30.9.08

NICE COLOURS OF
THE DAY

SNEAKY UFO

I'm loving this song at the moment:
UFO by Sneaky Sound System

I saw a UFO and nobody believes me
I was sixteen miles from home with nobody in sight
I saw a UFO but nobody believes me
And whats it gonna take to get me back home tonight


SMOKE

Tobacco firms paid huge amounts for
endorsements from the stars of
Hollywood's "Golden Age".

Industry documents released following
anti-smoking lawsuits reveal the
extent of the relationship between
tobacco and movie studios.


One firm paid more than $3m (£1.6 M)
in today's money in one year to stars.

Researchers writing in the Tobacco Control
journal said "classic" films of the
1930s, 1940s and 1950s still helped
promote smoking today.


Virtually all of the biggest names of the
1930s, 1940s and 1950s were involved in
paid cigarette promotion, according
to the University of California at
San Francisco researchers.


According to the research, stars prepared
to endorse tobacco included Clark
Gable, Cary Grant, Spencer Tracy, Joan
Crawford, John Wayne, Bette Davis
and Betty Grable.


Deals dated from the start of the "talkie"
era, with "Jazz Singer" star Al Jolson signing
testimonials stating that the "Lucky
Strike" brand was "the cigarette
of the acting profession".


In some cases, tobacco firms would pay
movie studios to create radio
shows which featured their
stars' endorsements.


UK anti-smoking group ASH said that
while smoking imagery could not be
"outlawed completely", there
was an argument for clearer
warnings before films.


THE GREAT
EGG ESACPE

Crash-landing into life was certainly
not the gentlest of starts.

But this plucky Indian runner duckling
called Houdini, is flourishing
despite its bumpy beginning.

It was still snugly inside its egg when
a greedy seagull swooped down and
snatched it from the nest. But the gull
couldn't keep a grip and dropped
the egg, which plummeted 30ft
(9 m) to the ground.


Farmer Barrie Tolley, 57, who had watched
the drama in dismay, found it later in
a field, covered with fine cracks.

There was little hope for the unfortunate
occupant but he decided to give it a chance
and placed it into an incubator.


The bird fought its way out over five
hours and in a rare phenomenon it
came though the side of the egg
rather than the top.


Barrie, who runs the Rare Breeds Farm in
Totnes, Devon, took a series of photographs
to show the cracks growing larger and
tiny feathers emerging (above).


Fluffy Houdini is now ten days old and
has rejoined his mother and four siblings.

Barrie said: "It was a really incredible
sight and we were all transfixed
for hours watching.

We thought he was very unlikely to have
survived such a long fall, as ducklings
are delicate at that stage."

"Seeing the egg fall from the seagull was
terrible, but Houdini is clearly a lucky
little thing. Had he been dropped
from 10ft higher or had hit one of the
concrete slabs, it would have been
a different story."


Totnes Rare Breeds Farm houses over
250 unusual species of pigs, sheep, goats,
owls, horses, chickens and ducks.


DUM DUM DU
DU DUM

The EastEnders theme tune is now more
recognisable to Brits than the national
anthem, according to a new poll.

EastEnders came top of the poll with 37%
finding it the most recognisable, compared
to 36% with the national anthem.

The theme was originally composed by
Simon May and Leslie Osborne and is widely
known for the dramatic use of drums
that begin and end each episode.

The survey conducted by the
Performing Rights Society (PRS) also
found the Match of the Day (14%) theme
tune and Coronation Street (12%)
were among the most recognisable
pieces of music.


Ellis Rich, Chairman of PRS said: "There's
no doubt that those few bars have helped
to make EastEnders a top soap.
Music
is part of our daily lives, and embedded
within British culture. We are so lucky
that composers and songwriters
can create iconic music which
we all remember and love."


SOUND IN THE
SILENT WORLD

Scientists in California are testing the
hearing of polar bears to try to find out
whether the noises associated with
melting Arctic ice could affect
their ability to survive.

In the wild, polar bears live in one of the
quietest places on Earth. For much of
the time, the Arctic is a bitterly
cold, silent world.

