Japanese Gin

Right now Suntory the Japanese drinks company seem to be having a bit of a promotion into the UK market. Not only are there several of their whiskies on sale in UK supermarkets, but their Roku gin is on promotion in major UK supermarkets. Now I am a whisky lover and I like a decent gin too. I have not tried Japanese whiskies yet but I know the Japanese have a mature and educated whisky market so I would expect their offer to be of quality. Meanwhile I was intrigued to try one of their gins Roku.
Interestingly roku is the name of a very effective Chinese acupressure technique for toothache, but that is not what it means in Japanese. In Japanese it just means the number 6 – because the gin features 6 special botanical ingredients.
Now I did not serve it exactly as the recipe on the bottle suggests – I served it with ice-cold Fever-Tree mediterranean tonic and a tiny tiny dash of Fever-Tree ginger beer.
The result I have to say is nothing exotic in say the ambit of Opihr gin . It is actually a very classic London Dry gin flavour. There is a distinct and very welcome pink peppercorn flavour, but other than that is simply a top-drawer dry gin.
All in all my first serious venture into trying Japanese spirits is proving worthwhile and enjoyable, as I might have reasonably expected bearing in mind the maturity and well-established relationships Japan has with British and American spirits, especially Scotch Whiskies. Although UK and Japanese cultures are in many ways far apart, there are some things, like Scottish scenery, Whisky and golf where we agree wholeheartedly, and that it seems may now include Gin.
I get nothing out of reporting on Suntory or Fever-tree products and have no relationship with them whatsoever other than as an ordinary consumer. I am simply interested in telling people about something I found nice and interesting. The photography is my own.

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Rainbows Genesis Science Refraction Noah

As waves travel into the denser medium, they slow down and wavelength decreases.

Part of the wave travels faster for longer causing the wave to turn.

The wave is slower but the wavelength is shorter meaning frequency remains the same.

Think of it this way:

The source (whatever) send out a wave every second.

So they will keep coming at one a second.

That is the frequency, 1 Hz.

Just doing something that affects the wavelength of the waves after they have been sent won’t affect the frequency, basically they will keep arriving at one per second because they are one second apart.

Changing the wavelength differentially along the length of a wavefront is a trick that can make it turn a bit of a corner – refraction, but that has no effect on the frequency.

The colour of light is an effect of its wavelength upon the eye. Therefore differential refraction causes the light to spread into a rainbow as different wavelengths refract by different angles.

copyright BBC bitesize

In this diagram, the right hand side of the incoming wave slows down before the left hand side does. This causes the wave to change direction.

Credit to BBC bitesize for the diagram and some of the explanation of refraction – 

https://www.bbc.com/bitesize/guides/z9bwpbk/revision/2

Now listen up ‘cos this is important…
The refractive index of air changes as humidity increases.

Liquid water (eg raindrops) refractive index is equal to a number which is 1.33 and for the humid air the number is generally in the 1-1.33 range. Yes that’s right, it can be 1.33, exactly the same as the water. When the numbers are the same you don’t get any refraction, so no rainbow. So if the air is very humid, no rainbows.

Genesis 2:5–6:

When no bush of the field was yet in the land and no small plant of the field had yet sprung up—for the Lord God had not caused it to rain on the land, and there was no man to work the ground, and a mist was going up from the land and was watering the whole face of the ground.

So pre-flood the air was very humid so there were no rainbows, then the fountains of the deep opened and the huge amount of dust that would have been sent into the atmosphere by these enormous space-reaching fountains like those we see on Jupiter’s moon Europa.

Credit for image copyright NASA

These fountains were caused in the case of Earth by the collapse of the outer crust/upper mantle onto the lower mantle, forcing down onto the underground ocean 350-450 miles down that could only then escape by fountaining out at incredible pressure upwards like a volcano – the remnant of which underground ocean is now trapped into a layer of rock called ringwoodite, and is of course some of the water now also exists above ground as the familiar oceans such as the Atlantic and Pacific that cover 3/4 off the world, a covering that was not formerly present.

