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Craig Sawyers

High Rollers
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Everything posted by Craig Sawyers

  1. I was Project Manager for an instrument on board this bad boy https://www.esa.int/Science_Exploration/Space_Science/BepiColombo The Mercury Imaging X-ray Spectrometer (MIXS). Due to get into Mercury polar orbit in 2025 after a 7 year journey. So far two flybys of Venus and two of the overall 6 flybys of Mercury as it brakes on its way in.
  2. Also not real, but again I wish it was Kind of in a similar vein. In the Chaplin silent movie The Gold Rush, he eats his shoe. That was in fact liquorice. Apparently sourced from a UK company who made the stuff, and made the shoes that Chaplin ate. Enough of them for several takes.
  3. Must be the middle of the night where you are, Tice?
  4. Oh my word - they look completely awesome!
  5. One Flew over the Cuckoo's Nest won a whole raft of Oscars, including one for Louise Fletcher as best actress.
  6. RIP Hilary Mantel, author of the Wolf Hall trilogy about Thomas Cromwell, and his slow fall from grace with Henry VIII to execution at the stake (in Oxford). She was age 70, and died suddenly. One of the very few people to have won two Booker prizes. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/entertainment-arts-63005841
  7. Happy Birthday you long British thing!
  8. We dumped health insurance (we used to have BUPA) four years ago. We don't have anything equivalent to Medicare. The NHS is free anyway - like totally free. Any shots you need are free for anyone. And if you are over 60 any prescription drugs are free too. The only downside is the length of waiting lists for what the NHS see as elective procedures (like hip replacements). And anything we need that is elective we'll pay for. So far an operation on a finger which cost £2k, around a third of the annual BUPA insurance cost. But is our NHS in crisis? Well yes. They are currently a total of 40,000 short in staff numbers. And ambulance response times, supposed to be less than 15 minutes are currently around an hour. And that is a critical problem if you have a heart attack or a stroke. Why are the NHS short of staff? Well - underinvestment by successive Tory governments as a result of an "austerity" program post 2008, and Brexit (also a Tory failure piled of failure). I'm starting to sound like a Johnathan Pie rant! Or as my son says, an old man shouting at clouds. I remind him that once I was a young man who also shouted at clouds!
  9. This was actually yesterday. We went to Oxford to a concert by this wind quintet https://lumaswinds.com/ . First rate professional musicians. Three fiendishly difficult pieces https://lumaswinds.com/concert/university-church-oxford/ Astonishingly for such amazing musicians, the concert was free! And because we are now "senior citizens" we have a bus pass that gives us free travel. And the bus stop is within a hundred yards of our house. What is not to like? We got away with "free" before we blew out on a meal at Quod https://www.quod.co.uk/ 🍽️
  10. "Let's roll." Flight 93 hero Todd Beamer along with Tom Burnett, Jeremy Glick and Mark Bingham, attempted to overwhelm the hijackers of Flight 93. Moments later the plane would crash. Todd's Rolex watch, recovered from the crash site. The date still reads "11" September.
  11. The tightening torque for devices (like TO220) to a heatsink is defined. It is less than you might think. I bought a torque screwdriver for exactly this. AN1040-D semiconductor mounting considerations.PDF
  12. My son designs and project manages some of the largest and most sophisticated display systems around. He is my go-to IT guru. He was responsible for my last two desk tops - built from the ground up, and neither has missed a beat. For recreation he is a gamer. Two ridiculous joysticks, a pair of foot pedals and two screens. He has fiber to the house so has a ton of bandwidth. His take on W11 is don't do anything until you have to pay for it. If you go for the free roll out, you are essentially doing free beta development for them.
  13. Admission time. I have one of the Autodesk shavers. And I swore it made a difference. But I then ripped my CD collection to a NAS drive using dBpoweramp, using FLAC lossless encoding. Now dBpoweramp compares your rip, track by track with all other rips in their database with an 8 hexadecimal number checksum (if all F's that is over 4 billion decimal). If it is green, it is a bit-perfect rip as compared with possible a hundred or more previous rips. If it is red, there is a checksum error, even by one bit. Close examination of the offending CD usually revealed a scratch or aluminium layer pin holes. Scratches can be polished out, but pinholes are end of story. If the checksum is green, then that data is added to the rip accuracy library. But there was absolutely no difference to the accuracy of the rip whether the disc had been shaved or not. So like the video shows, it seems that there is no real effect in shaving and black colouring the edge.
