Thursday, 24 January 2019

We Had A Quiet Day,

but in the evening we were out,

 so off on the number 54 bus and then on to the 194,

 where we alighted at the Toby Carvery

 at Eden Park, 

 when we book a table on Sunday's we give them our email address, 

 and they kindly sent a message to say this evening as a regular customer a meal for 2 was reduced to just £5.00 each,


Diana was hungry,

and filled her plate,

 as usual no gravy for myself,


on to desserts, a mango and strawberry delight for Diana,

    for myself,

 an Arctic roll, 

 meal over and nice it was too, and we were on our way home, 

a last look at the carvery, if you do fancy a meal there booking is a must at the weekends, and not a bad idea in the week, arriving home it was feet up for one each of Doctor Blake and Murdock Mysteries, next a couple from Poirot and we were then off to bed.

If You Like,

the genre of art known as Ukiyo-e,

of which this, woodblock print, 'Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji: The Great Wave off the Coast of Kanagawa', Katsushika Hokusai, about 1831. Museum no. E.4823-191, © Victoria and Albert Museum, London, is perhaps the best known example, this post might interest you, 

Utagawa Hiroshige was known for his landscapes; the most famous being The Fifty-three Stations of the Tokaido, above, 15th station : Kanbara (A village in the snow), which was the result of a procession between Edo and Kyoto, Ukiyo-e is a genre of Japanese art which flourished from the 17th through 19th centuries. Its artists produced woodblock prints and paintings, now, an online Open StreetMap called Ukiyo-e Map has plotted over 200 of Hiroshige’s prints on a map of Japan so you can pin down the exact location they depicted several hundred years ago, 

and here they are, 

  Zozoji Temple in Tokyo, clicking the dot reveals the Ukiyo-e

 The Tamagawa Aqueduct, which ran along Koshu Kaido road., the aqueduct no longer exists but the road still does,

Inokashira Park and Lake in the western suburbs of Tokyo, which still exists

 35th station : Goyu

40th station : Narumi, many thanks to John Resig of for spotting this map, as an aside, although much has changed, some roads, temples and lakes still exist to this day, what a great way to spend a few days walking the route.

Would You Use A Tissue A Complete Strange Has Sneezed Into?

I am guessing not,

so why would you pay $79.99 for one? Vaev bills itself a “wellness brand” although technically it’s helping people get sick by selling them tissues that complete strangers sick with the cold have allegedly sneezed into, the customers apparently are the “open-minded people” who appreciate the luxury of being able to get sick “on their own terms”, Vaev founder Oliver Niessen, 34, claims that these expensive used tissues should be viewed as alternatives to conventional medicine, in that they allow you to purposely catch a cold whenever you want, in order to decrease the risk of catching that same cold at a later date, it’s basically all about choice and getting “sick on your own terms”,

“The simple idea is you choose now to get sick, with the idea in mind that you won’t get sick with that same cold … later,” Niessen told TIME Magazine, “That kind of freedom, that kind of luxury to choose—I mean, we customize everything in our lives and we have everything the way that we want it, so why not approach sickness that way as well?” but why would anyone want to get sick at any time? Well, Niessen offers a very simple example: say you’re getting ready to go on vacation and want to minimize the risk of a cold ruining your fun, You use a sneeze-contaminated Vaev tissue and get sick now rather than on vacation. 

so how do Vaev tissues get contaminated? Well, Niessen claims his company has about 10 go-to sneezers, some of which it recruited online, they sneeze into a batch of regular tissues, send them back to the company, which then packages them in sealed petri dishes and mails them to customers, apparently the company checks in with them regularly to check if any of them are sick, and most of the time at least one of them is, but when they’re all healthy, it can literally halt production, still, he claims having a larger “stable” of sneezers is tough for a startup, so for now 10 is the perfect number, well thanks, but no thanks, but who knows, founder Oliver Niessen and the company could be on track to making millions, of people sick! photographs from Vaev.

In Any Business,

bad payers of bills are a problem,

but this public utility company in the Russian city of Irkutsk has come up with an ingenious way of reminding people to pay their bills if they want to continue using their indoor toilets, in November of last year, the Irkutsk Northern Housing and Utility Systems Directorate installed a wooden cabin toilet outside an apartment building with a sign that read “Toilet for Debtors” on the front door, this was the company’s unique way of reminding residents that it could cut off their utilities if they didn’t settle their debts. The measure was apparently so successful that the company has been moving the outdoor toilet to problem areas of the city for the last couple of months,

“This artistic object is like a weapon of mass destruction, that is, it immediately hits the debtor’s mindset and makes them think,” Alexei Mikhailov, director of the Northern Housing and Utility Systems Directorate, told Russian news station 5TV, “The toilet is set as a reminder that utility services are not free, and that they can be cut off at any time,” a company representative added, by law, public utility companies can plug the sewers of apartment buildings where the debt exceeds a certain amount of money, but in Irkutsk, the directorate decided to try psychological pressure before enforcing more drastic measures. For now, the company is targeting buildings where residents have accumulated debts exceeding 3 million rubles ($45,000), of which there are over a dozen, 

this is not the first time a company has done this in Russia, you might remember a post last May about the 'Pyramid of Shame', and that seemed to work too.

