Where do people get their ideas from? A new course in Wiltshire, England is called Raising the Baa where business people learn how to be sheep dogs to relieve office stresses! I tried my hand a few times, many years ago, at being a sheepdog, and all I learned was to realise how totally dopey ewes with lambs at foot are. However this course helps people to improve communication skills, increase confidence, enhance leadership qualities, and be an inspiration to others. Obviously only for wealthy business people as the course costs two thousand English pounds.
A jewellery store owner, perhaps in the early stages of alzheimers, left a bag, filled with $410,000 worth of gold necklaces in a taxi. The taxi driver drove around to try and find the man and finally took the handbag to a police station. The owner gave him necklaces worth more than $6000.
This rather odd building, known as the Mushroom House because theres not much room inside, was designed by architect Terry Brown who really should have known better. The house, in Cincinnati, was the second residence for Mr Brown from 1992 to 2008. He chose a variety of materials including ceramics, glass, shells, metal and wood to construct the house. I am usually attracted to different things but this building is a mishmash.
Good on the frogs, because the skin secretions from the Green-Eyed and Growling Grass frogs are being put to very good use. The peptides secreted from their skin form a defence to a broad spectrum of bacteria including Staphylococcus. Scientists at the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) said that with the increase in antibiotic resistance, peptides that destroy cell membranes are being considered as therapeutics, and there is a need for peptides that destroy bacterial membranes. In Australian hospitals there are around 7,000 Staphylococcus aureus bacteraemia infections each year.
Was fascinating and sad to hear the word, Tallygaroopna, on the news recently. Tallygaroopna, 180 kilometres north of Melbourne is where my mother, Merlyn Dudley, and her siblings, grew up and to say it is an obscure place is to speak kindly. I have fond memories of Tallygaroopna and of my grandparent's house which was opposite the state school. Recently Tallygaroopna and areas around it, including Numurkah, where I also have family, flooded and, having lived through the Mackay floods four years ago, I know how awful this experience is.
Welcome to Mikaila and Ben's first child, Malakai.
Wipe out your credit cards with this curry which was created following the film, Slumdog Millionaire. The curry, which sold for the equivalent of $3200, contained the lot including caviar and lobster (both coated in gold), Devon crab, and white truffles.
That little spider, well actually 1.2 million of them, and all females, produced the silk to create the cape below. More than 80 people toiled for four years, along with the Golden Orb Weaver spiders, to make the cloak. Every morning spiders were collected from the Madagascar highlands and silk was extracted from 24 spiders at a time. No spider was harmed in the process, as at the end of every day the spiders were returned to their original environment.
The art work above, is called Soup and is made from debris from the ocean, most of it plastic which comes from a sad area of the north Pacific Ocean which is known as the garbage patch. Photographer Mandy Barker developed a series of works from beaches from all around the world. The items, once ingested, are death to marine life.
Land next to the sea at Dubai is home to Beach Towers which are described as a pair of fluid forms'' connected by pedestrian bridges. The firm, Oppenheim Architecture and Design, is responsible for the design which includes a garden oasis between the towers. Apartments have beach views. Systems reuse water and the exterior shape of the building is a wind catcher which generates ventilation and solar energy.
Isabella has come second in two swimming races and she didn't put her head under water once. If her hair was wet she must have had a shower after the races, or perhaps there was a downpour of rain. Isabella also had success last year.
The Netherlands is home to a pavillion made, not quite of Lego, but of legioblocks which are made of concrete and which are painted in primary colours. This pavilion is in the public space for the Grenswerk Festival in Enschede and was built as a meeting point and stage.
These Lego type blocks are called Earth Blocks and are made, variously, of coffee beans, cedar tree bark, green tea leaves and/or sawdust. Not only are they friendly to the environment, their smell is refreshing. Colour doesn't work but they take on the tints of the products from which they are made.
For many years I have used Scroogle as my search engine of choice. The results are clean, advertisements don't clutter up the result list, and it does not track me. But sadly Scroogle is no more. I refuse to use Google which keeps records of who searches for what information, Google's data retention practices should be illegal.
Most of Google's revenue comes from the advertisements and as a result thousands of Made for AdSense domains, made up of rubbish information, or from copy stolen from other sites, fill the results with sites it is definitely best to stay away from.
After some research I now use startpage.com which, like Scroogle, gives clean results and does not track the searcher.
Once upon a time the item above was a luscious strawberry but once American Alan Sailer got to work with his invention of a speed air-gap flash combined with an automatic trigger system which uses a laser beam to trigger the air-gap flash with the projective being an air rifle pellet. He works in his garage in complete darkness to photograph dozens of items of food exploding. So who cleans up the mess?
