Whitby Writers Group

a self-help writers co-operative


Sat 25 Mar 2023

This has got to be the Smallest Castle in Europe!


Fri 24 Mar 2023

Carbon in the atmosphere isn’t our only environmental problem. The Earth is facing Phosphogeddon.


Thu 23 Mar 2023

Excellent lesson in good manners from a successful statesman:

Don’t interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.


Wed 22 Mar 2023

It’s a 3-D map.

It’s 4,000 years old – from the early Bronze Age.

And scientists reckon they know the region it portrays.


Tue 21 Mar 2023



Mon 20 Mar 2023

Why cut trees down and cut them up, when you can grow them to the shape you want them?


Sun 19 Mar 2023

You don’t often see digital clocks in public places – and hardly ever like this one!


Sat 18 Mar 2023



Fri 17 Mar 2023

Shards of Shakespeare. Make a note of this event at the Rifle Club in a week’s time.


Thu 16 Mar 2023

It’s the same old story. I think we can safely say now that Britain is not a hi-tech country these days.


Wed 15 Mar 2023

“Today, Philips is not a hi-tech company.” A breathtaking statement for someone born before 1980. Whatever happened?

The Death of Europe’s Last Electronics Giant… Philips – the company that had it all… and lost it all.


Tue 14 Mar 2023

Every Apple You Eat Took Years and Years to Make.

I didn’t know apples were so varied and exciting. That’s because, like books, only those the leading vendors want to make into bestsellers are offered to you in the shops.


Mon 13 Mar 2023

New discoveries at Orkney’s Ness of Brodgar neolithic site.


Sun 12 Mar 2023

You’re an Orcadian housebuilder living 5,400 years ago, and you have the commission from a local corporation to build a corporate HQ. You time-travel to the Victorian era and study the railway buildings. A lineside hut, built of brick and timber with a slate roof is the simplest example to copy, and you take the plans back to Orkney in 3,400 BCE.

They don’t have clay for bricks or cement, but they have plenty of limestone which cracks up square to make blocks and slabs, and they can build a mean drystone wall. The workers will live-in, so they need proper beds if you’ve got rats. Timber is scarce and has to be imported from the mainland, so you make the beds like troughs out of stone slabs. Bedding? There’s plenty of cattle on the island plus a few deer, so leather pillows and comforters stuffed with bracken don’t stretch the imagination. No trace of bedding, leather etc. can possibly last for 5,000 years, so there’ll be no sign of it in 2023 CE.

Orkney is very windy: thatch is out of the question. So you use what we’d call paving stones in place of slates. This means just to support the roof you need walls which are 12 ft thick. Down the road at Skara Brae they do away with the need for 12 ft thick walls by sinking their dwellings into the earth. But this is a posh HQ and needs to be above ground-level. Eventually it’ll be surrounded by a dozen or so smaller but similar buildings. A village… or a kremlin?

What does the Corporation do? Anything needing bright colours to make it look good. Cosmetics, dyestuffs, wall paint – you name it. They’ll also come and build you a stone temple, like the standing stones they flaunt nearby. In the forest you’d fell trees to build pillars, but on windy hilltops and Salisbury Plain, stone’s the thing. The Orcadians know how to move big stones long distances, and they’ll get it from quarries in Wales.

If you’re a customer, what do they want in payment? There’s no bitcoin, gold bars, coinage of any known variety, so payment for everything has to be in kind. They want hosting on-site: a feast each night and plenty of girls. If they want home cooking they’ll send back to Orkney for the ingredients at your expense.

The Corporation has cornered the market for stone circles countrywide, and has become super-rich, neolithic style. But don’t think they’re a soft touch for raiding. Orkney is a natural fastness: you’ll have to row your warriors in cowhide coracles across one of the most dangerous straits in the British Isles.

The HQ was not a palace for a ruler or an oligarch. Its residents may not have been communistic, but the management structure wasn’t reflected in personal wealth. What were they? Princes? Monks? Wizards? Skilled artisans? Peasants with a profitable sideline? Who can say? It may have varied over the millennium or so they were in business.

All men? All women? Mixed? No sign of a creche – or weaponry, altars or cult objects like idols. But two stone circles lie either side of the site. Quite likely there are lost villages beneath the surrounding loch: maybe a whole lost city.

Okay with all that? Of course you aren’t. But what we’ve found at the Ness of Brodgar demands even more improbable flights of imagination to explain. (No… let’s not get into aliens.)


Sat 11 Mar 2023

Three Croatians were arrested in Serbia after radioactive material was discovered in their car. They were about to cross the border when scanners detected a “serious amount” of radiation. It turned out to be from the head of a lightning conductor. Ionising radiation was once thought to improve the effectiveness of lightning conductors.

Radioactive items are used for a variety of purposes, but their movements are carefully tracked by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). However items that go missing (called orphan sources) are more common than you think.


Fri 10 Mar 2023

Stop giving daggers to retiring soldiers, says coroner after Somerset murders.

The Romans used to present swords to retiring gladiators – but they made sure these were wooden swords.

Well, well! They must have known something.

How about a blunt balsa-wood dagger? Of course a wooden dagger sounds nowhere near as impressive as a fully-functional ceremonial dagger. But it could have coloured foil applied to make it look smashing: any model aircraft shop sells suitable foil.


Thu 9 Mar 2023

Could you pass a general knowledge exam paper from 1859? People were surprisingly bright back then, and they didn’t have the internet to help them out.


Wed 8 Mar 2023

Churchill, Manitoba has a jail for delinquent polar bears.


Tue 7 Mar 2023

Michelin House. A more entertaining office block that many of those that (dis)grace today’s London.


Mon 6 Mar 2023

What happened to Google Search? Enrico Tartarotti makes a compelling case that Google was once an honest card-index for the library of the Web, but now primarily shows you what its paying advertisers want you to see.

There’s a quick fix: add “reddit” to the end of your search query. Reddit is so large that if it’s a reasonable question its users have asked it already.


Sun 5 Mar 2023

The Society of Authors saw fit to issue this warning recently…

We have seen a recent rise in members seeking advice on what have proved to be scams. The internet is teeming with companies offering services to writers, and it can often be difficult to distinguish between legitimate offers and scams.  Always treat information sourced from the internet, or from cold-call emails, with great caution, and remember that scams are designed to play on your hopes as a writer.


Sat 4 Mar 2023

I don’t want to log in to your website. I simply won’t read! Solved!


