Very talented footballer.
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
The world's oldest continually-inhabited city, according to our sources, archeologists have unearthed the remains of 20 successive settlements in Jericho, dating back 11,000 years. The city is found near the Jordan River in the West Bank and is today home to around 20,000 people.
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
William Safires what if speech in the event Apollo 11 gets stuck on the moon. Not really necessary given it was filmed in Hollywood.
Thanks Peter Black
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Leslie Webster, former Keeper of Prehistory and Europe at the British Museum describes this discovery as:
"...this is going to alter our perceptions of Anglo-Saxon England in the seventh and early eighth century as radically, if not moreso, as the 1939 Sutton Hoo discoveries did; it will make historians and literary scholars review what their sources tell us, and archaeologists and art-historians rethink the chronology of metalwork and manuscripts; and it will make us all think again about rising (and failing) kingdoms and the expression of regional identities in this period, the complicated transition from paganism to Christianity, the conduct of battle and the nature of fine metalwork production - to name only a few of the many huge issues it raises. Absolutely the metalwork equivalent of finding a new Lindisfarne Gospels or Book of Kells."
The images contained in this set invite comment. We accept there may be some errors with labelling as this was done in a very short space of time. If you do use these images please attribute as used courtesy of the Staffordshire hoard website.
For more information:
www.staffordshirehoard.org.uk and www.finds.org.uk The entire hoard will be catalogued on our database in due course and made available to the public.
Less than three months to perfect the art of panda bread before Wang Wang and Funi arrive.
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
It is very hard to monetise a quality product that used to be free. Interested to see how it works. Most paywalls seem to be a strong disincentive to viewership.
Seems that Aussies are not that keen. I mean how much of what is offered online is really interesting.
According to a poll of more than 18,000 Australians released today by Pure Profile, only 5% said they would be willing to pay for “high quality articles”. A further 7% said they would be willing to pay if there was no advertising. 10% said they would not pay because the quality of online news was unimportant to them, while the vast majority – 78% – said they would simply refuse to pay for online news.Crikey, which I have subscribed to in the past, is pay as you go, but it offers a more varied and offbeat take on things. So perhaps if things are sufficiently tailored to your taste we will dip into our wallet. Just not too much I think.
The figures echo similar ones in a Harris poll carried out in the UK released earlier this week which also suggested than only about 5% of online users would be willing to pay for news content.
The findings are potentially significant because major online media owners, including Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp have signalled their intentions to attempt to start charging for content.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
A huge outback dust storm - 500 km (310 mi) wide by 1,000 km (620 mi) long - swept across eastern Australia and blanketed Sydney on Wednesday, September 23rd, disrupting flights and ground transportation and forcing people indoors for shelter from the hazardous air, gale-force winds, and in some places hailstorms. Those few who ventured outside, especially at dawn, were greeted by a Martian sky, familiar landmarks blotted out by the heavy red dust blowing by. Collected here are a few photos of the worst dust storm Sydney has seen in 70 years, three of which you can click to see a before/after fade effect.
Posted using ShareThis
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Drunk Boris Yeltsin found outside White House in underpants trying to hail cab 'because he wanted some pizza' | Mail Online
Tell me it's not true Boris
Pass the Vodka
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Trafigura have denied that they knowingly were involved in any wrong doing in respect of the dumping of waste in the Ivory Coast in 2006. My previous post sets out the company’s position as of yesterday. Basically Trafigura denies that the slops within the vessel the Probo Koala could not have caused fatalities or injuries (ie not dangerous), there was no plan to dump waste West Africa and besides everything was the fault of some Africans (so it really doesn’t count at all I suppose)
According to the website Newsnight revealed that the company knew exactly that the waste dumped in Ivory Coast in 2006 was hazardous. Furthermore there are smoking gun emails to support the point. Please go to the link to view the emails. They are also available on the Guardian website.
This is the kind of stuff that makes me nervous about KRudd and PWongs plan to delegate carbon credits to poor countries. These issues should be solved at home, not delegated to people like illegal waste haulers (read dodgy tree planters) in the Ivory Coast.
I work in the contaminated land assessment and clean up business. This kind of stuff is easily managed, it just costs money, which can eat into profit margins. A regulator here in South Australia once told me that there was no such thing as cheap land. It was usually cheap for a reason. Just so the original oil that Trafigura bought. It was cheap for a reason.
Other than this post being grouped with my blog in google search, this is a perfect description of the challenges of photographing gardens. I have much better luck catching individual plants and details than garden vistas.
There is no getting away from the fact that it is difficult to photograph many wild-style plantings – like my garden. I sneak around with the camera and I always seem to end up with the yurt in the shot. It adds scale and a focal point. Without it, so much seems to be, well, green porridge. There is very little formal structure in the garden, and although there is a variety of foliage shape, texture etc. there clearly isn’t really enough to make obvious focal points, which photographs seem to need. And there aren’t great blobs of colour, as in many more conventional gardens.
We also have the challenge of an exasperating camera that loves to focus on the unexpected, leaving more than a fair share of blur.
Thanks Noel Kingsbury
Can't say that I have tried some of these foods or the locations, but I have tried Pho many times. Some of the best, perhaps because it was new to me was in a little improvised noodle shop in the refugee camp I was working in in the Philippines.
Pho, a noodle soup with thin slices of meat (usually beef but sometimes chicken), is Vietnam's signature dish, and the issue of who makes it best is as tangled as white rice noodles in tasty broth. The Hanoi streets throw up a lot of persuasive contenders, such as the shack at 172 Ton Duc Thang Street. However, the sleek chain restaurant Pho 24, with branches around the country and across Asia, produces Vietnam's most reliably good pho. The meat is of a consistently high quality – a rarity in Vietnam – and the stock impresses even the hardest-to-please critics.
