Once again, I’ve just paid £20 to renew the davedawsonhaswaytoomuchtimeonhishands.com domain name I’ve owned for many years.  If the world was a fair and reasonable place, that name would have pretty much zero value and I could just leave it untouched, on the basis that the registrars would just leave it and no one would ever squat on it.

If you Google the name Dave Dawson, it will only come up with a series of books from the 50s that were a Biggles-like set of war stories and David Dawson the actor.
The first of those is made up and the second seems to be a busy actor, presumably with very little time on his hands so domain squatting not likely.

I did read that in the 90s someone registered the name 21stCenturyfox.com or something on the basis that the 20th Century Fox film company would rename to 21st Century Fox and pay him a fortune to buy the domain

They didn’t change name and didn’t pay him for the domain, the schadenfreude of which gives me pleasure to this day.

Not sure registrar is the right name for companies that register domains, but I’m now deep in my 50s and something about me using registrars implies a kind of wisdom and gravitas suited to my age.

Part of the reason I don’t write these updates much is my habit of sitting in Costa Coffee of a weekend morning and sending the first drivel that comes to mind by eMail to a privileged group of friends.

My offspring, now well into their 20s have made it clear that eMail is an old man’s way to send this kind of stuff and I should either stop or use some kind of social media channel instead.

Facebook is also an old person’s medium but TikTok, Instagram and so on are the equivalent of people my age wearing backward baseball caps and walking around humming Rap songs.

A Blog seems like a decent middle ground here and I own it anyway so here goes the annual update – this time to actual answer a question that someone out there may know/find out

When clearing out my dad’s house when he died a few years ago, I found the device pictured  here. My recollection is that he said it was used in some way by people that sat in the bomb bay of Lancaster bomber and touched the bombs with it before they were released.
That either to demagnetize them to make them spin more or less (the version of the story changed a different stages of his life) or as a charging thing to make the bombs explode a few hundred metres off the ground, thus causing much wider damage then just making a big hole in the ground.

There is some strange sticky/oily liquid that seeps out of it. I don’t know that this is, although I do remember him saying it was dangerous and we shouldn’t lick it. I was probably in my teens by that stage though and would already have done all my licking of WWII bombing devices by then.

If you can discern what the thing is, tell me and you will be rewarded in the usual way.

Another dangerous item we found incidentally was a 1 litre bottle full of Mercury. That acts as a poison and is absorbed through the skin if you touch it.

That 1 litre weighs nearly 14kg – you can float lead weights on top of liquid mercury

No idea why he had that, other than part of the same craving to gather dangerous objects and place them all within the reach of his children