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Archive for May, 2015

I get that peaceful, easy morning feeling

Thought for the day…” Why is the man who invests all your money called a broker? ”

” The cure for insomnia is to get more sleep”.                  ” If a book about failure does not sell, then is it a success”.

Not the words from one of the hits of the Eagles music group but a peaceful scene from Norway for the photo today.  One of the early photos from the Fuji X-E1 camera here, taken whilst I was still trying the camera out.   Early morning in the hills of Norway, with some light mist starting to appear over the lake and the first signs of autumn on the trees.   Did you know that in the Swedish and Norwegian languages, that there is no word for ‘please’.   It always sounds very strange (and impolite)  to a non-Scandinavian to simply demand things (eg. give me a coffee.) instead of saying please.    Finnish is another language which does not have a direct word for please (although it does have some polite ways to ask for things, such as  Saisinko (=can I have).     And perhaps because of the long, dark winter and cold winter nights, Norway is number 2 in the world for coffee consumption per capita, around 142 litres (or about 9.5kg of coffee beans) a year for each Norwegian citizen.  Finland still tops the list.

LOW-RES-Geilo-lake-4

and a photo from Brazil, with a storm approaching Sao Paulo airport……

LOW RES BRAZIL GRU Sao Paulo 4

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Autumn colours at Glendu Bay, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”Life is 10% what you make it and 90% how you take it”

”  Opportunity does not knock.  It presents itself when you beat down the door”.

Autumn at Glendu Bay, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand for the photo today.  In the centre of the photo is the Bonar Glacier and Mount Aspiring (3033m) in the middle of the Mt. Aspiring National Park.  Glendu Bay is famous for its autumn colours, and often features on postcards and in brochures.  The nearby camping site is packed out over Christmas and New Year, a kiwi tradition to set up camp by the lakeside here.   The town of Pembroke Wanaka is a short drive away as is the small Treble Cone ski area, whilst further up the valley is the start of the national park, with fantastic nature and hiking possibilities.   The Canadian pop/country singer Shania Twain owned property near hear until recently, not hard to see why.

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and another photo from the archives…..the Sultan’s Palace in Muscat, Oman

WORDPRESS Oman-Sultans-Palace

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Traithlon cycling – Challenge Wanaka

Thought for the day…” We learn the ropes of life by untying the knots”

” Better to be an optimist who gets disappointed than a pessimist who has no hope”.

There are 2 classes of cycle speed records, paced (where the cyclist is cycling behind a screen to shield from the wind) or unpaced.  Sebastian Bowier (Netherlands) holds the fastest unpaced cycle record on the flat, 133.7 km/h.   The highest unpaced speeds have been reached downhill, with the fastest ones being attained downhill on snow.  Eric Barone (France) reached 222 km/h in Les Arcs in the year 2000.   And for endurance, the record for the distance cycled in 24 hours on roads is held by Jean Pascal Rouse (France) in Caderousse in 2009 when he cycled 839 km, which is an average of over 34.9 km/h.

Another photo of the cycling leg of Challenge Wanaka for the photo today.   Taken this year at the final corner before T2 (transition 2).   The cycling leg was won by Dougal Allen, with a time of 4 hours 30 minutes 50 seconds for the scenic 180km course.   Challenge Wanaka is said to be the world’s most scenic triathlon competition.  The next race takes place on 20th February 2016.

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and another photo from the archives….water delivery in rural Rwanda….

LOW RES RWANDA Gisenyi 23 Nov 2012 (4)

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Simply colour

Thought for the day…” If opportunity does not knock then build a door”

“The difference between stumbling blocks and stepping stones is how you use them”

570km off the coast of West Africa are the 10 islands that make up the country of Cape Verde.   Until 1975 they were a Portuguese colony, and are still also known by the Portuguese name of Cabo Verde.    About 525 000 people live there, including about 130 000 in the capital Praia.   Fishing and tourism are the main industries, although remittances from workers overseas make up a large part of the incomes there.  About 90% of all food is imported, party due to the semi-desert climate on many of the islands.

And the photo today comes from Mindelo, Cape Verde islands.  Simple use of bright colours and late afternoon sun….

