Statics & Statistics

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"Have you ever walked across the room to pet your dog, but got a shock instead? Perhaps you took your hat off on a dry winter’s day and had a “hair raising” experience!"

"In a year when mysterious monoliths literally appeared out of nowhere, you'd think the first real detection of alien life would be a stone's-throw away. Well, 2020 didn't bring any little green men, but it did bring astronomers closer to finding extraterrestrial life than ever before. From organic molecules turning up around the solar system to mysterious radio signals finally being traced back to their source, here are some of the biggest findings of the year about where aliens may be (and definitely aren't) hiding in the universe."


"Space exploration also offers its rhythmic certainties. Grand missions require long-term planning and set celestial schedules. Whatever unforeseeable events may happen down here, good or bad, we know that 2021 will offer some grand new adventures up there. Even if there are accidents or malfunctions, the coming year promises to be a banner one in our ongoing peek into the solar system. And no matter what we say or do or think, the cosmos will continue its steady dance, delivering eclipses and conjunctions and other visual delights to anyone willing and able to look up."

"Chances are, you will not personally be flying into space in the coming year. You probably won't be building a robotic probe to navigate beyond Earth (although I hope a few of you are involved in the process). But there are no limits on who can enjoy the beauty of the universe. All you need is a clear, dark sky and maybe a simple pair of boots"




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Alpha Spaghetti

"‘American space technology is tinfoil post-Bauhaus, Mies van der Rohe minimalist, with no room for an ounce of fat anywhere.’

One look at a sign reading ‘Do not enter rough area infested with poisonous snakes’ and James was back on the bus, making him realise he didn’t have the right stuff, where ‘the whole object is to deprive events of their excitement by reducing them to routine’.

‘One day the romance will come back… We just got used to the idea of people going up through the air and out of this world.’"

"Examples of reasonable excuses to leave the home: 

(a) obtain or provide— 

(i) food and medical supplies for those in the same household (including animals in the household) or for vulnerable persons, 

(ii) supplies for the essential upkeep, maintenance and functioning of the household, or the household of a vulnerable person, 

(b) work or provide voluntary or charitable services, where it is not possible for the person to do so from home, 

(c) access, provide or receive childcare, education or training, including a support service for parents or expectant parents, 

(d) lead an act of worship, 

(e) provide care or assistance to a vulnerable person, 

(f) visit a person detained in a prison, young offenders institution, remand centre, secure accommodation or other place of detention, 

(g) provide or receive emergency assistance, 

(h) provide or obtain medical assistance, including accessing any of the following— 

(i) audiology services, 

(ii) chiropody services, 

(iii) chiropractic services, 

(iv) dental services, 

(v) ophthalmic services, 

(vi) osteopathic services, 

(vii) services relating to mental health,

(viii) vaccination services, 

(i) accompany a person obtaining medical assistance, or visit a person receiving treatment in a hospital or who is residing in a hospice or care home, 

(j) avoid injury, illness or other risk of harm, or support someone who is doing so, 

(k) move home or undertake activities in connection with the maintenance, purchase, sale, letting, or rental of residential property that the person owns or is otherwise responsible for, 

(l) participate in or facilitate shared parenting arrangements, 

(m) fulfil a legal obligation or participate in legal proceedings where it is not possible for the person to do so from the place where the person is living, 

(n) vote, or register to vote, in an election (including to vote as proxy),

(o) donate blood, 

(p) access public services, including any of the following, where it is not possible for the person to do so from the place where the person is living— 

(i) social services, 4 

(ii) services provided by the Department for Work and Pensions,

(iii) services provided to victims (such as victims of crime), 

(iv) asylum and immigration services and interviews, 

(q) access services provided by voluntary or charitable services, including food banks,

(r) access waste disposal or recycling facilities, 

(s) obtain money from or deposit money with a business mentioned in paragraph 2(3)(j) or 

(k), where it is not possible for the person to do so from the place where the person is living, 

(t) undertake exercise or recreation— 

(i) outdoors, 

(ii) that starts and ends at the same place, which place must be— 

(aa) in the local government area in which that person lives, or 

(bb) within 5 miles of such local government area, and 

(iii) is either undertaken— 

(aa) alone, 

(bb) with members of that person’s household, 

(cc) in a gathering within [a specific legal] meaning  

(u) where the person is a professional sportsperson, or the coach of a professional sportsperson, coach, train or compete, 

(v) attend a solemnisation of a marriage or registration of a civil partnership, 

(w) attend a funeral or to travel for compassionate reasons which relate to the end of a person’s life, 

(x) feed or care for an animal, including obtaining veterinary services,

(y) where the person is a member of an extended household, visit a member of the household which forms the other part of the extended household in the place where that other member is living, and 

(z) facilitate the formation of an end of term household, where either or both of the student or the other household which will make up the end of term household live outwith the same area or, as the case may be, in a Level 4 area. "

"The murk surrounding Donald Trump’s likely whereabouts on his last day as president has thickened considerably with news that an official plane he has used in the past is due to fly to Scotland the day before Joe Biden’s inauguration."

