Friday, May 30, 2008


I was recently in the Lake District of England, where I learned that the nearest airport to the region is in Blackpool. I had not been aware Blackpool even had an airport.

Before the rise of the "package holiday", the British had to get their beach fun in the northern (and cold and rather damp) city of Blackpool. But the interesting part is that the city's name is thought to come from an old drainage channel which ran over a peat bog (an accumulation of partially decomposed plant material), and thus flowed black water in to the sea. On the other side of the sea we find the city of Dubh Lihn - Gaelic for "black pool".

Thursday, May 08, 2008


Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 88 days
Rotation: 58.6 days
Surface temperatures: −180 to 430°C
Equatorial Circumference: 15,329.1 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 224.7 days
Rotation: 243 days
Surface temperatures: -45° C to 464° C
Equatorial Circumference: 38,025 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 365 days
Rotation: 1 day
Surface temperatures: -88.3 °C to 57.7 °C
Equatorial Circumference: 40,075 km


Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 687 days
Rotation: 24 hours, 39 minutes, and 35.244 seconds
Surface temperatures: −87 °C to -5°C
Equatorial Circumference: 21,343 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 11.86 years (4333 days)
Rotation: 9 hours 56 minutes
Temperatures: −130 °C to 30°C
Equatorial Circumference: 449,197 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 29.5 years (10759 days)
Rotation: 10 hours 39 minutes to 45 minutes
Temperatures: −184 °C Average
Equatorial Circumference: 236,672 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 84.01 Years (30,685.4 days)
Rotation: 17.23 Hours
Temperatures: −224 °C to -216.15 °C
Equatorial Circumference: 160,592 km

Age: 4.5 Billion years
Orbit: 164.79 Years (60,190 days)
Rotation: 16 hours 6 minutes 36 seconds
Temperatures: -223 °C to 480 °C
Equatorial Circumference: 155,597 km

Friday, May 02, 2008

London elects

Yesterday London residents went to the polls to vote for their next Mayor. (NOTE: this role not to be confused with the Lord Mayor of the City of London).

The Mayor of London - a role that has existed since 2000 - makes major decisions for planning and budgeting of governmental functions - transport, protection, culture and sport, etc. - across Greater London. He works with an elected Assembly, whose job it is to scrutinise his decisions, and the Greater London Authority who then implement the policies.

This year's 3 main contenders are Ken Livingstone, standing for the Labour Party, Boris Johnson as Tory candidate and Brian Paddick for the Liberal Democrats. Livingstone has been mayor for 8 years, so his record and policies are well known to all. Paddick was headed up the Metropolitan police in Lambeth, and was a cop for many years before entering the political arena. Johnson is best known for his appearances as guest-presenter on Have I Got News For You. I know where my vote lies...

At the same time as the yesterday's mayoral election, the UK saw many local council elections throughout England and Wales. Preliminary results from these are showing huge shifts of power to the Tory party, with many boroughs abandoning Labour governance all together. Is this a sign of what is to come in the London results? Or will London prove to be distinct from the rest of the country and want to hold forth with the "devil you know"?

Blogs from the three sides:
The Liberati Blog
The Daily Telegraph Blog
The Guardian