Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Radin's Winter

I first heard this song a few years ago when it was featured in an episode of Scrubs and I immediately fell in love with it. The lyric invokes a feeling of loss for me which, despite it being Christmas and I'm all excited and happy, loss still sits on my shoulder at the moment. I hope you like the song too. Some of you may remember I used the lyric back in September.

Bizarre Suicide

I came across this story recently but found that it has been floating around the net for a while now. Although it seems to be an urban legend, it is so good I thought I would reproduce it for you here.

At the 1994 annual awards dinner given by the American Association for Forensic Sciences, AAFS President Don Harper Mills astounded his audience in San Diego with the legal complications of a bizarre death. Here is the story...

On March 23 the medical examiner viewed the body of Ronald Opus and concluded that he died from a gunshot wound of the head caused by a shotgun. Investigation to that point had revealed that the decedent had jumped from the top of a ten story building with the intent to commit suicide. (He left a note indicating his despondency.) As he passed the 9th floor on the way down, his life was interrupted by a shotgun blast through a window, killing him instantly. Neither the shooter nor the decedent was aware that a safety net had been erected at the 8th floor level to protect some window washers, and that the decedent would not have been able to complete his intent to commit suicide because of this...

Ordinarily a person who starts into motion the events with a suicide intent ultimately commits suicide even though the mechanism might be not what he intended. That he was shot on the way to certain death nine stories below probably would not change his mode of death from suicide to homicide, but the fact that his suicide intent would not have been achieved under any circumstance caused the medical examiner to feel that he had homicide on his hands...

Further investigation led to the discovery that the room on the 9th floor from whence the shotgun blast emanated was occupied by an elderly man and his wife. He was threatening her with the shotgun because of an inter-spousal spat and became so upset that he could not hold the shotgun straight. Therefore, when he pulled the trigger, he completely missed his wife, and the pellets went through the window, striking the decedent.

When one intends to kill subject A, but kills subject B in the attempt, one is guilty of the murder of subject B. The old man was confronted with this conclusion, but both he and his wife were adamant in stating that neither knew that the shotgun was loaded. It was the long-time habit of the old man to threaten his wife with an unloaded shotgun. He had no intent to murder her; therefore, the killing of the decedent appeared then to be accident. That is, the gun had been accidentally loaded...

But further investigation turned up a witness that their son was seen loading the shotgun approximately six weeks prior to the fatal accident. That investigation showed that the mother (the old lady) had cut off her son's financial support, and her son, knowing the propensity of his father to use the shotgun threateningly, loaded the gun with the expectation that the father would shoot his mother. The case now becomes one of murder on the part of the son for the death of Ronald Opus...

Further investigation revealed that the son became increasingly despondent over the failure of his attempt to get his mother murdered. This led him to jump off the ten story building on March 23, only to be killed by a shotgun blast through a 9th story window.

The medical examiner closed the case as a suicide.

Friday, 26 December 2008

Bonsai Beginnings

Well I hope you all had a good Christmas, I certainly did. I am looking forward to things calming down a little over the next few days though. Well at least until the New Year celebrations start off.

One of the presents that my wife bought me was a Bonsai starter kit. Now although (thanks to my father) I have more than a passing interest in gardening, I'm not a keen practitioner. I never seem to have the time. But the growing and maintaining of Bonsai has long held a fascination without any actual first hand experience. This made the kit an excellent gift. Apparently it contains everything I need to get started. Five coir pots, five coir compost discs, four packets of mixed seeds, some wooden marker stakes and some growing instructions. I thought it would be nice if I blogged about my progress. So welcome to a new category of Bonsai.

Today I soaked the coir discs in water so they expanded to fill two of the pots. I thought it might be prudent not to try all the seeds at once but to keep some in reserve in case of failure.

As per the picture I then sowed the seeds an placed them to into plastic sandwich bags and put them in light (but not direct sunlight) to aid germination. I understand that this won't be a quick process but it should give me time to read up on how to perform the next step. Watch this space.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Happy Christmas

I'm going to be busy with a big family Christmas over the next couple of days and I don't anticipate being able to post. So I'd just like to wish all my readers and friends and family, a very Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008

A Bad Day?

