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Published: Dec 13 , 2012
Author: Robin Copeland

They eat a lot of peanuts in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a landing on Mars approaches. It is an old tradition that dates back to 31 July 1964 when Ranger 7, an unmanned space probe was due to approach the planet, take a few pictures on the way down, then crash onto the surface at breakneck speed. Bear in mind that only a year or two previously, President Kennedy had targeted the USA with landing men on the moon, then returning them safely to Earth by the end of that decade. You would have thought, would you not, that crashing onto Mars would have been well within the wit and capability of the good folks at NASA; sadly not. Rangers 1 through 6 had failed miserably in their various attempts to crash on the planet and Ranger 7 was their last shot at glory...

Published: Sep 14 , 2012
Author: David Bannister

"Put yourself in my shoes!" said trade union official who was role-playing to help some course participants practise their skills. I was reminded of this when, recently on holiday, I was reading a very enjoyable book called "The Bank of Dave". The book tells the story of a Lancastrian entrepreneur and millionaire called David Fishwick who decided that banks had all got rather too big for their boots and so he chose to open a bank of his own to service deposits and loans in his home town of Burnley (if you haven’t read it, it’s really good!)...

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Walk a mile!

No, this is not some oblique reference to beginning a training plan for next year’s Marathon (although not a bad start!), nor is it a reminder of the old gag about walking a mile in my shoes and you’ll end up at a bar, and I’ll have no shoes. It’s…

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