Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

wildlife

KFC goes into space

Thought for the day…” Do not watch the clock, do what it does…keep going”

“You can’t expect to hit the jackpot if you don’t put a few nickels in the machine.”

Saw an interesting story in the news recently about KFC, who are going to send one of their ‘Zinger Burger’ chicken sandwiches into space, through a company called World View.    The project is partly being finance by KFC.   So it will be interesting to see the effects of zero gravity and no oxygen on the burger.   Of course, KFC will be posting the details on their webpages live.  Not that KFC are first with their idea,  previously a pie company has sent one of its meat pies into space to space to study the effects of space on it.   Interesting, that ‘launch’ took place from outside a pub in northern England !!

Today’s photo comes from 70 degrees north, in Finnmark province at the top of Norway.   The reindeer are easy to spot at this time of year, especially as they come near the towns lower down to feed on spring grass.   The photo was taken hand-held using the Fuji X-T20 and Fuji 100-400mm lens.

and another photo….a cross country train starts it trip from Penzance, Cornwall, England

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New Zealand Oystercatcher bird – the Fuji XF 100-400mm lens

Thought for the day…” Turn your face to the sun and the shadow falls behind you”

“You cannot live a positive life with a negative mind”

When was the last time that you printed a photo???   Nowadays it seems to be the trend to take a photo with a mobile phone, then only share it via Facebook or Instagram.   The photo is only a temporary thing, shared then forgotten.    Previously photos were printed out, then passed around at meetings of friends.    Far easier to look at a printed photo instead of an image on a mobile phone or tablet.    Photos printed out mean more.    Much nice to look at a printed photo then a mobile phone screen.     And photos will be treasured more than an image on a mobile phone screen for only a few seconds.  Many of those images on a mobile phone will only last as long as the phone lasts, whereas photos that are printed out will last a long longer.   And printing photos is fun too !!

Today’s photo was taken with the Fuji X-T20 camera and the Fuji XF 100-400mm lens.  The quality of the lens is amazing, and with 5 stops of stabilisation, photos like this can be taken hand held.   The lens is big and heavy (almost 1.4kg)   but the quality of the photos speaks for itself.

and another photo….Lake Hawea on the South Island of New Zealand.   An early morning photo….

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Yellow Eyed Pengiuns of New Zealand

Thought for the day….”Prosperity tries the fortunate, adversity the great”

“The moral arc of the universe bends at the elbow of justice.”

Lucky to have got one of the first Fuji X-T20 cameras in New Zealand, and while many people are waiting for their orders, I have been trying out the new camera.    Great new sensor (now 25.4mp) and also the ability to take 4K video (looks superb).   It has been said that Fuji cameras make taking photos FUN again, and it seems to be true.   Nice to have physical controls and also the ability to customize a lot of the menus and buttons to what you want.      Having upgraded from the X-T10 then a lot of features on the X-T20 are similar,  which makes using it much easier.  Same batteries and same lens mount (X system) too, so again changing cameras was no big problem.    A couple of photos of the Yellow-Eyed penguins, found on the South Island of New Zealand.    For those who are interested, the photos were taken with the Fuji XF 100-400mm lens, hand held.   As the light was fading fast (the penguins come ashore around sunset) then a much higher ISO was used than is normal.

and another of the penguins, taken the same day….

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Crazy security checks…..

Thought for the day…..”Actions and consquences are a packaged deal”

” Life is a one-time offer.   Use it well”.

Travel has just got easier for me.     The USA, as usual paranoid about security has introduced rules which stop TOURISTS like me from getting the ESTA electronic visas.    If you have visited any of the countries on the USA list, then you are now ineligible for the ESTA visa.   This also means that you cannot transit the USA.     The American government cannot get it into their heads that there are TOURISTS who visit countries like Iran, Iraq and Sudan to learn more about the culture and life there.   But paranoid American officials now consider TOURISTS like these as a security risk.   So it is an easy decision for me, no more visits to the USA.  I will take my TOURIST dollars/euros/dirhams somewhere else.

And now I see that Australia is also becoming much like the USA.   Now at international airports in Australia, they have made the body scanner machines compulsory.   Of course they are saying that there is no danger to the public, but officials also said the same thing with the original body scanner X-Ray machines, until it was discovered that there WERE health dangers with the scanners.   So when they tell me that there is no danger (officials also said the same thing after the Chernobyl nuclear accident) then I do not believe them.   So I will not be compulsorily irradiated because I am innocent.    So now I will be avoiding Australia as well, including in transit.   And apparently, Australia wants to start trials of facial recognition technology at gateway airports to avoid the need for passports.    How much more big-brother is coming???       So two countries on the off list (USA & Australia).   Makes planning the next trip easier.   Their loss, my money will go to other countries.    And is it not about time that these stupid rules about liquids are abolished???    Since when has a 200ml tube of tooth paste or shampoo been dangerous??

