ME and Ophelia

Friday, March 25, 2005

By David J Nightingale

British blogger David Nightingale was photoblog of the week at Digital Photography Blog. DailySnap has interviewed him. He contributed to issue one of Melange Magazine, was mentioned in issue 96 of WebDesigner (a UK magazine) and featured in Il Fotografo, August 2004 (an Italian photography magazine). He contributed to File magazine and was featured by Coudal Partners’ Depth of Field, Slashdot has linked him and he has featured in articles on photoblogging in the January 2005 issue of Shutterbug - plus Issue 1, 2005, of Foto Idee (a Belgian photography magazine).

If you'd like to purchase a print or digital image by David Nightingale, or would like to commission him for a project of your own, please see for further details.

This photo, titled "Stomp, stomp, glide" is of his daughter on her scooter. Read the comments at his blog and see how he produced such colour.

"Stomp, stomp, glide" by David J. Nightingale Copyright 2003-05 (all rights reserved).

Yesterday, I found link to above photo at a blog by Achilleas Lazopoulos who is trying to get his ph.d. in high energy particle physics from the university of Nijmegen in the Netherlands, Holland.

Here is a great picture of his wife, Heleen Derveaux who is a port of Antwerpen expert in inland navigation.

Heleen Sleeping

Achilleas and Heleen have a brand new daughter (their second child) named Chiara. All four live together in Schalienstraat, next to the river Schelde of Antwerpen in Belgium.

Father and daughter
Photo: Father and daughter - Achilleas and Chiara

P.S. Betsy might enjoy browsing the above two blogs. Sadly, on Monday, Betsy's family dog Marianne died. My heart goes out to them. I'd feel awful if anything happened to my darling cat Ophelia.
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How to really confuse your party guests

You have to wonder if these people are tenants or owner occupiers. Pity the landlord if they are tenants.
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via Scotsman

On March 24 in 1603, King James VI of Scotland succeeded to the throne of England to begin his reign as James I of England, following the death of Queen Elizabeth.
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Democracy in Iraq (is here!) Iraq worth it?

Yesterday, a friend emailed me a copy of an email he'd received from a friend. It contained a post titled "Iraq worth it?" by a blogger called Husayn who describes himself as "an Iraqi on the future of Iraq, an Iraqi who is excited about a new democratic Iraq."

The original email message to my friend said, "Here's a piece by an Iraqi blogger you might be able to use to counter all the negative US coverage of the 2nd anniversary of the war.  We certainly won’t see it in the Post or Times."

On visiting the Iraqi blog, it made me think how free Blogspots could be used as a great propaganda tool with which to draw out people and their views. You can never be sure of who is behind a blog. Predators groom people on the Internet for all sorts of motives. Sorry, I do not mean to cast doubt on the Iraqi blogger but for me, when there is no way to ID bloggers, anonymous posts and comments lose all credibility.

Note, the post Iraq worth it? attracted 78 comments. Its sidebar has a Visa Master Card donate button saying "support this blog". I would like to think it is genuine, wouldn't you? For all we know, it could be Bin Laden having a laugh.
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Anonymity vs. Pseudonymity

The following is an excerpt from Berkman March 21, 2005 re Anonymity vs. Pseudonymity:

"At a recent Board of Selectmen meeting in Walpole, Mass., board members held Gary Nelson, owner and administrator of the community's website,, accountable for recent smear campaigns launched anonymously on the site. The Daily News Transcript reported today that Nelson remedied the situation by requiring all site participants to create accounts so that local residents posted either under their name or pseudonymously. The Daily News Transcript quoted John Palfrey, Berkmans Executive Director (see photo), on Nelsons response. "If people refuse to be accountable to the things that they're saying to one another online, I think that can lead to extremely destructive behavior in a community...." Palfrey said."
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Here is a another snippet from Berkman, titled Internet a Catalyst for Democracy?:

"Berkman Fellow Michael Best, Assistant Professor with the Sam Nunn School of International Affairs at Georgia Tech, has recently focused his work on the question, “Will the Internet ultimately become a tool of political liberation and strong democracy or the ultimate weapon of control for authoritarian regimes?” Today Michael presented research he’s done that examines a correlation between political liberties and Internet diffusion through a variety of statistical models. One of Michael’s models suggests that one point of political rights, on a seven-point scale, is gained for every 3.3 new Internet users per 1,000 population."
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Terror plot to cripple UK in cyber attack

Following on from above two posts, I am in favour of a system on the Internet that enables us bloggers to have ID's verified by a credible third party.

