Off topic : Teaching Tai Chi Chuan.

I did an exam as a Tai Chi teacher this week end – and passed.

The local master of the art in The Hague has made courses for people who want th teach Tai Chi in his name. This means a 2 year long workshop (a day once a month) with a fair amount of self practise.

Since he wants his teachers to uphold a high level, he is quite demanding of his teachers. The is compensated by him being quite the entertainer – even when he is teaching seriously.

He is now in his mid 50’s and knows that, in order for the knowledge he has to be available, he needs people, other than his family, to continue the tradition.

Since I am recovering from an injured shoulder, the movements do not look perfect, but that is apparently compensated by showing knowledge of the techniques in stead.

The first time the exam was held I had just had the injury, so I could not participate. Now the recovery is good enough to pass the exam.

Actually I have been teaching for a while, unoficially, but now I have become “certified”.

It never ends …

In order to stay ahead of the students, the teacher must learn even more, so I will be somewhat busy learning more Tai Chi still. The first level contains modern forms, and the next will be (older) – more difficult – traditional forms.

So much to learn, so little time…

Iran Launches a satellite into orbit.

Today Iran is a member of a very exclusive group of countries – those who have launched satellites into space.
The then Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, in October 1957. The United States followed with the successful launch of Explorer 1 in January 1958.
France, Japan, China, the United Kingdom, India and Israel followed later .

The satellite is called “Omid” which means “Hope” in Persian, and carries experimental control systems, communications equipment, and a small remote sensing payload, according to Iranian news reports.

I do find it a bit worrying that a nation with a stated hostile intent towards USA and Israel in particular, and the West in general, now has the capability to deliver whatever type of weapons they have (their secrecy about the nuclear installations, anyone ?) to any place in the world.

It remains, however, quite a feat from a nation to do what they have done, so we must have some respect for their technical abilities. Let us hope that they will learn the lesson of the Cold War – and that they will not start a “hot one”.

Find more information on Spaceflight Now

The Next Doctor DVD

Watching “The Next Doctor” DVD this week end.

“The Next Doctor” is not about the next Doctor, as one could have assumed from the title. I enjoyed most of it, but I think we have had enough of Cybermen (and Daleks, for that matter) in the last four years of Doctor Who. I do look forward to Steven Moffat taking over, since he has indicated that we will have less of the “old” enemies of The Doctor, and more new adventures.

I enjoyed the story quite a bit, even more so the extra, a one hour long recording from “Doctor Who at the Prom” with a nice show with Murray Gold’s music scores for the series, and appearances of a whole bunch of the “baddies” form the new series. It was a *lot* of fun seeing the reactions of the children in the audience, some of them just enjoying the show, and others looked like they wished there would be a sofa to hide behind.

7/10. on the Lurker’s scale