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Posts posted by CrashBox

  1. How strange to see this very recent thread when I only said to a work colleague a few days ago that I feel I'm in the most demonised demographic in the UK today. In my case I said "I'm a single, straight, white middle-aged meat-eating bloke, who lives alone in a three bedroomed house, and I own three cars" (two that are seen as 'dirty old things' - even though one is over thirty-yrs-old and the other is 87-yrs-old tomorrow, so they are actually much more environmentally sound than buying a brand new car). 

    I've also got to the age where I no longer give a hoot what anyone thinks of my life choices  :D

  2. I use FamilySearch (free), Genes Reunited (less than a tenner a year), and Roots Chat (free). I started my research around 2006 and currently have over 600 individuals on my family tree, going as far back as the 1550s. FamilySearch is massive and very useful (set up by the Mormons who are very much into ancestry as part of their religious beliefs). Roots Chat is also very useful, given it's free to join and use (it's just a forum).

    I've put my tree on FamilySearch and Genes Reunited. 

  3. Has anyone else in Shetland noticed that since MeteoGroup took over the contract from the Met Office for providing weather forecasts and the graphics to go with the forecasts, Shetland is not fully on the map? Most of the time Unst is missing completely, the rest of the time it's a good chunk of the rest of Shetland that isn't on the map. This evening's 6:30 news almost completely lost Shetland off the edge of the graphics screen, yet showed England as far south as Hull!! I'm not a true Shetlander, having moved here in June 2013, but I feel it's really insulting to the people of Shetland. I've even commented on the BBC Scotland Weather Twitter page but have never received a response, which is even more insulting. 


    I now subscribe to the Met Office Scotland YouTube Channel, which does show the whole of Shetland. 

  4. Much quicker so cheaper to dig a hole, drop a pole in it, dig another hole some distance away, and string a cable between them. Repeat until completed. If the cable is fully underground then the hole becomes a very, very long trench which takes longer to dig and fill in. 

  5. I'm waiting for Tesco Lerwick to introduce 'Scan as you Shop'. I used that all the time when I lived down south, and it made the experience of shopping far more bearable. It's just a case of picking up a barcode scanner when you enter the shop and you scan each item before placing it in the bag nice and neatly. When you have finished shopping you go to one of the special machines (whatever they're called) and transfer the information from the scanner to the machine and pay by cash/card. Bags already packed and sat in the trolley. 

  6. I'm looking forward to the James Webb Space Observatory launching around 2021. Unlike Hubble it'll be positioned a good million miles from Earth, in a Sun orbit rather than an Earth orbit, and being a much, much bigger telescope it'll be able to look at light from a host start passing through an atmosphere of an orbiting exoplanet and be able to tell exactly what the atmosphere is made from. Who knows, it might discover a planet that has had its atmosphere altered by an industrial civilisation, just as we have done here on Earth. Doubtful though. 

  7. Crashbox, There are other moons which have atmospheres, Put into the net WHICH MOONS HAVE ATMOSPHERES  for a list.


    I'll grant you that, but they're pretty much all extremely thin in comparison with Titan, which actually has an atmosphere roughly 50% denser than Earth's. I do admit that just because a Moon has an extremely thin atmosphere, that doesn't exclude it from having any chance of harbouring some form of life, given what we are continuing to discover here on Earth, and even in space. I've read that hardware taken into space has had bacteria survive on it for quite some considerable time.  Life is extremely hardy by the looks of things.

  8. Over the past thirty years or so, no matter where we have looked on Earth, we have discovered forms of life. From the deepest recesses of our oceans to the driest desert, from the coldest environment deep beneath the ice on Antarctica to some of the hottest environments around volcanic vents in the oceans. There are even bacteria that thrives in water so salty that most life on Earth would be totally unable to survive it. It has totally changed our traditional understanding of what is required for life to exist. There are Moons of Jupiter and Saturn which are known to have seas beneath layers of ice, and NASA is looking to send probes in the 2020s to investigate. They plan to drop robotic explorers from orbital craft to try to find any signs of life, no matter how basic. The best target is generally accepted to be a Moon of Saturn, named Titan, which is the only moon in the Solar System with an atmosphere (mainly made up of nitrogen). 


