The Last Days of Thunder Child

The Last Days of Thunder Child
War of the Worlds - spin off adaptation novel.

Monday, 30 June 2014

Witchcraft and Witch-hunts. Sinister Cases from the Past | Martian Herald

Lilly our cat was Killed today. (RIP Little Lilly)

Came back from the town today to find a shawl by the gate. It was our cat Lilly. She had been run over by a vehicle while we were down town. She was a lovely little thing and we had her from a kitten as one can see by the above photo. She had two litters of kittens. She enjoyed the field across the lane where we lived and often went hunting for mice and voles with all the other moggies along the lane. Unfortunately, one can't stop a cat from exploring and little Lilly got hit by a car while we were in town.

Nanotech Wonders.

Nanotechnology is the way of the future. There are so many dynamic ways nanotechnology is changing our world. The more I watch this type of thing, the more engrossed and amazed I become. There are even developments afoot to use nanobots to battle diseases. Take a look at this short clip and be mesmerised by the things that nanites can do for us.  

Movie - Raging Bull - Robert De Nero

I watched a wicked movie the other day. It was made in 1980 and starred Robert De Niro. It was called Raging Bull and is the true story of an American middle weight boxer during the 1940s decade. The boxer is Jake La Motta - an New York born man of Italian decent. Today, Jake La Motta is still alive and is 92 years of age.

I remember seeing the adverts at the train stations in London when this movie was doing the circuit, but I didn't fancy watching it at the time. It was one that slipped through the net. Even with the onset of video and the opportunity to catch all those films one missed; I still shied away from this movie. 

Then on a whim, I saw it on DVD in a junk shop for 50p and for some reason I decided to give it ago because Robert De Nero is a fine actor and Joe Pesci is in it and it is also a Martin Scorsese production. I had not realised it was Martin Scorsese. That flicked a switch and also Joe Pesci too. Remembering these combinations in The Goodfellas and Casino, I decided I might be missing something.

Its all in Black and White, which gives the viewer a real retro 1940s feel. Robert De Niro's portrayal of Jake La Motta is terrific. What I liked about this movie is the vulnerability of the character. Although the focal person is a champion and an achiever, his private life is a mess because he is so paranoid about what is going on about him. The way he treats his beautiful wife is horrendous. He seems to destroy all the ones about him that he loves because of his inward paranoid feelings.

I hated this man but was compelled by him all the same. He was so determined in the boxing ring but his inner battle with his own gremlins made him a vile and despicable person. It is a wonderfully crafted movie and I would highly recommend this. 

Europe plans to build world's biggest X-ray telescope

This is from: SPACEFLIGHT NOW - an online magazine of current space exploration news

A half-year after the European Space Agency formally prioritized high-energy astrophysics for its next flagship-class science mission, officials announced Friday the selection of a European-led X-ray observatory named Athena for launch in 2028.
Artist's concept of the Athena spacecraft. Credit: Athena project team
The huge telescope will replace ESA's XMM-Newton mission and NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, collecting data on the interplay between matter and black holes, halos of enigmatic hot gas enveloping faraway galaxies, distant gamma-ray bursts, and other phenomena.

Athena will see objects fainter than XMM-Newton or Chandra, and it is the only X-ray telescope in its class slated for launch in the 2020s, ensuring high demand for Athena's data haul, according to scientists.

The telescope will launch on a heavy-lifting rocket, possibly Europe's Ariane 5, and fly to the gravity-stable L2 Lagrange point a million miles from Earth for a five-year mission.

Athena will weigh about five metric tons, or about 11,000 pounds, at launch. Its telescope will measure about 12 meters, or 39 feet, long with ultra-lightweight silicon pore optics, a new technology comprising stacks of silicon wafers to reflect high-energy X-ray light to the mission's two instruments.

Missions like Athena must launch into space to see the universe in X-rays, which are absorbed by Earth's atmosphere, rendering observations from the ground impossible.

Athena will look back in time to observe how galaxies and galactic clusters assembled a few billion years after the Big Bang, according to the mission's backers.

The telescope will also resolve the flows of matter falling into black holes, contribute to exoplanet research, and survey the wider universe to map large-scale cosmic structures.

"Athena will be a state-of-the-art observatory that will provide a significant leap forward in scientific capabilities compared with previous X-ray missions, and will address fundamental open questions in astrophysics," said Alvaro Gimenez, ESA's director of science and robotic exploration. "Its selection ensures that Europe's success in the field of X-ray astronomy is maintained far beyond the lifetime of our flagship observatory XMM-Newton."

Officials announced in November that the next two large-class missions in Europe's Cosmic Vision program would be an X-ray telescope and a mission to confirm the existence of gravitational waves.
The Cosmic Vision program is a strategic architecture for the selection of Europe's space science missions through a judicious process involving proposals, reviews and recommendations by the European research community.

