3551 posts • joined Wednesday 28th February 2007 21:13 GMT
Greenland may be a corruption of the Norse 'Gruntland' - 'ground land' a term used to describe shallow inlets in Norse.
Agreed with you about the humour in the Sagas though. Lots of laughs to be had (in between the killing, the misery and the interminable sulking).
Kapoor's piss-poor 'Blackpool Tower come over all wobbly' cast iron eye sore might have been marginally less shite had it been remotely vertical.
As for your 8-year old, does Guantanamo have a kindergarten now?
Unfortunately the Baptist movement has really only paid attention to the books of Leviticus, Deuteronomy and Revelation. The rest of the Bible's teachings are considered optional.
They're not so much a cult as a group of lawyers who provoke people into trying to ban protests and then taking them to court under constitutional law.
It's a scam and sadly it's worked well enough for them to make a living out of it.
The only good news is that they promise to picket all sorts of places (such as the funerals of the murdered kids in Norway) and rarely turn up.
YouTube will doubtless be filled very shortly with videos showing how badly Siri copes with the accents of the Tyne and the Clyde.
I was particularly struck by how much time Apple spent on a feature which they admitted would 'get better' - his Steveness would never have sunk to admitting something was less than perfect.
Anyway, what I'm waiting for is to find out if Apple have actually cracked the massive problem of building a phone which can be held whilst making a phone call. I suspect it'll be better than the 4 but even when you get a good connection it'll still sound like a Cyberman in a bathyscaphe.
They could probably work it that opening the package constitutes accepting a non-transferable licence between the original purchaser and Sony. The second-hand purchaser will have no such contract and will have to buy a new one.
But it's one hell of a Sony tax for the privilege of buying one of their 'hmmm this console really isn't anything as good as they promised all those years ago' games. Like a lot of peoples' PS3s, mine has been relegated to the role of an okay Blu-Ray player.
But... but... but...
The other side of the street is where the chuggers gather.
Packs of them, clipboards and insincere smiles at the ready waiting to ask if you'd like to set up a direct debit to pay for clean water for an abandoned panda in an unvaccinated minefield.
It's hell on the mean streets I'm telling you. Hell!
The lump of iron that carved out Meteor Crater was less than 50m across, the blast was in the 10-20 megatonne range and would have made a whole lot of people very mad indeed (those who weren't been very dead of course). It's the smaller city-busting, ocean front property-drowing rocks we should really worry about.
And the even smaller ones which produce a pocket H-bomb sized explosion when they hit. It'd be nice to think we'd do the necessary checks before pressing the red button if one hit a nuclear-tipped country, but I don't have that much faith.
Great - so that's the threat of apocalyptic crashing solved. Now how about writing a version of Flash that doesn't routinely suck 80% of a processor to display a simple banner advert?
It's Michael bloody Gove - of course he's up to no good.
But give him credit
He scored a great photo of a textbook alluvial fan.
Sorry it's the geologist in me...
I find it hard to believe that the Gerald R Ford will be a useless stopgap.
Although the last chapter is a tragedy as it tells the familiar story of how British high technology companies foundered in the 1960s (our aircraft industry being another example). LEO was forcibly and repeatedly merged with other British computer companies, first becoming English Electric LEO Marconi (EELM) with EE definitely in the driving seat; and eventually, under the guidance of Tony Benn, into the monolithic ICL.
The last LEO 3 machines were retired by the GPO only in 1981. But some ICL mainframes actually emulated LEO in software, so the code might have been run for much longer.
Truly were wonderful games
And Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis would have a much better fourth movie than what we got.
As for adventures, I still have a soft spot for the Infocom games. I bought one of Commodore's breathtakingly slow floppy disk drives for my C64 just so I could play 'Zork' - which probably explains my A-level results. They were magnificent pieces of writing - both prose and code; has there ever been a more laugh-out-loud game than 'Leather Goddesses of Phobos'?
Come with almost no moving parts, very little complex plumbing. It was relatively easy to refurbish them rather than a liquid-fuelled stage. I think the Shuttle is the only liquid fuelled rocket which has been reused and the engines there didn't have the indignity of ending up in the North Atlantic.
The Soviets were going to reuse the four strap-on liquid-fuelled boosters for the Energia rocket; AFAIK it was not done for either the Polyus or Buran launches and the boosters would eventually be redesigned into the disposable Zenit launcher.
I wish someone would dust off the first rocket to take off and land vertically - the McDonnell Douglas / NASA DC-X. The DC-X first took off (checks Wikipedia) - OH MY GOD - 20 years ago:
Colour me sceptical
This is a very small formation and they are claiming to have found a reserve 2/3 the size of the colossal Groningen gas field, more than 30 times as large as the Morecambe Bay fields and 10 times the size of *all* the reserves remaining in the UK sector of the North Sea. In each of these cases the reserves are known only by drilling a large number of widely dispersed wells into well-understood formations and long term monitoring. That's not possible here.
What's more, if they got a 20% recovery rate from this field they'd pull up very nearly half as much gas as the USGS reckons is economically recoverable from the *whole* Marcellus Formation in the Eastern United States which is almost the size of England.
