Mystery Blogger Award

Thanks to Suzi for tagging me into the Mystery Blogger Award. Suzi has a very colourful blog (and hair) so if you don’t know her go and have a look. She’s got bright and sunny tips for brightening up life in general so please make sure you say hi!

According to the Mystery Blogger award it’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts… you think they’re ingenious now – you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!

Award Guidance

Thank whoever gifted you and include a link to their blog

Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well

Tell your readers 3 things about yourself

Answer the questions from the person who gifted you the Award.

Choose 3 – 5 bloggers that you wish to gift the Award to.

Ask 5 questions of your choice with one weird or funny one

Notify those you gift the Award to.

3 Things About Yourself!

I always struggle to think of things to say about myself… I try and be original but it’s difficult. Here goes though:

1) I was once forced to jump out of a tree from about 12 feet up.

2) I’m an engineer but I’m not pleased with how technology is going in terms of cheap, disposable devices that clog up the eco and waste systems. This should and can last.

3) I fix things… sometimes things I think are unfixable.

Suzi’s Five Questions

What is the biggest lesson you have learned in your time blogging?

I’ve learned a few things. People come and people go, even recently a keen blogger has upped and gone without warning. It”s hard to keep it up and to do it you have to adapt. But the community here is great.

If you could travel to any planet which one would it be and how would you get there?

Neptune, it’s so blue and cold. Oh no hang on Saturn and it’s rings. But… oh all of them and I would get there in the Millennium Falcon.

Do you ever give your cars (or other transportation) names?

No, unless it were to fly or float.

What’s your weirdest habit?


What are your 3 desert island must haves?

Food, water and pen / pencil / paper. IS that allowed?

My Five Questions

My five questions will be the same as those Suzi gave me… I’m curious too.






As always no pressure to do this but I look forward to any replies.

Gifting The Mystery Blogger Award

Type here

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30 Years Ago: Voyager 2’s Historic Neptune Flyby | NASA

Neptune as taken from NASA’s Voyager 2

Thirty years ago, on Aug. 25, 1989, NASA’s Voyager 2 spacecraft made a close flyby of Neptune, giving humanity its first close-up of our solar system’s eighth planet. Marking the end of the Voyager mission’s Grand Tour of the solar system’s four giant planets — Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune — that first was also a last: No other spacecraft has visited Neptune since.

“The Voyager planetary program really was an opportunity to show the public what science is all about,” said Ed Stone, a professor of physics at Caltech and Voyager’s project scientist since 1975. “Every day we learned something new.”

Wrapped in teal- and cobalt-colored bands of clouds, the planet that Voyager 2 revealed looked like a blue-hued sibling to Jupiter and Saturn, the blue indicating the presence of methane. A massive, slate-colored storm was dubbed the “Great Dark Spot,” similar to Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. Six new moons and four rings were discovered.

During the encounter, the engineering team carefully changed the probe’s direction and speed so that it could do a close flyby of the planet’s largest moon, Triton. The flyby showed evidence of geologically young surfaces and active geysers spewing material skyward. This indicated that Triton was not simply a solid ball of ice, even though it had the lowest surface temperature of any natural body observed by Voyager: minus 391 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 235 degrees Celsius).

Triton as taken from Voyager 2

The conclusion of the Neptune flyby marked the beginning of the Voyager Interstellar Mission, which continues today, 42 years after launch. Voyager 2 and its twin, Voyager 1 (which had also flown by Jupiter and Saturn), continue to send back dispatches from the outer reaches of our solar system. At the time of the Neptune encounter, Voyager 2 was about 2.9 billion miles (4.7 billion kilometers) from Earth; today it is 11 billion miles (18 billion kilometers) from us. The faster-moving Voyager 1 is 13 billion miles (21 billion kilometers) from Earth.   

Getting There

By the time Voyager 2 reached Neptune, the Voyager mission team had completed five planetary encounters. But the big blue planet still posed unique challenges.

