Thursday, April 30, 2009

Free Range Pheasants

The Pheasant is a large, long-tailed game bird. Males have rich chestnut, golden-brown and black markings on body and tail, with a dark green head and red face wattling. Females are mottled with paler brown and black. They were introduced to the UK long ago and more recent introductions have brought in a variety of races and breeds for sport shooting. They can be see across most of the UK, apart from the far north and west of Scotland. Least common in upland and urban areas. Usually seen in the open countryside near woodland edges, copses and hedgerows as seen here on TheTamshee's amateur video footage.

Doughnut Spaceship

NASA-funded R&D engineers are working on plans for future spaceships to enter orbit around Mars using a doughnut shaped, steerable balloon-chute to slow down by flying through the Red Planet's atmosphere. Nobody believed Zralthar about the doughnut ships from Earth, until it was too late. Global Aerospace is a Californian firm founded by ex-NASA engineers. The company announced that it would start modelling work aimed at developing what it calls a "lifting-towed-toroidal-ballute" for use by spacecraft approaching planets with a view to entering orbit around them, or perhaps subsequently landing on them. The team think that an inflatable "ballute" (a balloon-parachute combo) could be very useful for slowing spacecraft down by atmospheric braking. Even a slow interplanetary journey would tend to see a spacecraft arriving still going at very high speed, so much so that left to itself it might simply zoom past, escaping the destination planet's gravity field and barrelling off uselessly into space again.
It would, of course, be possible to slow down using rocket thrust. But this means carrying a significant amount of fuel all the long and weary way from Earth - and consequently much less payload. According to Global Aerospace, it would make more sense to slow down by steering a speeding interplanetary ship into the planet's atmosphere, letting friction slow it down without use of fuel. In order to avoid getting awfully hot, the plan would be to fly through the thin upper reaches of the atmosphere at hypersonic speeds, with most of the braking provided by the inflatable ballute rather than the ship itself. The clever bit with the Global Aerospace doughnut-balloon wing/chute is that it provides lift as well as drag, and it's designed to be controllable from the ship. The Californian engineers believe that this will make longer flights through the atmosphere feasible, getting more braking for a given size of ballute - and so more payload.
The use of smaller ballutes will make them more attractive and feasible for missions to planets such as Neptune, where high heating rates require extremely large ballutes for drag-only capture. Ballutes can also be used to decelerate large payloads for landing at Mars. In this case, lifting ballutes can significantly reduce deceleration forces, which can result in lower mass ballute systems and reduced g-loads on crews that fly them to the surface of Mars.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Millennium Falcon "Star Wars"

TheTamshee's all time top movie spaceship has to be the Millennium Falcon (Star Wars) who would have thought that a scrappy smuggler's freighter would end up being so critical in saving the galaxy? Outfitted with laser turrets, a speedy hyperdrive, and with ample room for up to eight passengers, the Falcon deserves the top spot a short head clear of the USS Enterprise (Star Trek)

this ships was distinguished by photon torpedoes, phasers, and a predilection for self-destruction, but it's the only ship that can legitimately go back and forth through time. Holodeck? and those transporters are pretty neat as well. Later revisions to this spaceship allowed it to split into two separate pieces. Now that's trekkin'!

The Unveiling

Millions of people from all over the earth instantly vanish off the face of the planet and not even the world's best scientists can explain why. Then suddenly the leaders of the world, via a special worldwide television broadcast, introduce the citizens of all nations to an ancient and powerful race of alien beings. Shocking words of revelation from Khur-ak, the alien leader, threaten to destabilize the world, as the aliens claim to have been invisibly influencing human development for millions of years and are the "gods" that humans have always worshipped. They admit to making mistakes but claim they acted with pure motives. The aliens bring a message of universal peace and prosperity, and communicate a desire to continue to aid mankind's forward evolution, but now openly and with full knowledge. However, not all people welcome these beings. Some come to believe the aliens are sinister, perhaps even the devil and his demons deceiving the world in the Biblically prophesied last days deception, and an apocalyptic battle ensues for the hearts and minds of the people, the outcome of which will determine the very definitions of the concepts of good and evil. TheTamshee says: Dennis Gilmour was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. He graduated from the University of Alberta in 1991 with a B.Sc. in Pharmacy. He completed his first novel, "The Unveiling", in 1995. He currently resides in the northern Alberta community of Slave Lake, and enjoys reading in his spare time and working on writing the next sci-fi bestseller.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

UFO above Selkirk

TheTamshee says: log Into the title link to check out Micheal Irving's account of strange lights or is it alien craft ? hoovering over the old chimney that used to be Ettrick & Yarrow Yarn Spinners. This took place over a period of just over one minute, at 5.40pm, on 7th February, at Selkirk; approximately five miles south-west of the Eildon Hills.

Duchess's Drive

Today was a good day for hiking so we dropped the Indy kids at school, packed the compulsory flask of tea, with cheese and pickle sandwiches then headed for Bowhill House. The Duchess's Drive is a moderate 7 mile hike through woodland and over moorland north west of Bowhill House. Taking the right at the forked junction, before ascending into the woodlands that grace the Pernassie Hill, follow the track through a gate to take you onto the high moorland then sweeping up to the north around Fastheugh Hill with the option to walk out to Newark Hill's summit to take in this spectacular view if the weather permits. Today the weather was rather misty with the rain coming down on the high ground so we continued onwards to Black Andrew Wood at a quick march with a open view of the Yarrow Valley. The woodland itself has a magnificent stand of Douglas Fir, planted in 1923. The route was designed as a carriage way for people to enjoy the mix of species and the age of trees allows for a variety of wildlife including Goshawks and Great Spotted Woodpeckers. Out on the open hills the lairds Grouse Butts are plentiful with many a noisy call of the Grouse ( not black grouse ) made when disturbed from their heather hide-away as we passed in close range. The final stretch takes us down around the ruins of Newark Castle, which entered the historic record in 1423b as the "New Werk", built by the Douglas family to replace an earlier stronghold (imaginatively described as the "Oldworck"). The castle was attacked by English armies twice in the 16th century and fell to the forces of Oliver Cromwell in 1650. In the 18th century the castle had its roof removed along with most of the dressed stone facings.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Black Grouse "Arran"

