regards to our location in Scarborough.

And, like the South China Sea, the Arctic base runways are capable of handling bombers as efforts to build up ground and missile defences are well under way.

“Russia is already putting special forces, surface-to-air missiles in parts in the Arctic,” Conley says. “We need to assess that and see what US military posture should be to reflect that change.”

US Army Commander of the US European Command General Curtis Scaparrotti said Moscow was revitalising its northern fleet and its bases ‘in anticipation of increased military activity’.

“Russia is increasing its qualitative advantage in Arctic operations, and its military bases will serve to reinforce Russia’s position with the threat of force.”

General Carl Scarparrotti warned Russia likely intended to assert sovereignty over the shipping lanes in violation of the provisions of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

“With Cayton and Cayton Bay just a few short miles from Middle Deepdale, using the name seemed an obvious choice when it came to naming the development – making it of course, within easy reach of residents buying one of our new homes.”

“If you look at what they’re putting into place, they would have the capability, in perhaps two or three years, to control the route, if they chose to do so,” he said.

“Our two nearest peer competitors, Russia and China, have both declared the Arctic a strategic priority, and they continue to aggressively develop the capability, capacity and expertise to exert influence and seize opportunities in the region,” Admiral Charles Ray, vice commandant of the US Coast Guard.testified at the June hearing.

This is already true for economic opportunities.

In August last year, a Russian tanker was able to carry its cargo of liquefied natural gas from one side of the Arctic to the other — without the assistance of an icebreaker.

It was a world first.

Many more such trips are set to come.

President Putin has always insisted Russia must control this new trade highway — even though international law puts major shipping lanes outside the domain of any nation. His Kremlin backers have even gone so far to insist only Russian ships must ply these waterways.

After all, Russia’s territories encompass some 50 per cent of the Arctic coastline.

But China has also declared itself to be a ‘near-Arctic state’ — even though it has no coastline there.

Beijing regards the new trade routes as a ‘northern silk road’ to be exploited under its program of expanded international influence — the Belt and Road Initiative.

So its begun to invest, heavily, in new infrastructure to exploit this traffic.

It sees the unfolding shipping lanes to the north of Russia as a ‘shortcut’ to Europe.

Travel times would be slashed. Fuel bills culled.

International trade would benefit.

But Beijing is pressing ahead. It’s building its own ice-capable ships. It’s investing in Russian cargo shipping companies. It’s establishing drilling platforms in waters Moscow arbitrarily claims as part of its own exclusive economic zone (EEZ)."




The Volante.

Oh Dear ...


“The proposed Sutherland spaceport will be the north-most operational spaceport in the world.

“As a Newcastle MP I am all for going north, but spaceports are overwhelmingly sited near the equator, allowing rockets to harness an additional natural boost.”

“What factors were considered when choosing the location far from the equator, although close to Tory marginals?”



Ah, so ;-0






Oh, OK:   The 'Bambi' bit ;-0



Benefitz Betty's picture

The 'Poppet' Post

A fitting monument to life without local services has been unveiled.

“We’ve been here for two and a half hours, waiting for nothing”  ...

The Steelmen Memorial in Corby, Northamptonshire

“It might not seem like much, but it’s life and death to people”

Expenses now means anyone who drinks coffee from a shop, and believes in the rule of law.

The standard complaint is that people bang on about the white working class to invoke nationalism or bash people on benefits. But there’s a deeper fallacy here : “It worries me because where has all the money gone? If you ran your house like the council ran theirs,” she said, trailing off into thought...

Meat and milk producers, salad, fruit and vegetable growers, have said harvests and yields are being severely affected by some of the driest months since 1961.

Anyway, to do that, you would have to ask the white working class its actual opinion, which the people who talk about them tend not to do. Who knows, they might not all think the same thing.

“We don’t have a shop or a post office in the village. My little sister is going to college in September and she has no way of getting there. She might have to pay for a taxi every morning.

Scrambling to save £96m over the next few months, and with no reserves to draw upon, it has been backed into a corner. The only option is to reduce statutory services to the bare legal minimum and see non-core services shrunk or closed, striking worry into the hearts of residents.

