Emmets at Sunset

February 17, 2010

I have been using UKIRT for about a quarter of a century. Two things have changed. The first is that it works much better. UKIRT was always ground breaking and world leading, but now it is a kind of flawless machine as well. The second change is that the mountain is now heaving with tourists. Enterprising companies charge grockles two hundred bucks a shot for which they get a boneshaking ride, a nice warm coat, and the chance to shoot photos from the roof of the world. So we have to lock the door or folks wander in and bugger the dark runs.

My last night on this run saw a particularly large infestation. It was President’s Day so I guess there were lots of locals as well vacationers from Pittsburgh. (Can you imagine a holiday called “Prime Minister’s Day”?).  They were crawling all over the summit as twilight fell, and I remembered what they call tourists in Cornwall : Emmets. Cornish for ants.

Jack, Jack, and I were outside taking our own pix, and a few emmets were brave enough to speak to us. They turned out to be Welsh and were tickled to find out Jack was too. TSS Jack Ehle (not Welsh) invited them in and gave them a quick tour before they had to scuttle back to their emmet bus. They went away beaming. Well hell the government PAYS us to come here, so we should give something back to the peepul.

Lots more data. Happy days.


Sex Lives of Famous Astronomers

August 18, 2009

Ha. That got your attention.

Well, my last post, a profound analysis of the links between Linux and anarcho-syndicalist communes, got the lowest readership for weeks. Right. Now I ‘ve got you, I need to explain my firm views on certain procedural subtleties in last year’s Research Assessment Exercise. It seems … where are you going ? Sit down. As I was saying, procedural subtleties. My analysis shows beyond any doubt, with only a slight adjustment of the prior, that the connection between … what are you doing now ? What do you mean, was that the door ?  Look, at least I don’t give you long essays about my cat’s diseases and how impressed I was when I met the Welsh President at Gary Linneker’s latest opera. Just show some patience. According to information on the DBIS website, you can see that … hang on whats that smell ? I think my dinner is burning.