Month: August 2017

Per Aspera Ad Astra

Kipper, Going Postal

I am an atheist. I find the concept of a higher power or “God”, if you will, simultaneously highly feasible yet completely irrational. If a god is to reveal itself to me in my later life I will not be surprised, but if I live my life through and it transpires that there is no greater power than man. I will also be void of surprise, not that I will be able to conceive it upon my death.

I do my utmost to use reason. To look at the facts in an objective manner and draw conclusions from that which I can observe and know to be true. This is why I myself look up to Voyager. Voyager exists, we know this. Voyager is the most distant mark our species has on the galaxy. Since departing on its mission on September 5th, 1977, Voyager has traveled over 20,775,000,000 kilometers from earth [1]. Alone, unaccompanied, Voyager marches on in to the wide expanse of our universe. Destined to find something out there. A new planet to orbit, a black hole to enter, perhaps even become the foundations of a new planet or even, dare I dream, the edge of the universe. What is known is that Voyager will long outlive me, indeed, my species and the planet I call home. Long after the Earth is consumed by the (red Giant) sun in around 7.6 billion years.

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The Internet is Simple, Part Three

El Cnutador, Going Postal

We’ve talked about asymmetric and symmetric encryption keys here but without really going into them. Encryption is a way of scrambling data so that it is unreadable, unless you have the key to turn it back into the original message. If Alice has something she wants to keep secret (or Victoria, for that matter), she can get a box with a lock. She can lock the box with the key, and if she wants to let Bob into her box, she can give him a copy of the key. In a nutshell, the same (symmetric) key locks and unlocks the box, and the key can be copied and given to other people, should Alice want to let Charlie and Dave into her box, too. Filth!

Asymmetric keys are a bit special. Imagine Alice has a box with a clever lock that has 3 settings – A, B and C. A and C are locked, no one can get into Alice’s box. Only when the lock is in position B can the box be opened.

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KODI – With Phil the Test Manager

Going Postal

Over the last year or so I have mentioned using Kodi, and frequently get asked about it.  Kodi allows you to view pretty much any television show or film.  Not all, but pretty much most.
Kodi is a piece of software that you can install on a PC or on a Amazon Fire TV with 4K Ultra HD.  These cost £79.99 from either Amazon or Argos.  Link here:  Firebox.  I am advised it is best to buy from Amazon, as you will then need to create an Amazon account for which you will need later.  If you already have one, great, just follow the instructions.
They run off WIFI, but better if you can connect it to an internet cable, especially if your WIFI is not that good.

Free Speech, by Godfrey Bloom

Going Postal, Godfrey BloomIt is a national disgrace that the principles of English Law are no longer taught in our schools. They are the template for much of the free world and our national heritage is dependent upon them. Men and women have died for them over the centuries; they are not our government’s to give away. Each generation of them have but their stewardship. Let us review them in context for a moment. First came the principle of natural justice, embodied in a local legal protocol, the conception of the Anglo Saxons. This was the embryo of common law, a concept so popular it was adopted even by the Normans. The advantage to the State being it is not just fair, but seen to be fair. Such adjudication was based on precedent, it gave the law & interpretation of it to not just one small group of men but drew on the wisdom of generations that had gone before. An awesome depth of knowledge, experience and wisdom. English law therefore is infinitely superior to Corpus Juris (or Napoleonic Code).

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I ain’t paying for a film either, part one

As a miserable sod who hates parting with money and with plenty of time on my hands I thought I’d go through the Net and look for short alt films, funded on a shoe string, mainly from Patreon and other crowd source sites. Here are the first four:

Prego – Dec 1, 2015

An award winning Comedy about the repercussions of a one night stand. It is actually very funny.

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What is human, by Gmbd

Evolution appears a sensible explanation for the adaption of creatures, if it works you have an advantage and get to reproduce and the mutation is passed on.
Seems sensible.
I have wondered tho’ if wishful thinking might play a part, that a collective mind might think, “It would be really great if I had a long neck to reach those tasty leaves up there”
and so the giraffes DNA is changed by will power so that the off-spring has longer necks.
What the mechanism might be I have no idea.

I heard an assertion but have no source that a bacteria changed its metabolism in its own lifetime to adapt to new circumstances when it was really stressed.

I like Life being a mystery.

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The Zeebrugge Raid Part Three – The Block Ships, Thetis, Intrepid, Iphigenia and the Ostend Debacle

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
Intrepid and Iphigenia blocking the main channel Thetis is behind. The lock gates are out of view below

…Be copy now to men of grosser blood,
And teach them how to war. And you, good yeoman,
Whose limbs were made in England, show us here
The mettle of your pasture; let us swear
That you are worth your breeding; which I doubt not;
For there is none of you so mean and base,
That hath not noble lustre in your eyes…

The block ships, had been timed to round the Mole twenty minutes after the arrival of Vindictive, Iris and Daffodil and, all had different tasks. Thetis, the leading ship, was to ram the lock gates, the other two were to ground themselves by the southern end of the piers. Breaking the lock gates would make it impossible to fill the canal and float any trapped vessels, while the other two ships could be relied on to create a barrier of silt and complete the blockage of the canal. Thetis rounded the Mole although under fairly heavy fire (though not as heavy as it would have been without the effects of the diversion) and ran into anti- submarine nets at the harbour entrance. These she carried with her. However, she had been so badly damaged by the nets that both her engines went out of action and she began to sink. One engine was temporarily started and this was just sufficient to pull Thetis around into the dredged channel, where she would have the greatest nuisance value. Then orders were given to abandon ship. As Thetis settled down in the water, demolition charges blew out her bottom and she was there to stay. Although not in the position originally intended she had done a good job. The ship blocked a vital channel and in getting there she had gone through a wire net – at the cost of her own engines – leaving a clear passage for the other two block ships. Thetis had also drawn the German fire away from the other ships. A motor launch ignoring the fire, came in close by to rescue the crew of Thetis.

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Postcard from Northumberland

Coloniescross, Going Postal

This is Heather, we made it our base for 3 nights as we spent our Ruby Wedding Anniversary in Northumberland, doing stuff. No telephone signal, no tellybox, just me, Mrs. Cross, a couple of decent bottles and a few spots to visit. The weekend didn’t get off to the greatest of starts, the entrance gate to the field fell on the wife’s foot, but she has got another one. She was only hopping mad for a couple of hours. We arrived on Saturday evening and dined on cottage pie, washed down with an excellent bottle of Red Burgundy.

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