Monday, 30 April 2018

Off To The Repair Shop,

for the motorcycle,

 the headlamp had failed, so a few minuets and 60 baht later and I was on my way home,

 for our Sunday roast,

 for this week roast beef,


 watching us, one of the angelfish, (Pterophyllum scalare),

 and a red tailed black shark, (Epalzeorhynchos bicolor),

 and a real treat for dessert,

Diana had made a baked apple and current dessert with a caramelised toffee flavoured syrup, topped with ice cream, it looked and was delicious, we listened to music in the afternoon, 

the in the evening it was Al Murray, the Pub Landlord, the DVD was recorded at one of his live shows, and what a blast it was, 

 we followed that with 2 more from Hornblower, firstly Duty,

followed by Loyalty, by now it was past the midnight hour so we were off to bed.

I Guess We All Know,

that leopards and cheetahs have spots,

this a typical leopard, (Panthera pardus),

 and this a cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatus), but what I did not know is that a cheetah can can it's spots into stripes, not by choice but by a genetic mutation,

and is called a King Cheetah, or sometimes Coopers Cheetah, while most cheetahs have spots, very rarely one will be born with stripes as well, a cheetah with this characteristic was first documented in 1926 by Major A. Cooper who spotted and killed said cheetah in the region of modern day Zimbabwe, since then, these so called “king cheetahs” (they were originally thought to be a separate species) have been spotted in the wild just five times, though some have also been born in captivity, it was not until 2012, that it was discovered that king cheetahs have a recessive mutation in their transmembrane aminopeptidase Q (Taqpep) gene causing the distinctive fur patterns, striped cheetahs, I have looked but can find no mention of striped leopards, and research says that a leopard can not change it's spots, but you never know one could be lurking out there.

Happy Birthday!

to the Hubble space telescope, 

 this year it is 28 years old, on April 24, 1990, Hubble finally launched into orbit aboard the Space Shuttle Discovery, and to celebrate NASA have released this picture in the heart of the Lagoon Nebula, at the center of the photo, a monster young star 200,000 times brighter than our Sun is blasting powerful ultraviolet radiation and hurricane-like stellar winds, carving out a fantasy landscape of ridges, cavities, and mountains of gas and dust, 

and here the same image taken using an infrared camera, the most obvious difference between Hubble’s infrared and visible photos of this region is the abundance of stars that fill the infrared field of view, most of them are more distant, background stars located behind the nebula itself. However, some of these pinpricks of light are young stars within the Lagoon Nebula, the giant star Herschel 36, near the center of the frame, shines even brighter in this infrared view, 

this video zooms into the core of a rich star-birth region of the  Lagoon Nebula, located in the constellation Sagittarius in the direction of our Milky Way galaxy’s central bulge, amazing.

How can a building appear on a canvas,

painted by an artist that was not built untill after he had died?

a tricky question and one that is never going to have a happy answer, so here goes, a group of specialists assembled to answer that question, it appears that after his doubts Eric Forcada first raised at the museum, Musée Terrus at 3 Rue Porte Balaguer, 66200 Elne, France, the group has now found that they estimated 82 of the paintings, nearly half of the museum's collection, were not painted by Etienne Terrus, who the museum is dedicated to, "I put myself in the place of all the people who came to visit the museum, who saw fake works, who took a ticket of entry, whatever the price, it is unacceptable", stated the mayor of Elne, Yves Barniol, when talking to France Bleu Roussillon, "I hope we will find the officials," 

 the publicly owned museum is believed to have paid over £140,000 for the paintings over a 20 year period between 1990 and 2010, so next time you want to buy an expensive painting, ask an expert, but which one?

Sunday, 29 April 2018


and a bit of maintenance,

 a 40% water change and the aquarium is looking nice,  

 over here it has been raining for the past few days, Beach Road looking like a lot of Pattaya, for a few more pictures have a look here,

anyway we waited all day for the rain to stop,

 but it did not, so it was on with the plastic raincoats and off to Friendship, we needed to buy our Sunday roast, still the good news was that there was very little traffic, so we were home in no time,

 we normally eat outside in the evening and have a bar-b-q on Saturdays, but not tonight, it was still raining,

 which confused the wet sisters and their kittens, who waited at the front door for us to go outside and give them a few titbits,

 so after our starter of garlic bread,   

 it was scallops with bacon and garlic butter, 

 on to our main course, we had some frozen fillets of haddock which Diana made a batter for, 

 and made some tartar sauce, the gherkin jar took a bit of a hit, but the sauce was just right, 

 we were watched by the fish, this a calico fantail shubunkin goldfish, (Carassius auratus),

 one of the discus, (Symphysodon aequifasciatus),

 red line torpedo barb, (Sahyadria denisonii),

 another calico fantail shubunkin goldfish, (Carassius auratus)we were so full we did not have a dessert, we spent the rest of the evening listening to music and the rain, hopefully it will have stopped by tomorrow and with that we were off to bed.

A Quick Sunday Morning Quiz,

below are 5 pictures,

 but before scrolling down start looking for clues, the pictures are entries for a competition run by The Folio Society and House of Illustration, these some of the 24 finalists competing to illustrate a new edition of a famous authors equally famous book,

 this is a give away,

 this sets the scene,

 I hope you are still looking for clues,

this one just makes it too easy, they are all selections from a gallery at The Guardian, featuring the 24 finalists competing to illustrate a new edition of Arthur Conan Doyle’s, The Selected Adventures and Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes.

