Tuesday, 11 May 2021

I Had A Quiet Day,

having said that,

I seemed to have spent so much of the day on the telephone, trying to change my address at both EQ and Lloyds Bank, with a distinct lack of success, also I had a few chats with Duncan during the day, hopefully next week we can pop down to see him, 

after my evening meal, which was so nice, Diana had made me a crab and avocado salad, with some of the radishes that Steve and Kai had grown, 

I found that The Colditz Story, the 1955 version, was about to start, so feet up for a good dose of stiff British upper lip, just before10.00 Diana called, so off to the 354 bus stop and back home, for a coffee and a chat, and one from New Tricks before we were off to bed.

I Had Never Heard Of This Gentleman Before,

his name is Camille Jenatzy,

nicknamed Le Diable Rouge, (“The Red Devil”), after the colour of his beard, he was a Belgian race car driver, known for breaking the land speed record three times and being the first man to break the 100 km/h barrier in, wait for it, an electric car, the fastest man on earth!

and this is it, when asked to describe the feeling of traveling faster than physicians of the day believed the human body could endure, Jenatzy said: "The car in which you travel seems to leave the ground and hurl itself forward like a projectile ricocheting along the ground." he designed the car himself, called Le Jamais Contente (The Never Satisfied), in April 1899 Jenatzy reached the speed of 105.88 km/h (65.792 mph) a record which stood for three years, 

he was also a car racer, one commentator noting, “Throughout the seemingly endless series of curves, Jenatzy kept his foot to the floor. He skidded at breakneck speed around the corners, often only narrowly missing the bordering walls in the process, as was shown by his skid marks that were everywhere to be seen. I could not imagine that he could keep up this daredevil driving style for very long.” By the time the race was over the Gordon Bennett Cup was headed back to Germany, Jenatzy for his efforts was awarded $25,000 from Mercedes, a new car worth $17,000 and a further $8,000 from the tire manufacturer for a princely total of $50,000, which would be approximately equivalent to an inflated worth of $1,552,620.16 as of today, or if you are looking at a relative income worth of $7,455,896! if you have a few moments you can read the story of his life and bizarre death here.

If You Have Some Spare Time,

have a look at this amazing video,

BBC Earth has compiled clips of various bird species from their shows into one video showcasing extreme bird behaviour, it is a tad long at 15 minutes, but interesting to watch over a coffee, I practically liked the interaction with the dolphins, great fun, but not for the fish!

Many Of Us Are Collectors,

I collect stamps, 

Percival Lugue, a graphic artist from the Philippines, collects toys that are given away with fast food, over the years, he has collected new items from various fast food chains, like McDonald’s, Burger King and even the Philippines’ favourite brand, Jollibee,

Lugue has held the record for the largest collection of fast food toys since 2014, when his tally stood at around 10,000 unique items, but he has been busy consolidating his record ever since, and now he has more than 20,000 toys,
he admits that he did have some help from friends and family. Sometimes he would “guide” them toward helping him, by inviting them to have lunch at a fast food restaurant, and would manage to complete a whole set of toys in one sitting, “The toy is like a storyteller in itself,” Percival Lugue told Reuters. “For example, it gives me a glimpse of that particular period when I got it, the story of what’s going on, what are the incidents that are attached in the acquisition.” the graphic artist, who built his three-story house in Apalit, Pampanga Province, specifically to store his collection in, dreams of one day putting the toys on display for the public, or even open a small museum of sorts and give people a chance to “revisit their own childhood memories”, what an amazing collection, the fact that they are 'free' I guess would mean most people eventually would throw the toy away, making some of the ones in his collection exceedingly rare.

Monday, 10 May 2021

First Thing,

Diana meet up with Wilma,

for a coffee,

and a chat,

and a bite to eat for breakfast, they met in The Cosy Kitchen, in Beckenham, easy to find with so many flowers on the outside of it,

after arriving home next for us it was Sunday lunch, 'Cheers!',

for today, avocado and crab with a sprinkling of chopped spring onions, 

eyes down and tuck in,

we followed that with a roast duck, 

with gravy for Diana,

rounding off with a raspberry pavlova, covered in cream with fresh raspberries,


next a touch of make up,

and we were out,

walking past some of the huge trees,

on our way to Steve and Kai's,

where we joined them and Jeab in the garden,

for some Thai food,

that Kai had prepared,

naturally I joined Steve for a drink, I was still so full from lunch,

we chatted the afternoon and early evening away, it was still light as we passed the wisteria on the front of Foxgrove Lodge, arriving home it was feet up for a nightcap, and a Lewis before we were off to bed.