My name really is Ingrid Jones. And I really am blogging out of Dorset, England. Everything I write here about myself is true. But how do you know I am telling the truth? You don't. For all you know, I could be a big hairy bloke with a dog living in Outer Mongolia looking to con you after building some trust over last 2 years. [Hey, I'm only joking!]

A report in the Scotsman March 22 says international terrorists are training to launch cyber-terror attacks on Britain which could cripple vital economic, medical and transport networks.

"Many of those who have been arrested or about whom we know, have a very high level of technological awareness," said the government’s counter-terrorism co-ordinator, Sir David Omand.
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Transparent Mac Illusion

Transparent Mac Illusion

American techie Jim O'Connell in Tokyo saw a fun illusion on and decided to give it a try.

With a camera on a tripod, take a picture of the scene with the laptop closed, then crop appropriately and make it the desktop's wallpaper. Then, take another picture with the laptop open.

Jim's transparent screen picture was linked on the top page of the FlickrBlog. Pity Flickr didn't credit Jim's name or point to his great blog.

Note the transparent screens pool link.

And On the couch which includes advice on how to create the illusion.
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Peter's desk (2004-02-06)

Peter's desk (2004-02-06)

Having found Peter's photo through Flickr, I couldn't find a link within Flickr to his blog. Maybe I'm mistaken, but I thought there used to be a way to access my blog from my Flickr page. Perhaps Flickr-Yahoo are planning a blogosphere of their own.
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Imagination is more important than knowledge - Albert Einstein

We must be the change we wish to see - M.K. Gandhi

Nonviolence is the law of the human race and is infinitely greater than, and superior to, brute force - M.K. Gandhi
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Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviour.
Keep your behaviour positive, because your behaviours become your habits.
Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your values.
Keep your values positive, because your values become your destiny.
- Mahatma Gandhi
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Seven Social Sins according to Gandhi
- Politics without Principles
- Wealth without Work
- Commerce without Morality
- Education without Character
- Pleasure without Conscience
- Science without Humanity
- Worship without Sacrifice
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Banksy Hits New York's Most Famous Museums (All of them)

Thanks to Jim's post about a great British artist called Bansky who dresses up as a pensioner with a hat and fake glued-on beard, and visits prestigious art museums and hangs his own works, complete with plaque and description. On this, Bansky says "They're good enough to be in there, so I don't see why I should wait."

Apparently, two of Banksy's works are still firmly in place - visit Wooster Collective and see why. His work is very good.

See more of Banksy's work at where he links to Freeway Free Speech Day pictures.
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At Banksy's site, under "Manifesto", is this extract from the diary of Lieutenant Colonel Mervin Willett Gonin DSO who was among the first British soldiers to liberate Bergen-Belsen in 1945:


I can give no adequate description of the Horror Camp in which my men and myself were to spend the next month of our lives. It was just a barren wilderness, as bare as a chicken run. Corpses lay everywhere, some in huge piles, sometimes they lay singly or in pairs where they had fallen. It took a little time to get used to seeing men women and childen collapse as you walked by them and to restrain oneself from going to their assistance. One had to get used early to the idea that the individual just did not count. One knew that five hundred a day were dying and that five hundred a day were going on dying for weeks before anything we could do would have the slightest effect. It was, however, not easy to watch a child choking to death from diptheria when you knew a tracheotomy and nursing would save it, one saw women drowning in their own vomit because they were too weak to turn over, and men eating worms as they clutched a half loaf of bread purely because they had to eat worms to live and now could scarcely tell the difference. Piles of corpses, naked and obscene, with a woman too weak to stand proping herself against them as she cooked the food we had given her over an open fire; men and women crouching down just anywhere in the open relieving themselves of the dysentary which was scouring their bowels, a woman standing stark naked washing herself with some issue soap in water from a tank in which the remains of a child floated. It was shortly after the British Red Cross arrived, though it may have no connection, that a very large quantity of lipstick arrived. This was not at all what we men wanted, we were screaming for hundreds and thousands of other things and I don't know who asked for lipstick. I wish so much that I could discover who did it, it was the action of genius, sheer unadulterated brilliance. I believe nothing did more for these internees than the lipstick. Women lay in bed with no sheets and no nightie but with scarlet red lips, you saw them wandering about with nothing but a blanket over their shoulders, but with scarlet red lips. I saw a woman dead on the post mortem table and clutched in her hand was a piece of lipstick. At last someone had done something to make them individuals again, they were someone, no longer merely the number tatooed on the arm. At last they could take an interest in their appearance. That lipstick started to give them back their humanity

