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Friday Newsletter: April 20, 2012


Friday NewsLetter logo (i)This week’s post has a bit of an aviation and space theme – well as you know I need little excuse to find aviation stories to write about in this newsletter.

There is a wonderful video of a spectacular solar flare which really shows the power of the Sun’s energy.

Tuesday also saw the final landing of the Space Shuttle Discovery so I have included some stills of that historic event for those of you who missed it. And don’t miss the tip on how to peel a potato without using a knife.

Caught by NASA cameras: spectacular solar flare

A spectacular solar flare which sent a huge jet of super-hot plasma blasting off into space has been captured by NASA cameras.

The explosion was filmed by Nasa’s Solar Dynamics Observatory earlier this week measured at just a moderate M1 on the scale of sun storms, which placed it in the middle of the scale scientists use to measure flare strength.

Dramatic sunspot activity

Dramatic sunspot activity. Pic: © NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center/SDO

Video: Nasa

And staying with NASA…Space Shuttle Discovery’s final landing

The Shuttle Carrier Aircraft ferrying Discovery touched down at Dulles at 11:05 am on Tuesday morning which was the final ferry flight of Discovery.

I would have loved to have been there but as that was not possible I went to NASA’s website and watched the events via their live TV feed.

As an added bonus the feed included audio from the control tower so I could listen to the radio transmissions between the flight crew and the tower at Dulles International Airport as the specially modified 747 brought Discovery in to land.

Earlier in the day Discovery had soared over the Washington Monument, the White House and the Capitol in a salute to the nation’s capital on the back of the modified NASA jetliner.

The shuttle had departed Florida’s Kennedy Space Center at daybreak and it will now become an exhibit at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

This is what it looked like in some stills I captured from the live NASA TV feed:
Discovery's final landing
Discovery's final landing 1
Discovery's final landing 2
Discovery's final landing 3
Pictures: © NASA TV


Ouch that hurt! TV gameshow’s shocking conclusions

Milgram experimentYou may be familiar with a famous psychological experiment from the 1960s when U.S. academic Stanley Milgram examined the extent to which ordinary people were prepared to inflict harm on others.

Milgram found that 80 per cent of his subjects chose to inflict pain on stranger when ordered to do so by a figure in authority such as a scientist.

He had set up a scenario where the subjects were told they were inflicting electric shocks on another person as part of a scientific experiment.

Amazingly he found that 65 per cent of experiment participants were prepared to administer the experiment’s final massive 450-volt shock – a potentially lethal voltage.

Game of Death - controversial French TV showFast forward 50 years and the authority figure has moved from the scientist in a lab wearing a white coat to…the TV gameshow host.

Psychologists from the University of Paris recruited 80 volunteers who thought they were contestants on a new TV show where they to submit another contestant to increasingly painful electric shocks.

The results were very similar to the original Milgram experiment. Eight out of ten contestants were prepared to administer the highest level – a potentially deadly 460 volts – simply because the TV host told them to.

They even did this when they could hear the ‘victim’ crying out in pain and pleading with them to stop.

The program – Game of Death – was broadcast in 2010 as part of a French TV documentary but the findings of the study have just been published in the European Review of Applied Psychology.

We do have an amazing capacity to be astonishingly cruel to one another don’t we?

And while on the subject of gameshows here is one you might want to check out

TE gameshow host Matt Baker

TE gameshow host Matt Baker

In a groundbreaking new first, the Traffic Exchange community now has its very own game show.

Hosted by Matt Baker, the “Social Surfing” show was launched in the TELive room at 8pm Eastern on Wednesday.

It is such a great idea that it is amazing nobody has thought of it before.

One of the main messages from the TimTech team at TELive is for people to take action, be social and get to know each other.

Matt is taking action by hosting a show in where he encourages people to be social and get to know each other.

Typical prizes are credits in traffic exchanges, TimTech goodies such as batteries and tokens and a speedboat. Ok so I lied about the speedboat but the rest is true.

Playing along is simple. Matt asks you a question and then sends you off to another site to find the answer. The site may be a traffic exchange, a Facebook fan page, a blog, someone’s sales page or something similar.

As a concept it is simple but utterly brilliant.

Do you want eyes on your blog or your sales page? Then donate a small prize for Matt’s show and you could be on one of his featured games.

Blain Jones from Bad Marketing won a couple of prizes and then promptly gave them away. I was about to win one but Justin Ledvina kicked me of the microphone before I could give the answer.

