The Kebab & Calculator

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    Craig @craig

    Sorry for the late responses to you all @pedant @janetteb @whisht @mudlark @winston @thane16

    Thank you for the kind words but I hope, actually I believe, it’s something anyone could and should do. As I said, I have no training, it just takes a bit of nerve to go up and talk to a stranger. It might take even more nerve to call up a friend.

    Someone did commit suicide this week – unfortunately I wasn’t there. My neighbour, who also talks to people who look like they are in that frame of mind (we’re almost a tag team), reminded me that we can’t save everyone.

    It’s been reported that he was a GP (a doctor) with a wife and two young daughters. You would think he had it all. I feel so sorry for all involved and can’t imagine how low, or disturbed, he must have been.

    And yet he was loved. I took this picture tonight. Remember – you are always loved – even if you don’t think you are. And it will always get better. That’s what I always say to those I meet who are thinking about it.


    syzygy @thane16


    Well that’s very difficult, but as your neighbour says, you really can’t save everyone. Nor can you always be in the right place to save them. And sometimes it takes a few gentle words, kind words, particularly if you happen to know the person relatively well. Or a bit.

    I remember, nearly two years back at 5 am my mum being told, “Oh, get some help, will you!” -not exactly gentle words, but words anyway.

    People often think academics, or doctors and specialists, would simply never do that and yet it seems academics, solicitors, musicians, barristers and GPs also take their lives quite suddenly but there are often clues that people close to them will miss. From what @pedant said people plan this very well with notes,  and reminders and bills paid (Or sometimes not which is one reason why they believe everything is hopeless).


    syzygy @thane16

    @janetteb that sounds like a good plan. I hope your boys relax a bit and realise they have a life outside of school. I do, and if I didn’t I would be in a position to get better grades but staying up till 1 am is nuts (to me) and I have no real plans to go to university the normal way. So many have different jobs across their life anyway that it’s good to be sure what you really like is what you actually do? It’s not like that for everyone, or even for most people. I hope it works out.


    syzygy @thane16


    Yesterday after our QCS test (Qld Core Skills ) test, a man was on the stage in the hall. He spoke about how important it is before these tests (they’re about 9 hours worth in October) to get a good sleep and not worry too much. I knew I’d pretty much failed the practise test because most of it is geography, maths and science. 🙁

    He’d said young men had actually killed themselves over this. Another person came up who said they’d been about to and was stopped. My mates were sniggering about this -the idea anyone should “show off about helping someone ‘not’ die.”  I was pretty pissed. To me, if you save a life , you SAVE a life. That’s the most important thing anyone can do EVER.

    It doesn’t matter if someone thinks “oh you’re patting yourself on the back” by talking about it or doing it -no matter if they, unfortunately, try to do it again -you were there and you try – you never ignore them, you never shrug it off. I haven’t ever known anyone suicidal but I do know a guy who quit soccer and I just listened to him talking about how he pulled himself together and kept saying “anytime you wanna talk more, mate…” and so we do. I think we’d all agree that life comes first.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @winston, @janetteb

    Thought I would move this conversation over here as it is not really Who related.

    Climate change: I have never really understood the opposition to an acceptance of this. It seems like a perverse rejection of countless scientific reports. Then I was thinking back to an episode of the current affairs program on Australian TV from many years back called Four Corners. @janetteb will recall  the show. On one particular episode a group of young people who wanted to draw attention to the fact that pristine public parks were being ruined by the rubbish left behind by holiday makers went into a popular recreation park and retrieved all the rubbish that had been thrown into the bushes and foliage by the holiday makers over the years. What was fascinating was that, instead of being congratulated for cleaning everything up, they were angrily confronted by the holiday makers with accusations such as: “If you hadn’t have found it, no one would have known it was there.”

    What the anger was about, of course, was that the holiday makers did not want to accept responsibility for the mess.

    I tend to wonder if that is similar to the reasoning behind ordinary people who deny climate change.

