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Pluto / New Horizons

In thirteen and a half hours a little bit of history will be made.

After nine years in transit the New Horizons spacecraft will reach and fly-by the minor planet Pluto and its surface detail will be revealed for the first time.

Hopefully it will return photographs showing the surface in detail for the first time. Pictures returned so far are showing some interesting features that should become clearer as the probe passes within 12,500 km of the surface.

The item on tonight's BBC Newsnight programme was introduced with the h2g2 signature music.

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Latest reply: Jul 13, 2015


I watched 'The Who' live at Glastonbury late last night. It was quite sad watching a bunch of old rockers trotting out their stuff... again. Even sadder really, but at least it raised a laugh when they came to the line 'I hope I die before I get old'. Irony escapes them.

But it raised a thought of some of the 'one trick' acts that I started to recall from a now dim and distant past, that haven't made it through. They were big in their day but would probably now be laughed off the stage. Like...

Ronnie Renalde. Whistler and bird impressionist.

Ezu Zumac Andean singer who warbled the Fire Dance song.

Larry Adler: Virtuoso harmonica player.

Peter Brough: Radio ventriloquist.

Can't remember their names but

The guy who played the Theramin.

The acrobat on a monocycle from Cafe Continental who balanced a stack of cups and saucers on his head by flipping them there with his foot.

Modern generations just don't know what they're missing.

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Latest reply: Jun 29, 2015

Douglas Adams Lives!

My HP printer has just thanked me for loading 'genuine' HP cartridges smiley - smiley

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Latest reply: Jul 12, 2014

Messing About in Boats

For some time now I've been trying to get up to speed with paddling a kayak well enough to make a viable entry into the Devizes to Westminster Race. So far I haven't got to the point where I could enter with a reasonable prospect of finishing. This last year has been one of peaks and troughs in training which went quite well during the summer, until real life intervened in a big way in November, when circumstances beyond my control cut any meaningful training to zero for more than two months. On top of that heavy rain since Christmas, through January and up to date has meant that I’ve had no practice on the Thames at all as it's in full spate with red warning boards displayed continuously. The upshot is that I've lost pretty much all of the fitness I'd gained over the last year and consequently have again decided to put the DW on the back burner again.

Last year I was woefully under prepared. I thought then that a years training would be good enough to see me through the race this coming Easter, and although I've done a lot more this year, the continual interruptions to training means that I still haven't much hope of catching up and getting fit for this Easter's race. I've also had to accept that it's just an unfortunate fact of life that this body doesn't respond as well as it once did. Everything takes longer and a lot more effort these days to get fit, and more to the point, keep that fitness, than it used to.

Last year I did have one minor success though, which was that I put in almost 300 miles which has been enough to allow me to claim the British Canoe Union Silver award for touring mileage in a year. So, with that in mind I've now changed tack a bit, and this year I intend to have a go for the BCU Gold award. That will mean paddling 500 miles by Christmas which averages out at (weirdly enough) 42 miles each month. As I have previously done 50 miles in a month, and 42 is 'The Answer', I think that it should be do-able. This January I put in 39 miles despite atrocious weather and flooding on the local rivers, so although I'm already behind by three miles at the moment, I'm sure that can be made up as and when the weather improves.

The good thing is though, that it's all experience, and what is needed more than anything else is a consistent, steady paddling action that can be maintained for some hours. I had it within my grasp a couple of months ago but that’s something which I now need to recoup and improve on. Hopefully that will come with that sort of mileage. So... a minimum of 42 miles a month, and see where that gets me by the end of the year.

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Latest reply: Feb 9, 2014

Quote of the Week

Eastenders : 29 Nov 2013

Oh! Please don't tell me you came back to Walford to get your hands on my son's kidneys?

Bloody typical

smiley - laugh

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Latest reply: Nov 29, 2013

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