ME and Ophelia

Sunday, January 30, 2005

Cats and other animals

Here are some pictures and links to sites featuring a lot of cats, and strange looking hairless ones at Sphynx kittens. Aren't these the cutest feet you've ever seen?


You'd have to be a cat owner to appreciate the odds of two cats putting chins on table while you get a camera ready - and that they stay that way while you aim and click. Great cat pictures are very special, which I guess is why they are so popular.


Here's why the shot was possible. It wasn't a table their chins were leaning on.

[Photo via Nega Diary]

Ophelia would like this hammock thingy. At the moment it is 11.35 Sunday morning. Yesterday, was a long day pacing myself while waiting for the fireplace shop man who never showed. I even curtailed a phone call from my brother just to be able to last energy wise so as to be able to look at brochures and be decisive. Towards the afternoon I got slightly nervous because my concentration was slowing and I was afraid of making the wrong decision on a major purchase. The new gas fire heater will probably cost around £600. So, last night I went to bed at 9pm hoping for an extra long sleep. No chance. Ophelia seems incapable of sleeping longer than eight hours. We must have awoken at the same time because I could hear her padding into my bedroom. She heads straight for my room as soon as she awakes. But this morning she didn't call out as usual. So I guessed it was time to get up and said our goodmornings, switched on the lights, went into the kitchen and opened the back door for her to go out. Came in here to switch on the lights, heater and plug in the computer. Looked at the clock to find it was 5am and Ophelia was already back indoors. I am tired now and want to go back to bed but Ophelia is fast asleep in the middle of my bed, under the duvet. She's lucky I love her so much.


More pictures at Animal and SB's blogs Cats and Watermark, with thanks.

# posted by Ingrid J. Jones @ 1/30/2005 0 comments

Saturday, January 29, 2005

And is guilty of a pro-European bias

The BBC, Britain's internationally renowned television and radio broadcaster, has failed in its mission of impartiality and is guilty of a pro-European bias, according to an independent report it commissioned, says EU Business.

The report, commissioned by the British Broadcasting Corporation's Board of Governors, said there was a "serious problem" with the BBC's coverage of European issues because of its failure to be impartial. Full Story.

Note, BBC News online are doing a good job reporting on Darfur, Sudan. And BBC TV produced a first rate Panorama programme on Darfur that ought be given awards. My gripe with the BBC is when it comes to reporting the war in Iraq as it's obvious the BBC is anti the war in Iraq, anti-US and anti-Blair (but pro Brown). Most of the British public respect the BBC and would hate to see it run down. Hopefully, new management at the BBC will make great improvements, so we might not lose our treasured public broadcasting service.
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Fact of the day

Today 1963, Britain was refused entry to European Common Market by France's veto. It's successor, the European Union, is still controversial in the UK. [via Scotsman]
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Weather in Switzerland


Bryan at Spare Change blog posted this photo saying they are expecting freezing rain. I guess he is in America. I hope none of it is headed this way. Strange how the tops of the trees are not covered in icicles too. Who knows how long that car has been sitting there. The photo was taken in Switzerland.
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Cooking and waiting for new fire

It's 2.25 Saturday afternoon at the moment. The man from the fireplace shop has not yet arrived. For lunch today, I put a portion of beef lasagne (that I took out of the freezer last night) onto a foil covered oven tray and into a hot oven, setting timer for 40 minutes. I made a salad with purple frilly lettuce, sliced green and red peppers, tomato and cucumber. Enough for tomorrow too. I was trying to do too many things, and couldn't manage salad dressing so I just sprinkled cheese over the salad, and set the hot lasagne on top.

I always keep a tupperware box of grated cheese handy in the fridge, and a few in the freezer. Cheese freezes well if it is grated first. I buy it in bulk and it is grated all at once, using a food processor, and stored into plastic tubs suitable for freezing.