About 30 times farther from the Sun than Earth is, the icy giant receives only about 0.001 times the amount of sunlight that Earth does. In such low light, Voyager 2’s camera required longer exposures to get quality images. But because the spacecraft would reach a maximum speed of about 60,000 mph (90,000 kph) relative to Earth, a long exposure time would make the image blurry. (Imagine trying to take a picture of a roadside sign from the window of a speeding car.)

Read the rest of the Article Here:
30 Years Ago: Voyager 2’s Historic Neptune Flyby

No ownership claimed on images or material – Credit NASA

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The Heralding of Night

Nothing can stop it, darkness is coming.

Swallowing the sun like the reapers cloak.

Heralded not by fanfares or glory but by the cry of the owl and the fox. Peace descends as the diurnal creatures find their shelter.

The night hunters begin their prowl, shrouded by the night.

Dying hues are the promise of the light that it will come again and banish the night again.

While we can’t control the rise and fall, balance brings comfort to all.

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Blue Siren

This is my entry for August’s Blog Battle – the theme or word for this month is Intercept.

Jenna knew she was pushing it, vibrations that normally could never be felt reverberated around the console, shaking through her body. The small Ranger’s engines were pushed to beyond their operating limits, the smell of hot metal filled her senses, invading her head. She hoped and payed that she would intercept it in time, but not as much as she hoped someone else could before her.

“Status report Blue Siren, how far are you from it?” A man’s voice called though into the earpiece.

“Ten minutes. I’m showing it’s still on the same course and trajectory. Do you concur?”

“Concur Blue Siren”

Red warning lights flashed up around the engine status displays, well they had been for sometime but the hot smell was getting worse and the lights somehow seemed to have more urgency about them. “I’m throttling back” Jenna announced back to control. She had this love / hate about the call sign Blue Siren. She was the only female pilot in Blue squadron, that’s why she was given the name. But it was like a constant reminder she had something more to live up to.

“Negative, maintain speed Blue Siren”

“I can’t intercept if my ranger blows apart and what am I supposed to do when I get to it? It’s moving faster than light, my pulse lasers won’t be able to touch it. All I can do at the moment is spit on it!”

“Dammit Jenna don’t go disobeying orders again! We can’t risk that thing hitting the Ceres mining station!” The man at control was nearly shouting.

“I’m not disobeying orders, you told me to intercept and disable the approaching missile. I’m still doing that and now I have more time to think about how I can do that. Is anyone else on their way?” Jenna replied stubbornly.

“Half of blue squadron have been dispatched from Mars but they’re playing catch up and won’t be there in time.”

“Well maybe if they didn’t avoid me there might be one of your blue eyed boys here. Then you wouldn’t have to rely on me!”

“That’s out of line Blue Siren, we’re all a team. You seem to think you have more to prove than the others. What are you going to do?”

“Well I can’t shoot at it, if I approach it head on it will avoid me. So…”

“So what?”

“Ah ah. Here we go.”

“What is it?” The frustration of the man was evident.

“I have captured a small boulder, I’m going to set it in the path of the missile. It doesn’t have any energy traces so it won’t be able to see it and will therefore hit it and become history.” Jenna sounded pleased with herself and she was confident it would work. The thing was big enough, way bigger than her Ranger.

The computer worked out where she needed to push it and how hard. Lining up the front nose ram of the Ranger she positioned her craft and set up the burn time into the computer.

“Ok, I’m ready!”

“Proceed Blue Siren. This had better work!” Jenna didn’t answer, she was used to the undeserved remarks from them all the time.

“Three, two, one – firing!” The Ranger pushed forward, the already hard worked engines groaning under the pressure of pushing the huge object. Shaking around the Ranger wanted to push free, just holding it steady Jenna held it in place.Then as suddenly as the engines fired. Silence.

“Push maneuver complete.”

“Roger Blue Siren. Good work. I’m able to track the boulder so far the trajectory is looking good.”

“Roger control. I’m going to withdraw back to Ceres mining station.”

“Roger Blue Siren.”