Keppel Harbour in Singapore is the site for this residential complex which includes 1129 units within six high rise towers which range from 24 to 41 storeys. The curving profiles are eyecatching. Each tower is topped with a garden and sky bridges connect the buildings are various heights.
Bronnie Ware, who has worked as a palliative care nurse, has noted the top five regrets of dying people. The most common regret was that people wished they had had the courage to live life true to themselves rather than the life others expected of them.
Every male patient Bronnie nursed regretted they had worked so hard and had missed so much of the lives of their children as they were growing up. The third regret was that they had lacked the courage to express their feelings. This often happened in order to keep the peace and Bronnie said many of these patients had developed illnesses which related to the bitterness and resentment they carried through their lives.
Regret number four was sadness they had not stayed in touch with friends, that friendships had not been given the time and effort they deserved, and the fifth regret was they had not let themselves be happier. Bronnie said 'fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content, when deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again.'
A building, in the Copenhagen Central Park in Denmark, which was previously covered with graffiti has been redesigned as mirror house. The ends and sides of the pavilion have been covered with funhouse trick mirrors which draws in not only young passers-by, but older ones as well. Both concave and convex components, made of mirror-polished stainless steel sheets, line the exterior of the pavilion.
The photograph above was taken at a lavender farm in Tasmania by my daughter because of my love of lavender. I use it for all sorts of things, for mosquito bites, headaches (both on my skin and a few drops on a spoonful of sugar which I eat), and to wipe down surfaces which helps invading ants to change their routes.
The zombies are coming, they are, they are. Last year the amazing figure of 17 zombie films were released and more are on the boards for the next three years. Movie goers cannot take their eyes off these decaying shambling cannibalistic creatures who are usually seen enjoying a hearty meal of someone's intestines or hearts. Years ago zombies were usually revealed crawling up from graves but in modern movies all it needs is a nip, from a zombie, and you are well on the way to being undead. The question is, are people who watch zombies in action aware they confront us with our mortality, and they bring the fabric of social order into question?
Welcome to the clouded leopard, an new species of leopard, which lives in Borneo. This cat has darker spots than mainland leopards, has grayer fur and a double dorsal stripe. The clouded leopard also has the longest canine teeth, relative to body size, of any cat. The Clouded Leopard Project is dedicated to the conservation of clouded leopards and their habitat by supporting field research, implementing education initiatives in range countries, and bringing global awareness to clouded leopard conservation issues.
Research undertaken recently shows there are two species, one on mainland Asia and Taiwan and the other on Borneo and Sumatra. The two species 1.5 million years ago when land bridges disappeared. Although they look similar scientists say that genetically the two species are as diffent from each other as a lion is from a tiger.
I brought my children up to be adventurous where food was concerned but there are some foodstuffs which should never rest upon a dinner plate and one of these is the fertilised duck egg where the foetus is replete with beak, feathers and claws. This is Valentine's Day, and as these foodstuffs are marketed as aphrodisiacs, perhaps today would be a good time to try them out. And let us not forget the tasty tuna eyeball.
Hedi and Tema, identical twins, are pictured above as little girls. Together with their sister, Nyah, and a brother, they grew up in Mackay. Today they are adults and both have gone through decades of horror because of their mental health issues, and their family members have had their lives torn apart.
Their sister, Nyah, has put a petition online calling on the federal and state governments to help "create a realistic and mentally healthy Australia for everyone, for those alive now and for those who will live in the future with mental health problems".
On the website Nyah writes the (slightly edited) following: Hedi and Tema are identical twin sisters, and if the proper help is not sought for them from our public mental health system, I fear they may not last this year out. What has happened to them during the past 20 years involving their state of mental health needs to be answered for, and once and for all, a solution needs to be found to ensure some sort of quality of life for them and the thousands of others who are stranded on a merry-go-round mental health system.
Unfortunately, due to poor education and ill preparation for the realities of life, my sisters succumbed to the addictions of illegal and illicit drugs with a particular interest in amphetamines. This lifestyle that they were, and still are, so attracted to has dearly cost them their capacity at this time to create any sort of logical and fulfilling life for themselves.
Paranoid schizophrenia was diagnosed in both Hedi and Tema, among many other prognoses, which has led to a life of intensely strong medication being administered, which can destroy white blood cells, produce breast milk and many other side effects that no human being in this day and age should have to endure from a so called caring professional system.
