AirToob Lightning
I like looking on the bright side. I relate very much to the Mediterranean extended-family, take-it-slow, money-isn't-everything outlook on life. I'm not a great cook but I like cooking, especially Mediterranean food (my recipe page is here). I'm interested in environmental issues. My main hobby is flying (on a PC simulator).

The people I admire most are those who see no end to pain, illness, grief or disability and who still retain a sense of humour, people who spend time making life better for others in any way, and people with toxic parents who have "broken the chain" in bringing up their own children.

If you like my pages you will probably also enjoy my web site - do visit! You can get a quick flavour of it here.

PS: I'm a refugee from StumbleUpon. I have copied all of my old SU reviews (the ones containing images) here, except for some not-so-good and outdated bits.



As Michelle in 'Allo, 'Allo might say, please read the following very carefully - I shall write it only once!

I'm a great believer in tags. SU restricted you to 5 tags per post (and then only for site-review posts), but here you can have as many tags per post as will fit into about 200 characters, so I have tried to take full advantage.

For example, you can select from this blog (if you want to) only posts to do with arts, science, entertainment, books, movies, music, environment and so on.

If you're feeling down (or even if you aren't), try this selection of things to enjoy in life, which is pretty much what these pages are all about.

You will find a larger selection of my favourite tags here (or click the White Rabbit below).

The main thing is: if you like something about one of my posts, try clicking the corresponding tag at the top of the post. If you keep doing this, you may find yourself navigating down some nice paths through this blog (for example, this one or this one).

Among these tags you will find the name of a Categorian or Stumbler if their work features in that post, so if you click one of those names (e.g. expressioniste or johnshaven) then you will get (hopefully) a nice selection of that particular person's work as it appears on my blog.

You can find my posts that introduce other Categorians if you click the Cat... then if you like one of the posts that you find, click that Categorian's tag on that post to see everything that I have snaffled from that person! (And you can do the same for ex-Stumblers if you click the image to the right.)

There are plenty more tags to choose from. Enjoy your visit!



WHITE RABBITS - If you're pressed for time, and you would like a quick sample of what I think are the best of these pages, or help in finding quickly what you need, then go here or click the White Rabbit!

Alternatively, if you click the chevrons >> wherever you see them (including here, where you will be presented with a multiple choice of starting places that will change occasionally) you will follow a (relatively) short path through my "special favourites".



Click the cat to chat!



Brian's miscellaneous rambles...

... with words (thoughts on Life, the Universe and Everything) - click the image to the left

... with pictures (my photos and photoblogs) - click the image to the right!




HELP!

For essential Categorian help, just click Help at the top of your screen - and don't forget to make Help your "friend", that way you can easily see when new help information has been added.

It can really, really help to know something about HTML and web pages, if you don't already.
Try here for pointers to some good stuff (even for complete beginners), and also the web design utilities that Matt lists here - and don't miss Karenak's Guide for Categorian Beginners and Borderline's Categorian Help.

When you look at someone's awesome web page and wonder "How do they do that?" then (if you know at least a little HTML) try looking at the source text ("Page Source") for that page. You can do this from the "View" menu of browsers (or Ctrl+U on Firefox or Chrome) - some later versions of browsers hide it under "Web Developer" or similar.

My own Categorian Help posts will be found here, and my Computer Help posts will be found here.



Do you want your reviews to be noticed by other users?

Do you want to find other users who share the same interests as you?

Do you want to be notified of new site reviews for topics that you like?


The Categorian Library is your key to all these things... if you need some help with it, you might find some useful stuff here (or click the image).



HERE BE TREASURE - or my archive pages, anyway:

1 (Oct 2007) | 2 (Jan 2008) | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 (Jan 2009) | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 (Jan 2010)| 18 | 19 | 20 | 21 | 22 | 23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 (Jan 2011) | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 (Oct 2011) | Nov | Dec 2011 | Jan 2012 | Feb | Apr | May | Jun-Aug | Sep | Oct | Nov | Dec 2012 | Jan 2013 | Feb | Mar-May | July | Aug | Sep-Nov | Nov-Dec 2013 | Jan-Feb 2014 |

Archive pages 1 to 34, and part of 35, come from my StumbleUpon blog. Dates in brackets refer to original post dates on SU. Because I transferred the blog manually, dates in my Categorian blog prior to October 10th 2011 (unless marked as original dates) are the date of the transfer.