Fri 3 Mar 2023

The tiny diamond sphere that could unlock clean power.

At long last, scientists have managed to get more energy out of a controlled fusion reaction that they put in. The price of the fuel will have to come down a lot before the technology yields affordable electricity.


Thu 2 Mar 2023

The Ghibli Museum. Totoro is there, and friends.


Wed 1 Mar 2023

The Ghan – Australia’s magnificent Adelaide–Darwin cross-continental railway, with onboard fine dining.

Named after the Afghan camel-drivers who built it, this epic project left Australia with a growing population of feral camels, along with all the other exotic imports (rabbits, etc) which plague this time-capsule world.

The BBC programme essentially boils a 54-hour trip down to 3 hours. I have a fond memory of settling down with a six-pack of Fosters for the ride, which I was surprised to find as enjoyable as any long-distance train-journey I’d ever had. Not only do you get to explore the train, talking to people including the driver, but the frequent AR pop-ups appearing outside the window as if they were landscape features acquaint us with some remarkable facts of Australian history.

BBC are no longer broadcasting this unusual overnight experience, even on iPlayer, but it’s still available on YouTube.


Tue 28 Feb 2023

Soup Cocktail, anyone?

Fighting down nausea, I find myself agreeing with Marilyn Monroe; “What a horrible thing to do to a vodka!”

During the 30 long months I lived in New Jersey, I recall entire aisles in my local supermarket given over to mahogany-coloured bottles of the sort of stuff I poured down my sink. It was iced tea, a pervasive fad – and I think a passing one – that afflicted my county. I even had it served to me at get-togethers with my work colleagues. It tasted exactly as I expected it to: a nice glass of cool water ruined.

A tribute to the mind-warping power of mass advertising. The biblical story of the Gadarene Swine shows that this wasn’t a problem confined to the USA in the two-thousand-and-noughties. It can grip the heart of some hapless nation at any time.


Mon 27 Feb 2023

Meet the Punk Rocker Building Life-Sized Paper Effigies for Malaysia’s Ghosts.

“Chinese paper offerings are unique in being replicas of real objects that are transmitted to the world of the dead by burning.”


Sun 26 Feb 2023

A history of USA spy balloons. Makes you wonder why they spent all that money on U-2s and satellites.


Sat 25 Feb 2023

I was working out at the gym when a sassy twenty-something walked in.

I said to the trainer “What machine should I go on to impress that bonny lass?”

He looked me up and down and said “How about the ATM in the lobby?”


Fri 24 Feb 2023

Dark Sky. The town of Moffat has brought back the Link Boy.


Thu 23 Feb 2023

Our member Karen notifies us of two events at the Rifle Club, West Cliff, Whitby (opposite the Sports Centre):

Friday 3 March 2023:  7:30 for 8 PM start.
A selection of short film, animation etc., each one no longer than 15 minutes.
If you know of anyone who has footage to show, please contact Karen or Ian via the Contact page.
Admission Free.

Friday 24 March 2023:  7:30 PM.
A twist on the sonnets and a few verses from local talent.
Admission £3, pay at the door.


Wed 22 Feb 2023

A cuttlefish: “when it opens its pupils it looks like a child about to cry because you won’t let it play with knives”.


Tue 21 Feb 2023

A bittersweet story of an imperishable wedding cake from the Tule Lake Isolation Center, California, a concentration camp for Japanese-Americans who gave the wrong answers to a badly-worded questionnaire.


Mon 20 Feb 2023

Eating our way to extinction.


Sun 19 Feb 2023

England’s largest independent library outside London.


Sat 18 Feb 2023

We’ve Forgotten The Potential Horrors of What a Nuclear Winter Would Be Like.


Fri 17 Feb 2023

Instead of snow, there’s prickly pears in the Swiss Alps.


Thu 16 Feb 2023

The Myth of American Exceptionalism, by Stephen M Walt. A dazzlingly clear-eyed bit of USA navel-gazing – at a pretty grubby navel. Hard to think of anything this FP columnist has left off the rap-sheet.


Wed 15 Feb 2023

The grinch who stole Easter.


Tue 14 Feb 2023

The space weather forecast hasn’t been very good recently. A solar X-flare knocked out radio communications over South America last Saturday. And a separate CME (Coronal Mass Ejection) is due to hit us today. Expect brighter auroras, and maybe even power-grid upsets.


Mon 13 Feb 2023

Pharaoh Akhenaten seemed to be inordinately fond of pigeons – though there’s little physical sign of them in his city of Amarna.

Perhaps it was a problem for the notoriously anti-establishment monarch of trying to find a decorative bird with no traditional religious affiliation?


Sun 12 Feb 2023

A gallery beneath the Cutty Sark in Greenwich is home to the Long John Silver Figurehead Collection.


Sat 11 Feb 2023

Puss son of Miau threatens King Cambyses with nuclear retaliation.

The Persian king responds by cat-bombing the Fortress of Pelusium.


Fri 10 Feb 2023

The king who rained. Forks in the road. A coat of arms…

Fred Gwynne’s claim to fame wasn’t just that he played Herman Munster in the TV series.


Thu 9 Feb 2023

In 2001, three woodcutters in Lia, Georgia, found two hot metal objects in the forest & used them for warmth during the night.

The objects turned out to be recklessly discarded 250W radioisotope thermoelectric generators from an old dam construction project.

Orphan sources are a lot commoner than you might suppose. By 2006, as many as 300 orphan sources had been discovered in Georgia alone.


Wed 8 Feb 2023

The water tank beneath Palais Garnier in Paris was once the home of a man with no face.


Tue 7 Feb 2023

Okrent’s Law…

The pursuit of balance can create imbalance because sometimes something is true.

…like how effective action to prevent massive Climate Change was maliciously stalled for 3 generations. The world press cooperated in fomenting a bogus scientific debate when actually there wasn’t one, because there were such nice people breathing down their necks.


Mon 6 Feb 2023

Scientists recently scooped up one of the heaviest meteorites ever discovered in Antarctica, as well as four other frozen space rocks that likely crashed into the icy continent thousands of years ago. 


Sun 5 Feb 2023

Who are these people…

[1] American and Russian agents disputing ownership of a spy-cubesat?
[2] The winner and runners-up of the annual Snow Angel competition in Ontario?
[3] Scientists celebrating the discovery of a new meteorite in Antarctica?

Answer tomorrow.


Sat 4 Feb 2023

From our member Harry Nicholson:

My 3rd seagoing memoir When Are You Going Back? is out.