But global warming is changing that.
Ice, which is crucial to the bears'
survival, is disappearing and
people are moving in.


"We're expecting industrial activity,
shipping, recreation, all of those human
activities to increase in the Arctic," says
Dr Ann Bowles, a senior research
scientist at
Hubbs-Seaworld Research
Institute in San Diego.

"We're going to be bringing noise and
activity much closer to the bears. We're
trying to protect them during this
period of transition," she says.


Polar bears are known to be extremely
sensitive to sound. But the scientists are
trying to establish the animals'
precise range of hearing.


"We're trying to is understand how sensitive
they are and how well they hear both the high
end and low end of the frequency range,"
explains Dr Bowles.

"Whether or not an animal can hear
industrial noise depends upon
the shape of that curve."


Increasing noise levels could affect polar
bears in a number of ways. Their breeding
patterns could be disrupted if they are
unable to hear each other over long
distances. They may be afraid of
what they are hearing since human
activity signals danger to them.


Conversely, the animals may mistakenly
think unusual noises indicate food and
they could be encouraged to migrate
to inappropriate areas.


PEGGY GETS
BARRED

A horse who has been a regular at a pub
for several years has been barred after
the landlady bought new carpets.

Peggy, a 12-year-old mare, used to enjoy
a pint of John Smith's bitter and a packet
of pickled onion crisps alongside owner
Peter Dolan inside O'Malleys in
Jarrow, South Tyneside.

But when landlady Jackie Gray had
the pub refitted and renamed as
the Alexandra Hotel, she
had to bar Peggy.


Mr Dolan said that Peggy began drinking
in the pub when one day, instead of staying
outside on the grass when he went inside,
she followed him in and became
a regular ever since.

He said: "No-one even took any notice
of her.
Everyone just saw her
as one of the locals."

Mrs Gray had only just taken over the pub,
said she was shocked to find one of
her new regulars was a horse.

She said: "Although she is probably cleaner
than some of my customers, I had to put
my foot down and show her the door."


Mr Dolan, a 62-year-old retired oil rigger,
said that he still brought his horse to the
pub, but she remained tethered outside.

He said: "People come into the pub and
the first thing they say is 'Where's
Peggy?'
"I tell them she's kicked the
habit and is teetotal now."

You can watch a video
of Peggy in the pub
HERE


29.9.08

SEPTEMBER ART
2008
PART II

Please click on the images
to view a larger version.












SEPTEMBER
2008
COLOUR

Please click on the images
to view a larger version.











CLASSICS

As the telly has been crap lately I ordered
a few of my all time favourite movies
that I didn't have on DVD.

Pretty In Pink (1986), The Grifters
(1990)and Dangerous Liaisons
(1988) are all films I've seen many
times before but always reaturn to.

Watched Pretty In Pink last night...
thank lord I don't have to be in High
School surrounded with all that
teenage angst anymore!


27.9.08

PAUL NEWMAN
R.I.P

Sad news from Hollywood today:
movie legend Paul Newman has
died at the age of 83.

I always liked his films, out of all
of them my favourites are

Cat On A Hot Tin Roof (1958)
and
The Colour Of Money (1986).

Rest in peace.


25.9.08

OBSESSED

This week I've had, for some strange
reason, a total bee in my bonnet about
changing the curtains in my bedroom.

I've had the same ones for the last, oh I
don't know, four years so it was
time for a new look.

So today I finally did something about it
and went searching for suitable material
to stop my obsession. Marks & Spencers,
nice, but £90! Next, again lovely, but
£45...Primark, even nicer, £12 a pair!

I've got three windows in the room so
I always need to get two pairs, one pair
for the biggest window and one curtain
per window for the others.

And to top off my bargain day I found
an absolutely gorgeous duvet cover set
in
TKMaxx reduced from £80 to £14.99!
One happy shopper.


24.9.08

23.9.08

NEW ART

I've just added some more
art into my art & photo site.

FUNNY DOG PIC
OF THE DAY

THE LONG, SHORT
AND LOUD OF IT

It's that time of the year again:
Guinness World Records 2009.

