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November 2005

The sky at night The early morning sky  

Regular readers who, by definition, are a discerning and observant lot may have noticed the bright planet which is rising in the east at sunset. The reddish light is of course a give-away - it's Mars. Our neighbouring planet is unusually bright just now because it is as close to the Earth as it will be for some years.

The photograph was taken early in the morning because Lough Foyle and Derry provide a much more photogenic background than a dark mountain. Mars is the bright spot on the right whilst the bottom of the constellation Orion can be seen on the upper left.  
 
 
The solar system

On the right is a current map of the solar system. Notice that Earth and Mars are on the same side of the sun and as close together as they can be. Also notice the same part of the constellation Orion to the right of Mars. Isn't it wonderful how science can predict reality?

Map produced with the help of the excellent astronomy program 'Starry Night'.

The sky at night

 
More lights in the sky

 
The annual season of annoying everyone around you with very loud noises and scaring their dogs witless reached its climax last night with a spectacular Halloween fireworks display arranged by the council. Many other people had the same idea because the town was shrouded in gun powder smoke and loud explosions echoed and flashed all over the valley.

There is a ban on unlicensed fireworks in Northern Ireland but - judging by Halloween night - there seems to be a slight problem with law enforcement in the valley.

A blue barrier Thank you?

 
Tesco's have finally put up a blue barrier to prepare for the building of their new store. For some strange reason signs have been mounted stating:"Thanks for your patience during construction". What construction - they haven't even started yet!

We can only think of three reasons for the silly sign:

  • Tesco's have employed a team of psychologists who have interviewed every person in the valley and concluded that we are the most patient body of women and men in the entire world where building work is concerned.

  • The sign is an expression of corporate optimism.

  • They happened to own the signs and it was a pity not to use them.

Hopefully all that building will improve the parking habits of their customers.

A clamped car The Taxman clampeth

 
This is a sight you don't see very often in Limavady - a clamped car. The only other clamped vehicle ever seen in the town belonged to Lidl's and they were just bluffing at the time. The little yellow notice on the windscreen informs passers-by that this vehicle is not to be driven away because the owner has not paid any road tax.

It is believed that the government is considering the use of thumbscrews on errant pedestrians.

PETS R US A new shop in the car-park

 
The big new building in the Connell Street car park is filling up. Tweedy Acheson's occupy the top floor and the shop seen on the right moved in a few days ago.

Our editor is slightly puzzled by the sign though: "What is a pet's rus" asked he "and is it catching?"

 
 
Here is a link to the famous Silly Sign Collection

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