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A Frog in the Throat? Angler Catches More Than he Bargained For

Professional angler Angus James caught something genuinely amazing whilst fishing just North of Queensland, Australia last month.

What’s more, he also took a photo of it…

The Aussie had caught a pretty impressive jungle perch and was just snapping a couple of photos before releasing his catch back into the water. Suddenly, he saw something move at the back of the fish’s throat, so he leaned in closer to investigate.

“I thought it might have been grass at first. Then it blinked!” says James.

He admits that he was very shocked when he saw a live green tree frog staring back at him.

Thinking quickly, James snapped a photo “I always carry a camera, so I took the pic and then he jumps out!” said the fisherman, who was interviewed by News Limited of Australia earlier this week.

James posted the picture onto Facebook and the image immediately went viral. The snap is already being hailed as one of sport-fishing’s greatest-ever photos.

It was truly a chance encounter, but we imagine that the frog was probably even more pleased than Angus was.

When he’s not valiantly saving the lives of grateful amphibians in Australian rivers, Angus James works as a field angler for Tackle Tactics, a company that specializes in lure fishing and supplies equipment to enthusiasts throughout Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. He is apparently somewhat surprised by how popular the photo has become.

“It has gone all around the world. So many people have shared it”, he says. “There’s people commenting on the photo in languages I don’t even understand”.

It is actually a very impressive feat that Mr. James was able to hold the fish in one hand, grab a camera in the other and snap a high quality (and in focus) picture of a live animal escaping the throat of another live animal. Perhaps he missed his calling?

We’ll tell you one thing, photography students of the world, no matter where you go, they just don’t teach that.

Perhaps the photo appeals also because people know the frog got away safely in the end. We don’t need to tell you that everyone likes an underdog (or, in this case, an underfrog), so that is probably part of it as well.

“Everyone keeps saying the frog got its second chance at life” says James.

Apparently, both the frog and the fish went their separate ways after the incident. At the time of writing, neither was available for comment.

SOURCES

https://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/blogs/world-of-sport/astonishing-pic-fisherman-discovers-live-frog-throat-fish-081643969.html

WW1-Era Shipwrecks To Receive Protection

July 28th 1914 was a day that changed the world forever.

A global war was declared that would last for four long, bloody years and would cost Humanity millions of lives. Although the images of the gruelling, inhuman trench warfare that was waged in France are the perhaps most indelible from the conflict, it should also be remembered that an awful amount of lives were also lost at sea.

Britain alone lost over a thousand vessels from 1914 – 1919, together with about 89,300 sailors and merchant navy personnel. Germany lost hundreds of warships, as well as about 35,000 sailors. In addition, civilians were also caught in the ocean-going crossfire, as a German submarine sank the liner Lusitania in 1915, killing almost 2000 people in the process.

As we approach the centenary of the First World War, the seafloors are littered with the stark, skeletal remains of vessels leftover from this conflict. In recent years, however, these ruined ships have come under an increased level of threat from salvage teams, looters and profiteers, many of whom are intent on destroying the wrecks outright.

Shipwrecks such as those left over from the First World War, are a target for two main reasons. Firstly, they can be commercially exploited for scrap metals (and other artefacts) and secondly, fishing trawlers dredging the ocean depths in search of deep-sea fish can impact the ships, destroying them altogether.

In 2011 alone, three British cruisers, the final resting place of about 1,500 sailors altogether, were completely destroyed because copper and bronze had reached sufficiently high prices as to make such destructive salvage exercises profitable.

However, because the 100th anniversary of World War One begins this year, more and more of these ships will be protected by Unesco’s 2001 ‘Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage’, an agreement that extends International protection to shipwrecks over 100 years old.

Many people worry that these laws will prove difficult to enforce, however. Others still are worried that this move will increase the destruction of shipwrecks from more recent times, in particular, vessels from World War Two (1939 – 1945), before they come under Unesco’s protection.

Today, historians are attempting to use the centenary of the First World War as a way to educate people about the history and legacy of the conflict, as well as to demonstrate the cultural and historical importance of these undersea war graves. Many, including this writer, feel that such sites are deserving of our respect and reverence.

Shipwrecks also provide a very good habitat for local marine life and can even form the basis for coral reefs (if left undisturbed for long enough). These vessels are also studied for scientific interest, with experiments carried out on everything from metal erosion to marine biology.

At the time of writing, the British Government has failed to sign the convention.