    And interestingly, I see a similar pattern in both Canada and Australia when it comes to accepting that Indigenous peoples in both countries have suffered. There is, it seems to me, a similar angry resistance by the same cohort of people who deny climate change–to whit: “Don’t blame me!” Or, (like the rubbish in the national park) “If you didn’t draw attention to the problem, no one would know about it.”

    late night thoughts…

    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave Yes and I think there is also the “if I acknowledge it I might have to do something about it” fear. Oddly enough though two of the “greenest” people I know are climate denialists. I think in their case it is fear of loosing what they love, this natural world.

    On denialism of abuse of Aboriginal people. I think when I was at school in the 80s we learnt more about that part of our history, aptly named, Frontier war” though it was a very one sided war but then, many wars are, than subsequent generations of students. My sons did learn about stolen generation but not of the atrocities committed before that. Interestingly when researching recently I came across a letter to the Editor written early 20th C (about 1903 from memory) about the killing of a couple of miners in N.T. by Aborigines. He was endeavoring to “put the story into context” describing what was actually going on in the north, ie miners abducting, raping and murdering aboriginal women. Of course he was abused in the media for pointing out facts that nobody down in white Adelaide wanted to hear, Nothing changes.

    And yes I remember Four Corners well. A fine program that made history happen on more than one occasion. I was serving Chris Masters the night he won a journalism award from his story on corruption in QLD and was able to congratulate him. Not sure he appreciated being congratulated by the waitress. Well I guess even Four Corners reporters can be guilty of not realising that the waiting staff are humans too and capable of possessing brains.





    winston @winston

    @janetteb  I was a server for a few years so I know what you mean. Be invisible and have no opinions you are just a waitress. Some people eh!

    As for the issues of climate change and Aboriginal rights, I have found ,as @blenkinsopthebrave said that they are usually the same people and my opinion is that they don’t look forward and they never look back. They live in the now taking and using without admitting to any consequences and they do not want anyone to point out their behaviour. Even if they do admit to climate change then it is someone else’s fault and until they clean up their acts well why should we and blah blah blah. It makes me feel so tired , sad and defeated sometimes, so it is good to know there are others out there fighting the good fight for a kinder, cleaner future. We will change or change will be forced on our children and grandchildren.

    I don’t like to leave on a low note so today it was lovely and sunny and there was a wood duck mom and her 6 cute little babies out back in the creek. She sat on our turtle dock while the ducklings paddled all around but not too far from mom. They are so cute “permission to squeeee!”

    Whisht @whisht

    not sure where to post this so I’ll try here.

    Freddie Jones, great character actor has died.
    This is from a BBC TV thing he did – Jackanory ghost stories played around 5.30pm/ just before the 6pm news.

    I was 9.

    It won’t have the same effect now to anyone else that it did on me at the time, but I distinctly remember sitting enthralled, my mum calling me to tea (ie 6pm meal/ dinner) and me saying “give me a minute” knowing it would be quite a few minutes more.

    That was not normal from me, and dinner going cold was not normal. Not being at the table when dad was ready to eat was not normal.

    But I had to listen to the end.

    I’m sure there are better clips, better moments of his distinctive voice (Freddie Jones’ not my dad’s) but… forever after I always loved seeing this actor pop up in things I was watching.

    winston @winston

    @whisht  He was a great actor and he was in so many tv shows and movies.My favourite was his role as the monk in Erik the Viking. He sure had a long and varied career.

    janetteB @janetteb

    @whisht Just read his obituary. He was such a distinctive actor, and brought warmth to whatever he was in. I have not seen any of his recent roles but was so memorable in what he did, most notably for me, Children of the Stones, and Mayor of Casterbridge. He was considerably younger then though.. I did not realise that Toby Jones is his son.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @whisht thanks for posting that. He was a wonderful character actor of great range. It is interesting what sticks in the mind for each of us. For me, it was his Claudius in “The Caesars” back in the late ’60s, and his understated, yet hypnotically effective, villain in the 1974 film “Juggernaut”.


    janetteB @janetteb

    @blenkinsopthebrave I had not heard of “The Caesars” until I read his obituary in the Guardian. Sounds interesting. I looked about but could not find it. Such a pity there is not just an online library of some of these old classics, accessible to everyone. After-all anything made by the BBC or in Aus, the ABC has been paid for out of our taxes. Everything should go into one massive library, maybe after ten or twenty years.