Waiting for something to happen in deep space is the the most boring thing ever. You’re not in motion, you’re not doing anything. That’s all Jenna could do – Wait. After what seemed an eternity the time was near, one minute until the missile reached the boulder. Both were on course. The seconds ticked away.



Jenna Swore.

“Blue Siren the plan failed, get to that missile and shoot it down!”

“I can’t – I’ve told you!” Jenna screamed back. She had only moments, it would soon be here and she had only one option left. Setting the Ranger on a collision course she buried the throttle. Engines screaming almost as much as she was, she closed her eyes.

Control watched as the ranger and the missile met, then only one was left. Just the missile now. Had it torn through the ranger and not exploded?
“Blue Siren report. Blue Siren report!”


With nothing to get in it’s way the missile hit the Ceres mining station, the flash was so bright it was seen on Earth with just a small telescope. In less than a second the entire station was swallowed up in is a fusion detonation that sucked every element of the base up and expelled it into it’s base atomic components far into space.

Back in control, no one spoke for what seemed like forever, the commander took his head from his hands. “Begin to notify the authorities back on Earth on what happened.” He ordered grimly. “Get Blue Squadron to begin in initial site survey, is there anything left and what happened to Blue Siren. Earth will want answers and I need them.”

Jenna opened her eyes, slowly, blinking into focus. Four figures stood around her.
“What happened and where am I?”

“You’re safe Jenna, but I’m afraid you won’t be able to leave. Your people think you are dead and our purposes need you to stay that way.” One of them told her flatly.

“You launched the missile didn’t you?”

He nodded.


“Ceres is, special let’s say and is hiding secrets your people must never know.”

“My people? Who are you?”

The three others walked off, leaving just the leader.

“In time we will show you, but please rest for now.” Jenna felt sleepy again and felt herself passing out. “There is much to do!”

© Simon Farnell 2020

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What’s the Energy with Matter?

If you’ve read the title and thinking that I’ve got it the wrong way around or I’ve gone mad, I’m sorry it is the right way around and… well let’s leave the madness thing. What this is about is Eisenstein’s quote about the face that all matter is basically energy.

Everything is energy and that’s all there is to it. Match the frequency of the reality you want and you cannot help but get that reality.

– Albert Einstein

Converting matter into energy

It sounds like the mad ramblings of something out of science fiction, but thinking about it, matter and energy are always swapping place. For example, if something is burned like, oil, gas or coal the matter is being converted into heat energy. This is very inefficient as there’s lot so bi-products left behind.

Nuclear fission is another process for converting matter into energy. It’s more efficient but the bi product left behind is far more dangerous. We then have fusion which goes a step further. In all these cases matter is converted into heat and light, which is then used to generate our own energy.

But what about the other way around?

Converting energy into matter

In Einsteins theory of general relativity he proves that the absolute maximum speed limit possible in the universe, the speed of light is not achievable by anything which has mass.

The reason is that if we were to travel in a starship and gradually get faster and closer to the speed of light, the mass of the ship and anything else on board would increase. The way of think of mass is the sum of all energies of an object, this would include any inertial energy.

The problem gets worse the closer to light speed we get, so much so that at light speed we reach infinite mass. The reason that mass become infinite is because the energy required to achieve the speed of light is infinite. This is why it’s not possible to reach the speed of light, at least in the physical universe of Einsteins theories.

But the point of all this is that as you put energy in, mass increases. Mass increase indicated something is getting heavier and matter is somehow being created. No one really knows kind of how this works. It’s pure mathematics and so far the theory has held up to physical observations.

Matter and Atoms

Maybe a simpler way of thinking about matter is that it’s made up of atoms, which are made up of protons, neutrons and electrons. What determines different kind of matter is the made up of the atoms, so the number of electrons and shells the atom has. This all looks very much like our own solar system, with it’s core of energy and circling planets.

It’s also worth remembering that an atom can also break down into it’s component energy parts… so, this becomes perhaps a simpler way to think about the relationship and barrier between matter and energy.

What does it matter?

