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Mark H
"ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft has climbed to a new orbit following its daring aerobraking experiment, and will now resume observations of this fascinating planet for at least a few more months. The orbit-raising followed a month of aerobraking that saw the spacecraft surf in and out of the atmosphere at altitudes typically between 131 km and 135 km for a couple of minutes on each of its closest approaches to the planet. Before, normal operations involved an elliptical orbit every 24 hours that took Venus Express from 66 000 km over the south pole down to around 250 km at the north pole, just above the top of the atmosphere. But, after eight years and with propellant running low, the Venus Express team began a daring aerobraking campaign, dipping the craft progressively lower into the atmosphere on its closest approaches." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"This orbit will slowly decay again under gravity, but with only a few kilograms of fuel at most now remaining further altitude-raising manoeuvres may not be possible. If no further corrections are made, Venus Express will probably reenter the atmosphere again in December, but this time for good, ending the mission.In the meantime, having survived not only the aerobraking experiment but... more... - Mark H
t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
my favorite British-isms from this weekend:
"naff" is another way to say "rubbish" that originally meant someone is Not Available For Fucking, but now just means anything lame. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
"knickers" is only used for women's underwear (which disappointed me, honestly, bc I love the word). men's underwear are "undercrackers." - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
"rude boy" is a term some are dubious of and others embrace. vaguely meaning a working class tough guy type I think. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
"hunters" are a kind of wellington boot worn by snobs. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
"undercrackers", eh? i'm sad it's not "undernadgers". - Big Joe Silence
Undercrackers aren't exclusively for males but they are predominantly so. - Mark H
"fairy liquid" is dishwashing detergent based on a brand name. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
they really do call cigarettes "fags". and they really do say "punt a fag" to bum a cigarette. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
they don't really say "saucy" that much. (also a disappointment) - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Never heard the term "punt a fag" used before; bumming a fag, yes. - Mark H
they felt "pulled pork" was a terrible thing to call food, as it seemed a vulgar phrase. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Mark, maybe it wasn't "punt." It was another p word though that caught me off guard and became yet another conversation about lexicon. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Could it have been pinch a fag? That would be a fairly common thing to say over here. - Mark H
ah... yeah, maybe. there was a lot of beer involved, you see. I'm trying to document from shoddy memory. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
overall I adored the melodic effect of ending statements in a question so that conversations have a kind of upbeat tempo regardless of the topic. that was infectious. I'm probably still doing it. "I couldn't rightly help myself could I?" "Lovely morning isn't it?" "They've done a smashing job haven't they?" - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
oh, and saying "spectacles" instead of glasses. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
and "petrol". looking for a "petrol station to grab some fags" in Burlington was a fun errand. needless to say I did all of the direction asking on that one. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
and "dodgy". I was so pleased to learn dodgy is a real expression. I love that word. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
and "trainers" instead of sneakers. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
O hai! Was wondering how you got on ;-) - Marina's Godmother :-)
the naff etymology is likely... naff ;) - Pete : Team Marina
I'm still laughing at your discovery of fairy liquid... For hands that do dishes can feel as soft as your face.... - Marina's Godmother :-)
T-ra, I've heard something similar, like "pont a fag" before. - LB: Water Witch from Android
Helen, we watched an insane film at the house night before last that mentioned it a lot. Can't remember the whole title... "Mr Jolly something something Next Door" I think? - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Ken Morley
Day 11 - Strained and transferred to carboys
I'll top them up once the water I'm boiling cools. #plumwineproject - Ken Morley
I've learned something new tonight: carboy, which I'd never heard of, is another word for demijohn. - Mark H
I also learned something new.: "The word carboy is from the Persian qarābah (قرابه), from Arabic qarrāba, 'big jug'." :) - Ken Morley
t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
American-isms the Brits loved from the weekend:
"THAT TAMARA IS FOIN!" - MoTO: Team Marina
"y'all" and "ain't" were big hits and made funnier by them having such difficulty pronouncing them. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
what? we say ain't all the time. - Pete : Team Marina
"mutherfuckin cocksucker" was funny for some reason, though that doesn't strike me as particularly American. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
B: that one didn't come up. Pete: really? - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
our gallon is smaller and so are our pints. so the joke was that was surprising because isn't everything supposed to be bigger in America? - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
biscuits and gravy was a novelty. their "biscuit" is a scone I think, so what we call a biscuit was a treat at brunch. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
not sure if "koozie" was really an unfamiliar word to them or if they were just teasing me for bringing one. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
something being "shitty" was funny bc of the way I said it I think, like "shiddy" without enunciating the t's at all. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Tamara: yes, though where I come from it sounds like 'ent' or 'int' - Pete : Team Marina
That's because you don't pronounce things properly up nor... er, in the midlands... Pete. - Mark H
They're from Oxford mostly and still live in that area. - t-ra supports #LOLSpidra
Hehe. The Black Country equivalent of ;ain't; is 'bay' as in 'I bay doin' that' - Pete : Team Marina
Mark H
A Map Of The U.S., If There Had Never Been A Mexican-American War -
A Map Of The U.S., If There Had Never Been A Mexican-American War
"Clay lost to Polk by only 30,000 votes, which suggests that there was limited support for annexation (in fact it was primarily rooted in the south). Yet President Tyler interpreted Polk's victory as a mandate for expansion, which prompted him to push through annexation as one of his final acts, with help from expansionists in Congress. If Clay had won the election, Tyler would not have annexed Texas, and the United States would not have entered into war with Mexico – at least not in 1845. Had Clay won, we might assume that the nation would have avoided annexation, and by extension war with Mexico." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Texas may have become part of the US even without the Mexican-American war. - John (bird whisperer)
Mark H
Are there two stranger Tweeters than Richard Dawkins and Gerry Adams? -
Are there two stranger Tweeters than Richard Dawkins and Gerry Adams?
