How to get a 1 hour suntan in 5 minutes

I was sitting by the pool today (as I often do), thinking about stuff (as I often do)…

I was thinking about a movie called Sunshine released in 2007. An excellent Si-Fi movie set 50 years into the future when the sun is dying. (Worth a watch by the way. It’s a straight forward and complex concept.)

I was thinking about the “sun room” on the space ship. The crew often go there, and after requesting the computer to open the screen only 2% or 3% they watch the sun from close up. They learn a lot about themselves by doing this – watch it, you’ll understand what I mean.

That got me thinking, how close would the earth be to get a suntan in 5 minutes that now takes 1 hour? Crazy thought, but I was lying in the sun pondering it?

So I decided to do a mind exercise to work it out:

Let’s assume that the atmosphere remains as it is. It just makes it easier.

Now for some straight physics and geometry: The surface of a sphere is calculated by 4 time Pi times Radius squared – 4 x pi x r^2.

I.e. Surface Area of a sphere is proportional to the square of its radius.

When the sun emits energy in any given second (all across the frequency range: gamma rays, ultraviolet, light, infrared, and a heap of photons all charged up and going somewhere fast), that particular unit of energy spreads out around an ever-growing sphere as it moves away from the sun, i.e. it decreases directly in proportion to the square of the distance away from the sun.  I.e. Energy is proportional to Radius^0.5

To get a 1 hour sun tan in 5 minutes we need to cram in 12 times as much energy in 5 minutes as we would have done in 60 minutes.

What is the square root of 12? It’s only 3.46, about 4.

That means we need to move the Earth only a 107 million miles closer to the sun and you’ll only need 5 minutes to get a tan!  And 10 minutes to burn, and 1 hour, hmmm… probably a cinder?? !!

There you go.  Stuff you really need to know.

Some interesting facts on the sun and the Earth’s relationship to it.

  • It’s ‘only’ 150 million kilometers from the Earth to the sun (That’s the distance it takes to go around the earth 3,750 times) (So to tan in 5 minutes we need to move the earth to an orbit of 43 million kilometers, inside the orbit of Mercury).
  • It takes the light from the sun about 8 minutes to reach us.
  • The estimated temperature in the center of the sun is 15,000,000 °C.
  • Diameter of the sun is 1.39 million kilometers (That’s 34 times the earth’s circumference)
  • Surface temperature of the sun is 6,000 degrees celsius.

Puts our home into perspective a little doesn’t it.

Jeremiah Josey

Fill Life with the Good Bits First: The Mayonnaise Jar

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, When 24 hours in a day is not enough; remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and start to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly.

The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else He asked once more if the jar was full… The students responded With an unanimous ‘yes.’

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

‘Now,’ said the professor, as the laughter subsided, ‘I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions Things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else — The small stuff.

‘If you put the sand into the jar first,’ he continued, ‘there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls.
The same goes for life.

If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, You will never have room for the things that are important to you.


Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.
Play with your children.
Take time to get medical checkups.
Take your partner out to dinner.

There will always be time
to clean the house and fix the dripping tap.

‘Take care of the golf balls first —
The things that really matter.
Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.’

One of the students raised her hand
and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled.

‘I’m glad you asked’.

It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.’

Jeremiah Josey

Aussie Humour

These were posted on an Australian Tourism Website and the answers are the actual responses by the website officials, who obviously have a great sense of Aussie humour.


Q: Does it ever get windy in Australia ? I have never seen it rain on TV, how do the plants grow? ( UK ).

A: We import all plants fully grown and then just sit around watching them die.


Q: Will I be able to see kangaroos in the street? ( USA )

A: Depends how much you’ve been drinking.


Q: I want to walk from Perth to Sydney – can I follow the railroad tracks? ( Sweden )

A: Sure, it’s only three thousand miles, take lots of water.