And why do they make the pilots go through security checks as well?   Are they afraid that the pilot might get control of the aircraft??   Has no airport official ever seen the STUPIDITY of making pilots (who have full control of the aircraft) go through a security check?   I watched one pilot at Brisbane airport recently having to remove his mobile phone from his pocket to go through security again.  Yet no official has ever questioned the logic of such a stupid procedure.

Having been attacked and robbed recently by a bandit with a bushknife (see the previous post) I was searching around for a new Fuji camera.  I was amazed to see on a website with sample images from a Fuji camera, and advertisement for stab-proof jackets (see the screenshot below).   Either my internet is being monitored, or it was an amazing coincidence….

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and a photo from the now-stolen camera…..again great sharpness and colours from Fuji…..

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Sea Eagles in Norway

Thought for the day….”Those who do not learn the lessons of history are bound to repeat them”

” Do not wait for the day of judgement, it takes place every day”.

Also known as the fish eagle, the sea eagle can grow up to 1 metre in length and have a wingspan of 2m.  The white tail feathers show that the birds are adult.  Some sea eagles have been measured at over 7.5kg in weight, with the largest populations being found in the Artic north, including around the Lofoten Islands (where these photos were taken).   Despite their name, the fish eagle also hunts small mammals but they are largely scavengers, and will often steal food from other birds.

The photos below were taken with the Fuji X-E1, hand held on a moving boat (!!) with a 50-230mm lens.

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New job – Get shot at !!

Thought for the day…” If one does not know to which port one is sailing, no wind is favourable”.
” I would rather be optimistic and a fool, rather than pessimistic and right”.

Picked up some rather unusual news in the New Zealand Herald newspaper which featured a story on a job that had been advertised in the UK  by a company called UKPaintball.     They were advertising for a person to become a ‘Human Bullet Impact Tester’.   The job was offering a salary of GBP 40 000 a year if you were prepared to be shot at (presumably only with paintballs !) daily.      So popular was the idea of the job that more than 10 000 people applied, including worldwide applicants from places as far afield as India and Canada.    One applicant said that because he was fat then he would be easier to aim at !!   So if you fancy a new career…..

Up in the mountains in Eggedal, Norway for the photo today and to the lake at Haglebu.   The hill in the picture offers fantastic views over the valleys and mountains around, yet takes under an hour to get to the summit at 1076m.  On the right of the photo in the trees is a glimpse of a church, popular for weddings and christenings. This road makes a very scenic alternative route for those heading from Oslo to Bergen.

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Where the mountains meet the sea – Kaikoura, New Zealand

Thought for the day…”  If at first you do not succeed, redefine success”

” Better a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without”

In a sign of the times, Reuters is reporting the first flight by a robot as a fare-paying passenger.  The robot, named Athena, flew with Lufthansa from Los Angeles to Germany.  The robot is part of research to design robots for work that is too dangerous for humans.   Apparently it was cheaper to fly it as a passenger than to send it as freight.  It flew economy class, but was turned off for the flight.

A view from the lookout overlooking Kaikoura, South Island New Zealand for the photo today, with the Seaward Kaikoura mountains visible behind. These mountains rise to 2610m,  and are part of the Southern Alps.  Although originally a fishing and whaling town, Kaikoura is now more famous for the (expensive) whale watching trips, and also for the trips swimming with dolphins.  New Zealand has 13 species of dolphins, with the Dusky, Bottlenose, Hector and Common dolphin being the most usual.    It is the Dusky Dolphin which are usual around Kaikoura, their acrobatics being very popular with tourists.

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And another photo from the archives….a chalet in Kandersteg, Switzerland..

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Birds of a Feather – photo together

Thought for the day…” I used to have a handle on life, but it broke”.

”  I am not a complete idiot…some parts are missing”.

Over the years, I have experienced lots of airlines, and lots of airports.     I recently go to fly with the Brazilian budget airline GOL, who promote themselves as Gol Intelligent Airlines.   Actually a pleasant experience, as they had clean aircraft, good customer service and sensible check in procedures.    Nice to find a budget airline that is cheap but good, and also one that seems to be trying.    The same cannot be said for Berlin airports.