Source: Imperial War museum, England, UK.
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This art piece by Banksy is titled "Voteless"

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The Pebble Pond

Here is a snippet from an essay by Mahatma Gandhi's grandaughter:

"I was once told by my mother, who along with Father spent all her life working for nonviolent change, that there is a big difference between throwing a pebble in a pond and throwing a big rock. The pebble causes gentle ripples that go a long way. The rock makes a big splash that quickly disappears."

Pebble Pond
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Easter Poem:
For friends and blogmates

Easter greetings dear friends and blogmates. Sorry, too many things going on, still not up to emailing, talking on phone [Hi CG] or visiting blogs and commenting [Hi MD]. Broadband modem arrived in mail yesterday but I haven't the energy to install it. Maybe next week. My brother visited on Tuesday with his two teenaged children. They brought cheery Easter cards and hot fish and chip suppers from the local takeaway. I gave them chocolate Easter bunnies and eggs in boxes and paper cash in lieu of cards. Gifted a new soft leather wallet-purse to my niece in Royal Navy on passing important electronics exams. She moves to an aircraft carrier in June, aged 17. My limbs and joints still hurt, earache, sore throat and gums, even hair hurts. Past two weeks went by in a blur. At times did not know day of the week, had to look it up in TV guide. Thankful not feeling as bad now. Glad to manage this post.

For Easter, here is a poem and some prayers by Gandhi, with love from me and Ophelia [who is doing great, asleep on her chair by the fire, switched off because weather is mild]. Cracking great thunder and lightening storm here other night, like out of a horror movie - rain fell so hard it sounded like a monsoon beating down on the windows and decking.

"The Meaning of God"

There is an indefinable mysterious Power that pervades everything.

I feel It, though I do not see It.

It is this unseen Power which makes Itself felt and yet defies all proof,
because It is so unlike all that I perceive through my senses.

It transcends the senses....

That informing Power or Spirit is God....

For I can see that in the midst of death life persists, in the midst of untruth, truth persists, in the midst of darkness light persists.

Hence I gather that God is Life, Truth, Light. He is love.

He is supreme good.

But he is no God who merely satisfies the intellect
If He ever does.

God to be God must rule the heart and transform it.

– M. K. Gandhi
(Young India, October 11, 1928)
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Gandhi's Peace Prayers

Hindu Peace Prayer
I desire neither earthly kingdom, nor even freedom from birth and death. I desire only the deliverance from grief of all those afflicted by misery. Oh Lord, lead us from the unreal to the real; from darkness to light; from death to immortality. May there be peace in celestial regions. May there be peace on earth. May the waters be appeasing. May herbs be wholesome and may trees and plants bring peace to all. May all beneficent beings bring peace to us. May thy wisdom spread peace all through the world. May all things be a source of peace to all and to me. Om Shanti, Shanti, Shanti (Peace, Peace, Peace).

Islamic Peace Prayer
We think of Thee, worship Thee, bow toThee as the Creator of this Universe; we seek refuge in Thee, the Truth, our only support. Thou art the Ruler, the barge in this ocean of endless births and deaths.
In the name of Allah, the beneficient, the merciful. Praise be to the Lord of the Universe who has created us and made us into tribes and nations. Give us wisdom that we may know each other and not despise all things. We shall abide by thy Peace. And, we shall remember the servants of God are those who walk on this earth in humility and, when we address them, we shall say Peace Unto Us All.

Christian Peace Prayer
Blessed are the PEACEMAKERS, for they shall be known as The Children of God. But I say to you: love your enemy, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To those who strike you on the cheek, offer the other also; and from those who take away your cloak, do not withhold your coat as well. Give to everyone who begs from you; and, to those who take away your goods, do not ask them again. And as you wish that others would do unto you, do so unto them as well.

Jewish Peace Prayer
Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, that we may walk the paths of the Most High. And we shall beat our swords into ploughshares and our spears into pruning hooks. Nation shall not lift up sword against nation - neither shall they learn war any more. And none shall be afraid, for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts has spoken.

