Saturday, 27 June 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 38 Young Engineer …




Freddie Howells is that youngster who is caring, compassionate and clever … he has won two awards with his inventions …


 … he uses ‘my favourite’ computer with a big heart, and the general-purpose programming language … the Raspberry Pi … 



His great aunt has dementia, which leads to a few challenges … she does not recognise friend or foe and, who quite often falls and then ‘is lost’ … i.e. doesn’t know what to do, or maybe hurt …

Raspberry Pi logo

Freddie using Raspberry Pi created two inventions to assist with these problems: 




-     a home security system, complete with facial recognition cameras …

-     and a fall alert system, which dispatches a robot with a GPS tracking device to find his aunt …


Both inventions reassure the family that their relative is safer – the door will not open unless the system recognises the visitor, and will alert the family when she falls over, so she is not left on the floor without help.


I found out about Freddie when he was recognised by the Big Bang organisation …


Big Bang Digital 2020 – Science, Engineering andCovid-19 (Tuesday 14 July 2020) celebrates the amazing work of scientists and engineers in a pandemic …


'Woman teaching geometry'
found in Medieval reprint of
Euclid's 'Elements' (1310)


… letting students realise how important scientists and engineers really are ... they literally shape the world around us …





Showcasing how to learn on the job, go to college or university or combine different routes – the Fair opens doors for all entrepreneurs …

 
NASA team of engineers with a ventilator
they created for the Covid-19 crisis
It sounds like the youngsters love the ambience of the Fair – and I’m sure this year will really appreciate having it online …



Learn more here:  Big Bang Fair Digital 2020 


The pandemic is making sure we all understand how important STEM is at the beginning of a young child’s educative life …

S Science
T Technology
E Engineering
M Mathematics


Encourage our children to try all things, persevere, be curious, as they will be our light in the future …




We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light


Big Bang Fair - Careers at the Fair  


Here's Freddy with his Home Security System - April 2019 ... his first win.  AdaFruits post on his win.

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Friday, 19 June 2020

Write … Edit … Publish … Bloghop/IWSG hop: Urban Nightmare …




Another frigging failure for WEP … ‘cos of a freakin’ submicroscopic infectious agent causing frantic frights across the planet …

Greater Tokyo

Urban emptiness … absolute pleasure, utter bliss … no noise …


Town dwellers delight … insects embrace, birdsong trills …



The English Robin - which
can be heard in full song

People in desperate times … their world turned upside down … a writer with no creative inspiration for the prompt …




… as Francisco Goya artistically expressed in 1797/8 with the Los Caprichos … a set of 80 prints …


The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters
by Francisco Goya (1797/8)

a medium for his 

condemnation of the 

universal follies and 

foolishness in the society 

in which he found himself



... it’s an urban nightmare … what will we write, what will we tell our children or leave in stories and tales …





… the only recommendation is that we do not succumb – Goya’s The Sleep of Reason cannot Produce Monsters … we must endure so that our future will have a rainbow end …




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Monday, 15 June 2020

Asparagus …




During this rough time … and having decided I didn’t need a car – the buses were good around town, and the train would get me out and about … but t-h-e-n … a virus would descend …

Botanical - Asparagus officinalis

 … still Eastbourne is fine – and I’ve managed quite easily – walking back with my shopping – there’s not enough to warrant a delivery … and frankly laziness prevails if I went that route … so I’ll slug it back … good for my arm exercises I gather … ?!



But … withdrawal symptoms hit when the asparagus season came to be … usually about six to eight weeks: mid May to near the end of June …


Oh how delicious!!


I looked around in town … not much to be had – and a friend offered to get me ‘stuff’ from Waitrose if I needed – I asked if she’d get me some asparagus … that’s been the order each week recently … decent bundles … I’ve been very grateful.




Toys on Eastbourne seafront ... 
The word got round and living in a converted house with a few flats … one day – I ended up with three lots of asparagus dropped up to the flat … 




Royal Automobile Club - historic roadside telephone box
... and one younger friend is brilliant … she brings me asparagus, broad beans and rhubarb: all fresh at this time of year – I can’t easily get deprived!!




Amazingly for 7 years they used to live on Salt Spring Island off Vancouver Island … small world!  So at some stage … we’ll have some good natters: in the meantime I enjoy her deliveries!


These quotes appear in Wiki … and I thought would amuse you … or your kids or grandchildren … the kind of things that can give families laugh out loud hysterics …



A few stems of asparagus eaten, should give our urine a disagreeable odour …  “Letter to the Royal Academy of Brussels” written in 1781 by Benjamin Franklin.

Gives me a chance to use
'my chamber pot' again ...


Or … perhaps even funnier …





Asparagus “… transforms my chamber-pot into a flask of perfume.”
Marcel Proust (1871 - 1922)




The track made from the dumper trucks up towards
Beachy Head and the protected site - you can just see
the reef ... 