    I have absolutely no doubt that life exists beyond Earth, but there's certainly no proof of little green men, and I don't believe we'll ever find proof.  

  9. I've read somewhere that Shetland is sinking, whereas the rest of Scotland is going the other way. Something to do with mantle rebound due to the weight of the ice over mainland Scotland during the last ice-age. The southern part of England is also sinking as the mantle under Scotland rebounds. Think something along the lines of a child's see-saw, where one goes up, one goes down. 

  10. The earth is on the backside end of the Milky Way Galaxy which contains around 200-400 billion stars (which is a lot).  Though the Milky Way itself is a pretty insignificant galaxy (though both are very nice treats). In comparison, the observable universe alone has around 300 sextillion stars (which is really loads). But, there is far more "space" than there is physical objects and the distances between them are astronomical.


    While the above numbers may make the possibility of life being found in the right conditions on theory, the Universe is expanding at an amazing speed and this is speeding up. Unless the human race develops a mechanism very soon that can take advantage of something like superluminal communication (the only known theory of sending a signal faster than the speed of light, it's basically time travel), then contacting any life in the Universe and still being here when the response comes back is extremely low.


    I guess the only hope is that another life form with this technology has already done that and we are the receiver. Though as noted, this part of the Galaxy is a bit of a backwater and our sun is extremely small, so it might not be note worthy enough for another life form to send messages our way.


    I was only interested in our backyard rather than the entire city, so to speak, but I'll draw your attention to this YouTube TED Talk video 

    which should give a little food for thought, regarding the rest of the visible universe. The last five minutes or so is certainly an eye-opener. 
  11. I'll stay away from the 'is there a God?', but I see aliens have been mentioned above, so here's my take on it.


    The physicist, Enrico Fermi asked a simple question in the early 1950s. With something over 100 billion stars in our gallaxy (the Milky Way), the probability of advanced civilisations throughout the galaxy should be pretty damn high. But there is nothing. No evidence whatsoever. The Fermi Paradox.


    Professor Frank Drake created an equation (Drake Equation) back in the early 1960s. That equation tries to quantify the active numbers of civilisations in the Milky Way galaxy. By the reckoning of that equation, there should be millions of civilisations equal or greater than Mankind.  Over the past twenty years, we have massively increased the size of the Milky Way due to newer technology (Hubble Space Telescope being just one), and we're also now able to detect exoplanets (planets around other stars) thanks to the Kepler Spacecraft, with the number currently standing at over 3000 planets. SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) has been scanning the skies for over half a century so far, and yet the Fermi Paradox still stands. The skies are silent. 


    My personal belief is one held by Professor Brian Cox. There has to be the first civilisation. The first species to gain intelligence, knowledge, and technology. and have the passion and desire to use that and reach for the stars. That species is us, Mankind. We're the first, and currently the only ones in this galaxy. That's not to say there aren't millions of planets with civilisations in the 'Victorian Era', or 'Viking Era', or any other similar/dissimilar historical time, and haven't invented forms of radio communication yet. Who knows, we could wake up tomorrow and discover the galaxy has suddenly lit-up overnight with signals from newly invented radio equipment from countless planets. I very much doubt it, though.

  12. Street View camera car should be in Shetland sometime between now (August) and October. 



    Scotland Helmsdale, Caithness, Sutherland, Ross and Cromarty, Inverness, Nairn, Moray, Banffshire, Aberdeen, Kincardineshire, Angus, Perth, Argyll, Bute, Ayr, Renfrew, Dunbarton, Stirling, Clackmannan, Kinross, Fife, East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Lanark, Peebles, Selkirk, Berwick, Roxburgh, Dumfries, Kirkcudbright, Wigtown, Shetland, Orkney August 2018 – October 2018
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