Archive for the ‘Books’ Category


Perhaps in this case he should make an exception! read on ..

Profiling President Elect Donald Trump


2001 A Space Odyssey: Did Stanley Kubrick get it right in his iconic film?

Let’s find out!

Q. Did the space station spin at the right speed to recreate 100% artificial gravity?

Stanley Kubrick’s 2001 A Space Odyssey

Now to estimate (guess) from the film: –

  1. angular velocity in rotations per minute (hint: is it rotating about as fast as the second hand on your watch = 1.0 RPM)
  2. diameter of the rotating space station (hint the approaching space ship is about 100m in length)

Now enter your results into the Calculator: –

Here’s how it works: –

Person p standing on rotating space station floor gets subjected to artificial gravity as velocity v is constantly changing direction as it spins, but not magnitude

The Editor’s first-guess estimate for the space station from the calculator: –

Enter data into the calculator: –

Radius = 500m

Angular velocity = 1.0 RPM

Reading data out from the calculator: –

tangential velocity = 52.35987755982988 (52.4 m.s(-1) approx.)

Centripetal force as acceleration (g) = 0.5591219790816185  = 5.6 m.s(-2)

Or has the Editor got it wrong?

Q. Could 0.5591 .. g actually mean 5.591 .. g? (being careful with your measures expressed as “equivalent units”)

A. No, as the calculator also has a m.s (-2) acceleration (deceleration) readout where 1.0  g approximates to 10 m.s(-2) or expressed in plain English, the acceleration of an object falling freely under gravity (being dropped to the ground) at or around sea level accelerates at 9.81 m.s(-2) (approximately 10.0 m.s(-2) therefore)

Found: other independent estimates of space ship’s length: “Orion”

Fairground Rides – roller-coasters 🙂

5.5 g is quite unpleasant compared to 1g (as we experience our full weight standing on the ground still) – and a fairground roller-coaster ride may only ‘pull’ as much as 4 or 6g in the z axis (acting forwards and or upwards through the seated body). Pull-down, pull-back and lateral forces (x, y and y axees) are far more unpleasant and potentially damaging – height and age restrictions also apply! Injuries can and do happen – fun does have an element of danger and risk!

What’s your favourite fairground ride?

Dont miss: the world’s first zero-gravity roller coaster


Q. Given all the problems with long-term exposure to weightlessness in space like loss of fitness, muscle and bone mass, will astronaut Tim Peake wish the designers at the ESA had made the ISS to be rotating?

Q. The Editor’s estimate of the rotation and diameter of the space station were slightly too slow and too small respectively. Can you change the figures to approach an optimum 1.0 g using the calculator? The value for g was too low at 0.55912 g – however this might be quite sufficient for long-term exposure on space missions to Mars as it may reduce the hull stresses, size of space ship and hence mass involved. Scientists will no doubt work this out! There is a further question: what happens to the human sensation of rotation when she is subjected to 1.0 or more RPM over sustained periods?

The organs of balance in the inner ear also need to be considered.

Q. Is there a centrifugal force?

A. No, since in a rotating body the  centripetal force is always acting tangentially outwards in the direction of rotation, so the supporting floor will have to be on the outside surface of the spining body to allow the occupants (also rotating) to experience gravity as a deceleration force pulling them in and towards the floor giving the impression of centrifugal force (unless they’re riding a roller-coaster – that is!)

Q. Referring to the figure above; how would you break down the calculation to include  ‘x’, ‘y’ ad ‘z’ axees to create a more costant model for ‘g’ as the space station rotates through a full 360 degrees?

Answers please to!

Nick 🙂

Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe record cover? (aka The Goons and also available in ‘vinyl’) – do you have this or other collectible albums stashed in your loft?

Escape from the War!

The ’50s witnessed the blossoming of British creative talent leading into the ’60s

Following the narrowest of escapes many years later, even after Dunkirk*,  like the Goons, our intrepid editor is delighted to report that all appears to be well, following a successul rear guard action – his mad antics will be described later – stay tuned  🙂


The Goons featuring

Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and Harry Secombe

–  the other fabulous foursome!

