Walk, Listen and Record

I guess this comes under the heading: General Observation that May Come in Handy One Day…

If I download a podcast, transfer it to my iPod and then go for a walk while listening to it, a very interesting thing happens. Months later, if I happen to listen to the same podcast while sitting at my Mac, I can visualize where I was located on my walking route at any point in the podcast.

Right now I have absolutely no idea how this phenomenon could be of any practical use to me, but having posted the observation, I’m sure something will pop into my head (but that’s a whole other phenomenon…)

New Episode: The Sleeveless Tee Shirt…

In the very first scene of the first episode of Seinfeld (and in the very last scene of the last episode, for that matter), Jerry is making an observation about George’s new shirt.

To paraphrase: The second button is crucial to the whole shirt; if it’s too high then you’re a Mommy’s boy — if it’s too low then you’re a hairy chested sybarite, showing off your medallion.

This unwritten rule is known to all men; it’s written into their genetic code.

Now dress down from a shirt, and you have a choice: a tee shirt with its short sleeves, or a singlet. There’s no in between; it’s either one or the other. Until now.

This horrible in between thing, this monstrosity, this — sleeveless tee shirt — is between sleeves and openings. It sports holes that you force your arms through; holes so small that they chafe your armpits.

Holes that make you look like you’re wearing…

…Your wife’s top!

Am I the only one that sees this?

Get a Satellite Over There… Now!

The Shuttle flies pretty low by satellite standards. It takes 90 minutes for it to circle the Earth (the lower you go, the quicker you cover the surface). The Moon (which is also a satellite of the Earth) flies pretty high! As a result it takes around a month to circle the Earth. A third example would be a communications satellite, like the one your satellite dish is pointed at — it flies at about 22,000 miles altitude and takes exactly a day to circle the Earth; as a result it matches the Earth’s rotation, and appears stationary in the sky.

Now, in order for a spy satellite to cover the whole of the Earth’s surface, it flies what’s called a polar orbit — crossing both the North and South poles while the Earth spins beneath. It flies quite low in order to get a good look at the surface, and to cover a lot of ground in a short time.

Once any satellite is placed in orbit, it may fire tiny engines from time to time to change its attitude, or to minutely finesse its orbit — but 99.99999999999999 percent of the time it’s just coasting along under its own momentum.

So, if you have a spy satellite and you want to peer into someone’s car-park, or whatever, you have to wait until the next time it’s due to pass more or less directly overhead. That may be seven minutes from now — it could just as likely be seven HOURS from now.

When it does arrive at the scene, it’s not going to stop to take the pictures. There’s probably about two minutes of shooting time as it speeds past.

When on TV shows like “24” they say, “Give me a couple of minutes to position a satellite overhead… OK, we’re in! Now, let’s zoom in on the license plate…” Well, that’s fiction — what they call in the trade: Poetic License. It moves the story along.

So no, you can’t have the pictures while you wait.

Ironically, it was on Star Trek (one of the first and biggest science cheats in TV history) where Scottie more than once said, “You cannie change the laws of physics, Captain!”