John F Kennedy

I visited the grave of President John F Kennedy yesterday, a very moving moment for myself…

President Kennedy was one of the first world leaders who truly was a World Leader. People loved and respected him everywhere, in every nation, my Dad included. He has so much respect for President Kennedy and was deeply upset when this great man’s life was so tragically cut short before his time.

I said a prayer for President Kennedy and his family, that one day Kennedy’s vision of a better world, where all peoples come together to explore the Universe for the benefit of all Humankind, becomes our reality. This indeed is my own vision too, and perhaps in part I owe that to this great man, who is still loved and admired by many people to this day.

“The eyes of the world now look into space, to the moon and to the planets beyond, and we have vowed that we shall not see it governed by a hostile flag of conquest, but by a banner of freedom and peace. We have vowed that we shall not see space filled with weapons of mass destruction, but with instruments of knowledge and understanding.

Yet the vows of this Nation can only be fulfilled if we in this Nation are first, and, therefore, we intend to be first. In short, our leadership in science and in industry, our hopes for peace and security, our obligations to ourselves as well as others, all require us to make this effort, to solve these mysteries, to solve them for the good of all men, and to become the world’s leading space-faring nation.

We set sail on this new sea because there is new knowledge to be gained, and new rights to be won, and they must be won and used for the progress of all people.”

~ John F. Kennedy (September 12, 1962)


Happy Eid al Adha (2017)

Eid al Adha is the biggest festival in the Islamic calendar.

But in addition to the festivities, Eid al Adha is a time to reflect on how we are living our lives, and what we are doing to serve Allah, through serving our communities, our Human Family, and the Universe. That, in short, is the meaning of Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice that we remember and commemorate at this time, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and his family.

Hope you all have fun and enjoy this auspicious occasion! But if possible, take some time out to reflect on and appreciate the deeper significance of this special festival…

Wishing everyone a Happy and most Blessed Eid!



NASA’s IXS Enterprise

This is NASA’s IXS Enterprise, named after Starship Enterprise from the Star Trek fictional franchise, is a conceptual interstellar superluminal spacecraft designed by NASA scientist Dr. Harold G. White, revealed at SpaceVision 2013, designed for the goal of achieving warp travel. The conceptual spacecraft would be a modified version of the Alcubierre drive. Dr. White is currently running the White–Juday warp-field interferometer experiment in order to develop a proof of concept for Alcubierre-style warp travel, if possible. The Alcubierre drive uses exotic matter (not to be confused with antimatter) to travel faster than light.

While the concept had been out since 2013 the design of IXS Enterprise was popularized in June 2014 after a series of media outlets reported on the conceptual artwork done by Dutch artist Mark Rademaker in collaboration with NASA.[1] According to Mark Rademaker, over 1,600 hours have been spent on the conceptual artwork that he created.[2]

The energy required to power the warp drive, according to White,[3] is approximately the negative (negative energy is required for the Alcubierre drive concept to function) mass–energy equivalence of Voyager 1, which has a mass of approximately 700 kilograms. Using E=mc2, −700 kilograms of mass is equivalent to ~−63 exajoules of energy (this number is not definitive and can be further reduced). The ship has two thick outer rings (to reduce required energy) that generate the warp field—a contraction of space ahead, and expansion of space behind it. The space inside the rings is optimized to fit more space for cargo, crew and equipment.

Wikipedia article:


Autumn Hawkbit

Many people will probably regard Autumn Hawkbit as a weed, but they are most welcome in our garden.

The Hawkbits were already growing between the slabs at the back of our garden when we moved in 4 years ago. After ripping up most of the slabs, I decided to leave these along the side of the path.

I could rip them up and replace them with some garden plants, but what would provide superior colour this time of the year through till the frosts, be so awesome for pollinating insects, and require next to no attention.

Honestly, I rather like them. Unlike truly weedy plants, they mostly stay in this little area, are fairly compact and tidy, and easy enough to pull up when they do stray into parts of the garden where we don’t want them.

Sometimes it’s good to leave a bit of the garden to our native wildflowers. A weed is an unwanted plant, and wildflowers need not necessarily be weeds. Sometimes, they can be an asset to the garden if we choose the right ones and give them a chance.

Euroscola 1996

Wow… this takes me back! I was sorting through some old files today, and found my Euroscola certificate from 1996, along with some local newspaper cuttings that covered our group’s visit to the European Parliament. Interesting to reflect on this in light of recent developments.