Thursday, April 29, 2010

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Saturday, March 01, 2008


It's time to revive this blog after a long time of inactivity. I have also set up a daily feed from my delicious bookmarks each of which should have a few notes about their significance.
Click here for the new Rising Dawn blog

Thursday, July 05, 2007

The iPod suit

This is not just any iPod suit it's Your M&S iPod suit. Gimmick; marketing hype; useful gadget?

I've no idea, but the idea of buying a new suit because it will control my iPod seems to be missing some sartorial point. How long before it's out of date? As soon as the iPhone hits the UK market - cue the iPhone suit?

FYI M&S describes this elegant piece of tailoring like this:

In classic black pinstripes, our new iPod suit is perfect for music lovers who don’t want to compromise their professional look.
The wool rich suit contains a strategically placed iPod pocket which houses the connector without bulges, while the ‘smart fabric’ control pad on the inner lapel lets you operate the iPod without touching the main controls. Carefully placed loops along the lapel help conceal the earphone wires.

The price: £149.00 but if you're feeling a bit skint you can buy the jacket for a mere £90.00

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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Alan Johnston is free

The BBC correspondent, Alan Johnston, has been freed by the captors who kidnapped him in Gaza sixteen weeks ago. His release was negotiated by Hamas, the ruling party in Gaza that recently took power in a military operation in that part of the Palestinian territories.
Alan has just spoken at a news conference and he sounds extremely well and lucid considering his ordeal. He spoke of listening to BBC World service and being encouraged by the messages of encouragement broadcast for him by the former prisoners in the Middle East, Terry Waite and John McCarthy. He described his imprisonment as being like being "buried alive", "occasionally terrified," and wondering just how long he would be held. He said, "It was a huge battle to keep your mind in the right place," and spoke about his lucky break when he managed to get hold of a radio. He was comforted by the massive support there was for him around the world. He also clearly regretted being unable to report on the momentous events that were unfolding all around him while he was in captivity.
Waking at 4.30 this morning and listening to the radio I could no longer sleep, but had to get up and watch events on TV and then write this short blog. Alan has been in my mind ever since he was captured. My son, who used to speak to him from the BBC newsroom in London, has told that Alan was a really nice guy, always obliging and helpful. Alan's family must be so relieved to hear this news. What a good start to the day. Many prayers have been answered this morning.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Wi-Fi hysteria

"radio frequency radiation levels in some schools are up to three times the level found in the main beam of intensity from mobile phone masts."

This meaningless comparison proves nothing, but it does generate fear in the minds of thousands of parents. Most people do not understand electromagnetic radiation so they are dependent on people like the BBC to explain it to them properly. Not in sensational headlines worthy only of the Daily Express or Mail.
The radiation from mobile phone masts and a Wi-Fi network are so different that they cannot be compared. They use different radio frequencies, different digital standards, different antennae, serve vastly different purposes and transmit at widely differing power levels.
Why not compare the Wi-Fi radiation to the TV transmitter at Crystal Palace or the Microwave link on top of the BT Tower, both in the centre of densely populated areas in London. I suggest that the mobile phone mast was chosen because it is already surrounded by hysteria and is more likely to connect parents with their fears in a massive short circuit of common sense.
The headlines may scream, so might some misguided protesters but if our children were going to be in pain from radiation it would have happened in a provable way by now. Radio waves have been with us for more than a 100 years and the BBC and other broadcasters have been pumping millions of watts of electromagnetic energy towards our homes since the 1940s.
This Panorama is bad science and helps to serve nothing except the audience figures.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Free Energy?

There's a Guardian Reader offer for a device called a Freeloader.
It allegedly offers free energy for a one off payment of £29.95. It supplies enough energy to charge a mobile phone or iPOD from Solar Power.

I have just received an electricity bill from my energy supplier which charges £0.072 for each kilowatt hour. That's enough energy to power a 100W lightbulb for ten hours.

This Freeloader device supplies just 5 watt hours per charge. Assuming it could be recharged a thousand times your £30.00 delivers 5 kilowatt hours of energy. This works out at £6.00 for each kilowatt hour a mere 8,334 times more than the cost of plugging in my mobile phone charger.

There is also an option of using the device from the USB socket of a computer .... the will does not exist to calculate the cost of this source of power ..... but it goes without saying that it will be even more expensive than using the rays of the sun.

And before you stray down the "green" road. Just how environmentally friendly is it to create a device that uses a rechargeable battery to charge a rechargeable battery. Isn't that one battery too many?

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Keep looking

Four burning candles stood in the centre of the meal table. Fragile flames flickering in the gentle breeze of our conversation reminding us of the tiny life that is the focus of so many of our thoughts this weekend. Madeleine McCann is missing, abducted by people of evil intent, keeping her from her family who are anxiously searching The Algarve for their lost girl.

The family here in the UK has set up a website with pictures, messages of support and the latest news about the investigation into her disappearance ten days ago.

Keep looking.