First there came Spike Milligan

* Following the media repression and misery of the war years, they burst out from the constraints of authoritarian wartime Britain into Radio like a un-coiling spring, as an outrageously funny irreverent foursome to poke fun at the ‘wooden’ establishment that had held them in check for so long!

Although a jazz vocalist-turned-entertainer of the troups during wartime Britain, Spike Milligan could be considered as the lyrical / satyrical / anti-war / anti-authority ‘John Lennon’ founder of this particular fabulous foursome, along with co-writers Larry Stephens and Eric Sykes. Spike wrote and performed comedy sketches as part of concerts to entertain troops during the war years as a signaller in the Royal Artillery 56th. Armoured Division. Hmmm.. dad must have known of him as a member of a similar Division. The editor also remembers reading one of his amazing books  quite early on – which together with Waugh’s Scoop and Voltaire’s Candide probably didn’t do him much good either, speaking as a ‘sensible citizen‘ of questionable sensibilities, that is  🙂

Peter Sellers and Ian Carmichael as sensible citizens, tongue in cheek, in “I’m Alright Jack” – another hilarious attempt of the social classes to return to civilian life in post-war, re-uniting Britain! The whole nation’s returning soldiers appeared to be suffering from a form of collective PTSD – for which manic humour and a liberal measure of ‘for God’s sake pull yourself together man’ were prescribed! Hence – ‘I’m OK, you’re OK, we’re OK’; I’m alright, We’re alright, You’re alright, Jack?

Note: this clip doesn’t do the film justice – watch the whole film to get the full comedy including the ‘you’re not the detergent type’ Ian Carmichael clip – and Peter Sellers as the union shop steward! Sellers went to work on the character and role of “Fred Kite” with all the obsessive and meticulous attention to nuance and detail he lavished on Dr. Stragelove! When the social classes eventually and inevitably collided as Carmichael dated his pretty daughter in the spirt of the times (the new progressive and socially-mobile ‘swinging’ ’60s), ‘war’ threatened to break back-out again, but it was held in masterful restraint as ‘preventative internecine warefare countermeasures’ by union man Sellers in his hysterically funny portrayal!

Each to their own: Fred Kite – father and union man

The role of ‘sensible citizen’ as “reluctant comedian” in The Goon Show (as in real life) was played by ex. RAF intelligence officer Michael Bentine

On the editor’s young adult reading list

Serious dutiful absentee citizen Bentine (above) – then along came  Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers (below)

The editor particularly remembers the radio dialogues between Sellers, Secombe aka ‘Neddie Seagoon’ and Milligan!

The Goons was first broadcast on the BBC Home Service in 1951


Nick  🙂

Weather break makes life easier for stallholders

A successful day for February was reported by traders.

The weather makes all the difference to trade and the persistent cold high winds we’ve had recently have made the stallholders task almost impossible

Traders get together to make a presence on facebook!

Julie Thornhill of Canine Catering

Julie’s Facebook Page: Cottingham Thursday Market: Canine Catering

Mike Hebb: – 

South side stallholder Mike Hebb sells potted and cut flowers rather than vegetables now as Colin has moved

The stallholder’s son, writer and angler Colin Hebb is now working at Total Fitness


View of Market at close of play today

Another trader: – tastee mark THE SAUSAGE MEN – also on facebook – wide choice of locally-produced sausages available!

Fruit & Veg

This picture also made a good composition so we kept it in full format!





Poet Ian McMillan performs his Pop-up Poetry Tour in Cottingham Library


Performing “The Ghost of Alouiscious” using his fold-up paper-chart and off-the-library-shelf selections of names picked at random from the pages of books and markers, he worked with his audience to make-up the lyrics as we went along!

His style is to pick and mix words with the audience

One could surmise he might have seen “Aloysius and the ghost of uncle Harold” on the bookshelf, but it was meant more in fun in an Edward Lear-like made-up wordsmith sense. Ian’s performance was likeable, funny and engaging, spiced with northern grit and a delivery Morcambe and Wise would have been pleased with!

Coming to a library near you!

Ian is performing in libraries in East Yorkshire including around Hull, Beverley and Bridlington.






