So here we are in sunny Swansea

I’m in Swansea at a meeting about Earth Observation. My current observation of the Earth at the moment is that the weather here is most disagreeable. It is now April Fools’ Day, but I have neither the resources nor the inclination to pull off either of the gags I was contemplating, to wit, distributing a petition at this meeting calling for a ten-year global moratorium on further tectonic plate movements, and a press release titled “SRCF and HPCF to merge”, whose potential contents have become progressively less amusing as the HPCF has started to improve its user administration.

At lunch yesterday I met a nice young lady from the NERC Space Geodesy Centre whose job is apparently not blinding airline passengers. As far as I understand it, she tracks satellites by training enormous green lasers on them from the ground, and has to press a button to stop the lasers if a plane is flying in between.

Even more yesterday, and there was quite enough yesterday for my liking, as I had to get up at five in the morning to get the train here, I encountered on the train one of those infuriating youths who thinks it’s Ok to inflict his musical taste on others in an otherwise quiet Great Western carriage. In fact he was probably older than I am. How loud must the music be playing to someone whose ears are inside those perfect headphones if its baseline can clearly be perceived by someone of very poor hearing in a geographically distinct section of the carriage? I noticed that no-one else appeared to be having difficulty reading as a result of the music, so I assume it really is a problem with my ears.

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