Category Archives: Chat from the author

“America is a Gun”

America is a Gun …

Students all over the United States have been marching to call for stricter gun control laws.

“America is a gun” is a poem by Brian Bilston.

This is the sort of poem that really reaches the very heart of the matter. It says it all. Please feel free to reblog.

1951 Explosion at Easington Colliery, County Durham

1951 Explosion at Easington Colliery, County Durham

The explosion happened underground at 4.35 a.m. on Tuesday, 29th May.

At 4.20am the picks of the coal cutting machine cutter, which was working in the Duck Bill district of the Five Quarter seam, struck pyrites causing sparks which ignited firedamp (gas) causing an explosion which brought down 120 yards of roof and entombed 81 men.

The explosion took place 900 feet below ground. 38 men were coming to the end of their shift and were to be replaced by 43 men who were working the fore-shift. The cause of the explosion was the ignition of firedamp triggered by the picks of a coal cutting machine, operating on a retreating longwall face, when they struck pyrites. The explosion spread through 16,000 yards of roadway and caused the deaths of 81 persons. Two persons died in the ensuing rescue operations.


Stephen Hawking …

Stephen William Hawking (1942 – 2018)

Cosmologist, space traveller and hero.

The world’s first ever televised solar eclipse …

The world’s first ever televised solar eclipse …

The world’s first ever televised solar eclipse occured exactly 67 years ago yesterday. This was the first time that a television-viewing audience saw a solar eclipse. The event was broadcast on March 7, 1951. Oddly enough, the significance of the broadcast by CBS News failed to move some experts at the time. Robert Coles, then the curator of the Hayden Planetarium, was quoted telling the New York Times: “Please, I ask you, don’t get people too excited about it. You see, if we get people expecting a big show they’ll be disappointed. Then they won’t pay attention when we have a genuine celestial wonder to call to their attention. Please keep this quiet.”

Asteroid 1578 Kirkwood

Asteroid 1578 Kirkwood

1578 Kirkwood, provisional designation 1951 AT, is a Hildian asteroid from the outermost regions of the asteroid belt, approximately 52 kilometers in diameter. It was discovered on 10 January 1951, by astronomers of the Indiana Asteroid Program at Goethe Link Observatory in Indiana, United States. The asteroid was named after American astronomer Daniel Kirkwood (1814-1895). You won’t be surprised to learn that we don’t have an image of 1578 Kirkwood. The lunar crater Kirkwood was also named in the astronomer’s honour and yes, here’s a photograph.

Hope ….

Hope ….

North and South Korea walking together under one flag at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics.

World’s oldest lightbulb …

World’s oldest lightbulb

The Centennial Light is the world’s longest-lasting light bulb, burning since 1901. It is at 4550 East Avenue, Livermore, California, and maintained by the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department. Due to its longevity, the bulb has been noted by The Guinness Book of World Records, Ripley’s Believe It or Not!, and General Electric. It is often cited as evidence for the existence of planned obsolescence in later-produced light bulbs. The Centennial Light was originally a 30-watt or 60-watt bulb but now is very dim, emitting about the same light as a 4-watt nightlight.

By 1951 this bulb had already been shining practically non-stop for 50 years. It has now been going strong for 116 years. God, I feel so young. The bulb has its very own website which actually features a real-time webcam. Here is the link …