Q: Are there any ATMs (cash machines) in Australia ? Can you send me a list of them in Brisbane , Cairns ,Townsville and HerveyBay ? ( UK )

A: What did your last slave die of?


Q: Can you give me some information about hippo racing in Australia ? ( USA )

A: A-Fri-ca is the big triangle shaped continent south of Europe ..
Aus-tra-lia is that big island in the middle of the Pacific which does not
…. Oh forget it. Sure, the hippo racing is every Tuesday night in Kings Cross. Come naked.


Q: Which direction is North in Australia ? ( USA )

A: Face south and then turn 180 degrees. Contact us when you get here and we’ll send the rest of the directions.


Q: Can I bring cutlery into Australia ? ( UK )

A: Why? Just use your fingers like we do.


Q: Can you send me the Vienna Boys’ Choir schedule? ( USA )

A: Aus-tri-a is that quaint little country bordering Ger-man-y, which is ….
Oh forget it. Sure, the Vienna Boys Choir plays every Tuesday night in Kings Cross, straight after the hippo races. Come naked.


Q: Can I wear high heels in Australia ? ( UK )

A: You are a British politician, right?

____________________________ ______________________

Q: Are there supermarkets in Sydney and is milk available all year round? ( Germany )

A: No, we are a peaceful civilization of vegan hunter/gatherers.
Milk is illegal.


Q: Please send a list of all doctors in Australia who can Dispense rattlesnake serum. ( USA )

A: Rattlesnakes live in A-meri-ca which is where YOU come from.
All Australian snakes are perfectly harmless, can be safely handled and make good pets.


Q: I have a question about a famous animal in Australia , but I forget its name. It’s a kind of bear and lives in trees. ( USA )

A: It’s called a Drop Bear. They are so called because they drop out of Gum trees and eat the brains of anyone walking underneath them.
You can scare them off by spraying yourself with human urine before you go out walking.


Q: I have developed a new product that is the fountain of youth. Can you tell me where I can sell it in Australia ? ( USA )

A: Anywhere significant numbers of Americans gather.


Q: Can you tell me the regions in Tasmania where the female population is smaller than the male popula tion? ( Italy )

A: Yes, gay night clubs.


Q: Do you celebrate Christmas in Australia ? ( France )

A: Only at Christmas.


Q: I was in Australia in 1969 on R+R, and I want to contact the Girl I dated while I was staying in Kings Cross. Can you help? ( USA )

A: Yes, and you will still have to pay her by the hour..


Q: Will I be able to speak English most places I go? ( USA )

A: Yes, but you’ll have to learn it first


Posted by Jeremiah Josey

What Goes Around…

In a small town in the United States, the place looks almost totally deserted. It is tough times, everybody is in debt, and everybody lives on credit.

Suddenly, a rich tourist comes to town. He enters the town’s only hotel, lays a 100 dollar bill on the reception counter as a deposit, and goes to inspect the rooms upstairs in order to pick one.

The hotel proprietor takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the butcher.

The butcher takes the 100 dollar bill, and runs to pay his debt to the pig farmer.

The pig farmer runs to pay his debt to the supplier of his feed and fuel.

The supplier of feed and fuel takes the 100 dollar bill and runs to pay his debt to the town’s prostitute that, in these hard times, gave her “services” on credit.

The hooker runs to the hotel, and pays off her debt with the 100 Dollar Bill to the hotel proprietor to pay for the rooms that she rented when she brought her clients there.

The hotel proprietor then lays the 100 dollar bill back on the counter so that the rich tourist will not suspect anything.

At that moment, the tourist comes down after inspecting the rooms, and takes back his 100 dollar bill, saying that he did not like any of the rooms, and leaves town.

No one earned anything. However, the whole town is now without debt and looks to the future with a lot of optimism………

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how most of the western nations (in particular the United States, Canadian and Australian Governments) are doing business today.

