My favourite technical advisor had to give me a MacOS 7.5 emulation so it would run.
Aahhh …. look at those lovely little grey buttons 🙂
And then we can do this:
Kidpix. Not like anything else.
Take Tuesday’s post tray full of income tax records, a fraud inquiry, a government report, and some instruction leaflets on self-assessment. Throw them up in the air. Take half the scattered sheets and turn them into papier maché. Discard. Of the remainder, cut about three-quarters into pieces, return to the floor and give a good stir. Leave for three thousand years. When the Novaustrals turn up, they will try to answer the following questions:
When finance departments at Mycenae, Knossos and Pylos burned down, some of their account books, instead of being destroyed, were rendered imperishable. For this was the age of the clay tablet, and the ones which were accidentally fired outlasted the millennia below ground, fragmented and muddled as they were. It has been a work of years to stick them back together, sort them into related heaps, and begin to interpret them. This book was a bit of a slow starter (or perhaps I was the slow starter) but gradually Chadwick’s deductive process drew me in. Some tablets would make perfect sense, for example, except for one or two words which have no Greek equivalent and are forever unknowable. Some are so specific that we can tell what women textile workers had for dinner. Occasionally the author shares a private moment of enjoyment with us, his unknown readers. For example, he takes time to inform us that someone at Knossos was driving oxen called Dapple, Dusky, Noisy and Whitefoot. Again, Chadwick mentions an item in a inventory:
One stool … is described as inlaid in ivory with a man, a horse, an octopus and a phoinix; the choice for the last word seems to be between ‘palm-tree’ and ‘griffin’, the first being the more likely. This is probably not a single scene of a groom leading a horse while the octopus climbs a palm-tree, though we have it on the authority of the elder Pliny that octopuses do climb palm trees …
John Chadwick is no longer with us. I wonder how his project is getting along?
Yesterday I was pulling myself together. Especially my feet.
Excuse: that does include walking, tidy, leisure, summer, winter, beach, hiking, weddings, gardening, interviews, black, blue, tan, brown, cream, gold, green, white, flats, heels, sandals, boots, toe-posts, lace-ups.
No red though. Perhaps I should go shopping …
five people and a departure board. Photographs. And lunch. And a pair of green boots.
xlix : Get lost
It’s been a long time since I observed the Moon in its last few days, and with the terminator so far over the few remaining visible craters look different. I’ve mislaid my clipboard, repurposed the little astro table, (in the frost my hands were too cold to draw anyway), and I didn’t achieve a competent snapshot. Which left me hunting up and down to identify everything afterwards.
The little crater just in from the terminator is Reiner. In the photo it’s not prominent at all, but it stood up beautifully in the eyepiece and I could see the distinctive ridge running away from it. Schickard and Phocylides were very prominent too, though I completely failed to notice the peculiar Wargentin.
After crawling about with a magnifying glass on my paper charts for half an hour, I found Dial-a-Moon – though I felt a certain guilt at using it. Is it me, or is this just too lazy? But I love it.
I got up early to go to Burgess Hill. I have never been to Burgess Hill before. I will probably never go to Burgess Hill again. I bought velvet and feathers. I came home with a lighter case.
Later I went comet hunting with the 5″ reflector. Comet Lovejoy is zooming past Orion and tonight was CLEAR, windless and not (quite) frosty. First I tried star-hopping, without any success, and was reduced to the most primitive method of all: use the finder chart to spot a pattern, visualise it on the real sky, point the telescope at the bit you are visualising, and hope.
On this occasion it was a nearly right-angled backwards L with Aldebaran and Rigel at the extremities and Lovejoy (I hoped) at the angle. Bizarrely, this immediately worked.
Lovejoy didn’t look very exciting, what with the small aperture telescope and a great shouty moon blasting everything out of the sky. A little fuzzball, no tail of course, blink and you miss it. Nevertheless, I was smug about finding my comet, even my small scope showed, very faintly, that characteristic green tinge, and it felt good to wave as it passes.