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Showing posts from August, 2010

The Romance Of The Road

One woman's memories of travel around the world from the USA to South Korea, Japan, India, Canada, Spain, the UK, France and more - the places, the people, the romance of the road  from Anne of Green Gables, New York city, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward island, travel overseas, world travel Time Travels In The Real WorldMarilyn’s Guitar
What pops into my mind first about traveling overseas is Marilyn’s guitar. In my head, that’s what began it all for me. Marilyn, just back from Mexico, all those years ago. Marilyn singing in Spanish as she strummed away on her guitar. Marilyn, my close friend Judy’s eldest sister. See more at

Against drilling for oil in the Arctic seas off Greenland - Greenpeace Live

from Our campaigners have evaded a huge security operation and have scaled Cairn Energy's controversial oil rig in the Arctic seas off Greenland, shutting it down - live updates below.
Arctic drilling has got to stop. Tell Cairn's boss, Bill Gammell to stop drilling now.
Take Action >For background on Cairn's Arctic drilling, watch this video. Action updates appear automatically below. To send a message to the ship, reply to @gp_espy on Twitter.

The long, slow, and painful death of photojournalism

Somebody has to bring home the content - who will that be when the people who did it have packed their bags and gone home? from For the last thirty-odd years, I’ve been listening to people talk about, or predict the death of photojournalism. John Szarkowski, the legendary curator of photography at MOMA New York even said that photojournalism stopped being interesting after 1958; I was just out of nappies then. Yet, somehow I’ve devoted just about all my working life to social documentary photography and nearly 25 years to photojournalism.Okay, I’m that friend and I’m stepping forward and calling it. “Photojournalism: time of death 11.12. GMT 1st August 2010.” Amen.

Model Release - Photographers - Editorial - Newspapers - Myths - Facts

Here is a clearly-written description of when a model release is needed and when it is not in the USA - other countries' mileage varies. from Don’t Buy In to the Model Release MythThe myth I’m writing about today has undoubtedly caused thousands of excellent, award-winning photos never to be taken. It’s the myth of the model release for editorial use.Photography columnists, unaware of their First Amendment rights, have been fanning the fires of this issue for years. A wall of mythology has built up around the subject, and I’ll make the first move to break it down for you: No, editorial stock photographers: you do not need model releases.A good rule of thumb would be to ask yourself, “Would a newspaper photographer ask for a model release in this situation?” You might now be asking, “So why was I under the impression that model releases are always required?”

Cut Copy Paste

Speed Limits On British Roads

... because I am always forgetting the maximum speed on unmarked single carriageways and have to deduce it backwards from remembering that sometimes there are 50mph signs on them, so that 'no sign' must mean a higher speed than that, and it cannot be 70mph because that is for motorways - ergo is must be 60mph from
Speed limits Built-up areas *Single carriage-waysDual carriage-ways Motorways  Type of vehiclemph (km/h)mph (km/h)mph (km/h)mph (km/h)Cars & motorcycles
(including car-derived vans up to 2 tonnes maximum laden weight)30 (48)60 (96)70 (112)70 (112) Cars towing caravans or trailers
(including car-derived vans and motorcycles)30 (48)50 (80)60 (96)60 (96) Buses, coaches and minibuses(not exceeding 12 metres in overall length)30 (48)50 (80) 60 (96)70 (112)Goods vehicles(not exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)30 (48)50 (80)60 (96)70 (112) ** Goods vehicles
(exceeding 7.5 tonnes maximum laden weight)30 (48)40 (64)50 (80)6…

Neonicotinoid insecticides implicated in honeybee colony collapse disorder {CCD}

from Now new studies indicate that insecticides are playing a significant role.The most recent studies have exposed a variety of insects to varying doses of neonicotinoid insecticides over long time periods – 12 months or more. Neonicotinoid insecticides are widely used worldwide; they work by acting on the central nervous system of the insect. The chemicals have little affinity for vertebrate nervous systems, so they are much less toxic to mammals and birds. The researchers found that the total dose of insecticide required to kill the insect was smaller if administered over a longer time period (Ecotoxicology (2009) 18:343–354). In the case of honeybees, up to 6000 times less insecticide was required to kill them if it was administered in multiple tiny doses over a long time period. According to Henk Tennekes, a researcher at Experimental Toxicology Services (ETS) in the Netherlands, these findings make perfect sense. “Start by considering a high exposu…

