3579 posts • joined 28 Feb 2007
Before purveying fiction for the government, he was an author of soft-core porn including the immortal 'Busking with Bagpipes', which includes such immortal lines as:
'a little known aphrodisiac - the dangling pipes of Scotland...It's all tongues and teeth, lips and gentle squeezes... As I lie on a Lisbon hotel bed next to a Portuguese person crying out for more, I thank my pipes for doing most of the chatting up.'
A crime against good writing surely, but much less damaging than his subsequent career.
Perhaps he can pay them back
From the money he earned as a presenter for that bastion for freedom of expression 'Russia Today'?
Re: HOLD ON!
'There is buried Turing treasure somewhere!!!?'
It's probably under Milton Keynes. You might do the world a failure by digging the place up.
The scariest hands in all dinosaurdom?
Despite the Freddy Kruger tribute act, Therizinosaurus was almost certainly a herbivore
Re: Coolness check-list
They do seem to be missing a shed.
Although 'hardened bunker' might just qualify if they put some flowerpots outside.
Ah they were a fantastic band.
Re: completes what the KGB never quite managed
'keeps tabs on whole population'
Thanks for clearing that up - I was wondering what a 'Facebook research centre' was.
Re: I can't agree
"The nitrogen is transported with air currents and reaches the ground in rain or snow."
They are referring to nitrogen compounds such as ammonia or nitric acid which are available for plant growth rather than molecular nitrogen.
Re: 25 years old?
It's only 25 years since Mosfellsbær received a municipal charter and became a town in its own regard. Having said that, it's pretty much submerged in all the meh suburbs and industry of the Greater Reykjavik area.
Re: Dumb Question
It's not a dumb question.
There's a theory that atomic nuclei contain shells of particles akin to the shells of electrons which convey their chemical properties. As the shells in the nucleus fill up the atom should become more stable and will have a longer halflife than those with only partially filled shells.
This is why it is believed that heavier elements round about 120 will start showing longer half lives and form an 'island of stability'. Some of these elements might have half lives measured in years or even millions of years, so they might have some use.
There's also an interesting chemical question that these new elements should obey the rules of the Groups to which they belong. For instance element 117 (provisionally ununseptium) belongs to Group 17 - the halogens; whilst 118 (temporarily called ununoctium) *should* belong to Group 18 in the periodic table - the Noble gases. If these elements don't obey the rules predicted by their position in the Periodic Table then our understanding of the elements will need to be revised. And that is Nobel Prize territory.
If the Japanese discover the Island of Stability
Will the Chinese claim it?
Am I dreadfully out of date in not having a clue what that means?
'Himmler's Crusade' by Chris Hale has the story of this expedition
And what the participants got up to after they got back to Germany (slight spoiler - not a happy ending).
'“slip-strike”, an unusual type of earthquake that sees the crust split'
By definition any fault splits the crust. A strike slip sees adjacent sections of crust slide horizontally past one another with only limited vertical movement. Normal faults pull the crust apart whilst thrust faults shorten the crust by pushing one section of the crust over another.
Strike slips aren't that unusual either. The world's most famous earthquake zone along the Pacific coast of America is dominated by strike slip faults (of which the San Andreas is merely one). Other big strike slips are the Great Glen Fault in Scotland which still has occasional wobblies, the highly active Alpine fault that runs the length of New Zealand, and the North Anatolian Fault which runs through northern Turkey including not too far from Istanbul.
...with the analogue switch off we're finally safe from those pesky 'Poltergeist' ghosts.
This research is just saying that methane has been degassed from submarine sediments for hundreds of years and that it is probably not a result of warming.
It says nothing whether the warming we're seeing will result in more outgassing in the future.
Re: That's learning of today (the future)?
It can also be used to show why it's not a good idea to have a beachfront property in Pompeii when gas comes out of solution in a nearby magma chamber.
Re: NINE BILLION POUNDS
'probably that it was a lot more than 9Billion - I'd bet there's another 3 in there somewhere.'
Before or after the nine?
MPs are complaining about taxpayers subsidising the lifestyles of the rich. How much did they claim in expenses again?
Re: Plug in cars ain't green.