"And since Mars is extremely far away, our email transmissions were delayed by 20 minutes each way to mimic the actual communication lag to be experienced by Martian explorers. It wasn’t your typical Hawaiian vacation."

"“Transitions, which all of us have experienced, are a crucial part of the successful transfer of power. They often occur at times of international uncertainty about US national security policy and posture,” the former defence secretaries wrote. “They can be a moment when the nation is vulnerable to actions by adversaries seeking to take advantage of the situation.”"

"“In my experience, there is no such thing as luck... Maybe that’s why they tend to shoot from the hip, which as we all know makes it notoriously hard to aim (even if it works for John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Indiana Jones and, well, Han Solo).”"

"The new legislation does not include an expiry date."

"Dodos actually still exist, but in real life they closely resemble pigeons. The story about them being extinct was made up to prevent panic... "

"There are actually only four known elements, "Earth", "Wind", "Fire" and "September". Nuclear power is actually the name given for when there is a higher density of fire in one place than normal."

Oh Dear ... ;-))




Captain Qahn's picture

Presidential Departure

"European Union nationals wishing to continue living in the UK must apply under the EU Settlement Scheme by June 30 rules requiring immigrants to meet a £25,400 salary threshold may pose issues for some sectors, although foreign graduates will be allowed to work after they study.

He said: "Despite the additional bureaucratic processes and visa fees, EU migration will continue for graduate professionals in areas like law, science and academia.

"The Government has committed to allowing the NHS to recruit the staff it needs – but has not done the same for social care."

"For the first part of the application process, you will need a compatible Android phone or IPhone 8.0 (or above) to scan your identity document yourself. The ‘ID Document Check’ app will be available for the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus following an upcoming iOS software update. This can be your own phone or tablet or someone else’s. In this case, you will not need to visit an office, you can complete the identity verification on your own phone from your home.",-0.47/8

"The spread of disinformation on social media is one part of that story, but so is the rise of alternative rightwing media outlets, the lack of investment in public media, the demise of local news outlets, and the replacement of shuttered local newspapers with hyper-partisan online outlets."

"Mainstream media outlets still follow a traditional top-down broadcast model: an authoritative source produces the news and sends it out to consumers. The rightwing media ecosystem, which developed through talk radio, on the other hand, operates as a network of media personalities interacting with each other, “a community telling stories to their own community"

"It’s crucial to understand that the way people process information is through entire narratives, not individual facts, Wardle said. Trying to combat disinformation through factchecking or debunking individual false claims just turns into an endless, fruitless game of “whack-a-mole”."

Ceremonial Chains ...



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The Thought Police

""Cancel culture" refers to the removal of support, including the boycott of someone, usually a celebrity or public figure, who has expressed an opinion that is perceived to be offensive.

Speaking about the issue, the star, who is also a free speech campaigner, told the publication it filled him "with fear about the future".

"The problem we have online is that an algorithm decides what we want to see, which ends up creating a simplistic, binary view of society," he said.

"It becomes a case of either you're with us or against us. And if you're against us, you deserve to be 'cancelled'.

"It's important that we're exposed to a wide spectrum of opinion, but what we have now is the digital equivalent of the medieval mob roaming the streets looking for someone to burn.

"So it is scary for anyone who's a victim of that mob and it fills me with fear about the future."

Atkinson's comments come after more than 150 writers and academics signed an open letter denouncing cancel culture last year."


Capt. 'Bob''s picture

The Wold Has Had Enuff

"It's just a safe space where they can relax and gather their thoughts a little bit."

"Hundreds of people took part or watched on as snowballs were thrown in Leeds's Hyde Park on Thursday afternoon."

How Wonderful.

"We're all a product of our upbringing and I was very fortunate with the parents I had, my great grandparents came to this country escaping tyranny."

I think I won the lottery in life to be British and if I can make a contribution, I couldn't be happier."

"The post-holder is officially appointed by the Queen on the recommendation of the government."

"Its "third country" status means home companies can no longer be involved in the way they once were."

"Putting aside the dubious morality of a rule that runs counter to the World Health Organization’s founding principle that “the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being”,...There’s nothing like a globally rampant infectious disease to highlight the fact that the health of “natives” cannot be separated from that of “aliens”."