We’ve moved on a little from complete lock-down … I’ve decided I don’t like people or crowds … my own little world is still my happy space!  I will see what’s happening tomorrow when I go into town.





Frogs have it easy ... they eat what bugs them!
The way at times I've felt like ...I'll stick to asparagus,
while the season lasts ... 

A couple of pics for Ian, who asked after the dumper trucks taking shingle up to the Site of Specific Scientific Interest … getting it in by boat is not possible … because of the reefs and the protected site.




It’s not easy to write up things at the moment … but since we are all human – we need to read more, to understand our cultures from all sides of the discussion …

Take care …

Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Thursday, 11 June 2020

Pesky Beach Flies, essentially Eastbourne updates …



Well a few things to update you on … we had a Python, a Hippopotamus – not real in the 21st century, bookshop and hotel fires, shingle history, and those pesky flies …


Looking down four road levels to the reef and sea
The python – yes: one was released into the foliage near where I quite often drop down to reach the lower promenade … 



Sub-Saharan Ball Python


... snakes I admire, but have never been my favourite …




Waiting at an ice-cream or cafe stop over ...
Hippo with dog watering bowl
Quickly moving on to a much larger animal – the hippo – around 600,000 years ago exotic animals roamed our rivers and valleys, when we and Europe were one landmass … this hippo though prefers walkers with dogs …


In the midst of the repairs
Fires – Camilla’s bookshop was getting new facades, floor and ceilings, book shelves, signage when I went past at the end of May – and met Camilla … asking after the state of the shop and Archie, the shop’s parrot, he is safe … while it happened to be his birthday – all of 25 years on May 28th … so I think she was pleased someone asked after him. 




They lost lots of books … as the water damage went down into the basement … and now there’s the smoke damage to look into – still at least it will re-open when the time is right …


Spring bedding from the carpet gardens has been removed,
making way for the summer plantings.
Scaffolding in and around the Claremont, while
the Burlington Hotel is the building run you can see

The Claremont Hotel is being propped up, and has ongoing work being done to its utilities … but the Burlington Hotel, next to it, has lost its main customer base – a coach tour operator which has gone bust.  


How these two hotels and at least one other in Eastbourne can cope – we will wait and see … times are a challenge.


'Rainbowing' in action

Those shingle workers are at it again … I gather this spraying technique is known as ‘rainbowing’ … 




Looking west towards Beachy Head -
during early lock-down
... the shingle is unloaded about a mile from Beachy Head, as Holywell is found at a Site of Special Scientific Interest … dumper trucks take it along the beach on that last mile.




Working area ... during lock-down - when no tempting
ice-cream parlours would be open.

The system is that the dredger, Sospan Dau, with its full load arrives at high tide … discharges its load ...



... leaves for the Owers bank to the east of the Isle of Wight … to suck up another load of shingle sediment … and repeat the process.


The Owers - to the east of the Isle of Wight,
off the West Sussex coast - shingle banks
Sospan Dau is a Welsh name … originating from a famous folk song, Sosban Fach and Llanelli’s tin plating industry … Sospan being the Welsh for Saucepan and Dau being Welsh for Two … a successor dredger to Sosban Fach (little saucepan).  Please see Wiki!



Weenbrug - a Dutch name from a map of
1583 ... with the shingle banks marked

The Owers Bank has some history too … before the 1500s an early trading port, Rumbrug, could be found … as shown in this Dutch map … 



... but still appears on The Owers shingle banks map of today to the east of the Isle of Wight …


Low tide, the reefs, a groyne, the strandline
on a hot May early evening day

… and now we’ve been lingering far too long on the sticky Eastbourne shore in this time of Covid 19 and our hot sticky May month …




… those pesky beach flies will be doing their good deeds … and no doubt irritatingly dropping in on our sweaty, sun-stoked bodies … the fat squidgy larvae will work their wonders … eating through the flotsam and jetsam curled up onto the shingle after high tide …


Seaweed fly


… reminding us of the ancient ecosystem, that since time began, has been recycling all before it … plump larvae, beetles, flies, insect and spider predators … ready to feed the birds and their chicks.



Dorset's coast (further west) with its
impressive strandline
The strandline is an ancient phenomenon having a unique biodiversity and ecology … which we are only just beginning to understand … let it do its work – we just need to take the dreaded plastic and other particular nasties away with us.


That’s all folks … until I find one more thing I’d like to write up re Eastbourne … but the Sospan Dau ended up linking a Welsh thread to Eastbourne’s seafront …



A bank of vegetation just above the first promenade

The sunny weather has disappeared … down here we have a little much needed rain … take care each and everyone of you …

Extra note on pesky flies: - they're not an irrelevant nuisance on the beach.  The play a key role in cleaning up the debris, without them beachcombers would be knee deep in smelly slime.  There are many species - each one specialising ... rotting seaweed, or bodies of animals ... and all other, except that dreaded plastic ...