I think a lot more work needs to be done before anyone thinks that Blackpool is sitting on a gas fortune. But in the meantime I bet that 200 trillion number is doing wonders for their share price.
Satellites are harder to predict
The exact time the satellite begins its reentry depends on many factors, but mostly the density of the atmosphere where it is orbiting. Because of heating from solar radiation the atmosphere's density changes over periods of hours and days which can dramatically change the amount of drag being experienced by the satellite.
Added to which this satellite has probably lost all attitude control so it will be tumbling and experiencing variable amounts of drag, all of which make predictions a bit less - well - predictable.
An asteroid on the other hand approaches the Earth through a vacuum at a relative speed of several to tens of kilometres per second following the laws of Mr. Newton. The atmosphere only has any effect on it during the last few seconds before it carves out a dent on the surface.
I suppose we should be glad that there are no economic uses for pure and applied mathematics or fluid dynamics. I mean apart from the uses that underpin many of the high value industries we supposedly need to grow the economy.
Nope definitely a solar orbit
Snoopy's ascent engine was reignited after being let loose from Charlie Brown and allowed to burn until empty. This let NASA test that the engine could be restarted in an emergency. There was enough thrust to inject it into a solar orbit. Had it been put into a lunar orbit it would have crashed by now because of the Moon's irregular gravitational field.
Make it Scratch
A great little language, easy to pick up, it produces great results in very little time for the attention starved youth of today, you can create multimedia projects and games, share them with people on almost all hardware platforms and you get to learn the fundamentals of program design as well as event-driven, multi-threaded programming.
The biggest problem with Scratch is getting kids to stop playing with it.
The police manual says
They're going to take a VERY long time reviewing any images and will probably need the lovely Ms Johansson to disrobe just to ensure they're genuine and not a crude Photoshop job.
That and his ability to survive
Every day that goes by and the question 'why is Steve Ballmer still in charge of Microsoft?' goes unanswered. He's unconvincing as a tech guru, a lousy salesman for the good stuff Microsoft does produce and the company appears to be stagnant.
Time to put a visionary in the public light over at Redmond and get people excited about the very cool stuff Microsoft is developing in its labs.
They're probably doomed
Because of all the reasons laid out so well above.
But doesn't it seem a little unfair for Comet to fail BEFORE the even-worse Currys is finally consigned to the extended warranty in the sky?
A use for Twitter?
During the recent riots, the local police force ran an excellent Twitter feed giving up-to-the-minute information about the local situation. I know who live on their own or who are otherwise vulnerable who felt reassured there was timely official news that contrasted with the scary rumours flying around on other social networks.
Cutting that feed off could have made things worse for a lot of people who otherwise didn't have information about what was going on.
Launcher Engine System Test Environment (Reusable)
That way we can finally see LESTER and LOHAN together as nature intended.
You're not planning on setting this off near the combined mission control / donkey sanctuary are you?
Twitter is still waiting for a trademark registration for 'tweet' whilst a company built on the back of Twitter has already got theirs approved?
Now either Twitter is hopelessly amateur and didn't think to register tweet until relatively recently, or they employ some slack IP lawyers who haven't been progressing their claim very quickly.
I suppose if we work hard at it, we can genericise 'tweet' and stop Twitter getting their hands on it ever. So time to start replacing 'talk', 'phone', 'message' and 'email' with 'tweet'.
Google's search tentacles might have tried to get something from Souter's site but found it slow, unreliable, unresponsive and crap - technically known as being 'a bit Stagecoach'.
But it didn't
Section 28 wasn't there to stop the promotion of homosexuality (whatever that means). It was there to stop any discussion of the subject. It was a hateful piece of legislation imposed to assuage a particular narrow-minded part of the population at the expense of a vulnerable minority.
Dear god no!
You don't think you can defeat Whitehall with paperwork do you? They'll see it as a challenge.
Thorium isn't a nuclear fuel. It's fertile.
You transmute Th-232 into fissile U-233 inside a fission reactor.
You then require the economically dubious process of reprocessing to separate U-233 from Th-232 and fission products. Which produces huge amounts of actinide waste that has to be disposed of - hopefully not by pouring it into the Irish Sea.
U-233 makes for fabulous bombs. Don't we have rather too many nuclear weapons states as it is?
So nothing at all to do with weapons then?
The bit about NIF that gets a lot less attention is that it is also used to simulate the conditions inside a nuclear weapon at the moment fusion is triggered. Ever since the test ban treaty the bomb people haven't been able to turn chunks of Nevada glow-in-the-dark, so they've had to resort to simulations. And since the UK is joined at the hip to American warhead design, we've got an interest in this project.
"NIF is crucial to the NNSA Stockpile Stewardship Program because it will be able to create the extreme conditions of temperature and pressure that exist on Earth only in exploding nuclear weapons and that are therefore relevant to understanding the operation of our modern nuclear weapons."
National Research Council's Plasma Science Committee 2007.
There can be no more terrifying words in technology than
Because you know the people who said it have know idea what they're talking about.
It would be fantastic if these things could be put into local post offices. I'd even pay a small charge if it meant I'd never again have to play the will-they? won't-they? waiting game with HDNL.
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