Author Archives: Gwilym

Berlin

I went back to Berlin!

I went for a week this time, the last adventure was a quite exhasting. I last went there as a backpacker, arriving in around 5am, due to some trains just utterly failing to turn up. This time I had a full week, I was still recovering from my surgery, and to boot the weather was aweful, drissly rain.

How ever I got to visit, the

  • Brandenburg Gate
  • Reichstag building
  • Berlin Wall Memorial (Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer)
  • Museum Island ( Pergamon Museum )
  • Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
  • East Side Gallery
  • Checkpoint Charlie
  • Alexanderplatz
  • Potsdamer Platz
  • Berlin Cathedral
  • Fernsehturm de Berlín ( Romantic Date )

Other Notes

Erdnuß Locken are my own personal form of Herion, thesse peanut flavored wotsits are just the best.

The TV tower was one of the highlights of my Trip.

So much Vegan food everywhere.


 

The City and the Stars

This was my Holiday reading in Berlin. I wanted to get into reading, having not sit and read a book since I finished Tau Zero a few months back. My world has mostly been podcasts and audio books.

I really enjoyed this, I think its the most literary of Clarke’s books. Normally when I am reading something of Clarke’s, I am reading it for the science, and a glimpse of what he sees as the future. I am reading for the world, and the ideas. This time I read because I wanted to know what happened next. All the sci-fi goodness and speculation was there, I enjoyed all the concepts such as the memory banks and the create composed of pure thought. But I also needed to know what Alvin was going to do next. It was a madcap journey though many of Clarke’s ideas, and it was fun ride.

Hyperion

I just  enjoyed reading/Listening to the Hyperion Cantos for the first time. The first book, Hyperion was excellent, it in many ways sits in the Space Opera Genre. Its better to say its really a selection of short stories, as 7 travelers sit and talk about what brought them to the place they are, each tells a different story, providing a new perspective on the universe the Cantos is set in. Allowing you to see the old stories in a new light, and unraveling a small thread of the mystery you feel all though the book.

The Universe is fresh and original in many ways, and I can see how many of it elements quickly became tropes for other modern sci-fi.

Paper Mache


Gun Powder & Rocket Candy (Work in Progress)

What better to do with a rainy bank holiday than to make some Gun Powder and Rocket Candy.

My recipe for the Gunpowder was

  • 75g KNO3 (Saltpeter)
  • 15g Charcoal
  • 10g Sulfur

The method for this is simple, put it all together then Grind the hell out of it using a mortar and pestle, the more you grind, the finer the particles get, and the more surface area the reaction has to take place on. AKA bigger boom

For my Rocket Candy I went for

  • 60g KNO3 (Saltpeter)
  • 40g Glucose
  • 1 g Fe2O3 ( Iron(III) oxide / Fancy Rust )
  • 30ml Water

The method for this is tiny bit more complicated, mix it all together into a suldge and put it in a hot pan, stir it until the water starts to leave, and the sugar starts to carmalise. Then poor in a rocket motor tube.

Results!

Rocket Candy


 

Rocket Candy with a Gunpowder tip

Waiting for Video


 

Gunpowder

Waiting for Video

Mad Max


I have not entirely recovered from the experience that is this film. I wandered out of the cinema, feeling shaken and confused. I had a less intense reaction last time I was in a car crash . The entire thing is such an intense flood of emotions, fear, joy and trepidation. It inspires as well, it makes me want to be as crazy as the people in this film, it they are so full of passion I want to feel what they feel.

I felt a human connection for almost every character, which in itself is very unique. For a film that’s meant to be an insane adrenaline rush, I felt a closeness and an understanding even for people whose main role really was “#minion 5”.

I have heard talk that people have said that Max did not have enough of a staring role in the movie, which I can understand, I can see what the complaints are based on, but I dont care… Max was brilliant for what he want meant to be. The warn out shell of a man, who has given up and stopped fighting. People don’t snap out of that and he didn’t Max was mad.

This film was insane, and wonderful it was melt your face of… it was rubbing its nipples with sandpaper, and smoothing its balls in chill-sauce. It was a masterpiece that left me a warn out broken man and I loved it.

The Kite Runner

This was the second book I read for Ellie’s and mine Five Books. 

I enjoyed, it a strange sort of messed up way. First it satisfied my love of books where the main character is not a nice, good person. I like my main character to be broken. I think my only real complaint with his book was I think it got a bit caught up with being a “emotional book”, I think it went out of its way to be almost abusive at at times. It was over the top.

What I really love about it was the setting and the timeline, it gave me a first person impression as to what it was like to grow up in a changing Afghanistan.

Flatland by Edwin Abbott

I was unprepared for this book, I thought I was going to just have a little bit of fun playing around with dimensions, and imagining how a creature of two dimensions might live which is exactly what I got, but I got much more as well. Abbotts, fun book about geometry also turns out to a social commentary on the treatment of woman, and the class structure of Victorian society a a topic I was not expecting, it also takes some rather dark turns towards the end. Again I feel reflecting the nasty end to which many great thinkers have gone…

Thought please go enjoy flatland, for being… flatland, especially if you have ever asked a question like “what would happen if I left earth and went to the edge of the universe”, you might find some answears from a …. higher dimension 😉

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