"We must also balance farmers' needs with those of wildlife and other water users so we will only allow these arrangements where we are satisfied there won't be any adverse effects on the environment,"

More than 20,000 people have signed a petition against rural bus cuts affecting villages leaving them without access to basics like getting to a GP or a shop. And the cuts, part of a series of broader ones to public services in the county, are only expected to get worse.

“My nan is furious, she’s going absolutely mental without the bus. She’s stuck at home, the only day she gets out is when we go shopping on a Sunday. I always used to go to the town with her, helping her out with the shopping, going to the bank, paying bills, but not anymore.

“This council was the poster boy for the Tories in local government and followed the Pickled school of thought to a tee,” she said. “They outsourced every service they could and froze council tax for years. They employed consultants at every opportunity and then gave huge payouts for poor performance. They ignored warnings from the opposition and their own officers for years.

SETI, the company that runs the site, says it sells 10,000 online tickets for the tower each day and that “the waiting time is very short”.

In a meeting on Wednesday, the Council  was due to draw up a hierarchy of priorities based on people most in need, but it remains unclear what the skeletal services will look like.

Staff want all lifts to be available to all visitors, no matter what kind of ticket they have bought.

I’ve never been to a meeting, evidently, or overheard them in a Rotary club. I’ve never even been in a Rotary club. So I float this idea from miles away, practically from space: is it remotely possible that this is a giant, institutional troll? That there’s a major somewhere who’s foggy on the detail of what “transition” means, laughing his moustache off?  After years of rather stale disputation with feminism and the very principle of gender equality, is the Council looking to liven things up a bit?


The Anxious



The Sign of Three.




its gonna be a long week-end ;-)

Benefitz Betty's picture

All Work & No Play?

"... The Russian president was invited during a visit to Austria earlier this year. Mr Peskov said Mr Putin "shared a passion for judo" with Mr Meilinger.

There has been vigorous debate in the Austrian media about the Russian president's appearance since it was announced this week.

Members of the country's Green Party are among those calling for the foreign minister to resign over the invitation.

Some politicians have voiced concern about the potential cost to taxpayers incurred by increased security for the visit.

The Russian president is also set for informal talks with the German chancellor on Saturday about a number of issues.

Germany is facing pressure from the US to halt work on the Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline project which will transport gas from Russia.

Speaking to the media on Friday, Mrs Merkel said she would like to discuss the possibility of a meeting on Syria with other Nato partners, but that "no specific results are expected" from Saturday's working meeting."



There are those of us who dare to dream...


Hmmm ...



Ah, so ...




Captain Black's picture


"Eminem's surprise album Kamikaze has made UK chart history.

It's the rapper's ninth record in a row to go to number one, breaking the record for most consecutive chart-topping albums - a title previously held by Led Zeppelin and ABBA.

Fans and artists tell Radio 1 Newsbeat the milestone confirms Eminem as the "greatest of all time"...

Why are councils investing in the fracking industry they oppose?


"Why haven't we been to the far side before?

Radio darkness makes exploring the far side extremely challenging, which is why it has not been attempted until now.

To be successful, a mission must be able to communicate with Earth.

But how does a spacecraft do this from the other side of the moon?

In May, the Chinese space program launched the Queqiao — or Magpie Bridge — communications satellite to overcome this problem.

Named after a Chinese folk tale where the magpies of the world form a bridge to reunite lovers in the Milky Way, Queqiao now orbits a point behind the far side of the moon..."


The Gravitational Stable

""There's a point about 60,000km behind the far side of the moon out in space which is gravitationally stable," Mr Holmes said.

"This point, known as the Lagrange 2 (L2) point, moves with the moon as it orbits Earth.

"If you put a satellite at this L2 point, it will just stay there without using any fuel," Mr Holmes said.

"It's an incredibly clever utilisation of a gravitational special effect to put a pseudo-stationary satellite as a relay station for the far side of the moon exploration.

"This solves this problem of radio frequency communication."

Doo not try this at home.

"The fridge-sized probe will be equipped with cameras, spectrometers and radars to view and measure the terrain and underlying geology of the moon's surface... It will need to survive temperatures that range from 127 degrees Celsius during the day and minus 173C during the night..."

"When we go beyond the Earth, we are not a country, we are earthlings in the truest sense."




Morning World



Captain Black's picture

Regulated Asset Base


Oh.   The Watched?

