Monday, 23 November 2009

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Sheppey Rugby Club Fireworks Display, 7th Nov 2009






A firework is a low explosive pyrotechnic device used primarily for aesthetic and entertainment purposes. The most common use of a firework is as part of a fireworks display. A fireworks event (also called a fireworks show or pyrotechnics) is a display of the effects produced by firework devices. Fireworks competitions are also regularly held at a number of places. Fireworks (devices) take many forms to produce the four primary effects: noise, light, smoke, and floating materials (confetti for example). They may be designed to burn with coloured flames and sparks including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, and silver. Displays are common throughout the world and are the focal point of many cultural and religious celebrations.

Saturday, 7 November 2009

Friday, 16 October 2009

The Jurassic Coast – Sidmouth, Devon, England

This photograph was taken looking south from Sidmouth which is a small town on the English Channel coast in Devon, South West England. The town lies at the mouth of the River Sid in the East Devon district, 15 miles (24 km) south east of Exeter. It has a population of about 15,000, of whom 40% are over 65, and a large part of the town has been designated as a Conservation area. Sidmouth's rocks contain fossils and so this stretch of coast is part of the Jurassic coast world heritage site.


Thursday, 15 October 2009

Rouen Cathedral


Rouen has been dubbed the "City of a Hundred Spires," for many of its important edifices are churches. Towering above them all is the highest spire in France, erected in 1876, a cast-iron tour-de-force rising 490 ft above the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Rouen. Claude Monet immortalized Rouen's cathedral facade in his paintings.
History

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

H2O/HOH


The first decomposition of water into hydrogen and oxygen, by electrolysis, was done in 1800 by William Nicholson, an English chemist. In 1805, Joseph Louis Gay-Lussac andAlexander von Humboldt showed that water is composed of two parts hydrogen and one part oxygen (by volume).
Gilbert Newton Lewis isolated the first sample of pure heavy water in 1933.
The properties of water have historically been used to define various temperature scales. Notably, the Kelvin, Celsius and Fahrenheit scales were, or currently are, defined by the freezing and boiling points of water. The less common scales of Delisle, Newton, Réaumur and Rømer were defined similarly. The triple point of water is a more commonly used standard point today.

Water (H2O, HOH) is the most abundant molecule on Earth's surface, constituting about 75% of the Earth's surface. In nature it exists in liquid, solid, and gaseous states. It is in dynamic equilibrium between the liquid and gas states at standard temperature and pressure. At room temperature, it is a nearly colorless with a hint of blue, tasteless, and odorless liquid. Many substances dissolve in water and it is commonly referred to as the universal solvent. Because of this, water in nature and in use is rarely pure and some of its properties may vary slightly from those of the pure substance. However, there are many compounds that are essentially, if not completely, insoluble in water. Water is the only common substance found naturally in all three common states of matter—for other substances, see Chemical properties. Water is essential for life on Earth. Water usually makes up 55% to 78% of the human body.
Surface Tension
Water has a high surface tension of 72.8 mN/m, caused by the strong cohesion between water molecules, the highest of the non-metallic liquids. This can be seen when small quantities of water are placed onto a sorption-free (non-adsorbent and non-absorbent) surface, such as polythene orTeflon, and the water stays together as drops. Just as significantly, air trapped in surface disturbances forms bubbles, which sometimes last long enough to transfer gas molecules to the water.
Another surface tension effect is capillary waves, which are the surface ripples that form around the impacts of drops on water surfaces, and sometimes occur with strong subsurface currents flowing to the water surface. The apparent elasticity caused by surface tension drives the waves.
Capillary Action
Due to an interplay of the forces of adhesion and surface tension, water exhibits capillary action whereby water rises into a narrow tube against the force of gravity. Water adheres to the inside wall of the tube and surface tension tends to straighten the surface causing a surface rise and more water is pulled up through cohesion. The process continues as the water flows up the tube until there is enough water such that gravity balances the adhesive force.
Surface tension and capillary action are important in biology. For example, when water is carried through xylem up stems in plants, the strong intermolecular attractions (cohesion) hold the water column together and adhesive properties maintain the water attachment to the xylem and prevent tension rupture caused by transpiration pull.
Heavy water and isotopologues
There are several isotopes of both hydrogen and oxygen, so several isotopologues of water are known. Hydrogen has three naturally occurring isotopes. The most common, making up more than 99.98% of the hydrogen in water, has 1 proton and 0 neutrons. A second isotope, deuterium (short form "D"), has 1 proton and 1 neutron. Deuterium oxide, D2O, is also known as heavy water and is used in nuclear reactors as a neutron moderator. The third isotope, tritium, has 1 proton and 2 neutrons, and is radioactive, with a half-life of 4500 days.T2O exists in nature only in tiny quantities, being produced primarily via cosmic ray-driven nuclear reactions in the atmosphere. D2O is stable, but differs from H2O in that it is denser - hence, "heavy water" - and in that several other physical properties are slightly different from those of common, Hydrogen-1 containing "light water". Water with one deuterium atomHDO occurs naturally in ordinary water in very low concentrations (~0.03%) and D2O in far lower amounts (0.000003%). Consumption of pure isolated D2O may affect biochemical processes - ingestion of large amounts impairs kidney and central nervous system function. However, very large amounts of heavy water must be consumed for any toxicity to be apparent, and smaller quantities can be consumed with no ill effects at all.
Oxygen also has three stable isotopes, with 16O present in 99.76 %, 17O in 0.04% and 18O in 0.2% of water molecules.
(Wonky) Photograph details: Nikon D40. Focal Length 55mm. exp: 1/60 F-stop f/5.6


