Monday 30 November 2009

Happy Monday - the Big Debate

A little girl asked her mother, "How did the human race appear?"

The mother answered,
"God made Adam and Eve and they had children, and so all mankind was made."

Two days later the girl asked her father the same question.
The father answered,
"Many years ago there were creatures like monkeys from which the human race evolved."

The confused girl returned to her mother and said,
"Mum, how is it possible that you told me the human race was created by God, and Dad said they developed from monkeys?"

The mother answered,
"Well, dear, it is very simple. I told you about my side of the family and your father told you about his."

The Frog

Sunday 29 November 2009

Miscellaneous Peregrinations

I was tempted to do a slightly different rambling post this time. Instead of telling folk what I had been doing I thought I’d list the things I ought to have done. My ‘To do’ list. One advantage of that would be that it might spur me on to get some of the things achieved. Then I looked at the list. I looked at the weather and I looked at my cup of coffee and I thought “no chance”. So it’s my usual peregrinations about odds and ends...

It’s the 212th Merseyside derby match, and Liverpool travel across Stanley Park to Goodison to take on cross-city rivals Everton at a time when both clubs are struggling mightily. In the Blue corner, hosts Everton are just hovering over the drop zone in 16th place on the Premier League table. Meanwhile, the Reds, normally a perennial title-contender, are seventh in the table so far.

On Strictly Come Dancing one of the dances this week was the Charleston. My dancing has never been any good and it’s not something I ever really enjoyed doing – with two exceptions: the Charleston and the Twist. Whilst the celebrities who did the Charleston did it quite well (especially Chris and Ola) I was disappointed that there was hardly any of the crossing over of the hands on the knees which I think of as the epitome of Charleston moves.

"The Charleston Dance was the most popular terpsichorean craze of the Roaring Twenties. The dance originated as early as 1903 in the African American community of a small island off the coast of Charleston, South Carolina. Enthusiastically taken up by blacks in Charleston, the dance was named after the city. By 1913, the Charleston Dance was being staged in Harlem, New York nightclub shows. A 1923 hit Broadway musical called Runnin’ Wild featured the song "Charleston." The song was written by composer James P. Johnson, Fats Waller’s jazz piano teacher and idol. The black revue featured the male chorus line singing and stepping the Charleston Dance. The 1920s' Jazz song became one of the biggest hits of the period. Evoking the high-spirited abandon of the times, the Charleston Dance was considered the cat’s pajamas." Paula Henderson

I’ve been compiling a playlist of my favourite pop songs on my computer. It’s great fun and I like the fact that when I’ve done it I’ll be able to play a whole host of songs without having to skip tracks or put up with tunes on which I am less keen. It will be interesting to see how many songs I end up with – so far there are about 600, mostly from the 1960s. One of the CD’s I’ve put on the computer is the soundtrack of ‘Good Morning Vietnam’. What a great film that was.

I mentioned comments the other day. I woke up this morning to a total of fifteen comments on three different blogs of mine. Of those six were either obscene or advertising. This is getting silly. I may have to start restricting comments to Google account holders then I can complain. The problem is that would impact upon some who leave genuine comments. It’s a difficult decision.

Hope you all have a good day...
(or if you are in New Zealand / Australia I hope you’ve had a good day!)

David's birthday

David Was,
David Is,
But, Dear Lord,
What happened to
What David might have been?

© C J Edwards

Saturday 28 November 2009

Rambling around Liverpool with some Penguins

On Wednesday we had two hours of fair weather in between all the rain and I managed to spend those two hours around Liverpool. I had hardly gone a few yards before tripping over a penguin.

“Go Penguins” is a public art explosion of unrivalled proportions. Over 200 individual works of art will adorn and animate Merseyside’s streets throughout Christmas and New Year, bringing a very special brand of festive sparkle to the holiday season. They have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council for their Year of the Environment, Many of the penguins have something to say about climate change – simple, easy to follow hints on how we might all be a little bit greener. Many others are just stunning to look at - all of them are fun!

While in Liverpool I went to the Museum. I haven’t been there for many years and was very impressed with the new layout inside. The architecture is a clever mix of the old and new.

Penguins may have arrived in Liverpool but the occasional Superlambanana remains. The original Superlambanana was a bright yellow sculpture which weighed eight tons and appeared in 1998 to celebrate the opening of the Tate in the city. The sculpture is both a comment on the dangers of genetic engineering and also heavily influenced by the history of Liverpool: historically both wool and bananas were common cargos in the city's docks. In 2008, as part of Liverpool's year long position as European Capital of Culture, 125 individually designed miniature replicas were created. They were sold off in September 2008 and this is Mandy who was donated to the museum.

And the museum has its own Penguin , of course.

By the time I’d had a look around the aquarium and a quick glance at the insects it was time to go. I shall be back.

