Friday 29 March 2024

King Flaxen 'The Addled'

Breaking news from the spa town of Tipton (incorporating Dudley West and Smethwick North). Today, it can be revealed that the tomb of the 'Mad Saxon' 10th-century king of Tipton (incorporating Halesowen and Brierley Hill) has been unearthed on the site of an ancient midden pit. King Flaxen (for it is none other), also known as 'Flaxen the Addled', ruled his mighty kingdom by a combination of sage administration, sound fiscal policy and extreme violence.

King Flaxen in Repose. Note the Clarity

His tomb lies today within the Tipton Metropolitan rubbish dump, adjacent to Mr Patel's kebab shop and home for tasty stray animals.

Dr Treehouse Mugumbo, renowned archaeologist and ferret tamer at Tipton University of Difficult Sums, takes up the narrative with characteristic fervour and verve: "This is a remarkable historical find of significant historical import and is likely to rewrite the history books, within the context of its historical in situ milieu as we know it. Arse"

King Flaxen was found in repose, be-straddled by his trusty double-headed Danish War axe, 'Twat Cruncher' and his mighty sword, 'Arse, Big Fat Arse Biter' (Arse). In addition, his body was bestrewn and interlarded with 100,000 Tipton groats, valued in today's money as equivalent to 5 billion Zimbabwe dollars, or about 50 pence. Also, upon his personage was a perfect working example of a 10th-century mobile phone. Apparently, though, his plan for free data had lapsed.

King Flaxen's remains are in astoundingly good condition. This is probably due to his fondness for imbibing the local alcoholic drink, mead, which embalmed his robust and beautifully formed frame. DNA has been extracted from his well-preserved scrotal sac, and genetic testing has unequivocally determined that the incumbent mayor of Tipton (incorporating Halesowen and Brierley Hill), Mr. Enoch Vowel, is a direct descendant of the mad Saxon king. On hearing the news, Mr. Vowel had this to say: "It comes as no surprise; I've always had this pervading feeling of being special; indeed, I went to a special school. I will be a wise and magnanimous ruler but will brook no dissent or criticism whatsoever. From now on, you will refer to me as King Enoch 'The Ferret' and scrape and bow in my presence under the pain of death administered by 'Twat Cruncher', Monday to Thursday (inclusive), and 'Arse, Big Fat Arse Biter' arse, Friday to Sunday. By right of birth, I now own the environs of Tipton (incorporating Halesowen, Brierley Hill and Dudley North) and all its chattels and bondsmen. I am a living earthly representation of the god Woden". 

Later that day, Mr. Vowel was shuffled orf to the local Insane Asylum without fuss or due ceremony.       

In a civic ceremony, sans Vowel, King Flaxen's remains were unceremoniously flung onto the Tipton Metropolitan dump site. They will remain here for an eternity unless consumed by stray dogs or rendered down for glue by a wandering band of Romanian/Albanian/(insert gypo of your choice here).

Stray dogs and gypos are said to be circling the periphery, as I write..........

Thursday 28 March 2024

Wot No News?

Wot No Aliens?

In February of last year, the US and Canadian military conspired and shot down three objects impinging upon their airspace. And good for them, say I. Planes flying at 40,000 feet don't want to needlessly impinge on 'Ford Tipex' sized objects flying at unspecified speeds at the uncanny precise 40,000 feet. Furthermore, the potential 'impedees' (not a real word) were described as 'car-sized', cylindrical, or octagonal and 'flying' at 40,000 feet (unnecessary redundancy). Also, there was the implication that the aerial object was devoid of any visible means of propulsion and appeared 'unmanned'. This occurred around the same time the US shot down a possible Chinese spy balloon. So, what the fuck is going on? Well, the answer is absolutely nowt, according to any media outlet. If an inquisitive mind is so determined to use Gogle to enquire for further elucidation, then intrepid reporters are rewarded by bugger all. Not even a grain of ferret poo. 