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Thursday, 16 July 2009

The Eagle Has Landed—Two Men Walk on the Moon

Today is a momentous day. In case you live in a hole you should know that today is the 40th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission. The infamous moon landing. The mission fulfilled President John F. Kennedy's goal of reaching the moon by the end of the 1960s, which he expressed during a speech given before a joint session of Congress on May 25, 1961

"I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing a man on the Moon and returning him safely to the Earth."

KC the Punk Ass Dog

This is KC, an English Cocker Spaniel. She’s a gun dog, which basically is a dog which was bred to assist hunters in finding and retrieving game (usually birds). However, if you ask KC to fetch something for you, she’ll turn around and simply look at you with eyes which say “I ain’t getting that – you want it, you get it ya lazy sod”. She is unbelievably dopey and now she has a Mohawk on her head. Either way, the world should be thankful that she is not a Poodle, who may be one of the most intelligent types of dog, but let’s face it – they’re just ridiculous!

Monday, 13 July 2009

I’m a Firestarter, twisted firestarter





A flame is a mixture of reacting gases and solids emitting visible and infrared light, the frequency spectrum of which depends on the chemical composition of the burning material and intermediate reaction products. In many cases, such as the burning of organic matter, for example wood, or the incompletecombustion of gas, incandescent solid particles called soot produce the familiar red-orange glow of 'fire'. This light has a continuous spectrum. Complete combustion of gas has a dim blue color due to the emission of single-wavelength radiation from various electron transitions in the excited molecules formed in the flame. Usually oxygen is involved, but hydrogen burning in chlorine also produces a flame, producing hydrogen chloride (HCl). Other possible combinations producing flames, amongst many more, are fluorine and hydrogen, and hydrazine and nitrogen tetroxide.

Monday, 23 February 2009

Stunning Sunset

Firstly, let me apologise for the lack of posting for the last ten days or so. Last week was half term, so I went home but my laptop's power supply failed and I've essentially been without a computer for a while now. Anyway, I've borrowed my mums until mine is fixed. On the downside, I have few photographs on here.

Friday, 13 February 2009

Panorama South From Snowdon

My laptop has officially gone to Silicone Heaven, which means all my pictures are not available. Hopefully, the techies in the shop can fix it, otherwise I'm a tad stuffed. Anyhoo, because of my somewhat unreliable posting recently, I felt obliged to post an old image or two until I get it back.
Today's image was taken back in 2005, when I had my bike, lived in North Wales, and generally farted around snapping random things on random rides! 
Good times! On one trip I rode up Snowdon, and parked up at the bottom of Miners Track and looked south. This is what I saw.

