Thursday, 30 September 2021

I Awoke Feeling Much Better,

and it was time to catch up with some aquarium maintenance,

firstly the CO2 cylinder needed replacing,

the pressure indicator nearly at zero,

new cylinder in and we have pressure,

I also needed to remove lots of algae, it was to have been done before I felt unwell,

the extra days meant that the algae had grown really well, it took some time to remove the algae and clean the inside glasses, after cleaning the aquarium I decided to make short video of the guppies in the aquarium, they are a strain of Endler's guppies,

you might have to turn up the volume, the music track I choses is a quiet one, I then wanted to make a new play list on my old telephone that I use just for music, it took all afternoon trying to download songs but for some reason I was totally unsuccessful, so on to plan 'B' there were a few songs on my usual telephone that I wanted to add to the new play list, I plugged it into the laptop and there it was, I clicked on to it and received the message, Samsung telephone locked, unlock the device to access, I had no idea how to unlock my telephone, I read a few articles but it was no help to me, why does this sort of thing always happen to me?

by now it was time for a read and a sherry,

as I did not go out shopping I just had smoked salmon sandwich for the evening,

which I followed with a few grapes, after reading and watching a few quiz shows Diana called, arriving home it was time for a coffee, one from New Tricks before we were off to bed.

I Must Remember,

not to have taken a mouthful of coffee,

when I read articles like this, The Kunsten Museum of Modern Art in Aalborg, who supplied the photograph above, asked Jens Haaning to recreate two of his most popular artworks, the artist presumably short of cash asked for some money upfront, 328,000 kroner for one, at todays rate £38,074.55 or $51,172.03 and €25,000, at todays rate £24,167.08 or $32483.22 for the other, the great day came, the museum unwrapped masterpieces, and there they are above, two blank canvas, helpfully the artist emailed the museum with a title for the pieces, “Take the Money and Run”, I nearly choked on my coffee when I read that! “The work is that I have taken their money,” Haaning told the Danish radio program P1 Morgen last week. “It’s not theft. It is a breach of contract, and breach of contract is part of the work.” he also mentioned that “Of course I will not pay it back,” the artist added. “The work is that I took the money and I will not give it back.” sometimes I think the art world takes itself too seriously, is this one of them?

The First Question,

is it real?

the second question, what is it? photograph Sergio Monteiro/Public domain, it is in fact a Brazilian treehopper, (Bocydium globulare), the Treehoppers (Membracidae) are related to the cicadas, there are over 3200 species of treehoppers, and they can be found on every continent except Antarctica, but the Brazilian variant is the only one that sports this alien-like headdress, but some can sometimes resemble thorns, leaves and even bird droppings, but for myself Bocydium globulare is the strangest looking one of them all, what amazing creature there truly are in the animal kingdom,

Wednesday, 29 September 2021

I Awoke Feeling A Lot Better,

so much so I was gong to join the queue to buy some fuel,

the plan was that I would pick up Steve and drive down to see Duncan, but it all fell apart when I got up, the room just seemed to have a slight sideways tilt and the ceiling was moving, the best way I can describe the sensation is if you have ever had far too much to drink and laid down the room seems to revolve, anyway driving was defiantly out for today, also as it happens the queues for fuel were still so long, Diana left for work in the morning, 

in the afternoon having mentioned the film Snatch to John and Alley I watched it again, here is what I wrote about the film when I watched it before, "if you have not yet watched Snatch, give it a try, it has everything a good British gangster film should have, Mickey, a 'pikey' (slang for an Irish Gypsy), Turkish, an unlicensed boxing promoter, a huge diamond heist, characters like 'Cousin Avi', 'Boris The Blade', 'Frankie Four Fingers' and 'Bullet Tooth Tony', guns, boxing and a dog, what more could you want? although for non UK audiences I would recommend using the subtitles as there is a fair bit of UK slang that might not easily be understood, but what a great film, I have watched it more than a few times and will certainly watch it again", I should mention if you watch the film on Netflix you will hear and see the version where the UK slang has been taken out, a great fun South London  gangster movie, after my evening meal it was feet up watching a Midsomer Murder, which finished just as Diana called, arriving home I was off to bed for another early evening.

