Saturday, August 27, 2005

Random Irritations and Joys No 110

Random Irritations of Life: People with buggies who think that gives them the automatic right to get to the front of the bus queue.... the whining teenager (at bus queue with buggy) with her belly hanging over her too tight jeans moaning to her moronic boyfriend that she pays for everything for the (screaming) baby -wrong! I pay for everything through my taxes that you get in benefits....
Random Joys of Life: It's another bank holiday weekend..... England making Australia follow-on in the Ashes... seeing a fantastic rainbow outside.....

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Ten Steps to Better Photography

From the Shutter Stock forums:

1. Buy the biggest and best latest digital camera with as many buttons as you can find. That surely will help you take better photos won't it?

2. Replace the aforementioned camera with the latest biggest and best digital camera with even more buttons the following month because by then it will surely be out of date. More buttons = better photos?

3. Try to sell your camera from step 1 at half it's original price to go towards the new camera which is already cheaper than the one you intend to replace it with. The more you spend, the better photographer you are. Right?

4. Realise you'll never sell the camera from step 1 unless you half its price again.

5. Have some really original ideas such as photographing your feet or clouds. No ones ever thought of that before have they? (I'm guilty ;-)

6. Never use a tripod for landscapes or real close up stuff. After all, a real photographer can handhold for 2 or 3 seconds easily can't they.

7. Explain to everyone that blur is in fact an artistic statement.

8. Have another original idea and take a photo of a flower. Remembering not to use a tripod, especially if it's a macro shot.

9. Only ever use the built in flash on your camera. After all, it's perfectly placed right over the lens and is powerful enough to reach the moon isn't it?

10. Go back to step 1

Red Bull gives them wings.....

One of the small joys of taking the bus to work (make that the only small joy...) is watching the clips from Red Bull on the Crystaleyes screen. The company has invested a lot in extreme and mainstream sports, from F1 to cycling to my favourite, the Red Bull Air Races. These guys are amazing. Check out the site, as the pictures will do them far more justice than my words could. They're at Longleat this weekend, and I really wish I could be there....

Mr Flip Floppy

Male holiday makers now have another excuse besides (or instead of) the beer for their lack of performance when they get that equally drunk girl back to their room. German consumer magazine Oekotest recently did a survey of flip flops (invented by Da Vinci, apparently) and found they contained a broad range of toxic chemicals, including phthalates, suspected of acting like hormones and causing damage to major organs. According to the German Association for Environmental Protection (BUND), phthalates can cause permanent impotence in men. The tests also revealed high amounts of lead, zinc and other toxins. Even small amounts of these toxins - much lower than in the sandals -have been shown to affect the immune and hormonal systems of animals. Of the twenty-five pairs tested, forteen were failed. Of the others, three were deemed inadequate, one pair adequate and four satisfactory. Maybe they should have warning messages printed on them like cigarette packets..... but then someone would create more of these....

Circle of Wife

Newcastle's Moot Hall is the first court building in the country to be granted a licence to host civil weddings. "The Moot Hall has a grand old staircase," said Ian Cuthbertson, Newcastle Crown Court's accommodation manager. "You can imagine the bride sweeping up and down it, with the guests watching from the balcony." Clive Martin, head of marketing, said: "So many marriages end up in the courts, we thought we would redress the balance by having some start there." The first ceremony, on 23 September.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Voice in the Crowd

Statistic time: there's a blog born every minute. The blogsphere has almost doubled in five months. It is set to double again in the next five. The info comes from Technorati, a blog search engine that tracks the tags that people put on posts in their blogs. Thirteeen percent of blogs they track update at least once a week, and 55% of new bloggers are updating three months after they began, which is higher than I thought it would be. That's a heck of a lot of voices, all hoping to be heard, from people sounding off about their day, their football team, or the their ex's, to campaining blogs, political blogs and just downright wierd blogs. Some will be heard by many people, some will fall on deaf ears. Using the next blog link in header bar is a good way of dipping into the diversity of blogs out there. But if you do, just remember to come back, eh.....

Fail? Not in my dictionary

At a meeting of the Professional Association of Teachers, retired teacher Liz Beattie suggested that pupils should not be told they have failed a test, but have "deferred success". She suggests that telling the little darlings they have failed can undermine their enthusiasm. The suggestion has been given short shrift in all corners, but I think it could be applied to other aspects of life. Prisoners could be said to have "deferred freedom", ill people have "deferred health". The jobless are just "deferred employed", the poor "deferred rich", and if your lottery numbers haven't come up (again) you're just "deferred lucky". Death could be just "deferred life" (if you believe in reincarnation) and life "deferred death". For myself, it cheers me up no end that I can say to the bank manager that my finances are in actual fact "deferred in the black"..... In a related item, pupils at Uplands Manor Primary School in Smethwick, West Midlands will see their mistakes (sorry, deferred perfections) in green rather than red ink. This is to decrease the "negative impact" that is associated with the colour red. That also implies that the pupils are too stupid to simply start regarding that green has the same impact as red.....