    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb It is available on the Amazon UK site; all you need is a region-free DVD player. It’s an excellent show.


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    @janetteb when I said “all you need” I confess I am not sure how easy it is to acquire a region free player in Australia.


    Every so often, a combination of great light, sudden movement and shallower than intended depth of field absolutely nails it:

    Bee on wild shrub (possibly dog rose)

    janetteB @janetteb

    @pedant beautiful. Love the colour on the legs. It does resemble a “Dog Rose” as  I recall anyway from my Hons Drama project which included a rather cursory study of Elizabethean gardens.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Confession, we don’t actually have a DVD player. Have always played them through the computer. These days we don’t even use a TV but project everything. Son and Girlfriend gave us surround sound speakers for Christmas which are very nice indeed. I might check library catalogues for this series as our budget these days is somewhat restricted.



    Arbutus @arbutus

    @pedant    Gorgeous.

    syzygy @thane16

    @Janette My cleaner would say “nuh DVD?Uh hah embarrassinggg'”  The example below confirms my assumption she’s a sociopath .

    Certain Melbournians add vowels so that her clients are (including her example) : “mah clahnts have a powah showah hose with  a squeegee [what this is I don’t know] & they spray the water all over the glass but othaah people dahn’t look after things.”

    In order to pay her (Ah dunht take cheques they are too “blenk”  -this word I’ve not yet translated but I’m fairly sure it’s not a reference to @blenkinsopthebrave) she dropped me at the nearest bank & in passing a “boutique” called The Sunday Society (if that’s not exclusive I duhnt know what is!), said:

    fah mah wealthier cluts I buy them gifts from here.” 

    By this time I realised that she sometimes said “mah clut” at which point I was ready to use a different, more applicable 4 letter designation… 😈

    “Here” in the above quotation – if you haven’t passed out from my tedium  – is a shop so over-rated with no-one ever browsing that I think their office is seriously shady. In the back they might sell excess stock of uzis & M16s.

    After she exposed me as a woman who “doesn’t take care of things”  I actually teared up: Gaahd. I don’t think anyone has ever spoken to me like this in my own home. Being real covert I noticed something was up & asked, very politely: “are you OK, you seem on edge?”  She said “yes, yezz I am & I don’t want to talk about it, it’s personal!!”  I took that as a firm “no.”  🙂

    You must all wonder how is it that one house can have all these odd things happening? 12 months ago a group of  nutters cleaning ladies left the house randomly leaving the door wide open (is this some connection to The OA, where The Five left their doors open or is it some devilish pentagrammic? ). They had already insisted there was a “dark foreboding presence & a demon in d’house” but could only clean the houses “of the saved.”

    There it is people I’m what Doctor 10 has called the BEAST. Now scared by worshippers in the future with churches like New- Judasim, the Pash-pash or The Church of the Tin Vagabond.

    Seriously, you can’t make this shit up!

    syzygy @thane16

    sorry @janetteb above.

    Whisht @whisht

    Hi @thane16 still trying to figure out how to give sense to the cleaner thang.

    But, wanting to say something positive to the universe (after my Music thread postngs tonight) I just wanted to say….

    James Burke is still alive.

    Anyone with any particular memories of him?
    I remember watching one of his Connections docs and it mainly going over my head but being spellbound (must hunt down the one he’s in the lighthouse).
    I owe some of me to him (and was pulled to him by what I was and am which is curious)

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave


    Syzygy the elder (and @whisht) this provides some background to the wonderful Superman poster:


    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    Just following on from @whisht‘s call for items celebrating the 50th anniversary of the moon landing (and also about who has the right to be remembered):


    syzygy @thane16

    @whisht @blenkinsopthebrave

    I saw, on Google, James Burke, saying the BBC nearly missed the moon walk &, hinting they might walk early, convinced his own boss to keep running the film past midnight.