As Far As I Am Concerned There Are Two Types Of Fast,

the fastest accelerating and the fastest top speed,

as far as the fastest accelerating that honour goes to the coaster in Fuji-Q Highland Park, in Fujiyoshida, Japan, the Do-Dodonpa roller coaster which for the moment is closed, but for the highest top speed that title is calmed by Formula Rossa, the world’s fastest roller coaster, it reaches a top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h) in just 4.9 seconds and requires riders to wear safety glasses to protect their eyes from impact with insects or grains of sand, 

although not the fastest accelerating it still goes from 0-100 km/h in just 2.0 seconds, which is pretty impressive thanks to a hydraulic launch system similar to that of steam catapults on aircraft carriers, but its claim for the highest top speed might soon be becoming to an end when Falcon’s Flight, a roller coaster at Six Flags Qiddiya, in Saudi Arabia, is expected to surpass it in terms of speed when it finally opens in 2023, I hate to say it, but I have a feeling I will give all of these a miss!

What Is CO2?

it is in fact carbon dioxide, 

it is a gas consisting of one part carbon and two parts oxygen, it is one of the most important gases on the earth because plants use it to produce carbohydrates in a process called photosynthesis, it also causes global warming, but in a strange paradox, there is not enough of it it! but it is not all bad news, with the help of Twelve, a start up that turns greenhouse gas emissions into the chemical building blocks for new materials, Pangaia used their technology to create polycarbonate lenses, the company used Twelve’s “CO2Made” chemicals instead of fossil fuels, the clothing brand and material science company created a pair of sunglasses that is made from carbon dioxide, so I guess there is that much CO2 less to warm the world in every pair of sunglasses sold, so to do your bit to help global warming, buy a pair of these Pangaia sunglasses, yours for just $495, a small price to pay to help the CO2 crisis, image credit: Pangaia.

Tuesday, 28 September 2021

Had A Sleep In,

and did not wake up until 08.00,

and even then did not feel rested, Diana had a 2 hour driving lesson around midday, when she left I went back to bed and slept like a log, the good news was that I did not have a sore throat or cough, just hot, cold and dizzy, I was having a feeling that I was suffering from lack of sleep and this was my bodies way of saying it, when Diana calls at 2 or sometimes 3 in the morning I stay up waiting for her call and meet her at the bus stop, arriving home Diana then sleeps for 9 hours or so, but for myself I am up to make the first post at roughly 06.30, I stay up all day as I do not sleep in the day, as it happens this week for two successive nights I have had very little sleep and this has been going on for a number of months, anyway that is my take on it, so I have decided to rearraign my schedule, I will now sleep in until 08.00 and then only make three posts, one about us and two about things we find interesting or strange, you never know it might work! as an aside I mentioned a couple of days ago my medication had not arrived in the usual time frame, according to this article and I quote:

'Deliveries of over-the-counter drugs and prescriptions to pharmacies are being disrupted due to a lack of van drivers, according to reports.'

so that explains the late delivery, I must remember to reorder 4 or even 5 days in advance in future, also from the article:

'according to the paper, pharmacists warn the issue could get worse due to an increase in demand in winter.'

back to Monday, we had a quiet day, in the evening Diana made some soup, we watched a Lewis and then I went to bed, at the unbelievably early time for me of 11.00 in the evening! hopefully another good nights sleep and I will be back to normal.

When I Looked At This Photograph,

I immediately thought of a line in a song by Queen,

photograph by Unsual Uniform, the line is from the song Killer Queen:

'dynamite with a laser beam'

well maybe not the dynamite, but the rock at Saudi Arabia’s Tayma Oasis certainly looks like it has been cut with a laser beam, the 4,000-year-old geological rock formation is made up of two large sandstone boulders supported by a natural pedestal that appears much too small for its purpose, but what really draws people’s attention is the perfect split between the two boulders, 

most geologists believe that the smooth split has a perfectly natural cause – tectonic movement. The earth shifted only slightly, but enough to cause the rock to crack in two. However, there are other scientists who believe that the split is really a fault line, as the material surrounding faults usually tends to be weaker and erode easier. There are been those who believe Al was formed from a volcanic dike of some weaker mineral that solidified there before everything was exhumed, or was it made by laser totting aliens?

if you are not familiar with Killer Queen here it is above, apparently Al Naslaa is only one of many rocks in the Tayma Oasis that features a unique appearance, but’s it’s this near-perfect split that makes it stand out amazing!