I need to know, am I dealing with people who just don't care because this all seems too hopeless? Well I'm here to make you all aware that it's getting plenty worse regarding drug fuelled mental illnesses and the public have a right to know of the dangers the mental health system are subjecting us to.
There has never been enough drug rehabilitation, to help combat Tema and Hedi's inner demons that has carried this behaviour on for as long as it has. What has happened is one vicious cycle of self medicating, as well as taking prescribed drugs for their diagnosed mental illnesses, and finally coming to breaking point where they either have to be voluntarily or involuntarily put into a mental health ward and are contained and maintained in a state of limbo to keep them from harming themselves and others, only to be let out to repeat this cycle of behaviour all over again.
Hedi is the particular twin whom has had the most to do with our current mental health system. For six years she under the care of Baillie Henderson Mental Health Institution/ Hospital in Toowoomba, Queensland and in that time I feel she was treated as a human test subject, where medication, which looked like it could drop a horse, was administered to her and constantly changed. Shock therapy was a treatment assigned for her to try and kick start a brain that is already chemically fried. I don't see the sense in what any of these "people/professionals" are doing to my sisters as nothing they have done, or are currently doing, is working.
I am now left to deal with a current situation that has Hedi left with two charges of assault and weeks later two of arson (which has since been downgraded to wilful damage). I need to know why a DUTY OF CARE has been breached by Bundaberg Mental Health Unit and the safety of the public put at risk by letting her spiral out of control and commit crimes. Is it just so they can now send her back to Baillie Henderson again and throw away the key?
21 years is plenty enough time to have given the current mental health systems rehabilitation methods and programs a chance. Time is up!!! The stress of watching all of this unfold killed our beautiful Mum by stomach cancer three years ago, and I refuse to see and let that happen to anyone else. I am way out of my own comfort zone and am feeling a little blinded on where to go right now with this matter, but I am pleading for you all to please help me to help them. At this point in time I feel all the so called professionals currently on this matter are untrustworthy to deal with this issue and the welfare of my sisters.
Please understand I am not some vigilante starting a war on drugs, that balance will continue to be in society and the law can take care of that. All I'm striving to see take place is a shift in the way we think and act against substance abuse and the mental illnesses that stem from this abuse. Also on how we are being educated in schools and in public about matters that can not be swept under the fabric of our society.
If this story touches you, please go to this site Save My Sisters and sign the petition. You can do it anonymously if you wish.
Local consulting pharmacist, Joyce McSwan, is holding an information evening in Mackay next month to form a local pain support group. All health professionals and consumers are invited to attend from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, 6 March at the Mackay Regional Council Building.
Joyce said she has often seen people who live with intolerable pain which cannot be totally relieved by medicine or surgery. The problem was that people could become isolated and not realise that there were many others living in the same community who also lived with pain every day.
In Mackay people suffering persistent and or chronic pain have to travel to Brisbane or Townsville to access pain medical specialists and pain management clinics. The proposed pain support group would base its program on other successful groups run by the Australian Pain Management Association in Brisbane and at the Gold Coast using a pain toolkit. The toolkit introduces a new pain self-management strategy each month to help sufferers learn the skills to manage long-term pain. Elizabeth Carrigan, secretary of the Australian Pain Management Association will attend the March meeting. Please contact Joyce McSwan on 0412327795 to register your attendance.
The delightful photograph, above, just had to be used on this site. It shows Pauline's granddaughter, Chloe, with Chloe's pet cat, Gizmo. There is also a Gizmo cat in my house but she is black and white and rather small.
The Flowerbed Hotel hasn't been built yet but it sounds fascinating. Dutch architecture firm, MVRDV says the building is a series of stacked volumes contained within a greenhouse shell. All 280 rooms will feature floral themes and the reception area has 2.100m2 worth of flowers. I don't know what that means but it sounds a lot. The building will include sun collectors, windmills, and underground warm and cool storage. The hotel, in Aalsmeer, Netherlands will be next to the entrance of the future Bloomin' Holland theme park and business centre.
The work by conservationists to establish reserves to preserve the elephants in South Africa has been so successful there are now far too many elephants and the answer is, not culling, but contraception.
Robert Slotow, a biologist at the Amarula Elephant Research Program in Durban, South Africa and his team have come up with the idea of using immunocontraception which is a vaccine that forces the (very large elephant) body to make antibodies that target sperm receptors on the surface of the egg cell.
Kruger National Park, the oldest elephant reserve in South Africa, has about 15,000 elephants almost double the sustainable number. The park relocated juveniles to other parks which are now facing the same problem of too many elephants.
