Dr. Dazz Coffee

Darryl is surely one of the coolest people I know. He’s so cool, he even has his own coffee brand. You can watch him talk about his latest coffee blend here. Unfortunately it’s based in Australia, so I probably won’t get to try any. What interests me about that video, though, is how Dazz opted to communicate: rather than use a communication aid, he has chosen to speak the words vocally and have Ferg (another excellent fellow) translate or convey them to the camera. It’s an unusual method, but it could perhaps be argued that the result is more personable or friendly than watching someone type into their communication aid.

HBD Luke

This evening I would just like to wish my brother Luke a very happy 35th birthday. It has now literally been years since we saw each other, apart from online, and these days personal contact seems more important than ever. I miss him, but I’m very proud of him: Luke’s updates to the family over Skype get more impressive every week! I hope he and Yan are having a great day. Computer permitting, I’ll speak to you soon bro.

Feeling Sorry for Tokyo

I know I’m a bit sad (ie uncool or geeky) to keep going on about the Olympic games, but I have to say, you have to feel sorry for the people of Tokyo. There they were, all geared up to play party host to the world, only to have it delayed for a year by a global pandemic, and even now it’s not absolutely certain whether the games will go ahead this year. As it stands, Tokyo citizens have been told they can watch and clap the torch relay, but not cheer for fear of spreading the virus. I can’t help thinking, can you imagine what things would have been like if the coronavirus bomb had dropped in 2012, and this had happened to London? I remember how geared up and excited the city – and country – were. We had been preparing for seven years; had the games been snatched away at the last moment, there would have been carnage. And on top of that, there’s the fact that the CEO of the Tokyo olympics is in hot water for sexist comments. What would have happened if Seb Coe had been so naughty? It kind of makes me relieved to think that the Olympics are now just a happy memory for us Londoners, but having hosted the games and the memories still being quite fresh, our hearts must go out to our Japanese friends.

Imac issues

My Imac has a problem: the screen has started to go blank, randomly at any second. It’s obviously getting old. Luckily my parents have helped me order a new one, but until that arrives and is properly set up, I’ll probably be stuck writing hurried little blog entries, hoping to get it published before the screen goes blank again. Bear with me – my normal half-assed political and social commentary will resume shortly.

The Adams Event

According to this rather fascinating Guardian article, a group of scientists now think that the flipping of the Earth’s magnetic poles about 42,000 years ago may have caused, among other things, the extinction of the Neanderthals. “The Earth’s magnetic field acts as a protective shield against damaging cosmic radiation, but when the poles switch, as has occurred many times in the past, the protective shield weakens dramatically and leaves the planet exposed to high energy particles. One temporary flip of the poles, known as the Laschamps excursion, happened 42,000 years ago and lasted for about 1,000 years.” The effects of this flip were quite severe, and the only way humans survived was to shelter in caves. Rather worrying, though, is the fact that they are due to flip again sometime soon – ie, in the next few hundred years – causing catastrophic damage to our electricity network. When I read that, my first thought was that that really would be all we need right now.

American oddness

Given that America is so full of Evangelical Christians, you might think that one of the worst Coronavirus death rates on earth, together with the worst snow storms for years would give at least some people pause for thought about the idea of an all-powerful, loving God. It strikes me as very odd how so many people can cling so fervently to an obvious delusion when faced with so much contrary evidence. Oh well, maybe all the intelligent Americans just work at NASA.

Touchdown For Perseverance

This is without doubt the picture of the day.

Jezero crater

I was watching the footage of the landing on Mars last night, and got very excited. To pull off such a complex landing is an awesome achievement, both for NASA and humanity itself. What is even more exciting, though, is the fact that last night was only the beginning: as incredible as the landing was, as the Beeb notes here, Perseverance has two years of research and exploration ahead of it. I can’t wait until the real data starts coming back.

Blogging about (not) blogging

I reckon blogging has driven me a teensy bit mad. Ever since I started keeping a weblog, it has been a personal rule to upload an entry at least every two days. I know how lazy I can be, so I told myself to make an effort to keep it up. An entry every couple of days seemed reasonably regular. The thing is, you may have noticed that I usually blog every day; this is because, whenever I skip a day, on the second day I get rather anxious at the thought of knowing I must do an entry, so to avoid that anxiety I blog every day. It’s kinda crazy: I know nothing bad will happen if I don’t keep my blog updated – nobody will take my blog away from me. Yet this has been the state of affairs for about eighteen years. I try my best to blog and get anxious if I don’t, resulting in entries about all sorts of random things – even about getting anxious about not blogging.