Google, the Japan earthquake and the tsunami

Congratulations Google !
I have Google as my Home Page and this morning, as usual, I started up the internet and clicked on the first shortcut to start doing what I was going to do.
Double-Take !
As the login screen for my farms appeared I thought to myself, “Did I just see that ?”. A quick click on the Back button confirmed that I had…
Google Tsunami Alert
My eye had caught the wording in red… “Tsunami Alert”.
I am not in the habit of putting the radio or TV on in the morning so if I were in a remote area likely to be affected by the tsunami I would have had no warning.
I would also have had no warning if my home page were, for example, Altavista or Ask.
If I have one, slight criticism it would be that the words “Tsumani Alert” should be in large letters so that the message is as wide as the text input box, but that’s just being picky.
This is good, responsible use of the internet and Google are to be commended.
Our thoughts and prayers are with all those affected by the earthquake and the tsunami today.

Blackberrying on the Fife Coastal Path

It’s been a while since I went blackberrying, but Amanda remembered from one of her earlier visits that the coastal path at the top of the village would be worth a visit at this time of year.  Clever girl ! 🙂

There’s nothing like fresh blackberries or a glass of fresh blackberry juice, especially when you’ve done all the hard work yourself.

Amanda blackberrying

Amanda blackberrying

Our blackberries

Our blackberries

In 20 years we still haven’t learned our place

A few days ago I joined in a conversation on a Yahoo news item relating to the creation of “Synthia” in a lab by scientist Craig Ventner and his team; you know the story.

I keep telling myself not to comment on Yahoo, for two reasons. Firstly there are so many childish, inane comments posted on (what are occasionally) serious news articles. Secondly, I always seem to end up being attacked by an extreme right-winger (or several) because I have taken a particular moral or ethical stance espousing “thought for others”, while they slam their “gimme, gimme, gimme… the devil take the hindmost… I’m an American… I’m the boss… go screw yourself !” vitriole at all and sundry.

This day was no exception.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bring back the Darwin Awards, and here’s the first nomination

OMG ! This I could not believe

Entitled “Global Warming Breaking News: China eyeing perks of ice-free Arctic” this YouTube video tries to make the point that the Corporate world will carry on seeking out new opportunities for making a profit, irrespective of whether there are any of us left to provide that profit or if the search for that opportunity is itself the cause of our demise (through the global warming that it causes).

Why the producer of the video picks on China is not clear, because if (when) the Arctic ice melts there are many countries and Corporations that will try to butcher the resources that become available and take advantage of the new shipping lanes. But hey, it’s their video.

However, I digress.

Try to think of the most mind-bogglingly stupid thing that a group of people could possibly do.

Nope…. you’re not even close yet. Try again.

Need some help ? ….

Think dumb-ass, and then add thirty eight noughts to the end of it…. Yes, THAT stupid !

See if you can imagine a situation where a whole group of people could be just standing around, minding their own business, having a lovely day, fascinated by what they are seeing and hearing, and waiting for a spectacular event to occur… and yet be so blissfully unaware that when it does occur it will, inevitably, lead to their deaths.

Can you think of anything ?

Watch this…
(Clip Length 5:03)

Almost as unbelievable is the fact that the producer classes them as “victims” who were “swept out to sea as a glacier melts in front of their eyes and then carries them to their deaths”.

Well that must be the fault of global warming then !

I nominate all the “victims” who had not yet had children as the first recipients of the newly reinstated Darwin Award.

How I miss those…..

Bicycles in China are not environmentally friendly (5) – Conclusion

Yes, we’ve reached the end at last !

While picking up from where I left off yesterday, am I going to paint a picture of doom and gloom or do I see hope on the horizon for China and the environment ? Well….
Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycles in China are not environmentally friendly (4) – Globalisation

In this fourth post of the series I am returning to the original subject matter; the pollution being generated by Chinese industry, why it is being allowed to occur and, just as importantly, what the future will hold and why nobody really cares.

What ? Nobody really cares? Well, yes.

Let me explain a little about myself. This is me on that day trip, just having had lunch at a waterfront restaurant within the area. What do you see ?

Relaxing after lunch - near Qinzhou - Dec 2009

Relaxing after lunch - near Qinzhou - Dec 2009

You see a tourist; a western tourist. Ok, so effectively China is my second home now because it is Amanda’s home country and the rest of her family is there, but outside of the family unit I am still a “tourist” when I visit.

Despite the destruction and devastation that is being meted out to the local environment, do you see somebody who is up in arms protesting about it ? Of course not. Why not ? Because there is not a single thing that I can do about it.
Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycles in China are not environmentally friendly (3) – An educational diversion

So far in episodes (1) and (2) I have shown you what is happening in the vicinity of Guangxi Qinzhou Free Trade Port Area from a purely factual aspect.

Today I want to step aside from all this though, because on a personal level I found our day trip to the region quite educational.

My experience of China is somewhat limited and I have been intrigued at the way the different styles of buildings (and the different “classes” of the occupants) intertwine and I had often wondered how it all came about, especially given the fact that a lot of the smaller, more incongruous buildings didn’t seem to be that much older than the larger properties surrounding them. By seeing this new development in its early stages the whole process becomes a lot clearer.

New building 1

New building 1

New building 2

New building 2

New building 3

New building 3

New building 4

New building 4

Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycles in China are not environmentally friendly (2) – Destruction and pollution

In the last post I discussed the way in which the Chinese love of the bicycle, both pedalled and powered, influences the Chinese authorities when it comes to town planning. They design everything with flat roads.

In this post I will show you what that means to the natural landscape of southern Guangxi. Read the rest of this entry »

Bicycles in China are not environmentally friendly (1) – Flat roads

I didn’t know where to start with the reports on my latest trip to China until I saw Kelly’s excellent post the other week on Post-Avatar Depression Support. In that post she links to a Seeking Alpha post entitled Are We Exacerbating China’s Pollution?, which then points the reader at these pictures of industrial pollution in China.

To be fair, the Seeking Alpha post does start with the words “America used to mistreat her land and water like this.”, and one could easily substitute almost any European nation for America in that statement.

This series of posts isn’t aimed at knocking China, (the wife wouldn’t let me). I love China. The intention is simply to relay what I have seen with my own eyes and have learned by my own recent experience, to try to put it into context from the perspective of the world in which we live, and to look to how things might develop and/or improve in the future, if they can.

So where do the bicycles fit into this ? Read the rest of this entry »

SocialVibe: Is it any good ?

Well the simple answer is “I don’t know… yet”.

The principle seems like a good idea, raising money for charitable causes just by adding a widget badge to the right sidebar of my blog, but at the moment I’m not even sure I have the thing set up properly !

I would have liked to be able to support Headway through this, but they aren’t yet on the list of organisations that are supported in this way, so I’ve selected the World Wildlife Fund because the animals “out there” can’t help themselves against the damage that we humans are doing to the planet.  The WWF is raising funds through this to raise awareness that we need to reduce our carbon emissions to help protect the animals.

If you would like to help WWF just by following a link and viewing a trailer for “Three Rivers” on CBS, then please do “click away”.  I don’t think you have to part with any cash yourself along the way, at least I hope you don’t, (confirmed) although I’m sure they will be very grateful for any donation you may be inspired to make !

Will maybe add my own follow-up comments on this as I find out more.

(Edited 09.09.20)

%d bloggers like this: