Sustainable Energy – Without the hot air

Sustainable Windmill

If you are interested in sustainable energy, this really is a good read.

As an electrical engineer (albeit in a previous life!) I have been following the green energy debates for a good few years now. To be honest, most of the information has been hazy at best and downright misleading at worst. All we need are facts, not pseudo science. Believe me when I say “I can understand”….. you don’t need to lie.

Your system cannot perform at 100% efficiency all the time, probably not ever. It will make some noise, some pollution, or have some detrimental effect further along the coast. Nothing is free!

If you want to get a better insight into a lot of this stuff, have a read of this: Sustainable Energy without the hot air, it takes a proper look at the problems and comes to a considered conclusion. Yes, its a long read, but that’s because it looks at things in detail and comes to conclusions based on facts and not some wishy-washy hocus pocus.

Download the pdf: Sustainable Energy – Without the hot air.

Music is as Complicated as Painting/Art

In previous posts I have revealed some of my tastes in art. I suspect my music preferences may be just as eclectic.

Taking a quick look at my iTunes files, I find a range which includes Bjork, Frank Zappa, Mark Knopfler, Norah Jones, Yes, Stackridge, Bonzo Dog DooDah Band, Bach and a whole stack more. All I really know is that I would have real problems coming up with my “Desert Island Discs”.

The lyrics in my music collection don’t really mean much to me, they just need to fit the music. Probably the best exponent of this, in my mind, is Brian Eno. He just makes words fit and then there sometimes seems to be a mysterious synergy/resonance which produces lines like “the passage of my life is measured out in shirts“, which perfectly fits the tune and is also true but I suspect we all find a little bit odd.

Her Come the Warm Jets        The Ship

Eno would probably be top of my choices should I ever be invited on Desert Island Discs (unlikely!) The breadth of his work, from “Here Come the Warm Jets” right through to his latest “The Ship“, continues to surprise me. Strangely, I can’t really put my finger on what it is that fascinates me, it just does!

If you not been struck by his work, have a listen to this:, You’ve probably heard it before and not realised what it was. It’s called “An Ending (Ascent)” and, to me, it’s one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever.

Mark Rothko

It was a few years ago when I first saw a painting anything like this one (perhaps 3) by Mark Rothko:

Centre Triptych for the Rothko Chapel

Of course I realise this may not be to everyone’s taste and, I admit that, at first it wasn’t to mine. However I checked out a few more Rothko’s and realised the simplicity in his work was not all there was to it – it’s far too easy to dismiss this type of painting as childish or perhaps even vacuous, but I liked the questions it asked me.

Why does this type of work even make me think?

Could or would a child come up with anything like it?

Forget everything and ask yourself what red (in this case) means to you?

It doesn’t matter what you think, just that you take some time to think… do you feel uncomfortable? perhaps you feel lighter? even confused? It doesn’t matter, let those thoughts run free for a while and then look at something else, for example:

Rothko II
Rothko II

Ask others what they think when they are looking at similar things, perhaps you’ll find some common ground. Who knows, you may even try to reproduce something similar or, perhaps even better, something different.

Believe me this get’s easier with practice, and of course it applies to all forms of art (whatever that means!)

I hope you can enjoy something new…… Oh! and by the way, It’s OK not to like things as well….


Dieselgate – An Explanation….

I came  across this Youtube video a while ago and finally got around to watching it all the way through.

The second part, starting at 39:58, is the most interesting as it explains the whole VW diesel scam in some detail. Worth a watch if you are a bit techie.

Note: the original Youtube video was removed but I discovered this replacement, the timings above may not work with the new version.

Probably not the only manufacturer playing games like this but only time will tell.

What’s this family stuff all about

The following is taken from another of my websites,

I was born and brought up in Melksham, Wiltshire and later moved to Swindon again in Wiltshire but have now settled on the Isle of Wight just off the South coast of the UK.

Both of my parents were born in London and moved to Wiltshire during the evacuation of World War II.


As far as the Curd family research goes: I have traced many of the London family, mainly in and around Hoxton and Bethnal Green in the East End, and have made connections with the Chipperfield, Sarratt and Redbourn areas of Hertfordshire. This takes the record back as far as about 1750 and to John Curd and his wife Susannah Pymley. Unfortunately I am stuck at this point and can find nothing to suggest that the Curd family originate in that area. I have also found major connections with the paper-making trade and can see that many of the family travelled the UK with that business. This extends the family to Oxfordshire, Berkshire, Durham, Flintshire, Derbyshire and more.


My mother’s family name, Peacock is proving much more difficult to follow. I have found information on her father, Edward, her grandfather, Edward Alfred, and some sparse information on two more generations – I would really like some help here so if you have Peacock connections in London or Greenwich (UK) I would love to hear from you.

There is a separate page for associated surnames here.

Vectis Astronomical Society

I’m sure anyone who knows me will know i am deeply involved with the Vectis Astronomical Society (VAS).

Astronomy was always meant as a retirement hobby for me but, when I moved to Winford on the Isle of Wight, I soon realised there was an observatory just down the road! I had to visit, and since that first day I was completely hooked. My particular focus has always been inspiring others to look up.

Whether they were 4 or 94, I really enjoy getting people to reconnect with the skies they live under.

I am now  a very busy Observatory Director and Editor of “New Zenith”, the monthly VAS member’s magazine.