"“This could be a disaster. Nothing seems more certain to break the public than giving hope before taking it away, and doing it repeatedly.”

He said the government “has adopted a strategy devoid of any commitment to liberty without any clarification about when our most basic freedoms will be restored and with no guarantee that they will never be taken away again”.

He added: “People are telling me they are losing faith in our Conservative party leadership because they are not standing up for our values as a party. If we continue forward with a strategy that hammers freedom, hammers the private sector, hammers small business owners and hammers the poor, inevitably the prime minister’s leadership will be on the table: we strongly do not want that after all we have been through as a country.”"


“The attitude of the council does not compute, it just does not make sense,”



"this page was last edited on 4 December 2020, at 14:32 (UTC)."

Hmmm ...

A Rubber Button

"The leaders of most of the world's biggest economies will get a brief taste of the English seaside this June as they gather for the G7 summit.

Cornwall's Carbis Bay, known for its sandy beach and clear waters, will be the venue for discussions on debt, climate change and post-Covid recovery.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson called it the "perfect location for such a crucial summit".

"Two-hundred years ago Cornwall's tin and copper mines were at the heart of the UK's industrial revolution and this summer Cornwall will again be the nucleus of great global change and advancement," the prime minister said.""

Hmmm ...

"Visit Cornwall chief executive Malcolm Bell said the summit would "not only showcase the beauty of Cornwall but give us the opportunity to communicate our heritage, culture and the connections"."

an “active practitioner of yoga”?

"... an Arizona man who wore horns, animal skin and face paint while carrying a spear and entering the Senate chamber, said Trump should do the “honourable thing and pardon those of his peaceful followers who accepted the president’s invitation”."


"Most homes will have access to kitchen facilities and store cupboard ingredients so a baked potato with some cheese on would make a nutritious lunch."

"The National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth will host international media...

The government said it would announce more of its plans "in due course"...

The G7 meeting comes five months ahead of UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow in November."



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Citizens Smith

"We’ve already seen how keen people are to travel as soon as they’re released from lockdown captivity. I think it is likely Yorkshire will see a tourism boom. The question is: do we want one?"

"...and encourage visitors back to cities."


"Oh sure, you know how lucky you are, if you have a warm and comfortable place to live when so many don’t. But a person could live in a full-on palace and still, at this point in a generation-defining global pandemic, think, “If I have to spend one more day looking at this cornicing and those enormous wall sconces, I will genuinely hurl myself off the balcony.” So allow me to share the greatest tip of all time for making your home more fun: get some wallpaper."

Trading Places.

Back to the Pantheon... ;-)

A Precautionary Measure

"Work to restore Scarborough's South Cliff Gardens could get underway in a matter of weeks after the Borough council appointed a contractor to carry out the works.

£7m will be spent bringing the 200 year old gardens back to their former glory."

"The 200-year-old gardens include 14 timber and concrete shelters, believed to be the largest number of historic shelters in any public garden in the country and feature 19th Century Egyptian gates, Italian steps designed by Joseph Paxton, iconic Italian gardens, Holbeck Clock Tower, the world’s first beach chalets, rose garden and the much-loved Clock Café.

As part of the project a boarded up tunnel built in 1874 beneath the railway tracks of the cliff lift will be reopened to the public.

The tunnel was used to join the gardens so people could pass beneath the cliff lift before structural issues saw its enforced closure.

The project will also restore the historic infrastructure of the gardens, improve habitat management and provide new facilities that will complement the gardens’ historic setting and encourage greater community use. Heritage features will be restored, a new and innovative play area will be built and original heritage horticultural displays installed."


“After almost three weeks underground I am coming up. This means there will be more food for the others so they can resist for longer”

"To the casual eye, the robot looks exactly the same as the Curiosity rover that Nasa put down in Gale Crater in 2012. But "under the bonnet", the new vehicle is quite different, with an enhanced suite of instruments that will enable it to address a new set of scientific questions."

“I have to force officials and ministers to the table, to watch them sit through a presentation, maybe ask a question, and then vacantly walk away.”"


Keep Busy.

A Perched Phenomenon

"Temperatures in Earth's core, which starts at 2,890km (1,800 miles) below the surface, can reach 5,400°C, about the same temperature as the surface of the Sun. This heat moves upward over time and molten rock known as magma creeps toward the surface, carrying enormous heat.

Geothermal energy companies drill wells and as hot water rises through the well, the heat is extracted and used to make electricity or to heat homes nearby.

Many researchers have long been excited about geothermal's potential to bring about a greener heating system. It is not a new market - Italy's Prince Piero Ginori Conti tested the first geothermal power generator in 1904...."