Posted by admin at May 1, 2015

Category: Art, Books, Comedy, Cottingham, Cottingham Springboard, Election, Elections, Humour, Tommy Cooper

The search for smarter ways to ‘connect with the electorate’!

There must be a ‘third way’ .. psychologically speaking!

Fortunately no one was injured

and we do (still) have ways of making you laugh!

Always Leave Them Laughing

The Psychology of Tommy Cooper

Tommy Cooper’s redeeming quality was his unique ability to connect with the audience (rather than electorate) and thereby let them in on his surprise and amazement when a trick he performed actually worked and humour conversely when it didn’t. Audiences would be engaged in the build-up of the punch line and Tommy’s apparently clumsy clown figure was always far more interesting than the trick – the way it should be with the best comedians and most remarkable people!

He used to practise his well-rehearsed routines in front of a wall rather than a mirror because that enabled him to look past himself into the audience to better engage with them. His clumsiness was however meticulously rehearsed and agile.

In psychology, this is known as building rapport and empathy.

Whether the trick worked or not, we just laughed helplessly!

Do you remember that distant stare of bewilderment into the audience looking for answers when things went wrong? It was as if we were all somehow implicated!

So is there a message? Is there method in the madness?

Answers please to


P.S. Do you know anyone who does a good Tommy Cooper impersonation?  Get in touch! Like the greatest comedians he is almost impossible to impersonate!


Evelyn Waugh SCOOP!


Read all about it here at and Hull Books!’s editor Nicholas Robinson involved in a series of sensational international news and press scoops!

BBC Newsnight and then BBC News have been broadcasting our electronic democracy and politics press scoops here on this week also through the night, also with a “life in comedy after politics” becoming “actively considered” by at least one leading politician, further to our “Tribute to comedian Norman Collier”!

In Evelyn Waugh’s novel Scoop! The roving news reporter from a local rag achieves fame and notariety for going out into ‘bongo-bongo land’, to ‘stir things up a bit’ amongst the natives, to then create and report (or scoop) the news reporting internationally back home!

The plot thickens: Licence to Kill!

If you remember James Bond and the evil press baron Elliot Carver filmed in Hamburg, stirring-up trouble in the South China Sea, an arch villain of democracy disguised his identity with a ‘Stealth Boat’ and hid behind digitally-encrypted digital satellite systems. This was also based partly on Evelyn Waugh’s famous novel SCOOP!

Back to the Present

In this case however, the BBC re-invented their own beck end of beyond’, to be not our own lowly UK provinces (that would be too close for comfort), but in several ‘banana republics’  in South America!

In this case, a lowly provincial Brit (this humble editor) got to invent and scoop the news first!

To Ewan Evans, acclaimed promoter of British inventors on Dragon’s Den and latterly of Newsnight & co: “I must have tuned out for a minute there Elliot”!  No: better; let them eat cake! Electronic Democracy – not merely to be seen as an alternative to electronic balloting – was invented as described by this Brit right here! Google agrees!


The trouble with democracy is: –

“It has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all the others that have been tried”

that we invented it here and in Europe; but it’s always someone else’s fault when it goes wrong!



James Bond and his assistant “Q” would not feel out of place here!

Today in the Cottingham Library: HERIB “here for people with sight loss” hold a regular small mobile exhibition table to promote their activities. Some 1,700 people suffer debilitating sight loss in East Yorkshire. With an office in Goole and centres in Hull

What’s the mug for?

Don’t touch that Bond, that’s my coffee! But check out the smart level detector (top right) which stops you scalding yourself with boiling water when making a hot drink ..

Now aids for the visually impaired would make an interesting idea for a school technology project!

If you have some ideas of your own and would like to discuss them online or privately, we can help you promote them – in fact we could hold a competition ..


HERIB is offering learning Braille to interested people and supporters with sessions held in Hull Beverley Road branch on Wednesdays. Cottingham Library also offers support for the visually impaired including large print versions of books.


Posted by admin at October 22, 2014

Category: Books, Business, Politics, Travel

Tags: , , , ,

Explore the physical and political geography of Central Europe with us and absorb some of its culture!

As you can see, Austria joins multiple countries and has historically been at the centre of European culture. The Danube Region is developing a new European strategy*.