Thanks Alex Massie
Saturday, September 19, 2009
CAN there really be a significant body of Americans (more than about four) boycotting Scottish goods over Kenny MacAskill's decision to release Abdel Baset Ali al-Megrahi, the Libyan convicted of the Lockerbie bombing?
I suspect not. In the past month the only mention of such a thing that I have been able to find in a US newspaper (as opposed to British newspapers, where it has been everywhere) is one letter to the Miami Herald, in which the correspondent muses that he might stop drinking "whiskey". Nice to see you've done your research, there, William B.Houseman from St Simon's Island. "Whiskey" is Irish.
In this respect, the maker of Harris Tweed is to remove all hints of Scottish branding from promotional material in the US.
"We are not going to promote ourselves as a Scottish company as we would previously have done," Harris Tweed Hebrides director Mark Hogarth said.
Oh really, Mark? You mean you'll be redesigning your website?
The one smothered in shots of tousled-haired, ruddy-cheeked peasant women under slate grey skies, standing next to lochs and castles? Yes? Good.
Lord, a prayer for Scotland. Spare us from slate grey skies. Spare us from lochs. Spare us from themed shortbread, as well, and those wee bottles of whisky (please note, no "e") with wee tartan ribbons around the top. Spare us from inexplicably 17th-century-style shirts worn with kilts, and the distant skirl of the bagpipes.
We know, Lord, this is what the US wants. Grant us the strength not to deliver. Grant us some self-respect.
This year was supposed to be a big one for Scottish tourism.
They've been running a thing called Homecoming Scotland, timed to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robert Burns. In essence, the whole thing is a charade, intended to convince retired propane salesmen from Florida that, if their distant ancestors left Cumbernauld two centuries ago, people in Scotland will actually give a damn.
Did you see the ad? Famous Scots singing a song made popular by a beer ad, standing in front of a backdrop of, you guessed it, lochs and castles: Lulu, Sandi Thom, Sean Connery. Don't get me started on Sean Connery. I suppose they couldn't afford Billy Connolly. I suppose the Krankies were busy.
The more Scotland yearns to be a proper, grown-up country, the more all this Disneyfied Brigadoon nonsense makes the national vision look blinkered. It's not Scotland's Scotland. It's the US's Scotland. It's Sean Connery's Scotland. But like I said, don't get me started on Sean Connery.
You know the greatest act of cultural vandalism ever committed on Scotland? Braveheart. The naked Americanisation of Scottish history. True, Mel Gibson is Australian, but the film is an entirely American reinterpretation of the travails of William Wallace. It's not even subtle. It's simple, rural folk, forced into conflict against a corrupt, England: the American independence myth, transposed.
A confident, comfortable budding nation would have sneered at this. Scotland preened.
That year (1995), Alex Salmond, then merely the leader of the SNP, finished his speech at the party's conference with the words "Freedom! Freedom! Freedom!" It's a wonder he didn't wave a sword. Within two years, authorities had placed a statue of Gibson by the Wallace Monument near Stirling. To walk the length of Edinburgh's Royal Mile is to see an export culture that has devoted itself, almost entirely, to pandering to the half-baked whims of somewhere else. It's not the US's fault. It's our fault. If the Italians had done the same, Rome would be a giant pizza restaurant by now, possibly with a Mafia theme. Even Ireland has grown out of this sort of thing. Only Scotland has misplaced its own soul, and adopted somebody else's caricature in its place.
Sure, a genuine boycott would be disastrous for the Scottish economy. The US is the world's biggest market for whisky (even if they can't spell it) and provides about a quarter of Scotland's tourists. None of this is to be sniffed at. But still, if there was to be a boycott, I can't help but wonder whether, some years down the line, we might look back and be grateful.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Image via Wikipedia
By PNG correspondent Liam Fox
Papua New Guinea police are hunting the leader of a sex cult that promised villagers a bumper banana harvest if they engaged in public sex.
The alert was raised after a villager from Yamina in Morobe province walked 12 hours to the nearest town to report the cult's activities.
He told police the cult's leader and his followers have been using threats of violence to force people to have sex in public for the past four months.
The Post Courier reports villagers had been promised their banana harvest would increase every time they fornicated publicly.
Three police officers trekked into the village over the weekend but the leader, identified as Thomas Peli, was able to escape into the bush.
Police reinforcements are being sent to the area.
I wonder if it was B1 or B2?
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
Monday, September 14, 2009
British Prime Minister Gordon Brown has apologised for the treatment of World War II codebreaker Alan Turing, who committed suicide after being convicted and chemically castrated for being a homosexual.
Mathematician Turing led a team at Bletchley Park House north of London, which cracked the Nazis' Enigma code - regarded by the Germans as unbreakable - a move credited with helping to shorten the war and to save countless lives.
However, five years after the war he was convicted of gross indecency under laws that banned homosexuality and was sentenced to chemical castration involving a series of injections of female hormones.
The conviction meant Turing, a pioneer of modern computing, losing his security clearance and being unable to continue his work. In 1954 he killed himself at the age of 41.
Not much of a reward for his work during World War Two. Civil rights really have progressed a bit since the 1950s.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Top 50 World Cup Disasters - The Movie
The degree of disappointment at the Scottish football team not qualifying for the World Cup in South Africa next year is only tempered by the many bitter memories from earlier campaigns. Too many individual and collective horrors to list.