  14. Just done a tour of the music radio channels, particularly the classical ones - Radio 3 and ClassicFM - and they are all playing somber music.
  15. (I hate this autoappend thingy. Can we not have it manually selectable?) Nick Mason and the Queen tinkering with his Ferrari 250GTO
  16. The saturation coverage continues. Radio, all TV channels. Some are shut down and simply say "see coverage on BBC. BBC1 and 2 are showing exactly the same broadcasts. But bizarrely all sports fixtures have been cancelled (including football and athletics), live music has been cancelled including the Last Night of the Proms. There has been a wholesale cancelling of scheduled TV programs. There is no escape. The media are focusing on anyone weeping. The question is why on both counts. We've kind of lost the plot. It can not have come as anything of a surprise that a 96 year old lady has died. It was different when Princess Di was killed in a car crash - that was a surprise and shocking, and the media were completely unprepared. But it has been on the cards for a decade that the Queen was on borrowed time, so all the documentary material was ready to just roll out. Wall to wall at the click of a button. That might seem churlish. But you have to be here to witness the media madness and the public going OTT
  17. One of the more revolutionary things she pioneered was the ability (pay) to tour the palaces. Buckinham, Windsor, Sandringham and Balmoral. She introduced that when there was a catastrophic fire at Windsor Castle, which cost £36.5 million to restore in the early 90's. She funded that by charging entry fees for public tours of the four great palaces. There was no government (or therefore British public) funding, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1992_Windsor_Castle_fire Although charged entry was only supposed to last for five years, it has been continued for 30 years.
  18. Yes indeed. She spent her life devoted to duty. I'm now 66, and QEII was Queen for 5 years before I was born. That is a staggering statistic. The Monarch who was the longest lasting in British history (nearly 71 years). 7 years longer than the next longest, which was her grandmother Victoria. Now I was never an avid royalist, but even I am somewhat humbled by two days ago she took Boris Johnson's resignation and Liz Truss's taking over in person. I must admit that she did not look well. Of course every major channel on UK TC is now saturation coverage. Because she was 96, there was a whole lot of prepared material that is just being regurgitated. Every inch of her life from childhood onwards. It'll take a week or a fortnight for all this to die down and life to return to the drab nonsense we are all suffering under. We were lucky to go to a Buckingham Palace garden party before Diana met her fate. So we ended up a very few feet from the whole lot of them. We had another invitation that was buggered by Covid and alas might now no longer happen.
  19. But how many furlongs, chains and links is the length of the decks? Like many things, this weird and should-be-obsolete units live on. Horse races and training gallops are measured in furlongs (220 yards), and the length between creases in cricket is a chain (22 yards). And a furlong times a chain is an acre - which was the area a ploughman with a horse or ox-drawn plough, could plough in a day. And if you catch a train to London, the distance countdown to the platform is shown on discs by the side of the tracks, in miles and chains (80 chains to a mile). Here's another one. The difference in UK and US shoe sizes is 1/3 inch. This unit is known as the Barleycorn (the length of a grain of barley) and dates back to Saxon times, although it was standardized as 1/108 of a yard in around 1300. And why do we in Blighty buy petrol (gasoline) in liters, but measure our fuel consumption in miles per (UK) gallon? And why are British road signs in miles and not km? And why is beer served in pints, but every other booze measure is in liters or fractions thereof?
  20. Some months ago, we visited the Mary Rose museum in Portsmouth. https://maryrose.org/panorama , and this thing was parked up at the quayside a few hundred meters away. I remember saying to Mrs S "Wow - that is really impressive. I wouldn't want to be on the receiving end of the fucker" Little would we know that it would all be a bit of a British disaster.
  21. Unfortunately it is too true. In particular from 1st October gas and electricity prices are rising by 80%. After they went up by 60% in April. And forecast for a further 80% in January. And god help us what happens in April. First rate video. Dunno who she is, but it calls the shots for sure.
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