Saturday, 7 February 2009

Cirrus SR22 GTS

On a trip to RAF Duxford a while ago I spied this rather nice Cirrus. It's an SR22 GTS, and is a US registered plane. Empty, it weighs in at just over a ton (1009kg) and has a useful load of 553kg. It can climb at a rate of 1400 ft/min (426 m/min), with a maximum operating altitude of 17,500 ft (5,334 m). it has a maximum cruise speed of 185 knots and at 55% power has a maximum range (With reserve) of 1170 nm (2166 km).

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Been away!

Sorry for the lack of posts, I had to go away for a few days but normal service shall be resumed asap

:o)

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Saturday, 31 January 2009

Climb, my pretty. Climb!



Following on from yesterday’s post. We’ve not seen or heard from the cat for a while now, but I snapped this one when it was trying to climb the fence to get out of the garden. It tried numerous times to jump up the fence, and failed miserable every time. The picture above was his best attempt, and he jumped up, dug in the claws, and slowly slipped back down. It was very amusing to watch before he finally jumped up and scooted off.

Photography Details: Nikon D40. Focal length 55 mm, ISO-640, exp: 1/60 sec. F-stop f/5.6

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Friday, 30 January 2009

What You Lookin' At...



I can't say I've ever been a huge fan of the everyday household cat. For me, the fascination has always been with the larger, more exotic cats of the world, but when this little thing strayed into our back garden a few days ago I couldn't resist. Grabbing a few prawns, being a fish I thought it'd go nuts for it, but no... Bowl of milk and some homemade toys made of string and golden chocolate wrapper and he was ours for an hour and a half. So grabbing my camera I started snapping away...

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Trojan Staircase

Firstly, apologies for anyone who received a garbled email this morning. I’ve had a look into it and hopefully it’ll be fixed for the next one!
Today’s post is in relation to yesterday post. The gargoyle plant pot lies on the right of the staircase as you walk up, and can be seen just beyond the green railing..
Royalty and many other famous people have stayed at the mansion at the centre of the park. The rooms are lavishly decorated and the landscaped gardens take full advantage of the spectacular views of Romney Marsh.

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

For Rebecca...


Today’s post is dedicated to Rebecca, who successfully guessed what the background was in the Everyday Household Objects Series. In case you missed the answer it’s a Canon Pixma IP4000 printer, which produces fantastic photograph printouts.

Monday, 26 January 2009

Happy Australia Day!


On 13 May 1787, a fleet of 11 ships, which came to be known as the First Fleet, was sent by the British Admiralty from England to Australia. Under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, the fleet sought to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay on the coast of New South Wales, which had been explored by Captain James Cook in 1770. The settlement was seen as necessary because of the loss of the colonies in North America.

Chinese New Year - Year of The Ox


According to tales and legends, the beginning of Chinese New Year started with the fight against a mythical beast called the Nian or "Year" in Chinese. Nian would come on the first day of New Year to devour livestock, crops, and even villagers, especially children. To protect themselves, the villagers would put food in front of their doors at the beginning of every year. It was believed that after the Nian ate the food they prepared, it wouldn’t attack any more people. One time, people saw that the Nian was scared away by a little child wearing red. The villagers then understood that the Nian was afraid of the color red. Hence, every time when the New Year was about to come, the villagers would hang red lanterns and red spring scrolls on windows and doors. People also used firecrackers to frighten away the Nian. From then on, the Nian never came to the village again. The Nian was eventually captured by Hongjun Laozu, an ancient Taoist monk. The Nian became Hongjun Laozu's mount.

