The Plastic Hippo

December 17, 2015

Ignition sequence start

Filed under: Environment,History,Media,Science,Transport,World — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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The Right Stuff

The Right Stuff

In a relatively short space of time, an awful lot of flying things happened in the years separating the Wright Brothers from Yuri Gagarin. Exactly 112 years ago, on December 17th 1903, Orville and then Wilbur took to the air each making two controlled, powered flights in a machine constructed of spruce timber, muslin and string. The first flight by Orville covered 120 feet and the fourth flight by Wilbur went for 852 feet. The average altitude was 10 feet and the average airspeed was 6.8 miles per hour. (more…)

December 15, 2015

How Green Was My Valley

Filed under: Environment,Media,Politics,Science,World — theplastichippo @ 4:00 am
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Rosebud

Rosebud

The uncanny ability displayed by politicians to deflect any suggestion of responsibility or accountability when something goes horribly wrong is matched only by an inevitable clamour for praise when something accidentally goes well. Even when nothing happens at all, it is immediately redefined as being profoundly splendid and our leaders take every opportunity to remind us of their wisdom and selfless sacrifice.

One particularly fine example of this double talk came at the weekend with the conclusion of COP21 Paris Agreement on a global approach to reducing carbon emissions. Emerging bleary eyed after being up all night, the delegates from 195 nations at the Conference of the Parties indulged in an orgy of backslapping and self-congratulation not witnessed since FIFA awarded the World Cup to Qatar. (more…)

December 7, 2015

Abigail`s Party

Filed under: Environment,Media,Politics,Science,Society,World — theplastichippo @ 3:00 am
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Before via BBC Northwest Tonight

Before via BBC Northwest Tonight

I think I must have missed the memo informing weather obsessed citizens of the UK and Ireland that storms were to be allocated human names in order to raise awareness of potential severity. Hurricanes and cyclones have long been given names to highlight the difference between weather and a severe weather event and so warn those in its path of disruption, a danger to property and a risk to life. (more…)

October 14, 2015

Wanton boys

Via itn.com

Via itn.com

The absolute joy of existing in an infinite and expanding universe is the certainty that the space-time continuum will continue to throw up some astonishing surprises. Who on earth could ever have imagined that FIFA actually has an actual ethics committee or that Michael Gove would actually do something useful by reversing the barking mad decisions made by failing Grayling at the Ministry of Justice. Pensioners in the House of Lords might pay good money for being put to the lash but a pensioner in a Saudi prison might be bad for business. With friends like Saudi Arabia, who needs extraterrestrial aliens with vaporising death rays? Obviously the government will engage in a “dialogue” with the bug-eyed silicone based life-forms from somewhere beyond Alpha Centauri in the hope of flogging them some lovely weaponry. (more…)

October 12, 2015

Psycho killer

Via deviantart.com

Via deviantart.com

Politicians and other celebrities often wish to project a simple, one-dimensional image to simultaneously mask and yet expose their persona as being in some way normal whilst at the same time demanding to be considered as being in some way extraordinary. As public figures, it is perfectly understandable that they would wish to maintain some level of privacy and offer instead a shallow image of normality. It is fascinating to discover what those that wish to govern us, and those that wish us to like them, got up to before they were famous. (more…)

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