An invasive species to NZ but here is a cute Rainbow Skink. This cheeky little chap was posing while sunning himself on some concrete outside the house one day…thank goodness for 100x zoom and a steady hand!
I can just imagine him thinking “Has he seen me? Perhaps if I stand really still he’ll go away.”
Here is a photo…what do you call them?
The Kiwis call them Jandals (a shortening of Japanese Sandals)
The British call them Flip Flops (I assume because of the sound they make while walking in them)
The Australians call them Thongs (which in Britain is a type of skimpy underwear, why do they get called this Down Under?)
Isn’t language peculiar at times? 😄
I like to do an occasional jigsaw and recently picked a couple up from the local Salvation Army store…one claimed to be the World’s Most Difficult and the other was just branded Impossibles.
Starting with the World’s Most Difficult, this puzzle was 529 pieces which had the same picture (a cartoon airport scene) on both sides, but with one image rotated by 90 degrees. The pieces were also cut square so you couldn’t tell which was vertical and horizontal. Sound hard? You might think so but when you have two pieces that have essentially the same image on them, you know that if one doesn’t fit in the location, it must be upside down and transposed along the diagonal. The upshot being that you really have a jigsaw that is just 265 pieces and is about as easy as it gets. Bit of an over-engineered item really.
Now for the Impossibles. Called “Fourteen Carrots”, this has 750 pieces PLUS 5 extra pieces. The puzzle also has no straight edge! Sounds tough? It must’ve taken me about three days of daylight hours (I become quite obsessive when doing such things, to be honest!)…not only was it tough when you have no idea if some pieces even have a linking piece, but the pattern of gems was even rather repetitive. Nice to feel a small sense of achievement anyway, especially after having had my patience tried on multiple occasions! 🙂
I occasionally read blogs or meet people who like to talk about their bucket lists. Things they want to do before they die. They are generally (and quite rightly) very selfish. Some lists are ridiculously long, some seem acheivably short. Often the contents include travel or jumping out of means of travel.
I was wondering what would happen to these bucket lists if the human race proceeds along its irresponsible current path of destruction and pillage. I then thought how there ought to be a Bucket List for the World. Here are some things that it might be nice to have on there…
- Significant population reduction of the human species
- Stop the use of damaging pesticides and chemicals in the environment
- Large reduction in number of species in danger of extinction
- Greater quality of life for all living species
- Greater quantity of preserved habitat for non-humans
- Clean oceans and rivers
- Wholesale improvement (i.e. reduction) in the man-made impact on climate change
- No need for fossil fuels
- Stop logging from unsustainable sources
- Responsibly questioning our manufacturing to not produce the next day’s waste
- 100% recycling, 0% waste
- No weapons of mass destruction
- No ignorant bigotry based on race, religion, gender, sexual preference, disability etc
- All countries working together for mutual benefit and advancement rather than for their own power and interests
Does anyone have any others they’d like to see? Wouldn’t it be great if we could somehow make them a reality? If only…
We Have Just One World – We Need to Look After It
When was the last time you had a week off social media?
This is a non-post this week. It’s been scheduled (of course) but I thought why not have a week off…?
Social media seems to be increasingly linked with somewhat negative aspects of our culture, including to those of us who are prone to feel things such as jealousy, stress or perhaps are struggling with depression. If social media inspires negative feelings in you, maybe you should take a week off and see how you feel…and maybe reclaim and reuse some of the time you choose to spend looking at it each day for other things that inspire better feelings…one thing is for sure though, these devices are an addiction…they almost seem to substitute for fidgeting with your fingers…I wonder if nail-biting has gone down as use of them has gone up…?
Have a nice week!
Following on from my last post, it got me thinking about the fact that, OK, you’ve got your shiny new upgraded item (whatever it might be), and guess what…it’s got errors or bugs in it!
After the slightly strange thing whereby we buy something we don’t actually need, the real con on the part of the sellers is that it often doesn’t actually do what it is supposed to. While this isn’t usually a mechanical fault, they knowingly release items which have bugs in them, and wait for the customers to report the faults so they can be fixed!
With the advent of the internet, it has seemingly made it acceptable for products (primarily software) to be sold which are basically faulty…”But it’s OK because we’ll patch it later” seems to be the mantra.
Think about iOS iterations, think about MS Windows, think about updates to console game software. Granted some of these patches are a necessary security requirement but so many are because people are basically flogging shoddy goods which have been rushed to market to meet the latest upgrade cycle…the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 was a real classic example for all of the wrong reasons. Imagine if they sold cars that had faulty brakes…oh, that’s right, Toyota did that one already!
And yet we tolerate it as acceptable because having updates is better than having faults. We con ourselves and we allow ourselves to be conned.
I’ve been thinking of late about how we are seemingly all sucked in – in some way, shape or form – to the cycle of upgrading technology.
The latest mobile phone, the latest annual iteration of a computer game, the latest remake of a classic film, the latest TV…whatever it is, we are sold a new item which replaces something which is not even close to being obsolete, and often that new item doesn’t even do anything markedly different to that which it is replacing and is simply a set of new gimmicks. Is this the ultimate con trick of these companies who make new technologies? If they were actually being deceitful about their items, I’d say yes, but we allow ourselves to just go along and spend our hard-earned cash on something which is probably 95% identical to the last one in its functionality and gives us only fleeting satisfaction (and maybe an opportunity to gloat at someone who doesn’t have it – like they even care). Are we conning ourselves?
I’ve inherited my last two mobile phones. At one point I went into a store to look at the latest iPhone and asked the shop assistant about the different models available. He asked me what I needed the phone for and I said “to make calls and send texts”, to which he honestly replied, “why don’t you just get an older one?”. Refreshing.
When you upgrade your mobile phone (as an example, and assuming you just buy the same brand), the first thing you do is set it up exactly like the old one, and iTunes even does this for you! There isn’t really much fun in it or much reason to explore. It doesn’t seem to make much sense if it isn’t replacing obsolescence, except for those companies who want to keep making lots of money so they can keep designing small improvements to roll out next time. Perhaps it is simply the milking of brand loyalty by large corporations.
It is hard to understand how we can get so much gratification from this, and yet somehow we do, me included with certain products. Surely it would make sense for us to upgrade less often and actually feel like we are getting something that is actually much better (maybe even life-changing) instead of just mildly different? We’d have the added benefit of saving some of the earth’s scarce resources if we upgraded any consumable items less often, which would be an added bonus, although at least older phones can be dismantled by machine and the valuable components re-used.
Something for us all to think about.