SOURCES

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-28056244

World’s Largest Video Game Collection Nets £440,000 At Auction

A collection of over 11,000 video games – confirmed by The Guinness Book of World Records as being the largest in the world – has sold at auction for $750,250 (roughly £440,000).

Amazingly, the bidding began at just $1.

The auction, held via website Game Gavel.com, ended on 15th of June, leaving the collection’s (now former) owner Michael Thomasson a very happy man.

Thomasson, a lifelong gamer, operated seven different indie gaming outlets throughout the 1990’s and spent the last decade working at a chain store. During this time, he has also been running his own online business, Good Deal Games, since 1998.

“Whenever I purchased a game that did not directly come from the distributor I was able to look through all our inventory and pick out the nicest copy of a game, including grabbing the nicest box and manual”, he wrote on the item description for his mammoth collection.

According to Thomasson, over a quarter of his collection were still factory sealed at the time of listing.

“A few years ago, I supplied almost a thousand games to the International Center for the History of Electronic Games (part of the Strong Museum) and Shannon Symonds (the Acquisitions Cataloger for the ICHEG) stated that the games I sold them were the nicest collection of games they had ever received. And those were duplicates that were not as nice as the copies that I held back for my personal collection”.

Thomasson also went out of his way to confirm that Guinness’ assessment did not count duplicates, meaning that there were no repeats in the sold-off collection, either.

Michael Thomasson’s item description bragged, “Win this auction and you will have the largest recorded collection of games in the world – or Universe, even! I’m handing over the baton and the winner will instantly become the new crown holder, without three plus decades of meticulous hunting”. He wasn’t kidding, either!

56 bids later and Thomasson was more than $750,000 better off. The money, he claims, is being used to help his family with “needs that need to be addressed”.

In 2012, when Guinness World Records initially appraised the collection, it numbered 10, 607 titles. However, in the time between the broken record and the sale, Thomasson had added a further 400 games to his collection.

He also chucked in a lifetime subscription to RETRO magazine, as well as a signed copy of the issue that featured his collection.

“While I do not wish to part with these games, I have responsibilities that I have made to others and this action is how I will help meet them”, wrote Thomasson, of the eventual sale.

SOURCES

http://www.gamegavel.com/item.cgi?show_item=958029

http://www.polygon.com/2014/6/17/5818970/worlds-largest-video-game-collection-750k-auction

Wolves at the Door? The Species’ Reintroduction to Britain is Entirely Possible, Says Charity

The last wild wolves known to have lived in Britain were killed in the 1700’s. When they died out as a native species, it ended the reign of a creature that had captivated the British imagination since time immemorial.

However, unlikely as it might seem, wolves could be returning to our woodlands (in Scotland, to be precise) in the not-too distant future.

In the most recent edition of the John Muir Trust (JMT) Journal, the conservation charity declared that there was ‘no ecological reason’ why wolves could not be reintroduced to Scotland.

“We have the climate, the habitat and the food,” wrote JMT Communications Chief Susan Wright and Head of Land and Science Mike Daniels in a companion article to the journal piece.

“Many are afraid of the ‘big bad wolf’ even though they are far more likely to be harmed by their pet dogs, or indeed their horses, than by a wolf, if it were present.” States the article.

The environmental reasons speak for themselves, but there could be potential financial benefits to Scottish tourism as well. So-called ‘ecotourism’ is on the rise and travellers willing to pay to see wolves in their natural state are common throughout Europe.

The systematic and chillingly efficient extinction of Scotland’s native wolf population involved organised hunts (not dissimilar to fox hunts, but on a far grander scale), as well as deliberate habitat destruction and the use of traps. It is a mistake of the past that it is now possible to repair.

In Tasmania, to quote from a similarly dark chapter in ecological history, carnivorous marsupial the thylacine (or ‘Tasmanian Tiger’ as it was colloquially known) was aggressively hunted to extinction in the early 20th Century. The last remaining individual died from a lack of proper care in Hobart Zoo in 1936. The thylacine cannot be reintroduced to Tasmania, because the population simply wasn’t spread over a wide enough area when extinction came calling. However, the Eurasian Wolf has a chance that the Tasmanian tiger did not; it is a strong species, with an excellent chance of building a good-sized breeding population in Scotland, if reintroduced there.

Eurasian Wolves were also in serious decline up until the 1950’s, even being rendered completely extinct in some areas of Europe. However, since that time, populations have been on the rise and reintroductions have become more common.

