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 I have copied all of my old SU reviews (the ones containing images) here, except for some not-so-good and outdated bits.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 | Jun-Jul 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.


“Morning on the Farm”


“Jenne Farm”

Beautiful images of autumn (or fall) in Canada, © by Magda Bognar


From the page Fall or autumn: the Canadian dilemma:


If you like this...

[Autumn and winter images by Anka Zhuravleva]



“Enjoy this beautiful piece with an appropriately awe-inspiring slideshow”

“The Adagio in G minor for violin, strings and organ continuo, is a neo-Baroque composition popularly attributed to the 18th century Venetian master Tomaso Albinoni, but in fact composed almost entirely by the 20th century musicologist and Albinoni biographer Remo Giazotto.” (thanks, Antonio!)


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Nice desktop wallpaper, probably taken in Bay of Islands, New Zealand... reminds me of the great time we had here on the Florida Keys.



“Vessels” by the realist painter Patrick Nevins

Thanks yet again, Jerry!


If you like this...

[Try the jerzee55sst or realist-painting or still-life tags]




Images © Stian Klo

Stian is a landscape photographer from Norway who grew up in Vesterålen and is now based in Harstad - two places that I would like to visit!

Stian's other work is well worth checking out.



A beautiful Orivit Art Nouveau vase, from a blog well worth visiting

Discovered for me by Tamarlass, whose pages are also a treasure trove of beautiful things and well worth visiting!



Click the image above to visit this wonderful page.

When you get there, you can drag the globe around with your mouse, or roll the mouse-wheel to make the globe bigger or zoom in to see fine detail.

You can also click the word earth (when you reach the page) and change what you are looking at in lots of interesting ways, including viewing historical or forecast data instead of current data.

Click the word earth again to return to the full view.

I have a desktop stretching across two monitors (easy if your graphics card has a dual head), and I like putting the big earth on the left hand monitor - I could watch it for hours!

If you want to do this, and you have two monitors, right-click the image above and select "open in new window", and just drag the window to the other monitor. (People with two monitors probably know this already, but I thought I would advertise one of the many benefits!)

Thanks to joris3pinter for this great find!


If you're interested in environment issues, you may like to know that I have just updated the Environment & Technology section of my web site, which tries to provide useful information and links about a wide variety of environmental issues.

The updated parts include a new section on Solar Roadways and a major update to Hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles, as well as a really interesting development in the area of Biofuels.

Although the section is quite large, you will hopefully find that it is easy to navigate. I have tried to make it rich in high quality links (many of which have also been updated), so that what you see on the pages are just the tips of many interesting icebergs, so to speak.

If you visit it and really like it, then please share it anywhere you think it would help the environment - thank you!

I am sure that the section could be further improved. Any suggestions would be really welcome.




This 18-year old Middlesbrough teenager appeared on BBC Breakfast a short while back, and I can tell you that she has a smile that can light up your entire day.

Her name is Jade Jones, and she's a T54 wheelchair track athlete for Great Britain and the British record holder over 400/5000m.

She represented GB at the London 2012 Paralympics, and won the bronze medal in the women's para-sport 1500m in the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

The London 2012 Olympics were watched by a good proportion of the entire planet. The USA, however, largely missed out on the London 2012 Paralympics, due to a perceived or actual lack of interest by USA viewers (or maybe just by NBC), and so missed out on an extraordinary communal party that equalled or even eclipsed the Olympics.

The sheer feel-good factor of both events lifted the spirits of Britain (and maybe other countries) in a way that is good to look back on now. However the Paralympics also changed forever the view of “disability” for everyone who watched it.

I observed afterwards that the American political system (unlike very many American people) seems to suffer more than most from disability, dysfunction, negativity, under-achievement, non-cooperation and meanness of spirit - the exact opposite of what we watched, especially in the Paralympics.

There has been so much to enjoy in the recent Commonwealth Games, not least the fact that normal and para events have been integrated. It seems quite normal (at least to UK audiences) now. The larger Olympics, at least in 2016, won't be able to integrate the events in this way, but only because (I have heard) they would simply become too large.

The Olympics and Paralympics were the best thing to happen in Britain (IMO) in 2012, and perhaps for many years to come. Because of this, I put a lot of effort into recording the events, with images, commentary and links to some great music, for my own benefit and maybe for others who missed out:

The short version (from my web site):

[The beautiful games]

The full versions (linked to from the short version):

[Olympics opening ceremony]
[International inspiration to young people: Jessica Ennis and Denise Lewis]
[The fabulous Olympics closing ceremony]
[The stunning Paralympics opening ceremony (visit this, if nothing else!)]
[Royal Mail commemorative stamps, one for each paralympic gold medal winner (with links to each winner featured)]
[My review of the Paralympics, and the closing ceremony]



The apparently ageless Dolly Parton at age 68, wowing the crowds at Glastonbury 2014




The Mexican singer Malukah (real name Judith de los Santos) has a beautiful voice, and she has made some very popular cover versions of songs from computer games like Skyrim (among others), as well as music from other kinds of popular entertainment.

I particularly liked this version of the Game of Thrones Theme and “The Children” from the same popular TV series, as well as her recording of “Misty Mountains” from the film The Hobbit.

You can currently download several of her songs for free at her web site, or watch and listen to her here on Youtube.




My favourite part of this great talk is Alain's visit to a tabloid newspaper, this kind of newspaper being “the number-one organ of ridicule in modern times”. He presented them with plots of great tragedies of western art, and invited them to come up with a headline. For example, the plot of Othello as outlined by Alain resulted in a proposed headline of “Love Crazed Immigrant Kills Senator's Daughter”.

Perhaps we all need to spend 17 minutes listening to Alain if we want to stay sane and happy in today's achievement culture...





I had never registered Glen Keane's name until I saw this wonderful short animation. Now I keep noticing it, most recently when I finally got around to seeing his work on Tangled, which I liked as much as I liked Frozen. Glen apparently quit Frozen to work on Tangled - the text of his resignation letter is here.

Glen was also responsible for the character animation in one of my other favourite Disney films, Beauty and the Beast, which took the quality of Disney animations to a whole new level.

If you like animation, I recommend...

[More about Glen Keane]


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