"Back in the 1980s, Richard Dawkins was a respected Oxford University Professor, and one of the world’s leading voices on evolutionary biology. After crafting several brilliant tomes that explained the origins of life to lay people, he became well known in the wider world too. The Selfish Gene, The Extended Phenotype and The Blind Watchmaker transformed the public’s understanding of science and taught them a lot in the process. Dawkins was on his way to being a national treasure, in the same way that David Attenborough is today." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"Meanwhile, over in Northern Ireland Gerry Adams was a hugely divisive and infamous figure. In 1983 he became the President of Sinn Fein, and a thorn in the British government’s side. He was also alleged to have had links to the IRA, and has even been alleged to have been involved in one of the group’s murders. In short, he was viewed by the British establishment as one of the most... more... - Mark H
"Almost every day, there’s a new Dawkins-related furore, where he has said something controversial and the masses of Twitter have reacted. Today, for example, he has been offering his opinions on rape." - Mark H
"So what about Gerry Adams? Surely such a renowned firebrand would be taking to Twitter with all sorts of inflammatory rhetoric? It turns out he really likes rubber ducks." - Mark H
Mark H
Scarfolk Council: 1970s "Inspirational posters" -
Scarfolk Council: 1970s "Inspirational posters"
Scarfolk Council: 1970s "Inspirational posters"
Scarfolk Council: 1970s "Inspirational posters"
"In 1970s comic books and newspapers one could usually find advertisements offering posters, iron-on transfers, sew-on patches and T-shirts arranged by theme or subject matter: movie and TV stars, cartoon characters, pop stars, infant felons, etc. Inspirational or motivational posters were also very popular, particularly among people who had few thoughts of their own and believed that pithy phrases containing as few syllables as possible furnished them with something akin to a personality." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"Scarfolk Council monitored the content of all posters to ensure that only quotes with moral integrity found their way onto the walls of citizens. To this end, the council turned to the tried-and-tested morality of spiritual and religious texts such as the Bible. " - Mark H
BBC News - The most important battle you've probably never heard of -
BBC News - The most important battle you've probably never heard of
BBC News - The most important battle you've probably never heard of
"Exactly 800 years ago on Sunday, in a field next to what is now the airport of Lille, a battle was fought which determined the history of England." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Today few people in the UK have heard of Bouvines. It has none of the ring of an Agincourt or a Crecy. Probably that is because England lost it. But the battle of 27 July, 1214, was just as significant as England's later victories over the French. Maybe more so." - Maitani
Bouvines and Muret- two 'obscure' battles with huge impace. Imperial loss at Bouvines as crucial as English; northern French victory at Muret also key in shaping France and thus Europe - Pete : Team Marina
It's right. I had never heard of it. But it sounds like it's one of those rare times when a defeat was probably the best outcome. - Mark H
I dunno. John being defeated was probably good, but the French winning- not so much ;) - Pete : Team Marina
Hah, weren't Maldon and Hastings also defeats? - Victor Ganata
Maldon led to an EPIC poem though ;) - Pete : Team Marina
Hasting to the Norman Yoke and thus, by winding roads, Lord of the Rings ;) - Pete : Team Marina
Mark H
Conflict continues in Gaza | Photos | The Big Picture | -
Conflict continues in Gaza | Photos | The Big Picture |
Show all
"The conflict in the Mideast has intensified in the last month with turbulent fighting in Gaza strip. Over 800 Palestinians have been killed and over 5,000 injured, according to Palestinan health officials. World leaders have been working on a truce between Hamas and Israel to end the bloodshed." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Ken Morley
The yeast is bubbling away nicely! #plumwineproject
I added sultana raisins to help with the body and also some strong tea to increase the tannins. I hope I didn't overdo it. - Ken Morley
If I end up with crappy wine, I figure I can always turn it into brandy. In fact part of me is hoping it fails, because I'd really like to build one of these :) - Ken Morley
Some friends have said they're having an open house over Christmas this year but that everyone's got to bring something homemade. This is partly because they've bought a cider press and want to make some. We've just started some strawberry wine to take around. It's the first time we've done this in maybe five years and we've decided to play around with the sugars, mixing dark and light muscovado with some golden sugar. We think it should be approaching a sweet sherry by Christmas. - Mark H