If You Are Lucky Enough To Live In Or Be In Japan,

and can travel,

for the months of September and October you can enjoy the sight of the Gyoda rice paddies of Saitama prefecture, photographs courtesy of the Gyoda City Tourism Association,

as it happens we have mentioned rice art like this before,

this year in Gyoda, Mount Fuji with large waves by Edo period artist Katsushika Hokusai and a powerful kabuki actor are dynamically displayed,

this work is expressed using perspective, and if you look at it from the ground, you’ll only see an ordinary rice paddy, the artwork reveals itself only from the 50-meter high observatory of the Ancient Lotus Hall in the city’s Ancient Lotus Village park, here is the exact location, it almost seems a shame to harvest it!

Monday, 27 September 2021

I Am Only Making One Post Today,

as during lunch I became really unwell,

Sunday lunch started well as it always does 'Cheers!', after a read and a sherry,

we had a lobster bisque,

which was delicious,

followed by pork,

with gravy for Diana, and sans gravy for myself, then it happened, I suddenly felt very hot and cold, but the sensations reversed, when I was sweating I was shivering, when I was cold I was sweating, plus a pounding headache, as I got up from the table I was also so dizzy I thought I was going to fall over, I sat on the sofa, my lunch barely touched, I felt terrible, so much so I did two things I have not done in many decades, firstly I went to bed to lie down, and secondly I took two Paracetamol, after 07.00 in the evening I got up but still felt terrible, Diana was a great help, but really there was nothing that could be done other than making cups of tea, I went back to bed and had a bad nights sleep, waking up hot and throwing the covers off, then waking up cold and pulling them back again! I had a sleep in this morning, waking at 08.30 to type this, after which as I still feel really fragile I will be going back to bed for a few more hours, hopefully I will be a new man tomorrow!

Sunday, 26 September 2021

I Had To Pick Up My Medication Today,

so I walked with Diana into town,

I left her at the bus stop,

and made my way past the church,

to Boots the chemist, where it was bad news, although I had given the usual 48 hours notice, for some reason my medication had not arrived, so I was told to call back at 2.00 in the afternoon, I said I would give the delivery the benefit of the doubt and call in at 3.00 in the afternoon,

so on to the weekends shopping, for our Sunday roast a joint of pork,

arriving home Matt from the maintenance company that looks after our building was there and needed the key to the cellar, all of the gas and electric meters are there, but the door has swollen making it difficult to enter, also he repair the fence at the side of the building that had blown down in a gale some time ago,

whilst having a coffee one of the crows called by, so I opened the window for them to have a few

by now it was nearly 3.00 in the afternoon,

some another walk into town, I entered Boots and then got some good and bad news, yes your medication is here the assistant said holding up a small paper bag, which he then put down with the comment, "but I can not give them to you as the pharmacist is not here', I felt like grabbing the bag and having it away on my toes, I had to wait for the pharmacist to arrive, which after15 minutes or so he did, he looked at the bag, asked "Mr. Kemp?" I replied yes and he gave me the bag without even looking into it, I know it is the law, but sometimes thigs like this are so silly, he had no way of knowing what was in the bag, that was all down to the assistants that packed the medication,

back home through the High Street,

a read and a 'Cheers!',

for tonight Wiltshire honey roast ham,

then another read, one of the many things I like about the book, is that every so often there is an illustration describing what has been seen,

also each chapter has a few notes as to what the chapter is about,

I read about 40 pages, before my main meal,

chicken in a red wine sauce, I am getting to be quite a dab hand at this heating food up malarkey, I have not burnt my hand or fingers for at least 4 weeks now as I take the food out to give it a stir halfway through cooking,

mango, strawberries, raspberries and blueberries for a nice healthy dessert, 

I then settled down for the The Good The Bad and the Ugly, we had watched the film before, but it was still good fun to watch again, after that finished quite fortuously Diana called, after arriving home it was feet up for a coffee before we were then off to bed.