Conservations have released nine Black Grouse into the wild in an attempt to re-establish the birds on the Isle of Arran. A total of 14 pairs were brought to the island in February. The female birds will be released after the males have had time to establish territories. The last sighting of a black grouse on the Scottish island was in 2000. The birds have been electronically tagged so that their movements can be tracked during the breeding season. Kate Sampson, a senior ranger for the National Trust for Scotland, said "We want the birds to get the best possible start in their new life on Arran, so we are taking all the steps we can to keep their stress levels to a minimum, it is important that they can be freed with as little fuss as possible" TheTamshee: approves of this worthy initiative - orchestrated by Arran Black Grouse Group, Arran Natural History Heritage and the National Trust for Scotland. Raise your glass "through the teeth an ur the gums, look out belly here she comes" nectar to those who like a dram!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Hubble Space Telescope

The payload canister with the Hubble Space Telescope equipment arrives at the base of Launch Pad 39A where space shuttle Atlantis stands.
STS-125: Mission to Service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope Veteran astronaut Scott Altman will command the final space shuttle mission to service NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. During the 11-day mission's five spacewalks, astronauts will install two new instruments, repair two inactive ones and perform the component replacements that will keep the telescope functioning into at least 2014. In addition to the originally scheduled work, Atlantis also will carry a replacement Science Instrument Command and Data Handling Unit for Hubble. Astronauts will install the unit on the telescope, removing the one that stopped working on Sept. 27, 2008, delaying the servicing mission until the replacement was ready. TheTamshee says: click the title link to read Nasa's history of this powerful orbiting telescope that provides sharper images of heavenly bodies than any other telescopes.

Man "U" versus Tottenham

Manchester United took a huge step towards retaining their Premier League title with a 5-2 victory over Tottenham. TheTamshee says: the red devils had to dig deep to turn this game on it's head. 2 nil down at half time -but Sir Alex's boys stepped up a gear to demolish the Spurs with a brace apiece for Ronaldo & Rooney with Berba adding the icing. The word on the street is that Carlos Tevez will depart at the end of the season but Fergy had high praise for the Argentinian striker, "he may not have found the net, but his work-rate and link-up play with his fellow forwards was nothing short of breathtaking" hopefully he will have a change of heart and continue to grace the hallo turf of Old Trafford for a few seasons to come.

Saturday, April 25, 2009


Poor sackboy had a rough time today, the Indy kids dragged him over Selkirk Hill for some heather loup-in with a few excursion into the trees!

The Clone Wars Continue

Stomp all over the Separatists! When droids attack, it’s time to call in the mighty AT-TE Walker, This powerful 6-legged walker features details straight from the Clone Wars, including positionable legs, movable cannons, firing missiles, and armored hatches and cockpit that open to reveal the cabin and troop bay inside. Even with its flying STAP vehicle, the battle droid doesn’t stand a chance against Anakin Skywalker and the clone army of the Republic!
TheTamshee says: the Indy kids look forward to the end of the school week-on friday's they are rewarded with a session on the PS3, with Star Wars or Indiana Jones their favourites.

Friday, April 24, 2009

The Clone Wars

Take the battle to the Separatists with the heavily armed troop transporter, as seen in Star Wars: The Clone Wars. Features opening crew bay doors, flick missiles, and separate speeder bike. Includes five mini figures: Commander Cody, Clone Trooper, Obi-Wan Kenobi, and two new mini figures, Plo Koon and Asajj Ventress, a Sith Lord equipped with a new double light saber. TheTamshee says: the Indy Kids love there collection of Star War characters and leggo builds such as the Republican Attack Gunship.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Extra-Terrestrial "Greys"

Alien Encounter Greys are the aliens most commonly encountered in modern alien encounter reports. Their appearance is now very familiar to the general public: small, bulbous-headed, with large, slanting eyes and thin limbs, they represent our modern idea of "the alien." Some have suggested that Stephen Spielberg's classic UFO film, Close Encounters, launched the image of the Grey alien into popular consciousness and that this is what accounts for the preponderance of "Grey" sightings in recent decades. There were certainly reports of extra-terrestrials matching the Grey description before this, however. Barney and Betty Hill, two of the more famous ET abductees, claimed to have been whisked away in a UFO by aliens matching the Grey description, who then performed experiments on the couple before erasing their memories. Only hypnosis allowed the two to remember what had happened. Betty Hill later drew a star map which she said one of the aliens had shown to her when she asked where they came from. This was later identified as corresponding to the Zeta Reticuli star system, leading many to believe that this is the home of the Greys. Some of those who claim to have seen alien bodies, either stored in secret military facilities, or at the scene of a UFO crash - such as that in Roswell, New Mexico - have offered descriptions of the corpses which correspond perfectly to that of the Grey alien in UFO contact reports.
TheTamshee believes: Gordon Cooper was one of the astronauts aboard America’s first manned mission in space. In later years, he became known for his frank views on the UFO subject. Cooper said he had seen UFOs several times in the course of his life. None of these sightings occurred during his spaceflights, it should be pointed out; they all took place during his earlier career as a military pilot. Cooper mentioned seeing a flight of metallic discs flying over a US Air Force base in Germany. He even claimed to have filmed a UFO landing in 1957, this time at Edwards Air Force base in the United States. Cooper and a camera crew had been tasked with developing a new landing system at the base. As they shot film, a flying saucer was spotted. Naturally, the camera crew focused on it as it drew closer, extended some landing gear and landed on a dry lake bed nearby. They crept up on it, filming all the while and managed to get to within 20 to 30 feet before it took off again. Cooper reviewed the film and confirmed that it showed everything that had happened. Then he was ordered to send it in a sealed bag to Washington. It was never heard of again. This was not to be Cooper’s only experience with having film he took mysteriously confiscated. When he returned from one of his space missions, he found that some of the images he took from orbit were confiscated too – because he had photographed Area 51!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Whinfell Forest "Red Squirrel"

