27.11.08

DINNER FLYING
HIGH

5000 GEEZERS

Interesting article in the BBC about
the Bible, but not as you know it...

Most people think of the Bible as a densely
printed book with no pictures, but a
version of the scripture that resembles
a glossy coffee table magazine
aims to change that.

It's part of a wave of radical presentations
of the Bible, including a manga version and
a Lego gospel. But how do Christians feel
about these attempts to spread the word?

PS: This is one my favourite versions
of a Christian story:
Chav Nativity


WET NOSES

The secret of why dogs have wet noses
has been uncovered by scientists,
who say it is essential to their
keen sense of smell.

Traditionally a moist dog nose is viewed
as a sign of good health but now experts
say the layer of mucus in a dog's
nose helps them pick up scents.

So while they may make a mess of windows
and clothes, they are also vital to the
extraordinary ability of canines to sniff
out anything from cocaine to cancer.


Before odour molecules can reach smell
receptors, they must get through a layer
of mucus – and some molecules are
absorbed quicker than others.


A team led by Brent Craven of Pennsylvania
State University used MRI images of a dog's
nasal airways to develop computer
models of how air travels.


They found different molecules are
picked up at different points along
the passages.
The odour molecules
are then latched on to by nerve cells,
which are much more abundant
in dogs than in humans.


Research until now has focused on how
receptors pick up different chemicals,
but Mr Craven told the magazine:
"We've shown that the sorting out of the
different odorants before they
even get to the receptors
is also important."


VEG ART

A Chinese artist is making her own
versions of some of the world's greatest
paintings - out of vegetables.

Ju Duoqi, 35, is currently showing an
exhibition of her "Vegetable
Museum"
paintings in Beijing.

They include a version of Leonardo da
Vinci's Mona Lisa composed of tofu and
sea kelp, da Vinci's The Last Supper,
Picasso’s The Dream, and Andy
Warhol’s Marilyn Monroe.


Ju said her aim was to encourage people to see
everyday objects in a different way.
"I want to
give new life to these unnoticeable vegetables,
and let them not be bound by what
they are anymore," she said.

"Ordinary things can be classic and outstanding.
People often overlook them because of
their cheapness, unimportance,
and temporary nature."

Making art out of veg seems to be all
the rage at the moment, more of it in
here.

Carl Warner is a London-based photographer
who makes foodscapes: landscapes
made of food.


26.11.08

SPEED

New research has shown how dolphins
achieve their blinding speeds.

Gray's Paradox - named after British
zoologist Sir James Gray - proposed
that dolphins simply do not have
the strength to swim so fast.

But researchers at the Rensselaer
Polytechnic Institute in the US have
now studied the movement of water
around dolphins as they swim.

The results show that dolphins can exert
as much as 400lb of force with their tails.


Gray had supposed they could produce less
than a tenth of this amount, and imagined
that something about the dolphins' skin
allowed them to overcome the force of
drag in the water and reach high speeds.

"For the first time, I think we can safely
say the puzzle is solved," said Tim Wei,
the Rensselaer scientist who led the study.


"The short answer is that dolphins are
simply much stronger than Gray or
many other people ever imagined."

To determine this, Professor Wei used a
new method of measuring the movement
of water that he originally developed
to track Olympic swimmers.

The technique employs digital particle
image velocimetry, which measures
the speed of water movements around
a swimming dolphin or human.


Retired US Navy dolphins Primo and
Puka were filmed swimming through a
tank filled with millions of tiny bubbles.

Software tracked the movement of
individual bubbles, determining
their speed and direction, and
assigning them a colour.


Professor Wei then used force measurement
concepts from aerospace research to
translate those velocities into a force
that the dolphins' tails were producing
- nearly 200lb on average.


When "walking" - keeping upright mostly
above water with powerful flips of their
tails - the dolphins produced
as much as 400lb of force.

Professor Wei will go on to study the
motion and force generation
of other sea animals.


THE DOG
STARTED IT...

ILLUSIONS

Check out the Top 20 of
optical illusions.

I got a headache just from
looking at the first
one (below)!

MORE PHOTOS
PART X

I've just added some photos in
thesubstanceoflondon.blogspot.com
from my travels in Rotherhithe today.

XMAS
GOODIES

I popped up Rotherhithe to the Finnish
Church's Xmas bazaar today to get a few
goodies in preparation for the holidays.

