Thursday, 30 April 2020

We Had A Quiet Day,

but in the late afternoon/early evening,

 we had a couple of guests,

 in the back garden, 

 having seen 2 foxes playing in the dusk a few months ago,

 I am guessing these are from the same litter, then something spooked them and they were off,

 on to our evening meal,

 mussels for our starter,


 and for our main course,

  a couple of beef burgers and chips,

 Diana had one,

 but I was feeling hungry, all of this inactivity was building up an appetite!

 another 'Cheers!', 

 for dessert, 

a sort of round cream profiterole with ice cream, diet starts tomorrow! we listened to music for much of the evening, 

just before 11.00 we decided to start on the Sherlock Holmes collection 16 DVDs in all, each with 2 or 3 episodes on each disc, what a treat to watch the first one again, with so many episode to follow, and with the end of the first we were off to bed.

whether you like it or not,

Jaws was famous for one quote,

 "You're Gonna Need a Bigger Boat..." well keeping to that theme with this jigsaw the phrase "you're gonna need a bigger house" springs to mind, legendary photography company Kodak recently launched a gigantic jigsaw puzzle made up of 51,300 pieces and measuring a whopping 28.5 feet by 6.25 feet, it features images of iconic landmarks shot by professional photographers, but putting your patience and jigsaw solving skills to the test will cost you both real money and a lot of space, as Kodak’s behemoth will set you back between $409.99  and $599.99, and will probably take up a decent-sized room when completed,

but there is a cheat, Kodak split the puzzle into 27 images of different international landmarks, from the Great Wall of China to the Statue of Liberty and the Taj Mahal, so basically it is 27 small puzzles, the only real challenge will be finding somewhere to display the completed puzzle, as at 28.5 feet by 6.25 feet, it’s probably going to need its own room, Kodak’s gigantic jigsaw puzzle is in high demand, it’s already sold out on Amazon, where it was priced at $410, leaving interested parties with the option of acquiring it for at least $500 from two other retailers listed on the official Kodak website, but lets make it difficult as it should be, empty all 27 bags into a huge pile on the floor, mix well and then start!

A Few Days Ago,

I posted a video, 

about bioluminescent plankton, which I find fascinating, well here is another video of the phenomena, this year, a group of local photographers decided to take the gamble after noting a spate of red tide off Newport Beach, which, as of April 28, is still open to the public, “We went back that night hoping to see something, and sure enough we did,” local Royce Hutain told Lauren M. Johnson and Amanda Jackson at CNN, videos and images from the outing are now on Instagram, there are more details about bioluminescence over at Smithsonian Magazine, if you do watch the video there is a almost magical part of it where the surfboard looks like it is a futuristic water hoverboard.

Who Said, "Britain and America Are Two Nations Divided by a Common Language"?

there are a number of answers,

 but most agree it was George Bernard Shaw, for a fuller look at the quote have a look here, back to the note above, it was found on the door of a UK citizen in lockdown,

 "I am going round the twist with nothing to read." which is a common phrase in the UK, I have found out is not or very seldom used in the USA,

so where does 'going round the twist', come from? the discussion at Reddit includes some attempts to explain the etymology:

“... all we have is just one entry in the Oxford English Dictionary, from Frank Bowen’s, Sea Slang: a Dictionary of the Old-Timers’ Expressions and Epithets, dated 1929. He said that the phrase was “an old naval term for anybody who is mad.”... Readers have pointed out that a bend in maritime terminology is a class of knots... This might suggest restraining a madman at sea by the use of ropes and knots... There’s also the related term loopy for eccentricity or craziness. Jonathon Green, in the Chambers Slang Dictionary, says that it's likewise nautical slang, dating from slightly later than round the bend... with the idea being of a person who is twisted or out of true, who is “bent” in a figuratively eccentric way. To what extent round the bend or loopy are linked to knots is unclear, and almost certainly no longer possible to discover.” so there you have it, this lock down is making me go round the twist as well as the writer of the notes!