A Few Days Ago,

we made a post about,

 Vogelkop Superb Bird-of-Paradise, apart from being so usual it has now a new claim to fame, in a study out early this year in the journal Nature Communications, reveals that those feathers absorb 99.95 percent of light, and virtually identical to the 99.965 percent of light that Vantablack, the world’s darkest artificial substance, can absorb, and it’s all thanks to black feathers structured like a forest of chaos, the black feathers of the male bird of paradise eat light, that’s because unlike your typical bird feather, which is more or less neatly structured with branches that branch off of branches, kind of like a fractal, the bird of paradise feather looks like an irregular forest of trees (see the image below for a comparison),

this leads to a whole lot of cavities in the feather, "Light strikes the feather, and is repeatedly scattered within these cavities," says Harvard evolutionary biologist Dakota McCoy, lead author of the paper. "Each time it scatters, a little bit is absorbed, so that's how they become so black, the whole point, we think, of these feathers is to trick her eye and brain into thinking that there's less light illuminating the male than there really is," says McCoy. "So to her eye, when her world is an incredibly dark black background and then a vivid blue spot, the spot looks even brighter, and it even looks like it's glowing, it may even look like it’s floating in space" and how black is it? "We blasted it (the feather) with gold so that we could look at it under a microscope," says McCoy, "but then we noticed amazingly that it still looked black even though we had put a 5 nanometer layer of gold over the entire surface." The super-black feather, it seems, just won’t quit being super black, how absolutely amazing.

Last Night We Listen To Music,

as we normally do when we eat on Saturday evenings,

one of the songs we played was The Dangling Conversation by Simon & Garfunkel, I have listen to it so many times over the years, some of the lines are,

And you read your Emily Dickinson,
And I my Robert Frost,
And we note our place with bookmarkers
That measure what we've lost.

so I thought that I would make a post about Robert Frost, (1874 - 1963), here are some of his quotes,

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.

These woods are lovely, dark and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on.

The only way round is through.

The best way out is always through.

Freedom lies in being bold.

Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.

I am not a teacher, but an awakener.

My apple trees will never get across And eat the cones under his pines, I tell him. He only says, “Good fences make good neighbors.”

Whose woods these are I think I know. His house is in the village though; He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow.

Inhabitants Of The Windy City,

will have a new skyline,

 when architect Gordon Gill from local firm Adrian Smith + GordonGill Architecture has designed the new skyscraper as part of a larger scheme that includes an overhaul of the neighbouring Tribune Tower and its surrounding buildings,

 and this is what the skyline will look like,

 the mixed-use tower is slated for a site east of the 1920s neo-gothic tower, currently a parking lot, and will rise 96 storeys,

the north and south elevation facades gently curve inwards to create a crown, commercial spaces and parking will occupy its lower levels, with a hotel above, further up still will be 439 rental apartments, then 125 condominiums at the top, meanwhile, the Tribune Tower is being transformed from offices into 163 residences, Steve Hubbard from Chicago-based Solomon Cordwell Buenz is leading the project, with Phil Hamp from local firm Vinci Hamp Architects acting as the preservation architect, as we often say to each other, ‘nothing stays the same forever’.

Saturday, 28 April 2018

It Rained,

most of the day almost non-stop,

 but thankfully in the late afternoon it stopped,

 so off to the Thepprasit Road weekend night market we went, I had dropped Diana off at Tesco Lotus, so I went back to the market and walked into the area of the stalls, passing this one selling food on sticks,

 looking towards Jomtien,

 the sky was grey and overcast, 

 workers were busy trying to clear standing water in the road,

 looking inland the sky was all grey clouds, 

 the stall holders were all busy putting up awnings,

this week opposite the bar one stall selling fashion accessories like false nails and eyelashes, the other children's clothing,

 new for this week more steelworks added to the front of the main construction,

  one of the mobile fruit sellers taking a break,

 I made my way down to the pet section,

 passing this temporary stall selling durians,

 you can pick your own,

 or buy some of the fruit that has already been removed from it's vicious looking outer skin, 

 a thick leather glove is de rigueur for anyone in this line of work,

 I have tried durian on three different occasions and disliked it all three times, but here in Thailand it is incredibly popular,

 looking behind me the Monkey drinks stall now has the new roof in place and finished,

 continuing downhill I passed the fruit stall,

 and there they were, large lychees, we will be having some of those this evening,

 no customers in the pet section,

 no more work on the ramp for this week, I guess that safety rails will go on later in the project,

 all was bright here, lights on as it was dark due to the storm clouds, 

 past the aquatic stall,

 sunset, or I should say rain clouds over the market,

 I decided to have a look at some of the food stalls inside, seafood on sticks,

 crispy pork, Diana bought some for our evening meal,

 bar-b-qued fish,


 I was tempted with some roasted duck, but we had already decided on a pork supper,

 a hole has been left in the roof, a staircase perhaps, there are ramps for the cars, so maybe this is for the car owners to walk downstairs,

 I made my way outside,

 where the new steelworks are,

 and made my way to the empty bar,

 looking inland it still looked grey,

 the stalls opposite the bar now setup, 

 arriving home all of the cats and kittens were waiting, there seems to have been a family spat between the two sisters, one of which has the four kittens, but tonight both sisters seem to have called a truce, but by the time I got my camera one of the kittens had walked away,

 and here is our meal for the evening,

a honey pot cured rack of ribs and some of the crispy pork, we followed that with the now chilled lychees, 

then it was feet up for Life of Brian, for us so funny and if you have watched the film, well, 
REG: All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us? if you have not seen the film you are missing a classic slice of British irrelevant humour, how best to describe the film? how about a motion picture destined to offend nearly two thirds of the civilized world, and severely annoy the other third, and with the end of that we were of to bed.