An Engineer in Paradise Blog

An Engineer in Paradise

This blog was started by accident - a chance mention of silk in a Challenge Question set my mind racing and the first, brief episode was born. The reaction to this and the follow-up episode was positive, so keeping the episodes together seemed like a good idea.

I'm a fairly unusual creature - an engineer who enjoys language and likes to use it to its full. Oh yes, and I'm a woman!

I hope you enjoy reading An Engineer in Paradise, remember: If you have nothing to laugh about - laugh on credit.

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Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

Posted July 06, 2007 8:05 AM by English Rose
Pathfinder Tags: Humour

Blaine and Jarad faced each other. "Congratulations," said Jarad, "It's all over then."

"Not quite," replied Blaine, "The length of your exile has to be determined. We'll have to wait till your cork pops." He smiled wanly.

This seemed too much for Jarad to comprehend; Blaine wondered if the younger man had paid attention at the academy.

"So when does he come down?"

Blaine looked blankly at Jarad, who exclaimed, "The referee. When does he make his appearance?"

"When the competition is finished." Blaine was beginning to get irritated. "Look, I'll give you a tip: Go back to your area. Find a way to increase your temperature rise rate; the longer this takes, the longer you'll be in exile."

Jarad stared at him blankly. Blaine sighed. "Hadn't you worked that out? The time difference between the winner and loser determines the loser's exile duration."

About an hour later, another pop/bang shattered the stillness of the desert. At this signal, the referee stood up, stretched, and signalling to the two men, descended the steps of her watchtower. The men met her at the foot.

She directed them to the storage area, where she and Blaine had to prompt Jarad as between them they manoeuvred the capsule out into the open. With Jarad in his dazed state it was quite easy for the other two to get him suited, sit him in the capsule and to strap him in. consulting her notes, she programmed in the details, including the 78 minutes that had elapsed between Blaine's and Jarad's cork releases. Completing the security settings, she withdrew from the capsule and sealed it. She and Blaine returned to the Explorer.

As the sun sank below the horizon, the capsule came to life as it ran through the final checks. It seemed to shudder slightly, and shimmer in the starlight; then it didn't so much launch itself into the sky as, well, vanish. They looked at one another. They had both seen this happen before and still, despite everything, didn't fully understand how the translocation drive worked.

Blaine didn't ask about Jarad's destination, because he knew she didn't know. They only knew he would be spending 78 orbits of that planet in exile. After that...well, it wasn't clear to anyone outside the Council what happened next.

Jarad, on the other hand, now knew more about exile that his two erstwhile colleagues. After the initial, and obvious, start-up sequence, he wasn't entirely sure what had happened – but he did know that it left him dizzy, disorientated and nauseous. Having landed, two of those feelings were now fading. The third? Well he had 70-odd orbits in which to become orientated! He laughed bitterly at the joke – a joke well and truly on him.

It was night when he landed, as it had been when his journey started. He watched the sky through the porthole of the capsule. By leaning from one side to the other he could see there were two moons lighting the might. As the hours passed, he observed that one moon moved east to west and the other from west to east.

"That ought to narrow down which planet I'm on." He thought. He tried interrogating the on-board computer. It gave him a list of 473 planets charted in the translocation sphere around Earth known to have two moons moving in opposite directions. He stopped. What if they weren't moving in opposite directions? What if they were moving in the same direction, but at speed either side of the geostationary speed for the planet?

His new search showed there were 2476 planets with two moons, irrespective of their movement. Oh well, he thought, 78 orbits of observation, with a computer capable of calculating translocations – at least I'll know where I've been by the time I leave here!

Loosely based on Two Martian Moons

(c) ER Literary Productions

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#1

Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/06/2007 2:29 PM

You cunning Minx....prrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

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#2

Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/06/2007 6:07 PM

Wow. I love to sit and bask in the presents of a clever story. Please don't ever stop.

-A-

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#3
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/09/2007 4:05 AM

thank you both.

I've two more episodes to type up - and several more to catch up on! Watch this space.

