The Wallet – Esther Monday Motivation

I’m going to try and stay in the word limit for this week’s Esther Newton – Monday Motivation. Thanks as always to Esther for running this, she’s very encouraging.

This week the theme is: If she didn’t stop doing that soon, he was going to kill her.


The Wallet

In life there are moments  you want the Earth to swallow you up. This was happening to my mate Dean.

He wanted to pay for lunch to impress the boss, it was review time and he wanted a raise. So he thought he would pay for lunch. Good move eh? This wasn’t the first time Tania had taken money from him to pay for her shopping without telling him. The guys were staring… they knew something was wrong.

If she didn’t stop doing that soon, he was going to kill her I thought to myself.

 


 

Simon  🙂

 

Advertisements

One Star Over, a Planet That Might Be Another Earth – NYTimes.com

In our search to find Earth like planets it seems we’ve now discovered one that may be suitable to support life encircling our nearest stellar neighbour.

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/08/25/science/earth-planet-proxima-centauri.html?utm_source=pocket&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=pockethits&_r=0&referer=https://getpocket.com/

Simon 😀

Credit: NY Times

Next Generation – Old Generation

How may times have we heard it about some amazing new product? “This thingy is the next generation of…”

Too much I think.

The phrase ‘the next generation’ was first coined or popular in the mid to late 80’s with the emergence of Star Trek: The next generation, this was a while ago now. When I say a while, we’re talking about over twenty years. Don’t get me wrong, having worked in technology, I’ve talked to people about the next generation chemical detector that we were developing, or the next generation power controller chip. But even back in 2006 I was thinking “this is a shit description, it’s a new design on a new concept – it’s not really ‘next generation’.

Now we have next generation mattresses which are a bit of fancy foam, or the next generation smartphone where you can plug some stuff in. Listen to me now marketing professionals and advert creators: The next generation is old generation! Find some other way to tell us that something that isn’t new is in fact new(ish). Let’s leave the next generation in the past and bring on something fresh!

Simon 🙂

 

Seasons -How are they worked out?

One of the things that’s always puzzled me is when each of the seasons are supposed to start and end. This is typical of someone that over thinks things, really it should be when it’s cold and wet it’s Winter, when the flowers start appearing and the wet is thawing out it’s Spring. Summer is the season of sun, interrupted by heavy rain, with Autumn being the time when one picks blackberries and apples – yup, you guessed it, in the rain!

But when are each of these season’s really supposed to start and finish? I’ve looked at this and there are at least two versions, the meteorological and the astronomical seasons.

 

Meteorological Seasons

The meteorological seasons are divided up by meteorologists to make weather forecasting easier. The seasons dates are split up as such:

  • Spring – from March 1 to May 31.
  • Summer – from June 1 to August 31.
  • Autumn (Fall) – from September 1 to November 30.
  • Winter – from December 1 to February 28 (February 29 in a leap year).

 

Astronomical Seasons

The astronomical seasons are a little different.

Spring starts at the March equinox, this is when the length of night and day are almost equal. This happens on either the 19th, 20th or 21st of March. At this point the Sun is directly over the equator.

Summer starts in the June Solstice, this is the longest day in the Northern hemisphere and the shortest day in the southern hemisphere. This normally between June the 20th – the 22nd.

 

Equinox and solstice illustration.

The September equinox heralds the arrival of Autumn and is the date that again night and day are about equal and this happens on the 22nd, 23rd or 24th of September. This is where the sun is directly over the equator.

This lastly leaves the December solstice, where the shortest day of the year takes place in the Northern hemisphere and the longest day in the southern hemisphere. This takes place between the 20th – 23rd of December.

http://www.timeanddate.com/calendar/aboutseasons.html

The seasons are of course opposite between the northern and southern hemispheres as the tilt of the Earth defines the seasons and will be opposite between the north and south.

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on image, credit to timeanddate.com for information.

The Titan Mystery – Part 14

The trip back through the hyperloop to the station nearest to Tranquility seemed to McKinley to have taken and age. The door opened to the capsule and they all started to dismount, the mechanoids first then Blake and his Marines following with everyone else after.

“You and you team keep a look out, I have a feeling we can expect some resistance to our escape!” McKinley instructed Blake. The spacecraft which up until now had been all but silent now seemed to be started it’s death groans. There were groans in the ships structure, lights were dimming and flashing randomly. McKinley knew they had to get off and fast, time was short. Then a thought flashed into his mind.

“Dave?”

“Yes sir”

“Endevin and the sentinels, will they be able to escape? What about everyone else being carried?”

“I’m afraid that anything left on board Titan when the core detonates will be destroyed along with the spacecraft?” came Dave’s emotionless reply.

McKinley motioned for Dave and everyone else to follow. “Is there nothing we can do?” McKinley was striding towards the service duct they used to reach the hyperloop station.

“Only if we’re able to initiate the transition sequence” Dave suggested.

“What’s that?” McKinley asked?