Jeremiah Josey

Working smarter and not harder

When I was 13 or 14 years old, I’m not sure which, I lived with my mother on my grandparents farm in far western NSW – Outback Australia.

A new local TV tower had been installed about 5 km away and so we could now watch Australia’s equivalent to the BBC without watching it through a blue plastic screen to cut back the snow. That also meant that the 100′ high tower above the homestead holding up the TV antenna was no longer needed.

The bigger boys – my mums’ brothers and her dad – took down the mast and it’s guy wires over the course of a few days and stored away the steel pipe (later to be used in building new stock yards and fences I recall).

But they left the last 3 feet of pipe and the large buried concrete base the pipe was embedded in.

One day I decided to take it out. 🙂

From early morning until well into the afternoon I toiled, using crow bar, breaking bar, shovels (post hole and flat) and lots of water to loosen and remove the earth from around the concrete plinth.

The task seemed beyond me. My hands were raw with blisters – they had formed and broken many hours previously. But I had to rest – beside, Gran had arrived with lunch! I sat down on the grass and looked at the mamoth mass of concrete and pondered.

What is going on? Am I doing this the right way? This how you always take out something like this: you dig and dig until it falls over. But it doesn’t seem right. Besides it’s taking too long!

The process was working – hitting it on the side I could see that it was moving every so slightly. This was going to take days!

Then I realised: I don’t want to get this thing across, I want to get it up and then out.

What I need is to lift it….

An idea formed.

I went out the back to the large workshop we had and looked around.

There was always lots of stuff to choose from. 😉

I found what I was after: two very sturdy short pieces of I beam – each piece weighing much more than me! I struggled, shoved, dragged and coheresed each steel section to either side of the massive hole I had dug – concrete massif sitting smugly in the center.

I then carried across a long length of 4″ x 4″ SHS, and placed a 5 or 10 tonne hydraulic jacks on top in the middle of the SHS (one of those big ones you can use on a truck – not a car one).

Getting the picture?

I then found some heavy duty steel link chain and using the same connection method that the mast used before, connected the chain to the pipe protruding out of the concrete.

Wrapping the chain over the lifting piston of the jack and tying it off on itself, I was ready.

I insterted the lifting lever into the jack, and with two fingers (I remember how funny I felt exerting as little effort as I could) watched this massive concrete rise up out of the water and mud.


In a few short moments it was done.

I adjusted the chain once or twice I recall, but once the connection with the ground was broken the concrete was mine!

I tied the mass of concrete to my mum’s car and dragged it off into the scrub behind some gum trees. It’s still there to this day I believe.

The lesson I have remembered every since: work smarter not harder.

Even today when I’m head down and focused on a problem, that feeling of “hang on, there’s an easier way” starts knocking and pretty soon, I’ll stop, reassess and find myself an alternative – my present day hydraulic jack and I beam solution.

There you have it. Work smarter, not harder.

Jeremiah Josey

PS, here’s a Google Maps link that will take you straight to the homestead!
Rostella Homestead

Lost in Translation

I had a very interesting experience the other night when buying a Viva internet account here in Al Khout, Fahaheel, Kuwait.

It was one of those small shopping kiosks you see spread along the center of the mall.

After I establishing that I wanted a service with Viva and I just pay 24 KD per month, I was told that I would get a free USB wireless dongle. I thought “Great, but I’ve got two laptops…”.

“Can I get two dongles” I asked and the answer was “yes, yes!”

Talking further about the two laptops, it was then explained that a wireless router could be obtained for an additional purchase of 25KD. OK good to know. Not needed by the sounds of it though.

OK, I understand: When I get an account. I get one free USB wireless dongle, apparently another free USB dongle if I ask for it, and if I pay 25KD I get a wireless router. The hardware would give me flexibility running the two X60 laptops my wife and I own.

So I go for it: I set up the account and get my free USB dongle. 2 minutes. Halas. Done! I then ask what about the other one, the other dongle, and yes, I can have one, but that’s another account – another 24KD per month.