Friday 27 November 2009

Friday My Town Shoot-out – Faces and Smiles

This week's subject for the Friday My Town Shoot-out is Faces and Smiles - chosen by Sarah from Idaho.

I'm sorry but I haven’t managed to get much of a ‘My Town’ theme together for this week’s post so I have settled for My Family instead. When they get older folk tend to get more self-conscious so here a few from a while ago:-

A ‘sonny’ smile.

A delightful duo of daughters.

A nice niece.

Nifty nephews.

Say ‘Cheese!’.

And even Postman Pat had a smile at the International Garden Festival in Liverpool in the 1980s.

If you would like to see other members' shoot-outs please go to the home blog and visit the members in the sidebar.

A Friday Funny

Ron Howze just bought a new boat, and decided to take her for the maiden voyage.

This was his first boat, and he wasn't quite sure of the correct procedure for launching it off a ramp, but figured it couldn't be too hard.

He consulted his local boat dealer for advice, but they just said "don't let the trailer get too deep when you are trying to launch the boat."

Well, he didn't know what they meant by that, as he could barely get the trailer in the water at all!

Anyhow, here's a picture below.

You gotta love this guy!

Some people shouldn't be allowed out alone!

Thursday 26 November 2009

We have a new Egghead

My favourite quiz team, the Eggheads (Barry, Chris, Daphne, CJ, Kevin and Judith) have been joined by another one.

Pat has won the quiz show 'Are you an Egghead'  against 31 other contestants. A former winner of Mastermind and ‘Who wants to be a millionaire’, Pat Gibson will be a great addition to the team and CJ describes himself as being ‘in awe’ of Pat and Kevin.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my U.S. readers

Happy Thanksgiving
to all my U.S. readers

Wednesday 25 November 2009

A German Car Park

The British make certain assumptions about people of all the different races around the world - some of them polite and positive, some less so. Two of the attributes which we ascribe to the Germans are efficiency and engineering skill. And this car park in Munich certainly seems to confirm this.

One question that springs to mind is how do they lock each car in its cubicle. Who cares? No one in their right mind would try to climb up to it. But believe me - the Germans will lock that car! The actual space that the facility occupies is approximately only 20% of a comparable facility with the traditional design that is used primarily in the US or UK. Not only is the German structure less expensive to build, but vehicles are also 'retrieved' in less time and without the potential of being damaged by an attendant.

On Comments

Firstly isn’t it sad that a number of bloggers nowadays feel they have to preface any recommendation with words like – “I was in no way compensated for / persuaded to / asked to do this post.” It never occurs to me to make that statement. Everything I recommend I do because it has given me joy or pleasure or I just feel the need to share it. I suppose some bloggers are being paid to promote products and that is what the fuss is about. The only sign I see of that is the occasional commenter who insists on trying to make some obscure connection between my blog and their product. Needless to say their comments just get rejected any way.

Then how about this one as an example. It could be something relevant and complimentary but when you check the person who posted it all their blog is about is Viagra. Reject!

Some of them, of course, deserve an A for effort if nothing else – like the chap who has written a biography of Enid Blyton and tries to leave a comment on virtually every posting I do on my book blog. He must spend hours trying to find the most tenuous connections between the book being reviewed and his work. I wonder if he ever checks back and realises that every single comment of his has been rejected!!!

P.S. By coincidence Mark blogged on the same subject yesterday!

Tuesday 24 November 2009

I read your journal


I like it when new species are found - especially new ones that are still around. But occasionally new fossils can be almost equally exciting and this seems the case with Darwinopterus.

Scientists have discovered a new type of dinosaur which could unlock the mystery of how humans evolved so quickly after the Ice Age. The remains of 20 skeletons found in North-east China earlier this year have been identified as a ferocious type of pterodactyl named Darwinopterus. The dinosaur was christened Darwinopterus because it was found 200 years since Darwin's birth and 150 years since 'Origin of the Species' was published.

Researchers say the discovery plugs an evolutionary gap in pterodactyls - which has baffled scientists for decades - by explaining how they developed so quickly. Pterosaurs ruled the skies of the Mesozoic era, which lasted from about 250 to 65 million years ago. Scientists have previously found 130 different types of pterodactyls that fall into two groups - the primitive long-tailed and advanced short-tailed ones. But there was a gaping evolutionary hole between the smaller, ancient pterosaurs and more modern ones, which grew to gargantuan proportions and, unlike their ancestors, could walk. The new type of pterodactyl fits the period 160 million years ago that saw one group evolve to the next.

Darwinopterus was a 2ft long hawk-like creature had huge talons that were used to snare other pterodactyls and flying mammals in mid air and pin them to the ground. The flying dinosaur then used its powerful head and long jaw with rows of 15cm fangs to tear chunks of flesh from its victims.

