b3ta.com user Jimbojames
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Ummm... I know, let's talk about you!

Alright then, this is where I live:

This is a friend of mine:

This is the best party I ever had:

Currently awake at night. This courtesy of Real:

Recent front page messages:

'Ello my British chums.

Also, what happened earlier?
(Thu 9th Aug 2012, 14:05, More)

Best answers to questions:

» Water, boats and all that floats

I sold my soul once and worked in the offshore oil industry,
mainly in the North Sea. Prior to working offshore, we had extensive safety training (how to get out of a ditched helicopter, how to right a capsized life raft etc.). We also did fire training and how to get out of a burning oil rig - this is that scariest thing I've ever experienced: the instructors send you into a mock up of a rig, with a fire somewhere. It's pitch black, full of smoke and you are given a breathing mask and about 15 minutes of air. It took about 5 minutes to 'escape' and I was on red - so real firemen have my full respect.

Anyway, it's pretty dangerous working in the North Sea - not least because the water is pretty nippy. If a disaster occurs in the winter, they reckon you'll survive about 3 minutes in the water before hypothermia gets you - as far as I was concerned, the safety aspects were pretty important.

So I had a bit of a shock on my first offshore job, on a vessel formally used by Jacque Cousteau. I was just about to finish a shift and the crew went through a safety drill - this one was the rapid rescue of a man overboard (i.e., get him out of the water fast). The ideal drill should get someone out within about a minute and the ships have a fast rescue boat to do this.

On this day they threw a dummy in a life-jacket out into the water, sounded the alarm and the rescuers went to do their thing. My workmates and I stopped to watch the well-drilled crew. What actually happened was they couldn't get the boat into the water - it took them 20 minutes - and once they did, the fast rescue boat went round the main boat's stern and broke down about 50 metres away from the dummy. We had to throw them a line to help them back. The dummy was lost.

The ship's cook was great though - fresh croissants every day.
(Sat 3rd Nov 2012, 12:22, More)

» Home Science

2nd Law
I must have been about 9 or 10 when this happened. My dad, who's always had 'techno joy', got me a dynamo light set for my bike ('to save on batteries'). I'm not sure what they're like now, but back in the eighties, they were a bit rubbish (well mine was) so after a few weeks it was left rusting in the garage.

I can't remember what I'd watched/read, but I got the idea that, if you turn the wheel on the dynamo it makes electricity and my battery operated Lego motor needed electricity to turn round, so I hooked them together. 'Wicked' I thought, 'if I then hook up the motor so it turns the dynamo, it'll go on forever!'.

Anyway, unsurprisingly, I was having a bit of trouble making this work and I mentioned it to my dad. I thought he'd be really proud, but instead of the expected 'well done son', I got a grilling on the 2nd law of thermodynamics, which my dad summarized as 'you don't get aught for naught'.

Git. I got him back though, by laughing at his home made 'wind farm' many years later.
(Tue 14th Aug 2012, 13:30, More)

» Home Science

Home Science? I get to do this stuff at work!
Although there is an element of 'home science' about it (i.e., we don't know what we're doing most of the time). I've been party to many 'what happens if?' scenarios, such as 'does that big laser hurt if it's pointed at your hand?' (it does and burnt skin smells like burnt chicken) and 'let's recreate the scene in Terminator 2 where the T1000 get's covered in liquid nitrogen'. I also worked with an analytical chemist who said it was good to have an acid burn once in a while because 'it makes you feel alive!'.

The best one for a while though, was a colleague of mine studying reactions between organic acids and clay minerals under extreme conditions (high pressures and temperatures). The top scientist put the mix of clay mineral and acid in a platinum container, cranked up the pressure and let it all sit there at 1000 degrees for a few hours. Fantastic, except it went boom after about 5 minutes. We think (we don't know for sure) the platinum catalyzed the release of hydrogen from the acid, which (at 1000 degrees) was not too happy. Luckily nobody was in the immediate vicinity, otherwise it could have been quite nasty, but it did end up costing a few thousand pounds and the scientist in question was advised to look into something else (how to get a new job, probably).
(Sat 11th Aug 2012, 12:41, More)

» Shit Claims to Fame II

Another one
According to my gran, one of my ancestors may have been murdered by Jack the Ripper. Apparently she ran away from home having been knocked about by her husband and was involved in the oldest profession - she's one of the women who were apparently murdered on the same night.

Good stock, right there.
(Fri 21st Sep 2012, 16:24, More)

» Shit Claims to Fame II

My wife was on 'Beat the Teacher'
An 80s quiz show on Children's BBC (check it out).

She said she didn't do very well, but Howard Stableford was quite nice. The odd thing is that I loved Beat the Teacher and watched it all the time, so I must have seen my wife about 20 years before I actually met her!

(Tue 25th Sep 2012, 13:21, More)
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