“It’s where the core’s temporal focus reaches…”

“Ok, sorry I asked Dave!” McKinley interrupted “I don’t need to know, can you tell me how we can do something to save at least some of these people and the sentinels?”

“I can sir!”

“But first, I want to know how to get to our landing bay without having to go down there!” McKinley pointed down the dark passage.

“Certainly, which one is your craft at sir?”

McKinley looked round for Jearo, meeting her gaze as everyone waited she squeezed round to help.

“Yes sir?” she asked

“Where’s tranquility? Can you show Dave please?”

Jearo pulled out the computer, and brought up the map, she held it to Dave. He paused for a second.

“This way sir!” the mechanoid strode forward through a bulkhead door and led them to a part of the craft they hadn’t seen before. A massive observation window showed them through the huge space in the centre of the craft, through to see the core platform and the hyperloop tunnels leading to it. Despite the urgency it was impossible not to gaze. The core operating platform couldn’t be seen with the intense brightness of the uncontained reaction now trying to break through.

“I estimate we have less than 60 minutes to escape to a safe distance sir!” Dave announced.

“Come on people!” McKinley shouted, “we’re out of time!” as he turned he found himself bumping straight into a familiar face.

“Seanna!” McKinley was obviously pleased to see his fist officer, trying to keep the focus on escaping he took her by the arm and led her away after Dave, the rest of the crew following with Blake and his men leading the way.

“What the hell did you do to me?” Seanna asked still a little groggy. But definitely alive and more or less herself.

” I rescued you!” McKinley answered.

“That was a hell of a rescue!” she complained “could you have made it feel a bit less like my brains were mashed?”

McKinley smiled, she was back. “I’ll tell you about it later, but now we have to get off of this ship!”

“Have you been breaking things again?” Seanna asked with some irony. McKinley didn’t reply, he didn’t know how to. It seemed that even if they got off alive, there were still many more that wouldn’t survive.

“Landing platform seven is through here!” Dave announced. Bulkhead doors perhaps 20 metres high and 50 metres wide slid apart in what seemed an effortless mechanism, only to stop a few seconds later. They groaned and shuddered as if malfunctioning, but there was more than enough space to get through.

“Come on!” McKinley motioned, there were still several hundred metres to Tranquility that needed to be crossed, but the end seemed in sight.

“Collins is ready and so is the Tycho!” Jearo announced

“How long until we can leave?” McKinley asked.

“Collins says fifteen minutes!” Jearo replied.

“Tell him to make it ten or we’re dead!” McKinley barked back. Jearo nodded knowing best not to argue. Seanna was now half running alongside McKinley and the rest of them. They reached about half way and could see tranquility when from nowhere blue plasma fire erupted from each side, two bulkhead doors were opened with a number of creatures entering into the landing platform.

A grilled service gulley would give cover, they all pulled up the grills and dived into it. Looking back McKinley saw two slumped bodies on the Deck, he looked around.

“It’s Orianne and Lennard.” Blake shouted in McKinley ear, the noise of plasma fire drowning out out everything else. McKinley looked back solemnly.

“Two more dead!” he thought, there wasn’t much that could be done now, but the burden of lives was something he never wanted.

“Let’s sort this now!” Seanna shouted, picking up McKinley’s rifle and readying to counter attack. Peeking up McKinley saw them surrounding their position, not even the mechanoids could help here, there were so many.

“I have a solution sir!” Dave announced.

“What to get us out of here?” McKinley asked ” You better make it quick!”

“No, to try and save the life forms we leave.”

“Hang on Dave!” McKinley screamed, he was holding Seanna and the others back as they were ready to jump out “It’s suicide! Just…”

On top of the hail of fire a deafening salvo of more fire kept their heads down, looking up with one eye McKinley saw the salvo flying above his head and back down the landing platform. The there was silence, except for the dying motors of engine thrusters. McKinley looked up, smoke filled the area but in a few moments cleared.

“Collins you old git! Well done!” McKinley lifted himself out of the gulley, turning he helped out Blake and Seanna. The mechanoids needed no help and almost leapt out.

“You keep trying to get yourself killed Seanna!” McKinley told Seanna

“You keep trying to stop me!” Seanna smiled back “One day you might succeed!”

McKinley smiled to himself, Seanna didn’t know. He then looked back at his not so fortunate crew members on the deck. He knelt beside them and closed their eyes, Seanna watched as he muttered something under his breath. Blake walked up with black cloths, each of them were covered solemnly and wrapped to be taken back. A mechanoid too each of them to Tranquility.

“Thanks Dave” McKinley acknowledged the help.

“Would you like to hear the plan?” Dave asked

“Plan?” McKinley replied “Oh yes let’s hear it, but I don’t imagine we have much time. So this had better be quick!” McKinley listened to what was the most succinct report from Dave that he had heard.

“We must activate the core release!” Dave suggested.

“How do we do this?” McKinley asked.

“I must do this from outside the spacecraft, once it is done then the core will  detonate  under the pressure of it’s own reaction after an undetermined time.”