TheTamshee says: the Indy kids set the bait and lay in wait for photo friendly red squirrel to appear and get his or her fill, they like there nuts down in the woodland at Whinfell Forest, CentreParcs in the Lake District. Click here for site map and further information

Hubble L-1 Web Cast

Hubble Payload Ready for Atlantis Mon, 20 Apr 2009 09:04:38 PM UTC+0100
Early Monday morning at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida, the rotating service structure at Launch Pad 39A was moved around space shuttle Atlantis, where payload operations will continue throughout the week. Over the weekend, the payload canister carrying hardware for the mission to service the Hubble Space Telescope was transported to the pad and transferred to the payload changeout room inside the service structure.
TheTamshee says: I continue to follow the lead up to launch date on the 12th May, Atlantis is the one on the left launch pad 39A with Endeavour at 39B click here to check out the web cast perview

Monday, April 20, 2009

Hell's Kitchen

From humble beginnings to Michelin stars, take a trip down memory lane with "Le Enfant Terrible" - aka Marco Pierre White
The obsession begins:
Growing up near Leeds under the watchful eye of his father, the young Marco’s meticulous love of cooking was nurtured among a family of chefs. It was then put to the test during a gruelling initiation involving five boxes of tomatoes at the Hotel St George in Harrogate. Undeterred, the competitive youngster began to build on his experience and work his way up the culinary ladder. The prestigious Box Tree in Yorkshire soon beckoned as Marco's career took root. Having made his mark on the great kitchens of the north, a virtually penniless Marco moved to London, where the famous Albert Roux took him under his wing at Le Gavroche. However, his stint as a commis chef was short lived after the budding kitchen supremo gained a reputation for answering back to his superiors. Having furthered his fine kitchen training under Pierre Koffman, Marco’s flair for food finally flourished under the calming influence of Raymond Blanc. Gone was the shouting and swearing he had endured so far, and thus emerged the imaginative talent that earned him his big break as Head Chef at Harveys at the tender young age of 24. And the right to do some shouting and swearing of his own! Ruling through fear (a philosophy built up through his own grim experience), Marco’s volatile temper soon hit the headlines. Talk of the chef throwing staff in the bin, hanging them up by their apron strings and carving up their trousers when they complained about poor ventilation quickly earned Marco a formidable, yet alluring reputation. Everyone was talking about “le enfant terrible” TheTamshee: is not normally entice by the world of reality TV but the current Hell's Kitchen has captured my interest, the fiercesome Marco has endured many ups and downs throughout his life and career. The steely stare and rasping bark has the present contestants running scared while the witty Winkleman with the strangely captivating eye's
adds another dimension.
My tip to lift the golden ladel has to be Ade Edmondson

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Yarrow Stone

Yarrow village is situated on Yarrow Water some 9 miles west of the royal burgh of Selkirk, in the old county of Selkirkshire. The original church was built c.1640 by the Covenanters and restored after a fire in 1922. Sir Walter Scott attended church here while he lived at Ashiestiel (1804-12). A sundial contains the instruction 'Watch and Pray / Tyme is Short'. An early Christian stone lies about 1 km south west of the village with a faint Latin inscription which possibly names members of a British Christian dynasty in the 5th or 6th Century AD.
Well known for its battles, feuds and beauty, the Yarrow Valley spurred the creation of numerous ballads, such as 'The Dowie Dens of Yarrow', and figured highly in Sir Walter Scott's collection of Minstrelsy. Other authors associated with the area include William Dunbar, James Hogg, Christopher North and Wordsworth.
TheTamshee says: this is God's own country with awesome scenery to view while walking the hills. Hike "The Way" you will not be disappointed-but remember to plan ahead with regard to booking accommodation or take the tent and hope for some good weather.
The Tibbie Shiels Inn is a fine watering hole to rest weary legs and the views over St Mary's Loch are picture perfect.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Northern Goshawk

The English name derives from the Anglo-Saxon for "Goose Hawk". The scientific name was given during the middle ages when only noblemen were allowed to fly them. "Accipiter" is Latin for hawk & "gentiles" is Latin for noble, so the scientific name means "Noble Hawk".
Goshawks are widely distributed throughout the northern hemisphere, in Europe, Russia, North America & Canada. They are strictly woodland birds. Once primarily living in deciduous forests, they are now adapting to the extensive man-made conifer plantations, where game-breeding is rare. The population both in the UK & the US appears to be on the decline. In the US they are classified as a "Species Of Federal Concern".
The Northern Goshawk is the largest of the
"True Hawks". The Goshawk became extinct in this country in the late 19th century, due to illegal killing & habitat loss. Goshawks were unofficially reintroduced into the country from 1950's by falconers, both as escapees & deliberate releases, it is believed over 250 birds were released into the wild during the 1970's. The estimated UK population in 1996 was 400-450 pairs. The main risk to Goshawks is still illegal killing, often to protect game birds, so that rich people can shoot them. Despite the belief that Goshawks have a significant effect on game bird populations, studies have shown that they will take pigeons & other birds in preference & actually kill very few game birds. The Goshawk is a species protected by special penalties in the UK, if kept in captivity, it must be ringed & registered. TheTamshee says: click here to continue following the history of the Goshawk on this very informative site

