Friday, April 30, 2010

210,000 Barrels Of Oil Spilling Into The Sea — Photograph Works

Imagine each square as one thousand barrels of oil.
A barrel of oil is 42 U.S. gallons, which is equivalent to 35 Imperial gallons or 159 liters.
One barrel refines down to about on half of that volume of gasoline (petrol).
That is 20 U.S. gallons, or 16 Imperial gallons or 80 liters of oil.
How much gasoline (petrol) does your car hold?
210,000 Gallons Of Oil
The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico is pouring out 210,000 gallons of oil every day. That is one thousand barrels for each little square in the image above.
How I made the Image
I opened a file with a white background in Photoshop. Then I ...
Read the rest of this article here at

Center for Pollinator Research BOOKMARK THIS IMPORTANT SITE

Preliminary Results: Honey Bee Colonies Losses in the U.S., winter 2009-2010 — Center for Pollinator Research — Penn State College of Ag Sciences

On average responding beekeepers lost 42.2% of their operation, this is an 8 point or 23% increases in the average operational loss experienced by beekeepers in the winter of 2008/2009.

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Monday, April 26, 2010

One of the advantages of Posterous


I see that with Tumblr, the only text that shows up is whatever one puts in the subject line - a bit limiting.

One of the advantages of Posterous is that you can write text and upload images, and you can write as much as you like.

Here is an image:

Here is some additional text, cribbed from an article I wrote recently:

With so many cyber-cafes in India, having your own computer is not necessary for general browsing and for emails.

However, we wanted to add posts to this blog as we traveled. Because almost all of our blog posts feature photographs, that meant that we needed to be able to upload and work with photographs that we took.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Wordpress Plugin: A Better Tag Cloud Widget - Don't Make This Mistake!

Our Photograph Featured In The Yorkshire Dales Visitor Guide — Quillcards

Factfiles about the UK all this week in the Guardian

Is crime going up or down? Are more people leaving or entering the country? Are we putting fewer or more people into prison?

With election slogans coming hard and fast from all sides of the political spectrum, it's a good time to sit back and figure out yourself what is really going on. Factfile UK, a unique seven-part series free with the Guardian and Observer, gives you all the facts and figures without the spin.

Find out how the country has changed under Labour: is manufacturing in the UK really dead? Where in the country are house prices the lowest? Where are the busiest roads in the country? Which train company is the least punctual? How many people in the UK still get married? How long do those who tie the knot tend to stay together? And exactly how much did your MP claim on expenses? It's all here, displayed in accessible infographics in this statistical portrait of the nation.

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Belgium's government resigns over language dispute | The Guardian

...As King Albert met with political leaders at the royal palace, about 15 members of the far-right Flemish Interest party sang the Flemish anthem and briefly hoisted a banner in the empty parliament chamber. It read: "Time For An Independent Flanders."

Full article here >>

Hotpixel comment: The total area of Belgium is about 30,000 square kilometres (12,000 square miles)

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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Posterous - posting from the web

[I may have got the facts wrong, but the idea is correct, more or less.]

Posterous started out life with the idea of posting by email. There may have been a way to post from the web when Posterous first started, I don;t recall, but what I remember pretty clearly is that there was no way to upload an image right from the web interface.

There was a workaround whereby you could upload an image via email and then tweak the post via the web interface, but who wants to do that?

Then the bookmarklet came out - and that was a good move forward for anything that was already on the web (images included).

Then a little while ago I wanted to go in and tweak something I had posted via email and BINGO - the web interface is MUCH better - including image uploads.

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Monday, April 19, 2010

Spring flowers from Light Scrape [a blog I follow]

Is this how Google Maps StreetView recognizes faces?

Until now I thought Google employed people to brush over the faces of people who appear in StreetView.


Now, looking at the sign to the left of the entrance to this park, I think maybe Google does it with 'round shapes that may be a face' software.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Webhooks in explained

Webhooks lets you easily develop push notifications. This push notification is simply a HTTP POST, that is triggered by some action. This is a feature aimed for developers who want to get data from actions (like when a new comment is submitted) that occur on a blog. Only admin level users can add or manage webhooks.

