Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “Africa

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….

fuji-x-t20-and-stab-proof-jacket-advert

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

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Fuji X camera system thoughts

Thought for the day….”The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more”

“Talent does what it can, genius does what it must”

Having had many cameras over the years, including Pentax, Olympus, Sony, Canon and Panasonic, I am now in the happy position of having a camera that does what I want, and a camera that produces pictures of the quality that I want.   Looking back over the earlier attempts at photography, I can see just how much cameras and lenses have improved.   I am now in the happy position of NOT wanting to upgrade the camera.  The current camera, the Fuji X-T10 makes taking photos FUN.  It ‘only’ has 16mp, but the quality of those 16mp is enough for me.   I still read reviews of newer cameras in the magazines and online (www.dpreview.com is an excellent website), but is is now just for interest.   I have no desire to upgrade at the moment, and can now concentrate on actually taking photos and enjoying the fun of producing a good photo.  I am not interested in buying a camera that can take 20 pictures a second, nor do I feel a need for a 50mp sensor.     Another advantage of the Fuji X system is that the jpeg photos straight out of the camera are so good.  I have now stopped taking RAW files just because the jpegs are so good.   This means that I no longer have to spend hours processing RAW files on the computer.   I know that some people really enjoy this, but for me, less time on the computer is good.    I have read that Fuji cameras are made by photographers who are also engineers, whereas brand X cameras are made by engineers full stop.   This means that taking photos with the Fuji is instinctive, as well as being fun.   True, the cameras may look old fashioned with their dials, but most people agree that the cameras are much better to use.   And the most important thing, the X-T10 produces great photos !!

Today’s photo comes from Rafsundet in Norway, not far from the Lofoten Islands.   As usual, the size of the photo has been greatly reduced for the internet.  The quality of the full size image is great.

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and another portrait photo, this time from Lake Malawi, Africa,

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A Good News story

Thought for the day….”The telephone book is full of facts but it does not contain a single idea”

“What we see depends mainly on what we look for”

With all the bad news stories around at the moment, it is heartwarming to read a happy story.  The New Zealand newspapers recently featured a story about a cat in Auckland (which, incidentally,  is not the capital of New Zealand, merely the largest city).    The government electoral commission had sent a letter to this cat inviting it to enrol ready for the forthcoming elections.   Somehow it had not been noticed by the government department that this person was actually a cat.   But even better, the name of cat was ‘Chairman Meow’.   Wonderful name for a cat!!.

A photo from capital of Slovenia, Ljublana for the photo today….

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and another photo from the archives…a crowded ferry on Lake Malawi, Africa…..

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They deserve to go out of business……Norwegian Post

Thought for the day…” Make your life a mission, not an intermission”.

Customers can forgive a lot, IF they see that a company is trying.    Mistakes will be made, that is natural, and customers will generally forgive IF the company is seen to be trying to resolve the problem.   But not Posten.no   (Norway Post).   Not once, but TWICE they have messed up a delivery coming from New Zealand to Oslo.   They delivered the letter to the WRONG address, then sent it back to New Zealand for a second time.     But the worst thing is that they do not want to try to put matters right.   They will not even give out the email address of the customer manager.     Try emailing them…..and you will wait a long time for a pathetic reply.  Try asking them for compensation, and again you will wait and wait.   They really are hopeless.    They deserve to go out of business with staff like that working for them.    Bad enough that they messed up the delivery the first time, but to do it TWICE and then send the letter back to New Zealand AFTER I had emailed them to advise them of the problem is unforgiveable.   Guess who will be avoiding Norway Post in future??     I hope that bankruptcy comes soon.

The photo today is from rural Ethiopia……..not sure what they were looking at……..

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and another photo from the archives….autumn in Geilo, Norway

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Plastic or Paper? No choice in Rwanda.