Fri 3 Feb 2023

A spiteful little measure from a government that’s opening vast new oilfields and coal mines. How could this possibly be enforced? Can’t you guess? Protest about climate hypocrisy and they’ll break down your door at dawn, put oily rags in your stove, point some fancy device at the smoke and slap a £300 fine on you.


Thu 2 Feb 2023

Eight Great Gargoyles and Grotesques to Both Terrify and Amuse.


Wed 1 Feb 2023

More from Otto von Bismarck…

Preemptive war is like committing suicide for fear of death.

If only we had one more world leader who thought he was Otto von Bismarck, and one less who thought he was Ivan the Terrible.


Tue 31 Jan 2023

“Bulgaria, that little country between the Danube and the Balkans, is far from being an object of adequate importance… for which to plunge Europe from Moscow to the Pyrenees, and from the North Sea to Palermo, into a war whose issue no man can foresee. At the end of the conflict we should scarcely know why we had fought.”

Otto von Bismarck (1815-1898), addressing the Reichstag in February 1888 on the dangers of a European war.

Mon 30 Jan 2023

For the third year in a row, the government has just approved a banned bee-killing pesticide for use.


Sun 29 Jan 2023

No one was sure about the size of these almost-mythical wildlife events—until we got it all on camera.


Sat 28 Jan 2023

Some strange ideas about how to send a warning to our descendants 100,000 years from now.


Fri 27 Jan 2023

Currently listening to this audiobook from The Great Courses series: Cultural Literacy for Religion: Everything the Well-Educated Person Should Know, by Mark Berkson.

Professor Berkman’s motive is straightforward and compelling: in a democracy it’s the duty of every citizen to know something about the religious traditions of his fellow citizens. What does the world look like from the perspective of someone within each tradition? What does this person value and care about? What are the everyday scriptures, rituals, traditions, and holidays like? He offers a remarkably sympathetic shop-window for each of the following faiths: Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Dao, Shinto, Shaman, Zen, Pure Land, Jew, Christian, Muslim, Jain, Sikh and Baha’i.

Now I thought I was pretty well-informed about at least half of these, but Prof Berkman is showing me how wrong I am. If you’re looking to change your cobwebby old religion for a sparkly new one, this would be a good place to start. (I’m joking of course) But even if you aren’t, more people knowing what the author has to say would be a major contribution to world peace.


Thu 26 Jan 2023

A tagged elephant seal led researchers to the discovery of a potential climate disaster in Antarctica. We may not have to wait as long as 2099 for a catastrophic sea-level rise of 15 feet which will redraw the world’s coastlines and drown its ports.


Wed 25 Jan 2023

When Hawaii smelt of rotten pineapples.


Tue 24 Jan 2023

What is killing our local crabs and lobsters? The experts can’t agree.

Dr Gary Caldwell, Senior Lecturer in Applied Marine Biology, said: “The report concludes that it is about as likely as not that a pathogen new to UK waters – a potential disease or parasite – caused the unusual crustacean mass die-offs, despite the fact that there was no direct evidence for the involvement of any pathogens, and that Cefas had previously dismissed the involvement of disease. The failure to evidence this conclusion is remarkably poor scientific practice.

“We agree with the Panel’s conclusion that the involvement of a harmful algae bloom is unlikely. However, the dismissal of pyridine involvement also ignores the chemistry of the molecule, including its propensity to adsorb to sediment particles and its capacity to remain for many years in the environment if protected from oxygen. The report also overlooks the fact that we detected pyridine in surface sediment fully 7 months after the mass die-offs, and that we have been prevented from taking sediment core samples to quantify pyridine levels in the deeper sediment. The Panel also failed to recognise the virtual elimination of the barnacle population from the Staithes long term monitoring site, which is positioned midway along the modelled trajectory of the sediment plume. Pyridine is a well known and powerful antifouling agent that is used to kill barnacles.”

From: Loss of marine life off the North East and Yorkshire coast (20 Jan 2023)

Mon 23 Jan 2023

“A peanut was walking down the street when he was a-salted.”

One of the lighter-hearted moments in a very dark novel.


Sun 22 Jan 2023

An article on the BBC website caught my eye: Japan was the future but it’s stuck in the past.

It is by Rupert Wingfield-Hayes, a longtime overseas correspondent for the BBC, with a Japanese wife and nearly grown-up children. I’m not really qualified to judge, but of all the books and articles on Japan, this is the most impressive 3,000 words I have read. Not only for the warts-and-all description of the country by someone who knows and loves it, but for summing-up the image it presents to the western world.


Sat 21 Jan 2023

They’re taking the stars away from us one-at-a-time.


Fri 20 Jan 2023

There’s a video about experiments that could have ended the world.

Maybe you’re thinking: how silly people were in those days. But right now we’re all engaged in an experiment that will end our world – seeing how long we can get away with doing nothing in the face of a long-anticipated global disaster.


Thu 19 Jan 2023



Wed 18 Jan 2023

100 years ago today…

The German mark dropped to 23,800 against the U.S. dollar. (On January 1, $1 had been worth 9,000 marks.)


Tue 17 Jan 2023

Politicians who are good at big speeches, if little else, are promising to plant millions of trees. How many of these trees will survive? Here’s a BBC podcast on how to improve the success rate.


Mon 16 Jan 2023

Discovered THE ESK VAULTS in Whitby West Side today. Opened in the last 2 months, it’s an upstairs “vaults”, on Red Lion Bank, above The Greedy Pig, which is opposite Pandemonium.

It ticked all my boxes. For alcoholic drinks, it has just 4 craft beers, but they’re well-chosen. It has a small range of toasties, but they’re all the ones I like. Does pizzas too, but I didn’t try those.

Unpretentious, with unpretentious prices. Background music was on, but it was restful and low. The barman was welcoming. What’s not to like?



Sun 15 Jan 2023

Film-maker Rebecca Hosking’s video on taking over her father’s farm is a must-watch.

She reveals that farms like hers rely heavily on fossil fuel, over 90% of which goes to preventing the land reverting to forest. But what if you could work with the forest, not against it? A well-crafted forest garden can be just as productive as agriculture.


Sat 14 Jan 2023

Rookhope Arch will be known to those of us who’ve been to that part of the world. The AO article describes how the smelt mill worked, and just why the fumes were led away to chimneys high up on the fells. Not what you think.


Fri 13 Jan 2023

Might that pigeon on your windowsill be taking pictures of you?