""I've never seen anything like this in my life. It was completely bizarre," he said.

"When I saw it I though to myself, what on earth is that?," he added.  Steve said that the animal was "far too large," to be a dog, and said that it didn't have similar movements to any animals that he has seen around the area before.

"It looked to be absolutely huge, it is just unexplainable. It looked to be really muscular," Steve added

He explained how it ran through the fields, changing directions multiple times, before chasing after a hare and running into the distance.

Steve said he wondered whether it was a "big cat," that had escaped. He said: "I know some people keep exotic pets, so maybe one of them has got out.""


"It must be really warm in Space, 'cos there's no clouds to block out the Sun "


"So, if they were to jump on the Moon they would just fall off and land on the Earth."


Hmmm ...

It's been a busy week ;-0

"Some parts of space are hot! Gas between stars, as well as the solar wind, both seem to be what we call "empty space," yet they can be more than a thousand degrees, even millions of degrees.

However, there's also what’s known as the cosmic background temperature, which is minus 455 degrees Fahrenheit. So what would a thermometer in space reveal? Somewhere between those extremes — depending on whether it's in the sun or the shade.

Here's what’s going on: Most of the gas in space is too thin to warm anything up. Essentially, there are not enough gas particles to "bump" into and transfer heat to an object. So if you were in space, but shielded from the sun, you would radiate away nearly all your heat pretty quickly and cool to the cosmic background temperature. Step (or float) into the sun, and you’d be warmed. Either way you'd need lots of protection!"

"One quarter of the gravity at 6371 kilometres above the surface, which is far higher than people are ever likely to go without acquiring a stable orbit. The International Space Station is at altitude of just over 400 kilometres. The Karman Line at 100 kilometres is the official definition."


"“What you don’t see is satellites dipping down to 70 and coming back out,” he says. “There is a fairly sharp boundary, a decently sharp boundary, between how low the perigee can be and where you just won’t make it back out again.”"

“That’s democracy”

"A large meteor blazed across UK skies on Sunday night, delighting those lucky enough to spot it.

The meteor was spotted shortly before 10pm and was visible for around seven seconds."

“Cave spiders are not for everybody. But you know, I don’t think they’re particularly interested in people."


Captain Qahn's picture

Every Cloud

"Scarborough Borough Council had applied for £25 million for each of Scarborough and Whitby from the Towns Fund but instead the two towns will share a pot of £37.3 million.

Scarborough is to get £20.2 million and Whitby £17.1 million.

The Towns Fund was promoted as a way to invest into places across the country that are in danger of being “left behind” economically.

Scarborough Council leader, Cllr Steve Siddons said he was “delighted” at the success of the bids."

"“It’s quite difficult to get a pitch to play this way given the modern technology available to us groundsmen these days, so we thought the best way to bring back the good old days was to plant some potatoes across the entire pitch."

"In Scarborough these included:

  • £6 million for a 16km Local Cycling And Walking Infrastructure Plan that would connect the town centre to Scarborough’s colleges and the Cinder Track.
  • £5m for Scarborough Harbour regeneration
  • £1.8m for interactive wildlife sculptures and hides.
  • £1.4m to create a “FabLab+” in the town centre.
  • £7m to overhaul the “gateway to Scarborough” from the train station with a new “public realm” and commercial properties.

In Whitby, projects previously announced included:

  • £10m to build and set up the Whitby Maritime Academy.
  • £2.6m for carbon neutral “self-build” homes for local residents.
  • £3m to expand Pannett Art Gallery and Whitby Museum.
  • £1m to improve the Grade II listed Town Hall and Market Square
  • £750,000 to create a “Whitby Innovation Hub”.
  • £2.3m to pedestrianise Whitby Swing Bridge.

Cllr Siddons said the council may look to see if funding could be secured from elsewhere for some of the projects if the cost could not be covered from the Towns Fund award"

Never, Mind.

"From the ancient Egyptians pioneering smelling good (a heady mix of fat and perfume plonked on your head, so that it would gradually melt throughout the day and make you smell all lovely and fragrant), to Coco Chanel turning fashion for women on its head, this show brings you the Horrible History of looking good. Featuring some of fashion's greatest innovations, pioneers, and victims, we look at how the way people have dressed has had an impact on their lives. We visit ancient Rome, where wearing a cumbersome five-metre toga was the law and elsewhere, while in 'Viking Eye for the Saxon Guy' some marauding Vikings take time out of their busy pillaging schedule to give Dave the smelly Saxon some tips on looking good, and smelling a little bit better. We visit Henry VIII, who is having online beef with the Holy Roman Emperor over (literally) dressing to kill, as they argue over who's the best armour maker. Other royals featured include Elizabeth I (who is busy making her courtiers look exactly like her), and King Louis XV who, along with some of his courtiers, has dressed as a hedge for a fancy dress party, so that he can hide from his wife. Also, the Macaronis discover that their outrageous stylings aren't fashionable any more, the Victorians advise us on how to properly dress for mourning, and we look at some of the least practical shoes ever."