Yes they did:
Killed off by the ICBM.
Re: Shit-for-brains Archeaologist
He never said he was an archaeologist.
He might be an archaeology student in which case he can see sites from all around the world. Or he might just be an enthusiast with a passion for history.
Re: Bono Related Charity?
If it's Product RED then there are always better ways of giving money to charity. In RED a product is authorised to carry the logo and a percentage (not specified) of the profits go to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. Whereas you could just donate money to a charity directly and not have to pay the overheads of RED.
RED has in the past even gone so far to say that it exists to 'raise awareness' of issues. Which is largely done by giving slebs stupidly expensive goodie bags to attend an exclusive party somewhere.
I use a Kata 3n1-22 to carry a laptop and SLR equipment. Very comfortable indeed and it has plenty of high-tech cleverness including the ability to turn into a sling bag for quick access to a camera. It comes with a funky yellow rain cover and the interior is finished in the same bright yellow so no blundering around in the gloom looking for a lens cover.
Re: Examining the contents of an old condom...
Must be like interviewing Rupert Murdoch.
Nothing new here
iCloud went down for 3 days for me a couple of weeks ago. Once again Apple said it was to do with software updates on their servers, very small number of people affected, etc.
Lucky I don't rely on it for anything vital, but why iCloud is actually an improvement on the hopeless and horrible MobileMe, the impossibly dreadful .Mac and the simply unspeakable iTools. You'd have thought they'd have either fixed it by now or taken it out the back and put a bullet through its head.
Re: What about the Portsmouth Sinfonia?
'Is her husband the same Neil Gaiman who wrote a Doctor Who episode last year?'
Re: Not even a hard-hat ?
All of which are good reasons to only ever dig wells using high explosives.
That's not a well...
...that's a missile silo.
Re: Suggestions for a 3-way...
Svið versus súrsaðir hrútspungar versus selshreifar
If your Icelandic is less than fluent that is:
Singed and boiled sheep's head* versus whey preserved pressed ram's testicles** versus seal flippers cured in lactic acid
* or the child-size portion of half a sheep's head
** no longer attached to the ram
If anyone is really feeling manly there is a whole menu of similar horrors served in Iceland during Þorri (late January to February) called Þorramatur. The full list is here:
The mystery of why Icelandic cooking hasn't taken the world by storm only deepens. Although I could murder some harðfiskur right now.
Re: Contact cards
It took a little bit of effort to get Google calendars to sync with my Lumia (the phone needed to be set to American English for m.google.com to recognise it as a WP7), but since then it has been spookily good. Since my last experience was the 'will it? won't it?' syncing of iCal, this has been a breath of fresh air.
The alternative Reg expert viewpoint
This is clearly nothing more than scaremongering by an organised lobby seeking to destroy our economies. Everyone knows that bacon availability has fluctuated throughout human history and in fact bacon today is almost certainly less crispy than when the Vikings settled in Greenland. Making projections like this on little more than computer models doesn't take account of Thames frost fairs or the Maunder Minimum and just because the majority of bacon experts are adamant we are heading into a crisis doesn't mean we should continue to change our behaviour. We will always be able to find more bacon so long as we ignore the Green lobby and start fracking for shale bacon.
Re: Not as pretty - or scary
Hold on - a 3 inch long WASP????
[Crosses another holiday destination off the map]
Ozzie boffins can now breed bigger wasps capable of dragging cane toads back to their nests to feed the wasplings - there is literally nothing that could possibly go wrong with this scenario.
Re: Surströming - a timed bio-weapon!
Cans of surströmming are banned on flights for all too-obvious reasons.
Well-prepared hákarl can clear a restaurant. This summer a friend (foolishly) wanted to try it. Despite my protestations, and those of the restaurant owner - who said 'it's terrible!' he got his half dozen cubes of shark, picked one up on a cocktail stick and started chewing, and chewing and chewing - because not only is it appalling to taste and to smell - it has the consistency of an insole. Then the horror began, one cube fell from the cocktail stick and bounced on to the floor (and my how it bounced). You know those movies where the hand grenade rolls through a room with people diving to avoid the blast until the hero throws themself on it and grabs the lever? Like that except replace 'hand grenade' with 'shark' and 'hero' with 'plucky Icelandic waitress'.