I had the misfortune to have my first experiences of the 2 Berlin airports, Schonefeld and Tegel.   It is very clear why Berlin needs the new airport, although in the news this week is seems that it will not open until 2018 at the earliest.   Would you believe that at Berlin Tegel TXL airport, that they are using a tent as a departure hall for flights heading to places like Belgrade and Minsk??   Admittedly, it is the sort of tent that they use for exhibitions and functions, but a tent it is.   Hard to believe that the capital city of Germany, an advanced nation, is forced to resort to using tents at its main airport.   And the fiasko of the new Berlin airport, greatly overbudget, extremely late and seemingly, not near to ever opening……not very German at all.   The good people down the autobahn in Munchen, Bayern, know how to run a good airport, as do  the Swiss with Zurich airport.

But still at the top of the list must be Singapore Shanghi Airport SIN.   Normally top in all the surveys of the world’s best airports (and for good reason t00), it is a real pleasure to use.    It is one airport that I am happy to have a long stopover in.    I cannot say the same about the tents in Berlin Tegel !!!

Two photos of Brazilian birds for the pictures today, and both taken with the Fuji X-E1 camera.

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South to North…..Africa to Spitsbergen

Thought for the day….”  It costs nothing to dream, but are you prepared to pay the price to make it a reality?”

”  We learn the ropes of life by untying its knots”.

A photo of the largest land mammal for the photo today, and a scene from South Africa.   Elephants often live in herds of 20 or more, led by a dominant female called a matriarch.    They can live for up to 70 years, and curiously, cannot jump.    When they are born, they are blind, so rely totally on their mothers.  Adults will spend up to 16 hours a day feeding and need around 20 litres of water daily.   They sleep for only about 3 hours a day, and have 6 or 7 sets of teeth, unlike only 2 for humans.

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And another photo from the archives…..a storm approaches Longyearbyen, Spitsbergen

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The Streets of Pakistan – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity”

” If you want to shine like the sun, then you have to burn like it”.

Off to Pakistan for today’s photo, and to Peshawar, the capital of the Khyber area of the North West Province.   This area is a centre for tribal groups, and because it is not far from the Khyber Pass into Afghanistan, then traders from Afghanistan are often seen on the streets there.   Once part of the British colony, it became part of the newly created Pakistan in 1947, although due to its position on the routes into Afghanistan and northern Pakistan, then it has seen conflicts for centuries.   Hot and dusty, with temperatures reaching into the 40 degrees during the summer.  Despite a population of around 2.5 million people, it is mostly men that are seen on the streets of Peshawar (as in much of Pakistan).  Pakistan is still very much a male orientated country, except in the Hunza province in the far north, where things are much more equal.    Seen here in the photo are Afghani street traders, a common sight on the pavements in Peshawar.

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and a photo out of the archives….a Ground Eagle seen in Zambia……..

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Busy Bee, and colourful too.

Thought for the day…” Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon, and wise too late”.

”  An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind”.

For years and years, I have used toothpaste without problems.   But now, when I go through an airport security check,, apparently, toothpaste is dangerous.  And talking of airport security checks, why do they also make pilots go through the security checks??   Are they afraid that the pilots might gain control of an aircraft (!!!!).    Crazy.   And in one of the current photography magazines, I read that Manchester United football club in the UK is banning people from bringing in electronic devices larger than 150 mm X 100 mm.  So things like Ipads are no longer allowed into a football stadium.   The club said that it was following airports and also following security intelligence.    I would like to ask what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that Ipads are a security risk??    And also, what sort of ‘intelligence’ says that toothpaste is also a security risk.   Bring back common sense, and also get rid of this sort of paranoia that appears to be spreading now from airports to even football stadiums.

And today’s photo is a close up of a bee collecting pollen.

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and one out of the archives….a rag and bone collector in Albania…….

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The Power of the Internet

Thought for the day ” What the wise do in the beginning, fools do in the end”

” You never know who is swimming naked until the tide goes out”   (Warren Buffett).

Having just written about the problems with Cyberphoto and the difficulties in getting money back from them, suddenly, after writing on the internet, the money was repaid.    Once again, the internet has shown that it is a powerful tool.

Today’s photos were both taken with the Panasonic FZ-150 camera.  The first photo is of leaf cutter ants in Colombia, and the second photo (out of the archives) shows a lake and mountain scene from Norway.   You have to look very closely at these photos to see that they were not taken with an expensive DSLR, just a normal ‘bridge’ camera.   Leaf-cutter ants form very complex societies and live in underground nests that be up to 30m wide and can go as deep as 6m.   The colony is divided into different castes based on size, with different castes carrying out different tasks.   The largest ants can be up to 16mm long.  They cultivate fungi in their nests, and collect leaves to feed the fungi.  Adult ants feed on the leaf sap, and also use the fungus to feed ant larvae.  Apart from humans, it is very unusual for any other creatures to cultivate their own food.   The ants also operate an efficient waste management system from their nests.

