Rain tomorrow?

More Stratocumulus

Rain tomorrow?

Followed by a sunny afternoon and a cloudy night

Cloud of the Day: Stratocumulus

Followed by a sunny afternoon and a cloudy night

Blackbird

Mostly cloudy; clear later

Blackbird

Blackbird

What a grey day

Cloud of the Day: Altostratus opacus

What a grey day

Pigeons

Another Cloudless Day

Pigeons

For some reason, despite identical conditions, the solar panels produced a bell-shaped output curve and another kilowatt.

12-03-11

Shade

Shadows on the panels

No clouds today, but the output from the solar panels was only slightly higher than in the days of rolling cumulus and, as always, dipped sharply in the middle of the day. The reason: shadows from the chimney stack falling on small parts of one or two panels cause all the panels, wired in series, to react as if they are shaded as well. All for one and one for all; divided we stand, united we fall…

More Cumulus

Cloud of the Day: Cumulus Again

More Cumulus

Cumulus

Cloud of the day: Cumulus

Cumulus

Cumulus humilis

Trying to link the stuff in the sky to the wave-like output of the solar panels. This batch of fluffy summery clouds sprang up between two massive banks of nimbostratus so the day was duller than it looks.

A massive black cloud hovers over our solar panels while all around the world is bathed in brilliant sunshine

Cloud of the Day: Stratus

A massive black cloud hovers over our solar panels while all around the world is bathed in brilliant sunshine

Rossini had it right...

The Thieving Magpie

Rossini had it right...

11-07-01DSCN5358

Snow Had Fallen, Snow on Snow


Snow on snow on snow
In the bleak midwinter, long long ago

Zambia photos

A small selection of the photos we took on our trip to Zambia, Oct-Nov 2010, is now online. Use the Zambia 2010 link in the menu bar above or click here.

A few of the 8 millions bats in Kasanka

Bats in Zambia

A few of the 8 millions bats in Kasanka

IMG_9891

Suburban foxes…

…sunning themselves in the nextdoor back garden, 15 August 2010.

Mini review: Ken MacLeod, The Stone Canal

Ken MacLeod The Stone Canal (Legend 1996; £15.99 hb, 322pp)
Follow-up to the highly successful The Star Fraction from the West Lothian based author. Both witty and funny, zestful, and written with extraordinary panache, this confirms MacLeod as a great white hope of British sf. There’s a joyous relish in this tale – which brackets The Star Fraction in its telling – of a coming-of-age in contemporary Scotland (1995′s Glasgow Worldcon is an off-stage locale) through to a working anarchy on a colony planet via a European revolution. There’s much play with such current sf icons as AIs, nanotech, VR, resurrection of the dead, information science and cosmology, but all properly subservient to a cracking story with engaging and convincing characters. It’s all reminiscent of the excitement generated by John Varley in the 70s (without the dreary Heinlein-worship; when will American authors throw off his dead fist?), though MacLeod writes from a very British perspective and with a most welcome political intelligence. Very highly recommended, and my book of the year back in 1996.  Buy! Read!
Amazon UK link: The Stone Canal

Mini-review: Jack McDevitt, The Engines of God

Jack McDevitt The Engines of God (Voyager 1996; £5.99 pb, 419pp)
Or Engines of God as the cover has it. “Classic sense-of-wonder sf meets The X-Files” puffs the blurb, straining for a market, but don’t be put off: this intelligent, humane, and very readable book has little in common with either. Instead it’s an alien-contact mystery, with archaeologists as heroes. Why are various relics – seemingly purposeless sculptures – scattered round the nearer star systems, and why does dating place them alongside the extinction of various races? Reminiscent of Kim Stanley Robinson (Icehenge) and Paul McAuley (Four Hundred Billion Stars), this thoughful and somewhat bleak book is warmly recommended.
Amazon UK link: The Engines of God (Voyager)

Testing…

Test post.