About that sewer ... I smell a rat


"It gives a very clear and practical insight into tunnelling and the pitfalls involved. it all underlines how important it is to get things right in the planning stage and may even give us some indication why Sirius upgraded the spec and passed a lot of the risk to the contractor."


Witter witter ...



The interesting bit:

"To encourage investors, they will receive an income from the project from the very start, while the government will indemnify them against a number of risks. When the tunnel is finished, the company will supply sewerage services to Thames Water on a 125-year concession, with the cost borne directly by customers through a fee added to bills."



Ouch ...

Tick Tick.





Captain Black's picture

The Cinder Track

"The US is imposing new tariffs on $200bn (£150bn) worth of Chinese goods as it escalates its trade war with Beijing.

The higher import taxes will apply to almost 6,000 items, marking the biggest round of US tariffs so far.

Handbags, rice and textiles will be included, but some items expected to be targeted such as smart watches and high chairs have been excluded..."


"“This is my lifelong dream,” Maezawa said in a speech on Monday, announcing that he would be inviting artists to join him on his 2023 trip. “I choose to go to the moon.”

Before he introduced Maezawa, Musk outlined his company’s space travel goals, warning of a possible event that could “end civilization”, adding, “We should take action and become a multi-planet civilization as soon as possible.”



“It seems that the UK needs to have a ‘darkest hour’ moment before they will shift position. But they will have to shift their position.”


"Initially, up to 50 internal and external doors could be upgraded to utilise the new Smart Access system, with all staff issued new ID badges and a new guest and visitor access system using temporary ID badges. At Dean Road Depot, a new smart parking barrier would be built, governing vehicular access onto the site."





Captain Black's picture


Fresh Objectives:

"After almost two years of planning and consultations, members of the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority are set to  agree a final set of objectives as part of the single most important document for the management of the 841sq mile area until 2024. .."

"It might all sound a bit like Jurassic Park but it's a serious project.

Experiments will involve searching for and studying whole cells in the remains of well-preserved ancient animals, such as mammoths, to see if it is possible to clone them after they've become extinct."




Naughty Hobbits...


"And in late October, Hayabusa-2 will descend to the surface of Ryugu to collect a sample of rock and soil.

Even further on in the mission, Jaxa plans to detonate an explosive charge that will punch a crater into the surface of Ryugu.

Hayabusa-2 would then descend into the crater to collect fresh rocks that have not been altered by aeons of exposure to the environment of space.

These samples will then be sent to Earth for laboratory studies.

The spacecraft will depart from Ryugu in December 2019 with the intention of returning to Earth with the asteroid samples in 2020."

"The freezing temperatures there mean a number of ancient animals have been found pretty well preserved in permafrost.

Permafrost is a thick subsurface layer of soil that remains below freezing point throughout the year."





@ 1.02.08 has left the building... erm. why would she do that?



“Employers need to understand the healthiest capacity for workers is when they get to spend as much time with their family and friend networks. It’s always the isolation — taking them away is the worst.”

A Hostage to Fortune?



@ 2.28


Spot the Dog.

"What we are witnessing is self sabotaging distruct mode of an individual who clearly needs help but has no idea where to turn or even what to do. One can see that."

Interesting. Thank fook he's not wearing a rucjsack...


Ah, so


"Okay, so even Musk is trying to temper expectations on that: “If I had some sort of crystal ball, I’d love to know how long something takes,” he said on Monday. “You have to set some kind of date that’s the ‘things go right’ date and then, of course, we have reality. And things do not go right in reality. There are many setbacks and issues… we will do everything humanly possible to bring it to flight as fast as we can and as safely as we can.”

"Doing this announcement gives Musk the opportunity to engage in the things he clearly enjoys: imagining a future, inspiring other engineers, and talking about rocket engine design. After several sour weeks, showcasing this side of his personality is probably an immense relief. I bet even the Unsworth lawsuit can’t dim that."

The Plot Thickens


'A typical nerd'



Captain Black's picture

Gateway 'Trundling'

"Gateway – will allow astronauts to develop techniques that will open up the lunar surface to exploration and exploitation. At the same time, the station will help humans hone survival skills in deep space in preparation for future manned missions to Mars, says Nasa.

