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Well, it might be the LARGEST interstellar object ever seen - but certainly we've seen dust particles in hyperbolic orbits which also had to be visitors from outside the Solar System. Anyone want to argue ?!!!
Decorative natural phenomena in Stockholm !
Oh NO ! It's that Christmassy feeling ...!
Ah ! This seems to be it ! The Friends Arena. Hello Friends.
We're going in ! Soundcheck time in Stockholm. Is this starting to feel familiar ? It always feels a bit like the Millennium Falcon docking in the Death Star loading bay to me ...!Another warm welcome ! All is well.
Wow ! This is a stupendous place ! More like an aerodrome than an arena! Actually it's a beautifully designed football stadium with a roof. What will it look like tonight ?! I'll let you know !
With an old and good friend. Thomas Johansson (centre) promoted Queen in 1973 !!! Happy to say he's promoting our show tonight - as part of Live Nation. Our illustrious and somewhat elusive manager Jim Beach makes up the trio. Aaah ! Once we was boys .... and here we are ...
Look at this set list ! I think I have some learning to do !! Ha ha ! Yes - thank you - I am reliably informed that IR KITI HITAI is not a song I had forgotten, but means "and other hits" !!! So I may be OK. Our problem, of course, in the live situation is that we have Too Many Hits. This is an expression borrowed from the wonderful and sadly missed Artist who was once, formerly, known as Prince. It's a wonderful problem to have, but it does mean that we have to leave a lot of material out that people might want to hear. Still ... all opinion seems to be that this is the best production we've ever taken on tour - so all in all I am happy.
Good Morning !! And hello bike !
Sequential stereo of the view from my window in Vilnius this morn. I like the effect of the pedestrians standing out from the background ( or sinking in). Why do they do this ? I didn't take this hyper stereo in the usual wa, rockin' from foot to foot. I used a burst of photos taken while I swept the camera sideways ( you just hold the button down on an iPhone and it chatters away). I chose my left and right images from close to the ends of the burst sequence. Then put them together side by side in the usual way with the 3DCamera app, which sadly now only works on an old iPhone - damn you, Apple !!! The people moved mostly just a little bit left or right between the chosen exposures, so, when we are viewing the stereo pair, we get a false 'parallax' effect on them, making them appear nearer to us, or further away from us than they really are. So which direction did I sweep ? You can tell from the walkers. Happy days folks. Now, for us, an hours drive in the rain to ... KAUNAS ! To rock !
Now the extreme hyper with about 15 foot baseline - between my two windows. The tower is the Gediminas Castle tower. No time for me to visit on this trip. Next time ! If I'm spared !
**Thu 16 Nov 17** ONE LOVELY BOOK - MORE WEIRDNESS ? - PATRICK MOORE Direct link
This is one lovely book, written by one truly lovely human being. It shows the kind of relationship it IS possible to have with our fellow creatures. Perfect for the Christmas stocking !
A blatant piece of advertising ! My missus says hi to all - and - enjoy this book !
More weirdness ? Just so you know, pals out there, this might look like it's me, but it's not. It's a BOGUS INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT. So please don't follow it ! What someone would gain from putting up a carbon copy of my whole Instagram page I have no idea... but I get the impression they are up to no good. The very fact that they're pretending to be someone they're not doesn't bode well. I've asked the owner of the site to desist but got no response. And so far we don't seem to have been able to get Instagram to take action. If anyone can throw any light on this I'd be interested to hear from them.
Thought you might be interested to know that the Science Museum has lived up to its promise of publicly archiving Sir Patrick Moore's core documents.
Finally ... me and my bro' Rog tonight - seemingly in the Lap of the Gods. Photo by Pete. Good night folks
I had to share this with all you fellow 3-D devotees - just to frustrate the Hell out of you !! This is part of the marvellous marble floor of the Cathedral of St Luca on the outskirts of Bologna. Every block is exactly the same shape. And the floor is perfectly FLAT ! I'm amazed this hasn't been widely copied. I'd love to know who designed it. Enjoy !