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and a photo from the archives…..early morning reflections in Haglebu, Norway………

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Bath time in Thailand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” The pessimist sees difficulty in every opportunity.   The optimist sees opportunity in every difficulty”. (Winston Churchill).

” Do not limit you challenges.   Challenge your limits”.

Bath time for elephants in Thailand for today’s photo.  There are 2 sorts of elephants, African and Asian.  The elephants from Asia have smaller ears and also smaller tusks, and is also smaller than the African elephant.   Elephants also have the largest brain in the animal kingdom.  Interestingly, they have only 4 teeth which can be replaced 6 times during their life.  After the last tooth has come through, they cannot feed properly and die.    They can also run at up to 40 km/h and drink up to 80 litres of water a day.   They can also swim and are seen here in northern Thailand during their daily bath.

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And another photo from the archives…..carnival time in El Salvador……

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Face to face with a lion – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…..” The secret of success and a rich life is to have more beginnings than endings”.

”  Men stumble over pebbles, never over mountains”.

Did you know that an ostrich’s eye is bigger than its brain?   Or did you know that the Hawaiian alphabet only has 12 letters?  Or that the word ‘dreamt’  is the only word to end in ‘mt’ ?   Or did you know that the word ‘stewardesses’  is the longest word that is typed with only the left hand?  Or that koalas sleep around 18 hours a day?   Or that the original name for Australia was New Holland?   And that the average human brain contains about 78% water?

A different sort of portrait for today’s photo and face to face with an African lion.  After tigers, lions are the second biggest members of the cat family, with an average male weighing 180kg (females 130kg).  They can sprint up to 80km/h but only for short periods,  Average lifespan is about 12 years.   They spend about 18 hours a day resting, and hunt mainly at night.   This one was seen in Zambia.

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Butterfly close up – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. ”

“Not all those who wander are lost “.

Close up of a butterfly today, taken with close up function of the Panasonic camera.   I did not know previously, but the wings of a butterfly are made up of a protein called chitin, which are covered by thousands of tiny scales.   Also unusual is the fact that they taste with their feet, and that they have their skeleton on the outside of their bodies.   They can also only eat liquids, usually plant nectar.   As they are unable to chew they rely on the long tube-like proboscis to suck up liquids for feeding.    They only live for a short time, up to 4 weeks normally, and must concentrate on feeding and mating during that time.   A few butterflies can live up to 9 months, such as the monarch butterfly.     They are also able to see ultra-violet light, invisible to humans.   The Monarch butterflies travel from the Great Lakes area down to Mexico (around 3200km) and return north in the Spring.    There are around 24 000 species of butterflies, here is one of them.

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Keeping watch – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Your dreams are only temporary until they become reality”

” Life may not always be as good as it should be,  but it is never as bad as it could be”

I read that a new tourist attraction has opened in Dachstein, Austria.   Skywalk, a new 400m high viewing platform will give those brave enough to walk across it views of the mountains and glaciers.    Steps lead down to a glass floored platform looking down 400m, even the walk to the platform will be exciting!!    The height would probably not worry Otis the dog, who has just completed his 64th tandem skydive.   According to the British ‘Telegraph’ newspaper, the dog and his owner have been jumping in Acampo, Los Angeles for the last 9 years.    The dog wears a special set of doggles to protect his eyes.

Another photo of an iguana today, on the lookour for intruders.   Iguanas are members of the lizard family, and are cold blooded.   In the wild they can live up to 20 years, and they are also good swimmers, some are able to stay under water for over 20 minutes.     An unusual fact about iguanas is that after the females have laid their eggs, they leave them, so the newborn iguanas have to survive on their own from the beginning.    They have long tails, which make up over 50% of their body weight. If captured, they can release their tails to escape, and later grow a new one.   They also have a third eye in their head, although this is not used for vision.

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Photo of the Day Sunday 16th June 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Sometimes life is like a shopping trolley, it does not go the way that you want it to.”

” You do not stop laughing because you grow old.   You grow old because you stop laughing.”

Following on from the stories about the shortage of toilet paper in Venezuela, of course, somebody has now developed a mobile phone app to show the location of toilet paper supplies.   The free app lets Venezuelans know where toilet paper, cooking oil, flour and other other supplies that are in short supply can be found.   The app uses Google maps to show the locations.    It is said that the most popular use of this app is to locate toilet paper.  In another mobile phone story in the news, the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (Britain), has criticized mobile phone apps that imitate birdsong, as these can be harmful to birds.  People have also been using some mobile phone apps which imitate birdsong to entice birds out so that they can be photographed.