Friday, April 17, 2009

Monsters versus Aliens

Monsters vs. Aliens is a 2009 computer-animated 3-D feature film from DreamWorks Animation and Paramount Pictures. The movie was the first computer animated movie to be directly produced in a stereoscopic 3-D format instead of converting the film into 3-D after completion, which added $15 million to the film's budget.
TheTamshee says: the family enjoyed this fast moving kids romp while visiting the Metro Centre. The plot goes something like this: when California girl Susan Murphy is unwittingly clobbered by a meteor full of outer-space gunk on her wedding day, she mysteriously grows to 49 feet tall. The military jumps into action and Susan is captured and secreted away to a covert government compound. There she is renamed Ginormica and placed in confinement with a ragtag group of monsters, brilliant but insect-headed Dr Cockroach PhD, macho half ape; half fish the missing link; gelatinous and indestructible Bob; and last but not lest the 350 foot grub called Insectosaurus. However, their confinement is cut short when a mysterious alien robot lands on Earth and begins waging war. In desperation, the U.S. President is persuaded to enlist the motely crew of monsters to combat the alien robot and save the world from imminent destruction. The Indy kids were spell bound while gourging themself's on the toffee flavoured pop corn. Brilliant.

Blair Drummond Caravan Park

Blair Drummond Caravan park is situated near Stirling in a delightful and very attractive site, set in and around a walled garden, sheltered with mature trees and bright flowering shrubs. There are many local attractions and places of interest that you can visit during your stay.
The caravan park opened for the season on the 20th March 2009 and will run through until the 4th January 2010 The park is well equipped with amenities to suit all your needs.
Please tour the title link web site to discover more about Blair Drummond Caravan Park and complete the
book online form if you wish to make a booking or if you have any queries please
contact us.
TheTamshee says: this is my top site to date, peaceful, well maintained and the facilities are second to none. There is always something different to find on the woodland walks and the Indy kids enjoy the freedom of the comprehensive play area.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

The Sprinter & Cob Webs

Fitness tests can be devised to test all aspects of fitness, providing the test follows fitness testing principles. The following are examples of tests which can easily be reproduced away from a lab: TheTamshee says: over the last year physio instructors Jacob Mathiasen & Dennis Naesby from the Clinic of Physiotherapy in Ribe-Denmark have been charged with the task of assessing the fitness levels of the work force on board the Noble Byron Welliver. As the rig manager it has been my task of maintaining motivation levels of the crews participating. To that end I felt obliged to take up the challenge myself, and get on tread mill-with positive results in BMI, waist circumference and aerobic capacity. The challenge now for all concerned is to push on through to the next target. Failure is not an option.
One Rep Max: The heaviest weight you can lift for a single repetition, on a given exercise. Often abbreviated to 1RM. Ten rep max can also be used. Ensure you are fully warmed up prior to attempting to lift your estimated 1RM. If you feel you could have lifted more, do not attempt to do so on the same day as your muscles will be faitgued and so reduce the reliability of the test.
30m Sprint: Acceleration must be eliminated and so a flying start of 20m is recommended. Record the time between 20 and 50 metres
Vertical Jump Test: Standing sideways on to a wall with the arms raised above you, mark the highest point you can reach. Still standing sideways, jump as high as you can, marking the point you can reach. Your score is the difference between your standing and jumping score. This test measures the power in your leg muscles.
Standing Long Jump: Start behind a starting line, jump from two feet and land on two feet as far as possible. You may use your arms to aid you.
Local Muscular Endurance:
Press-up Test: Perform as many press-ups as you can without rest. This test measures the endurance of your upper body muscles.
Sit-up Test: As above, repeated as many sit-ups as possible without rest. Make-sure you define before-hand what counts as a sit-up! This process of fatiguing a muscle (or muscle group) to measure its endurance can be repeated with any body part.
Anaerobic Endurance:
RAST Test: (Running-based Anaerobic Sprint Test) Following a 10 minute warm-up, 6 x 35m sprints are performed, with 10 seconds inbetween for rest and turn-around. Each sprint time is recorded. Following tests are expected to produce faster times for each of the sprints.
Cunningham and Faulkner Test: Following a warm-up, set the treadmill at 8 miles/hr and a 20% gradient. The athlete must start standing either side of the belt and begin the test by getting on the belt at full speed. The test is stopped when tha athlete cannot continue.
Aerobic Endurance:
Cooper Run: Following a 10 minute warm-up, run as far as you can in 12 minutes. Record the distance travelled to the closest 100m.
Sit & Reach Test: To assess the flexibility of the hamstrings. You will need either a special sit & reach table, or a bench and ruler/tape measure. Start with your feet flat against the table and your knees straight. Reach your arms as high as possible above your head and then lead forwards, to reach as far along the bench/table as possible. The furthest point your fingertips reach is your score. A specialist table has an overhang of 15cm and so if using a bench and ruler, a score of 10cm equals 25cm.
Calf Flexibility Test: Stand facing a wall and bend the knees to touch the wall whilst keeping the heels flat on the floor. Keep moving back to find the furthest distance away from the wall where you can still touch the wall with your knees. Measure the distance from the wall to the heel.
Wobble Board: Using a wobble board or cushion, balance for as long as possible. Tests can be conducted on one leg, or both as long as subsequent tests are the same.
Stork Test: Stand on one leg with the free foot positioned just below the standing knee. Raise the heel of the standing foot and hold for as long as possible.
Reaction Time:
Ruler Drop: Using a metre ruler, get a friend to hold the ruler so that the 0cm line is level with and in between your open index finger and thumb. The friend drops the ruler and you must catch it as soon as possible, between your finger and thumb. The cm mark on the ruler closest to the top of the thumb is your score. The faster your reaction, the less of the ruler will pass through!
Body Composition:
Skin Fold Callipers: These can be used to determine the percentage of body fat an athlete has. It involves taking four (or sometimes 6) measurements from the biceps, triceps, suprailiac (just above the pelvis bone on the back) and subscapular (just below the shoulder blade). These 4 measurements can then be calculated to give an estimate of the total percentage body fat.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The City of Stirling

