- The blackest unicorn in the whole wide world, from Stuart Semple's instagram feed @stuartsemple
- below: Bournemouth benches retrofitted with anti-people-sleeping bars, flash-point for Semple's global anti hostile design campaign HostileDesign.org, which he launched to raise awareness and catalogue inhumane, anti-human designs in public spaces around the world. More at stuartsemple.com
My nephew is going to have some of his eggs frozen.
image: science photo library
27 years ago today, Helen Sharman, a British chemist, arrived at the Mir space station. She was the first woman to work there, and the first British astronaut.
To mark this unsung anniversary, I staged an impromptu tribute performance in Workhouse Cafe, Reading.
The work recreated the moment shown above, captured by the International Space Station, when the sun's glint point highlighted the details of Cook Strait, between the North and South islands of New Zealand.
With apologies to the unnamed originator: I cannot trace you.
In a shock move, 11-times world Tiddlywinks champion Andy “Mad Dog” Purvis, yesterday vacated the World Pairs title.
His announcement, on the eve of this week’s UK/USA championship clash in Cambridge, cleared the way for erstwhile partner Matthew Rose to pair with Patrick Driscoll and storm to victory over the USA challengers.
Fans will be relieved to hear that it’s not the end of the road for Purvis, whose virtuoso potting style first won him the game’s highest accolade - the World Singles - in 1990. “I am looking forward to getting back into it before too long, perhaps partnering one of my sons”, he said.
“I always knew he was special” said Brenda Purvis, the alelete’s mother, speaking from her home in New Zealand. His wife and teenage sons were unavailable for comment.
Bringing-in squidger. For long-distance shots Crafted from perspex found in Meshaw Crescent, Northampton, circa 1990
For potting winks that are touching the pot. Purchased from Rick Tucker (USA)
Available for lending / also useful in humid conditions
Skills: Mad Dog in action
Guinness Book of Records, 1993. Purvis is featured on page 293, alongside other sporting greats Martina Navratilova, Pete Sampras, and Billie-Jean King
Image Credit: NASA
Baily's beads: As the moon covers the sun, the jagged edge of the moon's mountain peaks allows beads of sunlight to shine through (Named after astronomer Francis Baily)
When just one bead is visible, it's called the Diamond ring effect
Totality by Katie Paterson: rotating sphere with images of 10,000 solar eclipses
Totality by Katie Paterson at Thinktank
WebExtra: Bonnie Tyler Sings 'Total Eclipse of the Heart' live during the 21 Aug 2017 total eclipse
WELL ALOHA, CAP’N James Cook Memorial Garland
25 August 2018
250 years ago today, Cook’s Endeavour sailed for the South Pacific. Her stated mission - to record the Transit of Venus - was a cover for locating land that Britain could seize.
This voyage, and the two that followed, were feats of navigation and scientific documentation which greatly expanded Western knowledge of the globe. For the indigenous people of the island nations, though, they presaged European colonisation.
First came the devastation wrought by venereal disease, alcohol and firearms, then the establishment of Western systems, which irrevocably altered ways of living that had evolved over thousands of years.
Detail of garland. Materials: Sugar*, plastic**
*Traditional foods of the islands have been replaced by energy-dense, nutrient-poor products which have led to rising levels of obesity and chronic disease. By 2015, the population of Pacific Island nations had risen to the top of the worldwide obesity scale (article from healthcareglobal.com here)
**In 2017, Henderson Island in the South Pacific was announced the most plastic-polluted place on Earth (article from earthsky.org here)