Brit In Space

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015 09:23 pm
tourmaline: (ISS)
It's been a long day, and I've spent most of it sitting on the sofa in front of my laptop. I took the day off so I could follow today's Soyuz launch unencumbered by work. It's been amazing, it was such a perfect-looking launch, then a bit of unwanted drama with the docking having to be done manually, and then a long wait for the hatches to open. Luckily the live BBC coverage overstayed its time so we could see the crew enter the ISS.

There were two Stargazing Live special programmes on TV today, covering the launch and the hatch entry. Chris Hadfield was on both programmes alongside Dara O Briain and Professor Brian Cox, and Helen Sharman was also on the evening programme. Additionally, I listened to Ron Garan on a BBC Radio Five Live programme last night, and on Sunday I heard a BBC World Service documentary about the history of space stations which was narrated by Samantha Cristoforetti. There have been glimpses of other astronauts on the BBC TV coverage - biggest name was Alexei Leonov was on the morning programme with Helen Sharman, there was a clip of Tim Peake's training with his fellow ESA astronauts, and I saw Mike Fossum with the crew's families in Baikonur on the evening programme. The Stargazing Live specials came from the Science Museum which was full of schoolchildren, all waving flags and being fantastically noisy - counting down with the launch countdown, and cheering loudly when Tim Peake waved and gave a thumbs-up during ascent.

As always, I was waiting for this sight:

Expedition 46 Crew 15Dec15

It was very busy on Twitter too, lots of debate over whether Tim is the first British astronaut - he isn't, he's the first British person to go into space as a member of the astronaut corps attached to Britain. Helen Sharman, the first Brit in space, went as part of a privately-funded venture, and in the intervening time there have been three NASA astronauts with joint US/UK citizenship, and two spaceflight participants with joint UK/other nation citizenship. It's a great question to ask on QI.

This crew is scheduled to be onboard until June next year, so there will be lots of opportunity to follow along. It will be so cool.


Wednesday, March 30th, 2011 08:58 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
My apologies about Twitter being down. I shan't wonder aloud next time, hopefully it won't be down for long and will spring back into life soon just like the BBC News website did yesterday and LJ eventually did today.

Sushi & Stargazing

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 09:47 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Well I'm still here and so is work, busy but things got done and are getting done. In an effort to create something to look forward to, I made sushi this evening - delicious, tried including mushrooms for the first time, but next time I need something with a stronger flavour like shittake maybe.

Sushi Pics )
Because I left work a few minutes early and got started as soon as I came home, I managed to get it all completed before Stargazing Live began. Completely awesome tonight, Tim Peake was a guest, and there was a recording from October or November when Brian Cox spoke to the US astonauts on the ISS (Doug Wheelock, Shannon Walker, Scott Kelly). I was also LOLing cos Jonathan Ross is the programme's resident noob, he was in the studio tonight and said about how the pictures from the major global telescopes were so awesome, it was a bit underwhelming in a way to then see Jupiter or M31 or whatever through a standard back garden telescope, and Dara O'Briain's face was like thunder, I wondered what he'd have said had they not been on live TV.
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Does anyone (hello, North America) have knowledgeable experts on Winter Olympics sports who can add background info, conduct interviews and not talk bollocks or ramble incoherently that they can spare? BBC Sport want to hear from you for Sochi 2014. Actually I want to hear from you before then, can you be working for the BBC tomorrow night my time cos I'm fed up with the current bunch of witterers?

Women's Ice Hockey is awesome. And it makes me think of [profile] bmax67 who is an awesome ice hockey player too.

British Newspapers

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009 08:08 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
As I mentioned a lesser-known national newspaper in a discussion on the US & UK healthcare systems, I thought I'd clarify the positions of the best known national newspapers in the UK with a little help :)


Thursday, April 16th, 2009 09:50 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (easter)
Inspired by a conversation on Twitter, I hunted down this Two Ronnies sketch:

Which had me looking for more Two Ronnies sketches I remember - I love the wordplay they used so much, like these:

Here )


Saturday, November 8th, 2008 08:24 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (father ted protest)
Tonight BBC2 is devoting itself to a tribute to Geoffrey Perkins. There's a special edition of Comedy Connections tracing his career, plus episodes of The Fast Show and The Catherine Tate Show. Meanwhile, I'm getting in the mood with some Father Ted eps.

If you have access to iPlayer, look out for Comedy Connections soon. Will be worth watching I'm sure.

Edit: it was good. Lots of Radio Active / KYTV stuff (I planned to post some YouTubed KYTV here but couldn't find any decent quality files). They showed Father Ted, too (The Passion of St Tibulus, which this icon is taken from) - C4 gave the BBC permission to screen an ep given the special circumstances.