Archive pages present posts in increasing-date order (oldest first). This is the opposite direction to the "normal" blog pages which are in decreasing-date order (newest first). One effect of this is that the contents of a given archive page (page 5, say) always remain the same, unless you delete something, whereas the contents of a given page on the "normal" blog keep changing as you add stuff to the front.


Mathias (Richard Harrington) and Mared (Mali Harries) in the “Welsh Noir” mini-series Hinterland

From the page:

You may remember Richard Harrington from Bleak House, IMO one of the finest TV dramas of all time, and certainly one of the finest TV versions of a Charles Dickens novel. (Richard is also one of the actors featured in my previous post below.)

I have featured some of my favourite “Nordic Noir” here. On a scale of the Swedish Wallander (my yardstick) = 10, Hinterland scores for me about 7 - but that's a high score, and it's well worth watching for its highly atmospheric stories (4, so far).

The other joy of Hinterland for me was listening to the beautiful Welsh language, with subtitles. One of the reasons that I enjoyed The Lord of the Rings (the book) so much was the depth given to it by Tolkien's creation of the various languages, and Elvish in particular (he was persuaded not to write the whole book in Elvish as it would have been unpublishable).

Having also greatly enjoyed Peter Jackson's film version, and the care taken to do justice to Tolkien's Elvish language (among many other things), I found myself listening to Welsh in Hinterland and often almost hearing the Elvish that Peter Jackson's team worked so hard to reproduce. I knew that Tolkien had drawn on Celtic roots for his story, but this was still a very interesting and pleasurable surprise.



A collection of fine actors read truly great poetry - a feast of sheer quality packed into less than 2 minutes.

This is a real treat... don't miss it!



What can I tell you about this cracking first novel by Sally Green, without giving away the plot?

Half Bad a young adult fantasy novel (a genre that contains many of my favourite books), set in a modern-day world of male and female witches. It's some distance away from the world of Harry Potter (muggles are fains in Half Bad, but any close resemblance pretty much ends there).

As the story develops, it reminds me oddly of the first “Jason Bourne” movie, as the hero becomes a boy with a mission, pursued by various evils, while his own nature and identity (as well as those around him) are an unfolding mystery.

The style of writing (for me) has a dash of Suzanne Collins, Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman and even at times Quentin Tarantino, with a hefty slug of originality.

You will find plenty more about the book here (or click the image). It's also available as a good-value (and properly produced) eBook.

A word of warning: this is only the first book of the “Half Life” trilogy, and the next part, “Half Wild”, isn't due out until March 24th, 2015.

If you like this...

[Brian's Place - The Book Corner]



"Jeune femme allongée sur un banc, 1913 (The blue lantern)" by Carl Larsson

From the always-beautiful pages of ensemble5, who got it from this very nice Carl Larsson art blog.

So true...

...unless, of course, the book is The Da Vinci Code, in which case the iceberg would probably turn turtle!

...or the book is Elizabeth von Arnim's delightful tale The Enchanted April, which might have been written as as a script for the wonderful movie adaptation, one of my family's all-time favourites...

...but this is exactly how I feel about the film adaptations (so far) of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and its sequels.



Keyhole Iceberg, Illulissat, Greenland, © by Brian Luke Seaward

(I lost track of where I found this... let me know if it was you!)


Anothersusan writes:

The mysterious stone figures known as inuksuit can be found throughout the circumpolar world. Inukshuk, the singular of inuksuit, means "in the likeness of a human" in the Inuit language. They are monuments made of unworked stones that are used by the Inuit for communication and survival. The traditional meaning of the inukshuk is "Someone was here" or "You are on the right path."

This is an example of her own amazing photography, and is only part of what you will find if you click the image to visit her original post.

A visit to Susan's site is highly recommended!




If you have seen this viral video, you will know that Julie and Scott Brusaw have grabbed the imagination of several million people, with an invention that could benefit the lives of hundreds of times that number.

If you haven't seen it, there's no time like the present...