**Sun 12 Nov 17** BONJOUR LA FRANCE - AMNEVILLE Direct link
A happy landing. Bonjour La France !!
Sorry .... Bonne après midi !!
After a shower of rain .... we are in Metz, North Eastern France - close to Luxembourg.
So this is what they meant by "On the Road". It's a choice some of us make. I guess I have been On the Road, off and on, for two thirds of my life. It's a good life if you don't weaken !!! I'm grateful for it.
This is how my world looks this afternoon. Sound check. Light check. New song ?!! Check !
Scroll the Panorama below - right and left
Above the clouds in Amneville 93 minutes ago. MERCI BEAUCOUP !!!
Selfie Stick Stereoscopique moment in Amneville ce soir. Bless yo'all !! Au revoir mes amis. À bientôt !!!
Gotta love a night-time police escort !!! Merci La Gendarmerie ! This is what's called 'Doing the Runner'. Running straight from the last goodbyes on stage to the cars, already running, we are speeding through the night before most of our guests have left the building. Half an hour later we're on the plane - an hour or so in the air, an hour's drive to a new hotel, and we'll wake up tomorrow morning in the next city ready to play tomorrow night. Like I said - it's a good life if ya don't weaken ... Grateful ? Yep.
PSOh ! I forgot to mention this bit - where we have to take all our stuff apart to go through an illogical security check and change out of our stage clothes in an FBO cupboard (I'm not going to show you that!) It's all friggin' glamour ... Bri
**Sun 12 Nov 17** CASSINI'S MERIDIAN LINE IN BOLOGNA ! Direct link
Cassini's Meridian Line, anybody ? If you're not excited by Astro History Opportunities you can skip this. But here we are in the Basilica di San Petronio. And there, at our feet, (pink arrowed in this pic) is the Meridian Line set there by master astronomer Gian Domenico Cassini in 1655. It's orientated exactly North-South, as Meridians have to be. And damned difficult that was to achieve in a Church which was aligned completely differently. The line just skirts the huge columns which support this giant place of worship.
And up un the roof (also arrowed) is the hole through which the Sun will send a shaft of light on to the Meridian line at EXACTLY local astronomical mid-day.
So ... in the Basilica ... looking up, here's a close -up of the small hole which acts as a kind of camera lens to project the Sun's image on to the Church floor.
So ... in Cassini's basilica ... here we are, having planned this moment with military precision, watching a number of people milling about, wondering where to look. Yes, the image of the Sun is supposed to hit this line on the floor at midday - but WHERE on the line ? Nobody seems to have a clue. I figure it's almost midwinter, so the Sun is low in the sky, so its image has to fall way back on the line, far from the entrance hole. So we take up a guessed position, but so far, at 11.50am, there is no sign of the Sun. Maybe it's disappeared back into the morning mist. I feel like dear old Sir Patrick Moore, waiting and hoping for a fabulous cosmic event which may be wiped out by a couple of terrestrial clouds. It's 11.54 am. Local astro midday is at 11.58. Can a miracle happen in the next 4 minutes ? If you're viewing this stereo you'll see the people in it have moved around between my two -Phone shots, left and right. So they flash weirdly. Apologies if this hurts your brain. I like it because it reminds me how ephemeral we humans are. Cassini's Meridian is kinda eternal.
So ... back in the basilica .... it's 11.47 am and suddenly - as if by magic - there it is ! Cassini's giant pinhole camera delivers a perfect image of the Sun on the marble floor. The Sun is moving from left to right, out there, so its image is moving from right to left down here, fast approaching the centre line. It's beautiful !!! Cassini was so clever - there is only JUST enough space for the essential ray of light to get through the columns - and only for a minute or two. You can see the shadow of in of the columns on the right hand edge of the Sun's image here. If you come to Bologna, folks, you have to see this ! Unforgettable ! And Cassini was able to confirm some good science from carefully measuring using this giant sundial. In those days there was significant doubt whether Earth revolved around the Sun, or the other way round. Cassini helped to nail it. Notable that although we DID plan the visit carefully, it was purely by the grace of God that we saw anything, because one minute after this picture the Sun faded out of sight behind clouds. Grateful !!!
