Monday, May 30, 2005

Free Travel

While the London Metropolitan Police have free transport on the trains, buses and underground systems of London - the same is not true of the British Transport Police (who enforce the law on those same systems).

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Hello and welcome to ...

A great example from Music Thing of how sometimes it's vitally important to keep your copyright. The man who composed the four notes which used to appear on Channel Four's logo (Daaa-daaa-da-daaaa) became very rich indeed. "Every time that sequence was played, David Dundas was paid £3.50. Every week, for ten years, Dundas received a cheque for £1,000 from Channel Four. "

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

One with the force

Here is a scene from the shooting script of Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith which explains the one thing many fans had been dying to know. Why do some Jedi's burn up whilst others just fade away?

On the isolated asteroid of Polis Massa, YODA meditates.

YODA: Failed to stop the Sith Lord, I have. Still much to learn, there is ...

QUI -GON: (V.O.) Patience. You will have time. I did not. When I became one with the Force I made a great discovery. With my training, you will be able to merge with the Force at will. Your physical self will fade away, but you will still retain your consciousness. You will become more powerful than any Sith.

YODA: Eternal consciousness.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) The ability to defy oblivion can be achieved, but only for oneself. It was accomplished by a Shaman of the Whills. It is a state acquired through compassion, not greed.

YODA: . . . to become one with the Force, and influence still have . . . A power greater than all, it is.

QUI-GON: (V.O.) You will learn to let go of everything. No attachment, no thought of self. No physical self.

YODA: A great Jedi Master, you have become, Qui-Gon Jinn. Your apprentice I gratefully become.

YODA thinks about this for a minute, then BAIL ORGANA enters the room and breaks his meditation.
Considering the big long list of things which aren't explained it's odd that this couldn't be worked in somehow. Then again, check out of that exposition... [via Amygdala via Sore Eyes]

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Machu Picchu

Should you find yourself at the top of Machu Picchu and suddenly worried about whether you left the gas on, don't fret. You can call home on your mobile phone. Yes, that's right, there's a signal.

Which is more than I can say for the train route from Bournemouth to Derby. (Thanks Dave!)

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Damselflies go like shit off a stick

Damselflies can fly 15m in a single second from a standing start, and can reach a top speed of 40 mph.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Naked Mole Rats

Naked mole rats are fossorial (live underground) and have a fairly consistent temperature.

They have no circadian rhythm and sleep/wake when it suits them. This occurs on no particular schedule at all.

Tuesday, May 10, 2005


The Globe Theatre, the original in the 1600s, had a capacity crowd of three thousand. There were only two hundred thousand people in London at the time so it would take just seventy-five performances before everyone in the city had seen one of Shakepeare's newest.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

On election night

The Welsh Assembly is the only elected body in the Western world, if not the world, to have a 50/50 split between men and women members.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Happy May Day!

The use of 'mayday' as a distress call originated with the French m'aidez (help me) or m'aider (to render help to me), and has nothing to do with the ancient spring festival or the international working class holiday.

Although if you want to dance around a big pole whilst your ship sinks, that's up to you.

A pigeon pair

When pigeons mate, the female lays two eggs - one male and one female. When the eggs hatch, the chicks grow up together and, eventually, mate to produce two eggs - one male and one female.

Which explains why pigeons are so stupid. They've got to the bottom of the gene pool and have started drilling.