This eruption of water would have provided a huge injection of dust into the atmosphere, giving nucleation sites to form droplets, clouds and eventually rain. Water vapour needs little specks of dust to form droplets. This means that water collects together out of solution, making the air less humid, allowing than for rainbows to form.

Hebrews 11:7:

By faith Noah, being warned by God concerning events as yet unseen, in reverent fear constructed an ark for the saving of his household. 

The thing he had not yet seen was rain, but when it came it was a deluge for not only were there the fountains of the deep crashing back to earth all the way from orbit, normal rain started as well.

These events of course completely transformed the earth geologically giving us the mountains oceans and continents we have today. The upheavals that started with the cracking and collapse of the other crust split it into the moving tectonic plates we now know. 

All this is the result of the hot earth thinking as it cooled.

So, what the bible says about the flood is generally supported by the sciences of geology, astronomy (eg Io), meteorology (details like nucleation) and physics (refractive indices). One of course would expect nothing less if the Bible is true. 

Several items used in this article are copyright to others and are re-presented here. That is the nature of research. I believe my use of this is fair use but if the copyright owners wish I will happily remove their content if they contact me through WordPress or directly to request this.

Doubles

So, since I last posted we are sponsoring 3 children in Africa and we have two Smart Cars – one red and black, one orange.
Jesus has given me a mission – finally I have a clue what He wants me to do.
It is to help make Africa a better place. So I am volunteering in my professional organisation (I work for a global construction company and am a Chartered member of a global professional health and safety charity) to mentor health & safety professionals, hopefully in Africa. I am not planning to go there, it will be by remote access – internet, letters, Skype etc. I am also doing whatever I can, wherever I can, to raise money for things that help people in Africa.
So here’s some ways you can help me do that:

Specsavers Opticians here in the UK are supporting https://www.visionaidoverseas.org

You can drop off your unwanted old eyeglasses at Specsavers branches and they will recycle them and spend the money of giving spectacles to poor people in Africa.

There is another great UK charity called Orbis. They help prevent blindness and restore sight in poor countries. They have the flying eye hospital plane, which is simply amazing. If you’re in the UK, the British Government will DOUBLE your donations up until 23rd June 2019. https://gbr.orbis.org/en

Of course one of my favourite charities is Compassion UK, which is how I sponsor children in Africa. They have a campaign to help new mothers in Togo, and once again if you are a Brit, the UK will DOUBLE donations up until 23rd June 2019.

If you are in Europe take a look at One Dollar Glasses https://www.onedollarglasses.org

In the USA and other countries you can also check out Sightsavers at https://donate.sightsavers.org/countries/global/appeals/itngl19mnz

Our pretty new cars

Music update

Well, I still like Tango and I still like electrotango / Nuevo tango. However, I have been out of the scene a good while, and listening more to various forms of jazzy lounge stuff, Christian music, piano blues and some classical piano. The piano is because I am thinking about learning to play piano. I invested in a Roland Rubix 22 MIDI box to connect my big mac to my wife’s rather good Casio keyboard. This lets me access the nice sounds that you can make in garage band from the keyboard, and paves the way to connect a serious electronic piano such as the Kawai ES8 – although the ES8 is fabulous as a standalone. I will eventually become the owner of a nice real acoustic upright Yamaha piano, but that may be some years away so if I do start serious lessons – I have a very good teacher lined up – I will need a full-size 88 key piano. The ES8 is one of the more expensive electronic pianos so I would rent it for the first 6 months to be sure I was progressing and it was really for me before buying it. You can rent to buy so all your rental comes off the price when you buy it.

Here are some video links about these items:

Meanwhile, I received an I-tunes voucher as a gift for Christmas from my lovely wife, and I stumbled across some electrotango that I had not heard before. As its from 2016 I realise how out of the scene I have been, so its not new music, but it is new to me, and its so good I want to share it. The album is called DJ Ralph von Richthoven – The Tango Club Night, Vol. 4, There is well over 5 hours of fabulous electrotango in it. Here’s a video and you can buy the album on I-tunes for UKP 9.99 in the UK.