    Glory, another thing I never knew!  The photo of Trafalgar Square where people gathered to watch it on a giant TV screen is incredible.

    syzygy @thane16


    Your post appeared just as mine did -with its notification. Aw, that’s wonderful! In fact, to my 13 friends on facebook – – actually real people, people I know: not exactly everyone I’ve seen face-to-face. Yet. 🙂  – I’ll post the link. A couple of very good friends wouldn’t know the origin of the poster & it’s exactly what they’d love to see. It might -or might not – restore some faith in the America that once was…..This reminds me of a lovely little series & its opening scene which we  saw at one point even if we didn’t watch the entire thing.  The Newsroom.

    winston @winston

    @blenkinsopthebrave  @pedant @whisht    Coincidentally we just now watched Apollo 11, a really good documentary  by CNN made entirely with remastered film and audio telling the story. It had no narration except Walter Cronkite when he was on TV at the time. I watched a lot of the lift-off and moon walk as a child on a black and white TV at home and at school but this film shows so much I never saw or don’t remember and in fabulous colour! My husband watched the moon landing at his grandparents with many family members and neighbours gathered around the TV and they all shushed a neighbour who said “It is all Hollywood, it is not real” We laughed today about him being the one who started that old conspiracy theory that the moon landing was faked. Right away while it was happening in front of their eyes ,there were people who just couldn’t or wouldn’t believe it was real.

    For a kid growing up in rural Ontario ,who still had a phone with a crank , rode to my friends on a pony and who watched TV on an old snowy black and white set, the moon landing and the tech that allowed it to happen was amazing. Imagine talking to someone on the moon,wow. I would watch them on TV then run outside and look up at the sky. So for me it is a great memory of a triumph for all mankind and I felt connected to the world all watching at the same time no matter what time it was where they lived.

    Whisht @whisht

    @blenkinsopthebrave – wow both those posts of yours were wonderful (though that’s no surprise).

    Like many perhaps I’d not seen the Superman ‘poster’ nor its history as something on the front of notebooks, many American kids may have had.

    Although I remember the slightly corny Superman “don’t smoke” adverts, the fact is they did it and doing a message about integration in segregated America on the front of school notebooks is far more important. I wonder just how impactful it was.

    The article on Ed Dwight was also powerful.

    @thane16 – Syzy – I’ve never heard of Newsroom and was curious as the clip went on as to where it was going. Very glad I stayed with it! Will have to add that to the ever-growing list of ‘stuff-I-must-watch’

    But today after seeing all this and @winston ‘s memories of actually experiencing the moon landings (thanks!!!!) has left me feeling far more positive about humanity!!




    Dad got us (me, brother, sister) up and 4 in the morning (3 GMT) to watch it (no idea if schools had broken up for summer by then. It was a Monday).

    But it didn’t stop with 11. The entire school was gathered in the main hall to watch the Apollo 12 walk…

    In the utterly wonderful movie The Dish, young Billy refers to the Saturn V rocker, pronouncing V as the letter. A rare fail in period research – no self respecting 10 year old would have made that mistake.  The V was. Fucking brilliant film though – it’s between that and First Man for my anniversary watch. Or maybe both.

    If you haven’t watch 8 Days to the Moon and Back, get on iPlayer and fix that. Really well done.

    winston @winston

    @pedant  We watched First Man and it was really good. Another movie I would recommend is an oldie but a goody about the space program called The Right Stuff, in fact I think I will watch again for the anniversary.

    @whisht Thank you for the kind words. The world celebrated this as a shared accomplishment, I just wish we could get together and face other challenges to our little planet with as much enthusiasm. Just think what we could do as “Earthlings” instead of Canadians, Aussies or Chinese etc..

    syzygy @thane16

    I was two during The Great Moon Walk, as Dad expressed it. He arrived here as a refugee & by the late 1960s, as a chemical & mechanical engineer, he would whisper late night stories, when I couldn’t sleep, centred on the universe & what exciting discoveries we’d  find.

    He was amazed by the delicacy and inventiveness of space crafts. When I was 13 we visited the States (& Canada because we never leave @blenkinsopthebrave  & @winston out).  For Dad NASA was the most exciting part of that trip. America has to be proud of this. Unfortunately, I have very little knowledge about what was real & what was fa……….wait for it…..

