He went in peace for all mankind

Bruce McCandless: “Okay. Neil, we can see you coming down the ladder now.”

Neil Armstrong: “Okay. I just checked getting back to that first step. Buzz. It’s not even collapsed too far, but it’s adequate to get back up.”

Bruce McCandless: “Roger. We copy.”

Neil Armstrong: “It takes a pretty good little jump.”

Bruce McCandless: “Buzz, this is Houston. F/2-1/160th second for shadow photography on the sequence camera.”

Buzz Aldrin: “Okay.”

Neil Armstrong: “I’m at the foot of the ladder. The LM footpads are only depressed in the surface about 1 or 2 inches, although the surface appears to be very, very fine grained, as you get close to it. It’s almost like a powder. Down there, it’s very fine.”

“I’m stepping off the LM now.”

“That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Continue reading He went in peace for all mankind

Apollo 11Buzz AldrinMoon LandingNASANeil Armstrong

We’re going to have to check you have no tattoos

I like acting. It’s not something I ever considered attempting  as a serious career, but I do love performing and when I have some time I enjoy going to auditions. Most are just for roles as an extra, so “acting” is often a very loose description, but it’s good fun. You get to meet people and get paid. A strange thing for me now living in St Andrews is that I came here about a decade ago when I got a part as an extra in a film about Bobby Jones starring Jim Cavaziel (more commonly known as the guy with the weird name who played Jesus in Passion of the Christ). I was the caddy for one of his rivals. It was actually the first motion picture featuring the Old Course that was actually given permission to film on location. At the time, if you were to tell me that one day I’d be living in St Andrews I wouldn’t have believed it. Yet here I am, a decade later. Continue reading We’re going to have to check you have no tattoos

Chariots of FireDanny BoyleLondon 2012OlympicsRowan AtkinsonSt Andrews

Terrifying critter, I choose you!

How’s this for a blast from the past (or the early 90s at least)? Artist Vaughn Pinpin has re-imagined the starter Pokemon from Red and Blue in a Tim Burton-esque style.

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You can view his website here.

PokemonTim Burton

Why I “celebrate” death

I am a skeptic. I will accept any claim, regardless of how insane it might initially sound, if it is supported by robust and valid evidence. And for that reason, I am also an atheist. I have access to the internet and I am fairly outspoken. All of these facts together mean that I occasionally get into discussions and debates with theists on various topics. Recently, I had an email conversation with a theist (with slight creationist leanings) that eventually drifted to a discussion about death and the fact that I’m not afraid to die. To paraphrase, he saw death as a wholly tragic event with absolutely no positive aspects at all except that it acts as the point between this life and the afterlife. Continue reading Why I “celebrate” death

afterlifeatheismdeaththeism