The days of embroidering tablecloths and napkins are gone! Vintage photographs, and one hopes they are copies (as do I), are the latest items to be upgraded, and this time by embroidery. The gallery, where the photographs by Maurizio Anzeri are shown, says they "blend the past with the future through geometric patterns, the multi-coloured embellishments somehow seem to visualize the subject's thoughts". Which is very clever indeed as the subjects are theoretically dead.
I don't write many personal things on this blog but I am gobsmacked. My MONTHLY house and contents insurance payment has risen from $220 to $663! I wonder if this has happened to other Mackay people?
Chinese New Year is celebrated tomorrow, usually with dragon parades, in all the major cities in the world. On February 4 the Year of the Dragon begins.
The dragon, which represents the emperor, is unpredictable and therefore unexpected happenings may occur this year (yet again!) The mythological symbol, the Chinese dragon, dates back to 3000 BC and stands for happiness, immortality, procreation, fertility and activity. Chinese Dragons were believed to ward off evil spirits.
Humans have two eyes, box jellyfish have 24 eyes, of four different kinds, and, no matter which way the jellyfish is swimming, four of those eyes always look upwards! They rely on their vision to react to light, to avoid obstacles, and to control their rate of swimming. The jellyfish have a simple nervous system and scientists are perplexed that such a system could support advanced behaviours which the jellyfish display.
Laundry baskets usually sit on the floor taking up space. With the Polyp you can have one which not only attaches to any vertical surface, and is out of the way, but also doubles as an ornament. The Polyp is made from plastic and once the laundry inside builds up, the basket sends a signal that these clothes must be washed. The design is by Helene Steiner.
New findings, published in the BMJ suggest the brain's capacity for memory, reasoning and comprehension skills can start to deteriorate from age 45. Previous understanding was that cognitive decline did not begin until after the age of 60.
Researchers, from the Centre for Research in Epidemiology and Population Health in France and University College London in the UK, observed 5,198 men and 2,192 women during a 10 year period from 1997. Cognitive functions of the people involved were assessed three times. They were tested for memory, vocabulary and aural and visual comprehension skills.
The results showed that cognitive scores declined in all categories (memory, reasoning, phonemic and semantic fluency) except vocabulary and there was faster decline in older people.
As a result of the study it is suggested a healthy lifestyle should be promoted, in particular cardiovascular health as what is good for hearts is also good for brains.
These Nike Dead End Heels are an interesting combination of heels and sporting shoes. They feature a violet rose on the ankle strap and words Dead End on the heel rear. One website reports "The shoes on your feet will also show the charm of women with vitality!"
People in Glasgow would think twice or three times before popping into Domenico Crolla's restaurant to order a Pizza Royale 007 which costs (US)$4200! Just twelve inches in size, the pizza includes lobster marinated in cognac, caviar soaked in champagne, sunblush tomato sauce, Scottish smoked salmon, venison medallions, prosciutto, and vintage balsamic vinegar. The topping no doubt adds to the value as it is edible 24-carat gold flakes.
Forget that cup of coffee, invest in an Aeroshot and get your hit of caffeine quickly and easily anywhere. The Aeroshot, an aerosol-based, calorie-free caffeine inhaler, contains the same amount of caffeine as a large cup of coffee. It has been invented by Professor David Edwards of Artscience Labs who also created Le Whif breathable chocolates and vitamins. Take eight puffs from the Aeroshot to get 100 mg of caffeine.
Smart phones and iPads are moving into the world of plants. The Biome, designed by Samuel Wilkinson, is a terrarium and all the climate conditions, the water level, and the nutrients are controlled via applications. Sunlight is replicated through low energy lighting.
Brightly coloured plastic rugs were violently attacked by a heated chair-shaped metal tool and melded to a stainless steel frame to make the meltdown chair. Designer Tom Price presented his chair at Design Miami 2011. More chairs are planned.
What was formerly a site of barracks and an arena in Belgium are transformed into Charleroi, a village for contemporary dance and an area for street artists. Dance studios and also residences for the artists are included in the design. A new police centre is also part of this complex.
This French design, the Tilter, does not pollute the environment, it is ultra compact and is described as a zero-emissions vehicle. The car, which will be available this year, is powered by electricity and can travel up to 120 kilometres per hour. Designed for two people, the Tilter is easily manoeuvrable and can be parked in small spaces.
Bear in mind that this chair, which would probably appeal to children, would take rather more than their pocket money, it is one of a limited series of 25 chairs and each one costs $85,000! Brothers from Brazil, Fernando and Humberto Campana, came up with the idea for these chairs which are manufactured by Estudio Campana. Brazilians call these toys plushy toys whereas we know them as soft toys and any parent who bought one for their child would indeed be a soft touch.
