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Ode to my Smart-Phone

I realised when I logged in to this site, that I hadn’t blogged anything since June last year (2015) where’s the time gone?

Well…. a house move has filled some of the time and unfortunately my writing in all areas has suffered, I’ve just started work on another Steam Punk book, I’ll keep you posted on the progress…… I want it to be an 80,000 word epic but it will probably be another 10,000 word novella.

I wanted to go to an open mic prose/poetry night this week but realised I hadn’t written anything new since last time I went…. So I looked through some notes for a blog piece I was going to write about modern smart phones verses old massive super computers, some of the ‘facts’ I had learnt were….

A modern smart phone…….

Has a million times more memory than all of N.A.S.A’s computers in 1969 had

Can do more calculations a second than I.B.M’s Super Computer ‘Deep blue’ that beat Gary Kasporov at chess in 1997

And a birthday card that chirps ‘happy birthday to you’ has more processing power than existed in the whole world at the end of The Second World War.

All the above ‘facts’ are taken from the internet so the validity of them should be approached with caution  but following Moore’s Law they could well be true…. Anyway I thought instead of of a blog piece (even though I’ve sort of done it above) I’d write a poem for the first time since a teacher said something like…. ‘For your homework I want you to write a poem on…… (insert random subject)’ thirty odd years ago….

If it doesn’t scan right or the rhythm is wrong to you then…. I don’t give a monkeys…… as I’m quite proud of it for a first attempt at poetry in decades.

Oh and the irony is EE suffered a breakdown whilst I was writing it, so my phone at the time was either…. A thick-phone or a smart-brick…. Anyway for your reading pleasure here’s…. (and as with all poetry it needs to be read out loud)

Ode To My Smart-Phone

A small computer resides in my pocket

more memory than in NASA’s rocket

Faster greater than IBM’s Deep Blue

How they fit it all in, I haven’t a clue

————–

Turing could’ve used it to break the Enigma code

The Sat Nav can guide me to the door of your abode

With Google I have a large Cyclopedia

Families send photos on social media

————–

On You-Tube I can watch your epic fails

Am I always at work as I get my emails

I could make a phone call from it I suppose

Or stand up and from it loudly read prose

————–

What do we do with all this power?

Listen to music hour after hour

I can order a meal, not bothering to cook

But mostly we share videos of cats on Facebook

 (c) Simon Elson 2016

An ambition accomplished……

I used to run a karaoke business and have even tried a cabaret spot at a social club (which went okay but was bloody hard work…. so went back to karaoke hosting)

But singing to backing tracks is one thing but I always wanted to sing with a live band or ‘Jam’ with someone…. At a garden party recently I collared two members of a band and after a five minute chat and a thirty second rehearsal we came up with……Bye Bye Love and then followed it with Billy Joel’s Piano man… Here’s a short burst of Bye Bye Love

Photo credit – Glenn Adams

Video Credit – Laura Elson

Natural Ingredients… Always a good thing?

Just a quick blog about something I thought about earlier… Food products often have plastered across them in big words…. ‘Only Natural ingredients used’   Well sugar is a natural ingredient…. Also if put in food, Deadly nightshade, Coal (and as a friend pointed out – Uranium and Radium) could also be considered Natural and an ‘ingredient’ – don’t think you’d want to shove any of those in your mouth…. Just musing out loud about how we can be led to believe anything is good for us…

What A Bargain!

We all love a bargain don’t we?…. It’s just our definition of ‘a bargain’ differs greatly from person to person……. Here’s what I DON’T class as a bargain….

– Pair of jeans reduced from £150 to £50 in a sale….. and the buyer says …’I just had to have them I saved a hundred quid.’ They haven’t saved a hundred quid they’ve spent 50 quid on a pair of jeans they probably didn’t need….

– Buying something off Ebay for a fiver that looks almost identical to an item elsewhere at at £20…. It may look the same but invariably it will be a pale imitation of the more expensive version and the packaging will probably be more useful than the item itself within a few weeks.

What I do class as a bargain is going out to buy an item, expecting to pay £Y and paying £X (X being a fraction of Y) for the item…..

My Good lady asked me what I wanted for an upcoming birthday and I suggested a nice bottle of whisky, We don’t spend a massive amount at birthdays just what the other can afford without resorting to credit cards as we haven’t got a joint account (Why am I telling random strangers our financial arrangements and present buying strategies)

I then changed my mind and said ‘how about a set of Bluetooth headphones they’re about £30-£40 for a cheap pair.’ I got the green light and began to start trawling the net for a pair…. Then whilst shopping in a supermarket we spotted a pair reduced from £40 to a tenner, a quick google in the supermarket on my phone did show that the cheapest price for the exact same ones was £30 and some sites were charging £60, we snapped them up and I got the whisky as well. As I said a real bargain as I wanted a pair.