Stirling (Gaelic: Sruighlea, Scots: Stirlin) is a city and former ancient burgh in Scotland. The city is clustered around a large fortress and mediæval old-town beside the River Forth. Historically it was strategically important as the "Gateway to the Highlands", with its position near the boundary between the Scottish Lowlands and Highlands, and its crossing of the Forth, the nearest to the river mouth. One of the principal royal strongholds of the Kingdom of Scotland, Stirling was created a Royal burgh by King David I in 1130, which it remained until 1975, when the county of Stirlingshire was absorbed into Central Region. In 2002, as part of Queen Elizabeth II's Golden Jubilee, Stirling was granted city status.

TheTamshee and family are looking forward to re-visiting the former royal burgh with scary memories of The Old Town Jail, first opened in 1847. Located at the top of St. John Street, the jail paints a frightening picture of what it would have been like to be imprisoned in the 1800's. As you stroll round the dark corridors inspecting the cells you'll experience the atmosphere of jail life: creaking hinges, a shuffle of feet, time hanging heavily in the air. You may be in 'luck' and a desperate prisoner might even try to make good his escape. If this happens, you must follow the instructions of your warder - do not panic, try to stay calm, and enjoy the drama unfold. Believe me, this was one of the best tour experiences the family has encountered. Acting and history all rolled up in one fasinating package, enjoy

Bengal Tigers x Four

The Institute of Greatly Endangered and Rare Species (T.I.G.E.R.S.), in South Carolina, has raised a collection of the rarest tigers on the planet, including the only known complete group of all four varieties of Bengal tiger: the Royal Standard Bengal (which is orange and black), the Royal White Bengal (white with black stripes), the Snow White Bengal (all white or with ghost stripes), and the Golden Tabby Bengal (red to pale orange cream stripes and saddle)
Jannaki, a 2 year old female Standard Royal Bengal Tiger.
TheTamshee says: these Telegraph picture gallery articles are enjoyed by the whole family, brilliant photography by Barcroft-keep them rolling

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Stoner contains Rossi

Casey Stoner has won the season-opening Qatar Grand Prix, run on Monday night after Sunday's rain cancellation, for the third year in a row. The Australian star led from start to finish, keeping his Ducati out of reigning world champion Valentino Rossi's reach for almost the entire 22 laps. Rossi's hopes were hit when he dropped from second to third at turn one, then fell victim to Fiat Yamaha team-mate Jorge Lorenzo shortly after. Realising the risk of giving Stoner space up front, the Italian swiftly retaliated, re-passing Lorenzo before the end of the first lap, then prizing second position from a fast-starting Loris Capirossi on lap three - but Stoner was already three seconds ahead. Rossi nibbled into the #27's lead, but was never able to get closer than 1.9sec and Stoner - who led every single track session from Rossi this weekend - smashed the Italian's challenge in the closing stages. Stoner crowned a dominant 7.771sec win, his first since bone graft surgery on his wrist, with a huge wheelie, while Rossi gave his team a conciliatory wave as he collected second. Lorenzo, second to Stoner on his MotoGP debut at Qatar last season, matched the Australian's wheelie display as he took a podium finish on his Bridgestone debut, albeit over eight-seconds from Rossi. Stoner later said that Monday evening's extra warm-up session had allowed him to improve his GP9 further and that his only concern during the race had been fuel consumption. After being passed by Rossi, Capirossi fell victim to Lorenzo and Andrea Dovizioso, but worse was to follow when - on the ninth lap - he lost the front of his GSV-R and went down in a shower of sparks whilst trying to stay ahead of Colin Edwards. Dovizioso, making his factory Honda debut, had faded out of contention for third by the halfway stage, then lost fourth place to Edwards on lap 14. The Monster Yamaha Tech 3 rider ran out of time to challenge Lorenzo, having paid the price for a bad start from the second row.

Star Wars "Retold" Darkside

The story of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back is retold. Season: 8 Episode: ??
Director: Dominic Polcino Writers: Kirker Butler
Plot: The story of The Empire Strikes Back is retold. Darth Vader (Stewie) is hunting the young Rebel Luke Skywalker (Chris) and his troops relentlessly across the galaxy. On the ice planet Hoth, Luke has a vision of his late mentor Obi-Wan Kenobi (Herbert), telling him to go to the planet Dagobah to learn the ways of the Force under Jedi Master Yoda (Carl). Meanwhile, Princess Leia (Lois) finds herself taking a shine to the scruffy pilot Han Solo (Peter) and, against all odds, the two soon fall in love. But an encounter with Han's old friend Lando Calrissian (Mort) lands them in the clutches of the Empire. Envisioning this, Luke chooses to forgo his Jedi training to save his friends. It all comes to a head in a climactic confrontation with Darth Vader himself...

