Thursday, 20 November 2008

Problems with Star-Gazing, an absence of Navel gazing

I'm back! Thesis progress has a directly inverse relationship to that of blogging, I've found. Which is good for the future career, bad news for the regular readers. Hello both! Long time no see.

So, done a bit of scouting around the news sites. Well, the various subjects offered by the BBC news site. I know I tend to stick to the BBC news for my links, but it does seem fairly comprehensive and fairly non-partisan. Also, I pay my license and seldom watch tv, so I wanted to get my moneys worth somehow. So, what's been happening?

Supermodel has no belly-button!

On the front page, not in the Science section. Although it is fairly scientific in a way, so I can use it. Apparently, there's this supermodel named Karolina Kurkova. Not being into fashion or the more 'physical' men's magazines, I'd never heard of her. But I don't think anyone could describe her as unattractive. Indeed, if anyone did, I would assume they were lying. Or Gay. Or a lying Gay person, it does happen. But apparently, she has no belly button. Although, looking at the pics, she does have a belly button, just not one as deep as you'd normally expect. There's a lot of speculation as to why this is the case, with many possibilities such as it being the result of some unspecified abdominal surgery, or some umbilical after effect from birth, or even re-shaping after cosmetic surgery. There are many questions people are asking, and so far the lady in question is not saying anything.

But I have a question; How is this in any way important to anything or anyone ever? Could there be a less relevant issue to take up front page space? I'm sure there are many physiological procedures that could affect the appearance of a belly button, or navel if you will, but are any of them an issue. The article has many comments from people with the same problem, as if it's some sort of support group. Is it a problem ever? Has anyone's life been ruined by the lack of navel? And what's up with our media when, confronted by around 6' foot of physically perfect blonde demi-goddess, the first thing people pick up on is the shallow indentation.

I don't really mind the article that much, it just got to me for persistent use of the terms 'belly button' and 'tummy'. I always find them incredibly patronising, despite them being 'acceptable'.

(Tools) Lost in Space!

This made me giggle. Apparently, some astronauts were fixing some faulty mechanism on the ISS when a tool bag came loose. Now, I once dropped a screwdriver while trying to fix a light fitting on the ceiling. I had to get down from the ladder and get it. I found this very annoying, so I have no idea how enraged these guys must be, but I'm guessing a lot. I would love to be a fly on the wall on the way home, it's bad enough when something goes wrong on a car journey, with recriminations flying everywhere, never mind when you're travelling at supersonic speeds through atmospheric temperatures that could melt lead whilst high enough so that people in aeroplanes look like ants. Stress must be something these guys are coached for, right?

And I have to wonder, how much were the tools worth? It costs about $10,000 a kilo to send things into space, so no wonder they didn't take a spare, but do they get the best possible tools or do they claim some money back by buying cheap ones, like the ones round the corner from the entrance at Hyper Value. Either way, I assume they'll just drift out in Space for ever, or if they do return to earth they'll burn up in the atmosphere. If they don't then they could hit the ground at supersonic speeds and kill someone. Here's hoping it's Peter Stringfellow, so we could see the headline 'Tool Killed By Tools'.

Interesting point, the ISS (International Space Station, just so you know), is 10 years old today. And it's not finished. Which begs the question, when you have a whole planet of builders to choose form, why pick the guys who built Wembly Stadium?

A Mammoth Task

Russian scientists have mapped the genome of the woolly mammoth! They think. About 80% maybe. Or not, they're not sure how big it is really. The genomes, not the mammoth, they're about the size of elephants, that much is obvious from the intact frozen remains. Speculation abounds of a Jurassic Park style cloning resurrection (which they may try to do with Michael Crichton, now that he's popped it). However, the killjoy scientist at the end of the article tries to quash any hopes of this with petty rationalisations such as 'it's not possible'. I jest of course, I always approve when someone in the know acts all reasonable and well thought out. And even if it were possible, if we could start producing new mammoths, where would they go? They're as big as elephants and we're running out of room for the ones we've got, and I don't think they'd make good pets or cattle. I suppose there might be a market for mammoth wool clothes, but it looks itchy to be honest.

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1 comment:

kev said...

Very true!

Kev.

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