Totally shameless self-promotion > article:

It's my article, so this is shameless self-promotion
Click the link to read the full article from The Death Of the Landed Gentry
Two world wars in the last century brought about the destruction of a large part of the landed gentry in England, with many country houses being sold to pay death duties.The National Trust – Guardian Of The Nation
Ask anyone in England to talk about country houses, and the name of the National Trust is certain to come into the conversation.Today the Trust has over three million members and the entrance fees, subscriptions, and donations have helped to pay for the purchase and maintenance of more that 400 country houses, 600,000 acres (250,000 hectares) of countryside, and 700 miles (1,100km) of coastline, in and around the British Isles. Castle Howard
All of this makes Castle Howard stand out from the crowd because not only is it said to be one of the grandest country houses in Britain, it is still privately owned and by the same family wh…

Irregular, bite-size rewards make Twitter addictive

chomp, chomp from Why Twitter, Facebook, etc Seem So AddictiveMany theories have been offered for why Twitter and Facebook and [fill in the blank] seem so addictive. One of the theories that makes a lot of sense to me was recently offered by Dan Ariely, author of Predictably Irrational. Dr. Ariely states that Skinner distinguished between fixed-ratio schedules of reinforcement and variable-ratio schedules of reinforcement. Under a fixed schedule, a rat received a reward of food after it pressed the lever a fixed number of times—say 100 times. Under the variable schedule, the rat earned the food pellet after it pressed the lever a random number of times. Sometimes it would receive the food after pressing 10 times, and sometimes after pressing 200 times.… Skinner found that the variable schedules were actually more motivating. The most telling result was that when the rewards ceased, the rats that were under the fixed schedules stopped working almost immediately, b…

Fooling the public's ears with Auto-Tune

I love singing in the privacy of my home. I can hold a tune. I hate the idea that singers who perform are having their voices 'perfected' from The history of Auto-TuneThis time last week, most people had never heard of Auto-Tune. Now everyone is talking about it. Despite playing a key role in selling millions of songs over the last decade, it's taken a hugely controversial appearance on the ‘X Factor' to raise the profile of this recording studio tool. But what exactly is Auto-Tune?It's pitch-correcting computer software devised by US scientist Andy Hildebrand, after he was challenegd by a dinner party guest to invent a machine to help people sing in tune. His firm Antares Audio Technologies launched it in 1997, armed with the adage "I can't believe that's possible" and innovative products to match for musicians, producers and engineers.Read more at

Daily Mail gets it wrong on causes of colony collapse disorder #CCD #bees

The consensus across the world is that colony collapse disorder (CCD) is not caused by the varroa mite, which this article strongly suggests. from A British beekeeper is breeding a strain of bee which can protect itself from a deadly parasitic mite that is wiping out colonies across the world.Beekeeper Ron Hoskins from Swindon who has bred a strain of bees which can protect themselves from the deadly parasitic varroa miteNow Mr Hoskins, who has carried out research on his colonies for 18 years, has isolated and is breeding a strain of bees which groom each other to remove the mites.   He is now taking sperm from these bees and artificially inseminating queens from other hives to allow the new breed to spread through Britain.   The British Beekeepers' Association, which represents 18,000 beekeepers, yesterday described his work as 'exciting'.   The varroa mite entered Britain in 1992 and spread across the country - killing millions of bees.   A survey re…

Sometimes it's just a cute picture

from The dormouse's name comes from the French word "dormir", meaning to sleep. These tiny mammals are endangered due to the loss of their woodland habitat, and have disappeared from 50% of their former range. Conservation projects are now reintroducing them to restored woods.Read more at

This is the Daily Mail of July 2009 reporting the pathologist's conclusion on David Kelly's death

from Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist 13 doctors demand inquest into Dr David Kelly's deathBy Glen Owen and Miles Goslett
Last updated at 1:19 AM on 13th July 2009After taking evidence from - but not cross-examining - Dr Nicholas Hunt, the pathologist who carried out the post-mortem examination, Lord Hutton concluded that 'the principal cause of death was bleeding from incised wounds to the left wrist' combined with the consumption of painkillers and 'silent coronary artery disease'.