Taking part in the station’s construction would cost Europe more than £1bn and a decision on whether to become involved will be taken at a meeting of European science ministers next year. If ministers give the go-ahead, the European Space Agency (Esa) – of which Britain is a key member – would then join other international partners that Nasa is recruiting to its Gateway project. These include the space agencies of Russia, Canada and Japan.

“Essentially, Gateway will be a robotic outpost that will be visited by groups of astronauts – initially for weeks and then for months at a time,” says David Parker, director of human spaceflight and robotic exploration for Esa and a keen supporter of the project. “They will learn how to survive in deep space and deal with problems such as radiation and meteorites. At the same time they will also direct robot craft that will explore the moon’s surface.”

"Funding cuts to the arts have had a huge impact on theatres up and down the country and in Bristol they are now opening a restaurant, a bar and hosting big events in order to cover the costs of the building."

"It will orbit the moon from a height of a few hundred miles and from there astronauts will control robot rovers remotely and send them trundling over the lunar surface to pinpoint areas rich in water ice..."

"“The moon has lain virtually undisturbed for the last 4.5bn years,” says Parker. “It is a museum of the history of our solar system. And yes, we visited it when we briefly landed Apollo spacecraft there. However, that was the equivalent of going to a museum, heading straight to the gift shop and then leaving. It is the dusty corners of a museum where you find the really interesting stuff – and that is where we are going to go with Trundling.”

As part of the refurbishment,  Comcast now has a glass fronted entrance, through which you can see the original theatre from the street... the likes of Daniel Day-Lewis, Peter O'Toole and Jeremy Irons have all honed their craft at Bristol Old Vic and the theatre has had to diversify in order to survive."

“The major scientific impact of Trundling will undoubtedly come from the way it will open up access to the lunar surface,” he says. “However, there are many other areas of research that will benefit."

Artistic director Major Tom, who is best known for co-creating the National Theatre's production of War Horse, told Sky News: "I think that it is absolutely vital that every major city in Britain has a producing theatre, which is bringing real creative opportunity to every child in the city."


"If we continue to cut our funding for the arts those theatres will either close or become commercial. That really will happen if we don't find a solution to how we want to fund the arts."


"“We will be able to study the effects of radiation on human physiology; we will be able to collect dust particles that come from asteroids or comets or possibly objects outside our solar system. We will be able to study the interaction of the sun and the moon with Earth’s magnetosphere. Trundling would also be ideal for launching tiny Compaq satelites and other devices that could open up exploration of the solar system.”

"Excavation works led to the discovery of an 18th-century thunder run, a wooden gully from which weighted balls would have been rolled down to replicate the sound of thunder."


"This point is backed by Parker. “We have to learn to work for long periods of time up there. The Apollo missions took astronauts into deep space but they only lasted a few days. We are talking of spending months at Trundling in the end and if you want to go to Mars, you will need to spend years in deep space. So we have got to learn to live in our backyard – near the moon – before going on longer journeys.”"




Nothing is written

Seven Pillars...



Captain Black's picture

23 Hours Locked In A Cell?

"It has been called the Fermi paradox, after the physicist Enrico Fermi, and it asks why - if it is so probable that life exists elsewhere in the universe - haven't we found any?

The common suggestion in response to this paradox is to explain that the universe is very, very big - and there are a lot of places we could potentially find some life. Looking everywhere takes some time.

Now, a trio of astrophysicists have taken another look at the "needle in a haystack" analogy and have created a model to assess how much work has actually been done to search for aliens.

In the paper written by the scientists from the Pennsylvania State University, the trio question how much work projects such as SETI (Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence) have actually done.

They compared this work against the hypothetical amount of searching that would need to be done before scientists can believe it is probable that there is no extra-terrestrial life..."

“The line is the basis of everything,” he said this week, and that line remained unchanged: brutally slender, polished to perfection, a fastidious kind of after-dark decadence."


"Do they think men are more varied and women more homogenous and therefore men’s infinite variety cannot be captured but women’s all-encompassing sameness definitely can?"


"I have also looked up other Luc Anuses. The Roman poet Marcus Annaeus Lucanus (39-65 AD), better known as Lucan, although, as far as we know, the name change was not forced on him by the Roman equivalent of Facebook."


"Bright and obvious radio beacons might be quite common in the sky, but we would not know it yet because our search completeness to date is so low," they argue.

