That’s not a comet, mate this is a comet!


I’m sure you’re aware that the Rosetta spacecraft is now very close to the Churyumov–Gerasimenko comet and within weeks will land a probe on its surface. Until now I couldn’t visualise the size of the comet. How would a probe fit on a landing site on the comet? How would you find a flat enough site on what I visualised was a space only a few hundred metres square.

Well, the photo above puts it all in perspective. That’s the core of the comet overlaid on an American city. It’s about 4.5Km long! Here’s another view that’s possibly more familiar –

_76773211_rosetta_comet_624What an achievement this is!!! This spacecraft was sent off about three years ago on a path to meet the comet after about three trips around the sun. The probe was actually powered down to a minimum power state for a couple of those years, then re-awoken a few months ago. Everything had to reboot, power up and work properly, and it did. That alone is amazing.

Now it’s only a few hundred thousand km away from the comet, matching its speed and moving slowly closer so as to be in position to fire the lander toward the surface of the comet. That should happen within months. Meanwhile, both of them are moving toward the sun, as the comet’s path takes it in its big loop. Soon the sun’s heat will start to blast the ice and dust off the comet to form what we see as the tail. But this time, there’ll be a human built camera and electronics package on the surface to show us what happens.

What a magnificent achievement! This is all the European Space Agency’s work. Hats off to them.


I never cease to be amazed at the coincidences. Some months ago I bought a door wedge with a built in alarm, so that I could leave the front door partly open in hot weather. But I found the door sill is so high that the door passes over the top of the wedge! I needed a rubber strip to raise the height of the wedge.

This morning I found it. Out walking to the shops, there was a 1m length of 75mm wide high density foam with adhesive backing lying on the footpath. Just what I want! Shazzam, another stroke of luck.


With one week to go to the deadline for payment for our school reunion on 11 October, still 27 people out of around 85 who said they’re coming have yet to pay. This is after three email newsletters going back six months saying how and when to pay. Maybe there’ll be a rush to pay in the next five days, but I doubt it. That means we’ll have to chase them.

I get upset. Months of reminders, but they still don’t pay. We are seriously committed to paying for 80 meals at the hotel, totalling $5,200 outlay, but we’re way short of the money at the moment. Grrrrr!


There must be something wrong with me.

  • I don’t have a tattoo, not even a little one hidden away
  • I don’t have a body piercing, not even one
  • I don’t have a tongue stud, advertising every time I open my mouth that I suck …
  • I don’t have a smart phone
  • I don’t have a tablet
  • I don’t have an mp3 player with ear plugs
  • I don’t tweet. I don’t even know how to do it. Only twits tweet.
  • I don’t spend any time on Facebook. I had to open an account, but I never waste any time on it.

I must be a real nerd.


The magazine I’m doing for the school reunion is up to 250 pages now, and I asked at Office Works yesterday for a price to print a copy. Double sided colour, stapled magazine. Quote – $225 per copy!

It’s not actually meant to be printed. It’s a PDF magazine, and a cute page flipping on-screen book, but I want a paper copy for my shelf.

I reckon it’ll be cheaper to print it myself, even if I go through a full set of ink cartridges, five at $19 each = $95. Crumbs, it would even be cheaper to buy a new printer for about $49 or so than to replace the cartridges! How crazy, how wasteful is that?


A few months ago I was all in favour of Scotland breaking away from the UK, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised the implications. Now I’m dead against it. No Scotland, don’t break away. You can still have your own identity while being part of Great Britain, as you’ve been for so long and in such a distinguished way. Vote No on Thursday.

Contrast this process with Ukraine. The east of the country wants its own identity and control of its own affairs. So what do they do? They start a war over it. They start shooting and bombing and shelling. Can you imagine that happening between England and Scotland? Eastern Ukraine people need a bit of civilising.


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