Heroes : Professor Brian Cox

In which the universe is huge.

The radiant cheekboned one is back soon on the BBC with a show in which Professor Brian Cox explains Why are we here? How did the universe make us? Are we alone? And what is our future? And why the answers to all these questions need to be explained from the top of a mountain.

This follows on from “Wonders of Life” where he tells us that biology is basically a subset of chemistry which is of course a branch of physics, “Wonders of the Universe” where everything is massive and brilliant and huge and physics, and “Wonders of the Solar System” where everything is slightly less massive and slightly less brilliant and slightly less huge but still physics.

I imagine the answer to many of those questions will be physics.

Professor Brian Cox, speaking at the Royal Ins...
Isn’t pointing brilliant?!

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Not-Heroes : Frodo Baggins

In which Frodo fails to make the sacrifice he set out to make.

Returning home from the end of the last Hobbit movie Me and Mrs G had “that argument” again. Mrs G and me rarely argue, I would like to put this down to the fact we are very similar in beliefs and temperament so we have some kind of harmonious relationship, or it may just be that I’m right all the time.

Religion, politics, we are fine with even when we have polar opposite views. We accept that the other person has reasons why they would take the position they do. There is only one thing we can’t ever seem to see eye to eye over and that is whether Frodo Baggins is a hero.

Before I give considered reasonings I should do this in a scientific manner by presenting my hypothesis, so here we go.

Frodo Baggins is not a hero because he fails in the heroes quest, the task he is assigned he fails and then does not make a large enough sacrifice to redeem himself. Continue reading “Not-Heroes : Frodo Baggins”

Heroes : Teddy Roosevelt

In which I take the advice of the hardest man to ever exist.

You can’t go wrong in life if you live your life according to the rule “What would Teddy Roosevelt do?”, although it may only be possible to follow this through if you have cojones the size of a moose’s. The 26th President of the United States was potentially the most manly man to have ever lived, and any advice he ever gave deserves being listened to.

So today at work we were told to follow some Roosevelt words of wisdom:

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Heroes : Sergei Korolyov

In which I wish all sides in the Space Race could have got together for all mankind’s leaps.

I believe one of the greatest contributions a person can make is the advancement of the human race, and will put that above their own personal ambition. Some will try to push the boundaries of what is possible, while others will only do so motivated by money and power (looking at you T. A. Edison).

In some cases what you may be trying to achieve is a matter of life and death, not because the science is that important but failure may not be looked on kindly by those who are expecting miracles.

One of my own personal idols is a relatively unknown Russian, Sergei Korolyov. The reasons why he is one of my heroes is not exactly rocket science.

Well actually it is rocket science.
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Heroes : Alan Turing

In which an enigma is cracked.

Every government has done things it’s not proud of, history can be a harsh judge especially when past events are filtered through a modern sensibility lens. What was seen as deviant 60 years ago is now seen as normal and causes embarrassment for those in charge.

Such is the case of the great Alan Turing. A man who did more for his country than many others and was then treated inhumanly by a government he had helped to protect. This week the current powers that be are planning to offer him a full pardon, what he deserves is an apology.

For those that don’t recognise the name, Turing was a key member of the team at Bletchley Park that cracked the Enigma machine. This was used by the Germans in the Second World War to send encrypted messages which were for all intents untraceable. Turing helped piece together the algorithms that led to the Allies being able to listen in to the communications of the Nazi war machine.

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Childhood heroes

In which I remember my childhood heroes being bigger.

When I was younger, getting my hair many years from now, I must have had heroes. Who those heroes were are lost to the ravages of time, I can barely remember what colour socks I put on this morning let alone recall which mid 1980’s pop culture icon would have been someone I aspired to be.

I’ve had many heroes since then, especially since being able to read and learn about the world. I can’t imagine as I sat on the mat at school I was professing my admiration at the work of Crick and Watson. If I had I should be able to remember being told that I was such a “precocious” child and to shut up.
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Heroes : Ron Swanson

In which I want all the bacon and all the eggs.

For the past few weeks I have been able to watch one of the great philosophers of our time. A man of our times for our times, and who I wish was a personal mentor of mine. Not that Mrs G shares this feeling, for she is worried that I may end up being like the great Ron Swanson.

This has all come about because we have been binge watching “Parks and Recreation” so I’ve been immersed in the goings on of the Pawnee government for the past two weeks. As a result the sayings and teachings of Ron Swanson have become an unofficial mantra for me. The man is like a real-life Teddy Roosevelt.

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Heroes : Xander Harrris

In which I admire the least special of the Scoobies.

One of my greatest academic achievements was the load of psychobabble I once told a tutor about representation in Buffy the Vampire Slayer (nonsense about eyes, souls, outsiders, blah, blah). So I think it’s fitting that when thinking about someone who doesn’t get the credit he deserves Alexander LaVelle Harris sprung to mind.


For those not in the know about Xander Harris he is one of the original ‘scoobies’ and has been an essential part of the team that has prevented the Hellmouth from opening on numerous occasions.Yet his part in this is often overlooked due to his normalness, he is the archetypal everyman on the periphery of the action. He is the representative of the viewer, watching but not involved.

That is why I am glad I have got the opportunity to interview the Shaggy of the Slayer-Scooby Gang
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Not-Heroes : Thomas Alva Edison

In which genius is 99 % stealing.

As a member of Team Tesla anytime I see an article flattering T.A. Edison my hackles start to rise. He may be eminently quotable but he is also one of those people who “won” history and therefore got to write his own record of events.

A recent Daily Post article has discussed how we can learn from Edison especially in his role as the inventor of the phonograph, a commercially viable lightbulb, and the motion picture camera. It was apparently all trial and error, which would be great if these claims were true.

Instead Edison was not:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

Instead he was more:

“I have not failed. I’ve just found ways to steal or bully my best ideas from other people.”

The truth is that Edison was not someone who gave up, he was someone who imitated and claimed others work as his own.

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Hereos : David Attenborough

In which I honour a TV legend

As a child there was one job I thought must be the greatest in the world, you got to travel and see amazing things, entertain and educate others and seem to have an all round great time. As a child I wanted to have the job of Sir David Attenborough. Perhaps subconsciously that’s what led me to try doing both a zoology, and then a media production degree. After all surely learning how to make TV programmes and being an expert in animals is the right way to go about it?

David Attenborough has been on British TV screens for so long, and has played such an important role in our media culture that (even though not dead) he deserves some form of celebration of his life. Rather than try to convince you how good he is, I thought I would just let his actions speak for him.

Enjoy the Wonders of David Attenborough. Continue reading “Hereos : David Attenborough”