    Nope, not that conspiracy stuff – instead that I loved the Apollo 13 film but know little about what is truly accurate & what’s false or necessary cinematic license. On a partially cracked CD-ROM we can still see those stunning images of the moon landing with & its mysterious landscape: so quiet, foreign & unique. An astronaut, in majestic isolation, a beat away from death.

    @whisht I think you’ll like Newsroom -a few eps in the first season might not be to your taste but Seasons 2 & 3 are very good (but no spoilers!)

    @pedant Agreed. The Dish is a terrific film: I often read things about it being a “lovely little film.” Never sure exactly what that means.  But it’s one we rummage around for on Sunday viewing. @janetteb , you might have seen Brian Cox on the ABC with the repeat of the moon and universe docos? Watching them again is an absolute treat.

    So, on that earlier note, the ……moon

    G’night folks…

    Mudlark @mudlark

    @whisht  @blenkinsopthebrave  @winston  @pedant @thane16

    Sadly I didn’t see the first moon landing live, although I was well aware it was happening. At the time I was working as a supervisor on a large excavation in southern England. The hours were long, the work demanding – not to mention the after-work social life – and I simply didn’t have the stamina to stay awake for something which was happening in the early hours of the morning British Summer Time. Normally we had no access to a TV during the 12 week+ digging season, but a few of the American volunteer diggers had managed to scrounge a set from somewhere and did stay up all night. When at around 7 am I staggered in bleary eyed for breakfast in our dig HQ (a small disused chocolate factory) I did stop in passing to watch the ghosting footage of Armstrong bounding slo-mo over the lunar surface.  It has been interesting to watch the various BBC programmes commemorating the anniversary, though from my perspective it doesn’t seem like 50 years. Where did they go?

    What for me had greater initial impact was the broadcast of the first lunar orbit by Apollo 8, and on Christmas Day 1968 of taking a break from the kitchen and preparation of a late Christmas lunch to watch in wonder our first sight of the lunar landscape unreeling below the orbiter while the astronauts read from the beginning of Genesis and wishing us a Happy Christmas.

    Whisht @whisht

    oh wow – thanks @mudlark @winston @thane16 @pedant @blenkinsop and @ everyone I’ve forgotten or who is yet to jump in with a memory. I’m gonna ask my brothers and sister what they remember (I’ll let you know!).

    Unfortunately I just wasn’t quite yet alive when this happened so my main ‘space’ memories are either Challenger or Star Wars when I was 6 or 7 (and possibly Star Wars is maybe more impactful than Challenger landing).

    many many thanks @pedant – just watched 8 Days and really enjoyed it.
    Its interesting that the article @blenkinsopthebrave shared that there was a question as to whether it was important/useful to insist that the astronauts were test pilots.
    However that doc shows that when the need came, there was a person trained to take an unknowingly stressful, urgent, deadly, fast-moving situation and … deal with it with intense calm, control and judgement.

    Also the little moment (maybe it was a hindsight comment) about how in terms of each astronaut, Collins you want for company, Aldrin for knowledge but Armstrong to get you home… it somehow caught something in my throat.


    @pedant When you mention “First Man” is that the one on iPlayer currently called Neil Armstrong First Man?

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    I have been thinking back to my own memories of the moon landing in 1969, and asking myself how clear those memories are. I vividly remember all of us being assembled in the school assembly hall to watch the landing. And I also clearly remember us coming out of the assembly hall and instinctively looking up in the sky and it was one of the clear but cold July days of an Australian winter and you could see the moon even though it was daylight, and while we all liked to pretend we were sophisticated 17 year olds, we shouted “look!” more like 7 year olds.

    I have had that memory for decades, and yet I am now starting to wonder. Australian school holidays today run from the first week of July to the third week of July. Was it different in Australian schools in 1969? I can only assume it must have been. Or was I watching a clip of the landing in the assembly hall after the event when we returned from the holidays? Indeed would the school have had the capacity to show the event live to a large group of school students in 1969? After all, televisions were very small in 1969. Were we listening to it on the radio?