Eavesdrop ain't what it used to be

EAVESDROP, v.i. Secretly to overhear a catalogue of the crimes and vices of another or yourself.
—Gopete Sherany from Here’s what the Devil’s Dictionary has to say about eavesdropping:
A lady with one of her ears applied
To an open keyhole heard, inside,
Two female gossips in converse free -
The subject engaging them was she.
“I think,” said one, “and my husband thinks
That she’s a prying, inquisitive minx!”
As soon as no more of it she could hear
The lady, indignant, removed her ear.
“I will not stay,” she said, with a pout,
“To hear my character lied about!” So of course you know that eavesdropping is listening in on someone else’s conversation. Evesdropping as an English word appeared in the written record more than 500 years ago. At the time it was a crime and in fact appeared in a legal judgement. The court proceedings were recorded in Latin and it is this English word snuggled in there that shows its pure English roots, since there must not have been a Latin …

Viewers decide what BT's Adam and Jane Did Next

from Millions decide fate of BT coupleViewers have decided what happens next to couple Adam and Jane from the popular long-running BT advert series.
The phone company received an amazing 1.6 million votes online after asking viewers to choose whether the BT couple should announce that they are expecting a baby in the next instalment of the ad.Marketing director for BT retail Matthew Dearden told The Guardian: "The strand of ads we are doing at the moment are all about human interaction and human relationships [facilitated by BT products] and we thought about building the connection by getting people involved in the story of the campaign itself."
He added: "It is the longest running 'plot' campaign in the UK today, at least as far as we can tell. It is a real asset for us."Read more at

Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.

Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations. from Machsend is a site that lets you transfer files for free, without any limitations.Machsend uses a Yahoo! plugin, called BrowserPlus to do its magic. The transfers are peer to peer - straight between the two clients and aren't relayed or proxied.Machsend traverses firewalls with a TCP form of STUN (STUNT) combined with a bit of SYN packet manipulation. There's a few good papers on the subject here and here.Yes, we don't receive any of the data, or even the file names. It's totally private.

Amp-ing and Poster-ing the The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest

from The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging ContestYes, you read correctly, it’s time for The Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest. For the next month, I’ll be accepting guest posts right here on my blog. As you can see below, the top guest bloggers are eligible to receive cash prizes (current pot is $2050.) cash and there are a couple non-cash prizes.To clarify, you don’t have to actually be a bad ass SEO (although it wouldn’t hurt) to enter the contest. The general theme is SEO and the contest itself is bad ass since we have several generous sponsors that put up cash and a few other prizes.What is the Bad Ass SEO Guest Blogging Contest? Blogging is always fun, but it’s even more fun when there is cold hard cash involved. Starting today (August 2nd) until September 2nd, you can submit guest posts to my blog. I’m pretty flexible as far as acceptable topics as long as they fit within the general theme of this blog. So, anything from SEO to blogging to social media will do.How long …

No Guardian or Telegraph on Yahoo homepage!?

Here below is the question and a selection of comments (but no answers) from disgruntled Yahoo viewers who can no longer see headlines from the Guardian, Telegraph, and Daily Mail newspapers on the Yahoo homepage.
I am one of the disgruntled users who likes/liked the layout of news headlines on Yahoo.
I like to scan news from around the world and I get the Guardian, the Telegraph, and other newspaper headlines from around the world, on iGoogle.
I preferred the format on Yahoo, which if I recall it correctly (amazing how quickly the details of the format has faded from my memory) was all in one central box with tabs for the newspapers and connected links to related images above the tabs. from What's happened to Daily Mail, Guardian and Daily Telegraph tabs on Yahoo UK home page?
charles - 2010-08-05 19:56:07 - Other - Yahoo! ProductsUp to yesterday, I could click directly into these newspaper sites. They were the best reason for having yahoo as my home page. N…

