I soooo need a raven!

 

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Thunderf00t: wole sky Aurora Borealis

There’s been so much depressing stuff happening lately….just take a breath and relax with Thunderf00t!

 

A ‘web-devoleper’ indeed!!!

Let me just say right at the beginning:  for as long as I live, I will never EVER ever ever go to Brazil!!!

NEVER!!!

The story goes on to say that the guy who filmed the following video is a ‘web developer’…and it looks like he’s not the only one developing ‘the web’ in this Brazilian town:

‘The Brazilian spider’s colony is often made up of several thousands of spiders. The massive spider webs created by the Anelosimus eximius can be found from ground level to at least 20 m up. The webs of the Brazilian spider species can range in size from tiny structures with a length of 10-25 cm and containing only one or a few spiders, to large spider webs of 2 to 3 meters or more.

Strong tornado-like winds can pick up the web, along with the thousands of spiders, carry it anywhere, and as the winds die down, it can rain spiders, as in this case.’

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vjtdwcseT1Q

That’s one big NOPE!!!!!!

Or, rather, thousands of big, hairy NOPEs…

I seem to be experiencing difficulties embedding this video – if it will not work for you, here is the link to YouTube.

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The politest coyote attack ever

Is it wrong that I find this amusing?

I guess it makes change from watching all the Benghazi coverage….

Quoth the Raven: ‘Say Nevermore!’

The earthquake in Japan: Thunderf00t’s message and my rant

Thunderfoot is right:  Japan HAD prepared for earthquakes.

They lead the world in practical applications of the principles science discovers on how to build in earthquake zones.  If this natural disaster had struck in a less technological and science-focused country, the death toll would be several magnitudes larger.

Which does not mean that it is somehow ‘negligable’, or that the human suffering the people of Japan, in Japan, their families and friends are experiencing is in any way less worthy of our help!

Just to drive the point home….

When I first started blogging, I came across a blog by a guy named Robert Evans.  He was an Anglo (don’t know which English-speaking country he came from) who went to Japan to teach English for a year – then two, then three….  He fell in love with the country, the language, the people.

In fact, he was a budding writer who had oodles of potential.  I know, because after reading his blog, I was spellbound by his writing style and commented often.  He had since shut down that blog, and the next one he started, but, every now and then, we would converse on Google’s instant messanger:  mostly discussing linguistics.

Robert was in love with the English language, as I am.  The big difference between us was that for him, it was his 1st language while for me, English is either 2nd, 4th or 7th language (depending on how you count this).  So, even though I am not familiar with Japanese, I do see some of the things which might appear ‘obvious’ to a ‘native Anglo’ but which are not if you have to learn the English language later on in life….

No, we were never close friends (not even ‘internet buddies’) – but we did have a few very ‘interesting chats’.

Last I knew, Robert Evans was teaching English on one of the islands located in the North-East of Japan.

I wonder if he was there, when the earthquake struck.

I wonder if he is OK!

Yeah, I know – I am a sap.  But if I am this upset about not knowing the fate of someone I kind-of knew through the internet, who might not even have been in the danger zone any longer, is any indication of the worry that people DO go through worrying about loved ones whom they KNOW to have been in the area hit by the earthquake and whose fate is still unknown….well, I get the picture!

My thoughts and best wishes are with everyone affected by this natural disaster!

As for religious (or secular dogmatic) idiots who want to use this human suffering as a propaganda vehicle (or self-righteousness thingy, like the idiot-chick in Thunderf00t’s video, or the dumb-asses who claimed the Haiti earthquake was because women in the West did not wear hijabs or burkas or some similar religious drivel – or the morons trying to draw any sort of association between this earthquake and global warming):

POX ON ALL YOUR HOUSES!!!!

 

Loon at sunrise…

Having just returned from a holiday (away from internet, phones, all news and other distractions), I have just turned my computer on and realized I have quite a backlog of comments that have piled up during my absence…and I have not yet even had the chance to find out what has been happening in the great big wide world over the last 9 or so days….

So, while I try to catch up a little, here are a few of the sights that have been healing my soul:

A loon at sunrise:

The lake:

Reflecting on life:

Thank you for all your excellent comments!

First, I would like to thank all of you who come here, read and comment.

Some of the comment-threads that develop are very interesting and I usually not just enjoy them, but I also learn from them.  A lot.  Thank you.

The comments on my recent post ‘Are Canadian cops following illegal orders?’ are a good example of the comments I mean.  CodeSlinger even went out and researched the laws, and, using specific references answered that in one of the instances I raised, the cops were indeed upholding the laws, and acting correctly.

Then, Lieutenant Calculus and CodeSlinger got into an excellent discussion on the nature and origin of human rights.  Now, I know I have posted this video before, but, I think it is relevant to this thread and I like it, and this is an excellent excuse to re-post it.