Thu 12 Jan 2023

(Still resting)


Wed 11 Jan 2023



Tue 10 Jan 2023

All-at-sea with the time-of-day? Synchronise your chronometer by telescope with this handy tower.


Mon 9 Jan 2023

If you don’t like the look of this street art display, you can change it with a call from your mobile.


Sun 8 Jan 2023

The association of newspapers and printers with the devil go back a long way in York.


Sat 7 Jan 2023

Despite its name, the Alien Research Center is focused less on scientific inquiry and more on souvenirs (quote from the article).


Fri 6 Jan 2023

How an army of eunuchs ran the Forbidden City.

Includes details of how to join this charmed circle. (WARNING: some people may find this distressing.)


Thu 5 Jan 2023

The solitary grave of a schooner captain struck by lightning while serving biscuits.


Wed 4 Jan 2023

This Estonian town recycles its used Christmas trees by drinking them.


Tue 3 Jan 2023

“We’re in a space race”: Nasa sounds alarm at Chinese designs on Moon. But the Chinese had their answer ready: “China always advocates the peaceful use of outer space, opposes the weaponization of and arms race in outer space, and works actively toward building a community with a shared future for mankind in the space domain.”

With commendable restraint they forbore to add: “If you’re so damned worried about somebody else developing the Moon first, why have you wasted 50 years doing nothing about it?”


Mon 2 Jan 2023

AI can now create images out of thin air. See how it works.


Sun 1 Jan 2023

In 1942 the British Ministry of Information made a creative remix of Leni Riefenstahl’s Triumph of the Will and distributed it like a newsreel to foreign embassies. This humorous short has “General Adolf” and the serried ranks of the SS dancing to the tune of The Lambeth Walk.

We need an up-to-date version featuring present-day “nasties”.


Sat 31 Dec 2022

For decades, 1960s research for the American Petroleum Institute (whose members were all the major oil companies) warning of the risks of burning fossil fuels had been forgotten. But two papers discovered in libraries are now playing a key role in lawsuits aimed at holding oil companies accountable for climate change.


Fri 30 Dec 2022

Is it worth going to all that trouble to build an ice building that won’t last into summer? Judge for yourself.


Thu 29 Dec 2022

Had too much of a good time over Christmas? Fancy having a really bad time for an hour?

Then Nails on Chalkboards is for you.


Wed 28 Dec 2022

2.5 Million year old cooling lava formed these Organ Pipes.


Tue 27 Dec 2022

When you stop to think of it, why should all scorpions glow green in the dark? What possible survival advantage does it confer?


Mon 26 Dec 2022

More on the Greenland ice sheet.

See 21 Dec 2022. I was going to add that what the glaciologists found at the bottom of the moulin wasn’t reassuring. Now scientists have revised their estimates and reached these conclusions:
(1) Greenland behaves nothing like Antarctica. Past estimates based on that assumption are wildly out.
(2) The Greenland ice sheet is melting 100 times faster than we thought.

So… if we thought that the sea-level will rise by 1 metre in 100 years, does (2) mean it will only take a year to rise that high?

Well… no, because there’s (1) to consider. Right now Greenland contributes about 20% to sea-level rise. Antarctica contributes most of the rest. If you want to clutch at straws, maybe things are just great in Antarctica?


Sun 25 Dec 2022

A Happy Christmas to all our readers!


Sat 24 Dec 2022

Built to replace a house destroyed by a hurricane, this home is made entirely of shipping containers.

Seems quite a des. res. inside. Wonder what the neighbours think?


Fri 23 Dec 2022

My cousin Hilary has written a book [The Green Fuse, ISBN 9781800461819] – and to my shame I didn’t know about it. This isn’t one more New Age fancy: Hilary and her husband Ben are professional research botanists (retired) – and are well qualified to view me as out-of-my-depth. So what can I say?

Except to recommend a belated Christmas gift, or maybe a New Year gift for a friend or close relative.


Thu 22 Dec 2022

The Temples of Humankind at Damanhur. An impressive artwork built in secrecy – or intended to be something more?


Wed 21 Dec 2022

Into the Ice. A gripping BBC film by director Lars Henrik Ostenfeld  – a detective story indeed – about glaciologists studying the Greenland ice sheet. Nowadays they have year-round data-logging stations and satellites, but they still need to go and get snow on their boots.

Each summer, beautiful turquoise rivers of meltwater appear all over Greenland and cascade into vast holes called moulins, ending up in the sea. In winter the rivers disappear. But does all the water drain away?

Together with Antarctica, Greenland has enough ice to raise sea levels by 65 metres when it all melts. But how soon is that going to happen? The best guess to-date is for 1 metre by 2099. Enough to drown hundreds of coastal cities worldwide. It looks like our children’s problem though, not ours.

But may the climate models be far too optimistic? If the moulin water is not draining away, then the ice cap is going to float off down to the Greenland coast a lot quicker than anyone expects. There’s only one way to find out: abseil down one of the biggest moulins to the water table (175 metres as it turns out) – a terrifying thing to do.


Tue 20 Dec 2022 [2]

Rosemary for Remembrance.

Before my age was into double figures, I got given a book of children’s stories: The Wings of the Morning. It contained a story with the above title, and that story has haunted me for over 70 years. I have told it around campfires, and many times tried to write it down as I recalled it.

Recently I tracked down a copy of my childhood book, and it now sits on my bookshelf. I can now see that the original story differs significantly from the one that’s festered in my mind, which shows how memories evolve with the passing of decades. The generous merchant of happy faces was originally a crabby old miser, who wouldn’t even spare the doctor’s fee to save the life of his ailing young wife. And the sprig of herb collected daily was originally a complete rosemary bush, which the miser carries around with him and hands out sprig-by sprig, until plucking the last one he dies. But, like the old broom with three new heads and two new handles, it’s essentially the same story.


Tue 20 Dec 2022

BBC’s stroke of genius: take a twenty-something redhead living for the weekend and filling her wardrobe with fashion clothes, and stick her in an Indian sweatshop, a Mexican border town, a tough US jail for women, embed her with the Peshmarga in a Yazidi girls’ unit… the list is endless.

Just one of those holidays in hell would leave me with PTSD. But she’s done it so you don’t have to. On the Front Line with the Women Who Fight Back [audiobook]: Stacey Dooley, my favourite Essex Girl, reads her own memoir. Also available in book form, on Kindle, etc. I’m listening to it at mealtimes (I have pretty good digestion these days.)


