I’m not sure why a trawler and a lighthouse on the horizon made me think of an allotment. But my mind drifted to sustainable food production while we were enjoying a sunrise walk along Dun Laoghaire pier this morning. The allotment in question was somewhere in Kent. I only remember it because of the conversation about North of England trophy fishing I had with a man who was planting potatoes in his well tended section. We talked about other things too. Unusual things like farming and wineries near Otago. And The Knowledge, the legendary taxi driver test in London.[Read more…] about Food Insufficiency
‘What good is a newborn baby?’ asked Benjamin Franklin in 1783 when people questioned his enthusiasm for the recent invention of hot air ballooning. His predictions that the balloons would become significant for transport was unusually wrong. 250 years later, Loon is a balloon system in the news for delivering the internet in Kenya and elsewhere. Balloons are helping transport information.[Read more…] about Uncomfortable Thoughts
We were living in Houston when John H. Lienhard started broadcasting a novel radio series from the University of Houston. The Engines of Our Ingenuity is still a weekday National Public Radio program having been first aired locally on KUHF-FM Houston back in 1988. I used to listen to it as often as I could while commuting and I’ve often tuned to it when I’ve been back in Houston.
The format is simple. Each episode is a three minute story to illustrate how human creativity impacts culture. Today, there are over 3200 episodes on the website free to hear and/or read.[Read more…] about Ingenuity Engines
Saturday Pencil Blues
Saturday started badly. I had a bad night’s sleep and then the TV locked up before we could watch the breakfast news. I was already grumpy and my coffee mood boost was still in the cup when there came a glitch that became a technology challenge.
I should explain that we have a streaming service that provides our ‘terrestrial’ TV. It’s a service that comes bundled with our broadband via a DSL router and a set-top box. We’d surrendered a satellite service once we lost sight of the satellites beyond the growth of neighbouring trees. Copper wire transmission was all that was available as replacement. Indeed, our road is only now being upgraded with suitable fibre-optic connections.[Read more…] about Saturday Pencil Blues