Birdsong Radio

It’s a radio channel and all they play all day, every day is…go on, have a guess!


I listened for ten minutes this morning but I have to have it quite loud otherwise the noise from the birds in our back garden tends to drown it out. 


It drives the cat nuts as well.  I caught her trying to get into the dishwasher, either because she thought that’s where the bird song was coming from, or because she has actually gone mad and it was a suicide bid.


Perhaps they’ll broadcast other sounds as well, like whales crashing onto the beach, or cats singing, or that shuffling noise made by people queuing in the Post Office. 

Add the smell of sweaty clothes and hair gel and you can actually believe you’re there.





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The whole is contained in every part

Saturday night in the ‘Slug and Philosopher’ and the punters are relaxing after a hard week of work, watching football and junk food eating.  I can see that Old Ted has something on his mind, but he waits until Wayne and Bert sit with us before he starts up.

“So Wayne, I’m a bit worried about something I’ve read in the paper.”
“What’s that Ted, beer prices going up again?” said Wayne.
“No, mate, something else.  I was reading about the work of Alain Aspect.”

I’ve never seen Wayne lost for words before but this time his mouth gaped wide as his lower jaw slackened off.  He had to take a couple of gulps of lager to cover his bewilderment. 
“You’ve been reading about Aspect in the paper?”
“Yeah, it was in ‘The Sporting Life’.”
“The Sporting Life!?”  Wayne, finished the rest of his lager and wiped some confusion from his top lip.
“What’s so surprising?”  I asked. 
Wayne looked at me as though he’d never seen me, the pub’ or planet Earth before. 
“What’s surprising is that Ted, a man who normally only looks in the paper for the semi-naked girls and the odds for the horses, is reading about the most advanced physics in a rag not fit to wrap my fish and chips!  That’s what’s surprising!”
“Who’s ‘Alan Aspect’ then?”  I ventured.

Alain Aspect is from the University of Paris.  His findings seem to show that sub-atomic particles can communicate with each other instantaneously whether they be two metres or two million metres apart, thus exceeding the speed of light.”

“But I thought Einstein said that nothing could exceed the speed of light,” chimed in Bert.
“Don’t you bloody start!’  Wayne cast him a frosty look.  “You’re right though, nothing can exceed the speed of light, and so if you believe Aspect’s findings you may also believe that reality as we traditionally portray it does not exist.

Some have suggested that all subatomic particles are connected, each one of them a perfect complete image of the whole universe, they all exist as one entity.  The whole is contained in every part.  Only our minds separate them so that we see separate objects and perceive distance, in the same way that our brains slice time into measurable, linear slices.”

Wayne waved at the barmaid for her to bring more beer.
She waved back in a distracted way but remained rooted behind the counter.
“And that means that every atom in your body is connected to every other atom in the universe,” Wayne continued. 
“We are suspended in an ocean of infinite possibility from where our minds pluck particles which they weave into the threads of our existence.”

“Yeah, that’s what’s worrying me,” said Ted.  “My mind could have created any existence for me it wished but it’s chosen to make me a poor, near alcoholic, mildly smelly, sadly married pensioner.”

“It’s actually worse for you than that,” said Bert.
“It’s your turn to weave your way to the bar and pluck out enough particles to conjure up a round of beers!”

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Matron is looking worried.

“Doctor, quick come with me; we’ve got a trouble maker in the Private Wing!”
“What’s the problem?”
“Some old guy getting delusional and he’s a stroppy one.  There he is now, the bald man in the tartan dressing gown.”
“You get on the ‘phone to security Matron, I’ll try and calm him down.”

“Hello sir, why are you out of your ward, is there a problem?”
“Yes, there is a bloody problem!  I don’t need to be in this bloody place and nobody will listen to me!”
“And what’s your name, sir?”
“I’m the Duke of bloody Edinburgh!  Don’t you people know anything?”

“Oh, I see.  And when did you start to think you were the Duke of Edinburgh?”
“When?  Since nineteen forty bloody seven, that’s when!”
“And who did you think you were before then?”
“Before then I was a Prince of Greece and Denmark, a member of the Danish-German House of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg.”
“Mmmm… I see. Why don’t I give your family a call and get somebody down here?”

