Farty's Fortunes

Monday, 28 November 2011

Doctor Who Pass Notes (contains spoilers)

Name: The Doctor

Age: Circa 1100 years, although he existed at the birth of the Earth and the end of time.

Appearance: Old/young/middle-aged/young again/truly ancient/young white male. Long/short dark/white/fair hair. Prefers to wear long coats, hats and scarves.

Background: Born on Gallifrey, fairly normal upbringing, then got a bit rebellious and stole borrowed rescued a decommissioned type 40 TARDIS from a scrapyard to explore the universe. Currently has arrest warrants out on ~5000 planets for interfering with causality.

TARDIS? Time And Relative Dimension In Space. A time machine, if you will. Also spaceship. Looks like a 1960s London police call box.

Is he a real doctor? He is a qualified medical practitioner, but has also carried out extensive studies in philosophy, language, physics, mathematics, chemistry, intergalactic law, robotics, vulcanology and cricket. Likes to consider himself a good all-rounder, but still has trouble with basic navigation. Rarely lands the TARDIS on target.

Any friends? Usually has one or more companions, generally human or humanoid but has also been known to carry a tin dog on board. Most companions end up dead or lost in a parallel universe.

Tin dog? K9. A talking mechanical dog, carrying basic armaments and possessing limited intelligence. Almost as lovable as Jar-Jar Binks.

And enemies? Cybermen, Shansheeth, Slitheen, Silence, Gelth, Nestene, Daleks -

Daleks? Giant pepper-pots with a single eye on a stalk. Lacking any depth perception, they tend to bump into things a lot. Perpetually cross as a result.

How does the Doctor deal with his enemies? The Doctor always attempts to talk his way out of trouble by way of peaceful negotiations. When that fails, he usually resorts to genocide. He has utterly destroyed the Daleks on at least four separate occasions, one of which destroyed his own homeworld. Worst. Pest controller. Ever.

What weapons does the Doctor carry? None, although he does own a sonic screwdriver. This is quite handy for turning sonic screws and not much else.

So the Doctor is the last of his kind? The Doctor's home planet was sealed off from the rest of the universe in the Time War with the Daleks. Although his own race, the Time Lords, are essentially extinct, he has a daughter, at least one wife and has dealt with other time-travellers.

He appears human. Only on the outside. On the inside, Time Lords have two hearts. Also, on the frequent occasions on which he gets killed, he is reincarnated or "regenerated" on the spot. Technically, this makes the Doctor a zombie.

Why does the TARDIS resemble a police box? The TARDIS has a chameleon circuit to allow it to blend in with its environment. When we first saw it, it was in 1960s London, so this camouflage worked perfectly. Then the chameleon circuit broke.

Isn't it a bit poky? Like the wardrobe in Narnia and the travelling luggage in Discworld, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside. Be sure to check out the swimming pool, the library, the spiral staircase, the alternate control room and the laundry room.

How does the Doctor communicate with aliens? He just speaks normally. The TARDIS is telepathic and performs automatic translation between all known languages and most unknown ones.

Not to be confused with: Harry Potter.

Do say: "Dock-torrrr!"

Don't say: "Pleased to meet you, Doctor Who!"

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

If You Liked It Then You Should Have Put A Ring (Or Five) On It


Aw, bless! Seb Coe wants to promote the London 2012 Olympics by hammering a set of giant Olympic rings to the front of that auld monstrosity, Edinburgh Castle.

If the organisers get their way, the 26ft high x 60ft wide brightly-coloured rings, rendered in tasteful aluminium, will, for nine months, almost totally obscure the massive eyesore that has blighted the city skyline for the past several centuries.

A spokesperson for London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games said Edinburgh Castle had been identified as the “right place” to erect the Olympic emblem. "If that doesn't drive the tourists away from Scotland and down to London in their droves, I don't know what will."

If nothing else, at least they'll deflect attention away from the continued non-appearance of any trams down in Princes Street.

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Robot, Fix Thyself!

According to JotZoom, material scientists at AkzoNobel have developed a self-mending plastic. This wondrous substance can repair damage to itself without the aid of glue, tape or any other stickum.

Supra B (catchy name, huh?) can be used in toys, spectacles, automobiles, computers or other devices. So if you sit on your specs, no need to buy a new pair, just hold the broken parts together and hey, presto! They're as good as new.

The boffins reckon Supra B would be ideal for putting scratch-proof coatings on laptops and that, but I can't help wondering if it couldn't be incorporated into a self-repairing robot. I bet nobody's ever thought of that before. Oh.

Well, what could possibly go wrong?