Monday, April 13, 2009

Turner & Italy

Modern Rome ? Campo Vaccino (1839) Photo: National Gallery Of Scotland
Turner & Italy begins in 1802, when the Peace of Amiens made travel on the Continent possible for British artists, and J M W Turner crossed the Alps for his first, brief glimpse of the country that was to play such a crucial role in his art.
What is so striking about the first oil paintings resulting from this early contact with Italy is how relatively conventional they are, at least by comparison with what was to come. Take, for example, Château de St Michael, Bonneville, Savoy, a view of a country road shown in deep perspective to lead the eye to distant mountains, which hangs in the first gallery. Technically, it is nothing less than masterly. But it is still "only" a view of nature seen through the lens of Old Masters like Poussin and Gaspard Dughet. Turner had not yet learned to think of his landscapes as repositories for his thoughts on history, poetry, philosophy and morality.
The resumption of war with France and its aftermath meant that Turner had to wait 17 years before his next journey to the south. During that period he learned everything he could about Italy's geography, architecture, culture and history.
Not surprisingly, given the reverence he had been taught to feel for the Old Masters, Turner believed that in a great work nature is idealised because the artist appeals to the imagination and not simply to the eye. Like all his contemporaries, Turner assumed that there was a hierarchy of subject matter in art – with the most important, history painting, at the top, landscape and portraiture somewhere in the middle, and genre painting at the bottom.
In this show, we can see that Turner went to Rome in 1819 expecting the landscape to look as it did in the paintings of Claude Lorrain.
In one of his first "Italian" landscapes, Lake Avernus – Aeneas and the Cumaean Sibyl (1814-15), the Virgilian subject and idealised surroundings reveal that, before he had set foot in central Italy, he was thinking of Claudian landscape as the inevitable setting for imagined scenes drawn from classical literature. Clearly, he left London with his head stuffed with visions of ancient, not modern, Italy. TheTamshee says: click here to continue reading this detailed account of Turners travels in Italy, scribed by
Richard Dorment courtesy of the Telegraph

NBW @ Halfdan Alpha

TheTamshee says: the offshore industry is a surreal world to the families back home with little understanding of the work undertaken by kin-folk when transported by helicopter to the seasteading atmosphere that is the offshore industry. Rod, one of the Baker Hughes Intec Directional Drillers on board the Noble Byron Welliver has taken the time to put together this professional video footage of some of the various aspects of life offshore Denmark. Be patient, while waiting for this video to load, you won't be disappointed.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Moto GP "Losail"

The 2007 World Champion Casey Stoner will attempt to make it three consecutive season-opening victories in Qatar on Sunday having qualified in pole position at the floodlit Losail International Circuit on Saturday. The superb Australian who blitzed his opponents in the opening races of the year in 2007 and 2008 was in hot form again in the first qualifying session of the new single tyre supplier era, setting a 1’55.286s best time near the end of the session, to keep him nearly half a second ahead of the chasing pack. The ‘best of the rest’ was World Champion Valentino Rossi who registered his best time on his penultimate lap, a 0.473s margin behind Stoner. The Italian therefore starts his title defence second on the grid, a big improvement on his seventh place in qualifying at Qatar last year. Rossi’s team-mate, 2008 poleman Jorge Lorenzo completes the front row, courtesy of his 1’55.783s time which was just 0.024s behind his Fiat Yamaha colleague’s best. Like Lorenzo, Andrea Dovizioso was taking part in his first qualifying practice on Bridgestone tyres and the Italian youngster ended up in fourth spot. The new Repsol Honda rider will get away from the head of the second row on his factory debut as he attempts to match or improve on his impressive fourth place at Losail last year. Loris Capirossi, meanwhile, who starts his 20th World Championship season this weekend, will be on his compatriot Dovizioso’s shoulder having put himself fifth on the grid on the new and improved Suzuki GSV-R. Another experienced rider, Monster Yamaha Tech 3’s Colin Edwards, completes the second row having lapped within a second of Stoner. Randy de Puniet of the satellite LCR Honda team caused something of a surprise in seventh place, with a best effort of 1’56.358, just over a second off pole position pace. Also slotting in on the third row, behind Frenchman De Puniet, are Australian Suzuki man Chris Vermeulen and San Marino rider Alex de Angelis of the San Carlo Honda Gresini team. Pramac Racing’s Mika Kallio completes the top ten as the best rookie qualifier. Dani Pedrosa qualified in 14th position on his Repsol Honda RC212V, handicapped by his left wrist and knee injuries, but still giving himself a chance of scoring points on Sunday. Comeback star Sete Gibernau is also riding injured, with an ongoing shoulder injury sustained in training in the winter, and he will start his first race in more than two years in 15th position. A huge high-speed highside crash for Nicky Hayden on turn two at the end of the session saw him unable to move up from 16th on the grid on his Ducati debut and he was stretchered away for medical attention. TheTamshee says: bring on the action, the Aussie kid has got the talent to take on the Doctor head to head on the track - but for me, Rossi is the master of tactics and mind games. The question remains how will the Yamaha shape up against the Ducati with the new one manufacturer tyre rules. Can't wait for the action to commence.

Kielder Castle Mase

The Indy kids had a brilliant time exploring the Keilder Castle Mase and surrounding area. The mase construction comprises of wire mesh baskets filled with local quarry stone with the added touch of the raised glass tower. The area has lots to offer, with impressive tracks for the mountain bike fanatics out there, but remember to purchase the £3 all day parking ticket-or you could be cycling home.

