Sunday, November 22, 2009

What's Smart about it?

The Smart - inspired by the sardine can.

We had a gig last night and after it I drove the band van with all the equipment back to where we store it and got a lift back into town in a Smart. This was the first time I had ever been in one... and may well be the last time.

Apart from anything else, I could hardly get in in the first place. The Smart is not recommended for two people whose "diets" are not going too well.

This one (it was a rented semi-automatic cos the guy driving it has a broken toe at the moment and can't use a clutch) didn't even have power steering and I was getting exhausted just watching him struggling to get this little tin can out of the parking space - especially after driving a van full of equipment which was feather-light to drive.

I suppose there is one can rest you chin on your knees as you tootle along... but as Paul (driver - broken toe) said, you wouldn't want to be in one with someone you didn't know too well, it's a little too... intimate.

Anyway, another first for NeutronNews - and one more thing that I never need to buy.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Too Late... have all missed Carl Sagan Day! I have just left the chat room which was linked to the live stream from Broward College in southern Florida. I was the last one still standing in the chat room...another first!

Carl Sagan is one of the very few people on my list of "people I would really like to meet/to have met" and the speakers made me even sadder at not being able to achieve this.
The most moving tribute was kept for the last... paradoxically coming from a very frail looking but still keen-witted, belligerently atheistic James Randi. He mentioned the many rumours about Sagan "converting" to religion on his death bed (so reminiscent of all the twaddle about Darwin's last words) and very emotionally told how Carl was together just with his wife Ann Druyan as he lay dying. She told Randi how they had said their goodbyes, knowing that it would be for the last time... and that was it.

It's easy to see how wishful thinking can fuel a wishful belief in the "afterlife" but you have to imagine there's no heaven...