The old days: Thought in head. Speech through mouth.
The old days: Cell phone off. Someone might call me. With work. Wouldn’t want that. “How come you never answer your mobile?” Switch it on to call other people. Quickly switch if off again. Occasionally lend it to soldiers on duty at “incidents” or outbreaks of “bother” to let them call back home to Britain – in exchange for them giving access or information. Otherwise peace. Quiet. Meeting someone? Make an arrangement and stick to it.
These days: Cell phone on. Someone might call me. With work. Freelance. Keen. And on duty to respond to emergencies like forgotten PE kit, after school activities with the bus long gone. Emails. Audio recording. Writing. Maps. Twitter. Facebook. Etc. Etc. If only it came with a pillow I could sleep on it.
These days: No need for any thought in head. Adjust sitting position. Then, using either buttock, accidentally trigger cell phone and dial a random person in phone’s address book. Nothing to it. You’re talking through your arse. That’s progress for ya. Just pray your backside hasn’t dialled Australia.
Or the police. Really Continue reading
It took a soldier with a huge brain inside an outsized head to solve this security problem.
Last Saturday I set you a puzzle to solve. It was a security dilemma that sent a military guard at one of London’s Olympic venues scurrying off to find his sergeant. I laid out the scenario for you here, and asked you to guess what the sergeant decided to do – or what he should have done.
And I offered a prize for the correct or best answer – a CD single, I love the noise it makes by Declan Sinnott.
If you haven’t already, you can still have a guess. The original dilemma is described here.
But it was basically whether or not a spectator could/ would/ should be let into an Olympic venue with bottles inside which the water was frozen solid – keeping in mind that it’s forbidden to bring in liquids.
Here are some of your suggestions as to what happened Continue reading
Pic from InsideThe Games.biz
The security at London Olympic venues is now being provided by soliders. As far as I’ve heard, they’ve been polite, reassuring and quite hot. Phoarr! (That’s according to one Olympic volunteer anyway.)
But here’s a security dilemma that left the soldiers scratching their heads. And there’s a prize for the best (or correct) solution supplied by YOU.
It was like this: The first military searcher could not decide. He called in his sergeant. The sergeant pondered a while, before eventually coming up with a verdict.
The puzzle is coming up in a moment. But your challenge, dear reader, is to tell me in the comments below, what you think the army sergeant decided. (You’re also welcome to say what he should have said or done.)
So here’s the scenario:
A parent with accompanying children arrived at the entrance to the Olympic venue with two full plastic water bottles.
The rule is that no liquids are allowed to be taken into the site. (For security reasons. Free water is available inside. Empty vessels are permitted.)
But this resourceful parent, anticipating a hot thirsty day, had frozen the water bottles overnight. As it happened, the day was overcast, and chillier than expected – and the ICE HAD NOT MELTED Continue reading
See – I told you it was a tank. This British Centurion tank was out during Operation Motorman. So perhaps it was a tank I saw. The photo is by Eamon Melaugh – click on the pic for more of his work.
Memory is tricky. Childhood memories even trickier.
Which memories are real. Which are from stories or photographs?
Top Boy shares his first memory with me. He was running up and down the street in from of our house. Past houses, back past houses, back past houses again, then past a house with a low white wall and a blue triangular prismatic top… (the shape details are quite extensive and go on for some time, so I’ve skipped them – funnily enough he’s now a big science fan) …then he fell over and hurt his knee. What happened next? Doesn’t remember.
Mine is one of these. I don’t know which.
1. When I was five (or thereabouts) we moved house from a more troubled to a less troubled area of Belfast. I don’t remember anything before or during the journey until we turned onto the new street. It was more shaded, quieter, greener, with trees and hedges. I remember that. Nothing before. Except maybe for…
2. Seeing my first tank. Very exciting. Big. High. Wide. Dark, maybe green but definitely spattered with white paint. On the road outside the Busy Bee shopping centre in Belfast Continue reading
The Colonel with cheerleaders
Welcome to the latest entry in the The Day I Met… Competition. This time the story involves a colonel and some Irish coffee – a potentially dangerous combination.
The story is by Grannymar. But which colonel is she talking about? Continue reading
I’m telling my children about Hitler. But how do I teach them about Stalin?
Looking back to when I was at primary school, I was appallingly ignorant about the Holocaust.
I don’t want my children to be as in the dark. Continue reading
I joined our village’s Remembrance Sunday parade and service this morning. Though I have an instinctive uneasiness about people in uniform marching through my community – a hangover from growing up in Northern Ireland – this is one of the few such occasions of which I am proud for my family to be a part.
There is nothing grand about our Continue reading