England, for example, has seen the successful reintroduction of European bison, while red squirrels have been brought back to Anglesey, Wales. European beavers are, at the time of writing, being released across the UK and white-tailed eagles are now successfully living (and breeding) in the Hebrides. Those are just a few examples; the list is actually quite long (and getting longer seemingly every day)

You may be surprised to learn this, but there are even tentative plans to return brown bears, elks and grey whales to our shores.

Could the grey wolf once again stalk its prey in the beautiful, untouched Scottish Highlands? For now, it’s just an idea, albeit a tantalising one. 

English Isn’t As Easy As You Think.

You think English is easy? The next time you’re trying to explain english to someone that is trying to learn the language, go over these phrases and explain the subtle differences.
1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce.
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse.
4) We must polish the Polish furniture..
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert..
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear..
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?
Let’s face it – English is a crazy language. There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger; neither apple nor pine in pineapple. English muffins weren’t invented in England or French fries in France . Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren’t sweet, are meat. We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.
And why is it that writers write but fingers don’t fing, grocers don’t groce and hammers don’t ham? If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn’t the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices? Doesn’t it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?
If teachers taught, why didn’t preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat? Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane. In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites? You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.
English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all. That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

Russian Officials Brand The Sims 4 as ‘Harmful to Children’

Russia has come under fire from both gamers and the global LGTB community for its decision to restrict sales of Electronic Arts game ‘The Sims 4’ to 18+ gamers.

EA have claimed that this 18+ rating is due to the game’s depiction of same-sex relationships, images of which are deemed by Russian law as being “harmful to children”.

The Sims, in any incarnation, centres on the lives of a group of virtual characters. Players must ensure that the characters are fed, enjoy gainful employment, have somewhere to live (preferably with adequate toilet facilities) and are generally happy in their lives.

sims 4 2014There are very few mission-based objectives within The Sims. In fact, it is intended as a virtual depiction (some may say satire) of modern life. To this end, relationships play a part in the game, although characters are neither explicitly heterosexual nor homosexual, these are largely choices made on the part of the player. Relationships can either be brief flirtations, casual flings or monogamous, steady partnerships; it is entirely up to the gamer.

Depictions of sex (called ‘woohoo’) within the game take place under sheets, or in other private places. Players can tell that something is going on, but one would be hard pushed to guess that it was sex without some prior erm…Woohoo experience.

In 2010, Russia passed a law known as 436-FZ, which was created, ostensibly, to protect children from harmful content. The law gives Russian officials the right to censor anything that may elicit “fear, horror, or panic in young children”. It sounds fair enough, except when you try to envision any child, no matter how sensitive, being rendered ‘fearful, horrified or panicky’ at the sight of two, essentially genderless, computer sprites exchanging, essentially nothing, under a duvet.

For the record, Sims cannot take illegal drugs or self harm in any way (with the possible exception of being up all night woohoo-ing and then falling asleep at work and being fired, which I don’t think qualifies), so it is hard to imagine why else the game could have garnered such a severe age restriction.

Oh wait; I forgot to mention that in 2013, Russian authorities amended 436-FZ so that it prohibits the “propaganda of non-traditional sexual relationships”. Now there’s an ill-fitting definition if ever there was one.

Many studies/groups (such as America’s TREVOR project) maintain that media-enforced pressure to conform to heterosexual norms can cause depression, anxiety and even suicide among LGBT youths, essentially proving that only showing one type of romantic relationship can actually be harmful to young viewers. On the flipside, as far as I know, there is no evidence to suggest that seeing a same-sex partnership in a video game will cause an otherwise heterosexual gamer to become a homosexual and even if there was, how exactly would they be being harmed by this unlikely metamorphosis?

Critics maintain that this move reflects little more than personal prejudice in the guise of child protection. Who’s ‘fear, horror and/or panic’ are Russia really preventing here?

In the rest of the world, The Sims series has either been rated at 10+ or 13+ (mainly because of all the woohoo, I suppose). Electronic Arts was voted as being one of the best places to work for LGBT individuals by the HRC (Human Rights Campaign) in 2012, it got a score of 100%.

One has to wonder what score the Russian government would get.

SOURCE

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-27374539

PC Shipments Mark Steepest Decline With 10 Percent Drop

The basis of the post is to make you consider what in life is significant and what does getting the up-to-date PC Tablet really signify to us

Personal-computer shipments fell 10 percent in 2013, marking the worst-ever decline after lackluster holiday sales underscored how consumers and businesses are shunning machines for mobile devices, two research firms said.

