Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12887 on: Jun 16th, 2015, 12:19pm »
Canna - a tiny Scottish island in the Hebrides - registers its first crime of dishonesty in over 50 years
Community shop on Hebridean island of Canna may have to close after overnight raid of groceries and bobble hats
By Tom Rowley and Auslan Cramb 2:04PM BST 16 Jun 2015
The only daring raids on the craggy Scottish island of Canna are usually perpetrated by its 20,000 seabirds, which dive low over the water to snatch their supper.
Now the population of just 19 adults and four children has been targeted by a swoop of a rather different kind, after a thief made off with £200 of goods from the village shop, including six hand-knitted bobble hats, in the island’s first burglary for 50 years.
The esoteric haul, which included biscuits, batteries and toiletries but not money, was taken overnight from the only shop on the island, which is owned by the National Trust for Scotland.
The shop is often left open overnight to allow sailors and fishermen to use internet facilities and make themselves a cup of tea. Visitors can purchase goods at any time, making a note of what they have taken and leaving their payment in an honesty box.
Islanders said there had been no thefts since the 1960s, when a carved wooden plate was stolen from the church. Bill Clark, the island’s councillor, blamed the theft on tourists but the police have not ruled out islanders.
Either way, the culprit could hardly have made a speedy exit. There are no flights to the island while the ferry to the mainland takes two and a half hours and only runs twice a week.
Only one family – the MacKinnons – has lived on Canna for several generations. The current generation owns crofts, or smallholdings, on the island and farms the land owned by the National Trust. Other residents run the guest house or work for the trust as harbour masters, estate workers and tour guides.
When a new family moved to the four mile-long island last year, the school was reopened and a teacher recruited to take lessons for the four children.
But the population temporarily swells during the summer months as up to 400 tourists at a time call on cruise liners and yachts line the harbour.
There were 17 yachts and a fishing boat at the pier before the theft on Friday night, and police want to speak to anyone with information about the boats.
Julie McCabe, who runs the shop, said she was “absolutely floored” by the robbery, which could force the shop to close.
“We are thinking about putting CCTV in, but we don’t want to do that because it goes against the whole honesty idea,” she said. “When you live on a small island like this you have to trust your neighbour and everybody round about.”
The island was given to the National Trust by its then owner, John Lorne Campbell, a collector of Gaelic literature, in 1981.
Steve Callaghan, the trust’s assistant director for countryside and islands, said the theft would dishearten a “fragile community”.
“It is horrendous,” he said. “I admire the community for the endeavour of creating that shop at the harbour with an honesty box system and a good range of produce. It is shocking that an individual chose to abuse it in that way.
“Anything between two or three dozen yachts moor off Canna on a regular basis – it would be quite difficult to identify a culprit. It was just an opportunist.”
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12888 on: Jun 16th, 2015, 1:28pm »
OK, here is my latest spam message. Which one of you British subjects sent this to me??!
Your unpaid Entitlements.
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Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12892 on: Jun 17th, 2015, 09:25am »
release date: 14 August 2015
Nine years after an infection turns most of the humanity into rabid creatures, Patrick, Jack and Lu, a nine-year-old girl, survive in seeming peace and calm in the forgotten snow-covered town of Harmony. We nonetheless sense that something terrible happened between Patrick and Jack because a deep hate keeps them apart. When the infected appear again, Patrick and Jack will have to leave behind all rancor to protect the one being who means more to them than anything else.
GREAT SPIRITS ALWAYS ENCOUNTER THE MOST VIOLENT OPPOSITION FROM MEDIOCRE MINDS E=MC2
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12894 on: Jun 17th, 2015, 2:17pm »
HUMP DAY FUNNY
A man was getting a haircut prior to a trip to Rome. He mentioned the trip to the barber who responded, "Rome? Why would anyone want to go there? It's crowded & dirty and full of Italians. You're crazy to go to Rome. So, how are you getting there?" "We're taking TWA," was the reply. "We got a great rate!" "TWA?" exclaimed the barber. "That's a terrible airline. Their planes are old, their flight attendants are ugly, and they're always late. So, where are you staying in Rome?" "We'll be at the downtown International Marriott." "That dump! That's the worst hotel in the city. The rooms are small, the service is surly and they're overpriced. So, whatcha doing when you get there?" "We're going to go to see the Vatican and we hope to see the Pope." "That's rich," laughed the barber. "You and a million other people trying to see him. He'll look the size of an ant. Boy, good luck on this lousy trip of yours. You're going to need it." A month later, the man again came in for his regular haircut. The barber asked him about his trip to Rome. "It was wonderful," explained the man, "not only were we on time in one of TWA's brand new planes, but it was overbooked and they bumped us up to first class. The food and wine were wonderful, and I had a beautiful 28 year old stewardess who waited on me hand and foot. And the hotel-it was great! They'd just finished a $25 million remodeling job and now it's the finest hotel in the city. They, too, were overbooked, so they apologized and gave us the presidential suite at no extra charge!" "Well," muttered the barber, "I know you didn't get to see the pope." "Actually, we were quite lucky, for as we toured the Vatican, a Swiss Guard tapped me on the shoulder and explained that the pope likes to personally meet some of the visitors, and if I'd be so kind as to step into his private room and wait the pope would personally greet me. Sure enough, five minutes later the pope walked through the door and shook my hand! I knelt down as he spoke a few words to me."