Mon 19 Dec 2022

Why does chocolate turn white (and is it safe to eat)?

A long, long explanation which basically says: yeah, it’s just fine!

(Are you convinced now?)


Sun 18 Dec 2022

Likeness of Cambrian critter finally revealed, and it looks like a taco.

(Keep looking and you’ll likely find one that looks like a burrito.)


Sat 17 Dec 2022

Aliens haven’t contacted Earth because there’s no sign of intelligence here.


Fri 16 Dec 2022

If you want to stand on the highest point in Belgium you have to go up steps to get to it.


Thu 15 Dec 2022 [2]


WASSAIL — a Christmas Gathering — has been postponed till 28 December. (Other details stand.)

[See entry below: Tue 13 Dec 2022.]


Thu 15 Dec 2022

Ice pancakes form on freezing Glasgow river.


Wed 14 Dec 2022

Stephen M Walt’s article: The United States Couldn’t Stop Being Stupid if It Wanted To – is stunningly clear-eyed in its analysis of the problems facing today’s world and the USA’s problems with grappling with them. “…If it is easy for us to go anywhere and do anything, we will always be going somewhere and doing something.” So obvious when put like that.

The comments on the article are revealing. A sample: “One reason is that historically and metaphorically, we are a teenager with nuclear weapons…”


Tue 13 Dec 2022

A note for your diary…

WASSAIL — a Christmas Gathering.

Ancient, traditional and contemporary songs, music and carols.

Christmas characters, festive fayre and Christmas crafts.

All tickets £5.00. Telephone 01947 811508 (or pay at the door, if there’s room).

18 December, 7 PM, Sleights Village Hall, 53 Coach Road, Sleights, Whitby YO22 5BT


Mon 12 Dec 2022

Our member Kaz (Karen McCarthy) sends me this email:

Hi Ian, Info on the dates of Wassail at Sleights village hall, Sun 18th Dec at 7pm.   Calendar  girls talk Feb 17th at the rifle club 7/7-30   TBC.. I hope to have another film night and Shakespeare night at Rifle club around March…Kaz


Sun 11 Dec 2022

“Everybody said: ‘Nice experiment, but maybe you want to go out and measure some numbers and stop wasting time and money and instead start doing some real physics.'”

These are the words of John F Clauser. He and his colleague Stuart Freedman, who died in 2012, were the first to show that quantum entanglement really gave rise to Einstein’s “spooky action-at-a-distance”, and wasn’t just a heavy hint that Quantum Theory can’t possibly be the whole story. In a sense, Clauser and Freedman ushered in the new world of Quantum Computers.

It took 50 years until Clauser was awarded the Nobel Prize yesterday for his experimental work. Spookie the Cat is reassured to know that recognition comes in the end.


Sat 10 Dec 2022

Peak District cloud inversion leaves drone pilot speechless.


Fri 9 Dec 2022

BARRY CRYER’S PARROT JOKE (courtesy of The Oldie)

A man walks into a pub with a parrot on his head.

‘What’s all this about?’ asks the barman.

‘Ask him!’ says the parrot. ‘He put me here.’


Thu 8 Dec 2022

Truly marvellous! The life-changing electric suit.


Wed 7 Dec 2022

San Francisco Police Can Now Kill People With Robots.

RoboCop comes of age?


Tue 6 Dec 2022

The original Icehotel, at Jukkasjärvi, Sweden.


Mon 5 Dec 2022

Who is Krampus, and what does he have to do with Christmas?


Sun 4 Dec 2022

Even the most odious tyrant is not without his benefits. His endless egregious cruelties germinate the seeds of human kindness among his victims. It makes me proud to be a human being.


Sat 3 Dec 2022

In search of a seriously random number-stream to encrypt your data? This firm uses a camera trained on a wall of lava lamps!


Fri 2 Dec 2022

Making the country safe for the super-rich to live in can come at some cost to the rule of law.

The Chatham House report: Cracking down on kleptocracy is a jaw-dropping summary of the issues.


Thu 1 Dec 2022

The Genetically Modified Little Mermaid. A wry parody of the far more familiar (and more vandalised) Copenhagen landmark.


Wed 30 Nov 2022

Titanosaurus – a nomen dubium? Or our first glimpse of the fabulous Monstosaurus?


Tue 29 Nov 2022

What is a meme? To most people it means little more than an internet cliché. But when Richard Dawkins gave us the word in his book The Selfish Gene, he intended it as something more interesting. Knowing he was able to explain the behaviour of genes theoretically, Dawkins was keen to search for things that obeyed his theory without arising within living matter. He found it in the catchphrase, the joke, the graffito.

Dawkins’s memes are replicators, i.e they give rise to copies of themselves. Not always perfect copies, but with variations. Whether a variant dies out, or survives to be replicated in its turn, is not purely random, but relies on something like Darwin’s natural selection. The meme gets improved upon over time, i.e. it evolves, in much the same way that living organisms do.

So a meme is not merely an internet fad. It’s arguably an example of a life-form that is not carbon-based. Which is good for us to know when we go searching for extra-terrestrial life.


Mon 28 Nov 2022

This is just the 6th time in recorded history that a meteor’s arrival has been successfully forecast.

It’s good to know that we now have such effective international cooperation to warn of the arrival of a space rock that could trash the planet. Leaving us free to do it ourselves in our own inimitable way.


Sun 27 Nov 2022

Memories of a lost childhood. The Coyoacán Bazaar Toy Cemetery.


Sat 26 Nov 2022

I’m so good at sleeping I can do it with my eyes closed.


Fri 25 Nov 2022

Meet Carrot, possibly the world’s largest goldfish. It’s not the first time he’s been caught and released. Perhaps he likes the publicity?


Thu 24 Nov 2022

I saw a robbery at the Apple store. What does that make me?


Wed 23 Nov 2022

I’ve often wondered what sort of people become Fifa bosses.

Someone who’d organise a piss-up in a nunnery?


Tue 22 Nov 2022

To illustrate the news item below, I instructed my new pet AI called DALL-E with the prompt:

A medicine bottle with a label showing a warm cosy fire

DALL-E generated. © 2022, Clark Nida

DALL-E is a marvel, but not only can’t it count fingers on its hands: it’s also hopelessly dyslexic.


Tue 22 Nov 2022

From the BBC website: Patients prescribed heating as part of health trial. What a brilliant idea! The doctor will actually pay to help heat your room if it will keep you out of hospital – which would cost the NHS a lot more. This trial is being extended since it’s proving so popular.


