Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Wednesday, 14 July 2010

St. Paul's from the South Bank

In 1977:-
In 2009:-
The obvious change is the Millenium footbridge. This is obscuring the tall building towards the left side of the picture which, from the details that can be made out, appears to be unchanged.  The new terrcotta-coloured building on the riverside is now obscuring the College of Arms and the Welsh Church of St. Benet's in Queen Victoria Street.  The building to the right on the riverfront appears to have been rebuilt but with some architectural references to the original. St.Paul's itself, gleaming white, is clearly showing the effects of the cleaning that has been carried out since the 1977 shot.

Regrettably the NatWest Tower and another tower block to the right of  St.Paul's dome are now degrading the skyline.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Lego felt-tip printer

There are some clever buggers out there . . .

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Tombola tale

I was at a village fete today helping on a tombola stall in aid of a local charity. In pride of place was a large cuddly toy, a pink & white fluffy dog with  number 176 on it. This caught the eye of a small girl who asked how much it was. I explained it was a prize which she could try for by purchasing a 50p ticket. She rushed off and came back a minute later with a a 50p coin. I took the coin and proffered the bucket of folded-up ticket stubs. She plunged her hand in without hesitation and drew out - 176. She accepted her prize quite calmly. Of course she was going to win it.

I hope this hasn't given her the wrong idea about life  . . . .

Monday, 14 June 2010

Electric lighting causes cancer

"The advent of electric lighting at night is one of the major reasons why the cancer rate has increased substantially during the last 100 years. The reason for this -melatonin. This hormone, which puts us to sleep, is a powerful anti-oxidant and cancer preventive agent. Results of in vitro and in vivo studies, suggest that melatonin helps the immune system to eliminate neoplastic cells, before cancer develops.
What to do about this? Sleeping in complete darkness is very important, of course. If your bedroom is not dark, wearing a sleeping mask keeps your melatonin levels high throughout the night. Interrupting the darkness, however, for example by turning on a bathroom light, even for a few minutes, can turn off your melatonin for an hour or more! That's why for many people it's hard to go back to sleep after getting up to go to the bathroom."

From: Sentient Cosmos

Sunday, 23 May 2010

Friday, 16 April 2010

Lamp Longevity

This Philips SL*18D, an early, energy-saving fluorescent, (18W) has just given up the ghost. It was bought in 1985. I estimate that over the ensuing 25 years its use has saved, very roughly but of the right order, 700 kilowatt-hours. Taking the average energy price over the 25 years to have been 5p per kWh that means the cost saving has been about £35.

The lamp itself would have been fairly expensive in those days, probably about £10 but I suspect this has been more than offset by the number of incandescent lamps I would have had to buy over the same period..

It is very heavy weighing in at 550 grams and been in a suspended lamp-holder all its life: but the flex and anchoring seemed to stand the strain.