Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Guest Beer

I think I have neglected to mention that I am in Liverpool at the moment...

Well, yesterday I finally got down to the beach at Formby Point just in time for a glorious, breathtaking sunset. Almost horizontal, tired sunbeams streaming across the surface of the sea, making the dunes go a strange pale red and the air clear enough to see over to the Welsh mountains in the south west and the peaks of the Lake District to the north.

What better way to follow that as the darkness encroached than to go and have a pint?
Scotch Piper I think to see what the guest beer is this week.

I love this idea of "guest beer" which you find in the pubs these days. It's a chance to travel randomly around the country trying out local brews from the comfort of your own local. So, got my beer, nice head, lovely auburn colour.. first swallow..glug glug...mm, excellent. It was a really good pint.

The only objection I have is to the name...

I mean you can't go into a crowded pub and ask for a pint of Bonkers, can you?

Bloody good pint though...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Taking Steps

For those of you who have been waiting with bated breath... strange - as I wrote bated I thought, "bated? Bated breath?? Wassat? Must be Shakespeare", and, as so often with expressions we normally say without even thinking, it is!

According to phrases.org.uk, "...the earliest citation of the phrase is from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, 1596: "With bated breath, and whispring humblenesse."

Gerrin' there, Willi lad! Don't you wish you could drop the odd Shakespearean iambic pentameter into a conversation just like that? Bugger, maybe you can!

Anyway I have managed to digress before I even finished my first sentence, so even more breath will have been bated in the meantime - apologies for this.

So... erm, ah yes - many of you have been waiting with bated breath, well, I say many... some of you have been waiting... well, I say some... actually I doubt that anyone has been waiting with bated breath for part 2 of my post down below, Three Steps to Heaven, however;

"...this shall not deter me from my course" (iambic pentameter! Shakespearean? No, Neutronian.)

The thing is, I was on about trying to find a way to visualise vast amounts of time, so I suggested imagining one step to be the equivalent of 2000 years back into the past. On this basis you would then need around 6 paces to reach the agricultural revolution when humans first began to settle on bits of land and farm them. Then to get back to the earliest distinctly human fossils you would need about 80 paces - not even the length of a footy pitch. And don't forget each of those paces contains 2000 years of sunny days and rainy days, summers, springs, winters and autumns full of what people do with themselves, being born, reproducing, loving, having arguments, worrying, having fun, getting old, dying, etc., etc.

After 80 paces it's not people doing all that any more but hominids and ancient animals living and dying... in the previous post I posed the question, "how many steps back to the end of the dinosaurs?" Well, keep walking these 2000-year paces... 150, 400, 1000, 1500 (there we pass the time of Lucy our Australopithecus ancestor)... keep going, sunny days, rainy days, etc.

Actually, it might be better to get a bus since you will need to walk over 32 kilometres to get your first glimpse of a dying dinosaur. On my scale the end of the dinosaurs is some 32,500 paces away back into the past!

Is your mind boggled? Is it boggled?

(Apologies to fans of the Flintstones)

Friday, September 12, 2008

Post Biggum Bangum

Right, so at CERN they sent a bunch of protons round the 27 kilometre LHC one way and then they sent a bunch of protons around the 27 kilometre LHC the other way, and I'm still here, and you're still there...

(Do I sense the makings of a new nursery rhyme here?)

I was feeling a bit left out here with all these protons having a good time and the thing is they could have made it cheaper by using neutrons...

How?? I hear you ask...

Well, you see with neutrons there's no charge...(boom boom).

I waited till today just to be sure, but it does indeed seem that there was no big bang boom boom so it would appear there was a great deal of misplaced conCERN... (boom boom boom).

Wow, bad physics jokes make you tired, huh? Need a lie down on my photon...erm...futon.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Biggus Bangus

It's Big Bang Day tomorrow at CERN. The people who brought us Toblerone and cuckoo clocks are now going to destroy the Earth!

Nah, course they're not... but tomorrow at CERN the LHC (Large Hadron Collider) is going to start whizzing protons around and start the search for the explanation of everything.

I mentioned it here and for loads of info and interviews and whatnot there is this wonderful website put together by the wonderful BBC's Radio 4 - Big Bang Day.

See you in the black hole!

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Stand Well Back - Very Bad Joke...

I issue one last warning - this is so bad it's good.

A: Why does a Frenchman never eat two eggs?

B: Because one egg is un oeuf !

Cracking yolk, what?