Random Twitterings #6…

…Things That Make Me Go Hmm.

  • New Scientist Magazine (Mar. 25th., 2017 P19) reported on experiments using a robotic head called “Furhat” which were aimed at spotting what they called “conversational inequalities”…

    They revealed that when a woman speaks with another woman, she says more than if paired with a man. And that two men paired together speak less than two women.

    Hmm.. Seriously? They needed a scientific study to discover that?!

  • In an article about ex-race car driver J.J. Lehto, Motorsport Magazine (March 2017) mentioned the driver’s time with The Champion Racing team.

    The Finnish driver was quoted as saying…

    “I found myself happier than I’d ever been in another team… We won together and we lost together. When we won we had a big party; when we lost we had an even bigger party.”

    Hmm.. my kind of team 🙂

  • Have you ever wanted to have your own tour of the Tardis. Go on, admit it, of course you have. Well, it seems Google Maps has something they call an “Easter Egg” … which means if you hunt in the right place, you’ll find it.

    I’ll save you the trouble. It’s here. On the Earls Court Road in London. Where else? See the Police Box?

    Good. Now for the tricky part. Supposedly; if you move your cursor somewhere around the base of the Police Box, two arrows will appear, which, if you click, will take you inside.

    Not for me. Some say it’s browser dependent, but I’ve tried a few without luck. Chrome is supposed to be the best – well it is a Google product. But it doesn’t work for me.

    No matter. If you look at the bottom of the window…

    No Gladys, come back. I’m talking about the window on the screen…

    …you’ll see some small images. Pick one that has the circular arrow bottom left. When you click it, the image will appear in the main window. Now you can scroll around left, right, up and down, and you can follow the arrows – just like on a regular Google Map – to move around in there. But be careful what you touch, you may suddenly find yourself in the 23rd century.

    Strangely though, if you Google “Tardis on Google Maps” it takes you to Australia and something called Tardis – a park, I think – in a place called Pocket, NSW.

    Hmm.. the world of Google is a strange place.

  • Meanwhile, back at New Scientist Magazine (April 15th., 2017 P.40)…

    An article reports that “New element 118 could send shock waves through the atomic world.”

    Hmm.. If that’s the case, I’m living in an alternate world, because I just don’t get it.

    Element 118, which is named after its discoverer Yuri Oganessian, seems to be rather hard to make, which I guess is why it’s only now been discovered.

    The recipe involves element 97, berkelium. This stuff is made by bombarding calcium-48 in a nuclear reactor (wow, I’ve heard of calcium) which – after doing this for one whole year – will produce just 22 milligrams of said berkelium. I can’t even imagine what that must cost.

    Then, as far as I can figure, you smash this stuff with even more atoms, in order to produce your element 118. Hmm.. again. And what do you do with your end product, other than it making you eligible for a Noble Prize? Nothing much. It’s half-life is 0.9 milliseconds. Blink, and it’s gone.

    And the scientists are not content to stop there. They intend to spend even more money with higher powered reactors, in order to discover even more elements which will last an even shorter time.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m something of a science geek…

    We figured that from the fact you even read the article.

    …but surely when it comes to allocating budgets, someone should be looking closely at the benefits. How about we save the planet before we worry about element 119?

  • I don’t like jellyfish. Does anyone like jellyfish? Nasty, dangerous, ugly, sand covered blobs, just waiting on the beach for an unsuspecting foot to drop on them.

    Sometimes during my regular beach walks, I might find a lot, none, or most often a few. Those are the sneaky ones. Just when you thought there were none…

    But the other morning I found this. Hmm.. I thought. Looks like it’s straight out of a Jello Mold. Cute, but still dangerous.

  • So, have you been following the Madeline McCann case? She was the three year old who “disappeared” from her vacation apartment in Portugal almost exactly ten years ago.

    So far, the investigation into her supposed abduction has cost the British taxpayer £11 million. The investigation was originally ordered by then Prime Minister David Cameron.

    Why did a Prime Minster need to get involved in one specific case? Why is the investigation still running and still costing money? Why did Mrs. McCann wait more than an hour before reporting her daughter’s disappearance, and then did not call the police, but rather a British tabloid newspaper?

    Why didn’t the British police read the book written by the then Portuguese Chief Investigator? Why can’t they understand that there is really convincing evidence the poor girl died on the night she disappeared, and that a body was transported in the vacationing group’s car? Why did the British police insist that the poor Portuguese investigator be hounded out of the police force and essentially driven into bankruptcy?

    Hmm.. methinks money would be better spent on an Independent Commission of Inquiry to look into this charade. If, like me, you’re a fan of BBC 2’s Line of Duty, you might agree that AC-12 should get involved.

  • And once again, back at New Scientist magazine (April 8th., 2017 P.16) there’s a report that says “blind tadpoles have learned to see again – using eyes implanted in their tails.” Scientists sure get up to some strange things.

    You might think there’s not much point to this but when asked “If a human had an eye implanted in their back, connected to their spinal cord, would the human be able to see out of that eye?” Michael Levin of Tufts University surmised “My guess is probably yes.”

    Hmm.. it could create an interesting answer to the comment “You must have eyes in the back of your head.” “Yes, actually I do.”

    The tadpole’s new eyes, incidentally, were grown in the lab, and so this research may prove invaluable in solving a severe organ donor shortage.

Okay, back to tootling and drone testing.


...has been travelling the world for more than sixty years; having lived and worked in five countries and travelled to many many more.

He likes to write about his travels - present and past - along with his other main interests of Drones, Information Technology and Motorsport, and he adds a few general twitterings along the way.

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