But the November decision in favor of X-ray and gravity wave missions did not come with a selection of specific mission concepts.

For the first large-class, or L1, Cosmic Vision mission, ESA is working on an orbiter to be launched to Jupiter in June 2022.

ESA's Science Program Committee last week signed off on the Athena mission for the L2 opportunity, and an endorsement of a concept for the L3 gravity wave research mission will come in 2020, with launch to follow in 2034.

Athena was the only proposal submitted for consideration by the committee, officials said.
Next comes detailed study and definition phases to mature technologies required for the Athena mission.
ESA will also begin negotiations with potential partners, such as the United States and Japan, to contribute to the Athena mission. NASA officials have already stated their interest to provide components for Athena's scientific sensors.

European Space Agency officials will meet again around 2019 for formal adoption of the Athena mission, setting a budget, plan and other details before industry begins construction of the spacecraft and its instruments.

Follow Stephen Clark on Twitter: @StephenClark1.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Sterling holds above $1.70 as UK recovery continues.

Sterling almost touching the six-year high mark against the dollar on Friday. Reports indicated the UK economic recovery is gathering steam, keeping alive expectations interest rates will rise this year. Read link below:

Sterling holds above $1.70 as UK data show broad recovery | Reuters

Quantum Mechanics and Hidden Biology (Yet to be discovered)

When we get into this field, the extensive and complex biological engineering begins to make me take a step back at the big WOW! factor. Many believe that the biological programming which helps birds to navigate, and plants to photosynthesis can be learnt in all detail if they can learn more on these matters. I'm no scientist, but the fact that such complex programing (biological programming from the start) can be installed in living things makes me wonder if there could be some higher all seeing entity that fashions things so. Some guiding force. I just can't imagine these things coming about by accident and if such things evolve... Well surely evolving from some unseen and undiscovered guiding force or mighty entity. 

FDA Issues Nanotechnology Guidance | The Scientist Magazine

Great news article from The Scientist Magazine - click the link below and read...

FDA Issues Nanotechnology Guidance | The Scientist Magazine®

Defining Nanotechnology Article from Liberty Voice (News)

Trying to define Nanotechnology is now falling into different categories. It is wonderfully interesting and mind blowing when compering ratios of just how minute we are trying to perceive. Please read the Liberty Voice article below.

Nanotechnology Assembles the Future

NASA’s Orion Passes Most Complex and Flight-Like Test of Parachute System | French Tribune

Read this exciting new article from the French Tribune. Click on the link below to read about very encouraging tests.

NASA Flying Saucer test for Mars

Script From Fox News

NASA launched a "flying saucer" on the weekend that will enable the U.S. space agency to test technologies that one day will be key in transporting humans to Mars, and the initial flight of the disk-shaped craft was a dubbed a success when it landed in the expected spot in the Pacific Ocean.

The Low-Density Supersonic Decelerator, or LDSD - better known, even at NASA, as the "flying saucer" - was carried aloft into the upper reaches of the atmosphere attached to a gigantic balloon on Saturday morning from the Hawaiian island of Kauai.

Despite the fact that the craft's parachute did not fully deploy upon the conclusion of the mission, NASA was able to recover the saucer at the planned time on Saturday afternoon when the disk detached from the balloon and landed in the ocean.

The $150 million mission was aimed at creating an alternative to the technologies developed decades ago that the U.S. space agency continues to use for its Mars exploration missions with the objective of one day sending humans to the Red Planet.

The helium-filled balloon lifted the LDSD to about 36,000 meters (118,000 feet, or more than 22 miles) above the earth, where it then detached from the saucer just as an attached rocket ignited, carrying the craft up to 54,000 meters (177,000 feet, or about 34 miles) at four times the speed of sound.

The flight allowed NASA experts to test the vehicle's performance in an atmosphere similar to that of Mars. The Red Planet's atmosphere is very thin, similar to that found at the altitude of 54,000 meters (34 miles) above the earth's surface.

Once it had completed its ascent, the disk deployed a specially-designed parachute to slow its descent back to Earth, and three hours later it landed in the Pacific Ocean.

NASA is planning to conduct more saucer flights soon to continue testing the craft's capabilities, but it declared the maiden flight a success.

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

The Owl Fields

I have been seeing owls everyday at work. Also kestrels and buzzards. In London and other suburban areas just outside, I never set eyes on any owls unless they were in captivity. I had heard of buzzards but never knew what one looked like until moving to the Fenland. Out here, owls, buzzards, kestrels and various other hawks are all over the place. Today, while driving out to the farms on the refuse lorry, I saw a tiny Tawney owl sitting upon a telephone wire over looking out at the wheat field. No doubt hoping to catch its lunch. It was a tiny little thing for an owl and I had to look twice. I yelped in delight, but was sad that i did not have a camera. The lorry passed right under the little creature as it sat perched upon the telephone cable. It did not seem flustered by us at all as we passed beneath and onwards to the distant farm that was in the middle of nowhere. It was then that I realised I had my phone camera and maybe I could get a few shots. However, by the time we returned, after emptying the bin, the little owl was gone.