I-tunes link:

https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/tango-club-night-vol-4-compiled-by-dj-ralph-von-richthoven/1152990341

Coal Yard Couture

Ho ho ho here I am in chi chi chic Coal Yard London, so hipsterly couture you need fingerless hands in your fingerless mittens to fit in. It is so shallowly pointlessly hard-stoop erstatz inspired it gently appalls. My father owns the sheep on a thousand hills and as regards the rest, well I lived in real designer land for 30 years, so for me their fabulous Tomorrowland is so passé. This place is gentrified to the point of desertification. The Kingdom of Heaven on the other hand, is the real thing, whereas this place is just the sad worldly imitation.

Piano progress

Oh my. Last night I practiced C Maj scale and wrote out the positions of the notes on the staves. Today I downloaded and printed off “You Say” the Lauren Daigle hit. I very slowly and painfully figured out and learned and practiced the right and left hand, again and again until… oh wow I can actually, just about, play it. My fingers ache and it does that funny-I -can’t-describe-it-my-brain-hurts thing that your head does when it is learning a motor skill. It actually felt quite emotional, finally achieving something I have wanted to be able to do for many years (actually more than 5 decades).

The weirdest part is I did it in in just 2 days. When I finally got through it with reasonably fluidity and all the right notes it feel like I felt when I danced my very first tango properly and got it right. So I am feeling very encouraged. It is very very early days but I am thinking maybe I really might be able to do this piano thing – assuming my hands hold up.  I’m hoping the aches gradually get less as I develop muscles I haven’t used. I’m struggling to program my brain to sight read the music and translate it into fingers on keys. I have not cracked that yet but I am thinking it will happen as I just keep at it. I am also struggling to make coordinated movements with my fingers to produce the rhythms I can hear in my head but note make the fingers do yet! Did I mention it is hard?

What I am not doing is using any modern electronic cheats or gimmicks. I am doing it absolutely the old-fashioned hard way, plain black and white manual keys and plain black and white notes on paper, because I want to be able to really do this. It is (at least) as hard as I expected but oh my it is also so very rewarding when another bit clicks into place and it starts happening properly.

I am applying all the learning theory that I was taught in Uni , taking breaks, doing bite sized chunks not too big or small, mixing theory and practice, repeating learning at the right intervals and so forth, as this has served me well with physical and mental learning many times in the past. Learning how to learn will save you time and having that skill is not a gimmick. The book I was taught to was called “The Good Study Guide” and it has been updated recently. You can read it for free at my alma mater (The OU)  http://www2.open.ac.uk/students/_data/documents/helpcentre/good-study-guide.pdf

Musical

I have decided to have some piano lessons next year. I don’t yet have a full size electric piano but once I have checked with my piano teacher I will probably get a Kawai ES8. I want portability and as one day I will probably inherit a good Yamaha upright acoustic I don’t want to be buying an acoustic. We already have a nice Casio keyboard and I just bought a Roland Rubix22 box so it now can connect to the big Mac for GarageBand. So I can at least be practicing some basics to hit the ground running. The wee box is nicely held down by a heavy Anglepoise lamp, hidden away but definitely not going anywhere. So as not to drive anyone insane, I can run it all out to some B&O headphones, but using cable rather than Bluetooth as wireless gives a slight delay, whereas wire is instantly responsive.

