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Showing posts from February, 2011

The Florida No Cow Zone - Gotta See The Comments :-)

Amplify’d from Photographing cows or other farm scenery could land you in jail under Senate bill Taking photographs from the roadside of a sunrise over hay bales near the Suwannee River, horses grazing near Ocala or sunset over citrus groves along the Indian River could land you in jail under a Senate bill filed Monday. SB 1246 by Sen. Jim Norman, R-Tampa, would make it a first-degree felony to photograph a farm without first obtaining written permission from the owner. A farm is defined as any land "cultivated for the purpose of agricultural production, the raising and breeding of domestic animals or the storage of a commodity." We all need to dig just a little bit deeper to understand what this is really about . Farmers across the country have recently noticed that when their farm animals think no one is watching or listening, the animals stand up on 2 legs and engage in open debate and dialogue in clearly understandable English. They talk about a variety of thi…

White Stork

'Travel Light' Is Getting Harder

What I have learned about gear to never leave behind on my travels - from a magnifying glass and a pair of binoculars, to a length of rope.
I came to the realisation a while ago that to take the example of my camera gear, there a things I want and things I don't want but which you have to have - such as a battery charger and a spare battery.
No one 'wants' them - they just have to come along, just like international plug adaptors. And it all adds weight to that pack.
Could I travel without checking my email or blogging? It's too painful to think about. Amplify’d from by David Bennett on February 26, 2011[edit] It Is Getting Harder To Travel Light
There was a time when I would have been happy to leave my camera at home and let my senses do the recording. Now a camera, lenses, and a laptop are all fighting for space in my pack. For all that, the guiding principle I have always followed – it is probably in my nature – is to travel light. Travel Light
I reme…

What would Arianna Huffington do?

Take the money and run? Pay out the people who had given their journalistic skills to make HP what it was? Something else? Amplify’d from Any business owner who uses largely unpaid labor, with a handful of underpaid, nonunion employees, to build a company that is sold for a few hundred million dollars, no matter how he or she is introduced to you on the television screen, is not a liberal or a progressive. Those who take advantage of workers, whatever their outward ideological veneer, to make profits of that magnitude are charter members of the exploitative class. Dust off your Karl Marx. They are the enemies of working men and women. And they are also, in this case, sucking the lifeblood out of a trade I care deeply about. It was bad enough that Huffington used her site for flagrant self-promotion, although the cult of the self has reached such dizzying proportions in American society that such behavior is almost expected. But there is an even sadder irony that this…

iPhone Discovery Launch A First

Amplify’d from Commercial flight passenger films Discovery launch on his iPhone Ever felt a little bored on a plane and wished there was something more interesting to look at than endless clouds? How about watching a history-making space shuttle launch? When Discovery set off on its STS-133 mission this Thursday 24th February, one lucky set of passengers got to witness it from 30,000 feet. And one managed to capture the whole thing on his iPhone 4. The space shuttle is currently zooming towards the International Space Station on it’s 13th and final mission, making this video all the more special. Check it out. Read more at See this Amp at via

New and better search tool - hat tip to @EmLeary

Very interesting - try it and see what I mean. Amplify’d from
slashtag of the day:/impressionism Read more at See this Amp at via

Fact of the day: Moles can dig 15 feet per hour in good soils

Robert "Red" Robinson, senior vice president of Shannon & Wilson Inc., of Seattle. He was asked to compare the capabilities of moles and "moles," as tunnel-boring machines are affectionately known in the underground construction industry. He sized up a typical 4-ounce mole versus the 642-ton Emerald Mole, the tunneling machine that recently completed the Beacon Hill light-rail tunnels for Sound Transit. It turns out that, pound-for-pound, the tiny mole is an astounding 336 times mightier than the behometh Emerald Mole. "It's all in the weight ratio of the two critters," Robinson wrote. "Anyone for nuclear-enhanced 600-ton, 20-foot-diameter, flesh-and-blood moles?" Annie Kolb-Nelson at King County's Wastewater Treatment Division — several machines have been digging a tunnel for the Brightwater sewage-system at the rate of about 5 feet per hour on a good day — was similarly awed at the mighty mole, which can dig 15 feet per hour in go…

Radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells

I feel like such a party pooper - from Cell phone exposure increases brain cell activity (CNN) -- The radiation emitted after just 50 minutes on a mobile phone increases the activity in brain cells, according to a new government-funded study. The small study, published in the Journal of American Medical Association, is the first to look specifically at how electromagnetic radiation from cell phones affects glucose metabolism, a normal function, in the brain. Researchers measured brain activity of 47 healthy adults -- a small but scientifically valid size group for this type of study -- while using a mobile device. The levels were tested when the phone was in use (transmitting radiation) against the head and when against the head but in the off position. Compared with subjects whose phones were turned off, the group whose phones were on had "significantly higher" brain activity in the area closest to the telephone antenna. Volkow says that since she began work…