I bought some luumuhillo (plum jam) so KB can
bake her delicious
joulutorttu (Christmas
tarts),
Karjalan piirakoita (Karelian pasties)
a pastie made from a thin rye crust with
rice filling and
lanttulaatikko (swede
cassarole), a very traditional Xmas dish.

It's easy enough to make it yourself
but I was feeling lazy and
bought a frozen one.

25.11.08

TYPICAL

Research company OnePoll.com conducted
a survey of what are the most
typical British traits.

The results were based on a study of 5,000
adults who were asked to pick out the
things - good and bad - they believe
makes us unique as a nation.

Here's the Top 50 list:

1. Talking about the weather

2. Great at queueing

3. Sarcasm

4. Watching soaps

5. Getting drunk

6. A love of bargains

7. A love of curtain twitching

8. Stiff upper lip

9. Love of all television

10. Moaning

11. Obsession with class

12. Gossiping with neighbours
over the garden fence

13. Obsession with the traffic

14. Enjoying other people's misfortune

15. Inability to complain

16. Love of cheap foreign holidays

17. Working long hours

18. A soothing cup of tea to
ease worries

19. Eating meat and two veg

20. Looking uncomfortable
on the dance floor

21. Feeling uncomfortable when
people talk about their emotions

22. Clever sense of humour

23. Obsession with property values

24. Pandering to political correctness

25. Road rage

26. Being unhappy with our weight

27. Wanting a good tan

28. Being proud of where we live

29. Not saying what we mean

30. The ability to laugh at ourselves

31. Washing the car on a Sunday

32. Taking the mickey out of others

33. Asking people about their journey

34. Inability not to comment on how
other people bring up their children

35. Jealousy of wealth and success

36. Being overly polite

37. Texting instead of calling

38. An inability to express our emotions

39. Obsession with the Royal Family

40. Fondness for mowing the lawn

41. Love of rambling through the countryside

42. A love of all things deep fried

43. Emulating celebrity lifestyles

44. Leaving things to the last minute

45. Irony

46. Keeping our homes neat and tidy

47. Take decisions and accept the
consequences

48. Achieving against all odds

49. Wanting our sportsmen / teams to fail

50. DIY on a Bank Holiday

And just for good measure and a
bit of laugh
You Know You Have Been
In Finland Too Long When...


ART YOU
CAN'T SEE

Joshua Callaghan disguises utility boxes
by pasting pictures onto them of the
scenery behind, thereby creating the
illusion of an uninterrupted view.

His work can be seen on streets around Los
Angeles after heanswered an advert asking
for people to paint the unsightly boxes.

"The city called for proposals to decorate some
boxes in a recently renovated town square," he
explains. "They were looking for painters, but
when I heard about it I inspected the boxes and
had the idea of using photographs".

Joshua was inspired by photorealistic
trompe l'oeil
paintings. He says: "As far as I know no-one has
walked into one of the boxes.The images are all
unique, based on the context. They are printed
on special adhesive vinyl and should last for
about 10 years. It will be interesting to
see the surroundings change
around the boxes as time passes."


BARBIE EARS
AND ARMS

I'm not sure if this is genius ...
or a bit creepy!

Barbie's clothes may provide fashion
inspiration for millions of young girls
but how about wearing her
bodyparts jewellery?

Designer Margaux Lange (above) has turned
bits of the plastic princess into a collection
of accessories, from breasts to hands.


The New York-based designer was inspired
by a childhood love of the doll.
"I am
fascinated with who she is as a cultural
icon, her distinguished celebrity status
and the enormous impact she has
had on our society," she said.


"I take pleasure in the contrast and
contradiction of something mass-
produced being transformed into
a unique piece of art," the
designer explained.

Each piece of jewellery sells
for around £110.


NICE FROST PIC
OF THE DAY

BACON CHOC

The world's first bacon-flavoured
chocolate bar is proving an unlikely
success with British consumers.


Selfridges, the only UK stockists of the
US invention, sold its entire stock
in 48 hours and is urgently
seeking more.


Mo's Bacon Bar, from Chicago-based
Vosges Haut-Chocolat, contains chunks
of applewood smoked bacon combined with
smoked salt and milk chocolate. It sells
at a pricey £5.99 per 3oz (85 grams) bar.