The other incident involved a pub… sometimes you order a round get a tenner out then have to change it for a twenty…… In a ‘certain’ chain pub this weekend, I ordered a pint, a glass of wine and a soft drink for little-un…. I was told the price and put the tenner away and got a fiver out, then got change! That’s not just a bargain….. That’s ‘HOLD THE FRONT PAGE’ type of news

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Strange tale of the Pink Lady……..

Following on from the slightly weird theme I started with my Time Travel blog I thought I would share a spooky tale  and we are talking spooky with a capital SPOOK……. Cue ‘The Twilight Zone’ music…. do du do du do du do du…… it’s not the same when I write it down so we’ll use Scooby Doo instead…. Scooby dooby doo do, where are you? we’ve got some work to do now…..

I’ll blatantly steal the beginning of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Dickens (I can…… its out of copyright) My Grandma was dead to begin with. There is no doubt whatever about that.

She died not quite twelve months before I was born.

When I was about three or four and able to string almost coherent sentences together, my mum had a vivid dream that my Grandma had come in to my mum and dads bedroom wearing her favourite pink coat. My Mum in her dream asked…. ‘What are you doing here Mam?’ to which my Grandma replied…. I’ve come to see him, I’ve never seen him…..’ with that she left the room and headed off down the landing towards my room.

My mum was woken up minutes later by me crying….. the conversation went something like this….

Mum: What’s the matter?

Me: There was a lady sitting on my bed.

Mum: What was she wearing?

I bet you can guess my answer…….

Told you it was spooky and true….. But it gets even stranger…

EPILOGUE

A few days later my mum and dad were out in the front garden when a friend of my Grandma’s walked past ‘Oh hello’, she said to my mum. ‘I dreamt about your mam the other night, she said she had come to see if I was all right….’

It gets better…. a few weeks later the friend died..

I’ve spoke to my mum recently about it, and asked her what her opinion was about the nights events and….. she hasn’t got a clue.

Can you beat that for a true ghost story out there? share it in the comments if you can….

 

Note: The picture isn’t mine, I did see and photograph the official cartoon network Mystery Machine once but can’t find a copy of it so….

Picture credit –  Ryan Forsythe (flickr)

 

 

Time Travel….

I love a good article on Time Travel, the problem is though normally after the first paragraph I’m way out my depth, when the writer starts talking about Quarks, Protons, etc, and quoting Einstein’s theory of relativity.

I’ve been fascinated by the idea of time travel from a young age when I tried to build a time machine out of Lego and Meccano aged six after being scared witless watching the original ‘Time Machine’ with Rod Taylor… I’m telling you those blue Morlocks were scary.

And then who doesn’t love Marty and Doc travelling in time using a nuclear powered Delorean? The strange thing is though Time Travel exists. Fact, and I don’t mean that we are all moving through time at one second per second.

Einstein said speed was the key to time travel. In the 1970’s (and many times since) several experiments were carried out using atomic clocks aboard aeroplanes. The ones on aboard the planes gained time therefore had travelled through time faster than natures norm… I will point out we are not talking minutes or even seconds. We are talking Nano-seconds or in layman’s terms a gnats arse…. But what it does mean is that when you fly any distance you will arrive at the same point in time quicker than someone else who stayed on the ground. As I said real time travel.

Read about the first experiment (and subsequent repetitions) HERE

Then there’s the university professor called Ronald Mallett, who reckons time travel into the past could be a reality within the 21st century. He is currently working on a prototype machine, will he succeed? I really hope he does.

He started working on time travel when in his early twenties. His father had died of a heart attack when Ronald Mallett was a young child and he wanted to go back and warn him, He now accepts that this will never happen but he hopes to create time travel for particles within his lifetime.

Ronald Mallett

Have you read that link? I didn’t understand much of either…..

You may now be thinking that full on time travel can’t be possible, otherwise we would have seen travellers from the future wandering around. I think I know the reason…

Any machine that can create time travel will be enormous, I assume about the size of the Large Hadron Collider, (L.H.C) that is under most of Switzerland, Therefore not be able to travel through time itself  just provide a method to facilitate it. So you will only be able to go back to moment the machine was finished and switched on, because you will need it to reassemble the traveller at the ‘destination’ time.  If this type of machine is ever built, will Bookies and gambling become a thing of the past?

If you are fascinated by the thought of time travel as portrayed in films and on television, like Joan Collins getting run over in the 1930’s and Jim Kirk breaking down in tears because he stopped Bones saving her, then I assume you have heard of Bold Street in Liverpool.

If you haven’t then that’s the one link you REALLY do need to read, no science involved it’s just spooky.

If you live in Liverpool and visit Bold Street a lot, you need to make sure you carry last weeks Euromilions numbers in an envelope with an address known to you or your family from the 1960’s through to the 1990’s in case a time-slip like in the above link occurs, so you can post them to yourself (or parents) with a note to keep them safe until the date written on the envelope. You will then have them last week before the draw took place… If this crazy scheme works for anyone reading this… then don’t forget it was my idea and I want a serious share of any winnings…..

Photo credit – Alan Cleaver