You can now find this under the Settings Module in the dashboard.....

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Friday, April 16, 2010

Why does the environmentally aware Co-op sell cigarettes anyway? [Co-op fined £14m for price fixing]

A dozen tobacco manufacturers and retailers, from supermarkets to petrol station operators, have been fined a record £225m by the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) for unlawfully inflating the cost of cigarettes.

The fine, the largest ever levied by the watchdog, comes after a seven-year investigation found that tobacco manufacturers had struck deals with retailers that linked the price of their cigarettes and tobacco with rival brands, restricting the retailer's ability to set its own prices. The OFT said the companies had "engaged in unlawful practices in relation to retail prices for tobacco products in the UK".

The largest fine, of £112m, has been imposed on Imperial Tobacco, makers of Lambert & Butler and Golden Virginia, followed by a fine of £50m imposed on Gallaher, home to Benson & Hedges and Silk Cut and owned by Japan Tobacco. Between them the two companies make close to nine out of every 10 cigarettes and roll-ups smoked in the UK. The tobacco market in the UK is worth an estimated £13bn.

The OFT also fined 10 retailers – Asda, The Co-operative Group, First Quench, Morrisons, One Stop Stores (formerly T&S Stores), Safeway, Sainsbury's, Shell, Somerfield and TM Retail – with the heaviest fines of £14m being imposed on both Asda and the Co-Op.

The OFT added that it had decided not to pursue allegations against Tesco because of insufficient evidence.

Read the rest of the article here




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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Hacked emails: UEA climate change scientists cleared of malpractice - [good]

The scientists at the centre of the row over the hacked climate emails have been cleared of any deliberate malpractice by the second of three inquiries into their conduct.

The inquiry panel, led by the former chair of the House of Lords science and technology select committee Lord Oxburgh, was commissioned by the University of East Anglia with investigating the research produced by the scientists at its Climatic Research Unit (CRU).

The work of the unit has come under intense scrutiny since November when thousands of private emails between the researchers were released onto the internet... [ Read the rest of this article here ]

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Richard Dawkins calls for Pope to be put on trial | The Guardian

Writing in the Washington Post on Friday, Dawkins described Ratzinger as a "leering old villain in a frock … whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence."

Without admitting that he had consulted lawyers he added: "This former head of the Inquisition should be arrested the moment he dares to set foot outside his tinpot fiefdom of the Vatican, and he should be tried in an appropriate civil – not ecclesiastical – court. That's what should happen. Sadly, we all know our faith-befuddled governments will be too craven to do it."

Pope Benedict will be in Britain from 16-19 September where he will beatify the theologian Cardinal John Henry Newman.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

the three doorways distortion

Who's Who is Kyrgyzstan

The ex-president: Kurmanbek Bakiyev

The head of the new interim government: Roza Otunbayeva

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Straight talking by the US over Kyrgyzstan reported in The Guardian

...Otunbayeva, who served in London as Kyrgyzstan's ambassador between 1997-2002, said her new opposition-led government would allow the US to continue using the Manas airbase, near Bishkek, a vital supply post for the US military moving in and out of nearby Afghanistan. "We will respect our existing commitments," she said, adding she hadn't seen the contract.

The base is a source of tension with Russia, which regards Central Asia as its backyard, and would like the Americans to leave. Bakiyev fell out with the Kremlin last year after promising to evict the US from Manas in return for large loans, only to renege on the deal when the Obama administration offered to substantially up the rent.

Otunbayeva, however, hinted that the new government sees Russia as its most important strategic partner. She said she had sent her deputy Almazbek Atambayev to Moscow to hold talks with Vladimir Putin, and to discuss economic aid. "I had a talk with Mr Putin. He was very keen to learn what was going on in Kyrgyzstan and whether we had control in the south," she said.