Ewan Venters, food and restaurant
director at Selfridges, said: "Bacon
and chocolate sounds like a strange
combination, but the execution is
fantastic. It's a real explosion of
flavours and people love it."


But journalist Claudia Connell, a self-
confessed chocolate addict and bacon fan,
described it as "the most unpleasant thing
ever to have passed my lips".

"The chocolate is intensely salty and the
smokey bacon pieces are horribly out of
place in something so sweet. The whole
sensation is like eating chocolate that
has been dunked in an overflowing
ashtray," she wrote in the Daily Mail.


24.11.08

THE MINXY
AND ME

So I finally met my favourite artist in the
world, Toyah, last night. It's been
a long time coming, just
the odd 25 years!

I went to see Vampires Rock in
Chatham, Kent with
my friend Heidi.

The show was excellent, the music super,
rest of cast and the band very talented
and Toyah's own song "Lesser God"
from her
latest album fits
the theme really well.

They look like they really enjoy what
they do and the humour is great.


I met her in the foyer after the show and
got her to sign one my priced possessions:
a very rare red vinyl edition of one the
early albums, "Sheep Farming In Barnet".
It's going straight back up on the
Toyah wall in the hallway.

Thank you Toyah for being an
inspiration and making great
music and just being you!

PS: Davie had added the pic of me
and The Minxy on his ever brilliant
site Dreamscape as well.
Thanks Davie!

EDIT 1.6 09:
The Vampires Rock DVD is now available.
Priced at £20 you can order it
HERE


18.11.08

PORK AND
CHICKEN

YEARBOOK
YOURSELF

This is funny!

Yearbook yourself: I went for 1966
(from top), 1984 and 2000.

17.11.08

GREETINGS
FROM LISBON
AND SINTRA

Check out the photos in
minnakellandphotos.blogspot.
com from my trip to Lisbon
and Sintra.

Me in Sintra Vila.


10.11.08

FLIGHT OF
THE PHOENIX

You know when you start watching a film
and think oh why am I bothering, this
is bound to be crap...and then it
turns out to be quite good.

Well, last night I watched Flight of the
Phoenix on TV and as it happenes
it was really enjoyable.

I'm not normally a fan of survival films
when they start eating each other
but luckily there was none of
that in this one!

And my favourite
Dennis Quaid
was the lead which
always helps!


9.11.08

WOOF WOOF!

Greetings from Discover Dogs.

I popped over there yesterday, thank you
Cindy & Stuart for the tickets as usual.

Here's me and Mr. Poser, Siggi
looking handsome as ever.

7.11.08

AT THE END
OF THE DAY

Researchers at Oxford University
have compiled a top ten of the
most irritating expressions.

The phrases appear in a book called
Damp Squid, named after the mistake
of confusing a squid with a squib.

The researchers who compiled the list
monitor the use of phrases in a database
called the Oxford University Corpus, which
comprises books, papers, magazines,
broadcast, the internet
and other sources.


The book's author Jeremy Butterfield says
many annoyingly over-used expressions
actually began as office lingo,
such as 24/7 and "synergy".


The top ten most irritating
phrases in full:


1 - At the end of the day

2 - Fairly unique

3 - I personally

4 - At this moment in time

5 - With all due respect

6 - Absolutely

7 - It's a nightmare

8 - Shouldn't of

9 - 24/7

10 - It's not rocket science

PS: The list does not include my
personal pet hate saying
"shoulda, coulda, woulda"


FIRST PUPPY

US President-elect Barack Obama is
still working on the make-up
of his cabinet.

A far more important decision - for his
daughters at least -will be choosing
the puppy that accompanies
the new First Family to
the White House.

Mr Obama made the promise of a new
pet to Malia, 10 and Sasha, seven, in
an election victory speech broadcast to
millions around the world, suggesting
it is one campaign pledge
that will be kept.


"I love you both so much, and you have
earned the new puppy that's coming
with us to the White House,"
he told his daughters.

Now the question is, what kind of pooch
will be the next to join a long and
illustrious line of White
House pets?

Michelle Obama has been quoted as
saying she would like a rescue dog -
which would certainly be a story
of canine rags to riches.

Reports suggest that because daughter
Malia has allergies, the Obamas may be
onsidering a "hypoallergenic"
breed that sheds less hair.


