Brand new show with some stunning tracks and bad presenting
In a new project I’m trying my hand at radio presenting and episode 3 is up and ready.
I have just attempted to start my own regular radio/podcast thingy playing music from all over earths time and space.
Check it out and let me know if its any good….yes I know the presenting sucks but it is my first time
For those with enough time on their hands to read the first two parts of this saga then this isnt going to be “The Godfather pt 3” but more “Return of the king”.
Because finally I bagged myself a whole fat chuck of astronomy tonight.
After the debarcle that was outings one and two followed by the mysterious motor fault I headed out at 8.30pm this evening with pizza in my belly and a certain ringed planet on my mind.
Within minutes of setting up I had the Orion Nebula right there in the eyepiece and took time to study it whilst swapping eyepieces, adding and removing Barlows with gay abandon.
My attention was then all focused on hunting down my first planet and I set about the long arduous search for ………I found the bugger straight away bold as brass there it was just floating about.
Not only that but Titan too!
After 30 exciting minutes of looking at saturn and titan whilst again furiously swapping eyepieces and barlows needlessly but feeling like I was an expert, I did keep saying to the missis things like “If we swap to the 10mm eyepices it should reduce the field of vision”….
no idea what I’m talking about but it’s more about how you sound rather than what is actually meant in situations of impressing the female layperson.
So, saturn done.
“To the Pleiadies” I screamed. Found that straight away too but after Saturn it was a slight let down….only slight though.
Anyway it was a dreadfully exciting time. I cannot wait for my visit up to galloway dark skies park in May.
It’s not as easy as it looks is it?
Thursday night on my way home from work I looked up and beheld a cloudless night. By 8pm I was ready, fed and raring to go.
Packed up the following items:
Skywatcher 127 autotrak
10mm and 25mm 1.25” eyepieces
2x deluxe barlow
beginners book on astronomy
Instructions for the telescope
Once on Blackheath I found an area that was as far away from streetlamps as I could find and really noticed a difference in the sky the further away I got.
I assembled the telescope pointed north and was ready to go. “Now what shall we look at first on this clear moonless night?” I asked my missis “How about a nebula? If you look in the book we can try and find one”
“What do you mean it’s too dark to read the boo……oooh crap I didn’t bring a torch”
So plan B was immediately sprung in to action. Let’s just point it at a star and see what we get. Finderscope lined up. 25mm eyepiece in plus the barlow. Go
“Ok when I press up on my motorised mount the image goes down this is confusing….ok I have it….sometimes”.
After 20 mins of fiddling I realised that one can also find things alot easier if the finderscope is pointing at the same part of the sky. Fixed that up by pointing my apparatus at a chimney pot and lining up.
So all lined up and ready to go
I moved the camera towards the belts stars of Orion, had the finderscope pointed at the one on the far left and I had an image of a disc of starlight in the telescope……success! yes it took 45 mins and no it wasn’t particularly impressive but I’ve found something.
Coming over all Galileo I turned to the missis “Look what I have discovered!”
she peers in “Nothing? just black sky”
Now I knew that stars slowly crawled across the sky but no one told me that through a telescope they tended to march with purpose.
“Ahhh haaa I’ll sort this out woman! As the telescope I have purchased has auto track. Just a few presses on the pad and this marvel of human technological progress will trample this feeble problem. If you could just pass me the instructions and the torc………oh bollocks”
So that was my first outing. Successful? maybe not fully but I learnt alot. Aligning the finderscope is a good idea, getting used to the way the controller moves the scope, using the planisphere and taking a torch.
Funnily enough my hour and a half test run although not the most productive in terms of the sights of the universe was enjoyable and I really can’t wait to get back out there.
I just need to remember to take a torch.
Marrakesh is a guide book and travellers wet dream. One can wax lyrical for hours about its unique culture, architecture and the “spirit of Marrakech”.
Does it actually have these things?
Short answer is yes. Marrakech is a city but a few hours from the uk but light years away with regards to way of life.
A visit to this foreign clime is one of exploration rather than of particular sights or landmarks one must visit. A visitor will delight in getting lost in the old city and adventuring down the maze like alleys and red clayed buildings seemingly arranged by a bi-polar town planner in the midst of a manic episode.
Around each corner who knows what one could find; souk shops with hand crafted artisian gifts, soccar ball repair shop or an old mosque.
As I said “A guide books wet dream”.
Although these things are true there are underlying problems with the city that will hinder and frustrate the less positive tourist.
Moroccans as a people are friendly….very friendly. They will help you with directions when you are lost or when you are looking decidely caucasion one day. This friendliness however tend to manifest itself in the form of the bewildered tourist being told that their current destination is closed and that your now local guide is going to take you to a rare and local market (generally a Berber one). Now this tour will be brief at around 10 minutes but will no doubtedly end in a rug shop, a hard sell and an expectation of a tip from your polite grinning local.
There is no way to avoid the initial offer either. A brief yet accident meeting of a gaze will result an attempt by the local gent to sell you something be it his time or his rugs. It is a country that any 2nd hand car salemen should go for tips on mercenary sales techniques.
One aspect of Marrakesh that arises often is its long history of cultures mixing and ancient trades routes bringing the best the world has to offer to the city. Over 1000 years of history has brought many things to Marrakech civilisation not being one of them.
Traffic law, for example, seems to be more of a guideline or cautionary philosophy to be rightly ignored and replaced with beeping of the horn and aggressive acceleration. Other eccentric traffic practices include walking up the middle of the road, texting whilst driving a scooter and the “driver has right of way” law.
Luckily for the average tourist one can look at the madness from the safety of the pavemen….WRONG! Any pedestrain walkway in Marrakesh is a state designated “Drive your scooter dangerously at the whities” lane but luckily the good ol’ Moroccan politeness shines through as they beep at you to brace yourself for impact.
Another unique sign of the moroccan culture is its own branch of applied mathematics. Anyone unfamiliar with this will certain come across it during a visit as it will manifest itself in the form of being short changed in every taxi or restaurant.
Although this branch of maths is wide spread another thing that isnt is the humble clock or watch. No tower, shop nor human seems to have or have access to anything that could tell you the time apart from one thing. The Car. Perhaps this is the reason that the moroccan car industry is in the state its in…no clock comes as standard. Although Moroccans have to buy foriegn made cars with clocks they have managed to overcome this unwanted device by setting it to a time it couldn’t possibly be. “Sun high in the sky? I think I’ll set it to 2345. That’ll teach ‘em.
But all this pales in to insignificance when compared to the worse thing about Marrakech and Morocco; The all-inclusive british holiday maker. I met some of these vermin during a particulary horrid moroccan themed evening to which they seemed to think that the foam mannequins depicting traditional life and a piece of MDF with a rug being swung overhead was a true insight in to Marrakech.
They happened to think this as they all proudly boasted that they hadn’t left the hotel that week, that they were taking bottles of wine to their room to watch ITV and that they hadnt gone out because moroccans were all “a bunch of thieving bastards”.
How would you know? you’ve not left the bloody hotel you dickheads. Why bother going on holiday at all. At least I got out there and found out for myself that they can be a bunch of thieving bastards.
They say travel broadens the mind. I say it narrows it sometimes. I could almost bring myself to say I enjoyed my trip but once again its people that ruins it.