Irish wolfhound Mon Ami von der Oelmühle
(below) is the longest dog in the world, with
a nose-to-tail-tip length of 232cm (7.61 ft).

That makes him as long as a king size bed!
Bred by German Jurgen Rosner, Mon Ami
is owned by Joachim and Elke Muller
of Wegberg-Arsbeck, near
Dusseldorf in Germany.

On the other hand the worlds shortest
man He Pingping from China, stands
precisely 2 feet 5.37 (76 cm) inches
tall. The 20-year-old was born with
a type of dwarfism.


He met the woman the with worlds
longest legs, Svetlana Pankratova, in
Trafalgar Square, London.


The 36 year old Russian's pins are
132 centimetres (4 ft 4 in) long but
because her upper body is of much
more typical dimensions, she is
"only" 196 centimetres
(6 ft 5 in) tall.


Jill Drake (below), 56, from Tenterden, Kent,
retains her title as the world's loudest
screamer for the fourth year. In 2004 she
was recruited by Disney to launch a new
white-knuckle ride and screamed for an
hour to promote Disneyland's then new
Twilight Zone Tower of Terror.


She discovered her unusual talent by accident
on a trip to London by a screaming competition
in the Millennium Dome and was told
her 129 decibel howl broke
the world record.


Jill, whose yell is nine decibels more than
a train horn, said: "I went to the Dome
with friends and heard a woman
screaming in the competition
and thought I could do better."

"My friends told me to have a go so I got up
there and screamed and the organisers
said 'Goodness you've broken
the world record'."


Mother-of-two Mrs Drake's scream is
as loud as a pneumatic drill and
only 10 decibels lower than
a jumbo jet taking off.


UNDER THE
RAINBOW

This isn't camera trickery:
it really is an upside
down 'rainbow'.

It was photographed in Cambridge by
astronomer Dr Jaqueline Mitton
who says she has never seen
anything like it before.

Scientists call the optical phenomenon
a circumzenithal arc.

Oddly, they don't need rain and cloud
to form like conventional rainbows -
they happen only when skies are blue
and when ice crystals are present.


The arc appears when a low sun shines
at a certain angle through a thin veil
of cirrus clouds at between 20,000
and 25,000 feet (6-7.6 km).


It takes the shape of a quarter of a circle
parallel to the horizon.
Dr Mitton said: "The
conditions have to be just right: you need
the right sort of ice crystals and the sky
has to be clear. It's quite surprising for
this to occur somewhere like Cambridge,
usually it's in places that are colder."


The colours of a circumzenithal arc are
reversed from those of a rainbow;
the red range being closest to Earth.


In most cases, an arc will last at least
half an hour. They are most common in
colder climates, where ice crystals tend
to collect in the sky with abundance.

It is also possible to see one from
the inside of an aeroplane.


RUBBER DUCKS
DO RESEARCH

Nasa researchers have dropped 90 ducks
into holes in Greenland's fastest moving
glacier, the Jakobshavn Glacier in Baffin
Bay, between Greenland and Canada.

The toys have each been labelled with the
words "science experiment" and "reward"
in three languages, along with
an e-mail address.

If they are found scientists will be able to
track how the water moves through the
ice and provide information about the
movement of glaciers. Scientists are
still unsure about why they speed up
in summer and head towards the sea.


One theory is that the summer sun melts ice
on top of the glacier's surface, creating pools
that flow into tubular holes called moulins.

The moulins carry some water to the
bottom of the glacier, where it acts as a
lubricant to speed the movement of
ice toward the coast.


The Jakobshavn Glacier is believed to
be the source of the iceberg that sank
the Titanic in 1912 and is important to
researchers because it discharges
nearly 7 per cent of all the ice
coming off Greenland.


Alberto Behar of Nasa's Jet Propulsion
Laboratory in California said none
of the ducks had been reported yet.


"We haven't heard anything but it may take
some time until somebody actually finds
one of the toys and decides to send us
an e-mail," he said.
"These are places
that are quite remote so there
aren't people just walking around."