Wednesday, 29 April 2020

The Crow Was Back On The Window Sill This Morning,

twice as it happens,

 also both times he was a bit easier to photograph, 

 as the succulents are a bit lower than the orchids,

 later the fox called round,

 for his share of the peanuts, which put the crows beak out of joint,

in the afternoon, tea and a slice of cake, after a couple of game shows it was time for our evening meal, 

then feet up for Aussie Gold Hunters, which as its name suggest follows the fortunes, or lack of them on the Aussie gold fields,

keeping to Aussie theme we followed that with Giant Lobster Hunters again form Australia, actually I should say Tasmania,

again in Australia and perhaps the most dangerous of the three series, Abalone Wars, I say dangerous not only because of the inherent danger of being at sea, but it also involves diving, where the great white shark swims,

we rounded off the evening with the latest in the series, Men In Black: International, much though we enjoyed the previous ones this just did not cut it, OK great special effects, but there seemed to be some sort of hidden agenda, as if the writer had some axe to grind, but then no one was going to fill the boots of Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones, with the end of that, and as it was just after midnight, we were off to bed.

An Artist Normally Paints Or Draws,

on what we would call a canvas,

 this canvas is huge, at 3,000-square meters! all images © Valentin Flauraud and Saype,

 French artist Guillaume Legros, who’s better known as Saype, has painted a hopeful new work on a grassy hillside that’s best seen from the air at Leysin, Switzerland,

 ,he expansive piece is Saype’s encouraging response to the ongoing threat of COVID-19 worldwide. “During these times of pandemic, a majority of the world population is confined. Although we are all affected, we live different challenges or struggles and I choose to paint this fresco entitled ‘BEYOND CRISIS’ close to home to share with you an optimistic message and a breath of fresh air,” the self-taught artist wrote on Instagram,

 yes you read that correctly, self taught!

 he said in a statement, by inviting “us to wonder about our deep nature, our spirit, our place on earth and in the society.” 

it must be pointed out that Saype uses paint derived from natural materials like coal and chalk, to purchase a lithograph of the artist’s ephemeral artworks, check out what’s available in his shop, I just cannot imagine how to even start any canvas, never mind one this size!

Going From A 3,000 Square Meter Canvas,

lets down size,

 to one the size of a piece of toast,

 Japanese designer Manami Sasaki has embarked on a series of creative stay-at-home breakfasts using toast as her canvas,

to craft this Zen Japanese Rock Garden, for her base, Sasaki used sour cream that’s she carefully and artfully raked with her fork to mimic the swirls of sand, originally meant to represent ripples of water. Macadamia nuts and walnuts were strategically placed to represent stones while matcha powder was sprinkled around them like moss,

or in this toast Sasaki says that she actually tore the toast and filled the cracks with edible gold leaf, using ketchup as paint in this kintsugi toast, as it happens She’s also a watercolor artist by trade and sells some of her work here, dare I say it? the toast look too good to eat!

Many Of Us Enjoy The Harry Potter Films,

and have a favorite character,

and if like myself yours happens to be Salazar Slytherin, who was one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry in the world of Harry Potter, you might be intrested to konw that a snake discovered in 2019 has just been named after Salazar Slytherin, it is the dream of most zoologist to have a creature named after them, well in this case Salazar Slytherin has succeeded, a new species of snake has been named in his honor, and it's only appropriate: the species Trimeresurus salazar translates to Salazar’s pit viper, the newest member of the genus Trimeresurus Lacépède, which includes at least 48 species of pit viper distributed across east and southeast Asia, the snake is the fifth reptile discovered by scientists in India’s northern state of Arunachal Pradesh in the past year or so, joining three other snakes and a tortoise also native to the region, a paper published in the April issue of Zoosystematics and Evolution describes the find, made by a team of researchers led by Zeeshan Mirza, a biologist at India’s National Centre for Biological Sciences, the genus Trimeresurus has been described as "charismatic, venomous serpents.” you can read more about the snake and its name at Smithsonian, image credit: Mirza et al., Zoosystematics and Evolution, 2020, as it happens we, that is Neil and myself, along with our guide Anil, travelled to Arunachal Pradesh, as well as Assam, Meghalaya, Guwahati, Shillong and the Kaziranga National Park, looking for new spices of fish many years ago, now that was great fun!

Tuesday, 28 April 2020

In The Afternoon,

I moved a few of the plants around,

 this window receives full sun for most of the day, the orchids on it whilst doing well in flowering, the leaves were turning from green to yellow due to too much sun, so I moved one of the succulent trays here,

 as it happens two of the succulents were flowering, this one,

 and this one with its tall flower spike, 

 hopefully the change of light will not effect its opening,

 the orchid planter in its new position,

hopefully now out of the sun for most of the day the leaves will return to their normal green colour, after our evening meal it was feet up for one from Poirot, one from Endeavor, and rounded the evening off with a New Tricks, next for us we were off to bed.