Cheers Astro pals
The image of the Sun. Captured at 11.57 am today in beautiful Bologna. As provided by Il Dottore Cassini in 1655.
This announcement from “ABC Events” explains that there will be no signing, but, sadly, it doesn’t tell the true story. I’m not actually ‘cancelling’ at all, because this entire thing was done without my knowledge. I only found out about it yesterday by accident !
Somebody decided, without asking me, to sell tickets for an event which could never happen. It’s nothing to do with ‘unforeseen circumstances with the tour scheduling’. Our tour scheduling is exactly as it was planned months ago. There was never any possibility that I could have done a signing on a show day, in the short time we are in Amsterdam for this trip. And it would have been pointless anyway, because I already spent hours signing book plates for each book, so everyone would get a signature taking part in this special offer, so signing again would make no sense.
All I wanted to do was call in for a quick photo at the shop to say thank you to them for stocking my book - as I did very happily in Prague just last week. I’m very angry that the way this has been handled has misled both you and me. I’m sure there’s been a misunderstanding somewhere along the line, and everyone had the best intentions. But I’m very upset to be put in the situation where it seems I’m letting you guys down. Of course our absolute priority on this visit is to give every ounce of our energy to the live show. I look forward to seeing you all there.
Let’s Rock !!! And ... sincere apologies - this should never have happened.
**Sat 11 Nov 17** THANKS BOLOGNA - AND - BRITAIN'S PIVOTAL ORATOR Direct link
THANKS BOLOGNA !!!
This was the Bologna hyper stereo I dreamed of ! I got lucky. Ascending a nearby private tower, I made a new friend (the owner of the tower !) and breathed in the magic of this fabulous view. These are the famous un-identical Twin Towers of Bologna. Pure, unspoilt, and full of ancient mystery, this city is enchanting. No smog, no pollution, hardly a crane, no basement-building bastards and speculators. Just people living their lives and making an honest living. I will pray that increased tourism because of Ryan Air doesn't destroy its beauty. Viva Bologna !!!
But then THIS happened ! Bliss !!
Followed by a fabulous glass of Chianti and some home-made tortellini with porcini 'shrooms - and it became a perfect day ! I needed this - to escape and recharge ... I can feel the coiled spring unwinding ...
Ciao Italia !!!
And in stereo ...
Bologna the Beautiful. Long may it be so.
Thank you Chiara ! For this three dimensional work of art. Love it .
This man is, in this moment, in my humble opinion, Britain's pivotal orator. He speaks the Truth and connects it with inspired comment. Don't be fooled by his "lower class" Old London regional dialect. This man clearly perceives and communicates the squalor and moral depravity of Britain under Theresa May's government. Listen to this oracle. Follow him. Hear his alarm call. Wake up Britain. Clear out the clinker. Time for Madame Guillotine to do her work ! (figuratively, of course). I'm deadly serious.
**Thu 09 Nov 17**
THE BEAUTY OF BOLOGNA - AND - BEES Direct link
Wow ! Falling in love with Bologna all over again. I love how Italy lives in harmony with its past.
A city like this makes me mourn the London I used to know, before its skyline and its quality of life were destroyed by greed, speculation, and the corrupt planning decisions that continue to ruin us.
Look at Florence, Venice, Rome and so many other Italian cities to learn how, even though Italy has its own problems, it rises every morning proud of its history, and ready to live the present day to the full.
Yep. Still feel privileged to be a part of Europe.
In the midst of all the awfulness, how great to see a government minister make this decision to protect our wildlife and our well-being.
UK will back total ban on bee-harming pesticides, Michael Gove reveals
Exclusive: Research leads environment secretary to overturn government’s previous opposition, making total EU ban much more likely
9 November 2017 by Damian Carrington