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.

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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.
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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….
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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.
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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

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