While I prepared the salad, I washed and blanched 2lbs of fresh purple sprouting brocolli, half a pound of loose spinach and a savoy cabbage cut into pieces. I used a plastic measuring jug to carry water to the salted pan for boiling on the stove, and I lifted the cooked greens from the boiling water, using a slatted spoon, into a colander sitting on top of a pot on the stove. I did have to lift the colander of greens to the worktop, but it was not as heavy as a pan full of water and greens. I blanched the 4 different greens separately, so by the time I finished there was only half a pot of water left to carry to the sink. My limbs are still aching and throat is getting sore, but I managed to get the greens done, which I am pleased about.

The semi cooked greens are now cooling in half a dozen storage boxes ready to go into the freezer later on. I did not have the strength to rinse them all in ice cold water after blanching. In each box is a portion of cabbage, brocolli, spinach and chopped green leaves from the sprouting brocolli. So, I just need to take out one box, with an accompanying meal, out of the freezer at night and microwave the veg in the boxes for a few minutes. Or use the defrosted spinach for an omelette filling, or mix in with freshly cooked pasta, cheese sauce and bacon bits or whatever.

Please note for any new readers here. These recipes are not mentioned here because they are delectable or special - they are just things that I have tried and tested to save physical energy, standing, walking and lifting. I do have frozen vegetables delivered ie, loose corn, petit pois, oven ready french fries, etc. But leafy greens I prefer to avoid freezing. I am behind my usual routine these past few days and had to get the greens blanched because they were delivered on Tuesday and I am afraid if left for a few more days they will start losing their freshness.
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Web inventor is 'Greatest Briton'

Our top man Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the worldwide web, was named as overall winner of a new award to celebrate outstanding British achievement. He was selected by a panel of judges from a shortlist of seven category winners who had been nominated for the £25,000 prize.

On receiving his award on Thursday, Sir Tim said: "I have won awards for computers but I have never won an award for being British. "I am very proud to be British, it is great fun to be British and this award is just an amazing honour." Full Story.

Tim Berners-Lee said the award was an 'amazing honour'.


We are very proud of him too.

Look how time is ticking on. It is good that Sir Tim is appreciated during his lifetime.
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Listen to rest of the world, Blair urges the U.S.

DAVOS, Switzerland report by Alan Cowell The New York Times Thursday, January 27, 2005:

Seeking to bridge the deep differences between the United States and other nations, Prime Minister Tony Blair of Britain urged the Bush administration on Wednesday to heed the concerns of others in return for support in its wars on terrorism and tyranny. Full Story.
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In Davos, spotlight turns to Africa

DAVOS, Switzerland report by Alan Cowell The New York Times Friday, January 28, 2005:

After decades languishing as the last item on the global agenda, seemingly helpless to stem its own decline, Africa is poised this year for what the rock-star Bono called "its moment" - a time when the world will be pressed to provide the money and the will to reverse a continent's slide.

Bono offered one more reason why the world should help. Around 40 percent of Africa's people are Muslim, he said, and some African states risked becoming labeled failed states as Afghanistan was under the Taliban regime. "Africa is not the frontline of the war against terrorism," he said. "But it could be soon." Full Story.

Further reading:
UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel Report 2004/5 and Gulf Daily News Muslims 'facing new challenges'.
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Israeli researchers proves feasibility of infrared cameras in cell phones

Imagine using your cell phone to take your temperature, see who's lurking in the dark, or identify explosives in a package.

Sounds like science fiction? In fact, these functions - and many more - are possible once you have an infrared camera integrated into your cell phone.

That sort of gadget may soon be available, thanks to an Israeli researcher who has demonstrated that it is already technologically feasible to build such a device. Full Story.


A composite photo of a cell phone equipped with an infrared camera - it's just a matter of design, not technology, says Dr. Nizan Yaniv.
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Meet the silent conversation

What if you could carry on a telephone conversation while remaining perfectly silent? It sounds impossible, but it is a technology that is likely to come to your cell phone within the next few years. With Silent Communication's 'Talking Without Talking', the cell phone allows the user to prerecord messages that can be played by pushing the right buttons on a menu.

Full Story. [via American On Line]
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Fact of the day

On January 14 in 1878 the first private telephone call in the British Isles was made by Queen Victoria from her residence on the Isle of Wight. The telephone's inventor, Alexander Graham Bell, demonstrated the machine. [via Scotsman]