Below is the Eyrie chair which looks unbelievably hard and uncomfortable. The chair was made from steam bent ash and is described as nature inspired and functional. Dutch designer Floris Wubben came up with the idea after looking at bird's nests. If I had the choice, and the money, I would opt for a plushy chair.
I can just imagine a robber boasting he has stolen a cake, but if it is the cake/dessert bought by Carl Weininger for $33,000, then he would have something to boast about. Obviously Mr Weininger, whose 60th birthday is today, and who plans to produce the cake for his guests, is heavily into in-your-face consumerism.
The cake must have good keeping qualities as it was made in October but perhaps the two carat diamond on the top, plus the gold leaf flowers, helped it to maintain its freshness.
I love the term gobsmacked and this story gives me the chance to use it yet again.
Above is the prototype, the E-volo which is a personal helicopter that is kept aloft via sixteen propellors. Up to four of the motors can fail and the machine can still land safely.
The German designed multicopter has onboard computers which manage the altitude, direction and balance while the driver steers with a joystick.
The hash button on telephones is an excellent device and, if you get a telephone call where it appears no one is there, just hit the hash button five or six times.
What has happened is a telemarketing technique where a machine makes phone calls and records the time of day when the telephone is answered which is when the sales person will chose to ring you.
By hitting the hash button the machine, which dialled your number, is confused and your number is thrown out of the system.
And isn't that a tragedy!
Experiments on fruit flies, undertaken by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have discovered the lifespan of the Drosophila melanogaster may be extended by almost 50 percent when a particular gene is tweaked.
The gene, PGC-1, is also present in human DNA and Salk associate professor, Leanne Jones says the human small intestine and the fruit fly intestine are very similar. Particular studies are possible with the fruit fly which has a short lifespan whereas poor little mice, for instance, have much longer lives if they aren't cut short in the interests of humans.
The tweaking meant the fruit flies were more active and healthier than untweaked flies. It is considered this particular gene may be the focus for drugs and therapies which could slow age related diseases.
Those who use children for their own sexual edification are the lowest, maggots is a kindly term for them. Therefore it is good news that Operation Darknet, run by a computer hacking group called Anonymous, has disabled 40 child pornography websites and has revealed account details of 1589 users of child pornography host, Freedom Hosting. Freedom for whom? Not the children.
The child pornography sites were run through servers which were scattered around the world and which made monitoring of the content very difficult.
I am not a proponent of computer hacking but this is one instance where it is acting in the best interests of minors.
It isn't clear why the house above is called Swimmy House although as the sole house amongst a horde of condominiums, perhaps it swims alone. The three storey house, in Tokyo, which was designed by Starpilots, is made up of trapezoidal shapes. The architects aimed to integrate the house into 'the urban fabric' of the site. Internally the house does not have any corridors or hallways.
The world has gone mad when the vegetables, such as tomatoes and broccoli, can be patented. Massive protests worldwide do not appear to have halted the procedures. I understood, from my reading, it was not possible to patent plant varieties as they are protected under a sui generis system at the International Union for the Protection of Plant Varieties (UPOV) however patent lawyers have apparently found some loopholes in the wording.
Numerous organisations have banded together to form No Patents On Seeds and a spokesperson said the group was "especially concerned about the increasing number of patents on plants, seeds and farm animals and their impact on farmers, breeders, innovation and biodiversity". It was considered that if the existing patent law was so inadequately worded, that any legal challenge was bound to fail, then it had to be changed in order to protect the interests of consumers, farmers and breeders. The group was further concerned that, if the patents were allowed, then global food prices would be impacted causing further problems for developing countries.
Not only do they keep the fruit clean, but banana peels can also be used to purify water.
Gustavo Castro and colleagues said that minced banana peels performed better than a number of other purification materials in removing potentially toxic metal contamination from water. Not only are present methods of removing toxins from water expensive, but some of the items used are themselves toxic! Other natural items, including shells from peanuts and fibres from coconuts, can also be used to remov toxins. Banana peel based purification systems can be used up to 11 times before the metal-binding properties are lost.
In the above case you don't need to send the boat to the island because the boat is the island so it could just go round and round in circles and the passengers would probably be content.
Yacht Island Designs, the UK company responsible for the floating island, has also designed a yacht called the Streets of Monaco (below) with the feature being the grand prix circuit. On the yacht the circuit can take three karts side by side with plenty of room for overtaking. Yacht Island Designs considers the chosen theme should flow through the entire yacht and much attention is also paid to the accommodations below deck.13th archive 11th archive