Friday, 31 March 2017

We Had Decided To Spend The Day On The Beach,

at first we thought of going to the island Koh Larn,


 but as it had been raining for the past few days we decided on Jomtien instead, but first breakfast, home grown mushrooms on toast,

 10 minutes later,

 and we had parked up,

 and were admiring the view,

 looking to our right,

 and left along the beach,

  Diana is in there some where,

 and there she is chatting to Mum,

 we ordered our drinks, 

 a coffee for myself,

  and a cold coconut for Diana,

 it was getting late in the afternoon, so we fancied a snack,

  first to arrive prawn tempura,

 I had brought along a book to read, the hero of the “The Keys of Egypt” is Jean-Fran├žois Champollion, a child prodigy born in the French town of Figeac in 1790, by the age of twelve, having already mastered Latin and Greek, he was studying Hebrew, Arabic, Syrian and Chaldean, His interest in hieroglyphs was sparked by a meeting with the mathematician Jean Baptiste Joseph Fourier, who explained to Champollion that nobody could read the script that adorned his collection of Egyptian ornaments, the pre-teen genius declared that one day he would decipher their meaning, the book is an incredibly good read, just one of the many misconceptions about Egyptology laid bare is in fact the Rosetta Stone did little to decipher hieroglyphs, the slab contains the same inscription repeated three times, in Greek, hieroglyphs and demotic (a more cursive variation of hieroglyphs), initially there was great optimism that the comprehensible Greek inscription could be used to unravel the principles of hieroglyphs, but scholars did not know which bits of Greek corresponded to which bits of hieroglyphs, and worse still they did not know the language of the ancient Egyptians and so they were not in a position to pronounce any Egyptian words, the stone was not the ‘key’ they had hoped for, although Champollion did decipher it, it was not the leap that many think it to be,

  then Diana's food arrived chicken with rice and an egg, some time later the lady that served us asked to be paid, which was a bit strange as normally payment is made when you leave the beach, but she told us rain was on the way, sure enough the islands and coastline in the distance started to be obscured by rain, we made a dash for the motorcycle and home arriving only slightly damp, Mark called by for a chat, then after saying farewell,

 it was time for our evening meal, and this was mine black bread with tuna topped with cucumber and wait for it, home grown tomatoes! Barry called round later for a glass or two, after he left it was feet up,

for the 2010 version of True Grit, which was quite enjoyable and with that we were off to bed.


If You Suffer From Any Form Of Entomophobia Or Insectophobia,

I suggest you skip this post,


as we will be visiting,

the Itakura Town Hall in Gifu prefecture, roughly an hour north from central Tokyo,

 to look at this deity,

 made from roughly 20,000 beetles of numerous varieties,

 the sculpture was made almost 40 years ago in 1978 by a man named Yoneji Inamura, who was in his 50s at the time who has passed away earlier this year in January at the age of 98,

 although Inamura created several sculptures out of beetles, he spent 6 years in the 1970s constructing this one, which has become his masterpiece and the largest sculpture he ever made, when it was done he donated it to the city,

 the sculpture, made from rhinoceros beetles, winged jewel beetles, drone beetles, longhorn beetles and other types of local beetles, depicts the senju kannon bosatsu (1000-armed bodhisattva), a popular Buddhist deity in Japan,

to visit the museum because of it's location you will need a car, but if you are an entomologist what a treat to see it!


The Blackest Black,

is Vantablack,


 it is so black that this 3 dimensional bowl appears to be a flat 2 dimensional disc, 

 “If you see it on a flat surface on its own, with no other black material to reference it against, it just looks like a black velvet surface,” Surrey NanoSystems chief technical officer Ben Jensen told ABC, “If you see it on a 3D object, like crinkled foil, the coated side still looks like a black two-dimensional flat surface. It’s only when you turn it around and you realise that it’s got a lot of dimensionality, that you grasp how different it is.” we did in fact in December last year mention a spat a few artists were having over it, 

well it looks like there is going to be another one, if you thought the original black Vantablack was black enough, Surrey NanoSystems has been hard at work trying to make it even darker, and here it is, they have unveiled an enhanced version of their pigment that is so black that it can’t even be measured with UV-VIS or MID-IR spectrometers, in a video, they run a high power laser pointer across a surface coated with Vantablack 2.0 and it just vanishes, as if no light is touching it, so it looks like another round of palettes and easels at 20 paces for the new Vantablack!


We Often Feature Street Art,

but very seldom are they in just black and white,


 so here are some works,

 by Brazilian street artist and muralist Alex Senna

that are just black and white, I have to say I do like the ones that cast a shadow,

 having said that,

 these are just as nice,

and this one very romantic, great work by Alex Senna.


The Grey Ghost,

is in danger of falling apart,


MS Queen Mary has been a permanent resident of Long Beach, California since 1967, it turns out that the iconic ship is in big trouble, as Courtney Tompkins reports for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, the queen is in danger of collapse due to corrosion, a recent survey by engineers and naval architects delivered a dire message about Queen Mary’s health Tompkins reports, they found that the hull is so corroded it could be vulnerable to flooding or a full-blown collapse, and that major flooding would be impossible to stop once it started, not a comforting thought if you are staying in one of the hotel rooms on board, the group said that at least 75 percent of their recommended repairs, which would cost up to $289 million to complete are “urgent.”

the Queen Mary may have gotten a bad bill of health, but she was once the gem in the crown of the great ocean liners of her day, the ship was built in Scotland for the Cunard-White Star Line, and its maiden voyage was nothing short of spectacular, newspapers called it “as regal a ship as ever ruled the waves” and gushed over its Art Deco interior, complete with multiple swimming pools, salons, libraries and even kennels for the dogs of the rich and famous, stars loved the Queen Mary, which they used to crisscross the Atlantic in high style; among its famous passengers were The Duke and Duchess of Windsor, above, Elizabeth Taylor, Fred Astaire and Winston Churchill, to mention just a few,

the ship even played a role in World War II, when it was painted gray (above) and used to ferry thousands of troops across the Atlantic, known as “the grey ghost,” it never encountered a single U-boat and was never fired on by bullets or bombs, well she has survived since 1934 when she was launched, will she survive another 8 decades?


Thursday, 30 March 2017

2 Days Ago,

there were none,


 and today a crop will be ready tomorrow,

 it sounds silly but it has been great fun watching our mushrooms grow, naturally eating them is the best part!

 it had been raining all morning, but as we got ready to go out things started to dry up,

 and we were going with Mr. Tony to Cherry's,

 for their Wednesday International buffet,

 which is also held on a Saturday,

 soup of the day, carrot,


or a choice of tom yum goong,

 as well as the salad bar, there is a selection of salmon and cold cuts,

 and other titbits to tempt you,

and a selection of sushi,


 for main courses 18 or so heated dishes, 

 plus a pizza station and carvery, 

 on to desserts,

 so many to chose from plus a freezer with a choice of 7 different flavoured ice creams,


 so on to the salad bar for our starters,

 'Cheers!', 

 back with my starters,

 what could be better?

 next a trip to the carvery and a few pieces of chicken,


for Diana some spaghetti and a spring roll,

we finished with desserts, and these are not all mine! Diana sneakily pushed her plate into the picture, if you want to try Cherry's it is located on Third Road opposite what was once the X-Cite disco, the twice weekly International buffet 450 baht each, after our meal Mr. Tony kindly dropped us off, 

so feet up for a nightcap, a couple from The Crown and we were off to bed.