Thought for the day…”Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”

” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

It is estimated that at least 1 TRILLION plastic bags are used each year, and that China alone uses more than 3 billion everyday (3 per person).     If you consider that it takes around 1000 years for a non-biodegradeable bag to completely disappear, then it is bad news for the environment.    The bad news goes further, many of these bags end up in the sea, creating even more problems.     One big surprise (but a good one) is that Rwanda banned plastic bags completely, no manufacturing, importing or selling of plastic bags.   And the results of this are VERY easy to see when you travel around the country.   The Rwandans decided that charging for plastic bags in shops was not an option, as the bags would still be dumped around the countryside, so there would still be a problem.   Medical use is one of the few exceptions in Rwanda.   The results of the plastic bag ban are very clear to see when you visit the country, is is surprisingly clean.    Rwanda also has a monthly community cleaning morning, called “Umuganda”.  This is compulsory for every citizen aged between 18 and 65 who is able to work.   On the last Saturday of every month, citizens carry out public works to clean and tidy the country.   Things like cutting hedges, mowing grass and clearing paths to keep the country clean and tidy.   Tourists often are surprised that Rwanda is so clean, and the frequently-heard comment is that Kigali is the cleanest capital that they have been in.   Some other cities around the world are following this idea of banning plastic bags, but the Rwandans have shown that it can be done and that it works.   Full marks to them !!!

Copenhagen for the photo today, and a cruise ship competes with apartment blocks for the views.

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and another photo from the archives…..Caribbean sunset in Marigot Bay, St. Lucia…..

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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…

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Disappearing down the corridor

Thought for the day…..” Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”

” A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station”

No doubt there are many of us who will sympathise with the man from Colorado, USA who is being prosecuted for shooting his computer, which had gone wrong.   Probably anybody who has experienced Windows Vista or Windows 8 will especially sympathize with him.    Lucas Hinch, aged 37,  became so frustrated with his non-functioning computer that he took it outside and shot it 8 times.   A Colorado judge will decide his fate, although the computer is now definitely not working.    Revenge is sweet !!

Down the corridor for the photo today, something a little different with the camera…..and another triumph for the Fuji X-E1

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and another photo from the archives…..lakeside on Lake Malawi, Malawi…..

WORD PRESS LOW RES MALAWI Cape Maclear 26 Oct 2012 (34)

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Sunset in the Sahara

Thought for the day…..” The optimist seems opportunity in every danger, the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity”

“Kites rise highest against the wind, not with it”.

Said to be the World’s largest sand desert, the Sahara is about the same size as the USA, and covers about 30% of Africa.  Antartica and the Artic are larger deserts, but the Sahara is the largest hot desert.  Temperatures in summer can reach up to 57 degrees and some of the sand dunes can reach up to 180m, although the Sahara also includes volcanic mountains as well (the highest point is 3415m at Emi Koussi).     The name ‘Sahara’ comes from the Arabic plural word for deserts.   Seen here is the edge of the Sahara at sunset in Morocco.   The photo was taken with an early digital camera (Olympus) many years ago.

LOW-RES-Moroccoand another photo out of the archives…..a beautiful winter’s morning in Haglebu, Eggedal, Norway…..wordpress-haglebuALL PHOTOS ON THIS SITE ARE AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE.

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Were there some red faces recently?

Thought for the day…” A goal is a dream with a deadline”.

” When everything seems to be going against you, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it”

Now I am wondering if there are some very red faces at the American toymaker Hasbro over it’s ‘Play-Doh Sweet Shoppe Cake Mountain Playset’.    Red faces probably, not over the spelling of ‘shoppe’ but probably over the transparent plastic tube that is used to squeeze out Play-Doh to appear like cake frosting.   More than one person has commented that the plastic extruder appears to be very much like a sex-toy.  Remember that this item was sold in a set aimed at children, and was sold through reputable retailers.

LOW RES cake extruderComments were posted on Facebook, including on Hasbro Inc. own pages about the ‘toy’.  More than a few parents have been upset by the shape of the ‘toy’.   And if you have time, then check out some of the comments and reviews that purchasers have left on Amazon.com.  Sure to bring a smile…….and good that most people can see the funny side of life.  Hasbro are replacing the item with an alternative design.

Something more serene and less controversial here…Lake Hawea in Otago, South Island New Zealand.   The photo shows the main highway which heads through the Southern Alps up to the Haast Pass, before dropping down to the West Coast.   Lake Hawea is a popular fishing spot, whilst Hawea village has a wonderful cafe and restaurant (Sailz), well worth a short detour off the highway to visit.  Highly recommended !!

LOW-RES-roadand another photo from the archives…the rare Rothschild giraffe…WORDPRESS-ZAMBIA-South-Luan

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