The LFD Scrapbook

This page is composed of a series of news items, thoughts and photos that aren’t sizeable enough to be presented as individual articles have found a home on this evolving scrapbook.

A Weather Front

Seeing it in real life is different from looking at lines on a weather chart.

Block Unwanted Calls

After all this time I’ve finally discovered one of the most useful iPhone settings: how to block calls if they aren’t on your contact list. It was made available in September 2019.

Go to:
Settings > Phone > Silence Unknown Callers

It goes a little bit more to make it more useful in that for example blocking is cancelled for 24 hours when emergency services have been called. You can find out more details here.

What a relief.

Sally the Hedgehog

Sally is this year’s UK newborn Hedgehog weighing in at 150g. I found her at mid-day, so something must be wrong. After several meals of chicken flavour cat food (mashed), she was ready to go to the local hedgehog sanctuary to be looked after through winter.

Ladies With Big Zits

While I was buying coffee, the girl on the other side of the counter was complaining about a sore spot on her face that wasn’t about to go anywhere soon. It was a reddened, painful-looking blemish. This is how to heal a spot in 1 to 4 days:

All you need to do is to stick a plaster over the spot before you go to sleep. Do the same each night till it’s gone. You should see a noticeable difference on the first morning.

The reason it works is that the plaster provides your skin with a fake scab it can utilise as protection. Underneath, the pores will open up to expel waste material. If you don’t have a plaster, try some sellotape or or masking tape.

Some Useful Advice

Don’t overlook it just because it’s short and simple. It has guided me countless times…

If in doubt, do nothing!

A wise family member

You don’t even have to ask anyone. It comes up again and again, is almost always right, but not always what you want to do!

NZ Midwinter Festival

This year’s theme is the Antarctic

Time Lapse Magnetic Putty

Geeks unite! This one’s for you! My very own magnetic putty video. You can’t go wrong with that. It’s like saying puppies aren’t cute. 37 seconds of pure delight.

How to Clean a Tap Nozzle

Simply fill a balloon with limescale removing liquid and fasten it over the end of the tap.

My Amazingly Quotable Quote

There hasn’t been anything man-made that wasn’t science fiction first.
— I said that

Solve Windows Sound Distortion

A windows 10 update has been causing stutter distortion for a lot of owners due to sound effects being enabled for gaming. To get rid of the sound distortion, you have to turn off the sound effects. There are two places you can find this:

  1. On Control Panel > Sound > playback device > properties page: disable sound effects
  2. On the properties page of the audio card you are using, disable all sound effects.

If the problem isn’t sorted out, recheck the settings before looking for another solution. You can test it by playing a music file that you are familiar with and the distortion will be very obvious.

In addition, I found the problem was specific to that the app I was using, which hasn’t been updated for years. I could get a good sound with other apps, so now its a problem of just finding the correct functionality.

Minority Report

I listen to the radio a lot and one thing you can count on are minority groups moaning about what people aren’t doing for them. Whilst I understand they have valid gripes, I had to have a good laugh at this one.

It’s hard to have a sense of belonging and we don’t think we are alone in this.
— har har har :0)

Rubik’s Cube Solution

The Rubiks cube seems so difficult to solve that I’ve never seriously attempted it :0)

Now some official help is at hand – Rubiks have solutions on their own website [here]. Its a nicely presented guide, which makes it easier to understand than most.

Einstein’s Gravitational Redshift Confirmed

black hole stretches starlight
gravity well

Einstein’s gravitational redshift has been confirmed by ESO astronomers at the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope (VLT) in Chile.

They have been observing a star called S2 in its 16-year elliptical orbit around a supermassive black hole by the name of Sagittarius A*. It’s 4 million times the mass of the Sun and 26,000 light-years away at the centre of our galaxy.

The light from S2 exhibited gravitational redshift as it moved through the closest part of its orbit. The pull of the supermassive black hole stretched out it’s light, moving it toward the red end of the spectrum just as Einstein’s theory predicts.

Liquid Water On Mars (Possibly)

subsurface lake of liquid found on mars
Mars South pole

In a surprise announcement, the MARSIS team have announced the detection of a large body of liquid beneath the surface of Mars near the South pole.

The detected area is about 1.5 km below the surface, 20 km wide, with a depth of at least several tens of centimetres. 

The detections were made using a modified radar scanning technique that provides a higher resolution than before. This technique has made positive detections of water on Earth. The Mars measurements are interpreted as revealing the interface between ice and water. 

A Murmuration of Starlings

BBC Radio 4 – Woman’s Hour

I like to listen to Jenni Murray’s comforting tones on Woman’s Hour from time to time. They have a lot of gender issues surfacing at the moment, consequently, I get to listen to a number of speakers who describe themselves as ‘Women of Colour’ who have ‘Narratives’.

I’m not a woman and I’m not totally sure if I’m allowed to have a narrative. It seems like it could be useful for social gatherings etc.

Jenni Murray (age 20ish in this sketch) will be presenting Person’s Hour after the BBC make the adjustments I have asked for.

To even things up a bit I have sent them an article entitled ‘How To Make Stuff And Fart Like a Sonic Boom’ which will probably get the green light soon. I’ve written some notes to go with it so Jenni doesn’t stuff up the presentation for me when it goes live.

Note to Self: – write a stiff letter to the BBC to get ‘Woman’s Hour’ changed to ‘Person’s Hour’.

Life Expectancy

Sibs was concerned that in our area the life expectancy was about 75 whereas further North it was much longer. I told her not to worry because we wouldn’t have to move North until we were 74 :o)

Prism Rainbow

A rainbow cast on my door by a 4-inch prism on every sunny morning

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