Now the beautifully formed and flaxen-haired one is not a great believer in the usual well-trodden conspiracy theories that gain currency amongst the usual fuck wits and aluminium-hatted bedecked fools that fill, unbidden, our streams of consciousness with shit. Please let them have their say, and move on, say I. I am a great believer in free speech, but it needs to be acknowledged that some folk are brain-dead and irredeemable cunts, and as such, should be ignored. These folk sap our very vitals and intellectual marrow and consequently do not deserve our precious time (what is time?).  

So, what is going on?

These objects are not the usual aircraft to which we are accustomed. They have no wings, propellors or visible exhaust from jet propulsion. This leads the 'swivel-eyed' brigade to conclude they must be of alien origin. Personally, I'm not a fan of this sort of reasoning. Firstly, I don't believe we have any solid evidence to support the 'Little Green Men' hypothesis. Indeed, we have no conclusive evidence for any form of life, sentient or otherwise, outside our Earthly home. However, this may change within a short span of time. Scientists are actively searching for biosignatures from exoplanets in far-flung solar systems. They are typically looking for chemicals that are exclusively produced by living organisms. It is not expected to reveal complex sentient life. Perhaps simple bacterial forms may be identified by these studies. That said, there is a parallel programme actively looking for tech signatures that would be indicative of advanced life forms- exciting stuff indeed! I'm starting to digress. Back to it. Furthermore, if these objects were actually alien-designed, they wouldn't be so easily destroyed by our puny fighter aircraft. You would expect an alien civilisation able to build spaceships that can traverse the vast void of the universe to equip their craft with sophisticated defense mechanisms. But no, all three UAPs were shot down and destroyed quite easily. 

When attempting to make sense of these types of phenomena, I invoke the good precepts of 'William of Occam' and apply the rule of parsimony. I am of the opinion that these aloft vehicles are good old-fashioned dirigibles. In other words, cunningly crafted vessels filled with helium, or less likely hydrogen. I suspect amateur pranksters taking a break from making their usual crop circles. As for the lack of further information, maybe there is nothing to say. All craft were shot down over the northern wastes of the US and Canada. If I'm correct, there would be little debris to find after the balloons were destroyed by missiles. The remoteness of the regions involved and winter weather would hamper/hinder any attempts at recovery of the meagre remains. Thus, there is nothing more to say. I still find it odd that there seems to be absolutely zero follow-up information from official sources. And even more strange, there is no commentary at all from the world's curious citizenry.

I would be delighted to hear from my devoted followers concerning this most vexed matter. Opinions, thoughts, speculation, or just random bollocks would be most appreciated.            

Sunday 24 March 2024

Hooke Vs Newton

This is the first post of the Month. In truth, I have been preoccupied with my wife's health issues, although I have been working on several essays and assorted detritus that require the veneer of editing before I allow them to take root upon my blogging platform. I'm hoping that these works will reach fruition within the next couple of days, unless they don't.

The Two Protagonists- Spot the Spakka

The 17th century was truly a time of scientific wonderment and where the polymath reigned supreme. The rise of men of profound intellect who had the audacity and drive to dabble and excel in numerous subjects of scientific, philosophical and mathematical interest. The intellectual 'Greats' of the time were true scientific pioneers. These men eschewed the cloying restrictions of Christian scholasticism, which had choked intellectual progress for over a millennium. The shackles were rent asunder, and scientific progress burst forth, unrestrained by ecclesiastic nonsense. No longer could a man of intellectual acuity lose his reputation or life for revealing nature's wonders, wonders that were arbitrarily deemed contrary to stolid Catholic dogma. And throughout this scientific wonderment strode Newton. A man whose intellect embraced all, a man of no limits, a man who is remembered by all. But what about Robert Hooke, Newton's slightly older contemporary? More about Hooke in a while.

For Context....

There is little doubt that Newton's achievements were prodigious. Indeed, it is worth mentioning these scientific achievements to gain a perspective of the man's true genius. Newton's breathtaking work in the realm of physics includes formulating the laws of motion. Although others had made important contributions in this regard, it was Newton who finally formalised the theories in a rigorous mathematical form. In his book 'Optics', Newton revealed his revelations concerning light and, due to his work involving reflection, developed a theory that light was made of tiny particles he called corpuscles. He also invented the reflecting telescope containing a concave mirror. Up to then, all telescopes were made with lenses and refracted light to achieve magnification- chromatic aberration akimbo! Not only did he 'invent' calculus (don't tell Leibnitz), but he also founded and contributed to other areas in mathematics, too many to list here. Of course, Newton is widely known for his formulation of 'Universal Gravity, ' a concept that would hold sway until Einstein came forth with 'Relativity'. By the way, Gravity is Latin for Weight. There is no doubt that Newton's book, 'Mathematical Principles of Natural Philosophy' is considered one of the most influential science tomes ever written.