I can see how a hobbyist can really get into wine making, as there seems to be an infinite number of parameters you can adjust to produce the perfect vintage. :) But the feedback loop can be a little on the long side. Most of my plum wine sources are recommending 6 months - 2 years before consuming! I may need to sample sooner. :) - Ken Morley
In the past we've always used the "can you see your hand through the other side of the demijohn?" method to tell when the wine was done. But because we're impatient it's not been unheard of for us to have a "glass of cloudy" every now and then too. - Mark H
That's a good method! I've put on enough for 50 bottles, so if I end up sampling frequently I should still have a few left to age for a year or two. :) - Ken Morley
Michael W. May
I got Brutus - Which Shakespeare Character Are You? via @quizsocial um... no.
I got Brutus - Which Shakespeare Character Are You? via @quizsocial um... no.
I got Brutus, as well! - Jenny H. from Android
Cleopatra ------> - vicster: full-bodied
Viola. I approve. - Lnorigb
I, too, am Viola. - Katy S
I also got Brutus. - John (bird whisperer)
Iago: "From Othello. You are a plotter and a schemer, and work hard to achieve what you think is rightfully yours. But you must always try not to let your jealousy get the best of you." - Mark H
"You got: Bottom - From A Midsummer Night's Dream. Life is difficult. Sometimes yours seems like one hard knock after another. However, people fall in love with your self-deprecating humor and your enthusiasm for getting things right. You move in and out of different social circles easily because class and status mean very little to you." - Me
I got Guard #3. :/ - Stephen Mack from iPhone
Lady Macbeth. I know why. - m9m, Crone of FriendFeed
"Ariel, From The Tempest. You're a powerful soul who tends to give your power over to others. You love to help and you often feel indebted to those who are kind to you. Like Ariel, you are playful, friendly, and fiercely loyal. When you can shake off the feelings of guilt, you are a joyful, free spirit." - chaz2b
Iago. All I know is that he's a complete dick in The Serpent of Venice. - Eivind from Android
Iago. - bentley
Bottom. Yep. - Vampire Hunter DYSP from Android
Hamlet:From Hamlet. Is anyone on your side? It's hard to tell. People lie. People cheat. People look out for themselves. Everyone tells you what you should do so it is often difficult to make your own decisions. Follow your inner voice despite all the noise. It will not lead you astray. - LB: Water Witch
Viola, no terrible surprise :) - Jennifer Dittrich
I got Juliet - Elena
I got Bottom. :) - Lisa L. Seifert from iPhone
Mark H
Spaceflight Now | Antares Launch Report | Cygnus completes rendezvous with space station -
Spaceflight Now | Antares Launch Report | Cygnus completes rendezvous with space station
Spaceflight Now | Antares Launch Report | Cygnus completes rendezvous with space station
Show all
"Completing a three-day journey from Earth, an Orbital Sciences Corp. Cygnus spacecraft reached the International Space Station this week, resupplying the outpost with critical provisions, experiments and other needed cargo. The 16.8-foot-long, 10-foot diameter Cygnus supply ship was grappled by the space station's robotic arm at 1036 GMT (6:36 a.m. EDT) Wednesday at the end of a laser-guided final approach from underneath the 450-ton research complex. It delivered more than 3,000 pounds of cargo to the space station." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Mark H
Funky Science Textbook Illustrations From The 1970s | Flashbak -
Funky Science Textbook Illustrations From The 1970s | Flashbak
Funky Science Textbook Illustrations From The 1970s | Flashbak
Funky Science Textbook Illustrations From The 1970s | Flashbak
"HAVE a look at a 1977 grade school science textbook. Each page features distinctly seventies children in distinctly seventies environments. A beautiful thing to behold. Today’s textbook illustrations are much more professional, polished and detailed than they used to be. Many of you may remember that most 70s textbooks were low on informative illustrations and graphics, but chock full of pictures featuring a melting pot of children doing God-knows-what. Today’s science schoolbooks are brimming with amazing pictures and lush illustrations; whereas, my old science book had pictures of kids blowing bubbles or watering plants." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Mark H
▶ The official full length TV launch trailer - Doctor Who Series 8 2014 - BBC One - YouTube -
Just shown during half time on the BBC. - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Mark H
"A girl's quest into the depths of Tinder dating. The good, the bad, the pictures of men holding fish." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Zulema ❧ spicy cocoa tart
His Flickr stream is well worth viewing. - Mark H
Wow, attention for detail and creativity! - Mistaken Identity
Joe "The Anvil" Pierce
best fantasy novels: GO
