Rebekah Higgitt (Ed.): Maskelyne

[D]espite Maskelyne being portrayed in popular literature as a self-seeking academic astronomer with a less-than-personable style, the stories of his interaction with the Nautical Almanac [human] computers reveals that he went to some lengths to provide stop-gap employment to mathematically inclined people, as well as providing long-term stable employment for those with families to support. … Continue reading Rebekah Higgitt (Ed.): Maskelyne


prɒrəʊˈɡeɪʃən prorogation: the act of discontinuing the meetings of an assembly without dissolving it For present purposes, the relevant limit on the power to prorogue is this: that a decision to prorogue (or advise the monarch to prorogue) will be unlawful if the prorogation has the effect of frustrating or preventing, without reasonable justification, the … Continue reading Prorogation

Letters From Abroad: Ash, Slashed-O, A-Ring

If you were (according to my usual scenario) sedated, abducted and awoken in a foreign country, then a glimpse of a road-sign featuring all three of these special letters would mean you were in one of two places—Norway or Denmark. These are the three additional characters that go to make up the 29-letter Dano-Norwegian Alphabet—added, … Continue reading Letters From Abroad: Ash, Slashed-O, A-Ring

Revell 1/96 Saturn V: Lunar Module

After completing the entire Saturn V stack, top to bottom, I had one small additional component to complete—the Lunar Module. This sat invisibly inside the Spacecraft/Lunar Module Adapter during launch and translunar injection, and was revealed only when the SLA panels were discarded during the lunar coast phase. The LM that comes with the kit … Continue reading Revell 1/96 Saturn V: Lunar Module

Three Books About The Franklin Expedition

The riddle of the last Franklin expedition has all of the elements required to elicit and maintain widespread interest—struggle, shipwreck, murder, massacre, cannibalism and controversy. The story of the lost expedition has become a magnet for speculative historians, a mystery that far outstrips the contrived unfolding of fiction, and an inviting field for those who … Continue reading Three Books About The Franklin Expedition


ɡɔːdiːˈeɪməs gaudeamus: merry-making by college students   Turn on the spigot Pour the beer and swig it And gaudeamus igit- (uh) -tur Tom Lehrer “Bright College Days” (1959)* Gaudeamus is the first-person plural present active subjunctive of the Latin verb gaudeo, “to rejoice”—so it means “let us rejoice”. It’s the first word of a thirteenth-century … Continue reading Gaudeamus

A discursive blog on various topics of minor interest