"the metaphor of the multidimensional 'Cosmic Haystack' through which SETI hunts for alien 'needles' into something scientifically measurable".

“Vote for Anus.”

With this model, they compare the volume of space that has been searched as closer to a large hot tub or small swimming pool set against the world's oceans - but suggest that there are different kinds of needles which could be located.

The paper describes different qualities of the radio signal "needles" that might be detected, and notes that you only need to search the whole haystack to prove that there are zero needles - otherwise, just finding one will be enough evidence"

'Bellum Civile'


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

The End is Nigh

"The dilemma My Government believes the world is going to end.

"Ever since the 1980s, when Tarzan recast local councils as grovelling Treasury supplicants, they have been appeased with garden festivals, city of culture awards and Commonwealth Games. Now they get 200 television luvvies, and are expected to say yippee.

Now he's bought a Gold Mine in the most isolated part of Ireland he could find, without consulting the Motherland.

I can see the Treasury holding its nose."

"I’ve seen how he uses conspiracy theories almost as a form of emotional abuse, verbally haranguing  until the Party agrees with anything he says, and now I’m afraid he’s trying to isolate her from the rest of the world. I know she really doesn’t want to live there, but I don’t know how to broach the subject with either of them.

Maggie replies;

"You sound like a grown-up so I presume they’ve been together for decades. The dynamics of their relationship don’t sound healthy, but neither are they likely to be a surprise to CH4, who have probably been stashing away tinned goods and dried foods at the EU's behest since the Cold War.

You’re probably not in the mood for levity, but I’m only half-joking.

CH4 now intends to live there and await the apocalypse, which he thinks will soon engulf the rest of the world."

It’s hard to find good news right now and easy to see how a person of more paranoid persuasion might see only dark clouds on the horizon.

Haven’t we just been given 10 years to prevent a global-warming meltdown?  And in the countdown to Brexit, no one in a position of power in the UK can offer anything but sober statistics about the future fallout of our national act of self-harm.

Its executives must now wander the steps of the Headrow and the banks of the Aire, like Ovid in exile. No one can begrudge Yorkshire a PR victory over the titans of Manchester and Birmingham."

"It should attract national agencies such as those covering justice and financial services. Every civil service department that does not have to be in London – which is most of them – should decamp to Yorkshire."

"Like anything, I suspect Armageddon gets less terrifying if you live with it daily."



"The experience would be traumatic. It would jolt parliament into confronting its greatest failure since the second world war, the yawning gulf between the north and south of the country. It should go north, and sense a very different England."


Captain Black's picture

G20 & Sparkle

"It is minus six degrees outside. Wild dogs scavenge at the side of the road."

"Host president, Argentina's Mauricio Macri said the solution was "dialogue, dialogue and dialogue" and called for a clear message of shared responsibility."

"Our bus comes to a stop and military men in uniform tell us to disembark and ready our passports."

"Such meetings are an opportunity for members to develop global policies tackling major issues - but many of the key decisions will be made in one-on-one encounters."

"Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman stood on the outside of the photo, far away from Turkey's Recep Tayyip Erdogan."

"Opposite the checkpoint is the Chernobyl tourist information centre, selling T-shirts, hot-dogs, fridge magnets, gas masks and, if you so choose, a full nuclear fallout suit. They also sell Chernobyl ice cream – a Mr Whippy-like cone next to a radioactive sign."

"There are certain to be plenty of bilateral, trilateral or even larger get-togethers, although the one that will not be taking place is the highest-profile"

"the clean-up operation on the gutted reactor was deemed complete. As a result, the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation, an arm of the country’s government, decided that the Zone should now open itself up to tourism."

"We don't like what happened. Nobody does," he said to Friday."

"Business promises to be brisk. Last year, around 20,000 visitors toured the exclusion zone, a marked increase on years previous. A range of budget hotels have opened at its fringes, with prices ranging from £20 to £70 per night."

"I ask him why the time is right to show art in the Zone. “Some people do not want anything to pass” he says. “They see this place as too sad and tragic for any kind of event. Others want to change the alienation zone, to fill it with new meanings.”

"The key issue there will be the nations' trade tariffs dispute."

"Our convoy arrives at The Monument to Prometheus, a statue erected by the reactor. “Welcome to the exclusion zone. We have come here to change our history,”

"China said it remained hopeful of a deal and, after earlier indicating pessimism, Mr Trump said on Friday: "They want to and we'd like to. There are some good signs. We'll see what happens."

