The insides of things are beautiful…

…lets see what they look like.
These days I work with X-Ray systems. I’m just finishing up commissioning and testing of the latest one, so I’m using it to image various things.

This is a compact fluorescent lamp. At full size you can see the coils of tungsten wire in the electrodes in the glass spiral, you can also see some tiny droplets of condensed mercury at the end of the spiral. It;s this mercury that’s essential for the operation of the lamp, but is also what makes them (slightly) hazardous if the glass breaks.
Compact Fluorescent Lamp

Too soon.

Yesterday I read the news that Iain Banks wasn’t doing too badly all considered. This lunchtime I heard via Twitter that Iain had died.  Fuck Cancer.

I first discovered Banks’ writing via the internet, a recommendation in a long forgotten place lead me to a copy of The Use of Weapons and a whole universe of dubious ethics and arrogant, playful super intelligences. Now the last word in that universe has been written, while there are still tales to tell.

Not only have we lost two of the best authors to have come from Scotland, on a more selfish note, we’ve lost a whole universe (or two, or three) and any number of fucked-up domestic tales.

Fuck Cancer.


Back in the Netherlands

Long time no post again. Spent much of recent time getting on with work and neglecting websites and fun projects.
A long weekend away has me back in the Netherlands; Rotterdam and Leiden to be exact.
There are real contrasts between the two cities, Rotterdam is very new; hardly any building in the center is more than a couple of decades old.
Leiden it’s a fine old university town, fantastic museums, beer and ice cream. The treasures of the university archive exhibit at the museum had several books over one thousand years old. To see a book that old is a bit of a shock, you’re used to stone tablets and similar off great age, not books.

Not 1000 years old, but beautiful