As responsible drinkers like to know what they are drinking, responsible home brewers should be able to tell them. This article explains how to manage sugar content and alcohol production.
How to weigh a car without conventional weighing equipment or lifting gear, using only a steel tape measure and a portable tyre pressure gauge. A fun article, but the physics is sound!
The gun lobbyists are fond of saying 'Guns don't kill people; people kill people'. But the vast majority of people want nothing to do with guns and violence.
Is it important to understand how things work? We are wholly dependent on technologies that no-one really understands. Does that matter?
Is home made wine safe to drink? It should be both safe and wholesome, but there are some dreadful recipes and methods out there on the Internet. Here's how to avoid the shockers.
Poems about London. Everyday London, not tourist London. The titles: Paul Street E23, Community, The Commercial Tavern E2, and The Costermonger.
A tongue in cheek but semi-serious walker's guide to coping with extreme heat and humidity. Includes photos and description of Doha, Qatar, as only seen on foot.
A quick, reliable way to make cider without specialist equipment, ingredients, or knowledge. An ideal summer drink.
You open up your Crispy Strips Meal and reel backwards at the smell of fat. Your appetite is severely under threat, yet you have to eat. How to salvage the situation?
The Bullnose Mercedes is a real truck. Powerful, noisy, smelly, rattly. It shakes the ground and carves up the roads. Best of all, it is bullnosed, with a big ugly vertical exhaust stack.
Istanbul is a huge metropolis of thirteen million people. This is where East meets West, geographically, historically and culturally. Let me show you around...
A collection of black and white photographs taken in Glasgow in 1979, mostly in and around the West end, University, Byres Road, Maryhill.
Tbilisi is an ancient city in an ancient country, with the pride of culture to match. This is no mere (ex) Soviet satellite. The culture is deep, unique and distinctive.
Qatar's demographics are unsustainable. 80% immigrant and heavily male biased. Something has to change.
In a quirky tribute to my Latin and English teachers and in the spirit of art for art's sake, I'm pleased to invite you to join me in an aimless ramble through a few word pairs that use the re & pro prefixes.
As part of the austerity budget, the UK Government has announced a 2½% VAT increase, from 17½% to 20%. At first sight, this doesn't seem too bad. But what does an extra 2½% VAT translate to at the...
Light verse, or comic verse, is often considered the poor relation of 'real' poetry, yet it has a long and honourable pedigree of its own, with some great writers having contributed to the genre.
The Vale of Evesham, Worcestershire - Badsey, Bretforton, Blackminster. Emms, Jelfs and Purple Eggs.
The village of Badsey, just outside Evesham, may be the incest capital of the UK, but they grow the world's finest plums, yellow eggs and purple eggs. The Hob Gnostics' chapel is on Corporation Meadow, by Workman...
You wrote it - don't lose it. How to make sure your grandchildren have a chance to 'know you' through the writings you leave behind. Understanding the relationship between data and metadata.
Though not Roman Catholic myself, a love of great art and architecture has taken me to some of Europe's finest churches and cathedrals, where I became interested in the Stations of the Cross, or Via Crucis.
Passport Lost - Passport Regained. A story of misfortune, officialdom, bureaucracy, inefficiency, frustration, honesty and integrity (from a Filipina of course) and relief. Tales from Slaka!
There's a fine old Scottish (and Irish) tradition of ballads and story-telling. And at Halloween the old ghost stories feature large. Here's a latter-day tale of strange happenings around the witching hour, or perhaps,...
Regent's Canal runs East-West through North-central London, linking the Paddington branch of the Grand Union Canal to the Limehouse Basin and the River Thames. Walk the towpath!
What constitutes a great pub? Is it the history, the decor, the management, the clientele, or the beer? For me, none of these things. A great pub is the one which is conveniently there, and open, just when I want to...
London is full of tourist attractions that you 'must see'. But not my London. I've seen them. My London is streets, terraced houses, corner pubs - and bricks, bricks and more bricks. Let me show you...
Istria is the beautiful wooded peninsula in North Croatia, directly across the Adriatic from Venice. Istrian Oak is used for the characteristic painted mooring poles in Venice's canals.
However smoothly the defaulting company accountants may dress their message, late, short or non-payment is theft. In extreme cases it can even degenerate to slavery.