English has become much more widespread now and it has become the lingua franca for European politics, travel and business, so we are fortunate to have this advantage as native speakers. With many Europeans more than willing to converse, it gives them an opportunity to practice their English – which can be frustrating if you want to try out your French Italian or German, not to mention the other neighbouring countries’ languages!


Winter is coming: ‚ab auf die Piste!‘

Off to the slopes! Whilst the famous winter holiday resorts are famous for ‘heading off to the slopes to blow-off some surplus energy skiing’ (a more moderate ‘PC’ translation for those of you who would rather gently slope-off rather than attempt more vigorous inclines and summits to recklessly blow away the winter blues), they also make for breathtaking Summer holiday destinations!

Summer is worth planning partly in advance, but also worth discovering as you go – laissez faire or ‘lassen Sie sich treiben!’:

In many ways, the bespoke holiday you book yourself and discover as you travel is more fun than the package holiday you plan and are stuck with, but it turns out far more expensive than a package deal! Winter skiing holiday deals comprising long weekend breaks are however more accessible by air and budget flights.

A return flight to Vienna from Gatwick by easyjet can cost less than £200 if booked a couple of months in advance and accommodation can also be conveniently arranged online. Booking in advance to a budget usually means accepting flexible departure and return dates that may not coincide with your original travel plans.

Local travel and accommodation deals can be found at local travel agents, but we’d like to investigate some connections over there for direct bookings and offer competitive prices and alternative arrangements including group flat-shares, fly-drive, rail-drive (especially popular with motorcyclists) and to explore working holidays where you earn your accommodation by working. For further details, please contact

Switzerland is located some 400 km west from Vienna in Austria, separated by some of the most beautiful scenery in the World (after our Yorkshire Dales of course!) and is worth a drive, the next time you are planning a “European Grand Tour”!

Whilst Zurich is located 1400 kms away by road and it is below the southern side of Lake Constance at the bottom of West Germany south of Stuttgart and east of The Alsace in France, Vienna is located in the East and borders with Germany, Slovenia, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Bucharest, some 1,770 kms by road from East Yorkshire via the Channel Tunnel. In practical and comfort terms, this places are best reached by air and rail as driving there yourself becomes time-consuming and as you need to break your journey with at least two or more overnight breaks, not to mention fuel and wear and tear.


The Danube Region Welcomes You!

Personally, I can’t bear to go anywhere nowadays without exploring trade, markets, business, political geography, work and enterprise opportunities and when I did a European tour some years ago, I took a van and loaded it up with trade samples of my lighting sample products I made from home on the outward trip, then with bottles of wine purchased directly from tastings held by the vineyard proprietors and cuckoo clocks from the Black Forest on the return trip!

Politically, The Danube Region connects Europe’s trade and culture and whatever our politicians tell you about Europe, explore the beating heart of Europe and find out for yourself!

I’ve been working with Europe on a Youth Manifesto for my blog on Europe and am invited as a reviewer for their up-and-coming conferences next year, so do get in touch if you’d like to explore some further opportunities with me directly as I am definitely open to trade,  investment and collaboration opportunities!

Vienna formed the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire over a Century ago and it also became the home of famous philosophical art and science movements with its cafe culture forming the Vienna Circle. Famous thinkers included Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Von Neumann, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Albert Einstein and Nicla Tesla. Many of the early pioneers suffered for their work and I’m currently researching and revisiting Sigmund Freud’s work with a view to proposing incorporating aspects of it in their Manifesto.

Nearby Ljubljana in Slovenia through the Alps is also a delightful destination worth a visit and home of Iskra, a manufacturer of electrical and electronic components, with Tesla’s birthplace which was being renovated when I visited in the former Yugoslavia as a student years ago. Crossing the boarder to Italy is of course far easier today since the fall of the Wall and thawing of East-West relationships in the late 1980s, and Slovenia became a full EU partner – just try not to mention the wars!


Posted by admin at October 9, 2014

Category: Books, Cottingham, cottingham village, Film and media

By Richard Woolley

Most intriguing prospect – Yorkshire has always felt so stable and unchanging!