Tue 22 Nov 2022

Christies was all set to auction a T. rex skeleton when someone pointed out suspicious similarities with another exhibited skeleton. Do you suppose it was one of the T. rexes that Spookie the Cat put together to sell to museums?


Mon 21 Nov 2022

The luxury Swedish ice hotel that simply never melts.

How do they do it? With a great big refrigeration plant.


Sun 20 Nov 2022

King Tutankhamun had an iron dagger bound into his mummy wrappings. This was in the Bronze Age, before iron-ore smelting was known. How did the Egyptians get hold of iron?

It seems they used iron from iron-rich meteorites. King Tut’s dagger was made from two different meteorites.


Sat 19 Nov 2022

More fluffernutters. I’ve now got a yen for fluffernutter wraps!

Spread half of a plain tortilla with peanut butter, and the other half with fluff. Roll it up, starting at the fluff edge.
For aesthetic reasons, hold it tightly at the bottom as you eat it.


Fri 18 Nov 2022

To stop the Artemis launch being scrubbed yet again, they had to send in guys with spanners to tighten nuts right under the rocket – a very dangerous place to be. It all sounds a bit string-and-sealing-wax to me, for a rocket that’s planned to be the mainstay of the Artemis mission to return the USA to the Moon.


Thu 17 Nov 2022

Big big toys for big big boys.

So, after a string of aborted launches, NASA’s Artemis single-use, legacy-tech heavy launcher finally got off the ground – just before the solid fuel boosters went past their sell-by date.

Is this really a milestone on the way to the Moon – and Beyond! – or The Fighting Temeraire being towed to its last resting place?


Wed 16 Nov 2022

Yesterday the Electoral Reform Society published Time for Change: The 2022 Welsh Local Elections and the Case for STV.

This report compares the Welsh elections, run under FPP (First Past the Post), with the Scottish local elections, run under the proportional STV (Single Transferable Vote), and makes a strong case for changing the Welsh system. 

ERS found that in over a third of councils in Wales a party holds more than 50% of the seats on less than 50% of the vote. Shockingly, more than 100,000 voters in Wales had their choice taken away from them as there was only one candidate standing in 74 seats. First Past the Post makes many elections so uncompetitive it simply isn’t worth challenging the incumbent.

Here are my thoughts, for what they’re worth…

What’s a good name for a political constitution like this? It’s certainly not Democracy.


Tue 15 Nov 2022 20:24:00.

The eBook of my anthology ‘Wandering About’ is free to download on Amazon, 15th to 20th November. Please help yourself. 

From Harry Nicholson

Tue 15 Nov 2022

The choicest bit of fake news doing the rounds in the USA: the rumour that schools are providing kitty litter boxes for children who “identify as cats” and refuse to use regular restrooms.

VICE News scotches the lie. But this one has 9 lives – it just keeps going and going.


Mon 14 Nov 2022

After the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt issued an executive order relocating Japanese Americans because he deemed them “a threat to national security.”

The Ireichō is a sacred book of names listing the 125,284 Japanese Americans who were incarcerated in US internment camps during World War II.


Sun 13 Nov 2022

At our last meeting, Harry declared that a Maltese luzzu always sported a pair of eyes. We discussed how all over the world it seems to be a traditional way of symbolically bringing an inanimate object to life.

I chanced to recall that in my boyhood in the 1940s and 1950s, London buses were also in the habit of wearing eyes. Nobody was aware of this fact, which sent me looking for evidence of it on the internet. Lo and behold, I found several examples of what I remembered. It was a tradition: Londoners knew buses sometimes had eyes – and advertisers booked the appropriate corners to explore the meme in every imaginable variation.

Here are a few examples (which I will only show as links for copyright reasons):

  1. Picture Post was a popular glossy magazine.
  2. Here’s a suburban bus (green) with the same advert.
  3. The Heathrow Express seems a bit red-eyed.
  4. Capping The Joke in Sevenoaks.
  5. A daring variation, but you can’t miss the allusion.
  6. The eyes have it – perhaps the spot is for sale?
  7. That tram didn’t watch where it was going!

Sat 12 Nov 2022

The Troll is a magical being from Nordic myth and legend. It takes many forms, as do the Dwarf and the Elf – the three terms overlapping so much as to be practically indistinguishable. The most popular form of troll is the ugly slow-witted giant described by JRR Tolkien in his fantasy stories. In modern Swedish: troll the word simply means magical, and gets attached to any animal, vegetable or mineral.

The association of trolls with bridges may be nothing more than a pun on troll/toll. Like millers, the builders of toll bridges were solitary, vulnerable individuals providing an essential service at their own cost, but which made them few friends. Their designation as trolls was simply a subterfuge to justify violating their human rights. In England the association with toll bridges dates back to the 1840s with the Norwegian fairytale: De tre bukkene Bruse, translated into English as The Three Billy Goats Gruff. It recounts the adventures of three goat-brothers who try to outwit the hapless owner of a toll bridge as they seek to cross it without paying.


Fri 11 Nov 2022

Kurt Vonnegut, American novelist, born 11 November 1922, in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA.

Best known for his novels The Sirens of Titan (1959) and Slaughterhouse-Five (1969).


Thu 10 Nov 2022

Helmet-headed dinosaurs (pachycephalosaurs) kickboxed like kangaroos, new study suggests.

And we all thought they would have head-butted like bighorn sheep.


Wed 9 Nov 2022

QUOTE: If extraterrestrial life sent us a message tomorrow, how would humanity respond? According to researchers, we don’t know yet — and that’s a problem.

What? We can’t even agree how to respond when terrestrial life sends us an urgent message – and has been doing so for the past 30 to 60 years.


Tue 8 Nov 2022

I’ve been experimenting with DALL-E, a website which lets you create AI-generated artwork. I’ve featured it before (see below: 29 Sep). I was keen to know how practical it was for illustrating a novel, an anthology of stories or poems, or even a book cover. My pockets are not deep enough to commission an illustrator, who might charge £30 to £300 for one illustration, though I know for a fact that illustrators earn their fee and are probably selling their time at floor-cleaning rates.

You can see the results of my investigations in Anitra’s Petition, a serialised extract of an unpublished novel. I think it’s a feasible proposition. Next I want to try a children’s story.


Mon 7 Nov 2022

Maharajah Duleep Singh was the last legitimate ruler of the Sikh Empire in the Punjab. The BBC website records the Indian boy king’s warm friendship with Queen Victoria.