How Trigonometry Can Kill You,

or if you understand it, save your life, 

this road junction in the middle of nowhere is at Ipley Cross, in the New Forest, Hampshire, England, and is considered to be one of the most dangerous junctions for bicycle riders in Britain, with a couple of crashes every year, and sadly two cyclists have died there in the past few years in nearly-identical crashes, so why are they happening? Tom Scott explains in the above video why the trigonometry of this crossing causes, and will continue to cause, more accidents every year, a fascinating video.

When Is A Bet,

not a bet?

an interesting question, and one that 2 Canadians found out about the question the hard way, photograph Tumisu/Pixabay, Edmund Mark Hooper and Michel Primeau ended up playing three simple games of Rock, Paper, Scissors, it is important to point out that these two guys were serious, and even had a notarized contract that mentioned the mortgage on Hooper’s house, so how much was the bet? a whopping $517,000! after 2 of the 3 games Edmund Mark Hooper lost, but all was not lost according to Canadian law, for a wagering contract to be valid it must be based on activities “requiring only skill or bodily exertion on the part of the parties,” and the amount wagered must not be excessive. Interestingly, in the 2017 judgement, a Supreme Court Justice found that the bet between Hooper and Primeau was based on a game of skill, but ruled it invalid because the amount wagered was excessive, “[The game] can, in certain precise circumstances, call upon the skill of the parties, particularly in the speed of execution, the sense of observation or the putting in place of a strategic sequence,” Justice Chantal Chatelain wrote in her sentence, that was little consolation for Primeau, who had still lost the $517,000, so he appealed the 2017 decision. Unfortunately for him, the verdict reached by another court on April 17 was even worse. This time around, the judge ruled not only that the amount wagered was excessive, but also that “it seems evident … that the game also involves a large part of chance, so that it does not take ‘only skill or bodily exertion on the part of the parties,'” as the law demands, can you imagine going home to your signification other half and saying, "we have got to move, I just lost the house on 3 games of Rock, Paper, Scissors", it is a sure bet that who ever said that would lose a lot more than the house!

I First Saw This Sign,

about 4 days ago,

being that I like the Monty Python crew I thought it quite funny, but did not post it, but I have now as locals are taking the sign seriously! image credit Yorkshire Silly Walks/ Instagram, it happened like this, Liz Koto's family from Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, decided to entertain both themselves and neighbors by asking them to recreate a sketch called "The Ministry of Silly Walks" from the Monty Python comedy troupe's television show, in case you haven't seen it yet, the sketch centers around a minister with a very peculiar way of walking. The minister meets a man named Mr. Pudey at his work, The Ministry of Silly Walks, where the man asks him for a government grant to develop his own silly walk. Liz, who works for local jurisdiction, told Bored Panda that the way Monty Python pokes fun at the inefficiency of government is exactly why she loves this sketch, the reason I posted this now? 

 you can now watch as passersby interpret the sign in their own individual ways at @Yorkshire_Silly_Walks, Monty Python is alive and kicking in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan, well done Liz Koto and her family!

Monday, 27 April 2020

This Morning The Crow Landed As Light As A Feather,

hardly a sound at all,

 in no time he had eaten his fill and was away,

 for us our Sunday lunch,

 lamb kebab for a starter,


 for our main course, 

 a gammon ham, with gravy for Diana, 

 none for myself,

 we then had a long break, and a few games of cribbage, this one I lost so badly, it was one of those games where absolutely nothing went to plan, but I still won the set,

 long break over we had our apple pie and custard dessert,

another 'Cheers!', from me, 

in the evening we watch all of Planet Earth II, in 4K and brilliant it was too, by now it was late so we watched just one film tonight,

Diana had asked to watch The Elephant Man, a film so sad, more so because a lot of it was true, and taken from various memoirs and sources from the timealso as an aside if you have watched the movie, 

for the last 10 minutes or so you would have heard the music of Samuel Osmund Barber II who I mentioned only yesterday, the piece titled Adagio For Strings, above is the ending of the film where the music is played, if you have not watched the movie but want to, do not watch the above, as it has the entire ending of the movie, and with the end of the film we were off to bed.