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 I have copied all of my old SU reviews (the ones containing images) here, except for some not-so-good and outdated bits.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

Click the cat to chat!

OK, so you're in a hurry and missed the White Rabbit... Just to point out that there's a lot of (hopefully) good stuff hidden in the back pages that most people don't see. If you want a fast sample that jumps you in at different points, try clicking the Coyote!

Once you're there, you can follow a sequence by clicking the chevrons >> at the end of a post, or try clicking a tag you like at the top of a post.

Have fun!

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!


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 | Aug-Sep | Oct-Dec 2014 | Jan 2015 | Feb | Mar | Apr | May | July | Aug 2015 |

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.

I started using Sony's extraordinary compact camera in November 2014 (I saw a video recently that compared it to a DSLR nearly ten times its size and price), but it has taken a while to get to grips with what it can really do.

Eventually I decided to spend a month or two writing an online guide to it, mainly as a learning exercise for myself - but I am pleased to say that quite a few people appear to find it very useful.

If you are interested in the camera itself, or in advanced features of digital cameras generally, then you might be interested in taking a look at my guide.

Taking a break...

I have several things to do (most of them enjoyable) which will keep me from posting for quite a while. I hope to start posting again towards the end of November.

In the meantime, there's a lot of (hopefully good) stuff in this blog that many people don't see. A quick way to find it is to follow the White Rabbit, which I have just updated again.

Enjoy your autumn!

“The Innermost House Foundation is a non-profit organization devoted to exploring the transcendental dimension of American life expressed by Thomas Jefferson in his writings, preached by Ralph Waldo Emerson, practiced by Henry David Thoreau at Walden Pond and lived by Diana Lorence at Innermost House.”

What started out for me as the discovery of a pretty picture led me to an unexpected wealth of information (and a whole lot of other beautiful images, e.g. these) that I had never come across before. If you follow the links (as I know most people won't have time to do) you can spend hours here...

Yet another great share by overthetrail - thanks, Sandy!

“Morning Stillness” © by lighttrouve (Russell Tomlin) - one of many fine examples of his work, which include some wonderful landscapes and abstract photography

Shadows in the mist - September 28th, 2015

High pressure finally building after a long gloomy summer, leading to chilly clear mornings which started misty. I took this while walking the dog - less than 800 yards away the sun was shining brightly on leaves turning brilliant fall colours, worthy of Vermont!

If you like this...

[Beautiful autumn - Havant and the South Downs, October 2012]

“Clear Ahead” by Kirk Larsen

Snaffled gratefully (as so many others) from Jerry's fine pages.

Lisbon, September 2015

Some posts about our recent visit to Lisbon appear below (or click a picture to go there).

If you are interested, here are the direct links to my photoblogs:

[Lisbon, September 2015 - Local scenes]
[Lisbon, September 2015 - Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, and the walk back]
[Lisbon, September 2015 - Lisbon Oceanarium]

If you would like to skip the photoblog, then (as usual) click the chevrons (>>) below to move on to my next “normal” post

Lisbon, September 2015 - Local scenes

A nice start to the day - early morning at our hotel (location at the centre of this map)

Walking down from the hotel a short distance to the National Museum of Ancient Art. As well as some interesting contents, it turned out to have very nice café with garden on the other side (see below).

Looking back uphill, before entering the museum (no photography allowed inside)

The café garden, near the river

Not too hot, quite a wind blowing from the sea! Looking towards the famous Ponte 25 de Abril (a bridge which never seems to come closer however long you walk towards it!)

Walking towards the city centre from the hotel on a very quiet Sunday morning, I passed this ornately decorated building...

...which seemed worth a closer look!

[Lisbon visit continues in Part 2]

Lisbon, September 2015 - Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, and the walk back

[Lisbon visit continued from Part 1]

We passed The Champalimaud Centre for the Unknown, a truly amazing place, on a river trip during our previous visit.

It is said to be the world's most advanced centre for research into cancer, brain damage and blindness, both medically and from an architectural point of view. From the river it looks a little like a cruise ship, but it is designed to look quite different from almost any angle in which it is approached.

On this occasion we took a (cheap) taxi to the Centre (location at the bottom left of this map) so that we could walk around it, and then walk back along the river towards the Ponte 25 de Abril, near which we knew there were some nice restaurants.

Inside the centre. This is as far as we could go (and we discovered later that photos inside aren't really allowed)

The best job in the world, possibly - official Lego model creator at work!

The habitat inside is part of the healing process

Looking past the edge of the Belém Tower to the gigantic Christ the King statue, which was inspired by the famous statue in Rio de Janeiro. It was erected to express gratitude because the Portuguese were spared the effects of World War II.

Looking back - showing the aerial walkway to the auditorium

The auditorium (the inside of which is shown here), with sun blinds closed, and a café restaurant that looked like a great place to eat (but opens at 12.30, as do most restaurants in Lisbon, too late for us on this occasion)

Heading back along the river... the memorial outside the Military Museum (one of the best in the world, according to Tripadvisor reviews)

The amphibious HIPPOtrip vehicle going by (we took this trip last year, an excellent way of seeing what there is to see)

Approaching the The Discoveries Monument, built on the north bank of the Tagus River in 1960 to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the death of Prince Henry the Navigator.

In the background is the Ponte 25 de Abril, near where we were planning to eat. It didn't look too far away at this point...

After a long walk in which the famous bridge never seemed to get nearer, we stopped gratefully at the Café In - highly recommended! My spouse chose a smoked salmon salad - this wasn't what she was expecting, but it was absolutely
delicious! Good value food here, too.

[Lisbon visit continues in Part 3]

Lisbon, September 2015 - Lisbon Oceanarium

[Lisbon visit continued from Part 2]

The Lisbon Oceanarium (location in the centre of this map) is said to be one of the best in the world. It is located on the banks of the Tagus (which the locals pronounce somewhat like a sneeze), which is enormously wide at this point, being crossed nearby by the 12km long Vasco da Gama Bridge.

The Ocenarium is is organized as 4 "oceanic ecosystems" around a huge central tank. This is the Antarctic...

I had to look twice before I saw the bird!

The Temperate Pacific kelp forests... I have always had a weakness for sea otters, since I once saw them in the wild like this off Fisherman's Wharf in Monterey, California. The Lisbon Oceanarium's sea otters are famous, apparently.

If you like sea otters, too, don't miss this video of an otter giving itself a massage which was shot here...

The Tropical Indian coral reefs

The big central "ocean" is accessed on two levels. We're looking down at a school party on the lower level. The Lisbon Oceanarium has all kinds of educational activities, many of them especially for children (e.g. “sleeping with sharks”, a different kind of pajama party!).

Down at the lower level

The inhabitants are hand-fed on a very scientific diet, designed to keep them healthy and avoid one species feeding on another. In the case of the sharks (no photos - sorry) hand feeding is done at the end of a very long plastic pole! Very interesting video shown in the lower level theatre about all this...

One of the nice features is that the big "ocean" is ringed by natural-looking grottos, which you can look through from outside

Outside the Oceanarium, on the way to a very good (and cheap) fish food restaurant

The area surrounding the Oceanarium looks really interesting (e.g. see “Sights Nearby” here) - worth a day in its own right

If you like this...

[Index of all my photoblogs]

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