Teabags and Sugar

When making a pot of tea, I tend to add teabags and sugar at the same time; once the tea has brewed, I give it a stir, remove the teabags, add milk, and then with the aid of a knitted tea-cosy I get several hot mugs of tea in succession and can keep working without the need to return to the kitchen.

However, when I do return to the kitchen a recurring question bounces around my head: how much sugar is absorbed by the teabag before it is removed from the pot? i.e. exactly how much is the taste affected and how much energy is lost? Continue reading Teabags and Sugar

The Sun|Netscape Alliance Corporate Anthem

Back in the last century after Netscape merged with AOL, a 3-year deal was struck between AOL and Sun Microsystems such that the Professional Services groups from Sun and Netscape would work together on projects that benefited both companies. The Netscape server software became (to all intents and purposes) jointly owned and developed, and Sun paid AOL a large retainer for each year of the deal regardless of how much software it actually sold. Our small and specialised consultancy group got a lot bigger overnight. The joint venture was initially called “The Sun|Netscape Alliance”, though after a couple of tongue-twisting months a less orally demanding brand name of iPlanet was announced. Continue reading The Sun|Netscape Alliance Corporate Anthem

One million road petitioners can't be wrong, can they?

The experimental petition system that Downing Street is running has generated it’s first 1,000,000 signature petition: it asks the PM to “scrap the planned vehicle tracking and road pricing policy” and it’s a great example of how public opinion is not necessarily good for the public. Continue reading One million road petitioners can't be wrong, can they?

Astronauts: The Focused and The Fragile

If you’re going to do something where you have just one shot, then you have to get it right first time, there can be no deviation. This is a very different requirement to just getting it right every time after a short teething period . Space exploration is full of one-shot right first time problems. For special problems you need special people. Continue reading Astronauts: The Focused and The Fragile

That Ozone Seaside Smell

Picture this: it’s a sunny day at the seaside and you’re enjoying an icecream. The human predilection to follow scripted conversation formats is such that you cannot fail to overhear somebody appreciatively inhale before joyously proclaiming “mmmmm, smell that sea air!”, to which a companion will invariably offer a helpfully informative “ah yes, that’s ozone“. Continue reading That Ozone Seaside Smell