Friday, August 31, 2012


Here are a variety of structures in different parts of the world.

This is a really weird looking ... something

Amazing what can be done with adobe.  To me, the right side looks like 
an elephant eating the bush.  Like this ...

I'm told this is the Isle of Lamu.  Google says that Lamu Island is a part of the Lamu Archipelago of Kenya.

 And this is an office in Madrid.

While this is a restaurant in Zanzibar.

Headlines --

Gee, I never knew that.

Hear it right here!

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Amazing  story! Soldiers in Belarus found a little squirrel and brought it to the  Warrant officer. The squirrel was very weak and about to die, so the  officer took care of it, fed like a baby every 4 hours.
Later the guy left the army and now works as a taxi driver - and  the squirrel is always in his pocket no matter where he  goes!

Totally relaxed!

I wish he would shell these for me.

Looks like chocolate pudding



Fun --

At a high School in Montana a group of students played a prank on the school. They let three goats loose in the school building.

Before they let them go they painted numbers on the sides of the goats: 1, 2, 4.
Local school administrators spent most of the day looking for goat #3.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012


A full moon made for a beautiful sixth Olympic ring on Friday night, August 10, when a Reuters photographer snapped a breathtaking picture of the moon positioned between a large set of Olympic rings hanging from the top of London's Tower Bridge. Photographer Luke MacGregor also snapped photos with the moon positioned between one of the rings and hovering above and below the famed London span.

Can you nudge that up a bit, please.

Ooh, that's close.

Oops!  It's slipping!

That would look better if you could either nudge the bridge a bit, or the moon itself.

Almost, if you like that composition.

Oh, now that's starting to look right.


Humor --

Evidence has been found that William Tell and his family were avid bowlers. Unfortunately, all the Swiss league records were destroyed in a fire, ...and so we'll never know for whom the Tells bowled.
A man rushed into a busy doctor's surgery and shouted, "Doctor! I think I'm shrinking!" The doctor calmly responded, "Now, settle down..You'll just have to be a little patient."
Back in the 1800's the Tate's Watch Company of Massachusetts wanted to produce other products, and since they already made the cases for watches, they used them to produce compasses. The new compasses were so bad that people often ended up in Canada or Mexico rather than California. This, of course, is the origin of the expression -- "He who has a Tate's is lost!"

Tuesday, August 28, 2012


I was reading an article in the paper about Google sending its Street View bicycle to the far north village of Cambridge Bay.  An interesting item, but what caught my I was this bit:  "...magnetic compasses do not work in the far north ..."  No, I did not know that.  But GPS is not affected by magnetism, so that relieves the problem.

Fun -- (I think)

This is a rather lo-o-ong edict, so be sure you have the time --

To the citizens of the United States of America from Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II

In light of your immediate failure to financially manage yourselves and also in recent years your tendency to elect incompetent Presidents of the USA and therefore not able to govern yourselves, we hereby give notice of the revocation of your independence, effective immediately. (You should look up 'revocation' in the Oxford English Dictionary.)

Her Sovereign Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will resume monarchical duties over all states, commonwealths, and territories (except Kansas, which she does not fancy).

Your new Prime Minister, David Cameron, will appoint a Governor for America without the need for further elections.

Congress and the Senate will be disbanded.  A questionnaire may be circulated sometime next year to determine whether any of you noticed.

To aid in the transition to a British Crown dependency, the following rules are introduced with immediate effect:

1. The letter 'U' will be reinstated in words such as 'colour,' 'favour,' 'labour' and 'neighbour.'  Likewise, you will learn to spell 'doughnut' without skipping half the letters,  and the suffix '-ize' will be replaced by the suffix '-ise.'  Generally, you will be expected to raise your vocabulary to acceptable levels.  (look up 'vocabulary').
2. Using the same twenty-seven words interspersed with filler noises such as ''like' and 'you know' is an unacceptable and inefficient form of communication. There is no such thing as U.S. English. We will let Microsoft know on your behalf.  The Microsoft spell-checker will be adjusted to take into account the reinstated letter 'u'' and the elimination of  '-ize.'
3. July 4th will no longer be celebrated as a holiday.
4. You will learn to resolve personal issues without using guns, lawyers, or therapists.  The fact that you need so many lawyers and therapists shows that you're not quite ready to be independent.  Guns should only be used for shooting grouse.  If you can't sort things out without suing someone or speaking to a therapist, then you're not ready to shoot grouse.
5. Therefore, you will no longer be allowed to own or carry anything more dangerous than a vegetable peeler.  Although a permit will be required if you wish to carry a vegetable peeler in public.
6. All intersections will be replaced with roundabouts, and you will start driving on the left side with immediate effect.  At the same time, you will go metric with immediate effect and without the benefit of conversion tables.   Both roundabouts and metrication will help you understand the British sense of humour.
7. The former USA will adopt UK prices on petrol (which you have been calling gasoline) of roughly $10/US gallon.  Get used to it.
8. You will learn to make real chips.  Those things you call French fries are not real chips, and those things you insist on calling potato chips are properly called crisps.  Real chips are thick cut, fried in animal fat, and dressed not with catsup but with vinegar.
9. The cold, tasteless stuff you insist on calling beer is not actually beer at all.  Henceforth, only proper British Bitter will be referred to as beer, and European brews of  known and accepted provenance will be referred to as Lager.  New Zealand beer is also acceptable, as New Zealand is pound for pound the greatest sporting nation on earth and it can only be due to the beer.  They are also part of the British Commonwealth - see what it did for them.  American brands will be referred to as Near-Frozen Gnat's Urine, so that all can be sold without risk of further confusion.
10. Hollywood will be required occasionally to cast English actors as good guys.  Hollywood will also be required to cast English actors to play English characters.  Watching Andie Macdowell attempt English dialogue in Four Weddings and a Funeral was an experience akin to having one's ears removed with a cheese grater.
11. You will cease playing American football.  There are only two kinds of proper football; one you call soccer, and rugby (dominated by the New Zealanders).  Those of you brave enough will, in time, be allowed to play rugby (which has some similarities to American football, but does not involve stopping for a rest every twenty seconds or wearing full kevlar body armour like a bunch of nancies).
12. Further, you will stop playing baseball.  It is not reasonable to host an event called the World Series for a game which is not played outside of America.  Since only 2.1% of you are aware there is a world beyond your borders, your error is understandable.  You will learn cricket, and we will let you face the Australians (World dominators) first to take the sting out of their deliveries.
13. You must tell us who killed JFK.  It's been driving us mad.
14. An internal revenue agent (i.e. tax collector) from Her Majesty's Government will be with you shortly to ensure the acquisition of all monies due (backdated to 1776).
15. Daily Tea Time begins promptly at 4 p.m. with proper cups, with saucers, and never mugs, with high quality biscuits (cookies) and cakes; plus strawberries (with cream)  when in season.