Options could include a labradoodle
(above) - a cross between a Labrador
and a poodle - a schnoodle (schnauzer
and poodle), or a cockapoo
(cocker spaniel and poodle).

Malia, however, is rumoured to favour
goldendoodle - a poodle crossed
with a golden retriever.


SUNSET OF
THE WEEK

6.11.08

NOVEMBER 2008
COLOUR

Please click on the images
to view a larger version.














NICE COLOURS
OF THE DAY

A fisherman at Somesul
Mic river in Cluj,
central Romania.


FOOD FOR PAWS

Ah, what a nice little
heart warming story!

A soup kitchen exclusively for dogs
has opened its doors in Berlin
providing pets of the homeless
and unemployed a free meal.

Despite the looming financial crisis,
director Claudia Hollm dismissed
criticism that it may be more
sensible to collect money for
humans than for dogs.

"Nowadays people underestimate dogs.
They are incredibly important for
those who lack social contact with
other humans," Hollm said.

"Making sure dogs don't go hungry is just
as important as making sure that
people don't starve," she added.

Hollm, and her company "Animal Board,"
gets sponsorship from companies,
including animal food
manufacturers.

One woman who uses the free service said
she had two dogs, four cats, a rabbit and
some guinea pigs.
"Without this animal
bread line, I'd probably starve to death,"
the 20-year old told German daily
Sueddeutsche Zeitung.



CAP LOCKS DAY

This a bit late but October
22nd was....

...wait for it...

International Caps
Lock Day !

Oh well, something to
look forward to next year.


5.11.08

LITERALLY

Remember Dustin and his funny video?
Well, he's been busy and done three more!







And another chap has done this version of U2's
"I Still Haven't Found What I'm looking For"

UGLY VEG

Supermarket giant Sainsbury's has said it
will challenge a ban on selling "ugly"
fruit and vegetables which fail to
meet EU rules on size and shape.

The move could reduce prices by up to
40% and cut down on the one-fifth of
produce wasted, the retailer said.

The store has written to EU Agriculture
Commissioner Mariann Fischer Boel
over what it calls "bonkers"
regulations.


I watched a documentry last year about the
veg on sale in England: the program
makers took samples of some basics
(tomatoes, peppers) to a Spanish market
and asked if they would sell them and all
of the stall holders said "no way."

English veg is the right colour and the
right shape but it doen't taste the best.
The Spanish market is full of odd shaped
green tomatoes, ugly potatoes and huge
red peppers which are still green as
well...and they taste really good!

I can vouch for this personally.
Yet another stupid EU rule:
why does veg has to look good?


MENTAL
STIMULATION

Cat and dog owners are to be told to provide
"entertainment" and "mental stimulation"
for their pets under new government
advice in a 26 page document.

Owners will not be fined for breaking
the rules but failure to comply may
be used in animal cruelty
prosecutions.


The Department for Environment, Food
and Rural Affairs (Defra) said it
wanted to remind pet owners of
their responsibilities under the
2006 Animal Welfare Act.


The document, which will be published
as a leaflet and on Defra's website after
an eight week consultation period,
says owners must provide their pets
with a "suitable place to live"
including "somewhere suitable
to go to the toilet".


All well and good but like one person
commenting on the story on the BBC
website says: "Unfortunately, the people
in need of this advice (and there
are many) are probably
too stupid to read."


3.11.08

LEGO MYSTERY

A Dutch artist is thought to be behind
the mysterious appearance of a
giant Lego man on Brighton
beach last Thursday.

The 6ft-tall (1.8m) red, green and
yellow figure has the slogan
"No Real Than You Are"
painted on the front.


A spokeswoman for Lego said the
artist responsible,
Ego Leonard,
would be exhibiting artwork in
London in the coming weeks.


A Lego man with the same slogan
appeared on a Dutch
beach last year.


In August 2007 a giant Lego toy, bearing
a close resemblance to the Brighton
figure, mysteriously appeared on
Zandvoort beach in the Netherlands.

The blue and yellow figure was pulled
out of the sea and bore the same
slogan "No Real Than You Are".


A Lego spokeswoman said: "This giant
Lego figure in Brighton came as quite a
surprise to us when we heard about it".

A spokesman for Brighton and Hove
City Council said the figure
had been taken away.