    Damn, it was such a good memory…

    syzygy @thane16

    @blenkinsopthebrave  indeed they do. Young syzygy returned to school on the 15th. I’ll check on the QLD school’s  archive, though.

    I love how barely a month after the moon landing Woodstock happened. And then August 26-31 was the Isle of Wight Festival. 150 000 people there? Not sure. But around then The Stones had ‘Honky Tonk Women’ and Zager and Evans ‘In the Year 2525’ -which my parents played a lot of in the late 70s.

    Not that I’m saying I’m a fan of Zager & Evans. Nice harmonies & super lyrics, a lot of the time. But they performed a lot of songs in the 60s which were upside down/miss a bar 50’s ice cream melodies using the same chords:

    Chords 1; vi, iv, v.

    Anywaaay, back to ya’lls memories.  @whisht

    Also the little moment (maybe it was a hindsight comment) about how in terms of each astronaut, Collins you want for company, Aldrin for knowledge but Armstrong to get you home… it somehow caught something in my throat.

    That’s lovely!

    You mentioned Star Wars, & this period  launched (thank you. Bows for pun) Star Trek and also for @blenkinsopthebrave and @pedant  – -Callan.

    One other thing. Young joined Crosby, Stills & Nash and the Newport Jazz festival featured some rock for the first time.

    A lot of firsts in the months of July-August.



    No, First Man with Ryan Gosling as Armstrong and Claire Foy outstanding as his wife. It caused a hoo-ha by not showing the flag planting, which got all the people who most deserve to spend their lives in impotent rage to spend a little more time doing so.


    Treat yourself to a copy of Skeptics Guide to the Universe by Steven Novella et al. The first 50 pages are spent explaining how thoroughly our brains lie to us (for example, how little of your field of vision as actually in focus). It is a terrific read and I think the paperback is out soon.


    These two are a thoroughly splendid pairing (the second about Apollo 8, the first mission to orbit the Moon). All those iconic Apollo 11 images taken without the benefit of a viewfinder:

    Sobering fact. NASA thought that Apollo 8 had a 30% chance of success.

    But Apollo 11 they had improved those odds – to 50%

    Missy @missy

    Hello everyone. It’s been a while.

    Has anyone here ever had a year where health problems come in force? My OH and I have had – and are still having.

    Me with a hip replacement, all the build up to it and the pain afterwards, and my OH with a hiatus hernia!

    The poor man can hardly eat anything.

    That’s my excuse for my lack of communication.

    Re the Moon landing. We watched the broadcast on our black and white TV.  Deciding it might be a good idea, we got our 5 year old daughter up to watch too, with the hope that she would remember History being made.

    She remembers it well.


    syzygy @thane16


    That’s something unknown to me -the ‘odds.’ Heck a holy moly.

    The book The Knowledge Illusion is similar -talks about how, in one experiment, a sampled group, when asked to draw a bicycle, left off important things. The bike didn’t need a basket or even a light but it certainly needed  -axel, bearings, brackets…

    Before I read it all, I did the same drawing & made similar errors. The most basic things! So, OK, often we say “I have no clue about electricity” but the main comment is (according The Knowledge Illusion) “I can’t understand how a toilet works” when it appears more people can list toilet ‘parts’ than bicycle parts.

    Can I draw the inside of an upright piano? I don’t think so 🙁


    Wonderful to hear about your daughter. But I am sorry to hear about your OH and a hernia. I can’t imagine the pain of that. I really hope winter has brought some home cooking sustenance in the form of soup? Beef soup? @mudlark would have some ideas there.

    And your hip, too? mum suffered with a hip replacement after falling out of bed in a Home several months ago. I really hope they gave you the good stuff for the pain?  On the other thread the Brian Eno is wonderful for meditation.

    syzygy @thane16

    Spoilers for the 2 vids provided. Don’t read ahead if you haven’t watched. But watch it.


    @pedant (I raised my hand)

    Following on from not knowing things….when Laylan asked about the viewfinder, I was thinking “yeah, uhn.  Why not, then, mm?”

