NASA Finds Moon of Saturn Has Chemical That Could Form ‘Membranes’

NASA scientists have definitively detected the chemical acrylonitrile in the atmosphere of Saturn’s moon Titan, a place that has long intrigued scientists investigating the chemical precursors of life.

On Earth, acrylonitrile, also known as vinyl cyanide, is useful in the manufacture of plastics. Under the harsh conditions of Saturn’s largest moon, this chemical is thought to be capable of forming stable, flexible structures similar to cell membranes



via Saturn Moon Has Chemical That Could Form ‘Membranes’ | NASA

Simon 🙂

No ownership claimed on images or materials – Credit NASA


Mad Manic Monday on Planet Simon

This is the first chance I’ve had to post today – the writing tool has been down for a bit which has added to the mad manics of my usual Monday. Some of this however is self inflicted… let me explain.

For some time I’ve been spending too long on writing my first work of art. My good friend Sacha Black is always and forever encouraging me to get my arse into gear. Chatting with her yesterday I dropped myself in it – Sacha challenged me to get a book out next year to which I agreed and added “You can publicly ridicule me I don’t!”

The thing is Sacha will… So I better get writing! By the way, Sacha is getting close to release her novel and had a cover reveal the other day – go and have a look at it:


So on top of this I’ve got some more stuff and idea to carry out and post on here – some of it in the future is going to be a tantalising look at what may be to come. This week there’s some good stuff coming too but I won’t be around much so carry on as you were! 🙂

Also make sure you keep up in my other places on the interweb:

Planet Simon Facebook Page







Also make sure you guys look up the sci-fi and fantasy hub I still need contributors and readers to make this project work for anyone and everyone interested.

Thanks guys – keep smiling and writing!

Simon 🙂

Employers – Being Consistent & Blame Culture

This is part of a series of posts that have been inspired by the attitudes of employers over recent years. Having worked in a few places and seen how the ‘Inspiration Leadership Handbook’ is applied (or in most cases not) I feel that getting this out into the blogging is long overdue.


As an employee, you’re trying to do the right thing normally. Based on what you’ve been asked to do by your direct boss and what you understand generally as company policy. For example, if there is a company process to go through before releasing a deliverable generally I as an employee will follow this.

But this time your boss needs it really quick, for whatever reason and you’re asked to bypass this process. Normally with the verbal command ‘Ship it!’

The employee feel uncomfortable, stuck between a rock and hard place – do they say NO to their boss? Or do they break the company process?

Normally the boss wins as he or she is there bearing down on you. So you do it. Then sometime later guess what – something’s gone wrong with it in some way, it’s not right at all and awkward questions are asked.

“Why was the process not followed – it would have picked this up!” Or something of a similar tune id uttered. The employee looks over to their boos and it’s at this point that the measure of how good or bad that boss is becomes apparent.

Sometimes they fess up – good boss, but sometimes they lay the blame on the employee. The poor soul has no backup, no proof and the only thing they can do now is either try and argue and probably lose or accept the blame. After the meeting a quiet thank you is sometimes uttered when big boss is out of ear shot. Whether or not you get the thank you, watch this guy, he or she is trouble with a capital T. Either it’s time to move on or time to make a stand, but seriously don’t take this kind of shit.


Company processes and policies exist for a reason, so any manager should NEVER ask their staff to take short cuts, it’s not reasonable and it’s not professional. Consistency will make sure that they know the boundaries, in a way it’s like dealing with dog or children. They’ll behave better when they know what to do.

As for blame culture, if employers haven’t learned by now that any blame culture in any company is toxic then it’s about time they did. Why are they toxic – simple, blame cultures only ever work one way and that’s shit!


Simon 🙂


Manic Monday on Planet Simon

I’m not sure why I used that header image – it just seems kinda fun to me, maybe I’ll be concocting some evil things this week – who knows?

But this is the start of another week, another 5 days or so to get through before the next weekend comes and we can do whatever we like – haha… 😛

I’m kind of at another point where I need to think about what comes next – I’ve got a lot of things I could and should be doing and of course like everyone else I don’t have time for it all. So some of  these things are likely not to happen at all. So – what does one do – a small amount of big posts, or a lot of short posts or a mix of the two. I guess there’s nothing wrong in any of it but something I notice is that long posts don’t get read and that we all like pictures.

The other thing I think is going on is that the WP reader is constantly changing who our content is pushed to. So a lot of my old and faithful bloggies aren’t necessarily seeing my posts. Hmmm… this technology thing isn’t easy is it?

Buggers! Having X number of followers is no good if they can’t read it!

While I mull over this and waste yet more time I’ll get some posts in this week – I’m going to be bringing back some of the old magic to Planet Simon so keep watching! Also make sure you keep up in my other places on the interweb:

Planet Simon Facebook Page







Also make sure you guys look up the sci-fi and fantasy hub I still need contributors and readers to make this project work for anyone and everyone interested.

Thanks guys – keep smiling and writing!

Simon 🙂


Fidget Gadgets

For a few months now there has been a craze gripping the kinds here in the UK and I think all over the world.

Fidget Spinners.


These small gadgets are basically a spinney thing that you hold in the centre hub and spin. These things come in all kinds of shapes and sizes and colours and kids can’t get enough of them and they do all kinds of strange things with them. They try and spin them on their nose, one fingered and any other tricks you might be able to think of!