She denied that the Russians had instigated Wednesday's uprising. Putin has quickly recognised the new regime. "I met with the Russian ambassador two or three weeks before the revolution but I also met with the US, EU and Chinese ambassadors too," she said.

The US also dismissed rumours of Russian plotting. Michael McFaul, Obama's senior director for Russian affairs, said: "The people that are allegedly running Kyrgyzstan ... these are all people we've had contact with for many years," McFaul said. "This is not some anti-American coup, that we know for sure. And this is not some sponsored-by-the-Russians coup, there's just no evidence of that."

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Monday, April 5, 2010

FeedBlitz News: Zombie Blogs and How They Can Hurt You

I'm saving this for future reference. You might want to too...

Zombie Blogs and How They Can Hurt You

For your consideration this morning, a real life case study about Zombie blogs and how they can hurt you and your business when a blog you thought you'd killed rises from the dead to bite you in the proverbial you-know-where.
The Cast
FeedBlitz - everyone's favorite premium email and social media marketing service.
TypePad - the well-known premium blogging service.
FeedBurner - the popular but tragically neglected RSS service owned by Google.
"Bob" - the Zombie's victim (not his real name).
Act 1 - The Set Up
Bob is an early adopter.  He's got lots of services tied together to really make his blogging and online activities pop. He blogs on TypePad, and uses FeedBurner to manage the RSS feed from his TypePad blog.  He's using the integration between TypePad and FeedBurner to redirect requests for his blog's RSS feed at TypePad to go directly to his FeedBurner RSS feed.
Bob also knows the value of automated mailings and uses FeedBlitz.  His email list is powered by his TypePad blog's RSS feed, which is redirected to FeedBurner, and so his mailing list is really powered by the FeedBurner feed.  Since that's powered by his blog, that's OK.  All this works great. Bob is happy.
Act 2 - B and T get a Divorce
Bob and TypePad fall out, and so Bob decides he wants to date other blogging services.  Bob finds another service, they agree to settle down, and so Bob leaves TypePad. Sort of.
Now Bob's a smart blogger. He knows that he's got visitors at his old blog, some SEO Google juice, and so he doesn't kill the old blog.  Instead, he leaves it up and running with a final "Farewell" message to readers who still visit the old place.  To really draw a line under the whole affair, Bob stops the FeedBurner feed that was being powered by the old blog, reckoning that of the feed no longer exists and he's not longer posting to the old blog then he's made a clean break and everyone can move on.
What can possibly go wrong?
Act 3 - Zombies!
Time passes. Bob and his new service are happy, talking about having kids, picking out curtains, all that kind of stuff.  He doesn't think about the old blog any more.
When suddenly, it's BA-ACK.  The old blog sends a mailing to his mailing list! And he didn't post to his old or his new blog! And it's not even a post he wrote - it's someone else's! Zombies! Panic! Hackers? WTF!? Where's the military when you need them?
In the midst of all the chaos, fade to black...
This really happened.  Question is, why, and what can you do to stop a Zombie from hitting up all your subscribers with, well, almost anything?  And possibly stuff that your audience might find offensive and deeply inappropriate?  That can really hurt you and your business or organization if that happens.
So what happened was this. Remember, Bob didn't delete his old blog, he left it running.  He also left his FeedBlitz list looking at the old blog (well what would it do? He's not posting to it so no mailings were expected).  Bob also left the TypePad redirect to FeedBurner in place.  But Bob did delete his FeedBurner feed.
And in deleting his FeedBurner feed, he made the feed URL available for someone else to use for their blog instead.  Which someone else apparently, eventually did.
And when someone else posted to their blog, his old TypePad system became a Zombie.  Any RSS readers still using his old RSS feed would have received that third party's posts in their aggregators.  FeedBlitz, dutifully scanning his TypePad blog for new content, found it at FeedBurner (because the list was still active and the TypePad redirect to FeedBurner was still there).  So FeedBlitz duly mailed the new article it found to Bob's list. Only it wasn't Bob's article of course. Panic and mayhem duly ensued.
How to Avoid Zombies
If you're moving from one blogging service to another, or even changing your blog URL on the same service, here's how to avoid creating a Zombie:

  1. Don't delete feeds and lists. Instead, update them with the new feed information.  For FeedBlitz, update list sources at Newsletters / Settings / Content Settings / The Basics.  For FeedBurner, the feed source is under "Edit Feed Details" when you pick your feed from the FeedBurner dashboard.  The lists and feeds will simply start to pick up their content from your new blog.  No need to resubscribe anyone and all your readers will seamlessly move from one to the other.
  2. If you must delete a feed or list, make sure you delete everything. Stop redirects, for example. Delete or pause mailings.
If Bob had not deleted his RSS feed at FeedBurner, this wouldn't have happened.
If Bob had undone the TypePad redirect, this wouldn't have happened.
If Bob had paused the FeedBlitz mailing list looking at his old, "dead" blog, this wouldn't have happened.
If Bob had updated FeedBurner to look at his new blog, this wouldn't have happened.
If Bob had updated FeedBlitz to look at his new blog, this wouldn't have happened.
And to be clear, FeedBlitz, TypePad and FeedBurner were all working fine. None were compromised, hacked or anything like that.  They all performed as advertised.
So as and when you move your blog from place A to place B on the Internet, don't create a Zombie.
Now about that garlic, holy water and wooden stake you keep by the door...

Richard Peters video on The Panasonic TZ7

Sunday, April 4, 2010

301 Redirects Do Not Pass Full PageRank & Link Value

Eric Enge interviewed Matt Cutts of Google and uncovered a few interesting tidbits about Google, but the most significant piece of information was that 301 redirects do not fully pass the PageRank from the redirect. Let me quote you the interview from that piece:

Eric Enge: Let’s say you move from one domain to another and you write yourself a nice little statement that basically instructs the search engine and, any user agent on how to remap from one domain to the other. In a scenario like this, is there some loss in PageRank that can take place simply because the user who originally implemented a link to the site didn't link to it on the new domain?

Matt Cutts: That's a good question, and I am not 100 percent sure about the answer. I can certainly see how there could be some loss of PageRank. I am not 100 percent sure whether the crawling and indexing team has implemented that sort of natural PageRank decay, so I will have to go and check on that specific case. (Note: in a follow on email, Matt confirmed that this is in fact the case. There is some loss of PR through a 301).

Whenever you move a URL or a domain name, we are told by Google to use a 301 redirect, if we cannot keep the existing domain or URL. We were also told that a 301 redirect would pass the PageRank. But that is not fully true. As you can see from the interview above. Some of the PageRank from the redirected URL will be lost. How much exactly? That is hard to say but some is lost.

I personally never like changing URLs but sometimes you don't have a choice.

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Friday, April 2, 2010

Travels With A Macbook Air In India — Quillcards

Why Take Our Own Computer?
With so many cyber-cafes in India, having your own computer is not necessary for general browsing and for emails.

However, we wanted to add posts to this blog as we traveled. Because almost all of our blog posts feature photographs, that meant that we needed to be able to upload and work with photographs that we took.

And of course, there was the matter of security when uploading articles to our server.

Another reason for taking a computer was simply that we could take the photographs from the card in the camera and store them on the hard drive.

Because we use Macs at home we wanted to stick with something we knew and which we could work with easily. So a Mac it was going to be.

Having said that, we did see a lot of people with netbooks and they seemed happy with them.

Which Mac?
Why the Macbook Air and not a Macbook or a Macbook Pro? In the end it came down to

Read the rest of this article here...

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Pope's preacher compares child abuse row to anti-Semitism

MY COMMENT: So this is the man who preaches to the Pope. With respect, the accusations against the Pope are specifically about what he personally did and did not do in relation to stopping child abuse by people over whom he had control. This bears no comparison with anti-semitism. It sounds like a smoke-screen to me.