These Minutely Detailed Drawings,

are black and white,

or I should say pencil and white, above from left to right: Toguro Tower, Higashiyama University of Art and Expo Memorial Farm,

Yota Tsukino is a Japanese pencil artist who creates dense, imaginary cityscapes in a retrofuturistic style that often incorporates elements of steampunk,

the artist has created a triptych that represents three different eras: Showa, Heisei and Reiwa, which will become the centrepiece of an upcoming exhibition, 

each drawing was also created in a different time. “Toguro Tower” (とぐろの塔) is one of the artist’s earlier works and was created during Japan’s Heisei-era. But depicted is a Showa-era landscape with store signs and train ticket gates that harken back to a nostalgic time. “Higashiyama University of Art” (東山芸術大学) was created in pre-pandemic Reiwa and depicts a more contemporary setting, bustling with activity. “Expo Memorial Farm” (万博記念農園), the latest work, was created during the pandemic and offers an idyllic future where city and farm co-exist, 

the three drawings, along with other works, are part of an upcoming solo exhibition by the artist taking place at Atelier Sangatsu in Osaka from May 28 – June 8, 2021,

larger images of each of the drawings, as well as a few close-ups, can be seen above, You can also see more of the artist’s work on his website and on Twitter, the closer I look the more detail I can see, what amazing drawings they truly are.

The Road Your Son Has To Cross To Go To School,

is wide, very busy with traffic, and floods when it rains,

what can you do to help him? build a pedestrian footbridge of course! a loving mother in China’s Henan province spent more than a million yuan, at today's rate, £111,245.88 or $155,460.88 building two metal footbridges in front of her son’s school, to make sure he and the other kids cross the road safely, 

“There will be deep water and it is very difficult to cross the road,” the woman said. “The water will spill over the stairs where schoolchildren stand to wait for their parents like little birds. They looked miserable. My child’s feet turned white because they were soaking in water.” both footbridges, one of which is almost complete, and the other in its foundation laying stage, have been approved by the local bureau of housing and urban-rural development, but their construction was exclusively funded by the mysterious benefactor,

Mr. Meng said that she never told her son that she had paid for the new footbridges, because she doesn’t want her child to be vain about it with the other kids. She only hopes that her contribution will help keep the children and teaching staff safe and enable the kids to get an education, “I just did what I can afford to do. You can’t take money with you after death and I don’t need to leave too much money for my child,” the woman said. “I will call the bridge the Wisdom Bridge. Students crossing the bridge can get wiser and wiser.” as you might expect this story has been getting a lot of attention in China, with most social media users praising the woman for her, She could have done so many things to benefit only herself and her family with that million yuan, like buy a couple of apartments, or a house, but she decided to do something for the whole community instead, what a truly public spirited thing to do, OK it was primarily for the benefit of her son, but even so the bridges will provide safe crossings long after he has left school.

The Taipei Police Department,

as well as Taipei Police Department Commissioner Chen Jia-chang, 

and New Taipei Police Department Commissioner Huang Tsung-jen, were attending a banquet at the G House Taipei restaurant on May 4th when a strange thing happened, two masked men entered the  restaurant holding large bags filled with over 1,000 cockroaches, which they simply released at the reception desk on the second floor of the establishment, before fleeing the scene, photograph Focus Taiwan,

at first the police officers originally assumed that the cockroach attack was targeted at law-enforcement, however, the police investigation found no evidence of this, instead, it is now believed that this was just a bizarre consequence of a debt dispute between the restaurant owner and local criminals, Police vowed to track down the person who ordered the attack and others involved in the case, adding that they considered it an act of violence, similar to attacking people with paint, as it happens there are five suspects identified in this case, the two masked men who released the cockroaches, two lookouts outside and a getaway driver, who are all alleged to be members of Bamboo Union, an organized crime ring which the restaurant owner allegedly owed money to, after their threats went unanswered, the criminals apparently decided to simply ruin the man’s business, just a thought, next time make sure there are not police officers on the premises!