Yes, I know – a pun. In terms of our everyday this doesn’t matter at all. Everyone around us is the same, no different, just a bag of goo made up from star dust. But there comes into this the thought that even from a scientific point of view can we really dismiss the point of view that we’re just the result of a huge accident?
Was the sun or the universe lonely? We can look up and see the very thing where all our energy and matter comes from, we would be dead without it. One day it will take back what it gave us, one day we will return to stardust.

The energies of the universe combined to make the matter that makes itself and from that this microscopic smear that’s called life (let alone the human race) is living and thriving in the world and the energies that created it. Watching with awe as it all takes place. The universe watching itself, trying to work out what it all means.

How can that be an accident?

© Simon Farnell 2020

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Weekly Orbit – Blog Date 32-2019

Hi there bloggies! I’m still here… I’m tempted to say don’t panic but it’s more likely I should say I’m afraid to that lol.

Taking time off is taking its toll on my blog posts that’s for sure. But I’m still about and I’m keeping up with many of you. I hope you’re enjoying the summer. To make sure I had something for you I posted the second part of my new serial story Extinction Protocol. Parts 1 & 2 are here:

Extinction Protocol Part 1
Extinction Protocol Part 2

I’m fully intending to get my Blog Battle Story out early this month too as I kinda just don’t want to leave it until the last minute… I’ve just not got there yet.

I’m going to make sure I mention a blogger friend Huntress, she mentioned me in a post about man bashing and about how she doesn’t man bash… I was quite touched by the compliment so I thought I would mention her.

I don’t have much else to say this week, hopefully there will be some more posts… Let me know what you’ve been up to! Are you on your holidays? Are you buried in trying to keep warm for winter?

Keep smiling and writing.

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The Extinction Protocol – Part 2

Personal log Commander Scott Edwards
Olympus Colony Mars
Sol 687

It’s been two weeks since the news landed that there was a plan, a sliver of hope for our survival and the continuation of the human race. I might in fact be overoptimistic. A sliver implies some chance, to me there’s too much in the way. Or there’s something I don’t know about, there’s always that. I didn’t know about this whole damn operation two weeks ago.

The problem I think is how mentally prepared and able are the people to do this, some are just hanging on by a thread as it is. There’s been no further details of the plan yet. The mission craft is only days away from entering Mars orbit. Maybe we will know more then.

So I won’t…

“Edwards you’re needed in control” Collins voice came over the intercom.

“What is it?

“It’s Jett there’s a problem.” Collins replied grimly.

“What kind of – Oh I’m coming.”

“Finish this later.” Edwards clicked off the log recorder.

Edwards marched onto the control centre “What’s going on Collins?”

“It’s Jett, he’s sealed off the North section, he’s gone crazy and said he’s going to blow it up! There are twelve others trapped in there.”

“What the hell?!? Is he on the intercom?”

“Yes, Although he doesn’t seem to be in the talking mood.”

Picking up the intercom Edwards put it to his ear “Jett, what’s going on?” Edwards waited for a response. “Any idea why he’s doing this?”

“None.” Replied Collins. “He keep rambling on about we don’t know what’s coming and everything is bullshit.”

He’s been like that since the mission was announced, but I didn’t think he was going to do this.” Moments passed with nothing happening. The intercom crackled into life. “Scott? Is that you?”

“Hi Jett, yes it’s me, what’s going on?”

“You have no idea what’s coming Scott! No idea!”

“What do you mean? We have a chance, we have a hope and I need you to help me with it!”

“Oh no, no I’m not going to help. This whole thing is bullshit! We won’t succeed and even if we did what then? What will you all do? This whole thing is messed up and I’m going to stop it.”

“Why would you do that Jett?”

“Because of what’s coming Scott!” Jett shouted, his voice explosive over the intercom.

“What’s coming Jett? What do you know that I don’t?” For a moment Edwards waited. “Jett? Jett?” Edwards was now shouting “Je-“

A huge rumble and the whole base seemed to heave, pushed to the floor by the shock wave that tore through the base. Edwards eyes opened, his ears ringing. He called out but his voice was muffled. A moment later he realised he was still breathing, the base shell hadn’t breached. But there had been a massive explosion.