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and another photo from the archives….more colours but this time in Gambia…

LOW-RES-GAMBIA-Bakau-beachf

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Getting your pulse down – slow TV

Thought for the day…..” Life is 10% what you make it, and 90% how you take it.”  (Irving Berlin).

A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions

Back in 2013 Norwegian TV NRK  broadcast a 12 hour, non-stop programme at prime time on a Friday evening showing a burning log fire.    Just a log fire, nothing more.  For 12 hours.   It did have some commentary, from wood ‘experts’ who gave tips on burning, stacking and slicing wood.   People sent messages to the TV producers, half of them complaining that the bark on the wood was facing up, and half sent messages to complain that the wood was facing down.   Reports said that 1 million people, or more than 20% of the entire population tuned in to watch the wood burning.    Fresh wood was added as needed, with viewers giving advice on where to place it.   Now in the news is the story that Icelandic television  has followed the trend, with a programme from a farm showing 24 hours of live lambing.  Icelandic TV said that it wanted to give viewers an ” unforgettable time for those able to see the little lambs being born into this world”.   Almost as bad as the 18 hours of salmon swimming upstream, shown live, again on Norwegian TV.   I wonder if they are planning a marathon TV programme showing paint drying?   It says a lot about Norway and Scandinavia !!

A happy scene from Cuba for the photo today.

LOWRES-Cuba

and another photo from the archives….market colour in the Netherlands….

LOW-RES-market-cloth

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They are taking over….already

Thought for the day…”I will go anywhere as long as it is forward”  (David Livingstone).

”  A negative mind will never give you a postive life”.

More worrying news, this time from China.  The official Chinese news sources are reporting that in Dongguan, a factory there is replacing its workforce of 1800 workers with a new factory which is based on robots.  The new factory will employ just 200 workers, so around 1600 workers will lose their jobs to robots (that is about 90% of the factory’s workforce).   And when you consider things like self check-outs in supermarkets (=lost cashier jobs), automatic check-in at airports (= lost agent jobs) and automatic check in at hotels (=lost reception jobs) then the future looks bleak.    If you look at the videos of car production, then you can see how redundant that a human being can become.  So if the trend continues, then what are all the displaced people going to do for work?   A good question.  Technological unemployment is coming faster than we realize.

Off to Seoul, Korea for the photo today, and a busy street market.

LOW-RES-KOREA-market

and another photo from the archives….the ultimate Swiss army knife…

LOW-RES-Swiss-army-knife

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CRAZY hotel prices in Oslo

Thought for the day..” Thinking about exercise burns a total of 0 calories”.

”  You have to be ODD to be number one”.

Anybody planning a holiday to Scandinavia is going to need a lot of money, and if they are intending on visiting Norway, then a great deal of money.    Searching on the internet yesterday for hotels in Oslo, Norway, found some very interesting prices.    Can you believe that a SINGLE room in Oslo last night could cost up to 1073 euros (=UDS $1202)?   And that is not a special room, just a standard hotel room (judging by the pictures).

LOW RES hotel 1 LOW RES hotel 2

And it is not just the hotel prices in Norway that are crazy.    Everything from a bottle of water to a meal out has high prices.    If you are fond of a drink with your meal, then get ready for a big shock.   Most alcohol in Norway can only be bought from the government run alcohol shops (Vinmonopolet) and even in hotels and pubs, only up to certain times.  It is a similar position in Sweden and Finland, where the government controls the sale through the government run shops (Systembolaget in Sweden, Alko in Finland).    So if you are going to eat, drink, sleep and be merry in Norway on holiday, then the final bill could be a nasty shock.

and another photo from the archives….no worries for these Albanian boys….

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Handy new invention for photography

Thought for the day….” Learn to appreciate what you HAVE before time makes you appreciate what you HAD”

“To err is human, to arrrh is pirate”

The current craze of selfie photos is sure to get a boost with the latest invention, the arm selfie stick.   Instead of a basic pole or stick, users now have the chance of a friendly arm reaching out to them…just right for the photo…..

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I assume that you can purchase these from an armoury, or perhaps from a second-hand shop !!!  No ‘arm in asking though.

And for the photo today, Spring sunshine in Hankø, southern Norway.  Taken a few days ago, still quiet there before the summer rush in July.

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and another photo from the archives….a Cuban man ponders the future…..

wordpres-Cuba-man

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