"Really?" asked the Barber. "What'd he say?" He said, "Where'd you get the lousy haircut?
Re: Stuff & Nonsense
« Reply #12898 on: Jun 18th, 2015, 09:06am »
GOOD MORNING Z & ALL OF OUR MEMBERS
Author: Danielle Venton Date of Publication: 06.18.15
It’s Alive! Comet Lander Gets Ready to Do Some Science
In the five or so days since Philae, the washing machine-sized lander nestled in a shady ditch on comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko, called home, mission control has been a flurry of analysis and planning. “In everyone’s life there are a few days that count for more than the others,” says Jean-Pierre Bibring, lead lander scientist. For the team running Philae and its orbiting counterpart Rosetta, these have been those days.
Yesterday at a press conference Bibring and colleagues shared plans for the science their probes can now do.
Or rather, the science they hope it’ll do. There are, of course, problems. As of Wednesday, Philae has sent information to the team just twice: on June 13 for 85 seconds (during the fourth wake up attempt) with a robust signal; and on June 14 for four minutes with a weak signal. The information it sent was part of a historical cache, diagnostic and other data Philae captured during brief periods of wakefulness.
Philae has more of that data to send, though none has been forthcoming, leaving the mission team in the position of anxious parents whose traveling child hasn’t called or emailed in a while. For now, though, at least they know that the lander is in fine health. “We got only good news from Philae,” says Barbara Cozzoni, the engineer who has been Philae’s main driver. All systems are working, the lander has not been over-stressed by extreme temperatures, and the solar panels are collecting energy.
But the last successful communication link between Philae and Rosetta was tenuously weak. Efforts to re-establish a connection since then have failed. Rosetta operators planned on Wednesday to reorient the spacecraft—Philae’s relay antenna to Earth—in the hope of better aligning it with the lander.
The maneuver will be tricky. Comet 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is approaching the sun, and as its temperature goes up it grows more active, spewing jets of dust and gas into Rosetta’s flightpath. “You can’t see very much, and it’s not very safe,” says Elsa Montagnon, head of operations for Rosetta’ flight control.
Nonetheless, she believes they’ll establish steady communications between Philae and Rosetta by the end of the week. Then, team scientists will have the chance to organize how Philae spends its days—specifically, which instruments turn on and when. To start, they plan to use sensors that require very little power and no movement—“low cost, low risk science operations,” says Cozzoni. If that works, they’ll ramp up the daring. If all goes well, Philae will drill a sample out of the comet before the end of the summer. (Its initial try was a bust.)
In this way, Philae’s slightly-less-than-controlled landing may have been a boon. Initially the team aimed the lander at a wide plane covered in dust. That didn’t work out. On touchdown, its harpoons failed to fire, it bounced twice, and finally landed on its side next to a rocky, largely dust-free cliff. “This material is made of pristine pebbles—the oldest stuff,” says Bibring. “The landing put us next to the materials that we would have dreamed to analyze.”
The promise of direct, pristine samples is tantalizing because comets are “treasure chests of information, locked up from the birth of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago,” says Mark McCaughrean, senior science adviser for the European Space Agency. The stuff they’re made of may have seeded Earth’s oceans and brought complex, carbon-rich molecules to the planet, setting the stage for life to evolve.
When the Rosetta mission was conceived and planned 20 years ago, space scientists believed that comets were basically dirty ice balls. Nice enough, but reasonably boring. “I gave this characterization in papers many times,” says Bibring. “But it’s entirely different from what we expected it to be.” Instead of being mostly ice with a light smattering of dust, the comet is full of carbon molecules—as much as 30 percent of its mass. Some of them are volatile, floating around near the surface, and Philae has actually already sampled those. (Details will appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Science.)
The broader question, Bibring says, is whether the process that created the diverse dust on 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko is specific to the solar system or generic to the universe. In other words, is our planetary neighborhood unique? It’s possible that when the sun first started burning, its rotation caused a specific polarization of light. Maybe that modified the chemistry of comets as they formed, resulting in 67P/Churyumov–Gerasimenko’s rich blend of ingredients. “We need to know that,” he says. “Rosetta has the opportunity to give us clues, if not all the answers.” If they can just get it to call home a few more times.