I Find This Incredible,

the knight stands 18 centimetres tall,

and what I find incredible is that it was made from just one sheet of 68 x 68-centimeter Wenzhou rice paper! photograph © Juho Könkkölä, the Finnish artist Juho Könkkölä took 41 hours of work using wet and dry origami techniques, “One of the greatest challenges in this figure was the stark contrast between the shield and the sword; the sword has over 50(!) layers inside the palm of the figure, whereas the shield has only one layer on a large surface,” he writes on Instagram,

Könkkölä also filmed his entire process, so you can watch the knight take shape in the time lapse video above, the video is a tad long defiantly a 2 coffee mug watch.

These Creatures,

come from a part of our earth we know so little about,

found deep in the ocean depths an expedition by Alexander Semenov near Ponza Island unveiled an array of marine life off the western coast of Italy, 

these stills are from footage that is part of an ongoing documentary project for Aquatilis

what makes this so amazing is that we know so little of the oceans depths, as Paul Snelgrove, Oceanographer commented:

"We know more about the surface of the Moon and about Mars than we do about [the deep sea floor], despite the fact that we have yet to extract a gram of food, a breath of oxygen or a drop of water from those bodies."

the reason of course is cost, as Robert Ballard, Ocean Researcher noted:

"If you compare NASA's annual budget to explore the heavens, that one year budget would fund NOAA's budget to explore the oceans for 1,600 years."

NOAA is the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration,

here is the amazing video the stills were taken from, you can see more from Semenov on his site, even today how little we know about our own planet.

I Am Not A Great Fan Of Fast Food,

the least favourite for myself is cup noodles,

and did I get that wrong! instant noodles were first invented in 1958 by Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-born founder of the Japanese food company Nissin. But it wasn’t until September 18, 1971 when they first hit the market under the brand name Cup Noodle, the company has always maintained a playful creativity when it comes to product development and in celebrating the 50-year milestone they’ve released Cup Noodle sodas as well as several other ways for their core fanbase to celebrate, 

four of their most popular and best-selling flavours are featured, original, seafood, curry and chili tomato, all have been turned into fizzy beverages,

and here they are, from left to right: Italian Chili Highball (campari and chili tomato), Summer Seafood Highball (dry gin and seafood), Original Skye Highball (single-malt whiskey and original) and Indian Bourbon Highball (bourbon whiskey and curry),

but for those who find the beverages less-than-suited to their palette, not to worry. The company has also developed Cup Noodle pouches with shoulder straps that can carry almost anything, including your lunch. They’ve substituted the peel-away tab for cat ears and the inner-lining looks like Cup Noodle ingredients, I hate to say as so many people eat them, but I really do not like them, I guess it was a good job I was not a Nissin food taster all of those years ago!

Saturday, 25 September 2021

We Had A Quiet Morning,

in the afternoon I accompanied Diana to Bromley,

Diana was going to work, I needed to exchange our CO2 cylinder,

the market square now returned to normal,

the cyclamen  putting on a good show,

the fabric seller here as usual,

for myself into Lakeland, cylinder exchanged and I was on my way home,

it was such a nice afternoon and I had nothing else planned so I popped into the club for a quick couple,

arriving home I watched a game show then time for a sherry and a read,

for tonight's starter some Italian cold cuts rolled around cheese, 

followed by bangers and mash,


I continued to read The Naturalist on the River Amazons: A Record of Adventures, Habits of Animals, Sketches of Brazilian and Indian Life, and Aspects of Nature under the Equator, during Eleven Years of Travel, a bit of a long title, I am now up to about page 100, as I mentioned before for myself it is a really good read, starting in 1848 the adventure does exactly what it says in the books full title,

I finished the meal with a rainbow fruit salad, then out to meet Steve in the club, what a difference 2 weeks makes,

the last time I walked here it was still light for most of the evening, setting out at the same time tonight it was pitch black, Steve and myself chatted the night away, and he kindly dropped me off at home, I watched Have I Got News For You, which conveniently ended just as Diana called, a coffee and a chat later and we were off to bed.