Saturday, 11 July 2020

First Thing As I Started The Blog,

one of the foxes arrived,

  with just one of the cubs,

 who enjoyed crunching on the peanuts, 

 Diana was at work, for myself I had a shopping list, so first stop into the car park at Lidl, shopping there completed,

 I started to walk along to Sainsbury's,

 past what was once the Three Tuns public house,

 the High Street was almost deserted of people,

 but there were plenty of cars,

 into Sainsbury's, for the one thing that in Beckenham, as far as we can say they sell, and no one else, saveloy sausages, which are a favorite of Diana's, well I quite like them as well, but no luck, the delicatessen in the store that sells them was still not open, so that was that, back to the car, seat belt on, I was just about to start the car when crunch, it happened, a car had driven into the front passenger side of my parked car, and then reversed away, I got out and this is what I saw,

I dreaded to look at my car, as it happened all that the car suffered was a slightly scratched bit of paintwork, 

 the lady was so upset, but as I said no one was injured, it was just one of those things, we exchanged details and off I went, in the afternoon her insurance company assessors called, if I waited till the end of next week I could have a loan car, or they could pick my car up from home, repair it and deliver it back when the work was done, I chose that, so next Tuesday the car will be picked up, I thought it was going to be a big problem, but it could not have been easier,

 as pubs and bars are now open I had arranged to meet up with Steve for our Friday night drink,

 so we walked the The George in the High Street,

 inside was full so we sat outside which, was also pretty crowded within the rules of social distancing,

 I took these as we were the last ones to leave,

 yes pubs are now open!

 we made our way home past the church,

I said farewell to Steve at the park entrance and made my way home, by now Diana was back so we watched one from New Tricks and one from Silent Witness, next for us we were then off to bed.

In Japan,

the early 1930s,

 train stations would create their own stamps, usually based on local landmarks, known eki stamps, they are a uniquely Japanese phenomenon, the stamps were usually based on local landmarks, and place them within the station for those who pass through to stamp their self-ordained “passports.” The system gave birth to an entire sub-genre of enthusiasts who would travel around collecting stamps. Now, these oshi-tetsu, as they are called as well as other fans of train lines, have something new to get excited about, for the first time in 17 years, JR East has redesigned the stamps of 78 train stations across 11 train lines in Central Tokyo,

 the new eki stamp designs feature a single kanji from the name of each station and are inspired by Japan’s tradition of family crests. The kanji characters also incorporate symbols of landmarks or features associated with each station. The Tokyo Station stamp above features the kanji character (to) along with an illustration of the iconic and newly restored station. Nippori Station, below, known for their stray cats, features the kanji character (po) along with a feline,

 below are a few more,

here is a press release from JR East that includes all the stations where you can find new stamps, this is a great collection of station stamps from across Japan, and in a nod to us westerners, at the bottom of each of the new stamps there is a foreigner-friendly English name in the corner.

One Of The Many Things About Electric Cars,

that puts people off of buying them,

 is the cost of them, well here is a cheaper alternative, 

 behold the Changli, the world’s cheapest electric car, it can be ordered online and delivered to your door, designed and produced by Chinese manufacturer Changzhou Xili Car Industry, the Changli, or Changli Nemeca is a tiny electric vehicle that has been getting a lot of attention online after being promoted as the world’s most affordable electric car. Calling this thing a car is kind of stretching it a bit, as it’s electric motor can only produce the equivalent of 1.16 horse power, and it has a top speed of only 30 km/h. Still, it does come with some interesting features, like air-conditioning, independent suspension, heater, radio and even reverse-view camera, but the most impressive thing about the Changli, is that you can have it delivered to your door,

instead of having to go to a dealership and pay a premium, anyone can just order the Changli Nemeca online and have it mailed to them. In fact, the only way to buy the world’s cheapest car is to order it on Chinese marketplace Alibaba and have it shipped, the Changli measures 2.5 meters long, 1.50 meters wide, and 1.80 meters high, weighs 323 kilograms and can carry up to 300 kilograms, the tiny EV reaches a maximum speed of 30 km/h, battery autonomy is between 40 and 100 kilometers per charge and the batteries – 800 W, 1,000 W, or 1,200 W – take between 7 and 10 hours to charge,

and now the fun part, car blog Jalopnik’s journalist Jason Torchinsky had a Changli Nemeca delivered to his home and recently released an unboxing and first impressions video above,

and here is the first drive, it is in fact a tad slow uphill, where Torchinsky’s son managed to easily jog past it, but all in all, it performed pretty well, and the price? the two-seat version starts at $930 ($1,200 with larger batteries), but you can opt for a three-seat version as well, which will set you back $1,500, while the Changli Nemeca won’t be going head to head with a Tesla anytime soon, it’s still an amazing piece of machinery for the price, where else are you going to find a functional electric cars with decent features, and that you can have delivered to your door? I wonder if the manufacturer has a bigger, faster, more powerful, longer range model in the pipeline? if so look out Tesla!

