Saturday, 24 August 2019

After Diana Left For Work,

it was time for a major aquarium makeover,


 the coral sand at the bottom of the aquarium was looking decidedly dirty, with algae growing on it, 

 also the performance of the protein skimmer had fallen over the last few weeks, 

 so making sure I had a spare carbon filter for it the fun began,

 first clean the reactor tube,

 as internally it was coated with algae, next put the plug in the sink,

 before taking off the impeller hosing and flow valve, after giving them a clean,

 then the pump and impeller with its magnet, the impeller is the green thing which spins on a ceramic shaft, the two black bits at the end of the shaft are the reason for putting the plug in the sink, lose one of the bearings, as that is what they are, down the sink, and it is a trip to the shop for a new shaft and bearings,

 next clean the box itself,

 reassembled and it is all good to go, I drained 30% of water out of the aquarium along with most of the coral sand, which I replaced with fresh coral sand,

 water replaced,

 the whole aquarium looking a lot brighter, 

 I just hope the fish appreciated all of my efforts! 

 after my meal in the evening I was going to meet Steve in the club, as I was not meeting him at the entrance to the park, I used the members gate,

 which is a short cut past the tennis courts,

 in the distance our next door neighbours house extension nearly finished,

 I passed what was the old pavilion,

 and made my way to the new one, where I bumped into Robert who I had not seen for some time, after he left Steve and myself chatted the night away, 

after saying our farewells it was through the park for me, after Diana's work one of the manageresses was having a leaving party at her home, and Diana was invited, as the party was more than a few buses away Diana hired a minicab for the journey home, next a nightcap and a chat, then we were off to bed.


I Thought This Rather Neat,

a short video,


comparing the sizes of trees, the animation spans different common and more unique tree types, starting with 3-inch Keshitsubo bonsai tree and moving all the way to a towering Sequoia sempervirens, and as a guide puts in some human made landmarks, the Statue of Liberty by the Noble Pine I thought was a nice touch, the video is by Red Side who also put together one featuring tornados, tornado comparison, and the one I really liked, the animal population video, I never knew that chickens were going to take over the world!


Do You Want To Earn,

an easy €1 million?


all you have to do is prove that the German city of Bielefeld, in the north-east of North Rhine-Westphalia prove that it doesn’t exist, to have any hope of understanding this bizarre offer, you have to go back to 1993 when the famous “Bielefeld? There’s No Such Thing!” conspiracy theory appeared on the internet. Formulated by a computer student named Achim Held, it basically claimed that Bielefeld – a city of around 330,000 inhabitants, which has historically been around for around 800 years – didn’t actually exist, because, unlike other German cities, it wasn’t really known for anything in particular. The hilarious conspiracy theory spread online and gained a life of its own, with many proponents postulated that a group called “SIE,” or “THEY” in German, created an imaginary illusion of the city, or that it had a secret city center where “dead” celebrities like Elvis Presley and Kurt Cobain had been taken away to, above photograph by Bielefeld Marketing,


the so-called Bielefeld Conspiracy became ingrained in German popular culture, with even personalities like Angela Merkel joking about in on a visit to the city, telling people that she hadn’t been sure it existed, “So it does exist,” Merkel said during her 2012 visit. “I had the impression that I was there… I hope I may go there again.” but now local authorities seem to have had enough of jokes on the behalf of their beloved home and are offering a prize of one million euros to anyone who can prove that Bielefeld doesn’t really exist. They say they are “99.99% certain that we can refute any evidence”, but in the unlikely event that anyone proves the non-existence of the German City taxpayers can rest assured that the prize will be paid by Bielefeld Marketing’s sponsors, anyone willing to take part in this unusual competition must submit their theory about the non-existence of Bielefeld by September 4. Entries can come in various forms – pictures, videos or text –  but the submitted “pearls of wisdom must be incontrovertible”, actually thinking about it, maybe it is not an ‘easy’ €1 million, how do you prove it does not exist?


Poop Like a Champion,

I could not believe my eyes when I saw the box!


 but you really can! advertised as “the ultimate colon cleansing formula” or “the number one high fiber cereal for number 2’s”, Poop Like a Champion cereal is packed full of fibers and designed specifically to help you get those bowels moving. Its creators aren’t ashamed to admit that it’s not the greatest tasting cereal money can buy, but it’s not meant to blow you away with its amazing flavor, it’s meant to help you go potty, and apparently it’s very good at doing that, some research suggests it is a combination of corn bran and physllium, sorghum flour and inulin, and each 1/2 cup serving contains 16 grams of fiber, or about 64% your recommended daily allowance for an average 2,000 calorie diet,

all you need to know on the box, as mentioned flavor isn’t the strong point of Poop Like a Champion, and neither is looks, as it looks like dog chow and the fact that it tastes like cardboard doesn’t help much either, but you can always add some sugar and berries to make the taste bearable,

as it happens I can think of a few politicians I could give this product to, well they have enough of it coming out of the other end!


Plastic Has Now Become The Scourge Of The World,

but not all plastic is equal,


the average UK citizen produces around 76kg (167lbs) of waste plastic, whilst in Sweden, it's around 18kg (40lbs), in the US 120kg (264lbs), of plastic waste yearly, the problem is some plastics would take hundreds of years before decomposing, while others don’t decompose at all. This is why we do our best in recycling plastic, so that we can minimize the plastic waste. However, not all plastic is recyclable. This begs the question: which plastic is recyclable and which is not? Bring on the staff at NPR who looks into the matter to help us identify which is which, have a look, there are few surprises, and for the love of sweet baby Jesus, drink water out of the tap in countries where it is safe to do so, drinking glass bottled water from Fiji just does not make sense when you look at the transport costs, never mind the cost of recycling the bottles, and the plastic ones are even worse!


Friday, 23 August 2019

I Popped Back To The Shop Again,

I was going to do a water change in the aquarium,


 and then realised I did not have any fresh coral sand to replace the sand I would be taking out,

 Diana found whilst looking through photographs of my family, some letters that my father wrote to my mother, as they both had jobs sometimes Dad would be at home and not Mum and vice versa of course, my mother being German, Dad sometimes tried a little German in some of the letters,

in others he was more practical!

 arriving home great news, Jim and Cher had sent me a small package which meant I could resume my hobby of infrared photography, so whilst Diana was at work in the evening this is what I did, above a infrared photograph I took when we were at Kew, straight out of the camera,

 after a color swap, notice the airplane trail and a couple of birds in the sky,

 well they had to go, 

 I started adding just a touch of color to the trees and added a little more structure amongst other parameters,

and finished with his image, infrared photography is not to everyone's taste I know, but I love playing with the colors, and notice how much more cloud there is in the finished photograph, it was there all of the time, but only infrared records it, which means you can bring it out in infrared photographs, and now I have my infrared hobby back for when Diana is at work in the evenings, many thanks to Jim and Cher,

 speaking of the evenings Diana called so I was off,

to the railway station and then to the bus stop to pick her up, no foxes on the way home tonight, we occasionally see one or two, feet up for a coffee, we then watched a few shows titled the Science of Stupid, great fun, then for us we were off to bed.


I Have Seen Jigsaw Puzzles,

of most subjects,


 but I think this is a first for me,

 a puzzle featuring the Moon,

 the Toronto, Ontario-based Four Point Puzzles utilized high-resolution NASA imagery to create a circular full moon puzzle,

and making it somewhat unique the puzzle is round, for the technical, it is 1000 pieces resulting in a Moon that is 26.5" (67cm) diameter, with a difficulty rating  of 4.5 / 5, on the web site at just $24.95, for hours of fun and frustration!