Mr Putin has also weighed in, with a thinly veiled attack on Mr Trump's America First policy. The Russian president condemned "dishonest competition" along with "vicious" sanctions and protectionist measures..."

"Grab your Geiger counter"


"Back-to-back earthquakes measuring 7.0 and 5.8 rocked buildings and shattered roads in Anchorage on Friday, sending people running into the streets and briefly triggering a warning to residents in Kodiak to flee to higher ground for fear of a tsunami.

The warning was lifted a short time later. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or serious injuries."


"His 120lb mastiff panicked and tried to run down the stairs, but the house was swaying so much that the dog was thrown off its feet and into a wall and tumbled down the stairs, Slaton said."

"That thing killed my grandmother,” she says. “And now it’s a disco…”


“It was anarchy,” he said. “There’s no pictures left on the walls, there’s no power, there’s no fish tank left. Everything that’s not tied down is broke.”





Captain Black's picture

A Full 'Shilling'










"Jellyfish have been around for at least 500 million years — they're older than dinosaurs and even trees.

Science writer Juli Berwald calls them "ghosts from the true garden of Eden".

"An intelligence of a sort has allowed them to make it through the millennia," she says.

And they're not going anywhere.

In fact, the brainless, spineless, eyeless, bloodless creatures are booming in numbers — and causing mayhem around the world..."



"Because we are terrestrial creatures we haven't really thought about the health of the oceans," she says.

"We've considered it as this place that is so big we can never really damage it that badly. The message from jellyfish is that we are.

"It's quite important that we start doing things more responsibly when it comes to the oceans."


I'll be Bach



Ah, so ... :-()

"Jellyfish might not be on your seafood top-ten list, but give this recipe a try and it may crawl (or float, rather) into your repertoire. There are only several edible species of jellyfish, and they're worth ever bit of trouble it takes to prepare them. Dressed with chili oil, soy sauce, Sichuan peppercorns, and garlic, these chewy little morsels take on a huge amount of flavor to compliment their texture."



Well, dats tomorrow sorted...

A Feast a Day :-))

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Citizen Smith

"Extinction Rebellion Scarborough, a group of climate activists, are launching action calling on the Borough Council to declare a climate emergency. 

We told you earlier this week that the authority’s two Green Party councillors, Cllr Mark Vesey and Cllr Dilys Cluer, will bring a motion at the full council meeting tomorrow (Monday 7th January) asking their fellow members to help the borough achieve carbon neutrality.

The group is calling on the public to sacrifice half an hour of their lunch break to join them on the steps of the Town Hall at 1.30pm, or email their councillors to urge them to back this motion.

A spokesperson for Extinction Rebellion Scarborough said:

“We, and the Greens, believe that human-caused climate change is a real and direct threat to the existence of life on earth and if current trends continue, we risk ‘runaway climate change’ – not in the distant future, but in our lifetimes.

This is not us being ‘alarmist’, and we are far from alone in sounding this warning. 

At the recent global climate summit, UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres said failure to take action to limit global warming was both ‘immoral and suicidal’.

Leading climate scientists believe we have  just 12 years left to dramatically change course or condemn the planet to a future of much more intense and frequent storms, heatwaves, floods, crop failures and species extinctions.

Such warnings should not paralyse us – but we cannot act alone. Therefore we call on all concerned citizens to demand our leaders take the necessary action and work with us, not against us.”





Captain Black's picture

The Wide Awake Club

"Astronomers are stumped over a star that appears to be older than the universe.

So how is that possible? That’s the question that an international conference in California attempted to answer.

But instead of solving the mystery, theorists are now questioning whether there is something wrong with the current scientific model of the universe — based on Einstein’s famous theories."

"Britain's train companies never wanted to leave Interrail," it said in a statement.

"We are pleased to be able to tell passengers that we have reached agreement and will be remaining part of both the Interrail and Eurail passes."

"We're going to turn the UK into a kind of supercharged magnet, drawing scientists like iron filings from around the world coming to help push forward projects like this in which we can not only take a scientific lead but a commercial lead as well," he said."



“In the meantime, theorists have been busy dreaming up new physics that might solve the problem,”