2011 — 2 October: Sunday

Given the weather forecast I've just heard1 I'm predicting shorts for our little walkabout in a couple of hours. Though it's less than 21C in here at the moment. Perhaps we're not in Kansas any more?

Good comment attached to a Victoria Coren piece:

Instead of focusing on potential individual wrong-doing, the Government should spend more time scrutinising companies and particularly the financial services. Where is the equivalent of the full body scanner for how investment banks operate? Where is the equivalent of the full pad-down cavity searches for politicians' connections with media tycoons? Make the government and the media and the corporate class transparent, these institutions don't have any right to privacy, individual citizens do.

"msmlee" in The Grauniad

And a bit of NASA intrigue:

At a modest marginal cost, the ETs [shuttle's external tanks] could have been kept in orbit indefinitely. The mass of the ET at separation, including residual propellants, was about twice that of the largest possible Shuttle payload. Not destroying them would have roughly tripled the total mass launched into orbit by the Shuttle. ETs could have been connected to build units that would have humbled today's International Space Station. The residual oxygen and hydrogen sloshing around in them could have been combined to generate electricity and produce tons of water, a commodity that is vastly expensive and desirable in space. But in spite of hard work and passionate advocacy by space experts who wished to see the tanks put to use, NASA — for reasons both technical and political — sent each of them to fiery destruction in the atmosphere. Viewed as a parable, it has much to tell us about the difficulties of innovating in other spheres.

Neal Stephenson in WPI

Better get some breakfast and pack my lunch sandwich.

Right-thinking Tory?

I will never understand why some of my fellow subjects (continue to) vote for a party that includes a lady in charge of the Home Office who is reportedly calling for the Human Rights Act to be scrapped because, erm, it causes problems for the Home Office. But it could be fun to extend that warped logic across other departments of State.

I need some fresh air (assuming it hasn't been privatised and taxed).

Back, and...

... straight into a refreshing shower. It's a heatwave out there. We did a loop that takes us around the Alresford golf course, but the six miles felt rather more like eight in this heat. Also passed six police vehicles, a fire engine, and an Air Ambulance all attending a biker on Cheesefoot hill. Quite sobering.

When not stewing my next batch of plums I've been ordering my next batch of equally delicious Blu-ray. In this case "DER TAG DES FALKEN" which has an English soundtrack, and is a title I first bought on LaserDisc longer ago than I really care to contemplate. On that front, happy 60th birthday, Sting!


In case you're having trouble getting from "The day of the falcon" to "Ladyhawke". Meanwhile, my plums are cooling nicely:




1  Another "sweltering hot day for the South and East"...