Sunderland versus Man "U"

Federico Macheda was not even born when Ferguson won his first piece of silverware at Old Trafford but for the second week running his latest fledgling secured late victory, returning the champions back to the top of the league. It might not have had the technical excellence of his spectacular winning goal against Aston Villa last week but with only his second touch the 17-year-old Italian striker instinctively cushioned Michael Carrick’s mis-hit shot beyond Craig Gordon, to send the away fans into rapture. Macheda is now averaging a goal every 22 minutes. TheTamshee says: Man "U" bounce back after the disappointing result against Porto. click here to continue reading this Telegraph acticle on the new wonder kid at Man"U" long may his scoring record continue, the pud-lay-ins have not given up the title challenge just yet.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Esvagt FRB 15C

The newly developed FRB 15C is in fact several boats in one. Each boat has all equipment doubled up such as motor, electric systems, tanks and tubes-this is to ensure that service can be provided even if one component fails. Furthermore the boats are equipped with the best chairs and the best electronic equipment-as an example-plotter, electronic sea charts and AIS which is an automatic identification system. It means that the mother vessel and the FRB always are able to find each other even without using radar and that a helicopter can identify the FRB. The boats are produced in Denmark by different subcontractors.

Rescue Mission "M/S SILVA"

Cargo vessel M/S SILVA in distress due to engine breakdown and heavy list
Weather ESE 18 m/s, waves 3½ - 4 m significant equal max sea app. 7 meters 12 crew rescued by wet evacuation. Excellent cooperation between helicopter and vessel. More vessels involved as back-up. Operation performed by crew change vessel (not fitted as an ERRV) FRC launched and recovered 3 times. No injuries or near miss situations occurred.
On the 22nd October 2003 at 0505 hours ESVAGT ALPHA receives a distress call from Cambodian vessel M/S SILVA. ESVAGT ALPHA is on her return to Esbjerg from crew change of ESVAGT standby/rescue vessels with 43 crew onboard. The SILVA carries a cargo of timber incl. a deck cargo. The vessel has a list of app. 35 - 40 degrees due to the deck cargo has shifted. The crew declines evacuation before daylight. As the crew onboard the SILVA apparently had no survival suits and only traditionally lifesaving appliances 12 survival suits were delivered from ESVAGT ALPHA by means of rescue helicopter. Between 08:35 and 08:58 12 crew members jumped into the sea, one by one in groups of three, to be picked up by the waiting FRC from ESVAGT ALPHA.
TheTamshee says: the guys that work these rescue vessels are highly trained to respond to any emergency situation that takes place within there designated area. On a weekly basis we conduct Man Overboard drills to check preparedness and rescue times. If someone falls from the drilling rig, there is only a small window of opportunity to recover the individual prior to them being consumed by the cold waters. Click here to see the dramatic video footage of the M/S Silva rescue.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Golden Snub Nose Monkey's

Three rare golden snub-nosed monkeys, famed for their striking appearance with orange fur and bright blue faces. Snub-nosed monkeys live in Asia, with a range covering southern China (especially Tibet, Sichuan, Yunnan, and Guizhou) as well as the northern part of Vietnam.
These monkeys get their name from the short, stump of a nose on their round face, with nostrils arranged forward. They have relatively multicolored and long fur, particularly at the shoulders and backs. They grow to a length of 51 to 83 cm with a tail of 55 to 97 cm.
Snub-nosed monkeys inhabit mountain forests up to a height of 4000 meters in the winter, moving into the deeply secluded regions. They spend the majority of their life in the trees. They live together in very large groups of up to 600 members, splitting up into smaller groups in times of food-scarcity, such as in the winter. Groups consist of many more males than females. They have territorial instincts, defending their territory mostly with shouts. They have a large vocal repertoire, calling sometimes solo while at other times together in choir-like fashion.
The diet of these animals consists mainly of tree needles, bamboo buds, fruits and leaves. A multi-chambered stomach helps them with digesting their food.
The impulse for mating starts with the female. She takes up eye contact with the male and runs away a short bit, then flashes her genitals. If the male shows interest (which does not always occur), he joins the female and they mate. The 200-day gestation period ends with a single birth in late spring or early summer. Young animals become fully mature in about 6 to 7 years. Zoologists know little about their lifespan.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Owl "Cruelty"