Who goes in deep

So week 3 of Jodie Whittaker’s Dr Who. Is it political correctness to do a Rosa Parks story? Well sure it can be seen that way, but do we have a powerful moving story and are we doing the classic time travel be careful about changing history trope? Well yes we are and Dr Who is supposed to do the time travel classic history jeopardy stories occasionally because doh, she’s a time traveller and Dr Who does them. It’s an obligation in the classic Whoniverse. So what we have is classic absolutely top class Dr Who. I require excellent entertainment that excites and interests and even moves me to some thoughtfulness, all to be in perfect accord with long held fan expectations of Whoniversal productions. Wow I got it! Political correctness? That might just have been the butterfly wing but these writers steered that perturbation to whip up a perfect hurricane of totally classic Dr Who. I am so way past caring about some of the underlying motives now to the Beeb’s new Who. All I care is it’s delivering utterly brilliant classic Dr Whi better than we have had for so so long. Thank you BBC for bringing me some entertainment that both satisfies us ancient only guys that have been watching since episode 001 and satisfies mostly our contemporary world. I would love to see disabled folk in there too. Could we have someone in a wheelchair or with a learning disability or a sensory impairment have adventures too? C’mon, BBC you managed it brilliantly in Silent Witness. Let’s get fully representstive here and make it even more fun so even more people can identify and feel they have a stake in the fantasy. Wow did I just catch myself saying the political correctness hasn’t yet gone far enough?

You know, when opening the doors brings in so much good stuff, you just can’t help wanting to open it even further. It’s quite infectious really. That’s what happens when something works. In the end we judge by results and this Who simply is a stunningly good show. If the PC foundation is what it was built on, what ho, it works so well dramatically it has not just saved Who, it really has regenerated it for all generations. Loved episode 3. Total classic.

Who’s next

So we have now seen week 2 of Jodie Whittaker’s Dr Who. There is a sense in which week 2 is even more important than week 1. We expect week 1 to be great, but week 2 tells you a lot about how the series might feel going forward, and whether it will sustain.

My only qualification as a Dr Who critic is that I am a life-long fan. I watched episode one when it aired, as a kid. IMHO the new Doctor is excellent. Her performance in episode 2 was great. It is noticeable that she has excellent support from Bradley Walsh. Would it work quite as well without him? – hmm, honestly maybe not quite. This production feels just a bit more of a team effort. There’s not quite such a focus on the Doctor’s performance alone. Is that the beeb playing it safe? Is it the new writing? Whatever, it’s just fine. Having strong characters around the Doctor is welcome and it works well.

Next week we have Rosa Parks. This, you could be forgiven for thinking is a PC motivated inclusion, but perhaps surprisingly, I would disagree with you if you thought that. Remember Rosa figured in American history and the BBC needs to sell this series in the American market. Rosa Parks is an icon to many who do know her story, and this is an interesting part of history, worth telling and not very well-known to a large part of the British audience. The show is avoiding the same-old same-old routine cameo historical figures and going with something a bit different, interesting, powerful, true, and for many new.

So what about the actual political correctness. There is absolutely no doubt that for whatever reason, the BBC occasionally test us up to the overdose limit. I don’t mean the actors or the subjects or the plots – the whole balance in Dr Who now seems quite good, although I don’t see many disabled people. It’s the obvious almost non sequiteur injection into the dialogue. One “throwaway” line felt so shoe-horned in. A clunky, clumsy, motivated line. Purhleease! Talking about disability – did I see a hidden hearing aid in the Doctor’s ear or is that one of those things they wear to get directions when acting?

As to the second show itself – there were several moments that felt absolutely classic Who. Bradley Walsh is giving brilliant performances that really gel together the rest of the cast. The EMP blast was an FX whammy – lovely. The scene of the Doctor walking across the hill toward her TARDIS felt very classic. The kind of moments you watch Who for. Niggles about clunky shoe-horning aside, the show so far is proper Who and very good to watch.

So let’s run that again..
“The scene of the Doctor walking across the hill toward her TARDIS…”
Do you know how natural writing “her” that felt? It didn’t feel even a tiny bit weird. Saying “her” for Dr Who feels normal, for a nearly 60 year-old guy that only ever saw male Who’s after just two episodes. Talk about nailed it! Jodie Whittaker is well on the way to being not just a Dr Who (as we know there were several that were awful, and thankfully barely memorable) but to being a CLASSIC Dr Who, up there with Hartnell, Troughton, Pertwee, Baker (Tom), and Tennant.