Wednesday, 8 August 2012

A Ramble in Space

Yet another Ramble – but this time it’s interstellar, well almost.  I’d forgotten that I said I was going to use headings in my Rambles so people could skip boring (to them) monologues about sport or cast iron railings or brothel creepers or tegestology.  Yes, I have written about all those at one time or another!

But the problem about doing headings is this news update from Eagleton…
GB is happy.  He hadn’t seen one of his goldfish for a couple of days but all five have just appeared as he gazed, concernedly, from the kitchen window.

If I gave it a heading the heading would be nearly as long as the item.  And what heading would I use?  GB – people might think that was Great Britain?  Goldfish – readers may immediately imagine it’s to do with the Creative Writing programme at Goldsmiths College? Today’s big worry – that could be about anything from Syria to Greek banks?  So perhaps there is still room for a little ramble without a heading at the start.

The London 2012 Olympics

A lot of people are, by now, fed up of the fact that the Olympics are dominating our televisions but it only goes on for another couple of days.  Personally, I love it.  And the fact that even before Friday’s closing ceremony we have our highest gold medal total for a century – 22 - makes it all the more special for those supporting Team GB.

That’s Team GB

 not Team GB!  

But I wonder how many people can name all the British medal winners?  I can’t and I’ve been interested in it.  Folk like Chris Hoy and Andy Murray will be remembered for some years to come but what about Dani King and Peter Wilson.  It can be argued that because Dani was part of a team (the Women’s Cycling Team Pursuit) people can’t be expected to recall the names of all the team members.  But Peter Wilson won his gold medal on his own in the Men’s Shooting Double Trap final.  An hour of glory and now he will fade back into the real world, at least for the next four years.  What drives men and women to compete at the highest level knowing that their sport has such a small following?

Shooting Stars

Starting in late evening on the nights of August 10/11, 11/12 and 12/13, the Perseid meteors will streak across these short summer nights from late night until dawn, with only a little interference from the waning crescent moon.

I quote from the excellent site

"Meteors are typically best after midnight, but in 2012, with the moon rising into the predawn sky, you might want to watch in late evening as well.” 

On the mornings of 11th to 13th August, “moonlight shouldn’t be so overwhelming as to ruin the show. Plus the moon on those mornings will be near the bright planets Venus and Jupiter in the eastern predawn sky. It’ll be a beautiful early morning scene. The Perseids are typically fast and bright meteors. They radiate from a point in the constellation Perseus the Hero. You don’t need to know Perseus to watch the shower because the meteors appear in all parts of the sky. The Perseids are considered by many people to be the year’s best shower, and often peak at 50 or more meteors per hour in a dark sky. The Perseids tend to strengthen in number as late night deepens into midnight, and typically produce the most meteors in the wee hours before dawn. These meteors are often bright and frequently leave persistent trains.”

OMG – Oh! My God!

This letter from Lord Fisher to Winston Churchill, dated 9th September 1917, is the first known usage of OMG.

My Latest Motto

If my motto the other day was ‘Fake It Until You Make It. Right!’ then today’s is ‘I Shall Not Be Distracted’.  This posting was begun about eleven hours ago and I said to myself (out loud, allegedly) ‘I shall not be distracted’.  Needless to say I have allowed numerous things to divert me from my original objective.  Similarly, last night I set out to tidy up my Google contacts.  I ended up doing e-mails, checking birthdays on Postcrossing and all sorts of only vaguely relevant things. The actual tidying of contacts went largely undone.  

Oystercatchers (Haematopus ostralegus)

Coming in to land –

Seeking shellfish and worms - 

 Dinner is ready (mine, not the Oyatercatcher's) so here endeth today's post.


  1. Thank you for reminding me about the Perseids! I may even be lucky enough to "catch" some this year, since usually, when RJ is with me as he will be this weekend, we are still up by the time they are supposed to be visible.

    1. May you have cloudless skies! (At the rate iot's going this summer we shall be lucky to see a star let alone a shooting one.

  2. OMG, and just think Tweeters or IMers thought they'd had an original idea! You had a buffet of rambles today! I don't watch the Olympics all day, but I have enjoyed much of it.
    Hard to believe the first week of August is gone already.

    1. "A buffet of rambles" - what a great expression!

  3. Well, that is another new word I have learned today. Tegestology. Not one I will be using VERY much, I admit! :)

    1. Ah, but you never know when you might drop a new word into the conversation, thereby impressing everyone present!

  4. Shooting stars to Olympic stars and so much in between.....a truly mega post.
    I like horses but cannot understand why riding them is an Olympic sport.....I love dogs bring on the sheep dog trials. I'm also fond of sheep so doubling the spectacle.

    1. Wouldn't it be great to see sheep scattering to the four winds as a competitor lost control... Oh yes, bring it on.

  5. Hello, I popped over from GB's blog, and I'm enjoying your blog as well.
    Thanks for the OMG trivia, that was very interesting.
    I'll have to dust my telescope off for this weekend's sky show.
    Team GB has done very well at the Olympics....proud moments for everyone.

    1. Welcome, Virginia. I hope you'll pop over agsin some time.

  6. Don't think I know the name of any of the medal winners.Not into spectator sport (although did watch some of the diving) Had to watch the opening and closing ceremonies though.


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