If you like it, and are maybe wondering if it can really happen, you might also like to watch Scott Brusaw addressing Google's “Solve For X” think tank (worth looking at in its own right) in May 2013 - in some ways even more interesting than the viral video:

Things have moved on considerably since then, with a very successful Indie crowd-sourcing exercise funding the next stage. It closed on June 20, 2014, having raised $2.2m, more than twice its target.

The latest news about the Solar Roadways development will be found here, with recent posts on the Internet (in the year leading up to when you actually read this) here.

You may see among those mostly positive posts and articles that the (un)professional nay-sayers and trolls have also crawled out of the woodwork, as apparently they do after every successful Indie campaign.

Rather than rant about this particularly idiotic and destructive sub-species of the human race (especially prevalent in the USA, for some reason, home of great enterprise, innovation and engineering), I can simply point you at this:

Click the above extract to read some thorough debunking, as well as some really interesting info.

My friend Jerzee55sst (Jerry), after pointing out the entrenched interests in the USA that will doubtless (continue to) fight this tooth and nail, sent me this:

As someone with a physics and engineering background, I see no reason why this invention cannot succeed, given only the will to do it. As a UK citizen, I was sufficiently impressed to throw a few dollars into the US economy, since a successful outcome will benefit everyone, wherever they live.

If you'd like to see this life-changing initiative succeed, you can still donate to it here - but the best thing anyone can do to help (IMO) is to take time to learn good information about it, and to pass that information on.

Let's ignore the clowns and just get the show on the road.

Watch this space!
If you like this...

[Permalink to this post]
[Solar Roadways at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre, and elsewhere]
[Solar Roadways on Facebook]
[Google's “Solve for X” Home Page]




This wonderful happy song (click the lyrics to listen) reminded me...

Life sometimes seem just too frenetic, with no time to stop and watch the world go by.

The Norwegians, recognizing this, have pioneered a new kind of entertainment with Slow TV. You can spend hours on a train just looking at the scenery, or enjoy a slow cruise up the Norwegian fjords, or stare dreamily into a log fire (if you're not lucky enough to have one of your own), or watch salmon swimming upstream...

It sounds unlikely as a crowd-pleaser? Well, an early experiment drew 1.25 million viewers in Norway, about a fifth of the population, and the idea is certainly taking off as you can see here (literally, in the case of British Airways, who are introducing an example of Slow TV on their long haul flights).

I peek into the future and sadly see people still living in urban sprawls, but with low-cost giant HD screens showing a better world outside...






If you like this...

[A complete virtual trip (can be sampled!) on the Trans Siberian Railway]
[Caretake this moment...]
[Go placidly amid the noise and haste...]
[Creating a field of flowers]
[Things to enjoy in life (including this one)]



"Spring Blossoms II" (2011) by Catherine Nelson

Click the image to see a complete slideshow (worth viewing full screen)

From the page:


If you like this...

[More images of Catherine's work]



It's always nice to wake up to Jim's North Carolina pics on Facebook, especially when the weather is not so good over here!



— from this excellent article.

It's worth reading the whole thing (Seb Emina and Daniel Jones are really interesting people, too). Click the excerpt above to read more.

I dropped in on this Internet radio station throughout a waking day recently, and took some screenshots which appear below. The sunrise pictures change as the world turns. Sometimes the pictures are local to the current radio station (one of more than 250 being played in sequence), sometimes they are from somewhere else in the country, or aerial photos where no other picture is available. I'm sure these will change over time, and you can probably send in your own photos!

Click any screenshot to listen to this rather wonderful invention. It's a very human window on our world - even in troubled areas of the Middle East, you realise that when you get down to it, folks everywhere are just folks.


















There is also plenty more interesting stuff written about Global Breakfast Radio.

BTW: I discovered this (as I do so much other good stuff about news, gadgets and apps for computers and smartphones) on the BBC's excellent Click Programme.




This spectacular HD video was filmed over the course of 7 days at El Teide (El Pico del Teide), Spain’s highest mountain, located in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, one of the best places in the world to photograph stars.

This video is by Terje Sørgjerd, whose other work (such as this collection of his time lapse photography) is well worth checking out.

If you like this...

[Try the time lapse photography tag!]


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