With World Wide,

travel slowly starting to get into gear,

many people are looking to go somewhere different, well here is an idea, Purple Island! photographs Instagram, South Korea’s new Purple Island is a must-visit. As the name suggests, this place is a purple paradise complete with vast fields of lavender, empress trees that bloom purple, purple painted houses, bridges and even purple roads, 

it is not clear how the idea of turning Banwol Island and Parkji Island came to be, but last summer authorities in Sinan County, South Jeolla Province announced their plans for the unique tourist attraction, their plans included planting 40,000 lavender plants, thousands of empress trees, as well as other purple plants, painting residential building purple, as well as roadside attractions and even roads, naturally on Purple Island, even the hotel rooms, restaurants and restrooms are painted purple, they even have purple UK style telephone boxes! purple-colored rooms start at 50,000 Korean Won ($41) per night, Purple Island is still a work in progress, but it recently went viral on Asian social media, after Instagram posts shot in this purple getaway started doing the rounds online, I guess there is an idea for any community to gain worldwide fame, paint your town and plant plants the color of the communities choice!

Friday, 10 July 2020

I Had Some More Company,

first thing as I was posting the blog,

 a female blackbird,

 called by for a few nuts,

 Diana was already at work as I made my way by bus into town,

 just by the number 54 bus stop which is called Cromwell Road, there is this antique shop, selling all manner of goods, great fun to look around, but it is not open every day, for the last 3 or 4 visits to the shop it has been closed,

 and this is where I was going, Kingfisheries Aquarium in Croydon Road, Beckenham, 0208 650 3716,

 I had a quick look at the rear of the shop,

 where they have so many coldwater fish,

 for outdoor ponds, 

 and water features,

 these are all coldwater indoor fish,

 all varieties of goldfish,

 indoor coldwater meaning whilst they do not need a heater/thermostat to keep them warm, they are happy at room temperature, they may not survive a hard winter outside, back on the bus with my RO water, in the afternoon it was feet up for a couple of films,

firstly Victor Frankenstein, this a slightly different view of the classic, enjoyable but a but frenetic in places, not a bad way to spend nearly 2 hours on a dull afternoon,

I followed that with Risen, yet another biblical film, this one about the resurrection, pity it lacked Charlton Heston or Victor Mature, both of whom are pretty good in this sort of movie, but there it is, again nearly 2 hours long, which brought me nicely to my evening meal, after which it was one from Silent Witness, then part way through a New Tricks at 10.40 Diana called,

so through a wet rainy park to the bus stop, then home, feet up a for a coffee, and one from Silent Witness when we were off to bed.

A Quick Update,

on a post we made way back in April 2015,

the loneliest pine in the world is still lonely! we first mentioned Encephalartos woodii, back in 2015, it is a cycad which are a very old order of tree and it turns out this one, which is still there in London, may be the very last tree of its kind on our planet and this is why, these trees cannot fertilise themselves, some plants contain male and female parts on the same individual, well the sad news is that a mate has still not been found, researchers have long been scouring the forests of Africa in search of a female Encephalartos woodii, but so far their efforts have been unsuccessful, “Surely this is the most solitary organism in the world,” biologist Richard Fortey once wrote, “growing older, alone, and fated to have no successors. Nobody knows how long it will live.” Sir David Attenborough said at the opening of the Temperate House at the Royal Botanical Gardens. “Plant species can go extinct and there is one cycad here which is the only one specimen of its kind known, it is a lonely plant, like the Galapagos tortoise. Human beings are taking over so much of the planet and the climate is changing so that areas where plants once grew they can’t grow anymore. There is nowhere else for them to go, except they can be kept here.” hopefully botanists will keep searching, you never know like the coelacanth thought to be extinct for the past 70 million years or so, a few just might just appear!

It Is A Strange Fact Of My Life,

that I have always thought of dinosaurs as being big, 

I imagined the smallest as being like the ones in The Lost World : Jurassic Park movie, as seen above with Cathy Bowman, image credit MovieStilsDBI am guessing about 2 feet or so tall when on their hind legs, so it came as a bit of a surprise when I saw this,

image credit: Frank Ippolito/AMNH, a mini dinosaur! scientists have described a new species found in Madagascar as a teacup-sized example of Ornithodira, a group of the last common ancestors of dinosaurs and pterosaurs. The 237-million-year-old fossil was named Kongonaphon kely, which means "tiny bug slayer." K. kely is the smallest known species in a family of early dinosauromorphs called Lagerpetidae. These early examples of Ornithodira are known to be small, but with recent discoveries such as the tiny bug slayer, researchers are coming round to the idea that the smallness of discovered specimens is no accident,

"Although dinosaurs and gigantism are practically synonymous, an analysis of body size evolution in dinosaurs and other archosaurs in the context of this taxon and related forms demonstrates that the earliest-diverging members of the group may have been smaller than previously thought, and that a profound miniaturisation event occurred near the base of the avian stem lineage," the team writes in a new paper, 

you can see more and read about this mini almost T. rex at Science Alertfor myself I think he is rather cute, now this would make more sense, to clone one of these, every home with kids would have one!