Jeritilley A picture is worth a thousand words..

Posts tagged “happiness

Happiness – Smile please !!!

Thought for the day…”If you want something that you never had, then do something that you have never done”.

” If aircraft black boxes survive air crashes, why do they not make the whole aircraft out of the same material? “.

Those of you who are over about 30 years of age may remember a British singer called Ken DODD.  One of his hits (he was actually a comedian and initially not a singer) was called ‘Happiness’.     The first words in the song go “Happiness, happiness, the greatest gift that I possess’.     The results of the annual ‘World Happiness Report’ have just been published (by the United Nations), and once again DENMARK comes out as the World’s happiest country.  Switzerland was also near the top, whereas Burundi was at the bottom of the list (presumably this makes it the World’s most UNhappy country).   Burundi has been plagued by civil wars, poverty, disease and corruption, which might be why it is in bottom place on the list.   The survey looks at things like education, social security, life expectancy,  GDP, corruption, personal wellbeing etc.  One bit of good news is that happiness has increased in nearly all regions of the World, with Denmark and Switzerland still in the number 1 and number 2 positions.    Interestingly, Denmark has one of the highest tax rates in the World, yet the people there are the happiest.

The country Bhutan does not produce figures for Gross Domestic Product (GDP) but it does publish the Gross National Happiness Index instead, which includes measures of physical happiness, mental health and social/cultural vitality.   20th March was the International Happiness Day.     Smile please !!

Today’s photo is of some happy people after Skydiving in New Zealand……..

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And another photo from the archives…..

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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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Holidaymakers heading home….time to fly

Thought for the day…” Some people drink from the fountain of knowledge, others just gargle”.

“Always remember that the future comes one day at a time”.

I often get asked what camera I am using to take the photos.    Previously, it was the Panasonic FZ150 but now I have upgraded to the Fuji X-E1.  Both cameras have their good points, but the quality of the jpeg images from the Fuji is so good.   Far less time spent with editing on the computer now, as the pictures straight from the camera are so good.    The kit lens (18-55mm) is brilliant, and it produces fantastically sharp images, helped by an APS-C sized sensor.    The negative thing about the camera is that it does not make good videos, hence the Panasonic is still in the bag for the times when a good video is needed.    But for still photos, the Fuji X-E1 is hard to beat.  Not perfect, but no camera is, but a great camera.  As many people have said, it MAKES you want to take more photos.   And it does !

Fuji X-E1Panasonic_FZ150

The Panasonic has only a smaller CMOS sensor, but does have a 24X zoom lens, and an LCD screen that can be moved.  Initially I thought that a tiltable screen was a gimmick, but after a time you appreciate just how useful it is.   Going back to the Panasonic after handling the Fuji, you realize just how cheap and plasticky it feels, but it can produce some good images (and videos), as the photos on the website show.  But more and more, the Fuji X-E1 is the camera that goes with me and the Panasonic is gradually being retired.  But it is the end result that counts, regardless of the camera that has been used.

Today’s photo is from Funchal, Madeira, and the now bankrupt Sterling Airways.

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and another photo from the archives…. happy children in Laos…..

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Happiness, Lake Wanaka, New Zealand – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day….” The right angle to approach a difficult problem is the try-angle”.

” Smile.  It improves your face value”

Wonderful news!   Venezuela has appointed its first vice minister for happiness.  Not only that, but it has also started a government section to encourage social happiness.    The UN now publishes a world happiness report, and Bhutan has its index of happiness.   But as usual, Denmark comes top of the world’s happiest countries, despite having high taxes, followed by Norway (even higher taxes) and then Switzerland.  Bottom of the happiness table (or perhaps top of the UNhappy countries) was Togo, although Rwanda and Burundi were not far behind.   Happiness is no laughing matter !!

Another view of the stunning Lake Wanaka in New Zealand here, and near Glendu Bay.  The water comes from the glaciers, and Mt. Aspiring National Park is visible in the background, with the snow-capped 3033m Mt. Aspiring on the right.

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Mirror reflections in Norway – Not the Quality Spa Resort Hotel, Norefjell.

Thought for the day..”  Happiness is no laughing matter”      ” Give up for a second and that is where you will finish”.

Are you happy?  Perhaps, if you are living in Denmark.  Interesting to read the 2013 World Happiness Report, which came from the Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and paid for by the UN.   Top place goes to DENMARK, second place goes to Norway and third place Switzerland.  At the bottom of the list were Benin and also Togo, both in West Africa.      All of the countries at the top of the list are expensive places to live, but this does not stop the residents being happy.     Suprisingly, high taxes also do not make people unhappy, as in the top countries, the high taxes pay for high standards of public services.  And another surprise is that in 8th place is Bhutan, where despite a low GDP per capita (USD 1400), the people are extremely happy.    And as for the world’s happiest people, according to the Gallup 2012 survey of about 150 000 people,  then the top place goes to Panama, followed by Paraguay.

I was happy with this photo that I took one morning recently in Norway.  It took a little bit of planning, and a lot of good luck to get it, but after several attempts, this was the final shot.  For those who are interested, it was taken in RAW and then converted into jpeg, using a wide angle setting on the camera (Panasonic Lumix)

WORDPRESS-Haglebu-lake-reflection

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