Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Diana Decided To Give Cable,

a shower and shampoo,

  you should of heard the noise coming out of the bathroom,

and Cable was pretty loud too!

 meanwhile whilst this was going on, Hogue,

 who is nobodies fool hid in the box, his turn tomorrow, I guess,

 off to the market for a few bits and pieces, parking up I noticed this rather immaculate 110cc step through, it was a dead ringer for a Honda of 40 or more years ago, but looked brand new, made by a company called Ryuka, I think it is this one, the Classic, but here the owner has removed the engine cover/leg shields,  

 we stopped at the pineapple stall and bought some,

 as well as some grapes,

 and some bar-b-qued duck for our evening meal,

 cakes, yummy!

 we stopped of for a few vegetables, 

but gave the fish and shrimps a miss, 

after our even meal, the duck, which was delicious, it was feet up for a couple from The Chase, which we followed with San Andreas, we had watched it before and this what I wrote then, 'full of action, adventure and totally unbelievable coincidences', and I should mention great special effects,

to round the evening off, as we have now finished all of Rome, and watched the most up to-date episodes of Billions and Suits we made a start on Dickensian, a 20 part BBC drama, that has had high praise, and we have to say the first two episodes were rather enjoyable, the sets, costumes and story-line being very good so far, and we are looking forward to tomorrows nights instalments, and with that we were off to bed.

The Best Halloween Spoof Video,

I have seen so far,  

but who knows, there could be a better one out there!

If You Like Jig-Saws,

that are slightly different,

 these could be the ones for you,

they are made by Massachusetts-based design studio Nervous System, that writes unique computer programs that aim to imitate processes found in nature, 

 the company recently designed a geode jigsaw puzzle modelled after slices of agate, a type of rock characterised by its repeated colourful bands,

 the studio’s computer simulation ensures that natural variations influence the puzzle’s shape, colour, and pattern, essentially “growing” the artificial geode in a similar way to how it would be formed in nature,

so here is the amazing thing, every geode puzzle designed by Nervous System is completely different!

puzzles are each cut from birch plywood and sold at 180 or 370 pieces, You can view and purchase dozens of other original agate designs in the studio’s online shop, and no I am not on commission, I just thought it was so neat that no two puzzles will ever be exactly the same,

and here is how they are made, 

and in case the name seems familiar, we have featured the company before, with their Infinite Galaxy Puzzle.

It Seems To Be A Thing,

that cat owners know the world over,

cats will bring home 'trophies', birds, mice, frogs and small insects are the norm, not a problem for Cable, Hogue and Mariana, as they do not go out, but the kittens that have adopted us bring us on an almost a daily bases at least one trophy, sometimes a bird or a frog, but 9 out of 10 times a cockroach, when I open the front door in the morning it is quite usual to see one or more of the kittens playing with a thoroughly worn out insect, so I had to chuckle when I saw the cartoon above.

A Few Days Ago,

a stone plaque that reads,

  'In memory of George Washington' currently displayed in Christ Church in Alexandria, Virginia, it was announced this week, that it will be removed, another one honouring confederate leader Robert E. Lee will also be removed, the first president became a slave owner at the young age of 11, after his father died and left him 10 slaves along with the 280 acre family farm near Fredericksburg, according to the Mount Vernon website, He went on to purchase more slaves, and at the time of his death, Mount Vernon's slave population consisted of 317 people, 

 and for this reason church leaders issued this statement, 'The plaques in our sanctuary make some in our presence feel unsafe or unwelcome, some visitors and guests who worship with us choose not to return because they receive an unintended message from the prominent presence of the plaques,' so they have to go,

so where does this rational leave us the Brits with the British Museum that was founded on slavery? Englishman Hans Sloane, born in Ulster in 1660 to a working-class family in the part of Catholic Ireland that had just been colonised by Protestant Brits, Sloane works his way up the social ladder, becoming a physician and travelling to Jamaica for his work, over the course of his life, Sloane collected tens of thousands of items which became the basis for what is today known as the British Museum,  

 along the way, he participated in, and profited from, the Atlantic slave trade, a part of the British Museum’s storied legacy that many continue to overlook, the first truly public museum anywhere in the world, the British Museum originated in the 18th century and Hans Sloane was the person who, when he died in 1753, set up his will to ask the British Parliament to buy his collection for £20,000 and set up a public museum that anybody, whether they were British or from outside Britain, would be able to enter free of charge, there’s no doubt that slavery played a foundational role in Sloane’s life and in the career that led to the British Museum, these things are not widely known but are very well documented, He went to Jamaica and spent almost a year-and-a-half there, he worked as a plantation doctor, so he’s part of slavery and keeping the system going, [His book] A Natural History of Jamaica is entirely enabled by slavery,