Now, a word about Robert Hooke.

Although Robert Hooke was an undoubted polymath and genius, he is less well remembered today. Perhaps Newton's Greatness overshadowed all.    

Robert Hooke was born in 1635 on the Isle of Wight. He showed early mastery in a variety of subjects and, in 1653, secured a place at Oxford University, where he received his Master of Arts degree in 1662. He was a sickly child and man and not comely to the eye. His back was bent (scoliosis), and he was graced with a large head with bulging eyes. This is very reminiscent of Marty Feldman's portrayal of Igor (pronounced Eyegor) in the wonderful film, 'Young Frankenstein', made in 1974 and directed by Mel Brookes—go see. 

Here is a brief exposition of Hooke's achievements. He was the first to describe the law of elasticity using springs as his experimental medium (Hooke's Law). This had great practical applications as it paved the way for the production of a compact circular spring, an important step in the production of a portable timepiece. You can't take a pendulum clock on board a ship and accurate timekeeping was essential in determining longitude at sea. Hooke improved the primitive microscopes of the age and made important discoveries in biology, which he published in the beautifully self-illustrated book, 'Micrographia'.  It was he who discovered and coined the name 'Cell'.  Although Hooke was involved in elucidating the fundamentals of the 'Laws of Gravity', Newton pipped him at the post when it came to the primacy of the theory. Newton was able to provide a more rigorous and mathematical rendition of the phenomenon. On observing light refraction, Hooke determined that light must be propagated by a wave in contradiction to Newton's particle theory. Hooke's experiments involving air laid the groundwork for others to make seminal discoveries in this field and beyond. But Hooke was not only a scientist in the physical and biological sciences; he was also an architect, geologist and astronomer of note.    

Not only was the 17th century a time of 'Great Minds' twas also a time of great egos. I've discussed the controversy between Newton and Leibnitz concerning the 'discovery' of calculus elsewhere in this blog. Newton, in particular, it seems was a prickly, introspective and disputatious genius and locked intellects with others, including Hooke. Hooke was not a nice man if his diary is to be believed. It is said that he possessed an abrasive and unpleasant demeanour. The two men did not get along. Hooke felt that he did not receive the degree of recognition he deserved for his contribution to the theory of gravity. These prominent men could not avoid each other in the closed social circles that men of their class associated. Their mutual animosity was not only founded upon impersonal scientific matters it also extended to differences in personality and temperament.        

When discussing 17th-century science, Isaac Newton will always take precedence in any list of scientists who contributed to science's advances, achievements, and breakthroughs. Newton was a superlative genius in a century of profound geniuses (or is it genii?). That said, the addition of Hooke within this canon is not arbitrary; if Newton was king, then Hooke was undoubtedly the first in line to the throne. Although I'm sure that Hooke would have bristled at the thought that his intellect was surpassed by another.

We are apt to forget the singular and profound importance of the 17th century as a modernising influence on the men of intellectual quality who subsequently changed the world. Most of our modern science is based on and follows upon 17th discoveries. Perhaps of more importance is the change in the temper/timbre/tempo of mind that occurred. Nothing in the past could compare, and it remains with us today as a thoroughly modern scientific mindset. What a legacy! The importance of this intellectual revolution is worth stressing, especially because of its rapidity in societal terms: in the year of our Lord, 1600, the mindset of educated men was medieval; in 1700, the mindset was thoroughly modern. The England of 1600 witnessed witchcraft trials; this would have been unthinkable 99 years later. In addition, humankind had been humbled. No longer was our insular little bubble the centre of the universe. Everything had to be reevaluated in terms of our utter insignificance. Nuff said.