Archive for the 'Mags and rags' Category

2009 – Watch the Skies


The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is under way and there's comprehensive web-coverage. The main site is at and there's a UK National Node at Both sites are worth a few hours of browsing if, like me, you've an interest in such things. There are plenty of resources for all levels of us night-creatures, regardless of age or experience.

So, what's it all about? Well, the following statements from the main site sum it up nicely:

"The International Year of Astronomy 2009 is a global effort initiated by the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO to help the citizens of the world rediscover their place in the Universe through the day- and night-time sky, and thereby engage a personal sense of wonder and discovery."

"Everyone should realise the impact of astronomy and other fundamental sciences on our daily lives, and understand how scientific knowledge can contribute to a more equitable and peaceful society. IYA2009 activities will take place locally, nationally, regionally and internationally. National Nodes have been formed in each country to prepare activities for 2009. These nodes will establish collaborations between professional and amateur astronomers, science centres and science communicators to prepare activities for 2009. Already now, 135 countries are involved and well over 140 are expected to participate eventually."

Of course, if the science gets a bit too much for you, you could just look at the pictures 😎

Here's the YouTube version of the (downloadable) trailer:

Looks like I'll have to make more of an effort this year, eh?

Corporal punishment returns to education

Posted by on April 21st 2008 in In the News, LMAO!, Mags and rags

It's been over ten years since I bought a newspaper, but the headline on this one meant that I just had to nab me a copy:

Classic! One for the scrapbook. If only they had omitted the apostrophe, I would have had the page framed and hung on the wall above the fireplace.

On a more serious note, there's this, which isn't entirely unrelated.

Who would be a paper-boy these days?

Posted by on October 26th 2007 in Mags and rags, Rambling on...

The dull rumble of the trolley on the pavement...

The sound of footsteps on the garden path...

The familiar squeak as the letterbox opens...

The sharp clang as it springs back to the closed position...

The heavy thud as the local weekly free-paper hits the floor.

Thud? Free-paper? Surely not.

Yep, this one:


But it only weighs in at 75g.

The reason for the thud?

All of this crap that's stuffed inside it:


Small wonder the folks that deliver this lot to each house have shoulders like tallboys and knuckles that drag on the ground. This lot weighs in at 922g, that's 2lb 1/4oz in old money.

Predictably, all of the associated crap went directly into the recycling bin.

What a waste of effort.

Oh, and the main feature on the front page of the free-paper? It's all about the local council's recycling scheme.


Shocking content in the C&CC mag

Posted by on May 19th 2007 in Mags and rags, Wildcamping, Wildcamping e-petition

I snatched a bit of free time today and sat down to read the June edition of Camping and Caravanning (the magazine of The Camping and Caravanning Club, would you believe!). I was expecting to trudge through the usual articles about featured sites, tow car tests, sewage-disposal using reed-beds, and gear reviews for the family-camper-type, but this month there were some surprises...

First up, on page 15 is an article about wildcamping, penned by no less an authority than Graham Thompson. Yes, that's the Graham Thompson, the Technical Editor for Trail magazine, he's also "among the 10 most influential people in the outdoors industry", according to the blurb. Anyway, it's a sort of eejut's guide to the legalities of the activity, succinct and clear, in language that all can understand (unless they're recent incoming eco-migrants on a short-stay work-permit).

Reeling from the shock of finding this, I continued to read on, until page 35 stopped me in my tracks... what's this?... yet another wildcamping article, this time one of the Member's stories, by one Richard Walker, telling of his exploits in the wild.

Well, I had to go for a lie-down, it was all too much, not what's expected in such a publication.

Later I recovered and made it through to the "gear and give-aways" pages, only to find a review article about Tick Alert tweezers (grrr, ticks, how I hate those little biting b@stards). They have 100 sets (of tweezers, not ticks) to give away to members, I suppose I'll have to apply for one, given my recent track record.

I'm off to read their gear-guide to solar gadgets now. I might even dip into their "on the road special" 2-page spread about green cars, biofuel and Priuses.

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