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JamesF

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JamesF last won the day on May 25

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About JamesF

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    Wiveliscombe-ish, Somerset

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  1. Typical! Now the cloud is starting to break up! James
  2. Totally solid cloud here at the moment, but the BBC News headline gave me a laugh: ‘Ring of fire’ to sweep across the Earth. Then going on to explain that it was an annular eclipse, but that very few people would be able to see it in full unless they live in the Arctic. James
  3. The weather forecast makes it look like something of a washout here, unfortunately -- solid cloud from now until showers start at around 1pm. Hopefully others around the UK will do better. James
  4. I don't think this is an unreasonable view, though their work is hard to compare given the time between them and how much has changed. I'm not into the whole "lingering stare into the distance" thing with Brian Cox for which he is often criticised (amongst other things), but actually that sort of stuff is about how programmes are presented these days -- they're entertainment as much as informing and educating and that's what the producers feel is what (some) people want. If you talk about the passion for the science and the desire to communicate it then yes, I think they stand shoulder to sh
  5. Which reminds me... I must design a polar scope cover for my EQ3-2. James
  6. I agree it's a pretty arbitrary distinction to make, but for me it does feel as though there's some sort of qualitative difference between being on an aircraft and on the ISS where the astronauts can't just stick it down at the nearest airport if something goes wrong, for example. If you like, I kind of feel that on an aircraft you're just "temporarily not here", whereas on the ISS you're "somewhere else". James
  7. Absolutely agree. It's a fascinating book, but seems to me to give an honest feel for what the whole "Moon landing project" was like for the crews of the Gemini and Apollo missions. I had to buy my copy second-hand as it seems to be out of print now. James
  8. The bit about being able to navigate to the Moon and come back reminded me of a quote from Michael Collins's "Carrying the Fire" where he talks about the accuracy required to get home. I think he calls it the "window of survival" or something like that. He claims it's the same as being able to split a hair by throwing a razor blade at it from twenty-two feet, if I recall correctly. James
  9. Just watching it now. I love the quote that at no time in the last twenty years has every single living human actually been on Earth. James
  10. The unintended consequence being that lots of trees get cut down as soon as they reach 18" in diameter? James
  11. There's a term for this: "security theatre". Street lights are perhaps a good example. As are many of the measures taken at airports after 9/11. They're designed to make it look like something is being done and to make people feel more secure without necessarily achieving anything real. Personally I'd prefer to see the money used to address the root causes of people feeling insecure rather than treating the apparent symptoms which may well just move the problem elsewhere. James
  12. Given the UKs apparently changing weather patterns where we can have very long periods of rain making the ground soft as well as storms with quite high winds, even during what might historically have been more settled periods when trees are in leaf, I'm surprised that more people aren't getting a little anxious about large trees growing close to houses. Particularly, perhaps, large trees in one person's garden growing within falling distance of someone else's house. James
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