One Day Sale Ends In Six Months

Snowdrops Signal The First Signs Of Spring

The Biggest Holders Of U.S. Debt

This is a fascinating list. It is a list that starts with the smallest debt holder and works its way to the biggest.
The list begins with number 15 - Taiwan - with a US debt holding of $126.9 billion and works its way to a surprising conclusion. I guarantee that you will be amazed at who is at number 1 and the amount involved.  from The Biggest Holders of US Government Debt As the US government spends an unprecedented amount of money to fix the nation's economy, there is an equally great need to raise the cash to pay for it. This is accomplished through borrowing, whereby Uncle Sam sells Treasury securities of varying maturity.
For investors, the government bills, notes and bonds are considered a safe financial product because they have a guaranteed rate of return, based on faith in future US tax revenues. The government has been partially funding operations via Treasury securities for decades.
This borrowing adds to the national debt, which has recently surpassed t…

See-Through Dress Elevates Royalty, Not

TODAY - 15 February, 2011 Kate's see-through dress to be sold The see-through dress which helped Kate Middleton catch the eye of Prince William is up for auction. See image Related linksRoyal WeddingBeckham: royal designer?Bafta's best-dressed The see-through dress which helped Kate Middleton catch the eye of Prince William is up for auction. See image Read more at

Romantic Love For Valentine's Day

RSPB Cannot Swallow New Forest

Mark Avery of the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) says his organisation is too smart to think of taking the New Forest off the Government's hands...  from If the RSPB thought that we could step in and make the New Forest a better place for wildlife and people then we'd say so - but we don't, and have no intention of pushing ourselves forward in that way.  We work in the New Forest now, in partnership with others, as we do in the Forest of Dean too, and we'd like to carry on working there with local people.  We might do more in future - but we aren't daft - we know when something is too big to swallow.  Read more at

George Monbiot in the Guardian on this Goverment: You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us"

A fine statement:
"And this government? It has learned the lesson that Thatcher never grasped. If you want to turn this country into another Mexico, where the ruling elite wallows in unimaginable, state-facilitated wealth while the rest can go to hell, you don't declare war on society, you don't lambast single mothers or refuse to apologise for Bloody Sunday. You assuage, reassure, conciliate, emote. Then you shaft us."  from To us, it's an obscure shift of tax law. To the City, it's the heist of the century In David Cameron we have a leader whose job is to quietly legitimise a semi-criminal, money-laundering economy 'I would love to see tax reductions," David Cameron told the Sunday Telegraph at the weekend, "but when you're borrowing 11% of your GDP, it's not possible to make significant net tax cuts. It just isn't." Oh no? Then how come he's planning the biggest and crudest corporate tax cut in living m…

To David Cameron - Treating groups as having one negative point of view is to demonise them

It's not what the truth is - because there is no single truth about what motivates 'parts of society' - it's that the 70 million people who make up the UK population are just that - 70 million people - and treating groups as having one point of view is to demonise them just as surely as any fascist government has ever done.  from Cameron: My war on multiculturalism By Oliver Wright and Jerome Taylor
Saturday, 5 February 2011 David Cameron launched a devastating attack today on 30 years of multiculturalism in Britain, warning it is fostering extremist ideology and directly contributing to home-grown Islamic terrorism. Signalling a radical departure from the strategies of previous governments, Mr Cameron said that Britain must adopt a policy of "muscular liberalism" to enforce the values of equality, law and freedom of speech across all parts of society. He warned Muslim groups that if they fail to endorse women's rights …

Darjeeling Tea Pickers - From our trip to India early last year

Class Action Suit Against Ex President Carter

I suspect the judge will throw the case out as being a misuse of the court process. Time will tell.  from Lawsuit: Carter Guilty of Consumer Fraud, Foists Lies on Readers �
by David Lev While former U.S. President Jimmy Carter has a perfect right to his anti-Israel opinions – and certainly has the right to publish a book full of those opinions – he does not have the right to fob off a work of fiction as fact. That, says Israeli activist attorney Nitzana Darshan-Leitner, is what has earned him the opprobrium of dozens of people who bought his book, “Palestine: Peace or Apartheid.” And now, says Darshan-Leitner, she is representing those unhappy customers in a class-action lawsuit against Carter, in order to get them a refund.
Of course, Darshan-Leitner tells Israel National News, the issue is not simply one of consumer fraud. “During the trial, we will of course have to examine the facts in question, and we will of course unveil the falsity of much of what…