    I love his answer. It’s not a lack of English that causes him to stumble, it’s the nature of the question.. Typically this caused an uproar in the family with young Syzygy begging to answer. And he was right. Unlike his mum. To quote a cultural icon, “d’oh.”

    I think when she mentioned the photos, there was catch in her throat. It really meant something. Thank you for that. I’ll have some tea for the moon dust in my eye. Fancy having a little box of your own moon dust.
    end spoiler

    @whisht didn’t we miss your birthday in….March? Golly!   Also @missy it’s your birthday soon? I think. I’m terrible with these things. I hope your Spring is better than winter, at least. If it’s cold here, it must be very cold in Perth.

    • This reply was modified 1 year, 6 months ago by  syzygy. Reason: MASSIVE BLOCS of text. I thought the ASD were going to come knocking
    Mudlark @mudlark


    Commiserations and sympathy over the health problems. My paternal grandmother and my father both suffered from hiatus hernia, so I know at least at second hand what a miserable condition it can be. Since then (1960s-70s) I gather that better drugs to reduce stomach acidity have been developed, and there are now things like Gaviscon to buffer acid reflux, so I hope that in the case of your OH it will be possible to better control the effects. My grandmother ate very little and seemed to subsist mainly on a diet of Complan and slops, which resulted in her having to have oesophageal dilation at regular intervals. Dad continued with a normal diet and didn’t, although it might have been better in the long run if he had stuck to blander food.

    As for the hip replacement, I’ve had both hips done in the past thirteen years and both are still functioning very well, so I hope that yours will prove similarly successful. The post-operative pain in my case was transitory and well controlled – on the last occasion, in fact, I ended up protesting that I didn’t really need all the stuff they were pumping into me – and the main thing after that is to keep exercising, even if it means gritting your teeth and getting on with it at first. Now I just wish that spine replacements were possible 🙁


    Whisht @whisht

    @thane16 – ah cheers. I think you did remember my birthday (end of Feb) but thanks again!
    oh – and (even) I remember Callan. More the film they did later which itself was probably a rerun on TV that I saw and then re-runs. Recently (last year) a channel hidden in the depths of the somethinghundreds had all the seasons from B&W to colour.
    Hit and miss on my binge last year but some of it was great and I just have a soft spot for it!
    Maybe I just thought the Equalizer was a retired Callan! (or more likely I saw Equalizer first and then saw Callan and though knowing it wasn’t wished that it was him when he was young).

    @pedant – ah, that First Man – will try and find it! cheers
    And those docs are really lovely – and a reminder to me at least that Earthise was earlier than Apollo 11 (ie 8).
    Gorgeous and loved the interview with the Hassleblad museum people who were wonderfully normal and not media-smoothed to blandness and I sooooooo want to see the dust he still has!
    (though I kinda was geekily wanting more as to the modifications to the Hassleblad as much as the images).
    Thank you.

    @missy – really sorry to hear about how this year has fared so far for you.
    My mum had 3 hip operations (not three hips mind – just one wore out so gawd knows what they ued to make them from!)
    But they were needed and she did regain mobility each time (in her case it was arthritis).
    Hope it works for you but I know as well that each and every person is indivisual so what works for one may not work same for someone else.

    blenkinsopthebrave @blenkinsopthebrave

    There is a very good collection of articles on the moon landing here:

    I particularly like the one on JoAnn Morgan.

    Missy @missy


    Thank you. It has been a rotten year, but there are plenty of people worse off than us – although that doesn’t always help you. *grins* One becomes very self absorbed when in pain.

    The irony is that so many people who have had this procedure, say that the discomfort suffered afterward, is not nearly as bad as the pain suffered before. In my case it’s been the opposite! *groans*

    However, thanks to Voltaren discomfort has been kept to a minimum.

    Enough of that, how has everyone been during my absence?


    Cath Annabel @cathannabel

    Seconding @pedant ‘s praise for First Man.  Gripping, claustrophobic, intense – and a remarkable amount of suspense given that we all knew that they would make it there and back again!

