Random Thoughts

When "Guardians of the Galaxy" was in development, I was skeptical. When I was a kid, they were simply different Avengers, in space. Seriously, they had a Major from America, an archer, a strong guy, etc. And everyone knows Marvel had sold off the movie rights to the popular characters to prevent bankruptcy so they had only B level characters left.

But one of those B-level characters was Iron Man, and Jon Favreau, Robert Downey, Jr. and a whole team of four writers (usually a bad sign) turned in arguably the best superhero movie of all (1). And it just so happened other B-level characters made up The Avengers, and a boom was born.
Wonky Rockets? Wonky Theory!


The British tabloids Express, Metro, Daily Star, Sun and others seem to think that some or all of the rockets displayed in North Korea recently are bogus.  The "proof" is the wonky nosecones shown in a BBC video.

It's not the Rockets that were wonky.  Rather, the "news" reports demonstrate wonky thinking. Media reports about wonky rockets prove only that some reporters tend to write stories based on their own lack of knowledge.  Due diligence is obviously not a term with which these scribblers are familiar.

“Not only a new kind of community but a new kind of man comes into history with the development of the Jews.” (H.G. Wells:“A Short History of the World” Chapter 22 “Priests and Prophets in Judea”, 1922)

Racism, “a new kind of man”, written by one of the brightest minds who did no less than predicting and warning the world about the second world war:

I was not supposed to start this piece using the pronoun ‘I’.

Today is the first day of the Chinese Year of the Rooster, 2017.
 
I am addressing this in particular to North American friends, since yesterday evening on TV we saw Michael Portillo on one of his great railway journeys, travelling through the state of Kansas.  In one of his enounters, a young Native American man, in full costume, performed a “prairie chicken” dance from the Blackfeet of Montana.
 
The Guardian, or as it is more affectionately known to its readers, The Grauniad, seems to think that it takes a native Russian speaker to write 'f' as 'ph'.

Almost certainly, a native Russian speaker wrote the original material, correctly transliterating the Russian “f” as “ph”.

Er, no!
I am happy to report, with this rather unconventional blog posting, that I am getting married on January 12. My companion is Kalliopi Petrou, a lyrical singer. There will be no huge party involved in the event, as Kalliopi and I have lived together for some time already and the ceremony will be minimalistic. None the less, we do give importance to this common decision, so much so that I thought it would be a good thing to broadcast in public - here.
The STENDEC Puzzle

Ever since BSAA Avro Lancastrian Star Dust vanished on a flight from Buenos Aires to Santiago, the ending of its final transmission - STENDEC - has continued to puzzle experts and amateurs alike.

Star Dust, registration G-AGWH, an Avro 691 Lancastrian 3, departed Buenos Aires for Santiago at 13.46 on 2 August 1947.  It was not seen again until wreckage was discovered in 1998 by two mountaineers climbing Mount Tupungato.  The wreckage was found about 50 miles (80 km) east of Santiago.

If I wanted to create a fake news story – I would lead with a sensational headline. Something that would incense and shock the readers and be extra “clickbaity”. Perhaps a hook about a teenager getting raped to death. That should get some serious traffic.