Hang on, when I asked can I have another one, you said yes. Hmmm… OK, well that’s no good. I’ve got two laptops.

Just give me the wireless router instead. No problems, 25KD plus 24KD per month.


Yes, it’s another account

But I only need one account. Just swap the USB dongle for the router and I’ll pay 25KD.

No, you’ll have to pay 50KD because we’ll have to cancel the account – there’s a 50KD cancellation fee, didn’t you read the contract you just signed?

But you said I’d get another USB dongle with the first account, and if I paid 25 KD I’d get a wireless dongle.

Nope – one bit of hardware, one SIM card. One SIM card – one account. To change you need to cancel the account, paying 50KD, and it can be set up.

But the account is only 30 seconds old?!

Not my problem. Billing look after it now.


What happened? I got my wonderful mandoup Bashar Alainieh to sort it out for me: cancelling the first account (the one with the USB dongle) set up a new account (with the router) and not pay the 50KD cancellation fee. I made a note on the new contract documents saying this.

So what was lost in translation: Can I have another one? Of course, but you must pay for it too! 😮

Jeremiah Josey

Quotes by Ronald Regan

‘Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.’

‘The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

‘The trouble with our liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.’

‘Of the four wars in my lifetime, none came about because the U.S. was too strong.’

‘I have wondered at times about what the Ten Commandments would have looked like if Moses had run them through the U.S. Congress.’

‘The taxpayer: That’s someone who works for the federal government but doesn’t have to take the civil service examination.’

‘Government is like a baby: An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end a nd no sense of responsibility at the other.’

‘It has been said that politics is the second oldest profession. I have learned that it bears a striking resemblance to the first.’

‘Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.’

‘No arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is as formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women.’

‘If we ever forget that we’re one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under.’

More Quotes

Jeremiah Josey

You know you’ve been in the Middle East far too long when…

You’re not surprised to see a goat in the passenger seat
You think the uncut version of ‘Little House on the Prairie’ is provocative
You think every one’s first name is Al
You need a sweater when it’s 40 degrees celsius
You expect everyone to own a mobile phone
Your idea of housework is leaving a list for the houseboy
You believe that speed limits are only advisory
You expect all police to drive BMWs or Merc’s
You know whether you are within missile range of Iran
You believe that the definition of a nanosecond is the time interval between the time the light turns green and the time that the guy behind you begins to blow his horn
You can’t buy anything without asking for a discount
You expect all stores to stay open till midnight
You understand that ‘wadi bashing’ isn’t a criminal act
You make left turns from the far right lane
You send friends a map instead of your address
You understand why huge 4x4s must slow down to a snail’s pace whilst crossing a speed bump yet hurtle through a wadi at 100kph
You think that ‘Howareyou’ is one word. So is ‘Mamsir’
You think it perfectly normal to have a picnic in the middle of a round-about at 11pm
You know exactly how much alcohol allowance you have left for the month
You have a moon phase predictor on your computer
You never say Saturday instead of Friday or Sunday instead of Saturday anymore
You accept that there is no point in asking why you are not allowed to do something
You expect queues to be 1 person deep and 40 people wide
You realise that the black and white stripes in the road are not a zebra crossing, just bait to get tourists into the firing line
Seeing guys welcome each other with a kiss and hold hands while walking no longer distracts you
You carry 12 passport size photos around with you just in case
You can tell the time by listening to the local mosque
You think its a good night if there are fewer than 10 men for every woman in a bar
Phrases like ‘potato peeler’, ‘dish washer’, ‘coffee maker’ and ‘fly swatter’ are no longer household items but are actually job titles
You start to say ‘Insha’allah’ when you actually mean ‘Never!’
Habibi isn’t just the ex-president of Indonesia
You overtake a police car at 130KM/HRA
Problem with your car AC or horn is more serious to you than a problem with the brakes

Jeremiah Josey