"Sales of plywood for boarding up shop windows are understood to have risen more than fivefold since the news broke, and the police have been advised to keep a safe distance."

Sleep Tight.


'the Shared Rural Network'

"I wouldn't consider an upgrade any more than I would get rid of a dependable friend because they aren't wearing the latest fashions."

"The investment BT has made in rural areas to date means we already have the infrastructure in place needed to extend our 4G coverage footprint further, minimising the number of new sites we need to build."

Captain Black's picture

Garden Variety

""It was an amazing day and Prince Philip and her Royal Highness the Queen, they met certain dignitaries and I was waiting for them with my wife on the decking where they were going to sit to see a show that was being put on by Tony Peers.""

Birds of a feather...

"I was unable to distinguish between a lockdown effect and garden-variety adolescence. I spend my days on elaborate theories. Why do they find me so annoying? Is it just months of my being so excessively proximal, and how do I reverse it? Should I get myself a shed? Why do they hate mornings so much? Is it because 2020 spat them out of the coursing river of life, and, if so, how do you get them to leap back in? Or, wait, is it because teenagers all find their parents annoying, and all hate mornings?...


Captain Black's picture

'Eco Anxiety'

"Riders on The Big One at Blackpool Pleasure Beach, which is more than 200ft tall, were forced to climb down from the ride after it broke down near the top on Sunday afternoon.

Staff from the Pleasure Beach had to scale the ride before guiding riders to safety, reports Lancashire Live.

Nobody is believed to have been injured.

The £12m ride opened in 1994, when it was the tallest and steepest ride in the world. At a whopping 213ft tall it remains the UK's highest ride."


I don't like heights.

Another Day another Dollar...

Wuthering or Otherwise.

Not that I'm complaining..

"This is your second time clinching this award. Care to share how you have been able to develop a winning streak mindset?
When excellence becomes a lifestyle, success is guaranteed. Our focus has not been on winning competitions but being part of the solution to the global issues, and making an effort to make our world a sustainable place."

Failure is not an Option.

"So many expect everything on a plate. Please Mr prime minister can you give all young people £500k for free so they can buy a nice home as its not fair they have to get a job and work for it...."

The value of nothing ...

The Green List

"The Dragon cargo capsule – also brand new – is delivering the first of three sets of high-tech solar panels designed to bolster the space station’s aging power grid.

Astronauts will conduct two spacewalks later this month to help install the two roll-out panels alongside solar wings that have been in continuous operation for 20 years."

"Professor Dave Tappin, of the British Geological Survey, commented: "The research highlights the importance of applying new scientific techniques to older-studied events, thereby improving our knowledge of their impact.""

"“We just don’t know the potential for that to be a vaccine-defeating mutation, and we don’t want to take the risk as we come up to 21 June and the review of the fourth stage of the unlock,” Shapps said in a TV interview."


"The Common Travel Area (CTA) is a long-standing arrangement between the UK, the Crown Dependencies (Bailiwick of Jersey, Bailiwick of Guernsey and the Isle of Man) and Ireland that pre-dates both British and Irish membership of the EU and is not dependent on it.

Under the CTA, British and Irish citizens can move freely and reside in either jurisdiction and enjoy associated rights and privileges, including the right to work, study and vote in certain elections, as well as to access social welfare benefits and health services."

""Though there is no similar threat from Norway today, the UK could still be at risk from flooding events from potential volcanic eruptions around the world, such as those predicted in the Canary Islands.""

Somin to do with 1922, Amsterdam and the Good Friday Agreement.


The Out Laws of Physics

"“Why is a delay even on the cards when businesses and people‘s mental health are far more at risk?

“I stand with Andrew Lloyd Webber and I am tempted to open at full capacity providing my venue agree.”"

"Even the nearest, Proxima Centauri, is 25tn miles from Earth. Our fastest rockets would take 75,000 years to reach it. Neither humans nor Klingons are built to withstand such trips."

Captain Qahn's picture

Geo Sparks

“There are many important geological sites in this area, including the chalk areas, Filey Brigg, Speeton, Flamborough and Spurn, while Holderness is the only area left of Doggerland – an area that existed at the end of the ice age."


A Phreatomagmatic Plume