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This is the UK website for Peter and Maureen Scargill. We live in the Northeast of England and also Andalusia in Spain.

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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Holiday Quantum Reading Matter

I’m less prone to reading books than I am watching videos but in this case, I think Sean Carroll’s book “Something Deeply Hidden” could be worth sacrificing some of my holiday time for – ok, so it is freezing cold anyway.

Sean makes relatively light work of getting your head into Quantum Mechanics, but more importantly Sean is very honest and open about the fact that although we use this very effectively to get real world results in a variety of disciplines, we don’t actually entirely understand the how and why. But then we made GREAT use of Aspirin long before we knew how it worked.

For anyone who thinks that all physicists are entirely in a world of their own, beyond anything the rest of us can take in – this book is starting to look like an eye opener – I’m only part way through, my sister kindly got this (new-ish) book from her (obviously upmarket) local library for me and I have just over a week to get through it.

Clearly we are not yet at the point where we anywhere near fully understand the universe from the smallest particles upwards, but books like this have to be better than the completely implausible “god made it all happen” alternative.

I am 65 and I remember not that long ago when the many-worlds (parallel universes) interpretation of reality was nothing more than pub-talk (and sci-fi movie fodder) along with black holes – the latter of course has just recently seen the first actual photo remove all doubt as to whether or not black holes exist – it will take a LOT longer to get a general consensus on (followed up, hopefully by a clear undertanding of) the former even though we are on the cusp of revolutionishing actual, real computers and even AI because of it, but maybe with more writers like Sean Carroll we may some day get to the point where we no longer feel the need to fall back on imposing fairy tales on our children for comfort (though some western countries have made a start despite not yet having entirely satisfactory alternatives).

Seriously, I am NOT into maths so for me to get past the first chapter of a book like this counts as a recommendation. If for example you get annoyed by oft-repeated but ultimately meaningless statements like “objects are in a superimposition of all possible states until observed” you could do worse than pick up this book. Don’t expect magical solutions to all our collective comprehension problems however.

The full title of this book for reference is “Something Deeply Hidden – Quantum Worlds and the Emergence of Spacetime” by Sean Carroll.

Weekend Trip to Newcastle to see Holly at Work

As another decade draws to a close, I don’t do that many family updates in here so I figured as I was up early I’d put in a word for my granddaughter Holly and her new job at “Bar & Block” in Newcastle.

Having gotten used to inexpensive, cosy Spanish restaurants over the years I’m not that keen on UK city centre bars any more but this place in Newgate Street in Newcastle (Upon Tyne) wasn’t bad and service was good yesterday lunchtime. You might think they’d be chocker full around Christmas but early afternoon on Dec 29 things were nice and quiet.

Aside from the usual parking nightmare, a pleasant trip out and a nice break from the computer.

Bar & Block

Autumn 2019 in Wark

The weather since we came back to the UK has been pretty crappy generally but just for the record in case I forget, yesterday was LOVELY. I took this little number down by the riverside as Maureen and I were taking the two youngest grandkids for a walk along the waterfront.

Wark in Winter

And today, on the cards is a trip to the new B&M store in nearby Kingston Park. Well, it beats visiting garden centres…

The LED Lighting Sunday Lecture

Good morning all…

Benefit from my mistakes?.. in modernising our house lighting both here in the UK and over in Spain, we have totally gone over to LED lighting of one kind or another. Having been used to compact fluorescents, I kind of expect a couple of years at least, before lights give up.

LED lighting is currently a choice, it won’t be for long as supplies of older alternatives dry up.

The first thing I learned when fitting LED lighting is that manufacturer specs are rubbish, blindly copied from the actual LED design specs by the lamp manufacturers/sales people. The specs refer to LEDs running at reasonable (warm) temperatures. Typically, household lighting gets HOT due to poor ventilation. LEDs don’t like to run HOT so forget your 13 year life claims but 2-5 years should be do-able..

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Back to Wark

Despite the unbelievably poor state our ex-tenants left the place in (hard to believe that there are people with so little regard for where they live) the cottage is starting, slowly to take shape thanks to lots of hard work, help from friends and lots of money…. the man-cave should be largely functional within the week, the house itself will take somewhat longer. not the best of times to be recuperating from a stroke nor preparing for a carpal tunnel op but then no-one ever promised life would be fair.

The Big Change

Looks like the last time I wrote in here was late last year.  That might seem odd to some of you so to clarify, I spent much of December, all of January and part of February 2018 in hospital following a stroke in mid-December. I have since then been incredibly hard at work performing a mix of official NHS therapy and my own home brew therapy concentrating on getting my lost keyboard skills back.

The stroke initially took out my entire left side but that is now largely reduced to weakness in my arm and hand and a slight inattention in my foot and will improve in time. My back is weak but that isn’t stopping me getting around. The big one for me is the left (writing) hand which is very much a work in progress and I’m using it to type this blog, but not without hard work.

For no reason other than getting a head start when I was out of action, I’ve dropped my weight by 20% with more on the way, helped no doubt by having no desire to consume alcohol.

A shame it took something this dramatic to get me to lose the weight but there you are. I’ve only just started to resume blogging and the hand still needs lots of work but I’m making a start. Maureen is also losing weight which makes it easier for me.

The Colours of the Rainbow

 

Little did I know when I started the annual discussion with my (art degree) wife about colours that I would start a whole feud off about the subject. This blog entry is a TAD technical but hopefully not enough to put you off – if you think the 3 basic (primary) colours are red, yellow and blue then you really DO owe it to yourself to spend a moment to read on… with an open mind you’re about to learn something new and interesting…

So the argument goes that red, yellow and blue are indivisible – they’re the colours that can’t be made. So how is it that every printer on the planet makes red from magenta and yellow?  Caught your attention? Read and learn…

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To potential PlusNet customers

Last update 11/04/2017

Early in 2016, having used PlusNet for normal broadband and seeing their offer of fibre broadband in Bellingham, Northumberland, we signed up for the 80 Mb fibre service.

The PlusNet modem was supplied and initially we managed to get up to 78Mb downloads and 19Mb uploads – not quiet the headline figure – but very close.

Soon after however, we started to experience drop-outs. The modem would disconnect and reconnect a minute or so later. This would happen every day either once or several times – perhaps with gaps of 2-3 days without issue.

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Newcastle Maker Faire

Maker Faire Newcastle 2017What a great day. Newcastle has an annual Maker Faire and it is on this weekend – and what a faire it is.

I headed off first thing to get some parking and was pleased to find that Newcastle College had some cheap parking – £4 for the day. I arrived 45 minutes to early, thankfully the security guard was a chatty type who wanted to know what all the fuss was about so we filled in time while waiting for my friend Aidan to turn up.

We got talking about cars as that was his thing and so by the time Aidan turned up in his Tesla, the guy was itching to see it and up to his armpits in questions.

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The Edinburgh Weekend

This weekend we went up to Edinburgh with our friends Karen and Dave.  Friday afternoon we drove up to Edinburgh and stopped in a little apartment in the city centre.

Of course, being Edinburgh, it poured rain most of the time..

Edinburgh

We spent the evening wandering around town after the obligatory trip to (House of Fraser) Jenners and ended up in a very nice Indian Restaurant just behind Princes Street…

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