From guitars to flutes to lutes to saxophones, this hub is a personal celebration of the musical instruments that have brought me joy through life.
Synesthesia affects about one person in twenty-five. Technically, it could be considered a mental 'disorder', however most synesthetes would disagree. Now Synesthography brings synesthesia to everyone!
Government censorship of the Internet is not uncommon around the World. Is it in the public interest or is it an infringement of basic rights? Have your say.
Pastiche is the name given to a poetic imitation. It is not quite the same as parody which tends to make fun of the original, also by copying but by hamming it up for comic or satirical effect. A true pastiche is...
From the writer of Tess and Jude, one would not expect a lot of jollity or gaiety, and indeed Hardy's poems tend to be sombre in tone, though often leavened with surprising metrical patterns borrowed from his local folk...
St Luke's angel did not bring to the shepherds 'Tidings of Comfort and Joy'. That phrase comes from a 15th Century Christmas carol. The angel spoke only of 'great joy'. Luke chose his words with care. Joy, and not...
I thought I'd mark the occasion with a collection of a few of my poems on a romantic theme. I hope you find something to enjoy in them. This first one, Travellers, is about a chance encounter in a commuter train...
There are stages of drunkenness. Ken and Alan had reached stage five. No judgement, tons of energy, the luck of the devil, and a burning urge to put it into practice. It was a shame their hotel overlooked a field of...
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, is well worth a visit, even for a few days. From the magnificent Petronas Twin Towers to the lively Beach Club or Rum Jungle, there is plenty to enjoy.
"I'll say what I like. It's a free country". This has rather fallen out of fashion, to be replaced, in UK, with "I'm entitled to state my opinion", and in US, with "I'm only exercising my...
Paraglider's ramble through his past. The story of the flying apples. The burning brush. Travels and more travels. Poetry and the Paranormal. Beer and Buses. No fish, this time around.
Wall Street was having a little local difficulty recently but now there's a bail-out plan and 'everything's gonna be alright'. Let's look at this bail-out plan that is 'better than any alternative...
Ivan D. Illich died in 2002, age 76. Austrian born, he was an academic, a philosopher, an anarchist, a sociologist, a catholic priest, an activist, a reformer, and an inspiration and source of hope.
The story of post-war Albania, from 1945 to the present, is a tragedy. It is the story of one man, a dictator, who through misguidedness, megalomania and corruption, reduced his country to social and financial ruin.
The 50 great years of thermionics were from 1920 to 1970. During this period, thermionic valves were at the heart of radio, and later, television production, transmission and reception, audio amplification and public...
"All's for the best in the best of all possible worlds". This was the maxim of Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire's political satire, Candide. But is there any truth in it?
Bur Dubai Panorama Hotel is an unprepossessing building. Six residential floors in low quality concrete, clad in pink crud. But Jockey's Pub and the working girls are its real claim to fame.
New evidence suggests that Algernon Charles Swinburne's decadence knew no bounds.
Great Malvern in Worcestershire is a Victorian spa town, famous for its pure spring water and its stone-built Gothic mansions. Its roots go back to Norman times. Malvern Priory nave is 11th century.
In this hub, I am going to give scientific advice on fuel economy. I leave it to individual car owners to work out how (or whether) to apply my suggestions. For now, I will only consider external factors.
Still running your car on water? Move with the times guys! Be like me and run your car on nothing at all!
Doha? There is the Doha the authorities want to promote and there is the other Doha. The Doha of dusty streets, overcrowding, slum dwellings, little corner shops, juice stalls and street restaurants.
At first sight, just another American school bus, if rather the worse for wear. But where is it? Dusty streets, dusty palm trees, a patina of desert sand on the roof - this guy's far from home!
Live bands are becoming scarce. Yes, there's a singer and a guitarist on stage, but most of what you hear is MIDI backing. It is predictable, dull and a total con.
I like my sport as much as the next guy. But not stupid sports. In my book, stupid sports are the ones you'd never play or watch from choice, but have to suffer on free-to-air satellite TV.
This article is not about turning students into engineers. It is about training established engineers in "soft" workplace skills such as communication, negotiation, team-working etc.
The Cycle of Fifths unlocks Western music. It is beautiful in its symmetry, simplicity and fruitfulness. It explains harmony, transposition and accompaniment. Vital for guitarists and keyboards.