There is something even worse, the Icelandic festival of Þorláksmessa (23rd December) features picked putrefying skate topped off with hamsatólg - melted sheep fat. Many of those who chow down on hákarl, wolf down the sheep's testicles and think nothing of sucking on the eyeball in a half-sheep's head refuse to try the skate.
Presumably the 22" phone will follow?
Re: Odd system
'and since you can't be prosecuted for something you did before it was illegal...'
Yes you can. The UK has created a number of so-called ex post facto laws including the 1991 War Crimes Act and various bits of taxation law to crack down on tax avoidance schemes. Technically the European Convention on Human Rights forbids ex post facto *criminal* laws, but some of Britain's brightest legal brains (notably Lord Denning) have said the Convention is overridden by Parliamentary Supremacy.
Re: It's think it's very refreshing
'Coincidentally does their IT planning bod have a name like 'Nostradamus' ?'
Re: More self-agrandizing nonesense
' Germany is opening coal plants, Spain is cutting subsidies to solar power.'
Germany is increasing its coal-fired electricity production because it is closing down its nuclear fleet and Spain is cutting subsidies to solar because its economy is - technical term approaching - fucked. Neither of these decisions have anything to do with the evidence in climate change.
'Surely the Arctic was warmer a thousand years ago when Scandinavians settled in Greenland to farm?'
The Norse didn't settle the Arctic areas of Greenland, only the very margins in the far south.
But to answer your question - the settlement was from about 980CE into an environment slightly cooler than modern Greenland, and cooling from its maximum. Even at the best it was a lousy climate and the Norse only really survived because they could import materials from Norway, Iceland and (briefly) North America. Their agricultural economy was taken from their experience of Norway and Iceland - marginal pasture and hay to see their animals through the winters. As the climate cooled the growing season collapsed and they followed it into extinction.
That so many people are prepared to jump to the new iPhone suggests they're happy to keep buying Apple products.
And that's their choice, personally I dumped iPhone because they've all been mediocre phones with poor reception and call quality.
Yep, disappointed here too.
At a guess - supply of the larger Fire and the Paperwhite are going to be limited for a few months and Amazon are concentrating on their home market. Hopefully they'll get round to remembering us before long.
One thing you can be sure of
Judging by the prices of their netbookalikes, Sony is going to give this an insane price which will guarantee it'll disappear almost without trace.
Re: Iron man 2
Hopefully we won't have to wait long for Elon Musk to unveil his crime-fighting super suit.
Re: Backs and second hand laptops
Another vote here for a reconditioned Thinkpad as the ideal school/uni-on-a-budget machine. Best keyboard by far and it'll survive being thrown in a bag.
Re: Breaking news: Stores teach employees to sell stuff
Finding out that Apple wants customers to think they care only deepens the mystery of why Apple Retail is run by the ex-head of Dixons.
The Thames certainly did freeze during that period and no longer does, but much of that is down to the manmade changes to the lower river. The old London bridge caused the river to pool upstream. When it was replaced, water could flow more freely and was less likely to freeze. Likewise, the construction of the two embankments confined the river to a narrower channel which prevents freezing.
This study has one shortcoming, they've chosen one river. If they can repeat the trial with another - such as the Danube or the Elbe then the results will be much more significant.
Re: Jeez, what next?
What the author of the piece hasn't told you is that will.i.am has given several million dollars to science, technology and maths education in deprived areas of the US and UK. Whether you like his music (come on someone must) or not is a lot of money going to kids who need all the help they can.
Yes it's publicity for him, but if it means some kid might get a better education I'm all for it.
Re: Question is, what caused it.
A stats team from Reading have just published work on human versus natural contributions to Arctic melting. They estimate 30% of melting is down to long term natural cycles in the Arctic, 70% from human emissions. Summary, video and links to the article here:
Quick political question
Will this energy be available to everyone?
Say - Iran and North Korea?
Re: Thorium rocks
Actually the biggest roadblock is economic. Making the numbers add up for fission has eluded pretty much everyone so far unless they can externalise most of the costs on to the taxpayer.
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