The Flat Earth Society

Firstly a hat tip to the Flat Earth Society, their website is:  also for Wikipedia, see here:

I thought it about time that we all knew something about The Flat Earth Society, (TFES).  I write this article not in jest, you can make your own mind up.  Those that have not blocked a regular poster, Behold a Pale Horse (BaPH), will have seen his oft quoted “Ain’t no such thing as space bro”.  I asked him to write an article, but I suspect this will not happen, so I thought I would do some research and lay out for you what their basic beliefs are and a little bit about them.

Modern flat Earth societies consist of individuals who promote the idea that the Earth is flat rather than an oblate spheroid.  Such groups date from the middle of the 20th century, although some adherents are serious and some are not.  Those who are serious are often motivated by pseudoscience or religious literalism.

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National Treasure

Coloniescross, Going Postal

The National Health Service in Britain is seen as a “National Treasure”. Politicians of a certain stripe have recently started to call it “Our National Health Service”, leading me to wonder just who it used to belong to before it was ours. But I digress (slightly).

There are certain truths about this organisation that we should be clear on and there are certain myths surrounding it also. For some people it is the pinnacle of what civilisation can achieve. A clean, efficient, well run and free at the point of use service for the taxpaying citizens of The United Kingdom to make use of should they ever need to. For others it is exactly the opposite, a dirty, inefficient and expensive shibboleth that badly needs to be taken down and possibly never rebuilt.

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Regular Numbers and Plimpton 322

OldTrout, Going Postal
Plimpton 322 is a Babylonian clay tablet, notable as containing an example of Babylonian mathematics. It has number 322 in the G.A. Plimpton Collection at Columbia University. This tablet, believed to have been written about 1800 BC, has a table of four columns and 15 rows of numbers in the cuneiform script of the period.

There are trigonometric arguments for interpretation of Plimpton 322 and a number-theoretic argument by Neugebauer.

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Victoriana 22

Tachybaptus, Going Postal

Chapter 22

‘I suppose it’s back to normal life for us now,’ Victoriana said. ‘It’s been exciting, though.’
‘A bit too exciting sometimes,’ said Rusty.
They were sitting with Emmeline on empty ammunition boxes in the tent that had been allotted to them in the encampment. Victoriana was wearing a new pinafore, in a hatefully old-fashioned style, that had hastily been bought for her in Oban. But she had won a small victory, she thought, as she looked down at her feet, comfortably shod in a pair of elastic-sided boots that she could put on in seconds without recourse to a buttonhook.
Rusty was ill at ease in a stiff new sailor suit. He looked out of the tent flap at the castle, now surrounded by barbed wire and armed guards. ‘I’ve been thinking about that machine we saw in there,’ he said. ‘It was a kind of Telectroscope, no doubt about it. But it had a lens at both ends. So if you looked in one end you could see something at the other end. But that’s only ten feet away, so you could see it anyway. What’s the point of that?’

The things I really hate!

Colliemum, Going Postal
Toot, toot!

First off – keep yer hair on, this is not about politics and politicians or Al Beeb.
This is just a little list of my top pet hates which irritate the hell out of me in my ordinary day-to-day life.
Top of them is car seats.
They are oh-so-wonderfully ‘secure’, ‘cradling’ one so that one doesn’t rattle around like a pea (why that should happen when we’re all strapped in by our safety belts anyway is something I still don’t know). And of course they make even a common-or-garden family car ‘feel’ as if one’s in a high-powered sports car – that’s especially important when creeping around at 10 mph or standing still!
But try to get out of such a seat! It’s impossible, especially when one’s not a limber young model like those lovely examples of totty gracing the comments (I suppose, since nobody reads the comments, nobody sees them either?). Lifting one’s legs to indecent heights, then rolling over that bulge (which seem to get higher in every new model), then gaining one’s feet and lifting one’s bum from low inside over that high bulge to get out: it’s an atrocity!
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The Unseen Path – Part Five

1642again, Going Postal


Alan Dare watched Mohammed Badr wake slowly from his drugged stupor; the man must be dying of thirst, he thought. They were in a large barn, bare and devoid of content other than some animal stalls, all occupied except for the one in which Badr was bound and chained. A door was ajar, letting in some of the limp early morning light, joining that which filtered through the dirty high-level windows.
Alan knew the floor was freezing, softened only by animal litter, but could read the prisoner’s face sufficiently to see that the man’s feelings were colder than his body as he realised that he was surrounded by three men, all masked and in grey overalls. One, Art, would seem a virtual giant, another, Georgy, almost Arabic in appearance from the look of the uncovered patch around his eyes, but clearly no brother from their expression, and Alan himself, blondish haired.
“Good, you’ve re-joined us. You must have been tired; you were out for almost twenty-four hours. Let me tell you how it’s going to be. You will tell us all we want to know, every last detail without hesitation, just the truth. If you don’t, you will not survive the consequences. Clear?”
Art removed the gag in Badr’s mouth.
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The Internet