For many classical guitarists, locating the notes on the fingerboard can be difficult, especially in the higher positions. Here is a quick and reliable method for learning all the notes on the fretboard.
The Classic Guitar is simply a guitar built to a classic design that has been refined but essentially not changed for about 100 years.
Choose your tattoo artist with care - especially if he is working on a part you can't see...
Two weeks ago, I knew nothing about bed bugs; now I know more than I ever wanted to. This is my bed bug story. I sincerely hope it never becomes yours, but read on, and be prepared for the worst.
One of the pleasures of living in the Middle East is to pass an evening in congenial company while enjoying a shisha (hookah) of your preferred flavour. Shisha is the traditional Arab water pipe.
Make the best of hogmanay - /it's never easy, but we try. /Should we drink the night away /or count the seconds as they fly /towards the bells that signify /the moment we've been waiting for...
Scotland's Happy Family . . That Makes Every Family Happy. The Broons first appeared seventy years ago in the Scottish Sunday Post, published in Dundee by D.C. Thomson, and are still going strong.
Aging home made wine is important. But unless wine is aged in the right way, it might spoil. This article explains how to age home made or commercial wine for best results.
Black Holes is a strategy game, not hard to learn, but extremely hard to play well. It should appeal to anyone who enjoys spatial games and puzzles like the Rubik's Cube or strategic games like Chess.
Guitarists need to understand Equal Temperament, or at least the basis of it. Why? Because their instrument is fretted for Equal Temperament and the strings have to be tuned accordingly.
An introduction to the theory of generating electricity followed by a brief summary of some of the viable ways of generating electricity on a commercial scale.
A Business Case is a rigorous (and usually financial) advocacy of a proposed course of action, clearly presented for objective scrutiny in order to win approval for a new Project. Here's how to write a successful...
In arithmetic and book-keeping, numbers are absolute. They mean exactly what they say. But this does not always apply. This introduction to Significant Figures will help you avoid numerical howlers.
It all began 1653, with a banker from Naples, Lorenzo de Tonti. While working in France, he invented an unusual investment scheme, the Tontine, which acquired some notoriety before falling out of favour.
Mary Tudor's story begins with King Henry VIII of England. Mary was Henry's eldest child, born to Catherine, the first of his six wives. Mary's brief reign was one of blood & terror.
Feedback means looking at a result, evaluating it in some way, and applying some form of correction to the process - either modifying the process itself or changing the input.
Kipling, and IF, are not threatened by their critics or parodists. The poem was voted number one in the UK publication "The Nation's Favourite Poems". Kipling's IF has wide appeal. Like Burns before him,...
Ramadan this year began on June 7th (2016). It is the holiest month in the Islamic year (1437). This hub is a guide to Ramadan for non-Muslims, especially those living in the Gulf States.
The Blue Chartreuse or British Blue is the world's finest cat, and none finer than Talisker, a British Blue supermodel named after Scotland's finest whisky.
The trouble with wearing the tartan /is everyone thinks you're a Spartan /who relishes cold /in the goolies. (I'm told /the best way to heat 'em is fartan!) A limerick is a short verse in a well-defined form which...
Living and Working in the Gulf States - Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia
Working in the Middle East. Jobs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Saudi Arabia. Jobs in Energy and Construction. Jobs in other fields. Live, work and stay safe in the Gulf States.
The winemaker's FAQ, where you'll find answers to most of your questions about the theory and practice of winemaking. If your question's not included, just ask!
The Filipinos are some of the best people on the planet. Here's why...
Imagine, by John Lennon, is a deceptively simple song. But behind the simplicity is an elegance of lyrical, melodic and harmonic structure that approaches genius. Please read my appreciation of this master's masterwork.
This hub explains home winemaking. When you understand the processes, you will be able to design your own 'recipes', (though, as we'll see, 'recipe' isn't really a word that applies to winemaking). If you...
Who are the scientists - what do scientists do - what is science anyway? Where does technology fit in?
'Than' is the word you use when comparing - I am older than you. Wine is stronger than beer An elephant is bigger than a turkey, and so on. 'Then' has to do with time...
A seven-step method for solving any real problem, based on sound scientific principles.
A simple and reliable method for making wholesome red & white table wine from supermarket grape juice, sugar and yeast. No chemicals, no specialist equipment needed.