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#4

Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/10/2007 8:15 AM

Yes ? I'll be around soon. Corrective therapy is just the ticket for you. Failing that a nice 'vacation' in a comfortable 'chalet' will put you to rights.

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#5
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/10/2007 3:45 PM

If that '64 tag is true your condition is understandable. There is probably no recovering from the type of haircut you probably sported. It could have been much worse though. I resembled Roy Wood a bit more.

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#6
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/10/2007 6:23 PM

Haircut -not then but now: make the most of it while it's still here!

Worse - well, they came from my home town, but I've had to put up with them for the past 21 years (no-one's perfect)

more - still got "Eliminator" on vinyl

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#7
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 3:24 AM

That's spooky ! I have Eliminator on vinyl (but no turntable). Used to have a stack of vinyl , but now I just have a handful of very mixed discs that seem to have survived via various house moves etc. The vids that ZZ Top did around that time were very cool , but some of their earlier music is great too. America has some ace music - early Doobie Brothers, Skynyrd etc

Sorry ER - My off-topic rambling is a medical condition you know. I loose the plot more than normal when I start thinking music.. Were you a fan of the TV show Angels ? Maybe Emergency Ward 10 ? Doctor Finlay on the old cats whisker perhaps !

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#8
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 3:45 AM

I'm sure ER will not mind, as long as we don't do this.(spot the Madness impersonation!!?)

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#10
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 4:40 AM
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#9
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 4:01 AM

Angels - yes, but I'm too young to remember the other two...I believe my mother has reminised about them.

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#11
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 4:51 AM

... Me too ! My Granma told me about Angels. Of course I'm usually living the past.

Did you like the Tram I stuck you on ? How could I resist - Just don't 'Alan-Bradly-fy' me !

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#12
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 5:00 AM

Nearly forgot , how about a little secret Brit tribute corner.

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#13
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 5:06 AM

STOP STOP STOP (all the dancing - points if you can identify the song & artist) with the youtube link. The Guardian software won't let me look!

It's not fair <wail> I can't join in the fun. I'll take my ball home...

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#14
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 5:28 AM

It's so much fun to tease you though !

Oh OK then , It was a clip of George Melly pictures to the song '..and I think to myself what a wonderful world..' I wasn't a huge fan , but he was a great chap all the same.

Is the Guardian still a 'Pinko-rag' as I once heard it described ? <snigger> Also have they sorted out the spilling troubles from years ago , and do they advertise 'real' jobs ? I am on the case of a man from the times for crappy reporting ( I ran a little experiment on the supposed Severn wonders of the world. Beware there are 2 other similar threads that thought it was all serious vote counting) If he doesn't answer soon I shall really start to pester him.

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#15
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 6:22 AM

Nil points for failing to identify The Hollies.

Never did like George Melly, but did you hear the tribute to him on R4's Last Words (aired Friday and Sunday last week)?

Saw your SEVEN wonders experiment (I couldn't find any reference to the wonderful west country river there) - very amusing.

I don't read that particluar newspaper...but you'd already guessed that.

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#16
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 6:44 AM

"Never did like George Melly": - Not even with the Stranglers?

Leave Kris alone - he's not heavy, he's a softy really, even if he is a bit of a square.

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#17
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:01 AM

LMAO

You two had better be'ave , I keep note you know ! Spongebob had a lame imitation of my tune.

Just for poor poor ER - It's the CLANGERS ! Yeah. Googlefight ! hang on ;

Clangers :257,000

Noggin the Nog :60.900

The Soupdragon kicked your ass GM - 29,900 to 995 ! ha-ha

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#19
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:15 AM

The Clangers! yay! I love the Clangers. Noggin the Nog was before my time...but Ivor was great.

[Look guys - there's more to the internet than youtube!!!!]

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#18
In reply to #16

Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:02 AM

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Don't make me angry - you wouldn't like me when I'm angry.

Heavy and soft are not opposites - or are you trying to say that our Kris is a bit of a lightweight? We all know he's no hardman...and I'd just like to make it clear that he's not my brother and I'm not going to carry him anywhere, however lightweight he might be!

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#20
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:27 AM

GM is just per verte d

He's Jealous of our symbiosis. Hadn't I told you ?

