Just finished reading “From Byfleet to the Bush” the Autobiography of Jacqueline Pearce (Servalan in Blake’s 7).

Thought it might be an interesting read as I was totally besotted with Servalan during the showing of the original series – and a good read it was.

The only observation I would like to make is that for someone who purports to be frigid – you sure seem to have had a lot of sex Jacqueline (just me being jealous :) )

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I just put my new car Tax disc in about 10-minutes ago, £265 for the next twelve months which I thought was a little steep.  But on replacing the disc I saw that I had simply left the last few years worth of discs in the holder.  Got a bit of a shock when I looked through them – this is how it reads:

2010 – £215.00

2011 – £235.00

2012 – £245.00

2013 – £250.00

2014 – £260.00

2015 – £265.00

So in 5 years I’ve seen a £50 increase in a £215.00 start value which looks like in excess of a 23% increase to me.  Someone’s having a laugh I reckon – not me though :(

 

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Gives me goosebumps all over and resets my neurons.  How does he do it?

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Just been told I got today’s Earth Science Picture of the Day (EPOD) http://epod.usra.edu/

Took a look, and yep, sure enough, my favourite insect – the Morpho Rhetenor butterfly which kindly provided me with the Patent design for a new type of Photonic Crystal :)

Thank you Jim at EPOD for continuing to publish my work.

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On Thin Ice: A woman’s journey to the North Pole – by Matty L. McNair

An utterly superb read, but who the hell is Matty McNair and how did I come across her?  Answer – Top Gear!!

Recall the race to the North Pole episode where Clarkson and Clown took a Batmobile across the terrain and the Hamster (accompanied by a woman) took a dog sled?  Well that (super)woman was Matty.  Hard to forget those scenes where she was kite skiing the white stuff.  Incredible program – and an incredible book.  It’s more than a little humbling to see a woman who is far tougher and more adventurous than you are as a man :)

 

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http://www.ted.com/talks/jk_rowling_the_fringe_benefits_of_failure

Find a quiet 20-minutes to sit down and absorb these words.

 

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First the positive.  90 pages of the new book completed, estimated total 250 pages.

Now the negative.  All my (5) observatory computers are XP-based machines as there are still plenty of astronomy bits running on ancient software.  As you know Microsoft no longer supports XP, this is apparently no problem for the 4 Intel machines – but a big problem for the Athlon which has now kindly locked me out.  Thank you very much Microsoft – like I need these unnecessary problems on top of trying to maintain a parallel imaging array.

 

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This is a possible front cover for the new photography book I am currently writing:

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Cybele, with Bluebonnets – just read it!

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I had discussions with a book publisher yesterday to see how he felt about a “photography book” project I have been mulling over for around 2 or 3 years now.  I am pleased to say that he thought it was a good idea, so now the hard graft begins of putting it all together.  This is a “specialist” book, so it’s not about going out and taking snaps with your new DSLR, it includes Deep-Sky imaging, photomicroscopy, macrophotography, high-speed photography, pinhole camera photography, special effects photography like “Little Planet” images, and there is even an Appendix on Computer Generated Imagery.  I estimate this to be around 250 pages long, coffee-table book size (in landscape format) and printed to an extremely high quality to bring out the best in the images.  Current estimate for draft completion – around September/October this year.  We’re off!!

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