El Cnutador, Going Postal

So there I was, at 16, with my Commodore 64, a Programmers Reference Guide and no assembler, translating assembly instructions into hexadecimal opcodes, by hand, then typing them in as DATA statements in decimals. A friend had one of these new fangled Modem thingies, and he could connect to the various bulletin boards, where we would swap our C64 BASIC code into their gaping ether to gain enough upload credits so we could download a few grainy gifs of grot. The modem could handle a blistering 14.4Kbps in one direction at a time.

Never mind that the forests outside our houses were a veritable cornucopia of grot, Reader’s Wives, Playboy, and Fiesta. We even found a copy of Roue once but the stories of lesbian hockey girls in private schools being lightly frotted with a feather duster did little for us.

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Who will sing for England


I watched a documentary about The Proclaimers over the New Year. I take an interest in musicians and how they achieve success in the creative field. I’m not over-judgemental and try to find aspects to admire even if I don’t like the final product. Hence I can appreciate the clever construction of a song or piece of music which is not to my taste at all. I exclude the tuneless Bananarama from this. For those of you who do not know, The Proclaimers are a couple of identical Scottish twins who burst onto the scene with great energy (a must-have in my book) in the late 80s with their anthemic song “I’m gonna be”, which most will know better as “500 miles”. They arrived as something different in the music landscape, heavily influenced by punk, folk music and the musical political activism of Kevin Rowland of Dexys Midnight Runners (“Come on Eileen”.) They made a deliberate decision to sing in their broad Leith accents. In the documentary they came across as intelligent, articulate and rather dour, by no means an unwelcome attribute in these days of emotional incontinence. Talking heads were wheeled out to show that the band generated a strong Scottish fan base, not least by openly espousing the cause of Scottish independence. Krankie described how they had radicalised her and many of her generation. As we know, their intervention was not decisive on the 55:45 vote which, much like Brexit, apparently remains open to “interpretation”. Nevertheless, the twins produced a pivotal song called “Cap in Hand”. Here is the chorus:

But I can’t understand why we let someone else rule our land
We’re cap in hand.

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Operation Black Buck – The Swansong of the British Nuclear Bomber

Blown Periphery, Going Postal
The last gasp before the attack. Victor tanker refuels Victor tanker in an electrical storm. Vulcan 607, BLACK BUCK One stands off waiting her turn.

At 0400 Local on 1st May 1982, the population under curfew of a now filthy and stinking Port Stanley, were roused from their beds by the visceral thumps of just over nine tons of high explosives from the direction of the town’s airport. After the explosions came the roar of four Olympus turbojet engines, that shook the Capital’s wooden buildings and random gunfire was heard all over the town and surrounding area. To the occupied citizens of Port Stanley it meant one thing. The war to free them and oust the Argentine invaders had begun. To the Royal Air Force it was the culmination of an incredibly complex engineering and logistics plan. Thirteen Victor tanker aircraft had flown south with two Vulcan bombers, to attack the airfield at Port Stanley. To the aeronautical experts it meant that an aircraft designed in the 1940s, which had first entered service in 1956 and was due to be retired, had just carried out the longest bombing raid in history to that date.

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Sex and drugs and upper firsts

I live a few miles out of Durham City, in a former pit village. For those who don’t know Durham it is a World Heritage site

Grimy Miner, Going Postal

and home to Durham University, one of the prestigious 5 Universities in Britain (Oxford, Cambridge, Edinburgh and Imperial College London being the others).

Durham University is (temporary) home to some seventeen and a half thousand students (last available figures 2014). There exists an uneasy truce twixt Town and Gown but our MP, Ms Roberta Blackman-Woods, and Durham County Council, seems to hold them in higher regard than their more permanent constituents. I communicated with Ms R B-W regarding her stance on Brexit and she eventually stated that she voted to remain because “the student vote was to remain”. When it was pointed out that this 17,000+ voter base was transient, and that they could not ALL be remainers and that her total constituency had, in fact, voted to leave she closed communication with me and deleted the correspondence on her blog.

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