A falconer whose owls starred in the Harry Potter films has admitted a string of animal cruelty offences. Kenneth Lea, 50, who has now had his birds removed from his care, pleaded guilty to 17 charges relating to the animals between March and June last year. Lea, whose nine eagle owls were snapped up by Warner Brothers to star in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, left bird aviaries in a state of squalor, a court heard. He admitted the offences regarding 42 birds of prey and 11 chickens he kept at Old Park Farm in Wakefield, West Yorks. In 2005, nine eagle owls kept at the site were signed up by cinema giant Warner Brothers for the multi-million pound international blockbuster film. The birds appeared in a scene in which Harry goes to the owlry to send a letter to his godfather Sirius Black. They spent three months with trainers employed by Birds and Animals UK for their acting debut. Wakefield Magistrates Court was told that the RSPCA were called on June 30 last year as Lea was being evicted from the premises and found a mass of aviaries in disgusting conditions. Birds including owls, falcons and Harris hawks some worth as much as £3,000 were found with foot injuries and in an emaciated state due to a poor diet. Ian Drummond, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said a specialist vet was called who examined the birds and found they were dehydrated or were suffering from debilitating injuries including leg wounds, overgrown beaks and swollen and clubbed feet. In her statement she said: "Although I have seen plenty of unhygienic enclosures, never in my entire professional life have I encountered premises this squalid and dirty. "The best expression to describe the state of the entire farm would be filthy, squalid abandon." The vet advised the RSPCA to take the birds into their care. Unemployed Lea, now of Bradford, West Yorks., was interviewed and admitted that he struggled to care for the birds as he then worked night shifts as a driver. He said he had not taken any animals to the vets for three years and was looking after them reasonably well until around a month before he was evicted. Lea, who was not represented, indicated to the court following the prosecution summary that he wished to seek legal advice and possible change of his pleas to not guilty. He said: "For many years I worked for a centre going out voluntarily rescuing animals. "All the birds were well-cared for and looked after most of the time. I know I could have done more in the last month or so. I am guilty of some things but nothing like what they are trying to make out." Chairwoman Linda Sturch advised Lea to seek legal advice regarding his pleas and adjourned the case until next month. TheTamshee says: there is no excuse for Mr Lea's cruel treatment of these majestic birds, having them in captivity is crime enough - birds of prey need to be free to patrol the sky's and hunt their own food - not be tagged and imprisoned in squalid conditions. The British Justice system will surely work it's magic on this sad case: Guilty, Sentance +/- 100 hours community service i would imagine, without infringing Mr Lea's human rights off course.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Little Big Planet "Sackboy"

The Indy kids love to play this action packed PS3 game narrated by the great Stephen Fry. In the game you start off as a small teddy bear-like creature made from wool, and you use your little avatar to construct in-game objects using materials such as wood and cloth. Sackboy (or Sackgirl) is the name of the generic avatar in LittleBigPlanet. The original version of the character, in the prototype Craftworld, was dubbed Yellowhead and, unsurprisingly, had a large yellow head. Sackboy is made of sackcloth and stuffing, with stitches clearly visible at the top of his head, and a large zipper down the front of his/her chest. SackPeople are apparently only 8 centimeters tall. He is an adorable little guy, and you can move him around through the various worlds and have fun with other SackPeople. The game focuses on its base of simplicity and the controls are minimalist and yet diverse at the same time: The Left Stick makes Sackboy run left and right, and up and down make him move from the background to the foreground (or vice versa.) The button makes him jump; the longer you press it, the larger the leap is. A quick tap results in a short hop. The R1 button makes him grab things that are made out of Sponge, Polystyrene, Pink or Peach Floaty or Dissolve Material.
You can also tilt his head (or waist by clicking L3) by tilting your controller utilizing the PlayStation 3's unique SixAxis capability, and move the analogue sticks while holding down the L2 and/or R2 buttons to animate Sackboy's arms. If you hold down the L2/R2 button and quickly snap the left/right stick from left to right or right to left, then Sackboy will execute a slap. Whenever you slap a nearby Sackboy/Sackgirl, they will flop down onto the ground (leading to quite the tomfoolery after being slapped off a cliff into some spikes).
Also, for those who want to express their Emotions to friends whilst playing online where text or your voice just won't do the job, you can do. Sackboy has four different emotions, where each has three levels of "intensity"; happiness, sadness, worry and anger. More details can be found on the main article. The character is customizable, with his skin and attire being changeable, as well as in-game Stickers and Decorations being attachable. As well as the Costumes included in the game originally, there are also extra costumes, most of which are cameos of other videogame characters. To see them go to Downloadable Content!

Science Museum "Wax Vanitas"

Before the modern era, to be seriously ill was to enter a world of almost unimaginable pain, misery and often grotesque medical ignorance. The diseases were bad enough, but the treatments were often far worse. This terrifying era has been brought to life with a new online exhibition, courtesy of the Science Museum in London, in which more than 2,500 objects from medicine's dark past are on display. The Wax Vanitas was an educational work of art designed to remind us that human life is perilously short. This example shows a decaying human head, with a skull and worms feeding off the flesh. The other side shows the face during life. The idea was to hammer home the message that death comes all too soon to each and every one of us. This is similar to memento mori gravestones of the era depicting skulls, hourglasses and scythes. TheTamshee says: a little grotesque but fascinating in a strange way

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sculptor "Gwon Osang"

Korean sculptor Gwon Osang creates sculptures from hundreds of photographs of the original subjects, overlaying them onto lightweight life-sized mannequins. Gwon's quilted photo-sculptures are made by photographing different sections of the model's anatomy. Osang, who graduated from the Hong-ik University sculpture department, has become one of the most recognised contemporary artists in Korea for his non-conventional approach to sculpture which includes models such as the band Keane who chose him to create eye-catching artwork to promote their album Perfect Symmetry.

Each band member took between 1,000 and 3,000 photographs to create, and while the photo shoot took five days with the band, the actual sculptures took around six weeks to produce. He says: "For me photography was not very interesting. Not to say photography as a genre wasn't interesting, but the people in that field, the photographers were not interesting. This is my personal opinion but I think they are different from sculptors" His inspiration for the 3D photo sculpture series, titled Deodorant Type, was entirely practical. He says: "As an art student I often used heavy materials like stone, bronze and wood. I would often need to move my piece but it would be too heavy so I decided to make something lightweight" and developed a motto: never make anything that a friend and I can't easily move" Gwon Osang is based in Korea and represented by Arario Gallery, Korea. TheTamshee says: these photo-mache sculptures are certainly impressive. The music also has some appeal.

Magic Mushrooms or Elves ?

While out rambling with the Indy Kids, TheTamshee: convinced them that there was "Elves" living in this mushroom patch. Can you spot the big daddy.