This is surreal, as well as in the case of the Swim Reaper, really serious.
And in answer to the blogger’s question: I am definitely Team Topiary Cat – I hate swimming and love cats :)
I have been watching David Attenborough for as long as I can remember. This clip recalls some of his earlier work, from long before I encountered him, as well as the more well-known pieces. Including the gorillas of course, and new to me, the baby (blind) rhinoceros.
The lizard is Attenborough’s fan-throated lizard (Sitana attenboroughii), a species of fan-throated lizards from Kerala in southern India. It is one of around fifteen species named after him.
Thomas Newcomen and James Watt are the names I think of regarding early steam engine development. Yet, it was a Thomas Savery, who on July 2nd, 1698 first patented the idea of an early steam ‘engine’, or perhaps more precisely its direct predecessor since it had no moving parts. It was as Savery explained:
“A new invention for raising of water and occasioning motion to all sorts of mill work by the impellent force of fire, which will be of great use and advantage for draining mines, serving towns with water, and for the working of all sorts of mills where they have not the benefit of water nor constant winds.“
Significantly, the patent was to last twenty-one years and this forced Newcomen to come to an arrangement with Savery when developing his own, more successful engines.
It is the pictures of the vast warehouses of shells, six hundred thousand of them, that is most shocking: that they could all be fired in just two or three days.
On 1 July 1918, at 7.10pm, a catastrophic explosion tore through the National Shell Filling Factory at Chilwell, Nottinghamshire.
The blast killed 134 workers and injured 250 – the biggest loss of life from a single accidental explosion during the First World War.
A large part of the factory site was reduced to rubble after the explosion. © Historic England/AA96-03585.
Eight tons of TNT had detonated without warning, flattening large parts of the plant and damaging properties within a three mile area. The colossal blast was heard 30 miles away.
Eye witness, Lottie Martin, a worker at the factory, later recalled: ‘…Men, women and young people burnt, practically all their clothing burnt, torn and disheveled. Their faces black and charred, some bleeding with limbs torn off, eyes and hair literally gone…’
Many factory buildings were twisted and distorted by the force of the blast. © IWM HU96428.
Rapid action by…
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Combined Bascule and Suspension Bridge
Tower Bridge was officially opened on this day in 1894. I have long been enchanted by it: as a fascinating piece of engineering it is the only combined bascule and suspension bridge I’ve seen; and as a monumental piece of Victorian Gothic architecture.
I first saw it as a child, though it was to be many years before I learned that Continue reading
As explained by the Smithsonian Institute. Which of all the US, (American, or is it USA?) organisations is right up there with NASA as an all time favourite of mine. Many years back I spent a blissfully happy time exploring its Air and Space Museum. I had seen images or copies of grand breaking aircraft, etc. They had the originals. Awesome. But anyway, the video is… illuminating, and rather funny. How we are seen, by some at least, from the other side of the pond.
X-rays and ultraviolet (UV) light stream off the surface of the sun, in this false colour image from JPL, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (now part of NASA). The X-rays are shown in green and blue, with the UV shown in red.
A lovely scale model of the solar system, using the scale of one pixel to the diameter of the moon, roughly the distance between London and Tehran.
Do note the shortcuts to the planets, the strange little hieroglyphs along the top of the page. Saves a lot of scrolling!
Funny and illuminating interview with an author about procrastination. The author’s description of his writing process is fascinating, especially the way that he doesn’t write chronologically.
Today is the first of a new regular feature – Crime Writers In Cafes Procrastinating! As the title suggests, it’s all about the lengths writers go to procrastinate when they should be writing, and how they (eventually) manage to win against the temptation of the path of procrastination to finish their books.
First up for a grilling about his procrastination habits is the fabulous Howard Linskey whose latest crime novel is published this week.
Welcome, Howard! So tell me all about your latest book – The Chosen Ones…
Thanks Steph. Great to be here. ‘The Chosen Ones’ begins when a young woman called Eva wakes inside a large metal box with no idea how she got there. She understands she is being held captive but has no idea why. Investigative journalists, Tom Carney and Helen Norton, team up with Detective Sergeant Ian Bradshaw to investigate her disappearance and quickly learn…
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