I got home and Carole and I decided to take Sasha for a walk. I took the camera and sure enough Carole spotted this barn owl coming across the Fen. I got a lot of shots but the Barn owl did not linger to long as it seemed intent on hunting for food. I can't help getting excited over the owls and to discover them in such abundance is very gratifying. I keep the camera on the ready hoping to get clearer shots. I will do sooner or later.

Sunday, 22 June 2014

Here a click, there a click - everywhere a click, click...

Here a click, there a click and every where a click, click...

Today's dog walk in the Fens. Don't worry, I'll not do this everyday, but I might do it often... :)

Roman Empire Attack on Britain: Roman Empire Attacks Britain

Roman Empire Attack on Britain: Roman Empire Attacks Britain: Cassivellanus 55 BC (Julius Caesar Raids Britain) Cassivellanus was a British war chieftain who caused considerable trouble for Juli...

Another Look at Orion Spacecraft at NASA

The Orion spacecraft is the new big project under development. The US government had cold feet about expense for some time and probably still does - understandably. The costs of building such a spacecraft must be colossal and the US electorate would want their taxes spent elsewhere. 

However, funding from private enterprise could be the answer as many firms re-invest in such a project to get their own space ideas into the cosmos and onto Mars. Private enterprise is beginning to find advantages in space exploration.

Are Nuclear Space Ships the Way? (Mission to Mars on Orion Nuclear Space Ship)

CGI impression of a maned Orion nuclear space ship going to Mars. NASA are working towards this goal with private enterprise investment. Such an achievement would be excellent. The future is space and the sky is no where near the limit when we are thinking of Mars.


Brigitte Bardot - 'L'appareil à sous'

Everyone fell madly in love with Brigitte Bardot and eloped with her to live on a desert island forever and ever. Well in our dreams we did. She was gorgeous and was the only lady to make me go ga-ga. Long before a tacky pop star took the name Lady Ga Ga.  Brigitte Bardot could seduce a bloke with one stare.

Bardot Brigitte Bardot sings 'L'appareil à sous' in 1963. 

Yellow Wagtail in the Fens

The Yellow Wagtail is a summer visitor from Africa, where it spends the winter months. It is in a serious decline of breeding numbers and is on the red list of the conservation concern. There do seem to be a lot of them around the Fens, however. Hopefully, their numbers are replenishing.


Saturday, 21 June 2014

Druids Will Be Out in Force at Stonehenge for Summer Solstice.

The Druids will be out in force to celebrate the summer solstice today. I've seen this once when I went to a rock festival in the field next door in 1979. The druids were in among the stones, conducting some sort of ceremony. The always flock to the stone rings scattered around in various parts of the country to commemorate summer and winter solstice. What bearing they have upon the druid priests of old is hard to say. They  were wiped out and the religion was all but destroyed during the 400 years of Roman rule. This new druid following was resurrected a few centuries back. Some say they were cultists, but perhaps all religions are cultists. Who knows. I would not think they follow ancient druid traditions apart from the worship of trees and what not. Still it makes for a colourful spectacle and druidism has spread to other parts of the planet. USA, Canada and Australia all have their groups and they all keep in touch with one another. 

The Chatting Corner of our Fenland Home

There is a nice size garden to the rear of the house with seats and table but the side with the stony drive by the chicken and duck pen offers a view of the open fen to the front of the house. Carole and I spend many an hour here looking out at the fen. It is where I got the shots of the hawk or buzzard flying about, a few blogs back. Its a very nice spot and yesterday evening, after we took Sasha for a walk; we sat here until 22.20 and it was still light because it is the day before summer solstice. It dose not get dark until gone 22.30. The contrast in weather between the four seasons is more noticeable in the open Fens. Everywhere is alive with wild flowers and various birds and then in the winter everything dies and the landscape looks very bleak and haunting. Haunting of the the bygone summer and the peoples of the past. It is still compelling but in a morbid way. For now we are enjoying the summer.

Take a camera of course
A Dog Walk Along Creek Fen
including Scottish thistles
and all sorts of things are there

Swans love the rivers

birds love the summer evening

Poppies invade the wheat crop but cause little damage

Everything is peaceful

Lilly begins to flower

Then for some reason I'm reminded of an aunties living room wall.

The dead past lingers - void of use

evening song is abundant
and each one sounds different
with unique tweetering

It's getting calmer as the evening progresses.

every where is in slumber

except for the wild flowers

here there and every where

loving the summer evening in the Fens