God Save the Queen!

Monday, August 27, 2012


You're wasting water!

The floating tap fountain is a clever illusion. It consist of a faucet mysteriously hovering above a pool or basin with an endless supply of water gushing out of it from seemingly nowhere. The faucet remains surprisingly steady despite having no visible support and where is all this water coming from? This spectacular effect is achieved by a transparent tube in the middle of the water column that holds the tap in place and, at the same time, keeps feeding it with water pumped from below. The water goes up through the tube and exits at the top. The water column, which is usually turbulent, effectively hides the tube from view.

Several giant floating tap fountains can be found around Spain, Belgium, US, Canada and other parts of the world. Some are permanent installation, others are temporary art pieces.  

And for the funny stuff --

Are they that bad?

Gee, I wonder why.

It's about time!

I think he got that one right.

I'm speechless!

Saturday, August 25, 2012


Quick quiz -- What is the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?  Answer in the text and below.

Avshalom Cave also known as Soreq Cave or Stalactites Cave is located on the western slopes of the Judean mountains near Bet Shemesh in Israel. The 5000 square meters (about 16,000 square feet) cave has one of the most impressive collection of stalactites and stalagmites formed in a variety of patterns. Some of the stalactites hanging from the ceiling of the cave are up to four meters (about 13 feet) long, and in some cases they fuse with stalagmites growing from the floor. Other formations resemble shelves or sheets of cloth, branches, corals and clusters of grapes, among many other objects. The bizarre patterns at Avshalom Cave combined with the ghostly lighting creates a rather creepy ambience inside the cave.

These almost look like skulls

Stalactites and stalagmites are formed by water flowing from the ceiling to the floor of the cave, melting limestone on the way. Over hundreds of thousands of years, each drop of mineral-laden water deposited a thin layer of calcite on the ceiling and on the ground. Given enough time these tiny layers add up to form columns of calcium carbonate called stalactites and stalagmites.

The Avshalom Cave was discovered by accident in May 1968 when an explosion opened a crack to reveal the magical and fantastic cave hidden beneath. According to geologists, the cave was formed around 25 million-years ago, when the mountainous range of the Judean Hills rose up above the surface of the water. The layers of limestone and dolomite rock were displaced and folded with time, forming cracks which allowed water to enter and dissolve some of the rock. While seeping through the cracks and flowing through the soil this water absorbed increasing amounts of carbon dioxide from the roots of the plants and the surrounding decay. This process that turns the water acidic is called “Karst” and helped with the cave expansion process.

Years later, when the sea retreated and lowered the ground water level, the dissolution of rock stopped and the process was reversed. Drops of water saturated with limestone solution reached the ceiling of the cave the carbon dioxide escaped and the remaining limestone crystallized, creating the huge diversity of stalactites we see today. In several still-active areas of the cave, which maintains constant heat and humidity year-round, the stalactites and stalagmites continue to grow.

The cave is named after Avshalom Shoham, an Israeli soldier killed in the War of Attrition. After its discovery, the location of the cave was kept a secret for several years for fear of damage to its natural treasures. The cave which is in the heart of the 16.5 acre Avshalom Nature Reserve, declared in 1975, is today open year round to visitors.

A stalactite hangs from the ceiling (it needs to hang on ‘tite’ to keep from falling, and a stalagmite grows up from the floor.

Punny -

King Ozymandias of Assyria was running low on cash after years of war with the Hittites. His last great possession was the Star of the Euphrates, the most valuable diamond in the ancient world. Desperate, he went to Croesus, the pawnbroker, to ask for a loan.

Croesus said, "I'll give you 100,000 dinars for it."

"But I paid a million dinars for it," the King protested. "Don't you know who I am? I am the king!"

 Croesus replied, "When you wish to pawn a Star, makes no difference who you are."