Creatures Caught In Amber,

are well documented,

 only 2 days ago we made a post about them, this is similar, but so much rarer, an insect encased in opal, 

Opal is a mineraloid made of silica and water, and would have taken a very long time to form, so how did this happen? from the article,

'Further research is being conducted on the specimen currently. The initial theory is that this encasement may mean the opal itself is opalized amber. Theoretically speaking, the insect likely was trapped in tree sap or resin which, over time and under the right circumstances, was preserved as amber with the insect encasement. This is a process many of us are familiar with. However, a second, much rarer process of opalization can also occur. And so, in this case, as conditions changed for the amber specimen, it is possible the amber opalized, preserving the inclusion. Amazingly, the silica surrounding the insect also structurally changed to produce the play of color.'

Berger purchased the opal in Indonesia; it was originally found on the island of Java, you can read more about the opal at Entomology Today, photograph and story by Brian Berger, I wonder how long it will take before the fake ones hit the market?

Wednesday, 23 January 2019

It Was A Lovely Day,

cold, but bright blue skies,

 we made our way to Bromley South station,

 Diana was going window shopping in Bromley,

 and I was off to see Robert my accountant in Hayes, I caught a bus to Hayes, signed a few papers and was on my way back to Bromley,

 where I called into Lakeland to exchange the CO2 cylinder for the soda machine that had run out, we had a spare so there was no problems with today's soda, we met as usual on our trips to Bromley, in The Partridge

we made our way back to Beckenham, Diana going straight home, I called into town for a few bits and pieces, and had my daily walk back through town, past the church and home, after our evening meal, a few quiz shows, then a nice sight, it snowed and settled, but alas in a few hours it had gone, next a Murdock Mystery, one from Dr. Blake, two from the Poirot box and we were off to bed.

You May Have Noticed,

when ever I name a plant, fish, animal, bird, etc,

in brackets I always include a Latin/Greek name for it, that way wherever you are in the world, you will know exactly what it is, local names in a counties native tongue only serve to confused, and just occasionally someone's name can be used in the official worldwide name, take the dragonfly above, the species is found only in Madagascar, it could be called the blue eyed dragonfly, but as with most names there could be three, four or more known as the blue eyed dragonfly, photograph Greg Lasley, but by using the name Acisoma attenboroughi everybody in the world knows exactly which dragonfly you are talking about, and to honour Sir David Frederick Attenborough OM CH CVO CBE FRS FLS FZS FSA FRSGS, for his 90th birthday Klaas-Douwe Dijkstra named the creature after him, but naming species is no easy task, first formalised by famed naturalist Carl Linnaeus, there’s a Lord-of-the-Rings-thick tome describing exactly how one should name a creature, known as The International Code of Zoological Nomenclature, to appease the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature, the chosen name for a newly discovered creature needs to be unique and, most importantly the rules do state, "No author should propose a name that, to his or her knowledge or reasonable belief, would be likely to give offence on any grounds." there are more than a few other famous people that have creatures named after them, a snail from northern Queensland that is the only member of the genus Crikey, literally named Crikey steveirwini, in honor of the late Crocodile Hunter,

Baracktrema obamai, the official scientific name of a type of parasitic flatworm that lives in the blood of Asian box turtles, one of seven creatures named after him, a similar example from the other side of the political aisle is the moth Neopalpa donaldtrumpi, a species of moth endemic to North America named after then President-elect Donald Trump, a spider named after Johnny Cash discovered near Folsom prison in California that, like the singer, is dressed all in black, Aphonopelma johnnycashi, a bee named after Beyonce notable for having a gigantic golden butt, with the namer stating "I figured, if I’m ever going to name a species after BeyoncĂ©, this is it."- Scaptia beyonceae

a beetle named after Arnold Schwarzenegger due to it possessing a pair of legs that resemble large, flexed biceps, Agra schwarzeneggeri, a parasitic wasp named after Shakira due to its habit of causing whatever it infects to convulse and twist like it’s bellydancing, Aleiodes shakirae, there are literally so many of these that I could not possible cover them all but if you are interested to there is this giant list of creatures named for individuals, but going back to the original, "No author should propose a name that, to his or her knowledge or reasonable belief, would be likely to give offence on any grounds." surely there must be at least one exception, right? well yes, one scientist who named a creature after someone they disliked out of spite it turns out, is none other than Carl Linnaeus himself, Linnaeus apparently got so sick of a botanist called Johann Siegesbeck criticising his work that he named what has been described as a “small, useless European weed” after him, for the curious, the weed’s scientific name is simply Siegesbeckia.