    Also seconding commiserations & best to @missy – hope things start to improve soon.


    @whisht @cathannabel @thane16 @blenkinsopthebrave @mudlark @winston (and anyone lese interested)

    I have vague disclaimered for the first time in ages: Contact light?

    syzygy @thane16


    This is Syzygy the younger: thankfully your VD pops up in mum’s  inbox auto.

    Absolutely great blog &, again, Mum had no idea at all that 30 seconds referred to fuel. And “contact light”  -loved the analogy. I’m going to listen to it again. We did spend, maybe 10 minutes discussing the moon landing in history -7 minutes, really with the imbeciles (them’s that teach).


    syzygy @thane16

    @pedant !!

    <span style=”display: inline !important; float: none; background-color: transparent; color: #333333; font-family: Georgia,’Times New Roman’,’Bitstream Charter’,Times,serif; font-size: 16px; font-style: italic; font-variant: normal; font-weight: 400; letter-spacing: normal; line-height: 24px; orphans: 2; text-align: left; text-decoration: none; text-indent: 0px; text-transform: none; -webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px; white-space: normal; word-spacing: 0px;”>Treat yourself to a copy of Skeptics Guide to the Universe by Steven Novella et al. The first 50 pages are spent explaining how thoroughly our brains lie to us (for example, how little of your field of vision as actually in focus). It is a terrific read and I think the paperback is out soon.</span><b></b><i></i><u></u>

    WOW. MY philosophy teacher -who we did talk with about the moon landing mentioned this book. I remember this because I thought he was gonna mention The Skeptics Guide to ….something else. But there’s a podcast about that around (we’ve been listening to podcasts coz Mum & I have to make one by Thursday & we’re half way thru it. Part 1 only had one take (I was awesome!).

    Also why are quotes indented? My teachers all say no-one does this anymore?

    @whisht thanks for that. The Equaliser was great -we have that on DVDs somewhere.  The Hassleblad museum was good wasn’t it? Mum was saying “oh, yeah, how come there’s no viewfinder” which I thought was fairly obvious. It turns out i’m more sciency that mum or dad, in the end.

    @blenkinsopthebrave Those articles are beast! Thanks. I often admit I don’t really need to be AT school coz the Forum teaches me all sorts of things that I never ever hear, there.

    Young Siggers.

    syzygy @thane16

    OK, that happened. It’s happening to Mum too so I won’t edit it. When we do it disappears 50% of the time.

    Have I broken the world wide web?



    Are you editing in Word or similar and then copy-and-pasting? If you do that you need to use the Text editor, not the visual one on this site. That stops the gubbins getting treated as text.

    Indenting quotes is good style when you want a clear separation from what someone else said and what you are saying. As with many things, you teacher is wrong.

    The Skeptics Guide podcast is my weekly listen.

    VD means something different to people of my generation….

    winston @winston

    @pedant and @blenkinsopthebrave  Thanks for the links to all that information , like @thane16 I learn something new here all the time. I am still amazed after all these years at the technology and lack of it involved in the space race at the time.To watch the guys and one lone women in the control room using pens and paper to make calculations that the lives of 3 men are relying on just leaves me gob smacked. The odds of success on those early missions  was surprising but they did it.

    @missy   I was sorry to hear about your bad year. That seems to happen doesn’t it? Hopefully both you and you OH will make good recoveries and get well soon.

    Whisht @whisht

    @pedant – I share your amazement at the calm of Armstrong and Aldrin.
    The heartbeats that were monitored were also amazing (especially Armstrong’s in the music @thane16 shared).

    I think I mentioned after the article from @blenkinsopthebrave shared about Ed Dwight, that actually, the decision to use test pilots was probably the right decision after all!
    People who had extensive training, but had also been exposed to critical (deadly) situations before and whose split-second decision making and calm under pressure had seen them cope with extreme stress.

    What Armstrong did in taking over the controls and landing the Eagle was breathtaking (even Houston was holding their collective breath).

    Great piece by you.


    To wrap this up, this is totally worth 20 mins pof your time. Both comms with Eagle AND the flight loop.There was a lot going on…

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