Wiki - Sospan Dau ... info on the dreder ... 



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Thursday, 4 June 2020

Raspberry Pi …


Who can resist knowing more about something called Raspberry Pi … one of my favourite summer fruits is the raspberry – fresh from the canes, and reminding me of those early cookery years, when I used to make raspberry parfait as my ‘go to dessert’ …



Raspberry Parfait
 … sorry – deviated away from this ‘little’ computer with a huge heart (actually a processor I gather – as I was informed yesterday by a girlfriend!) - that’s become one of the entrepreneurial essentials during the Covid 19 crisis.




The name, Raspberry Pi, always fascinated me when it first hit my little grey cells about 10 years ago … the media explaining it was such a simple ‘processor’ for all of $35 or £20 (entry level cost), but which can easily be enhanced to increase its processing abilities …



Raspberry Pi 2 Bare BR

Its history started at Cambridge University where it was noted, at the start of this century, that there was a decline in numbers and skills of students applying for Computer Science, which needed to be addressed …




… the Raspberry Pi Foundation was born and as you can gather has taken the world by storm … the name derives from a homage to early computer companies being named after fruit, e.g. Apple, Tangerine Computer Systems, Apricot Computers, and Acorn (promoted by the BBC) which then inspired this microcomputer’s design. 



Raspberry Pi
Logo
The “Pi” derives from the original idea to make a small computer to run using Python, one of the first popular general-purpose programming languages … now easily, and cheaply available for anyone wanting to start their programming journey.




NASA Open Source
Rover
When the 2012 Raspberry Pi upgrade (basic) was first launched … their aim was to sell 1,000 … but as the BBC highlighted it … a hundred thousand units were sold the first day!



So recently when I saw Marco Mascarro, a robotics engineer in California, had posted details of his ventilator developed using a Raspberry Pi – I was really interested, and wanted to write about it ... 



Bogota - the capital of Colombia
… he made the code open source … available to anyone to use or modify, without charge – sharing information … to help others.



The University hospital and institutes in Bogota, Colombia latched on to it, as their need for easily accessible and cheap (or recyclable) components was essential for their Covid patients … they are now adapting Mascarro’s ventilator for their needs in South America.


Raspberry canes with fruits
I had noticed as we became more aware of how appalling this disease is – that entrepreneurs, small manufacturing businesses, one wo/man workers … are being creative and turning their hands to immediate needs (be it ventilators, PPE, gowns, masks,) with incredible speed of achievement.



The Raspberry Pi a small low-cost computer board, originally created to help teach computer coding … but which over the past eight years has been embraced by enthusiasts to form the brains of a wide range of electronics projects, including NASA ... 


 
The logo for how the Raspberry Pi
and its Foundation, established
near Cambridge came about
Incredibly over 30 million of them have been manufactured since their launch … and Raspberry Pi is now the 3rd best-selling general purpose computer platform following the MAC and the PC …



The badge ... for when we post articles
about the good things in life - that others
do and that we see ... it's a monthly hop


As you know I love different stories and I’d wanted to use this for a #WATWB post … but decided it needed to be a little longer … and there’s another aspect – but that will appear when I update about our seafront, the fires at the hotel and bookshop …



Fresh, fresh berries ... 
‘Tis the season of raspberries … moving on from asparagus: another love, rhubarb and the early seasonal vegetables, for example broad beans … all needed for those little grey cells to take on board the uses for Raspberry Pi …



The PiHut – explains Raspberry Pi’s development and how the first prototype came about …




Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories

Saturday, 30 May 2020

We are the World Blogfest # 37 Be thoughtful, be wise, be considerate …




There are so many extraordinary people going above and beyond … but I would like us to be thinking how we can help ourselves, and our world, be fairer, be easier …


 Many will be exhausted, shattered with the experiences they are journeying through … for some there is no let-up, no relief …



The Kind Angel of Peace,
Donetsk, Ukraine


… let’s be prepared, even with our limited knowledge, to think ahead and be leaders … we are wise, we need to forget our doubts and uncertainties …




Puck cartoon 1903 -
Andrew Carnegie's philanthropy
… by showing a common resolve, being pro-active with novel ideas, encourage and help others who are anxious …

Let’s be leaders … think forward for our grandchildren … do all we can today, while planning for tomorrow thus taking that worry away … we’ll be occupied and engaged, not brooding on things we cannot change …




Van Gogh's Wheatfields -
let's leave the land
as we would like it ...
(1890)
Do unto others as you would like them do unto you … seems an appropriate idea at the moment … thinking forward, not for what’s in it for us today, but how we can lay foundations of care and comfort for humanity’s future …




… we all can be philanthropic, wise and inclusive …


… be peaceful by being prepared …



We are the World Blogfest
In Darkness, Be Light



Hilary Melton-Butcher
Positive Letters Inspirational Stories