Statics & Statistics

Captain Qahn's picture

"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"




Captain Qahn's picture

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 ...



Captain Qahn's picture

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."



Captain Qahn's picture

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.

“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."


'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."