All in all it is fun and the traffic exchange industry needs fun.

Well done Matt. I can see this show being a popular weekly draw.

If you are a member of the TE community then come out, support Matt and make some new friends.

Social Surfing with Matt Baker, Wednesday’s 8pm eastern right here.,t

How to peel a potato without using a knife

Anyone can peel a potato with a sharp knife or one of those nifty peeling tools but what if you didn’t want to spend all that time peeling off the skin a piece at a time?

Well now you can leave the knife in the kitchen drawer and take out your secret weapon…a bowl of iced water.

Yes, that’s right, a bowl of very cold water can really be used to peel a potato.

Here’s how:

Video:  abner2k8/YouTube

You might want to try the speedy potato peeling trick but here is another video from the same series…but this time-saving trick is one you just might want to give a miss.

Video:  abner2k8/YouTube

This week’s musical choice – Villagers: That Day

The guy singing is Conor O’Brien whose acoustic melancholy is haunting.

© DominoRecords/YouTube

If you like this music check out the website: WeAreVillagers

Son of a pitch: Shameless book plug alert (but at least it is very short)

I think I may have mentioned already that I have written a book with TimTech’s Justin Ledvina.

It is called “Motivation: Beyond the Quotes” and it is now available online from

My special thanks goes out to those of you who have ordered your copy already – it means a lot fo Justin and I to have such support from a wonderful community of online friends.

We also had a great time on Monday night’s extended seven hour T3 session where Justin spoke at length about the subject of motivation and gave away a Kindle Fire and free gift vouchers as prizes to mark the book launch.

Again sincere thanks to all of you for such great support.

Motivation: Beyond the Quotes

And finally…

Jon Olson in TELive

“Most people who hate me disappear” – Jon Olson in TE Live on Wednesday.

I am not sure he meant that to come out exactly as it sounded. :)



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Have a good weekend and God bless.

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6 Responses to Friday Newsletter: April 20, 2012

  1. Tim Linden
    April 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm #

    I think I may have to try that potato and parking trick. Maybe at the same time for even faster results.
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  2. Diane Comeau UNITED STATES April 20, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Hi Patrick,
    I will definitely try the Potato peeling trick–I’ve always Hated peeling potatoes! Thanks for the Tip!
    And, I did miss the landing of the Discovery and the news coverage of the solar flare–the stills and the video were Fantastic! Thanks so much for your “Friday Newsletter”. It Always makes for some very interesting reading!
    P.S. Although the “Parking” Tip would save me some time, I think I will skip that one, as you suggested! LOL Thanks for the Laugh!

  3. Sergio Felix
    April 21, 2012 at 1:34 am #

    Hey Patrick,

    Really interesting articles this time.

    The solar flare was cool to watch, I’m only wondering if they have one guy staring at solar videos 24/7 lol they probably don’t.

    Ferrying that space shuttle seems very dangerous to me but it looks cool as hell. (Cool as hell? LOL)

    The Matt Baker social surfing game concept looks interesting, I may pay TELive a visit next Wednesday to see what it is about live.

    The potato trick was really good although I hardly peel any potatoes these days. I live exclusively on sandwiches, quesadillas and doritos.

    I wouldn’t try the parking trick though. There’s a LOT of very, VERY expensive cars on this city and besides my SUV is not suitable for that kind of stunts. :P

    I liked the music video, first time I listen to them. Visually, it reminded me of Billy Joe (Greenday) meets Harry Potter meets some sort of young Paul McCartney. Hah!

    Son of a pitch… LOL great headline. Can’t wait for my copy to arrive!

    Is Jon Olson a hitman? o.O I didn’t see that one coming.

    Since he already accepted he used to be a pretty badass kid, then maybe there’s some truth on this. LOL j/k

    Great update Pat, keep them coming!

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    • Patrick Griffin
      April 22, 2012 at 10:25 pm #

      Hi Sergio,

      I don’t think NASA have one guy staring at solar videos all day long…more like a team of 12 or 15 I guess. ;)

      I know not everyone shares my fascination with aviation so it was good to see that you liked the Space Shuttle article. Cool as Hell. Love it.

      Your diet – odd.

      The guy in the music video – he does seem to be all the things you suggested!

      I would say have a good weekend but it has taken me so long to reply to your comment that the weekend is already over.

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