Learning efficient behaviour from ants

I found this on  from A single ant cannot do much on its own, but the colony as a whole solves complex problems such as building a sophisticated nest, maintaining it and filling it with food. That rang a bell with people like Marco Dorigo, who is now a researcher at the Free University of Brussels and was one of the founders of a field that has become known as swarm intelligence.Dr Dorigo was interested to learn that ants are good at choosing the shortest possible route between a food source and their nest. This is reminiscent of a classic computational conundrum, the travelling-salesman problem. Given a list of cities and their distances apart, the salesman must find the shortest route needed to visit each city once. As the number of cities grows, the problem gets more complicated. A computer trying to solve it will take longer and longer, and suck in more and more processing power. The reason the travelling-sa…

Help - I am looking for a designer for web pages

He or she doesn't have to slice for HTML or CSS3 though if they want to and can then thats good  - but the important thing is that they can make a beautiful layout.
To give you an idea, I am thinking along the lines of rounded corners and shading.
I probably don't want the elements in .png files, and would prefer in CSS3 - with the best compatibility possible with IE but accepting the limitations.
Do you know anyone who designs lovely stuff like that?
If so, send me details.

Official cause of David Kelly's death is 'extremely unlikely', say group of legal and medical experts

Mystery and doubt - the stuff of spy thrillers - surrounded the death of the David Kelly - the biological weapons expert attached to the Ministry of Defence, who spilled the beans to Andrew Gilligan, a British journalist.
In a nutshell, the doubters say Kelly would not have died from the injuries he is supposed to have inflicted on himself at the time he died. from Official cause of David Kelly's death is 'extremely unlikely', say group of legal and medical expertsA group of prominent legal and medical experts called today for a full inquest into the death of the government scientist David Kelly in 2003.Nine experts including Michael Powers, a QC and former coroner, and Julian Blon, a professor of intensive care medicine, said in a letter to the Times that the official cause of death – haemorrhage from the severed artery – was "extremely unlikely"."Insufficient blood would have been lost to threaten life," they said. "Absent a q…

The Alabama Beach Mouse and Others

My wife, Tamara, has had several articles published on the Endangered Species Coalition's website, ‘Oil Spill: Wildlife Crisis’, which look at the damage that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has done and continues to do to species that live there. from Tamara’s Articles For The Endangered Species CoalitionTamara has had several articles published on the ESC’s site, ‘Oil Spill: Wildlife Crisis’, which look at the damage that the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has done and continues to do to species that live there.Here are the links. [Please note that they will open in a new window when you click on them]:The Alabama beach mouse
The bluefin tuna
The brown pelican
The Kemp’s Ridley sea turtle
The piping plover

Killer of Sheep - on TV at the moment

from Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse.Frustrated by money problems, he finds respite in moments of simple beauty: the warmth of a coffee cup against his cheek, slow dancing with his wife in the living room, holding his daughter. The film offers no solutions; it merely presents life — sometimes hauntingly bleak, sometimes filled with transcendent joy and gentle humor.Killer of Sheep was shot on location in Watts in a series of weekends on a budget of less than $10,000, most of which was grant money. Finished in 1977 and shown sporadically, its reputation grew and grew until it won a prize at the 1981 Berlin International Film Festival.Since then, the Library of Congress has declared it a national treasure as one of the first fifty on the National Film Registry and the National Society of…

I want this in my office!!! - ReflectionOf.Me

How Much Oil Escaped In The Gulf Oil Spill?

Read how much - after the break - it's a lot of people.. from How Much Oil Escaped In The Gulf Oil Spill?
How much oil escaped from the Deepwater Horizon spill that began on April 20th?Picturing That Amount Of Oil
I find it difficult to picture that amount of oil and I imagine you feel the same.So, if this helps, I thought of the volume that is contained within the average human body. It is approximately 15 gallons.