Always a bit rough, but some of my favorites: Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell, Neverwhere, The Hobbit, The Mirror of Her Dreams/A Man Rides Through, the Wizard of Oz series (the original books,) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Game of Thrones, the Lord of the Rings series, Stardust, The Green Rider. I'm sure I'm leaving out a bunch. - Jennifer Dittrich
Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. Nothing even comes close. - Akiva
The Chronicles of Morgaine by C.J. Cherryh. - Mark H
Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun. Nothing even comes close, MARK. ¬_¬ - Akiva and indicate ratings of 4.13 and 4.06 respectively. I put it to you AKIVA that these values are very close. - Mark H
You're both disqualified, since Joe called for novels, which I take to mean standalone novels. In which case it's Little, Big by John Crowley. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
Nir Ben Yona
LOL -- North Korea media ‘tells country that its team has reached World Cup final’ #WorldCup
Wow. - Stephen Mack from iPhone
No they didn't. The Metro story is based on a fake video. A friend of mine monitors North Korean broadcasts for the BBC and has already called them out on this. He says that they're showing the World Cup on North Korean TV so the people there are well aware that their team isn't in it. - Mark H
Why the UK has the worst wall plugs on Earth : TreeHugger -
Why the UK has the worst wall plugs on Earth : TreeHugger
Glad to see the comments there explaining all the many, many things wrong with that article. - Mark H
Bunlar çok güvenli. - ParaBellum from Android
Mark H
My wife has been waiting to hear whether there's budget to turn her year's secondment into a permanent position - wanted by her current manager and, of course, us - as otherwise she'll need to start job hunting near the year's end as her old job which she would otherwise go back to has switched to a shift pattern and neither she nor I want her to...
Meanwhile, my wife was working with another woman in her office who recently took a couple of weeks holiday. Prior to the holiday she was supposed to give my wife some instructions on running certain elements of her job for cover but because this woman was taken ill for a fortnight before the holiday this didn't happen. Nevertheless, my wife battled on, made a few mistakes, but generally worked things out and picked up the slack and other workers from other departments who have to liaise with where my wife now works have remarked that things by-and-large are probably working more smoothly now and departmental cooperation has improved. - Mark H
This woman was supposed to return to work from her holiday yesterday but didn't show up and didn't call in. Today they discovered her dead in her home. - Mark H
I feel a little bit guilty that after the initial "damn!" reaction my next thought was "well, that should hopefully free up that budget." I'm a bad person. - Mark H
Mark H
"The Art & words of Robert Steven Connett, established on the internet 12/12/1994" - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Mark H
21 flyers show how sex sold 1970s arcade game -
21 flyers show how sex sold 1970s arcade game
21 flyers show how sex sold 1970s arcade game
21 flyers show how sex sold 1970s arcade game
"In the 1970s arcade games were super. Most kids knew a friend of a friend who owned an actual stand-up video game in a big metal box. Others (let’s call them spoilt cousin Danny) had Intellivision. Others had an Atari, the most fabulous of all the home gaming machines. Children wanted one. But which one would mum and dad buy. Which one would your big brother crave? The game makers knew: the one that would get your laid. Sex, it seems, can sell anything." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Mark H
It looks like the Daily Mail may have been trying to set up a group to stir up dissent. Why report the news when you can create it? - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Ooops. Any comments from the newspapers implied? - Eivind
Not that I've seen. Probably, though, and probably containing swear words. - Mark H
I guess that's three things you can really count on: death, taxes, and the perfidy of the Daily Mail. - Jennifer Dittrich
Mark H
Sen. Brandon Smith has important things to say about climate change, Mars -
"Brandon Smith: 'As you (Energy & Environment Cabinet official) sit there in your chair with your data, we sit up here in ours with our data and our constituents and stuff behind us. I don’t want to get into the debate about climate change, but I will simply point out that I think in academia we all agree that the temperature on Mars is exactly as it is here. Nobody will dispute that. Yet there are no coal mines on Mars. There are no factories on Mars that I’m aware of.'" - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"First of all, I did not make up that quote, it’s quite real. Secondly, while the average temperature on Earth is roughly 58 degrees Fahrenheit, the average temperature on Mars is approximately -80 degrees Fahrenheit. In Sen. Smith’s defense, he’s only off by about 138 degrees or so, which happens sometimes." - Mark H
Wicked Bat Catcher
"Amex is the only credit card we accept". No problem, I will do business elsewhere.
