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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My “Picture of the Year” – already

ISS passing across face of sun during partial solar eclipse

ISS passing across face of sun during partial solar eclipse

APOD, (Astronomy Picture of the Day), is one of my few daily rituals.

A lifelong interest in things astronomical is kept fed by my daily visits, and some of the pictures are truly amazing.

Today’s warrants special mention because of the planning that went into it, the timing involved (it would have been so easy to miss the opportunity at the last moment), and because of a little bit of artistic luck.

Having planned the taking of the picture so carefully, in the final analysis Thierry Legault was incredibly lucky that the International Space Station is almost perfectly balanced on the picture by the sunspot at the bottom right.

As the ISS took less than a second to pass across the face of the sun Thierry’s efforts deserve such good fortune.

See here for the full size picture and more information.

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

Butterflies and other creatures at Detian Falls

Detian Falls

Detian Falls - China/Vietnam Border

One of my little habits when I’m out travelling and I have a camera on me is trying to get some decent shots of the varying wildlife, usually without success.

On Monday we went to Detian Falls on the China/Vietnam border, a trip I had been wanting to do ever since my first visit to China.

There are hundreds of photos that we took that day, some of which I’ll put up in a later post or two, but just for once I managed to get some semi-decent photos of butterflies and dragonfly-like things.

Most of these are cropped from the originals. I have no idea yet what particular species each of them are, I just enjoy taking the snaps.

Click on any of the pictures to see it in a new tab/window.

Photography is like fishing… you should have seen the one(s) that got away !

     
     
     

Sweetie – the marathon running hamster

Sweetie - the marathon running hamster Sweetie, the Marathon Running Hamster,
has helped to raise over £5,000 for Fife Headway.

Find out how by visiting her blog !

This blog is getting a hamster infestation

I’m getting a lot of hits on here from people asking questions on search engines such as “how far do hamsters run”, so I thought I’d whap that into google myself and see what happened….

There’s a reference to this blog at position seven out of 641,000.

“Ask” … position five of 91,900 (excluding sponsored links), “Altavista”… eight of 4,510,000.

Fame at last…. Thank you people !!!! 🙂

Close by was a link to this, which had me in stitches…
(although you might want to turn the volume DOWN before you hit “play”)

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 »

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