Fly The Flag

Sunday, June 19th, 2016 07:45 pm
tourmaline: (ISS)
So for Tim Peake's landing yesterday, there was no Stargazing Live special as so many of us had hoped. Instead, there was live coverage (mostly the NASA TV feed) on the BBC News channel, which had the usual experts (Libby Jackson from UKSA, Professor Lucie Green from UCL) along with BBC science correspondents who knew what they were talking about, and general studio presenters who didn't. So glad all went so well, there was a BBC guy who was practically interviewing Tim Peake on the Kazakh steppe. Yuri Malenchenko was sitting bolt upright early on like the seasoned space traveller he is, but Tim Kopra looked a bit wobbly for a while but he seemed to be getting his bearings OK eventually.

Having this on the news rather than a dedicated programme meant the news headlines ticker was on screen almost the whole time, so all the stuff about the man who murdered the MP Jo Cox was there. I can't believe what a nightmare that was. I've met a few people through work, my age and younger, and you know immediately they're a future MP for a left-leaning party, and they'll be a very good one, just like Jo Cox.

My friend and I took a little break from the usual work routine on Thursday morning to watch the Aviva Women's Tour go past along the main road near our business park. I had read about this early in the year, and my friend wanted a photo to illustrate a staff newsletter article she was writing about the Cycle To Work scheme. I took my flag and was cheering and yelling as they went past - it was still quite early in the race so they were all in a big bunch. Sadly we didn't get on the TV highlights, they went straight from the start in Atherstone to the part just after us when they went through the University of Warwick campus. But it was so exciting seeing all the build-up, the police motorbikes, the race marshal motorbikes, and the support cars going past, all waving at us, and us waving back. There wasn't many of us along that stretch of road, but there was lots of TV coverage of other stretches of road where there were lots of schoolkids cheering and waving flags. I was only going to watch the highlights once but I'm going to keep them now, as there are lots of sights I recognise, and I'll always remember being out there, even if it was only for a short time.


Friday, April 29th, 2011 06:33 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Endeavour)
Boo. APU heater problem means a launch scrub, minimum 72 hours turnaround. They'd better not try for a launch next Friday, have told them about my Hugh Laurie tickets - after all, I've been waiting for this theatre visit since before Endeavour was born so I think it's right to prioritise.

So no launch coverage, and no TV shows on, ie no bank holiday programming now that I missed Wallace & Gromit earlier. BBC News still kissing various Union Jack arses covering old ladies having street parties. And I asked a question without being yelled at, I asked if Kate whateverhernameis is in the RAF, Dad said no, she's unemployed, so I guess that's confused the Daily Mail, they probably don't know whether to kiss her arse or call her a lazy dole scrounger.

Mark Kelly Interview

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011 10:50 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Latest news on Gabrielle Giffords is that she's expected to be moved to a rehab centre in Houston on Friday. She's continuing to respond well, showing more signs of awareness and understanding.

I've just watched the ABC interview with Mark Kelly - both deeply sad and enormously hopeful, prepare to have your heart broken and then remade stronger than before. You can see it here - under the cut )

After Today

Saturday, January 8th, 2011 11:54 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
I think that after today's news we need to focus on good things. At some point in the week, I'll post the posts I'd intended for today - one about my visit to Bedworth (with photos), and one about By The Sea.

Latest on Gabrielle Giffords is that she's out of surgery, is responding and doctors are optimistic but at this stage she's still in a critical condition. Discussion (at least in the twitterfeeds and forums I move in) has shifted to her husband Mark Kelly, who is due to command STS-134 which is currently set for launch in April. People are speculating that either he may request to be stood down from the mission, or NASA doctors may stand him down. A sim (mission simulation, where the crew are trained to cope with emergencies which may happen on-mission by simulating something or several things going wrong) on Monday has been cancelled, according to MCC-H people on my Twitterfeed. Thoughts also lead to the ISS, as Mark's twin brother Scott Kelly is currently commander, I can't imagine how that must feel, being stuck in space when you so desperately want to be supporting your family (they have no other siblings).

So a final, more uplifting thought to end this post on - watch this week's QI XL rather than the standard QI episode (H.15 Hypnosis). Robert Webb is a first-timer on the panel, and was clearly very delighted to be there.
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Rare pygmy hippo makes zoo debut

ZOMG Cuteness Overload! <3 <3 <3

In Other News

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010 07:05 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
A separate post for everything else. Stuff in the news.

The General Election has been announced for 6 May. So a whole month of suffering all the right-wing loons who crawl out of the woodwork (no web link because it's all over the place) :(

Corin Redgrave dies at age 70 I know he'd been ill in recent years, but :( And Four Weddings And A Funeral was only on TV on Sunday. The only other thing I know him from is the BBC's Persuasion from the mid-1990s, he played Sir Walter Elliot as a totally unspeakable upper-class arse. If you haven't seen this, I do recommend it very highly - also stars Amanda Root, Ciaran Hinds, Simon Russell Beale, Susan Fleetwood and Sophie Thompson.

Dawn French and Lenny Henry split after 25 years of marriage Double :(

Discovery is in orbit and things are progressing well, but the Ku band has packed in completely - won't send or receive, so no onboard coverage on NASA TV. They're going to record the tile survey and edit/compress it in Windows Movie Maker 7 and then send it down from the ISS after docking & hatch open, apparently (cue discussion of PC vs Mac and Windows in general from space tweeps). There's alternatives and/or workarounds they can use for docking without Ku, I guess that's what the training's for. But NASA TV are replaying highlights of the crew's training, or stuff from previous missions in the absence of Flight Day Highlights. It feels like when it keeps raining at Wimbledon and they show you a 'classic' match from 1980.

There are now 49308493840328 potholes on my journey to/from work, more than there was immediately after the freezing weather had left its mark. I think the plan is to wait until the rest of the road is worn down to the level of the potholes and then claim they're "fixed".
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Default)
Rio de Janeiro has been elected as host city of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Rio or Chicago would have been cool with me. Tokyo probably would too, they certainly had the nicest Candidate City logo, but they're not on my radar so much. Plus Tokyo hosted in 1964 and although the last US Olympics was 1996, they haven't been held in the Midwest since St Louis in 1904. Madrid didn't look likely to win, being less than a thousand miles from the 2012 host city and on the same continent. And their logo is rubbish.

I was surprised Chicago went out of the running so early, like the bookies I thought it would be a close thing between Rio & Chicago. Glad I had no reason this time to be glued to the latest news - when London was chosen I was a bag of nerves all morning.
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (tulip)
Sir Clement Freud had died, nine days short of his 85th birthday.

BBC News:



According to his Wikipedia entry, he had seventeen grandchildren. Wow.... but he's the kind of man you'd pick if you had to choose a celebrity grandad. And it's sad when a stalwart of Just A Minute is no more, I know there are lots of brilliant younger generation contestants, but the awesome thing about JAM at its best is in the mix of the comedic generations :(


Tuesday, January 20th, 2009 08:28 pm
tourmaline: (Squeee Odyssey)
Woe. I have a rotten cold and am full of snot, despite sneezing every five minutes it remains in place. I don't mind sneezing so much, it's my primary method of breathing at the moment. Unless a miracle happens overnight I won't be going to work tomorrow.

I missed Obama's swearing-in live. Curses and Fuck and Fuck and Fuck :'( I've seen it on iPlayer, they cut round it close. I didn't see who was sitting in the chairs apart from Obama's family & the swearing-in guy, but I was looking for Clinton (Bill, not Hilary, don't care about her) to see the look on his face. But I'd like to know why the BBC can only give two hours live coverage to the event (according to their website).

I went for petrol on the way home from work, I thought 'If I go to Sainsburys, they have a pretty well-stocked shop, I can get sesame seed bagels and Cadburys mini eggs' but no. Had to make do with some M&Ms. I'm ill, I need my junk food.

But I am glad the cold is happening now, cos I'd have been devastated if it had happened this time last week. I can't believe it's a whole week since I met with everyone! Birmingham will never be the same to me, it's a magical place again.

It seems our team at work is a sick team, literally. I came back into work yesterday to find one of my friends (one of the team managers) has seriously buggered her knee by walking up the stairs at her home, and is now off work for who knows how long cos it had to be operated on & pinned & reassembled. But now she's back home, I spoke to her yesterday. Also, one of the officers has been off with flu - he was back in today, mostly better but still coughing, which he said he didn't mind cos it's giving his abs a good workout & if the cough lasts at least he'll get a six-pack out of it.


Wednesday, January 7th, 2009 06:11 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (adorable bertie wooster)

Seriously, can you get more adorable?
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (stephen fry qi)
...there was a dead slave, apparently.

Obama Obama

Wednesday, November 5th, 2008 07:39 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (house praise)
I know I'm late in posting on this.... work, university, time zones all conspiring against a posting. But WAHOOOO!!!!!!!!

I'm happy for everyone, but particularly for the generation who campaigned long and hard for civil rights in the US. Awesomeness.
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (father ted protest)
Is that the right collective noun?

This is cool. Partly because of what they're doing, but also because it's like a lost scene from an episode of Father Ted.

Stop Whining

Thursday, April 24th, 2008 10:14 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (Chase)
Some of the teachers (one of the main teaching unions I think) have been on a one-day strike in the UK today. The media is full of "oh my poor child's education is ruined and we'll starve because I had to take a day off work to look after my poor little darlings at home and I had to sacrifice a day's pay cos we're not allowed holidays".

Fuck off. Stop whining. One fucking day.

No-one gave a crap about us when we were the ones who did four-day weeks at school for two years because of strike action. Or that prior to this, we lost an average of a week each term to intermittent strike action, or even the time the schools were shut for a whole month. We were all left at home on our own, it's how we learned to vacuum and dust the house. Schools did no non-teaching activity apart from lunch for kids entitled to free meals during this time (and even that didn't last). Today's poor dears aren't missing out on their jazz band rehearsals or archery lessons because of the strike action. And they get fed real food instead of the fried egg and chips that constituted our "healthy" school lunches.


Wednesday, June 27th, 2007 10:45 pm
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (teacake with jam)
Let's be optimistic here.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Hugh Laurie OBE

Saturday, December 30th, 2006 01:21 am
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (peter's friends happy new year)
News is now out about the 2007 New Year Honours List, which includes Hugh Laurie as one of its many OBE recipients. While I've not always thought favourably of the Honours Lists in the past (and probably won't always do so in the future), I'm so happy for Hugh! Congratulations babe.

Read more at BBC News (Hugh gets a brief mention) and Chortle news pages.
tourmaline: total solar eclipse, from a photo by NASA (ducklings)
Apparently Margaret Thatcher is "deeply saddened" cos General Pinochet has died. Good. I hope her heart breaks slowly and gives out in fifteen days time. Merry Fucking Christmas!!!!!!!!!