Not mentioned in the BBC article is the fact that from 1858 – 1862 Duleep Singh rented Mulgrave Castle at Sandsend, just north of Whitby. The story of his privileged life, which ended sadly, is told on another BBC webpage.


Sun 6 Nov 2022 00:11:33

Scientists just discovered a huge river hidden under Antarctica.


Sat 5 Nov 2022 00:03:31

A massive space rock impact could have instantly created the moon. A sort of Newton’s Cradle effect.


Fri 4 Nov 2022 03:01:43

A Mondrian painting has been hanging upside down for 75 years. But they’re not going to change it, in case bits fall off it.

Do you suppose they’ll install climbing bars for hanging upside down to look at it?


Wed 2 Nov 2022 01:53:42

I’m fascinated by jumping spiders. Often called eight-legged cats, these creatures possess so many feline features they are the most “mammalian” of invertebrates. This is due to convergent evolution, which arises because a jumping spider doesn’t catch an insect in a web, like other spiders, but creeps up on it and pounces, like a cat. They have movable eyes (the big pair, which give it binocular vision and colour vision) plus cognitive abilities reminiscent of cats. Oh – and they’re covered in gorgeous fur.

I haz fruitflies pleez?


Tue 1 Nov 2022 01:15:35

On February 22, 2020, “Mad” Mike Hughes died following the crash of his steam-powered rocket. After his death, his public relations representative stated: “We used flat Earth as a PR stunt… Flat Earth allowed us to get so much publicity that we kept going! I know he didn’t believe in flat Earth and it was a shtick.”

I confess I’m disappointed. I felt that Mike Hughes showed the dedication of a true scientist in his quest to establish the flatness of the Earth. But it appears he was altogether a showman in the Evel Knievel mould.

And what of those people – climate deniers – who for two whole generations successfully torpedoed effective global action against man-made climate change by engineering a fake scientific debate? Will they one day be telling us they never doubted the true state-of-affairs, but only wanted to preserve their egregious profits from coal, oil or gas?

And will they too call it a shtick? Others may call it by its right name.


Mon 31 Oct 2022 11:27:07

On this day 100 years ago, a one-time ardent socialist, Benito Mussolini, was appointed the youngest ever Prime Minister of Italy.


Mon 31 Oct 2022 00:23:33

The Washington Post (WP) is still spooked by TikTok (see my NEWS post below of 2 weeks ago). WP insists that American lawmakers have not done anywhere near enough to keep the internet safe for Americans and their children, and now carries an article on how the USA and China are locked in a bizarre dance over its control.


Sun 30 Oct 2022 01:35:10

Feeling the yen for a fresh-smoked kipper again.


Sat 29 Oct 2022 00:44:48

I’ve acquired a taste for fluffernutters!

In nearly 30 years of travel throughout the USA (I’ve seen some changes during that time!) plus living there for 3 years, I’d never heard of a fluffernutter – until my daughter asked me what it was. It turns out to be a sandwich of peanut butter and “fluff” – spreadable marshmallow foam. I guess you only get to know about such things by being born and brought up in America.

However the other day I spotted a jar of fluff in the local Co-op. Locating some peanut butter and a loaf, I bore all the ingredients home in anticipation.


I knew about peanut butter, of course. Post-war, ordinary butter was hard to come by, so your butty was made with either peanut butter or margarine, which you most emphatically could tell from butter because of its metallic taste. Then you put jam (USA: jelly) or golden syrup on top of that.

Fluff takes away the manky taste of peanuts, and doesn’t hit you with excessive sweetness. I think of the flavour as quintessential Generica: hints of vanilla and cinnamon. I’m told the standard ingredients are: sugar, water, air, plus a whipping agent. For that last item I doubt anyone these days uses the marsh-mallow: Althaea officinalis.


Fri 28 Oct 2022 01: 06

“Mummy, mummy, are we snakes poisonous?”

“Yes, dear. Very poisonous. Why?”

“Oh dear! I’ve just bitten my tongue.”


Thu 27 Oct 2022 01:16:40

Pablo Escobar left Colombia with a lot of problems, not the least being a breeding pair of hippos that have done the obvious thing.

How do you “doctor” a hippo?


Wed 26 Oct 2022 00:00:09

“It is improper to boil a head in here”.

Notice in newly-discovered Egyptian shrine

I wonder if Spookie the Cat might have some views on this?


Tue 25 Oct 2022 00:13:08

Aren’t you glad you’re not 1 mm high, when you might come face to face with a carpenter ant?


Mon 24 Oct 2022 00:04:27

The James Webb Space Telescope revisits the celebrated Hubble picture of The Pillars Of Creation, and has a slightly different take on it…

So does my daughter Leela. She doesn’t see it as a divine hand, but as a big brown animal reaching up. And she knows which animal… the Giant Ground Sloth.

I propose a new name for this celestial object: the Giant Sky Sloth.


Sun 23 Oct 2022 01:20:46

Did you know that Great Britain once had rainforests? There are still vestiges of them – and they could be revived.


Sat 22 Oct 2022 00:39:11

Still on the theme of rest-breaks round Whitby, the so-called Wishing Chair looks to me like a lot of other lumps of sandstone in the town, which were used as alighting steps in the days of stage-coaches.

Perhaps you sat in it and wished for the stage-coach to hurry up and come.


Fri 21 Oct 2022 00:06:30

The coffin benches at intervals on the 199 Steps at Whitby are a godsend. Without them you’d be dead by the time you reached the top.


Thu 20 Oct 2022 00:10:22

On 3 June 1991 at 3.18pm, a pyroclastic flow erupted from Mount Unzen in Japan. A cloud of superheated gases and particles descended at more than 100mph from the peak of the volcano, consuming everything in its path.  It instantly killed Katia and Maurice Krafft, volcanologists and film-makers from the Alsace region in France. They were too close.

from Storyville [BBC iPlayer]

The Fire Within pays homage to the Kraffts, who left an archive of more than 200 hours of footage of their final journey, unprecedented in its spectacular and hypnotic beauty. 


Wed 19 Oct 2022 00:47:00

The bunyip is a cryptid from Australian folk-legend, inhabiting billabongs and doing mischief to skinny-dipping visitors. Some drawings of the beast are vaguely evocative of a fur seal as drawn from traumatised memory by someone who doesn’t know what a fur seal is…

The same could be said of the barguest: a Whitby cryptid made famous by Bram Stoker, who has Count Dracula making landfall from the beached Russian ship in the form of a great black dog (one of the beast’s manifestations), which bounds up the 199 Steps to lie low in the grave of a suicide.