Shinto Peace Prayer
Although the people living across the ocean surrounding us are all our brothers and sisters why, Oh Lord, is there trouble in this world? Why do winds and waves rise in the ocean surrounding us? I earnestly wish the wind will soon blow away all the clouds hanging over the tops of the mountains.

Bahá'í Peace Prayer
Be generous in prosperity and thankful in adversity. Be fair in thy judgement and guarded in thy speech. Be a lamp unto those who walk in darkness and a home to the stranger. Be eyes to the blind and a guiding light unto he feet of the erring. Be a breath of life to the body of humankind, a dew to the soil of the human heart and a fruit upon the tree of humility.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 3/25/2005 0 comments

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Friends visiting

A friend who have I known for 35 years is arriving here on Sunday. She lives four hours away and will be staying for three days. Two other friends will be here for lunch Monday. Although I am looking forward to it, I am feeling pretty rough right now. Too many things to do. So now I have to rest more than usual which I am dreading because it is so boring and lonesome. Resting does not include reading, writing, watching TV or doing any other activity, not even thinking.

A specialist M.E. consultant who visited here a few years ago assessed my baseline as 15 minutes. Meaning, that is all I have in one go each day. Imagine having 15 minutes of physical energy a day. It turns your life upside down and makes it unrecognisable. The doctor's advice, to reduce pain and try and store more energy, was to eat a little five times a day and rest for five minutes every 20-30 minutes. Easier said than done. Try it and see how difficult it is to carry out every waking hour, day in day out. I found it impossible without a timer and had to introduce a whole new domestic routine to accommodate such a regime.

The next step I aim to take (after the fire is installed, a major whole day job, loads of noise and dust) is to carry out an intensive rest programme lasting six weeks. Believe it or not, it has taken me two years to find the right timer and completely re-organise day to day living in such a way that enables me to rest every 30 minutes, throughout each day, for six weeks without a series of unexpected tasks, deliveries, workmen and people turning up.

Last week, the right timer, which took me a long time to find, arrived by mail order. See picture below. It is quiet and easy enough to use but takes getting used to. After re-setting it 30 times - and the buzzer sounding 30 times - throughout the day it became annoying, especially during bathing or phone call. It did help me to pace though and reduced the symptoms, especially the sore throat and muscle pain, making me feel not so ghastly ill and better able to concentrate.

At the moment it is 12.35 in the afternoon. The tide is out - in a big way. Makes me yearn to get my wellie boots on and go out beach combing. I wonder if Ophelia would follow me. This week, two years ago, marks the time I last went out. Happily, Ophelia is doing great. She is back to her usual playful self and says hello when she returns from patrol. Her ear is healing well and not too raggedy from the attack. She is asleep on her chair by the fireplace. I am not sure when I shall post here again. Please forgive me if I owe you an email. It's impossible for me to keep up with everything right now. Bye for now. Love from me and Ophelia xx
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Tuesday March 8

Baseball legend Joe Di Maggio dies today in 1999. Famous as one of the great batters of the game, he still holds the record for making 56 consecutive 'hits' in baseball matches. It was his short-lived marriage to Hollywood star Marilyn Monroe, however, that made him known worldwide. - via NYT

If my memory serves me right, Joe Di Maggio was the one who sent a rose every day to the grave of Marilyn Monroe. Sometime in the 1980's I was in America at a large gathering, a cocktail party I think, where he attended and made a bee line for me, coming on so strong and following me around the room asking for a date that, in order to avoid being impolite, I had to leave the party to get away from him. He was so overbearing, I prefer to think that maybe he had too much to drink.
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Bulk buying and stocking up in advance

Lakeland Limited in the UK is excellent for kitchenware and cookware by mail order. Delivery is free for orders over £40. Surely mail order is the best way to shop. It saves time and energy lifting and carrying, helps reduce road and pavement congestion and polluting traffic. Imagine if, in this country alone, 20 million householders bought non-perishable household goods in advance, a year at a time ... and tens of millions more people in countries like America and China. They would help the environment and save cash. I purchase a year or two's worth of household stuff, toiletries etc., and make significant savings by taking advantage of buy one-get-one-free deals. So, with a year's supply, I get another year's supply free.