Rev Raniero Cantalamessa
Rev Raniero Cantalamessa is the only person allowed to preach to the Pope

Pope Benedict's personal preacher has compared criticism of the pontiff and Church over child abuse to "collective violence" suffered by the Jews.

The Rev Raniero Cantalamessa was speaking at Good Friday prayers in St Peter's Basilica, attended by the Pope.

In his sermon, he quoted a Jewish friend as saying the accusations reminded him of the "more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism".

Thousands of pilgrims are in Rome for the Easter rituals.

Father Cantalamessa said Jews throughout history had been the victims of "collective violence" and drew a comparison with recent attacks on the Church.

He read the congregation part of a letter from a Jewish friend who said he was "following with disgust the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope...

"The use of stereotypes, the shifting of personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the most shameful aspects of anti-Semitism," he quoted from the letter.

Father Cantalamessa, the preacher to the papal household, is the only person allowed to preach to the Pope.

The BBC's David Willey, in Rome, says the comments show the Church is continuing to defend itself rigorously and outspokenly against accusations of having covered up child abuse.


Pope Benedict in St Peter's Basilica

Rabbi Gary Greenebaum, of the American Jewish Committee, called Father Cantalamessa's comments "an unfortunate use of language", AP news agency reported.

"The collective violence against the Jews resulted in the death of six million, while the collective violence spoken of here has not led to murder and destruction, but perhaps character assault," he said.

The Roman Catholic Church has been embroiled in fresh allegations of child sex abuse by priests, most recently in Germany.

The Pope has been accused of failing to take action against a suspected abuser during his tenure as archbishop of Munich - a claim the Vatican strongly denies.

Critics also say that when he was head of the Vatican office dealing with sex abuse, he did not act against a US priest who is thought to have abused some 200 deaf boys.

Later on Friday, the Pope is due to take part in the Way of the Cross procession at Rome's Colosseum commemorating Christ's crucifixion. While there he is expected to deliver a short homily.




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I came across this infrared photo - Cedar Hill - New York Photography Blog

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Honeybee Survey #blessedbees #honeybees #bees

The Apiary Inspectors of America, the United States Department of Agriculture, and Penn State University have" teamed up to determine the extent of bee losses" across the USA.

The following are the questions that the survey asks. Question number 8 seems to [perhaps] indicate which way the researchers are thinking:

1 How many living colonies did you have on October 1, 2009?

2 How many living colonies did you have on April 1, 2010?

3 How many splits, increases, and/or colonies did you make/buy between October 1, 2009 and April 1, 2010?

4 How many splits, increases and/or colonies did you sell between October 1, 2009 and April 1, 2010?

5 What percentage of the colonies that died between October 1, 2009 and April 1, 2010 were lost without dead bees in the hive or apiary? If you did not lose any colonies, leave this blank.

6 What percentage of loss over this time period would you consider acceptable?

7 To what do you attribute the cause of death for the colonies that died? If you did not lose any colonies, please leave this blank.

8 What percentage of your hives did you send to California for almond pollination?

9 How many times, on average, did you move your colonies last year?

10 For how many years have you been keeping bees?


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Google Translate for Animals LIBEL!!

Pro Tip: As a general rule the higher up in the food chain an animal is, the better a communicator it will be. So if you are after quick witted banter it’s best to select cats and dogs rather than rabbits, hamsters and guinea pigs.

This is SO unfair to guinea pigs!

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China supports Barack Obama's call for new Iran sanctions | The Guardian

Fresh sanctions against Iran moved closer yesterday, when China agreed to begin drafting a UN resolution imposing measures aimed at persuading Tehran to curb its nuclear programme.

Read the full article here at

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TagBulb - Tag Search Simplified - Try it

Twitter Closing Down For Good

MarsEdit 4

I've been using MarsEdit for just over seven years. I started with version 2, and then upgraded to version 3 in 2010. Now, in 2018, I...