View across the Outer Harbour of Stornoway

Friday, 27 January 2012

Friday 27 January

A bright and sunny day, with some nice cloudscapes. We started off with a -2C overnight low, and as the sun rose, there was still a slight hoar frost. Spent the day on a new tribute site, which will involve copying all the information on WW1 casualties into one site. The site is not public, and the 1300 names will take quite a bit of work.

An asteroid has passed the earth at a distance of about 37,000 miles, a quarter of the distance to the moon. The object, measuring only 37 feet across, shot by us at 4pm local time. Now that darkness has fallen, the moon, Jupiter and Venus are gracing the southwestern sky.

Homes in Orkney have been scanned for the presence of radon gas. Radon is radio-active and is produced by naturally occurring uranium in rocks like granite. Upon formation, the gas seeps out of the rocks and can accumulate in homes built on top. One home in Stromness is reported to have 3000 times the accepted maximum concentration inside. Adequate ventilation is usually sufficient to prevent problems. Radon can contribute towards lung cancer.

Auschwitz Memorial Day

Today it is 67 years ago since the infamous Auschwitz Birkenau concentration camp was liberated by Soviet forces. More than a million people, mainly Jews, were killed there during the Second World War. The process was conducted as an industrial process. To date, some of the goods left behind by the victims of the Holocaust remain on display. These include suitcases with name tags, spectacle frames, hair and shoes. I have never visited Auschwitz and am not likely to. January 27th is Holocaust Memorial Day, remembering all the victims of the Nazi's policy of extermination of all those they considered to be sub-human. We must never forget.