Sunday, 9 May 2021

I Had A Quiet Day,

watching television in the afternoon,

I noticed Sahara was showing, remembering the original I had watched many years before I decided to watch the remake, which was pretty good as it happens, but with Humphry Bogart as lead in the original, the remake was never going to be anything other than a  second best, 

I settled down for my evening sherry and read,

a starter of chicken liver pate with dry toast,

then eyes down and tuck in,

to a 4 sausage toad in the hole,

followed by grapes for dessert, I listened to music until Diana called just before 10.00 down to the bus stop and back, in time for a Lewis before we were off to bed.

If I Was Looking For The Latest Dating App,

I missed it by three days,

Thursday is the latest London based dating application, which at the monument will only be launching in the British capital and New York city initially, but other European cities like Paris, Amsterdam and Berlin will soon follow, so what makes this app so different? well the clue is in the name, it is hard to believe that a dating app that isn’t even active six days a week can have any success, let alone challenge big players like Tinder or Bumble, but George Rawlings and Matt McNeill Love, the two entrepreneurs behind Thursday, are very confident in their product. And judging by the interest Thursday has spurred – over 110,000 pre-registered singles around London and New York alone – they may be proven correct when the app finally launches this Thursday, May 6th. “It’s a fact: people are spending too much time on dating apps,” the Thursday website reads. “Not only is the whole experience underwhelming, but pressure to find ‘the one’ is boring. When did being single become a thing to be ashamed of? That’s where Thursday comes in. We built an app where everything you want from online dating happens in one day, making Thursday the one day of the week when singles can match, chat and meet. Why? Because there’s more to life than dating apps.”

so Thursday will only be accessible on Thursdays, giving users only 24 hours to match and chat with other people in hopes of finding a date. If they fail to do so, they’ll have to try again the following Thursday, as all matches and chats are wiped at midnight. The concept of setting up just one day a week for dating is actually pretty smart. Not only does it activate that hard-to-resist FOMO (fear of missing out), because most singles will be available on Thursdays, but it also frees up the other six days of the week, so you don’t have to spend all week constantly checking the app. “We’re not saying [people] shouldn’t use the other apps because they are fantastic, but when every single person in your city is dating on Thursday and is actually free to date that day, why would you not?” the co-founders asked, so for London and New York, you only have 4 days to wait!

The Lockdown May Soon Be Over,

but I am guessing many people will continue with their new hobby of jigsaws,

with that is mind here are a few that are slightly different, round jigsaw puzzles,

they are from Nervous System,

this is their puzzle page,

for radial puzzles like the ones above, this is from their radial page,

Jigsaw puzzles for the 21st century! Each generative puzzle is a one of a kind creation with unique art and pieces. Our goal is to marry the artistry of traditional, hand-crafted jigsaw puzzles with the possibilities of new technologies. Custom software simulates crystal growth to create an organic interlocking pattern. Our laser cutter translates this into a unique set of plywood pieces. We collaborated with contemporary digital artists who created engaging artwork for the puzzles.
size: 7.75" circle
material: 1/4" birch plywood
number of pieces: approximately 80
packaging: black box with unique label

To create the organic shape of the pieces, we designed a system based the simulation of dendritic solidification, a crystal growth process similar to the formation of snowflakes that occurs in supercooled solutions of certain metallic alloys. By varying the parameter space, it can produce a variety of cut styles, 

are they easy? watch to video to find out! great fun.

If Like Myself,

I open a drawer, 

I find there are so many bits and pieces rolling around in it, odd coins, and all manner of odds and ends, this 'paper book', may be the answer to your prayers, they were called zhen xian bao, and were used to hold thread and other embroidery materials,

comprised of 31 compartments, the design features layers of folds, meaning that the 16 flowers on top and the pockets supporting them open up to reveal small compartments that vary in size,

this article dives into the history behind the traditional Chinese practice—and would unroll in multiples from a single binding. Watch the tutorial above for folding basics, and check out the written companion for instructions on scaling up the design to 127 pockets, a bit early I know, but what a nice project for those long dark winter evenings, and after all it is only 33 weeks to Christmas!