I'm sure that was said sometime in 1995? - Uli
As a joke? - Eivind
American friend came over a few years back and wanted to see some local sights but insisted on paying. We grudgingly agreed. First place we get to he pulls out his American Express, girl at the counter looks at it, frowns, shakes her head. She'd clearly never seen one before. So he pulled out a Visa card only to be told they only accept Chip and PIN versions. The look on his face was fantastic. We got to treat him instead so that worked out okay. - Mark H
No, this is a company I want to by current transducers from last night. I wanted to expedite the order (worth a few $k) until I read with their contact info that they don't accept anything else but American Express. I found another company (in Canada, so no border delays!) so I'll call them this morning. - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
For the longest time we had a Tim Hortons in a nearby town where they only accepted cash or debit cards. - Wicked Bat Catcher from iPhone
Mark H
Citroën Karin 1980 concept car -
Citroën Karin 1980 concept car
Citroën Karin 1980 concept car
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"My brother Sander and I both share a love for concept cars. Earlier this week he showed me this amazing 1980 Citroën Karin, which I’d never seen before. It’s totally Blade Runner meets French car styling. It would be great if this sort of design style were translated to a furniture collection?" - Mark H from Bookmarklet
That dashboard is wild. - Anika
I'll wait for the sunroof version - Barışnikov from iPhone
yapacakları işi sikeyim. - Grandmaster Mitrazz from Android
Those buttons remind me if the function buttons on a Commodore 64. - Eric - It's My Thing
Mark H
That time Walt Disney bought his own Autonomous Utopian City of the Future -
That time Walt Disney bought his own Autonomous Utopian City of the Future
That time Walt Disney bought his own Autonomous Utopian City of the Future
"In 1964, Disney began ‘quietly’ purchasing what would total to 27,000 acres of land in Orlando, Florida. By quietly, I mean Walt used his multiple lesser-known shell companies to buy up the land at very low prices from unknowing landowners that would eventually become part of the Disney prototype district." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"Next, he wanted independence; unprecedented quasi-government control over the area. He succeeded and in 1967, convinced the State of Florida Legislature to sign over municipal jurisdiction over the land Disney had acquired, which he named “The Reedy Creek Improvement District”, after a natural waterway that crossed through it. This essentially meant Disney could do almost whatever he... more... - Mark H
Mark H
"To survive, Life in our Local Group needs to emigrate to the Virgo Super-Cluster. Although our Milky Way is heading towards Virgo at ~200 km/s, cosmic acceleration, from Dark Energy, is presently pushing us away from Virgo at ~1,000 km/s. Thus we need to launch towards Virgo faster than the Dark Energy pushing us away. Yet the reward is 10 trillion trillion years of Habitable planetary environments, which may well be worth intergalactic migration." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
"In theory a tight white-dwarf/planet pair can be flung out of the Galactic Core at ~0.05c, which would mean a 2 billion year journey across every 100 million light-years. A white-dwarf habitable zone is good for 8 billion years or so, enough to cross ~400 million light-years. It’d be a ‘starship’ in truth on the Grandest Scale. Perhaps other Intelligences have begun their preparations... more... - Mark H
The view during the trip would be amazing. - Joe
Looked up this Spivey author. While what he writes may be true, his academic credentials are less than stellar. - Joe
He is an Electronics Design Engineer at Bangor. No PhD from what I see, but I could be wrong about that. Dabbles in intergalactic space travel theory after work? - Joe
Mark H
A little bit of history describing how the various standard image aspect ratios came into use and how these have translated to the dimensions of modern sensors on DSLRs. - Mark H from Bookmarklet
Good video here on History of Aspect Ratio: - Nils Sandin
Mark H
"Brody House is an eclectic boutique hotel located in Budapest, Hungary. It is housed in a building originally built in the nineteenth century, and was transformed to serve its present purpose in 2009." - Mark H from Bookmarklet
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