 when he comes home he marries a Jamaican heiress, so money comes into the family coffers from slave plantations for many years, He has many correspondences throughout the Caribbean and West Africa, slave traders send him specimens, and he collects clothing worn by slaves, nooses and whips used to punish and execute runaways, He had skin specimens, skull specimens, was he already a part of this early scientific generation already interested in trying to work out is there a physical basis for racial difference? there is both a financial and intellectual resonance of slavery that is foundational to Sloane’s success and his intellectual pursuits, one of the things that Sloane collected in Jamaica were stringed instruments played by enslaved Africans on the island, it’s a very remarkable thing he did to collect these instruments, He not only collected these instruments, but collected and had written down the music which slaves played, which he witnessed when he was there,

these things are what we would call cultural artefacts, they told you something about Jamaica, something about its cultural life, but they were also, for him, natural specimens, He paid a lot of attention to the fact that they were made from gourds and calabashes and strung with horse hairs, he was not simply a very wealthy physician, but a publicly prominently one, not just healing the Royal family, but consulted by Westminster, the Crown, on matters of national health, on whether there should be a quarantine against plague on ships, or if we should take up the practice of inoculation for diseases like smallpox, in his new book by James Delbourgo, Collecting the World, published by Harvard, Hans Sloane and the Origins of the British Museum come under the microscope, also as an aside, while in Jamaica, Hans Sloane was introduced to cocoa as a drink favoured by the local people, He found it ‘nauseous’ but by mixing it with milk made it more palatable, He brought this chocolate recipe back to England where it was manufactured and at first sold by apothecaries as a medicine, eventually, in the nineteenth century, it was taken up by Messrs Cadbury who manufactured chocolate using Sloane’s recipe, Cadbury's chocolate, founded on the recipe of a slaver! although glossed over in most if not all of the biographies about Sloane, Delbourgo's book lays bare the unpalatable truth about enlightenment’s most controversial luminaries, so I guess we will have to close the doors of the British Museum forever and ban the sale of all chocolate, well we must not upset anybody must we?

Monday, 30 October 2017

All Set For A Home Sunday Roast,

so relaxing by the aquarium, 

 it was time for a tipple,

 a small sherry,

 whilst Diana was preparing our roast,

 I took a few pictures of the fish,

 which have settled in well, 

 and here is our roast for today, chicken,

 'Cheers!' I do not have gravy on mine,

 but Diana does,

 then a treat, apple and cinnamon pie,

 with custard,

expertly poured, with out spilling a drop, it was delicious,

as we were eating Diana switched the camera on, the music is just what we happened to be listening to at the time,

and now for something really scary, Diana got busy for Halloween, 

and transformed me,

into your worst nightmare, well I might have been that anyway without the makeover!

 and some!

 and naturally Diana was not immune,

 to the Halloween mayhem, we listened to music for the rest of the evening and then makeup removed we were off to bed.

We Have All Seen Some Homes,

made up to get into the Halloween spirit,

but this house owned by Tom BetGeorge had the best light show yet, the house in Tracey, California, tells the story of The Nightmare Before Christmas, starting with the song "This is Halloween."

the film itself is one of my personal favourite animated films, the timing of the lights and animation is spot on, 

as an aside this is the opening from the actual film, as I mentioned before, one of my favourite animations.

With Halloween,

just around the corner, 

we just had to feature this ball python with it's Jack-o'-lantern markings, 

this morph was developed by Tom Carlton of Cypress Creek Reptiles, this is not the first time we have featured ball pythons,

 just this year in march we posted a piece about Justin Kobylka, 

a selective reptile breeder from Georgia, I wonder what patterns they will try to breed for Christmas!

What Do You Call A Train,

that does not run on rails?

I really do not know, but in in Zhuzhou, Hunan province, the 30-meter train has three carriages and is developed by CRRC Zhuzhou Locomotive Co Ltd, the train can move at a speed of 70 km/h and can carry up to 500 passengers, the company calls it an ART, Autonomous Rail Rapid Transit, so I guess it will be called ART, trains without rails, whatever next, cars without drivers?