Edwards picked himself up and looked across at Collins, blood ran from his ears, Collins was struggling to find his level as well. Looking round Callie and Neila we having the same problem. Probably everyone on the base was. The spike in air pressure had thrown them all back and messed with thier whole bodies.

Edwards looked straight at Collins “Can you hear me?” Even his own voice hurt his ears. He scanned the control panel. The North section flashed red, showing shell breach. Looking over at the screens he could see it wasn’t just breached, most of the North section had been destroyed.

The ground outside the base was littered with smashed equipment and debris. But what was that? Several bodies, not quite dead but not far off. Edwards ran calling out as he held his ears tightly, wincing at the pain.

“Rav, Neiks meet you at airlock 2!” The two men met Edwards at the airlock. Edwards started pulling on a suit and pointed.

“We need to help them, we need to get them in!”

“They’re dead Scott! Leave them!” Rav insisted.

“No I saw, I saw they were twitching!” Edwards protested aggressively, pushing the two men aside as he reached for the gloves.

“Forget it Scott!” Neiks shouted “Forget it! It would take us five minutes to reach them and then at least five minutes to get them back. There’s only three suits here and they would be dead before we got them on. They’re dead now!” Neiks pushed Edwards back and to the floor. For an instant Edwards anger flared up, but it passed as soon as it came and he sat, head in his hands.

Cassi ran in “There’s people out there!”

“They’re gone Cassi, they won’t make it. I’m sorry” Rav explained.

The tears were already flowing down Cassi’s face. One by one people came and went in silence she wouldn’t leave, she just looked out to the ruined section. Edwards too was frozen, his head killing him, his ears killing him. After what seemed and age Cassi crawled over to Edwards and held him.

“Dani was on there wasn’t she?” Cassi nodded “I’m sorry Cassi” neither moved as night fell. The whole base was silent, no one sure what they lost hurt more, friends or hope.

Two days had passed, Edwards still coming to terms with the senseless loss. If Jett wanted to go, that alone was tragic, but why take the twelve others with him?
Collins Walked in after being summoned. Handing him a tablet Edwards took it “Damage and loss report as requested. I’m afraid we lost fourteen in all Jensen and Riall both crashed during the night.”

“Jesus Collins. What was all this about? Jett was a good man and under pressure too.” Edwards shook his head and turned away. For a moment Collins thought about answering but quickly purged the thought, he turned to quietly leave.

“What do you think about this Collins? Honestly.”

“The mission?” Edwards nodded. “What choice do we have?”

“That’s what I think too.” Edwards turned but then came back to him. “Oh Collins, I sent the update to the mission craft, they’ll be here in days.”

“Any reply from them?”

“Not yet, I’m not sure what the detailed plan was an how this changes it. All we can do is see what they say.”

“Well it won’t be good whatever it is, the mission might not be possible now.”

“We need to find a way to make it possible, we have no other choice.”

Collins left and Edwards was alone again, looking back towards another setting sun, back to where Earth was and possible redemption was coming from.

©Simon Farnell 2019

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Weekly Orbit – Blog Date 31-2019

Hi there bloggies! The orbit of the infinite is here again and spinning round without leaving much behind. Well not last week at least, it was all a blur last week with work and stuff but let’s not go there.

For a few days I was at home and trying to get all kinds of things done, managed most of it but you know how it goes you kind of lose the will after a while. I would have rather been writing / blogging.

I will get some more things out this week and maybe even get in my Blog Batlle early this month – I’m waiting for this month’s prompt.

Even if all I’ll be writing about is battling aliens.

As there’s not much else to talk about I’m making sure I mention another blogger Alexandra of Reader Witch wrote this thought provoking post on people watching. I enjoyed it and I thought it would be good to show off to you.

I hope you’re all well! Let me know what you’ve been up to! Are you on your holidays? Are you buried in trying to keep warm for winter?

Keep smiling and writing.

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