I’m told constantly that this was invented by a 14 year old boy, all I can say is that if this is true this 14 year old boy might never have to work a day in his life! Lucky blighter!

The best thing we did was to use a jet washer to spin my son’s spinner and boy did that sucker spin! It was so fast it sounded like a whizzing turbo and the spinning created a suction that kept it stuck the the surface it was on.

Apart from silly trick, what are these things for? Very simply, as the same implies it’s to fidget or fiddle with. Something for an overactive mind to do while bored and it has been said that these help children with attention deficit issues. But fore the most part these things are unsurprising banned at school!



Move on a couple of months and there’s a TV advert for something else fidgety – I present the fidget cube:


On every surface there’s a little fiddly function to play with. Judging from the response from kids it holds some interest, but not as much as the spinner. But this nonetheless has given rise to all kinds of widgety fiddly things cropping up.

The only thing I can think of saying is… How do these silly, nearly useless things like loom bands of fidget spinners capture kind imagination, no one can predict these thing! What is the world coming to???

Is it me?

Simon 🙂

Phobos Photobombs Hubble Mars Shots

The sharp eye of NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured the tiny moon Phobos during its orbital trek around Mars. Because the moon is so small, it appears star-like in the Hubble pictures.

Over the course of 22 minutes, Hubble took 13 separate exposures, allowing astronomers to create a time-lapse video showing the diminutive moon’s orbital path. The Hubble observations were intended to photograph Mars, and the moon’s cameo appearance was a bonus.


via NASA’s Hubble Sees Martian Moon Orbiting the Red Planet | NASA

No ownership claimed on images or material – Credit NASA

Simon 🙂

#NASA #Space #Mars #Phobos #Hubble

Employers – Valuing Employee’s

This is part of a series of posts that have been inspired by the attitudes of employers over recent years. Having worked in a few places and seen how the ‘Inspiration Leadership Handbook’ is applied (or in most cases not) I feel that getting this out into the blogging is long overdue.



Rewards are great aren’t they? Nothing makes you feel better than when an unexpected surprise bonus or something comes to you and you can spunk the extra cash in five minutes flat and feel good about it… or not as the case may be. It’s a sword with two edges and if wielded like an idiot, it will get ya!

This happened maybe 10 years back now:

“We had a bonus a few months back” my colleague tells me “everyone got one!”

“No, we didn’t – I’m sure of it” was my reply. My colleague however was adamant (not the pop singer). We agreed to dig out out payslips and compare, sure enough we compare June’s payslip and there it is on hers, not on mine. At this point you can imagine I feel really good about myself… not!

I was encouraged to talk to the CEO about it, being the non-confrontational person I am this isn’t what I like doing! Besides it smacks of begging and I don’t do that and right now I feel a bit unworthy too. So she drags me by the arm and marches me to the CEO’s office and explains to the CEO what’s happened. He says that this will be sorted out.

A few weeks later I have a meeting with the CFO, where he explains that my line manager had essentially forgotten about me and there was an apology with a rather whiny excuse that the bonus pot has all been used now. As a goodwill gesture they would give me £150 in my next pay packet. This was a mixed blessing, it was great to get something but at less than half of what my colleague got and after I had to ask for this the goodwill was kind of lost.


I wish I had never asked!



Treating everyone the same

This kind of thing is a minefield for employers and to some degree I sympathise becasue no matter what you do there is always one complaining and you know what – I’ve never wanted to be the one to complain.

But let face it forgetting people isn’t great and this often happens where people are invisible. What the hell are you talking about I hear you cry? Is there a whole workforce or invisible on Earth.

Well no, it just seems it. What I’m talking about is about not seeing what’s gone on in the background. I’ve had to watch while people who have asked me to prepare something for them. They’ve sat down for a few hours and worked out what they need. Then it’s given to me, I create the design, get it approved, raise the orders and arrange the manufacture. They then take this, test it and go yep, that’s good.They are then packed off on a jet somewhere for a week.

When they come back these people are applauded for their efforts in getting this demonstration done and well done and get awarded for their efforts as it pulled in some sales and things are good.

After you’ve seen it for the twelfth time it wears thin believe me. Just becasue you can’t see what the person in the background has done doesn’t mean it matters any less. It often matters more. On the back of this this also includes the office admin who arranged their air tickets, travel and hotels. The IT guru who makes sure he can get internet access, email and phone for their time away.There were loads of people involved in getting this to happen, but they’re rarely even given a nod.

I imagine if you go an a cruise (I can only imagine this) it cool to go and see the bridge and chat with the officers. But this ship would be going no where if it wasn’t for the poor sods in the engine room. They matter, just as anyone working in the background matters and trust me it pisses them off when this isn’t acknowledged. One of the lovely thing these corporate people like to tell us is that there is no I in team. Right, so start acting like it!


Giving Employee’s Value

Rewards is just one way of giving employee’s value, but let’s be honest perhaps the best way is to not forget them and give them the credit they deserve becasue everyone makes a difference. The hot shot who bring in the money is the flashy git who everyone see’s and may even have all the witty one liners. But I bet it would be a different story if he was the one that had to organise his own flights!

Simon 🙂