In 1968 we were living at the top of the Sir John Soane’s museum in Lincoln’s Inn Fields, Holborn, London having just returned from 2 years in New Zealand.  Believe me, the museum was the spookiest of places at the best of times.

However, I decided to take a hot bath one evening and settled in for a good soak.  Something very strange happened that night.  Something that I will never forget.  Something that has stayed with me, clear as day for the past 46 years.

The water in the bath started to build up into waves, waves with a period of about a second.  The amplitude of the waves increased very quickly over maybe 10 seconds or so, and they were so high at the walls of the bath that they actually collapsed over just like a wave in the sea.  As you can imagine this was a bit unsettling for a 14 year old kid who just wanted a soak, and I sat up with a start.  The waves stopped!!  A bit shaken I laid down in the bath again, and no sooner had I sunken myself in my nice hot bath again – the waves started up!  Big waves, breaking on the walls again – shit!  Sat up again, and they stopped.  This was weird.  Even I could see this was weird.  And at 14 with a highly active imagination and no Physics background – this was Supernatural and something spooky was going on in the Museum that night.  I laid down in the bath again – same thing happened.  This was all too much, got out and pulled the plug out – pretty shaken.

That evening stayed with me for quite a while.  I think I told my parents who I believe told me I was talking rubbish, and that’s how it stood for maybe 20 years or so until I thought about it again – this time armed with a First Class Honours Degree in Physics, Maths and Astronomy from the University of  Sussex.  The Supernatural event became a natural event, but probably a very rare event.  I must say that in the few baths I took since that day (preferring showers nowadays) I have never been able to repeat the observation – but this is what I think happened.

By pure luck (bad luck?) I had filled the bath to the point where it was in resonance with my heartbeat pumping the blood around my body.  I had created a resonant cavity and the little “pushes” into the water caused by my heartbeat pumping the blood around were at resonance with the bath/water “cavity”.  As for any resonant system, when pumping energy into the system at the resonant frequency there is a rapid build up in amplitude, whether it’s a voltage, or a wave amplitude.  Very quickly the waves built up in the bath until they were splashing off the walls like a mini-storm at sea.

So that’s what I think happened with my increased Physics knowledge and my scientist hat on.  But it could have been a Ghost of course :) :)

 

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If you have to accompany your photographic images, or your artwork in general, with flowery prose – you can be pretty sure your art is rubbish :)

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Symbiosis or Evolution, or maybe a little of both?  It doesn’t really matter.  If you don’t know what I’m on about in the first sentence then you need not read any further and it won’t ruin your day.

Gaia – lots of misconceptions here – Gaia is NOT an organism, Gaia is a system.  A system that includes both living, and what we call non-living objects.  You don’t believe me?  Well the living objects certainly have a massive impact on our Planet’s atmospheric composition.  You don’t believe me again?  Then why do you think those looking for life on other planets propose using spectroscopy to look at the atmospheric components – and thus the clue as to whether life exists there or not?

Or our seas, rich in algae and plankton not only do they have a huge atmospheric impact, these life forms also have a necessity for the sea’s PH to be within certain bounds for their very existence.  So what?

I have written published papers on Biomimetics where I state that if Nature has produced a solution, whether aerodynamic, optical or hydrodynamic to some survival problem, then that solution is likely to be highly optimised and we are unlikely to be able to improve upon it – apart from using materials (like metals) that Nature doesn’t seem to incorporate into her living systems to any great extent.  Note that the living systems are not “heading” towards some sort of “perfection”, there are random changes occurring that may, or may not aid survival.  Those changes that do aid survival will allow the continuation of the life form, and vice-versa.  There is no “intelligence” involved here, but there are enormous timescales involved, timescales beyond human comprehension – and this is what makes evolution such a difficult concept to grasp.  But just take two things from this paragraph – very long timescales, and changes to living organisms that bring them more into “balance” with their surroundings in order to increase their probability of survival.

It is believed that the Earth is around 4.54 billion years old, and that life on Earth began around 3.8 billion years ago, unless you’re one of those that believe life began around 4,004 B.C.  So life has had 3.8 billion years to thrive, multiply, evolve and undergo symbiosis, creating billions upon billions of different bacteria, viruses, plants, animals, insects and birds – and during these geological timescales all these life forms have been undergoing change to increase their probability of survival in an environment that was also undergoing change.

In 2014 A.D. we are over 3.8 billion years down the life road, and the “system” that has evolved over all this time, Gaia, is now taking a very severe bashing from just one species – Homo Sapiens.  The system is actually having bloody great holes cut out of it, and what happens if you have a highly complex system in a quasi-equilibrium state and you take bloody great holes out of it?  It changes of course in an attempt to regain some sort of quasi-equilibrium.  And how does it do that?  How the hell do we know?  This is a multi-billion, probably multi-trillion component system we’re talking about here – who can possibly know how such a complex system reacts to the wiping out of whole animal species, and the felling of obscene areas of rain forest?  This is not Gaia “fighting back” as some sort of conscious organism that feels pain (I hope) – this is a complex life/non-life system in quasi-equilibrium that is having severe external constraints put upon the system – by our complete disrespect for our planet basically.

Is there global warming, climate change, melting of the polar ice caps, massive increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide, life-form extinctions and a myriad other worrying things going on right now?  Some will argue that some of these things are not happening, and that some may be happening but they are “natural” occurrences and not the work of Homo Sapiens.  Then again, the average Homo Sapiens, like the Ostrich, is a master at sticking his head in a bucket of sand.

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This is a 6-month pinhole photograph taken with the REALLY BIG pinhole camera I made using a piece of 4″ diameter plastic drainpipe.

You can clearly see the 2 New Forest Observatory domes, and the oval-shaped object in the middle-foreground is the top of a Teak garden table.

You can also see that the weather has been pretty dire for the the last 6-months :(

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My wife was working in the garden this morning and came across this beautiful female stag beetle – so of course – out comes the macro :) :)

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A friend on one of the astronomy forums asked me if one of these would be any good for taking flats.

Any good??  They are utterly superb!!!!!!!!  AND they are CHEAP!!!!!!!!!  AND if you have a large aperture scope they are also available in A3 or A2 size as well (ALSO CHEAP!!!!!!!!!!!).

I don’t think these guys realise (yet) that there is a market out there for their product that almost certainly exceeds the market for light boxes for drawing :) :)

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To claim your system is foolproof is to completely ignore the outstanding ingenuity of the average fool.

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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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