From STOPandLOOK,  here is ‘The Nature and Origin of Human Rights’:

(The video is part 1 of a series.  Here are part 2 – ‘Group Supremacy‘, part 3 – ‘Coercion vs Freedom’, part 4 – Equality and Inequality under law and part 5 – ‘Proper Role of Government’ …  That last part is having trouble with the audio, therefore I recommend two longer videos which contain all that ‘part 5’ does, but in greater detail: ‘The Truth About Big Government part 1’ and ‘The Truth About Big Government part 2’. )

While I have mentioned only CodeSlinger and Lieutenant Calculus by name here – and I do thank them for their comments, this is because I was responding to their specific comment thread and it does not mean I do not appreciate all the other most excellent comments from each and every one of you.  I do!  And, I thank you all!

More photos from ‘The North’

It is difficult to describe just how awesome the nature in Canada is.  It is bautiful, stunning, and any other totally complimentary word you’d like to use!

Every year, for our holidays, we go a little bit north:  only a 3-4 hour drive but a world apart!

The nature – both the fauna/flora and the physical formations – are completely breathtaking.  There is no other word for it, except, perhaps, ‘paradise’!  And, while I enjoy the sights and ‘feeling’ of the places we go to (we have our favourites – and we explore at least one new place each year), I try to take pictures I can look at later, when I am back home, and I need to ‘recharge my batteries’.

Please, don’t get me wrong:  I am not one to rough it.  My standard little joke is that I love camping – as long as the giftshop downstairs is good….

I cannot understand why, when we have spent millenia developing running water (flushing toilets), electricity that comes from a plug (and the appliances it runs), houses that are (relatively) bug-and-other-pests-free – and which have nice dry, un-lumpy bed, why we should snub all this which our ancestors have worked hard to develop and invent, and sleep on the lumpy ground, protected from the elements by nothing more than a flimsy bit of cloth stretched over some sticks!

That just seems like dissing all our ancestors have done for us!

Still, looking at nature (as long as one does not overdo it) is a balm to my soul….

So, here are some more of my favourite pictures:

Reflecting

Boating boys!

Ducks

shiny rocks

more shiny rocks

berries

'Life of the rocks' (as opposed to 'The Madonna of the rocks'...)

Recharging is exhausting work!

Evening boat-rides,

Evening boatrides

morning sunrise,

Morning sunrise

sandy islands,

Sandy islands

rocky islands,

Rocky Islands

active pets,

Active pets

resting pets,

tired pets

resting feet,

resting feet

What can I say?

In order to truly ‘get away’ and re-charge, we were isolated from the news, the internet, and everything else that was not within a boat-ride of where we were. So, it is taking me a while to catch up on what happened…

Somehow, my brain does not want to get back into the ‘old tracks’!

In surroundings like these, it is easy to ‘get philosophical’ – and we did (as we do every year).

Last year, we got into the whole ‘if a tree falls in the forest…’ thing – and decided that the answer will vary, depending on what is meant by the words ‘hear it’ and ‘sound’.  Though these are ‘simple’ English words, they can be interpreted in so many different ways that they alter the nature of the question:  the very essence of what is being asked about!  (As in, measurability vs. perception/relevance of reality…)

This year, we discussed much different things – no less philosophical, but certainly more ‘practical’.  At the core was the concept of the diaspora (not the ‘capital ‘D’ diaspora’, which refers to the dispersion of Jews once they were exiled from Israel by the Romans, but the ‘little ‘d’ diaspora’, which refers to any group of people who immigrate not as individuals,  but as a society which does not integrate, but rather enforces its own separate cultural and/or religious norms) and its effects on host societies and vice versa….and the reasons for these effects.

I’m sure I’ll be writing this all up, just as soon as I can formulate it from ‘discussions’ and ‘debates’ into a more tidied-up prose.

Still, it is difficult to discuss – and write about – the diaspora in a way that does not send people screaming and calling the thought police and shutting their minds to the very human qualities which are at the core of all the prejudice against the people who immigrate into a land and snub that land’s culture…  not because of the end-concepts, but because in order to discuss this subject, one has to address many topics which are taboo to even mention, much less dissect and debate, in our politically correct society. And, one has to use language that ‘points stuff out’, instead of ‘normalizing’ things and hiding their true meaning.

Yet, I am convinced that unless we understand what is happening inside us, unless we discuss it openly and without reservations, we cannot begin to fix some of the systemic prejudices inherent in our society!  And, reducing (even a tiny bit) some of these ‘barriers’ is a good thing for our society in the long term, even if right now, discussing it openly may feel like pulling a band-aid off…

After all, unless we recognize our prejudices and understand their roots, we cannot hope to overcome them!  It’s just too bad that in our society today, even raising the subject is taboo… yet I intend to not just raise it, but to examine it and the very things which produce visceral reactions in us, human animals.  Politely, of course….  ;0)

At the same time, there is so much which is happening now that I ‘ought to’ be writing about and screaming about…. that I feel pulled in so many directions, I keep hopping from one draft of a post to another, not finishing any!

Yet, I am making progress and I hope to be posting some thought provoking ideas soon.  In the meantime, please, enjoy these pictures!  And, if you’d like to see more, please let me know:  I took a few thousand shots over those days, and some of them have managed to capture the ‘mood’ of the North!