Two astronomers. Separated by only 22 degrees, 58 minutes of latitude, 33 degrees, 29 minutes of longitude, yet seemingly worlds apart. Their common goal: figure out the very nature of the Universe and its womenfolk.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Con, sonar - crazy Ivan!

Apologies for the recent down-time, it seems Blogger wiped us out for a bit, but a quick republish seems to have resurrected us.

So, Nic Ross and I hit London during the week for a media course at the Royal Society. I'd strongly recommend this course to my fellow science bods - they seem to be run every couple of months. It was nice to be taught by a real pro - Judith Hann (best known for Tomorrow's World) - and also get into discussion with other scientists. Climate change seems to be the zeitgeist, but Nic and I certainly got quizzed heavily about what's going on in astroville.

We had some spare time on Tuesday so headed over to the Royal Observatory to get nostalgic. Sadly Nic and I are crap navigators and, having got lost, arrived 5mins too late to be admitted. Here's an ironic photographic testimony, which you can click for a zoomtastic taste of chronological humour:

All was not lost. Firstly, the observatory affords this awesome view of the Canary Wharf district:

Also, Nic cajoled me into convincing the warden at the observatory that we were close friends of the Astronomer Royal (we didn't mention which one). Amazingly this worked and we were allowed to sneek in for a quick snap across the meridian:

Jesus I need to lose some weight. Anyway, the time not spent in the R.O. was spent, much to Nic's chagrin, at the Cutty Sark whereupon I delivered my best Captain Jack Aubrey lines (much talk of not having a moment to lose, excellent seamanship, best of two weevils etc). Sadly Nic's appreciation of my JA doesn't equal Jim's.

Enough rambling - we also met up with ex-mofo Dr. Rich Whitaker, drank mojitos, and narrowly avoided boogying in Soho's gayest nightclub. On the way home we discovered a mutual love of "The Hunt For Red October" and proceeded to annoy fellow travellers with lines from the film.


Blogger Mark Norris said...

Mr. Ambassador, you have nearly a hundred naval vessels operating in the North Atlantic right now. Your aircraft has dropped enough sonar buoys so that a man could walk from Greenland to Iceland to Scotland without getting his feet wet. Now, shall we dispense with the bull?

6:46 PM

Blogger jim said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

12:28 PM

Blogger jim said...

you slammed the door on the general pretty hard jack...

i'm sorry sir, that was not my intention

oh yes it was! he was patronising you and you stomped on him. in my opinion he deserved it.

12:29 PM

Blogger jim said...

We will pass through the American patrols, past their sonar nets, and lay off their largest city, and listen to their rock and roll... while we conduct missile drills.

12:30 PM

Blogger jim said...

You're afraid of our fleet. Well, you should be. Personally, I'd give us one chance in three. More tea anyone?

12:31 PM

Blogger jim said...

When I was twelve, I helped my daddy build a bomb shelter in our basement because some fool parked a dozen warheads 90 miles off the coast of Florida. Well, this thing could park a coupla hundred warheads off Washington and New York and no one would know anything about it till it was all over.

12:31 PM

Blogger jim said...

apologies for the quote spam

12:33 PM

Anonymous Jim2 said...

It may be just my sick, perverted mind, but did anyone else think that thing behing Nick and Rob looks like a giant metallic minge??

9:25 AM

Blogger NPR said...

Why do you think we're standing in front of it smirking like the immature boys we are...??

9:27 AM

Blogger jim said...

that'll bring tears to your eyes

12:46 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bush and the Republicans were not protecting us on 9-11, and we aren't a lot safer now. We may be more afraid due to george bush, but are we safer? Being fearful does not necessarily make one safer. Fear can cause people to hide and cower. What do you think? Is killing thousands of innocent civilians okay when you are doing a little government makeover?
If ever there was ever a time in our nation's history that called for a change, this is it!
The more people that the government puts in jails, the safer we are told to think we are. The real terrorists are wherever they are, but they aren't living in a country with bars on the windows. We are.

5:19 AM


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