Sunday, 25 January 2009

Dr. Samuel Johnson's Dictionary's Descendant


Photograph /fṓtə graaf, gràf/ n. picture produced with a camera an image produced on light-sensitive film or array inside a camera, especially a print or slide made from the developed film or from a digitized array image, or a reproduction in a newspaper, magazine, or book ▪ v. (-graphs, -graphing, -graphed) 1. vti take a photograph of sb or sth to produce an image of sth by pointing a camera at it and allowing light briefly to fall on the film inside 2. vi. be photographed with a particular result to be able to be photographed, or to have a particular quality or appearance in a photograph ◦ Scenes like this photograph best in bright sunlight. [Mid-19thC]

Saturday, 24 January 2009

Mini Ukulele Fridge Magnet


Ok, so this is probably not what most people have in their houses, but it’s in mine and it’s a fridge magnet so its good enough for me to enter it in as number five of the everyday household objects series.

The ukulele is commonly associated with music from Hawai‘i, where the name roughly translates as "jumping flea". According to Queen Lili'uokalani, the last Hawaiian monarch, the name means “the gift that came here”, from the Hawaiian words “uku” (gift or reward) and “lele” (to come).

Friday, 23 January 2009

The Royal Mint

Part four of the everyday household objects.


Today’s instalment is two one pound coins. The origins of sterling lie in the reign of King Offa of Mercia, who introduced the silver penny. It copied the denarius of the new currency system of Charlemagne's Frankish Empire. As in the Carolingian system, 240 pennies weighed 1 pound (corresponding to Charlemagne's libra), with the shilling corresponding to Charlemagne's solidus and equal to 12d. At the time of the penny's introduction, it weighed 22.5 troy grains of fine silver (30 tower grains; about 1.5 grams), indicating that the Mercian pound weighed 5,400 troy grains (the Mercian pound became the basis of the tower pound, which weighed 5,400 troy grains, equivalent to 7,200 tower grains). At this time, the name sterling had yet to be acquired. The penny swiftly spread throughout the other Anglo-Saxon kingdoms and became the standard coin of what was to become England.

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Port Cork





Part three of the everyday household objects. Today’s image comes in the form of a cork from a rather nice bottle of port.
As late as the mid 1600s, French vintners did not use cork stoppers, using oil-soaked rags stuffed into the necks of bottles instead.

Natural cork closures are used for about 80% of the 20 billion bottles of wine produced each year. After a decline in use as wine-stoppers due to the increase in the use of cheaper synthetic alternatives, cork wine-stoppers are making a comeback and currently represent approximately 60% of wine-stoppers today.

Monday, 19 January 2009

The World Would Be A Poorer Place Without Tea

Hopefully the computer problems seem to be sorted now. I think I've identified the problem as Interner Explorer 8, but I might be wrong. It seemed to keep freezing my computer. I'm using Google Chrome now and Mozilla Firefox and system stability seems to have greatly improved. How odd. On the illness front, I'm still bunged up with man-flu, but last time I had this it turned out to be glandular fever. Anyhoo, over to the photograph.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Computer problems

Apologies for the break in posts, I've been quite ill, and having computer problems! Hopefully I'll get the next posts up soon!

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Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Happy St Knut's Day


St. Knut's Day is a holiday celebrated in Sweden and Finland on January 13. Although King Knut has been suggested to originate from Denmark, it is not a national holiday in that country. King Knut, or more commonly, Canute IV of Denmark, who ruled Denmark from 1080 - 1086 and who claimed the throne of England, is honoured as a saint for his virtue and generosity. He declared that Christmas should be celebrated for twenty days, officially ending the season on 13 January. The days between Christmas and Saint Knut's Day are filled with celebrations. Christmas trees are taken down on St. Knut's Day, and the candies and cookies that decorated the tree are eaten.


St Knut's feast day is recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as being on 19 January.


References
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints. Ed David High Farmer. Oxford University Press, 2004. See the entry on St Canute.


Photograph Details: Nikon D40. Focal Length: 20mm, exposure 1/60 sec, ISO-200 F-stop f/3.8


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Happy Seijin Shiki Part 2!

The answer to yesterday's connundrum - He's copying his papa!

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