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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 point of sale?
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.
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!
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 affectionate and respectful to the original.
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 and church music.
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 comfort, is all.
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...
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 (Constitutional) right to free speech"
Ivan D. Illich, 1926 - 2002. Austrian born, he was an academic, a philosopher, an anarchist, a sociologist, a catholic priest, an activist, a reformer, an inspiration and a source of hope for many.
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 address, radar and radio telescopy. Valves also made possible early tape recording...
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 homemade or commercial wine for best results.
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 Business Case.
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, Kipling wrote masterful but accessible and genuinely popular poetry.
Ramadan this year will begin on May 6th (2019). It is the holiest month in the Islamic year (1440). This article is a guide to Ramadan for non-Muslims, especially those living in the Gulf States.
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...
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?
A simple and reliable method for making wholesome red and white table wine from supermarket grape juice, sugar and yeast. No chemicals, no specialist equipment needed.