Tag Archives: Thinking

Are we alone in the Universe? A Time and Space Question

Arthur C Clarke

“There are two possibilities, we are either alone in the universe or we are not. Both of these are equally terrifying.” Arthur C Clarke.

These words have resonated with me for some time and it’s hard to find any human being that could to relate to this feeling. It’s a quote that gives me the sense of the isolation of the human race and gives me the inescapable feeling that we are all space travellers on a lonely rock in space. It’s also got me thinking – the search for life outside of our own world is focussed purely on one thing – space or location. Where are they?

But let’s look at this another way – is there extraterrestrial life around now, was there life before? Is there extraterrestrial life to come?



If other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. ~ Simon Farnell


Now you might be reading this and thinking that I’ve lost it this time. Surely the aliens are here, right here and right now. But bear with me on this. Planet Earth and the solar system have been around for a very short time in terms of the age of the universe and the human race has existed for a mere blink of an eye in that time… if that. So maybe in the time that we currently exist in the universe is a time where there’s nothing else.

Civilisations have come, grown, developed and been wiped out millions of years ago and any trace of them turned to dust by the natural erosion of their planets.

Or maybe we exist in a time before other civilisations have even started, maybe we’re the first to crawl out of the oceans and develop and grow into sentient beings.

Other possibilities may be that one human life is far shorter than the lives of other beings that live on other worlds.

Time as I have said before is such a relative thing, based on what we can perceive and measure with our minds. If we imagine the universe as a giant entity existing in its place we can maybe imagine that our existence is a fleeting and insignificant thing, a moment of time too short to measure and other races that may or may not exist will also be a similar fleeting moment.

So if other beings live out there, if we’re to find them, we must do so before one or either of us is expired by the universe. Our fleeting moment expired before we could reach out and connect.

Kinda scary eh?


Planet Simon


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The NHS – What is the real cost of saving it?

For those living in the UK, you will have noticed that there’s rarely a day goes by when the NHS is in the news and most of the time it’s not for good reasons. The words crisis, lack of resources, funding are used in the the story. The same politicians responsible for funding the service and keeping it going are on TV apologising for the outcomes over the winter or becasue the ambulances can’t get out to emergency calls becasue they can’t offload the patients they already have – becasue the hospitals are full to overflowing already with people being treated in the waiting rooms or left to be ill in the corridors.

The picture I hate to say this is bleak. It’s a tragedy to actually witness this great institution being strangled to death in front of our eyes and yet the British government (with it’s hand around the neck of the NHS) still insists it’s doing all it can to alleviate the daily crises affecting the NHS. The reality is different I think.

It’s the doctors, the nurses, paramedic and all the people working to try and make the NHS work that are actually keeping it going. I twas announced today that more nurses are leaving the NHS than joining. Small wonder considering the working conditions and pay that they’re getting. They seem to think that some kind of ambassadors will help the situation – so these people will help them accept long hours, low pay and demanding working conditions?

Keep on reading!

Coincidences – Is the Universe rarely so lazy?

I’ve been on this Earth a little while now and if there’s one thing I’m increasingly convinced that doesn’t exist or is rare it’s coincidences. The premise is that on your path in life many, many other paths cross yours in different ways and these are totally random events. But I’m not so sure.


Do coincidences exist? Possibly, probably, maybe. But as Mycroft Holmes said to Sherlock when he was summing up some facts and trying to explain them as coincidence “The universe is rarely so lazy” and I think this is a better way to look at it.

Keep on reading!

Thought for Tuesday – Water chillers are bad for your health!

Water chiller drinking stations, you know you get them at work and they’re a good source of cool refreshing water at work. Often found in random corners of any place of work.

These are bad for your health, well – more accurately your back. I’m not sure who these are designed for, some kind of dwarf. The angle I need to bend down at to use it is precisely the right angle to ping my back.

Then, if you need to replace a water bottle – extra back breaking work and for heaven’s sake don’t drop the bottle!

Just saying… or is it my age?

Simon 🙂

Thought for Tuesday – Car Headlights

So here we are and watch out I’ve been thinking again. As the data get darker and those who drive have to start using headlights I’m left wondering about makes of high end cars who put ultra bright headlights in their cars that help the driver to see better.

This is all very well you selfish little shit but me and everyone else you pass had to suffer their retina bring burned out just so you can see better so you can keep driving like a bastard!

Thanks… Do us a favour car makers, knock it off! It’s not funny!

Simon ☺️

The Shape of Things to Come – Awesome Quote

My friend Roger of Heroically Bad Writers quote this to me today – it was so awesome I had to share it!


“But for Man, no rest and no ending. He must go on, conquest beyond conquest. First this little planet with its winds and ways, and then all the laws of mind and matter that restrain him. Then the planets about him and at last out across immensity to the stars. And when he has conquered all the deeps of space and all the mysteries of time, still he will be beginning.”

Hope you’ve all had a great day!

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 🙂


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 🙂