How bad a day must you be having to get so desperate for a pee that you have to squat in the street? You hide behind a car in a quiet backstreet, thinking you have got away with it only to find later that all the strange powers of the cosmos have conspired against you to choose that exact moment to have the Google Street View car pass you by, thus capturing your embarrassment for all eternity and for the entire planet to witness.

UPDATE: Perhaps not unsurprisingly Google has now removed the image. If you missed it, Alex at GoogleSightseeing kept a copy here.

Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Fox Hat

Another quick post I'm afraid but hopefully enough to stop the blog from healing up.

This is one is simply funny enough to make me laugh out loud and is therefore worthy of mention. I dedicate it to Gresh who told me about it and who could do with a laugh.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Lincoln Cathedral

Although I'm occupied with other things at the moment, I found a quick moment to snap a couple of shots of Lincoln Cathedral which is very near where proceedings are taking place. Sadly it is only my phone camera that I had to hand, but I'm still relatively pleased with the outcome.

Most exciting of course is the fact that my new purchase has finally arrived and so look out for many more pictures and a full review in the coming weeks.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

A Pause For Thought

I'm sorry to leave you with a blog's equivalent of the test card. But the fact of the matter is I am away from home at the moment supporting my best friend during his trial. My Internet access is limited and in addition I cannot really think about much more than the case at the moment.

Normal service will be resumed shortly I hope.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Disco Move

It was with more than a little sadness, that I sold my beloved Discovery recently. Despite a high mileage there was absolutely nothing wrong with her, on the contrary, she was running very sweetly. But I have inherited a newer model (1996 300 Tdi XS) after the death of my father. I am really not in a position to run three vehicles at the moment, so my beloved "grep" had to go. It's not all bad though. Many of the modifications that I made to "grep" I was able to remove (with a lot of help) before she went and they can be fitted to "Laurie" when I find the time, so watch this space for further pictures.

Here is "grep" as she was at the LRM Show this year.

And here is "Laurie" whilst she is still standard, but not for long so watch this space.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Let It Snow

Just to get everyone into a Christmas frame of mind, I've changed the colour scheme here and added a little snow to give it a nice Christmas night effect. Well maybe not, but I can't afford tinsel. I hope you like it anyway.

Edit: It just occurred to me that those of you reading this via your email feed or with an RSS reader of some some kind will not see the new look. You'll need to click through to the actual site.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Russell's Teapot

On a similar theme to my post regarding my atheism, I today came across a comic strip all about that very subject. I'm not the type of atheist that preaches, but I do like this subtle and funny way that religion is shown to be quite a daft idea. Russell's Teapot is based on a quote by Bertrand Russell.

If I were to suggest that between the Earth and Mars there is a china teapot revolving about the sun in an elliptical orbit, nobody would be able to disprove my assertion provided I were careful to add that the teapot is too small to be revealed even by our most powerful telescopes. But if I were to go on to say that, since my assertion cannot be disproved, it is intolerable presumption on the part of human reason to doubt it, I should rightly be thought to be talking nonsense. If, however, the existence of such a teapot were affirmed in ancient books, taught as the sacred truth every Sunday, and instilled into the minds of children at school, hesitation to believe in its existence would become a mark of eccentricity and entitle the doubter to the attentions of the psychiatrist in an enlightened age or of the Inquisitor in an earlier time.

As always, click to enlarge.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

Animusic Resonant Chamber

If I had the patience, skill and software (none out of three ain't good) the following video is the sort of thing I'd love to produce. A winner in an animated music competition. Nice relaxing music together with an innovative piece of animation is a nice combination.

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Snapped Up

Excellent news. Well for me anyway. I have manged to secure a DSLR on eBay at a bargain price. Hopefully it will arrive soon as I can't wait to get working on a new project I have come up with. I won't give too much away yet but watch this space.
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