Write to me


I would love to hear from you, particularly with questions or comments about my Web Pages, but please remember that many people think it unwise to put personal addresses and telephone numbers on non-commercial web sites, so please send me an e-mail - but if you are e-mailing me for the first time please do include a subject in the subject line which will mean something to me, otherwise my spam filter may delete it before I see it. Also please do not Send as HTML as many people think it unwise to open e-mails with attachments unless they know what they are and who they are from.

(If you do not know how to turn off Send as HTML, or even what it is, any teenage boy or girl will be happy to help you.)

I am a very old-fashioned person and still sometimes forget and bottom-post, that is, if you e-mail me a question I write the answer after the question not before. This was the way we wrote office memos before e-mails were invented and I think it is more sensible, but younger people do not remember the world before Microsoft could tell us what to do, and top-post, so always expect answer before question.

To send me an e-mail please click here or write to barrygray@blueyonder.co.uk

An important note for children and others using my Web Pages

Many of my Web Pages are written for children and young people, and if you are a child or young person who has found a Page interesting or useful, or would like more information, I would love to hear from you and am happy to help you: that is why I put these Pages on my Web Site in the first place. But you should not e-mail me, or any other person who your Mum or Dad or Guardian has not actually met, using your own e-mail address. Always use a family or school address (but ask first).

I get e-mails about Pages on my Web Site from all over the world, from eight year old children to eighteen year old students, and also their parents, and from Junior School Teachers to University Professors, and I always reply to all e-mails personally. If you are a child with a question about a Page on my Web Site it would help me to answer you if you told me your name (just one) and how old you are and what country you live in, but you must not tell me, or anyone else on the internet, anything else about yourself. If you are not a child a little more information about yourself would help me pitch my reply at the right level, for example whether you are a Junior School Teacher or a University Professor!

I would like to know your country even if you are a child because I once had an e-mail from a child who had found my Web Page on classifying animals. He was doing a homework assignment in which he had to choose an animal and classify it. He had chosen a duck-billed platypus and needed some help - I was not surprised, an egg-laying mammal is very special. I explained how it was classified, and that it lived only in Australia, and then told him all about how Australia had become separated from the rest of the world's land mass very early in the evolution of mammals, so all Australian mammals (except bats, which could fly in, and marine mammals such as seals, which could swim to the shore) were different from mammals from the rest of the world, etc. It was an ohnosecond after I had pressed SEND that I noticed the .au at the end of his address! So do please tell me which country you live in, even if you are a child, because it does help me to give you the best answer I can.

What is an ohnosecond? We measure time in seconds, so in the same way that a kilometre is a thousand metres and a millimetre is a thousandth of a metre a kilosecond is a thousand seconds and a millisecond is a thousandth of a second. A microsecond is a millionth of a second and a nanosecond is a thousand millionth of a second. An ohnosecond (only joking, but I did not invent the joke) is shorter still, it is the time between you doing something silly on your computer, for example replying YES to “Delete everything - are you sure?” and shouting “ Oh No!”