Professor David Unwin, from Leicester University's School of Museum Studies, said: 'The discovery of Darwinopterus was a total shock and it has created a real buzz of excitement. I was shown the fossil and I said "no way, that's fake" but upon closer inspection we all realised that this was one of the most important discoveries in a long time.

The discovery shows that large parts of dinosaurs bodies such as the head and body 'morphed' rapidly over a short period of time. This dispels Darwin's theory that small body parts such as a finger nail or tooth change gradually and could explain how humans developed so quickly from mammals. Scientists believe that this controversial type of 'modular evolution' will prove that there were hundreds and thousands more dinosaurs alive that have never been discovered.    It could also explain how mammals and humans evolved new body parts so quickly after dinosaurs died out in the Ice Age.

Professor Unwin added: 'This could be one of the most significant discoveries in evolution since Darwin published his famous book. 'The evolution of Darwinopterus was quick with lots of big changes concentrated into a short period of time. And whole groups of features that form important structures such as the skull, the neck, or the tail, seem to have evolved together.’

Monday 23 November 2009

Happy Monday - a couple of fairy stories

A Modern Fairy story

A little boy goes to his father and asks 'Daddy, how was I born?'
The father answers, 'Well, son, I guess one day you will need to
find out anyway! Your Mom and I first got together in a chat room
on Yahoo. Then I set up a date via e-mail with your Mom and we met
at a cyber-cafe. We sneaked into a secluded room, where your mother
agreed to a download from my hard drive. As soon as I was ready to
upload, we discovered that neither one of us had used a firewall,
and since it was too late to hit the delete button, nine months
later a little Pop-Up appeared that said:

Scroll down...

You'll love this ......

'You've got Male!'

And the World’s Shortest Fairy Story

Once upon a time a guy asked a girl “Will you marry me?” ; the girl said “No” and she lived happily ever after, went shopping, drank vodka with friends, always had a clean house, never had to cook, had a wardrobe full of shoes and bags, stayed skinny and was never farted on. The end.

Rambling on diverse topics of a serendipitous nature

Here’s a recycling idea for the day – what to do with some costume jewellery that is past its best. Instead of paying a few hundred pounds for some Jimmy Choo shoes with diamantes on them why not get a pair of ordinary shoes and clip on a pair of clip-on earrings. Or you could accessorise a handbag with a brooch or earring.

Taylor Swift was on “Something for the Weekend” on Sunday. Despite the fact that she is the number one selling artist in the world I hadn’t actually heard of her until she was on the ‘Children in Need’ programme but I have to say I was impressed – both with her singing and with her as a personality. In other words she has a personality and can express herself well! At nineteen that often takes some doing. She is also unspoiled by her success – I hope she stays that way.

And talking of “Children in Need” I was amazed – as most British people probably will be – to learn that in Britain:-
4 million children live in households below the poverty line (Britain’s definition of poverty, of course, does not compare with poverty in some countries but even so it’s a horrifying figure);
1 child a week dies as a result of cruelty;
100,000 children a year run away from home;
750,000 children are disabled;
175,000 children are caring for a relative;
25,000 children are living with life-threatening illnesses.
Despite the recession the appeal has raised over £20 million pounds for projects which do things like providing refuges for children subject to cruelty; helping to keep children off the streets; helping disabled children to achieve their goals; providing relief to children who are carers and giving them an opportunity to be carefree for a while; and many more besides.

The Cumbrian town of Workington was cut in half on Sunday as police closed the final surviving bridge amid fears that it will collapse into a flooded river. The Calva Bridge was closed after the main deck sank about a foot and a large crack appeared in the central arch over the River Derwent. It is about half a mile upstream from the Northside Bridge, where PC Bill Barker was swept to his death as it collapsed last Friday. A smaller foot bridge in between the two has also collapsed.

An investigation into the safety of all 1,800 bridges in Cumbria began on Sunday following the heaviest rainfall since records began.   Heavy rain was expected in the region again on Sunday afternoon and evening.  I remember Mum telling me about floods washing the cook out of a window of the Rosthwaite Hotel in Borrowdale in her youth.  By coincidence an amateur video was put on the web last night showing the water flooding past another hotel in Borrowdale as the River Derwent and Derwentwater rose and flooded much of the valley.  This has been described as a 'once in a thousand years' flood in the Cumbria area.

On the motor racing scene Jenson Button has left the Brawn team and signed for McLaren.   

Nearer to home, Slovak international Martin Skrtl scored his first goal for Liverpool FC in his 65th game against Manchester City on Saturday afternoon. Yet again Liverpool ended up drawing (2-2) - only one win in ten games. Even though it was against arch-enemies Man Utd, it is not good enough. To use the classic phrase "Someone needs to do something!"

After some of those sad stories here is a Good Thing:- A couple of my former work colleagues came for supper on Friday and not only brought the traditional cakes (to accompany my provision of the savouries) but some beautiful flowers and a pot plant. I love it when friends bring flowers.

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