Neil Armstrong

160I hate to repeat myself and post an image that I only aired on the blog back in April, but it seems fitting for a short off topic post to commemorate the achievements of Neil Armstrong, who died yesterday.

The first moon landing happened before I was born, the last when I was just over a year old, and this December will be the 40th anniversary of the last manned landing. The are any number of reasons – the landings were born out of the cold war, unmanned probes are more cost effective and can travel further, there are arguably better things to spend the money on and perhaps the appetite for risk has changed over the last forty years.

Whatever the reasons, I think it’s a fitting time to celebrate an amazing achievement, and to raise a toast to a man who was, by all accounts, a science geek rather than your typical test pilot. And I mean that very much as a compliment!

Olympics

157An offtopic post today, as the Olympics gradually winds to a close.

I didn’t get to any of the events, but then I generally prefer to watch sport on TV anyway – you get the best view that way. I must admit to being less than enthusiastic about the Olympics in the buildup. Over the last week or two, some of my cynicism has evaporated and not just because of the British successes.

A large part of that cynicism stemmed from the reports of draconian restrictions brought in to protect the sponsors. I understand that sponsors spending millions will expect exclusivity, but this seems to have been taken to rather silly extremes. Read More…