The doctor dials the number on his mobile and explains the situation, then turns to ‘the Duke’. 
“They say that if you can name the footman who has ironed the Royal shirts for the last fifteen years, they’ll believe you’re the Duke and come and fetch you.”

The old man frowns for a moment.
“Tell them to bugger off!”

The sound of laughter from the ‘phone is cut off by the doctor.
“Time for bed old man, time for bed.”

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A time and a pace

A survey of sex therapists concluded the optimal amount of time for sexual intercourse was 3 to 13 minutes. Dr. Irwin Goldstein, editor of the Journal of Sexual Medicine, cited a four-week study of 1,500 couples in 2005 that found the median time for sexual intercourse was 7.3 minutes. (Women in the study were armed with stopwatches.)

“Hold on a minute love, I’ve got to start the watch. OK?  Ready, go!”

“Oooh crap!  I’ve got my leg trapped in the sheet, I’m going to have to stop.  Quick, quick stop the watch!”
“But you’ve only been going 23.5 seconds!”

“I don’t care, I’ve got bloody cramp now.”
“Well how can I enter 23.5 seconds as a result?”

“You can’t enter it as a result. We’ll have to start again and add the two times together.”

“But that’s not fair, you’ve had a rest!”

“A rest!  You call agonising leg cramp ‘a rest’?  Besides, who’s going to bloody know!”

“If you’re going to cheat, we may as well not bother at all!”

“I knew it would end like this; why can’t you do anything without a fuss?” 
“It’s you that’s got the cramp!”

“Look, let’s not bother.  You enter 7.3 minutes as our result and we can both get some sleep.”
“Suits me!”

“Stupid sex journal therapists.”


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In space no one can hear you scream

 Disruption at Heathrow’s new £4.3bn Terminal 5 is continuing for a fifth day, with 54 flights grounded and a backlog of 15,000 bags.

A spokesman stated that the reason for the backlog was ‘technical’ and he was not authorised to discuss it.  However, our roving reporter, Tim Flaps, found one baggage handler who was willing to be interviewed, although his voice is disguised here to protect him.

“Yeah, well, the reason for the chaos is that we have less baggage handlers now,” said Brian Wilson, a baggage handler who did not wish to be named. 
“Is that because the new technology means less workers are needed?” 

“No, it’s because they’ve started to disappear.”
“They haven’t been turning up for their shift because they don’t like the new technology?”

“No Mister Flaps, they’ve been clocking on ok.  They just disappear.”
“Where are they going then?”

“Through holes in the baggage tunnels walls like this hole here.  Look I’ll just move the Poker table and the beer barrels to give you a better view.”   
“That’s a large hole, Brian.”

“Yeah, that’s what we in the business call a ‘man-size’ hole, and it’s cut through two inches of steel!”

“What’s that gooey goo around the edges, where the metals melting?”
“It appears to be some form of organic acid, mate.”

“And what’s that stuff on the floor, like snake-skin?”
“That’ll be discarded carapace, we find that in all the baggage tunnels.”

“That’s very interesting, I think I’ll just pop my head in for a closer look.”
“I wouldn’t do that if I was you, Mr Flaps.”

“Mr Flaps?  Mr Flaps, are you there?”


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None so blind as those that will not see

28 March

Why is Google black today?

Apparently Google have put the lights out to help spread the word about ‘Earth Hour’.

Tonight between 8 and 9pm you are encouraged to participate in this world wide event and turn your lights out.  Wanting to find out more I tried to get to the Earth Hour website but it’s unavailable.  Looks like they’ve turned it off to save energy or something.

Anyway, the main thing is that by turning off your electricity you will be doing something and this will be appreciated by somebody somewhere else.  It will send a pretty clear warning to the Chinese that if they don’t get their act together we might turn our lights off again.  Probably sometime in the summer when it’s easier to see after dark.

Some people are worried that sitting without lights, TV or microwave for an hour to save energy could be boring, but I would encourage them to get in their cars and go for a drive, see what’s going on.  Perhaps go down to the local Chinese restaurant and encourage them to turn those wasteful ovens and gas hobs off.  Then possibly a visit to the hospital to see how they are coping in Accident and Emergency without electricity.  You could even turn a few things off yourself whilst you’re there to encourage them.

It’s all about encouragement.

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