I bet he likesRhubarb !

Doesn't nany let you see any video site in the day ? ootube is just so handy.I keep it running in the background

Ivor is a little too , well how can I put it , 'Welsh' for me. All sort of brooding and talk singy-songy. Wales is nice , but there's too many Welsh people there.. I might be pushing my luck to start on gg-inger as well.

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#21
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:34 AM

This better?

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#22
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:46 AM

As long as the Rhubarb comes with Custard! Dobededo dobededo...

T the TE needs to be in the original - not the Britt Allcroft Liverpudlian version. And part of Thomas's Island is modelled on Wales...and I've been to Walney Island!!

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#23
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 7:53 AM

Hey , I never heard of it , but Walney has that song again ! Are you conning Nanny ER !

Thomas does get everywhere ;

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#24
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 8:08 AM

Link doesn't work :o(

Walney Island off Barrow-in-Firness, which despite what the Chewits advert said, never had a bus station to start with!

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#28
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 1:21 PM

We'll need to set the man from the ministry on you for that!

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#29
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 2:34 PM

Excellent dude ! I gotta paste a bit to annoy poor constrained ER ;

July 11, 2007 — Scientists have explained mathematically why the famous "silly walks" of Monty Python's John Cleese have never caught on in the long history of Homo sapiens.

The giant, leg-twirling strides of silly walks may enable a person to leap around swiftly but are simply too expensive in metabolic energy compared to conventional locomotion, according to a paper published on Wednesday by Britain's Royal Society.

Silly walks gathered cult status in the British comedy TV show Monty Python's Flying Circus, when the gangling Cleese, dressed in a pin-stripe suit and bowler hat, cavorted around as a bureaucrat in a "Ministry of Silly Walks," a fictitious government department tasked with helping fund and develop all forms of silly walks including a joint Franco-British effort "La Marche Futile."

Manoj Srinavasan and Andy Ruina, researchers in applied mechanics at New York's Cornell University, drew up a geometrical model of human walking and running.

They found that, in essence, each leg is a "telescoping actuator" that can change its length.

*********

Only in America..

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#32
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 3:34 AM

<shrug> - couldn't read the first one, the second one is what Kris has posted (why would it annoy me?) and the last link was fun.

When you said Men from the Ministry, I thought you meant this

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#33
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 4:57 AM

(why would it annoy me?) - yet another of our "YouTube" postings - this time to the original MoFW sketch. You really need to get nanny sorted, what with all the fun you're missing!

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#34
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 5:23 AM

But Kris didn't paste/post a youtube link - he pasted the text from a different link...ne'er mind!

The rain's stopped, sun's coming out and I've come to work on the mbike today! Weeee

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#35
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 9:57 AM

That reminds me. Have any of you guys read Parkinsons book about the eponymous Law? I did years back,very funny and very true.

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#36
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 11:17 AM

No - can you supply ref/ISBN?

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#37
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/12/2007 7:32 PM

Just went rooting and can't find it.It's got to be in here somewhere cos I just don't chuck stuff like that out (I was going to scan it - one of those good old penguin books in a funny bluish colour). I'll look some more and get back, meantime have a laugh at this gem from my shelves;

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#25
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 9:12 AM

The missing link between Wales and Man?

The author used many different islands for inspiration - slate islands included, perhaps?

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#26
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 10:01 AM

<nod> saw the first two links. Love the third - I guess all the photos were taken on the same day...as they're all in sunshine - LOL

(yes I know - Tiree has the highest sunshine hours - I got a suntan there in November a few years back)

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#27
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 10:50 AM

I know - just planning this year's trip there.

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#31
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 2:42 PM

I think Tiree's got one of those funky 'singing' rocks as well hasn't it ? I had some really tasty lamb-burgers on Muck once.

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#30
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Re: Episode 7 - A Duality of Heavenly Bodies

07/11/2007 2:39 PM

Hey I've been to Seil ! Frightened the crap out of my family by taking them the 'easy' way up a cliff. Really interesting place. I just missed the World skimming competition .

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