The Age Of Stupid asks "why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?"

This film can join 'The End Of The Line' as an attempt to bring home some of the truths about how a-little-bit-here-and-a-little-bit-there turns into a gazillion plastic bottles, plastic bags, denuded forests, crapped-on planet, etc.
I saw it at HydePark Picture House in Leeds, England. It is a small art-house cum social-conscience cinema, and I saw End Of The Line there as well.
Why don't mainstream distributors take these kind of films?
There has to be a better way of distribution. from The Age of Stupid stars Pete Postlethwaite as a man living in the devastated future world of 2055, looking at old footage and asking: why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?It is a co-production between Franny's company Spanner Films and Executive Producer John Battsek's (One Day In September) company Passion Pictures. The production was notable for its innovative way crowd-funding financing model, as well as the Indie Screenings distribution…

Memories of Noggin The Nog

from First Impressions
The center of Edinburgh is built along a narrow-sided valley that is just a couple of hundred yards across.It would be romantic if a river ran along the bottom of the valley – it would be the icing on the cake. In fact, there is the railway station with the railway lines snaking away, so it is the glass roof of the station that fills most of the valley bottom.Along one bank of the valley runs a series of tree-filled parks and behind them and higher up, runs Princes street, the main shopping street. Behind that are the ‘newer’ classical buildings laid out in fine terraces and crescents.

Diana Dors' Delahaye Type 175 Roadster to be auctioned

She was born Diana Mary Fluck. She was the English version of Jayne Mansfield or Marlyn Monroe.
She had a career as an actor. She could act. And she liked big cars. Her Delahaye Type 175 Roadster is going for auction.

From Wikipedia:
According to Dors's autobiography, she was once asked and readily agreed to open a fête in her home town of Swindon, England. Prior to the festivities,
Dors lunched with the local vicar, during which she informed him that her real name was Diana Fluck.
The vicar became somewhat worried about his planned speech. After lunch, they arrived at the fête at the appointed time.
The vicar, totally unnerved about mispronouncing "Fluck", introduced Diana with these immortal words:
“Ladies and gentlemen, it is with great pleasure that I introduce to you our star guest. We all love her, especially as she is our local girl. I therefore feel it right to introduce her by her real name; Ladies and Gentlemen, please welcome the very lovely Miss Diana C…

Stage Two of the New Enclosure Act

From - This is Your Britain - Did You Vote For it? from David Cameron announces plan to end lifetime council tenanciesBecause maybe in five or 10 years you will be doing a different job and be better paid and you won't need that home, you will be able to go into the private sector."Speaking in Birmingham, he said: "There is a question mark about whether, in future, we should be asking when you are given a council home, is it for a fixed period? Because maybe in five or 10 years you will be doing a different job and be better paid and you won't need that home, you will be able to go into the private sector."Read more at

Does anyone have experience of the pros and cons of changing an 'established' Twitter @name?

I have had my @photographworks Twitter account since July 22, 2007. I could not get @davidbennett at that time because it had been taken by someone else. That person posted two tweets on Jan 19th, 2007 and has not tweeted anything else since then. Today Twitter cancelled that account and I saw it was available. So I now have that account also. I am @photographworks and @DavidBennett The thing is that I had (and I believe I still have) a choice. I could have either set up a new account, which I did, or I could have changed my existing Twitter @name from @photographworks to @DavidBennett I wasn't sure which to do and so I set @DavidBennett up as a new account because I didn't want someone else to grab it while I was deciding what to do. I believe I can still delete my @DavidBennett account at some point and then immediately change @photographworks to @DavidBennett My question is, does anyone have experience of the pros and cons of changing an 'esta…

Greenpeace: "Thanks to all the visitors who generated more than 2,000,000 hits ... and spread the competition"

from We have a winning logo! And thanks to...... everyone who helped make this competition a huge success. Thanks to all the entrants who together submitted more than 2,000 logos. Thanks to all the visitors who generated more than 2,000,000 hits to the website and spread the competition around the globe. Thanks to the more than 25,000 people who voted.