Last week a large box arrived from Lakeland only two days after I placed the order on the phone. If anything is not suitable, they refund without a quibble and you receive a free gift with orders over £55. Last year, my mother sent me some Lakeland gift vouchers and so I ordered a thick fleecy fitted electric blanket. See details below. Here is what else I ordered:

Cleaning goods
Five Lancashire dishcloths at £3.50. Long lasting and stay snow white and fresh if they are soaked daily in hot water with a drop of washing powder and bleach. Blue J cloths are unreliable and not cost effective. They don't take kindly to bleach or abrasive creams. You have to throw them away after a short while because they fall apart, which means you run out involving more shopping and seems a waste of money.

Two professional washing up brushes for £4.50. I made the mistake of soaking a previous one in hot soapy water mixed with bleach. The bleach must have frizzled the nylon head because the same happened another time with Ophelia's brush.

Pair of lined blue rubber gloves at £7.95. Durable, comfortable and can be put in the washing machine. Marigolds are a false economy, don't last very long or protect hands from heat of hot water and are useless while cleaning brass.

Micro fibre dusters for £4.95 plus one free. They pick up dust instead of moving it around and are great for spectacles, computer screen, mirrors etc. Unlike ordinary yellow dusters, they can be machine washed and kept like new for ages.

A fridge/freezer thermometer
Gives me peace of mind for £4.55 that four drawers of meals in my freezer will not be under or over-frozen.

Compact paper shredder
See picture below. £23.95. It takes 5 sheets at a time and can fit on top of a bag, bin or box. I need to clear out some old boxes of bills, statements etc., so anything labour saving means energy for more important things.

The Trend duo microwave egg poacher
Perfectly cooked eggs in the time it takes to make toast. Works as fast as toast, does not need butter and so is healthier and easier to cook than fried eggs and cuts down on using a pan, standing by the stove, putting into an egg cup or shelling. The plastic poacher and lid goes in dishwasher.

Plus, 500 kg bag of soft eating liquorice. Free gift was hefty oll of heavy duty kitchen foil in tabletop dispenser.

Round the Neck Timer


When you're wearing this 999-minute timer, by Sebastian Conran, you can leave the kitchen without worrying about the contents of the oven. Simple to set, with a magnet for attaching to the fridge door. Battery incl. 3" (8cm) Product Ref 7563 £7.95.

Fleecy Fitted Double Electric Blanket


It is true what Lakeland says: unlike the electric blankets of old, this fitted version doesn't suffer from an irritating sleepwalking habit! You won't find an electric blanket that is simpler to fit and, at mattress turning time, there are no fiddly ties to frustrate you. It's so dreamily soft and fleecy that, even when it's off, you sleep on luxury... and when switched on, you'll warm to this long awaited, new generation of electric blanket. Both the double and the king size versions have ‘no more arguments’ dual controls. Fitted, elasticated skirt holds heated area in place without the need for ties. Machine washable. Gently graduated heating gives extra warmth around feet. Safe for all-night use. BEAB Approved.

Product Ref 4946 Single £38.95; Product Ref 4946 Double £56.95; Product Ref 4946 King Size £64.95.

Compact Electric Paper Shredder


I have not tried it yet but here's the blurb: No doubt many of you will have heard stories of what can happen if confidential documents fall into the wrong hands. For peace of mind, and to do your best to minimise the risks, it’s wise to destroy bank statements, credit card slips, private letters as soon as you no longer need them. Placed conveniently over a bin, this simple to operate, speedy shredder will reduce up to 5 sheets of A4 paper into thin strips, that are absolutely impossible to read. Mains powered. Adjusts to fit different sized waste bins from 12" (30cm) to 15¾" (40cm) W. Product Ref 5617 £23.95 at Lakeland.
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To fry an egg

A serious chef can spend hours arguing the topic. One extreme measure is to separate the yolk from the white, and cook them separately. Here is a good way of doing it:

Put a small pan with a lid over the lowest light. Add a small knob of butter. Slide the egg - large and free-range, so that the yolk is the colour of a setting sun - into the pan from a saucer.

Put the lid on top, so that the steam from the butter can help the cooking, then leave it until the white is set and the film over the yolk has turned translucent. You can take the lid off to see how it's getting on as often as you like. Then, and only then, add salt and pepper.

[Courtesy Simon Hoggart, Guardian]