McKinley looked at Dave “How long or short can this undetermined time be?”

“It could be a few minutes, or a few seconds.” Dave replied coldly.

“Do we have much choice?” McKinley asked Dave, realising that this quirky mechanoid that had served him so well and was almost a friend, was almost certainly suggesting his own destruction.

“There are no other options sir!”

“Will you just sit on the outside of Tranquility?” McKinley asked him.

“Yes, I will keep in contact with the pilot and  guide them. You must hurry, time is running out!”

“Thank you Dave.” McKinley told Dave. He merely looked at McKinley for a few seconds as if he didn’t understand, the blue halo of his eyes showing no emotion. Dave Turned and climbed on top of Tranquility.

“Sir, we have to go!” Seanna shouted at McKinley “What’s Dave up to?”

“Just get on board and prep for launch Seanna!” McKinley told her, I’ll explain when we’re clear!” The hatches to tranquility shut tight, Dave watched the lights of Titan flickering wildly. Looking ahead the mechanoid held on to a bulkhead and waited for the launch.

Simon:-)

Copyright 2016 Simon Farnell

Angela Nikolau’s -Leg Tingling Selfies

selfie girl hights

If you’re scared of heights don’t look at this – Angela Nikolau’s seems to live life on the edge, taking selfies in some rather high up places. Have a look, this made my legs tingle…

via This Girl Takes The World’s Scariest Selfies (Look Away If You’re Terrified Of Heights)

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images – Property of Angela Nikolau (https://www.instagram.com/angela_nikolau)

The Scifi Files – The Black Knight

Black_Knight_Satellite

What is the Black Knight? Why should anyone care?

According to conspiracy theorists, it’s very important and everyone should care. The Black Knight is said to be a 13,000 year old satellite from an alien race that’s been sending signals to Earth for all this time. It’s purpose and origins totally unknown.

The story is that Nikola Tesla first detected radio signals which even to this day have not been explained. The Black knight was allegedly first detected in 1960 by the US Navy, the sighting of this this and the identification of the Black Knight has been applied retrospectively to Tesla’s radio signals.

The Black Knight’s orbit differs from most other satellites as it circles the Earth in a Polar orbit (top to bottom) rather than an equatorial orbit (round the middle). We use polar satellite for Earth observation, which gives some idea to it’s purpose. Our first polar orbital satellite was only launched in 1960.

Black_Knight_Satellite

Various unconfirmed reports of the Black Knight tracking the shuttle, satellites and the ISS have leaked into general knowledge. But are they true? Is there a more rational explanation?

The Wikipedia link below details the alleged real facts around the Black Knight and it’s said that Nikola Tesla’s radio signal cannot be attributed to an alien satellite, the US Navy’s detection of it in 1960 was poor identification of a satellite and the claims around a 13,000 year old satellite were made by a Scottish author to the media and later retracted.

Wikipedia – The Black Knight

Like all conspiracy  theories, there’s always the questions either side. It seems absurd to accept the idea of an alien satellite orbiting Earth. But if another race wanted to monitor us for a long time it’s only recently that we’ve been able to detect it. Perhaps it’s calling card, maybe it’s purpose is far more sinister.

Whatever it is, it exists. Whether a fragment of another human spacecraft, or alien satellite. Only when it’s captured and examined will the mystery end. Or maybe, it will only be beginning…

Simon 🙂

Writing Prompt – Esther’s Monday Motivations

Esther has really pushed the boat out this week, with three lines to be included in here Monday Motivations challenge:

Write a flash fiction piece of between 50-200 words with the following three lines in it somewhere. The lines don’t have to follow on from one another:

  • The glass smashed to the floor
  • He was in love
  • Just how was he going to get out of this one?

This took me a little while, as I like to be a bit different (as always). This is what I came up with:

The Joy Ride

Mark had just ‘popped out’ to get the food and drink for the party. “People will be arriving in just over an hour!” he mumbled. Still there was nothing to do except pour another beer into his glass.

Greg pushed the door to the garage open and he stood there, stunned. The glass smashed to the floor. “Why hadn’t Mark told him?” Greg thought. The curves, the shape, he was in love – with Mark’s new Lamborghini!

lamboghini

Greg looked around the car, then he saw the keys were in the ignition. A bad thought came over him. Unable to resist he swung the door up and sat in. Greg looked around the car, he liked it, no loved it!

He couldn’t resist and turned the key, the car growled into life. Revving the engine it sounded amazing.

“One little trip round the block won’t hurt!” Greg thought as he closed the door. Slipping the car into gear, the car leapt forward and out of the garage.

“Wow this is lively!” He thought. Lining up the car on the road he pressed down on the accelerator. The car sped forward, then suddenly the back swung out, the car spun until all too suddenly a tree stopped it dead. Shocked and stunned Greg sat there wondering how he was going to get out of this one?

Simon 🙂

(Slightly over 200 words – sue me! 🙂 )