Manufacturers shipped 315.9 million units, returning to 2009 levels and making it the “worst decline in PC market history,” researcher Gartner Inc. said in a statement yesterday. IDC also said shipments had a record decline.

U.S. consumers omitted PCs from their holiday shopping lists while buyers in Asia opted for smartphones and tablets. More computing tasks are moving to websites and applications tailored for wireless gadgets, rather than software installed on laptops and desktops. The annual drop eclipsed the previous record decline of 3.9 percent in 2012, Gartner said.

“Consumer spending during the holidays did not come back to PCs as tablets were one of the hottest holiday items,” said Mikako Kitagawa, an analyst at Stamford, Connecticut-based Gartner. “In emerging markets, the first connected device for consumers is most likely a smartphone, and their first computing device is a tablet.”

Global sales fell 6.9 percent in the fourth quarter — the seventh straight drop — to 82.6 million units, Gartner said. IDC, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, reported a decline of 5.6 percent in the same period.

Corporate Upgrades

Lenovo Group Ltd. (996) maintained the No. 1 spot worldwide with 18.1 percent market share in the fourth quarter, helped by a 6.6 percent increase in shipments, according to Gartner. Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) was second with a 16.4 percent share as shipments declined 7.2 percent. Dell Inc. was third, the researcher said.

“We are extremely optimistic about the future of the $200 billion-plus PC industry,” Yang Yuanqing, Lenovo’s chairman and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We continue to outperform the market while steadily improving profit and margin.”

Lenovo shipped 14 million PCs in the last quarter, it said.

Growth in the PC market has become dependent on consumers and businesses replacing existing machines, rather than wooing new buyers. Enterprise demand is being driven in part by Microsoft Corp. (MSFT)’s plan to end support for its 13-year-old Windows XP operating system in April, compelling businesses to buy new PCs along with software upgrades.

U.S. shipments shrank 7.5 percent in the fourth quarter to 15.8 million units, Gartner said. Unit sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa fell 6.7 percent to 25.8 million, while the Asia-Pacific region saw a 9.8 percent decline to 26.5 million.

Photographer: Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Loren Loverde, an analyst at IDC, said the decline in PC shipments was the worst since the researcher started tracking data in 1981, with the previous record seen in 2001, when sales shrank 3.7 percent.

“We don’t think it’s quite the bottom yet,” Loverde said. IDC is predicting a 3.8 percent decline in PC shipments for 2014 this year, and then growth of less than 1 percent in 2015, he said.

Source – http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2014-01-09/pc-shipments-drop-6-9-percent-in-weak-holiday-shopping.html

The James Bond Earpiece, We Have The Evidence?

The earpiece used by Bond in the Macau scenes is a Phonex Invisity Flex Miniature Receiver. Sadly, if you want to buy one, you either need to work for MI6, or else fork out £1,500 of your hard-earned dosh.

The earpiece you will be far more likely to buy is a Micro Spy Bluetooth Earpiece and it’s quite a handy little gadget. At £70, it isn’t cheap, but its considerably cheaper than the ‘official’ version, wouldn’t you say?

Now, as for your second question:

‘Skyfall’ was an awesome movie. I’ll tell you a little story. When I was a boy, I loved James Bond movies. Loved ‘em. I was a huge Sean Connery fan (to my mum, Connery was the definitive Bond, so those were the movies we watched). Although I enjoyed the outlandish concepts of ‘Live & Let Die’ and ‘Moonraker’, the Roger Moore era doesn’t stand up quite as well for me. Moore didn’t seem to be tough in the same way that Connery did. Of course, I’m a 90’s kid, so Pierce Brosnan was our Bond. However, although he’s a very good actor, Brosnan’s stories seemed very silly to me and I never really warmed to him as 007.

In ‘Casino Royale’ Daniel Craig’s Bond was, for me at least, a return to the Connery-era 007 of my childhood. This Bond was a physical, dominating presence. He was violent, narcissistic and damaged, but hid it so well under a veneer of detachment and charm.

I didn’t like ‘Quantum of Solace’ as much, to be honest. It looked amazing and the stunt work was some of the best I’ve ever seen, but the plot just seemed to go nowhere for me. I felt the villains were extremely one-dimensional (a corrupt Latin American general and an American businessman? Come on) and the story just lacked ‘oomph’ (for want of a better term).

‘Skyfall’ was the best of the Craig movies so far in my opinion. We got an awesome villain (Javier Bardem was beyond wonderful), the best M story ever told and an emotional and layered story. Plus, we got Q, Moneypenny, cars, guns, girls and Bond. So yeah, I loved it.