Tue 18 Oct 2022 01:10:06

Doctors now have access to artificial blood cells. These have a storage life of 6 month compared to 35 days for human red blood cells.


Mon 17 Oct 2022 00:32:03

Black frogs in Chernobyl? – the green frogs have all croaked.


Sun 16 Oct 2022 00:10:07

How TikTok ate the internet. If you’re pre-Generation Z and are too scared to download TikTok, this Washington Post article brings you a taste of it without sacrificing your privacy and identity to global bad-actors. TikTok shows audience-generated snatches of movie, changeable at a swipe, then puts you under a microscope (without your knowledge or consent) to investigate and log how you respond to its smoke’n’mirrors.

Before long it’s slurped your mind (an easy enough task with most adolescents). Big Brother with bells on.


Sat 15 Oct 2022 01:16:32

The Simpsons jokes forensically analysed to bits.

…And you thought it was easy to write humorous stuff?


Fri 14 Oct 2022 00:00:47

Why do crested penguins lay two eggs, reject the first one and hatch only the second?


Thu 13 Oct 2022 03:15:00

Listening yet-again to the marvellous Secrets of Sleep Science: From Dreams to Disorders (audiobook) by Craig Heller.

Think you know everything about sleep? Then answer this…

Q: Why should a blind person always wear dark glasses when going outside?
a) So you can’t see their eyes are shut,
b) So they can’t see you staring at them if their sight suddenly returns,
c) To help them get up in the morning.


The retina has special melanopsin-producing light-sensitive cells not involved in vision. Their function is to entrain (i.e. synchronise) your circadian rhythm to the daylight cycle. These cells continue to function even when vision is lost. But a blind person’s eyes no longer close the iris in daylight to protect the retina against UV light. Dark glasses shield a blind person’s eyes against UV, which would otherwise burn out these cells, making the circadian rhythm free-running, typically on a 26-hour cycle. Thus without dark glasses when you go out, waking up in the morning gets harder and harder.


Tue 11 Oct 2022 21:14:57

The Palace of Culture and Science has long been the tallest building in Warsaw (but a taller one is under construction). Built in 1955 in the Stalin wedding-cake style like the Seven Sisters, it prompted this joke I heard in the city in 1968:

Q. Why are there so many people queueing to go up the top of the Palace of Culture and Science?
A. Because it’s the only spot in town where you can’t see the Palace of Culture and Science.


Mon 10 Oct 2022 14:58:52

From that outstanding source of wacky information Atlas Obscura I read about the Anchoress of Shere. This unhappy woman got so tired of being stuck indoors that in 1332 she broke out of her cell in St James’ Church in Shere, near Guildford. But very soon she was petitioning the Pope to have herself walled up again.

No matter how bad things seem, they could be a whole lot worse.


Sat 8 Oct 2022 03:11:34

Freedom From Torture are running a poetry competition.

Entry fee £5, deadline 28 October 2022.


Fri 7 Oct 2022 20:33:11

It’s hard to get into the mind of an autocrat who devises an elaborate practical joke to shame an errant underling. But perhaps the Mikado-esque punishment was so memorable, whatever one’s sense of humour, that scant sympathy accrued to the unhappy victim.


Thu 6 Oct 2022 22:59:39

Excellence rewarded. Further to yesterday’s news item, Sergei Krikalev is currently executive director of human spaceflight programs at the Russian space agency Roscosmos, serving under Yuri Borisov, who on July 15 of this year replaced the fire-breathing Dmitry Rogozin as head of the agency.


Wed 5 Oct 2022 23:34:12

Sergei Krikalev: the cosmonaut who spent 311 days in space and time-travelled through the dissolution of the USSR.


Tue 4 Oct 2022 23:18:41

York born bestselling author Andrew Martin is appearing at Scarborough Library this Thursday 6 October at 6pm. Author of bestseller ‘The Last Train to Scarborough’, Andrew will be discussing his Jim Stringer railway detective series and also his new entertaining book about Yorkshire.

Tickets are just £4, including a glass of wine and are available from Scarborough Library in advance of the event. Alternatively phone 01609 536602 to reserve a seat. Some tickets available on the door but spaces are limited.


Mon 3 Oct 2022 13:48:42

If you think the key conceit of The Last Of The Time Cats is too far-fetched, then read this article: Can stringy physics rescue the universe from a catastrophic transformation?
(WARNING: not right before bed.)


Sun 2 Oct 2022 01:06:27

Want to escape from Russia? Not in Russia – want to escape from the world at large?
Chota Sahib – Charles H G Nida’s memoir of his adventures as a box-wallah (travelling salesman) in pre-WW1 India, is sheer escapism. Keep an eye on our right-hand sidebar for more stories from WWG to read again.


Sat 1 Oct 2022 00:46:57

JPC Whitby Supercar Saturday
Saturday 1st October 2022 – 10am – 4pm

Experience some of the most impressive collections of supercars you’ll see in one place as they roll into the Whitby Harbour for the inaugural 80 vehicle Supercar Saturday event.

Why should an event like this be of interest to writers like us, still creating stories for the printed page? Well, would you dare write a novel set in the 19th century or earlier if you knew nothing about horses? What about a novel set in the present-day?


Fri 30 Sep 2022 04:39:46

Had one or two genuine laughs out of this website


Thu 29 Sep 2022 16:25:06

Volchin is back in-print. Copies from the author at concessionary price (1 copy) to WWG members only.

From Clark Nida

Thu 29 Sep 2022 15:52:21

AI can now create any image in seconds, bringing wonder and danger.

From Washington Post (28 Sep 2022)

The above article describes DALL.E 2, a website presenting a research AI which sells you “points” (quite cheaply too) to generate your own picture from a text description you type-in yourself. 50 free points to start you off, another 50 free each month, no obligation to buy anything, no 3rd-party ads.

Craiyon is an alternative site for an open-source version of DALL.E 2, totally free but financed by ads and generating artwork of lower quality, especially where faces are concerned. But for fantasy themes this has its merits. For example:

which readers of Volchin will recognise from the short story: A Hand In The Dark.


Wed 28 Sep 2022 15:15:05

I thought to let you know the eBook ‘Green Linnet’, my anthology of short pieces, is free today and tomorrow (Thursday 29th). From Harry Nicholson


WWG NEWS is edited by Ian Clark

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