P&J Column for 17.11.14

It’s the crowning achievement of human ingenuity (batteries not included).

Professor Hector J Schlenk, Senior Research Fellow at the Bogton Institute for Public Engagement with Science

As a scientist, I’m always being asked questions such as ‘Can automated vehicles ever be safer than human driving?’ ‘What flowering plants grow best in soil with pH 6.1?’ and ‘Do you actually want to buy a car or have you just come in for a free heat and a coffee?’ But recently, people have been asking me about Philae. “Well”, I tell them, “Its the most expensive cut of steak, but personally I think rib eye has more flavour” And then I laugh. And so do they, when I point out that, in posh restaurants, ‘fillet’ doesn’t rhyme with ‘skillet’.

They are referring, of course, to the fantastic aeronautic achievements of the Rosetta mission, who have managed, after a journey of 10 years, to land a probe the size of a washing machine on the 4km rocky surface of a comet 300 million miles away. It can be difficult for the layman to comprehend the scale of an achievement like this, so to put it in perspective, this represents a challenge akin to the bit in ‘The Karate Kid’ when Mr Miyagi catches a fly using chopsticks – just let that sink in for a moment.

Sadly, it looks as though Philae’s mission will be cut short by a bad landing. The solar powered batteries were designed to recharge for 8 hours a day but due to failing to park between the lines they will only get about 90 minutes of sunlight. Readers may want to bear that information in mind the next time someone tries to sell you solar panels for your North-facing house in Hatton of Fintray.

Shelley Shingles, showbiz correspondent and Miss Fetteresso 1983

OMG! Did you see it? I’m still totes reeling from Kim Kardashian-West’s attempt to break the Internet! On Thursday she posted some racy pics of herself in a state of deshabille. All the social media platforms went into meltdown, and fans and critics alike came to one unanimous conclusion. That is some size of a bahoochie she’s got there.

I’ve never met Kim, but her latest exploits do remind me of one-time Evening Express journo Charlie Allan. I once saw him getting out of the Bon Accord baths when his dookers had gotten pulled down and, save for a string of pearls and a fake tan, he looked very similar. And never mind a champagne glass balancing on Kim’s rear parcel shelf – Charlie could balance a pint glass on his belly and still play dominos in the Holburn Bar!

Jimmy Hollywood, Sandilands most eligible bachelor

Last wik James Corden admitted tae carrying a torch for a famous lady. In his case It wis Hilary Clinton, (fit is weird) but Jimmy is nae stranger to the celebrity crush. I hiv always hid a soft spot for the divas of the pop world. Dames like Cheryl Fernandez-Mankini, Kylie or Taylor Swift could top my hit parade onytime, and I am pretty sure that if I met them oot in the toon I wid manage tae snog at least een of them. Weel, mebbes nae Taylor Swift. I mean, she’s only 24, so she’d likely ging drinking in places like Nox or Amicus Apple, files Jimmy is mair of a Soul Casino kinda guy.

But I dinna think I wid like tae date a famous actress though. I mean, ye wid nivver ken whether she wiz being her real self or in character wid ye? Imagine going oot wi a quine like that Anne Hathaway. Talented? Certainly. Elegant? Absolutely. Tasty? Undoubtedly. But fit aboot fan ye tak her tae the pictures? One minute yer snogging her face off in the back row, then next thing ye ken she’s up on screen in a clinch with a Hollywood heart throb. Nae fine. Unlike Bryan Ferry, I’m nae a jealous guy, but seeing my blonde 30 feet high playing tonsil hockey with Mathew McConnaughey would fairly pit me aff my stott.

Cava Kenny Cordiner, the football pundit who lets you know he’s there

What a week it’s been for my old club, the Dandies. Stonehaven-based businessman Willie Donald has pledged to wipe out Aberdeen’s rippling debt of £14.5M in a display of philately the like of what we haven’t never seen before. I was surprised to read that The Dons has been carrying that debt ever since they rebuilt the Beach End in 1980. Now, I’m no expert in ecumenical matters, but it seems silly to carry it all that time. You’d think they could just have put it down? Still, reading the outs and ins of the deal in the press fairly made my head spin. Like my old fitness coach at alongside used to say, Kenny’s never had much of a figure for headers!

But it is a stroke of luck that Aberdeen’s new savour has the same surname as one of the club’s former greats. In fact, I think they should re-name the new Beach End after him, seeing as how he’s paid for it. I’m sure the fans would appreciate being spared the embarrassment of calling it the Dick Donald Stand. The Willie Donald stand sounds so much better!