A photo from the archives today, although it still looks fresh.   Nice shot of a street sweetcorn seller in Swaziland, Africa.

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Photo of the Day Sunday 19th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel Norefjell.

Thought for the day…” Follow your heart, but take your brain with you”
“If Something is important then you will find a way, if not then you will find an excuse”. ” One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar”

On the news we read that the European Union is to give Mali (AFRICA, so not part of the EU) 520 MILLION euros to help it rebuild.  Could this be the same EU that is struggling with financial problems in places like Cyprus, Greece, Italy and Spain?    Could this be the same EU that is now forcing people to wait so long for operations that some of them die?   Could this be the same EU that is cutting jobs, benefits and reducing the living standards of its citizens?   What is the EU doing giving EU taxpayers money to Mali anyway?    The EU has severe financial problems so cannot afford to give away money that it does not have.  It is an insult to every tax-payer in the EU.   It is just another example of how bad the EU has got, especially with the severe hardships that some of its citizens are now facing.  Politicians have a lot to answer for, but I bet that the EU politicians will get away with this.

And with that, I will end with a photo of a monkey.   Very appropriate.

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Photo of the Day Saturday 18th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former” (A. Einstein).

” The superior man understands what is right, the inferior man understands what will sell”

Did you know that the chicken is the closest relative to Tyrannosaurus Rex?   Or that the smallest bird egg comes from the Hummingbird?  Or that there are 9865 different species of birds?  The largest bird is the ostrich, which also produces the largest bird egg.

Nice photo of a Ground Eagle today.  Interestingly, the female of the eagle family is always larger than the male.  Their fantastic eyesight is the key to their hunting success.  The Bald Eagle holds the record for the heaviest load carried by any bird, when it was verified as carrying a 6.8 kg mule deer fawn.

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Photo of the Day Saturday 11 May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Some minds are like concrete,  thorougly mixed up and permanently set”.

” Obstacles are what you see when you take your eyes off the goal”.

Did you know that a lion may sleep for 20 hours a day?   Or that you can judge the age of a male lion by the darnkess of his mane?  And did you know that a lion’s heels do not touch the ground when it walks.  The average male lion weighs around 180kg and the average female weighs around 130 kg.   A lion can sprint for a short distance at up to 81 km/h, and in the wild, have an average life span of 12 years.  Lionesses do most of the hunting, as in the photo here shot in Kenya a few years ago.  Not a good day for the wildebeest !!

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Photo of the Day Tuesday 7th May 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….”  Keep smiling, it makes people wonder what you have been up to”

” I am going to stop putting things off, starting tomorrow”.

Coral is made up of small polyps, which are soft bodied organisms that are related to sea anenomens and to jellyfish.  They live in shallow, warm waters, and get most of their food from the algae that grow on them.  They also have tentacles that can catch plankton and very small fish.   Due to pollution and global warming, an estimated 25% of coral reefs worldwide have disappeared.  The longest coral reef in the world is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the second longest lies off the coast of Belize.   The photo today shows an aerial view of some of the coral off the Yasawa Islands in Fiji.   Parts of the coral reefs around Fiji have been suffering from bleaching, which is when the rise in sea temperatures kills off the algae that lives on the coral.  For the time being, it remains a divers paradise though.

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Photo of the Day – Sunday 28th April 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort, Norefjel.

Thought for the day….” Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good Evening’ then continue to tell you why it is not”

“You do not need a parachute to skydive, you only need a parachute to skydive twice”

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Photo of the Day Tuesday 16th April 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell

Thought for the day…” An optimist thinks that this is the best possible world, a pessimist fears that this is true.”

“Opportunity may knock once, but temptation bangs on your door for years”.

Did you know that the first product to get a bar code was Wrigley’s Chewing Gum?   And that the liquid inside young coconuts can be used as a substitute for blood plasma?   And that Coca-Cola was originally green?   And that Icelanders consumer more Coca-cola per capita than any other nation.   Celery requires more calories to eat and consume than it contains.

LOW-RES-Green-Lizard

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Photo of the Day Thursday 14th March 2013 – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” Never test the depth of the water with both feet”

“Never mess up an apology with an excuse”.                       “If at first you do not succeed, then skydiving is not for you”.

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Another photo today which proves the quality that you can get from a cheap camera.  Remember that the photos are taken with a normal ‘consumer’ camera, and NOT with an expensive DSLR.    I assume that it is an iguana, although with the colour of it, then I am not sure.  Can anybody identify it?

LOW-RES-ARUBA-Lizard

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