Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Some of British Library's best in your own study

British Library is to put 250,000 books online free
Books from the British Library's out-of-copyright collection to be published digitally by Google on the internet.

The British Library has announced a partnership with Google to digitise 250,000 out-of-copyright books from its collection and make them available free of charge to users on the library's website and Google Books.

The project will digitise printed books, pamphlets and periodicals dated 1700 to 1870 - the period that saw the French and industrial revolutions, the Battle of Trafalgar and the Crimean War, the invention of rail travel and of the telegraph, the beginning of UK income tax, and the end of slavery.

The library said its aim was to increase access to anyone who wants to do research.

Posted by Maritime Museum of GB today.
Pic - Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London.


It's not a good outlook - reported this morning:

Pollution and global warming are pushing the world's oceans to the brink of a mass extinction of marine life unseen for tens of millions of years.

Dying coral reefs, biodiversity ravaged by invasive species, expanding open-water "dead zones," toxic algae blooms, the massive depletion of big fish stocks -- all are accellerating, said a report compiled by 27 of the world's top ocean experts.

Read the full report on - Yahoo!7 http://t.co/oeyuuD9 via @Y7News

Monday, June 20, 2011

TWO'S A CREW - a circumnavigation of Australia

When Jack and Jude Binder sailed around Australia in Banyandah, their home-made 12m yacht, they took time out along the way to smell the roses. The 9000 nautical mile voyage took them to crocodile infested waters, coral atolls, ancient aboriginal sites and through Hell’s Gates itself.
Together they fished, photographed, and above all recorded the bounties of nature along the way.

Jack, (the lad from LA who now calls the sea and Australia home), wrote most of the book and apart from occasional lapses into personal diary style, his elegant descriptive passages are proof of his close bond with the Earth. Judith’s presence is felt throughout the book, sharing the same strength, courage and love of the wild as her man.

In Banyandah, they experienced the full force of wind, waves and currents in a voyage of adventure and exploration which was only made possible by their commitment to sailing and to each other.
For the cruising yachtsman or armchair traveller, TWO’S A CREW is a recommended read.
The read more about the book go to:Two's a Crew - A circumnavigation of Australia

Pic: Jack and Jude on Banyandah - York Cove, Tasmania, May 2011

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tweet, twitter, twit

Cyber-developer (originator of TWITTER), Jack Dorsey, came across the word, TWITTER, meaning, ‘a short burst of inconsequential information’ and liked it. Now TWEETING is a world wide phenomenon.

But to TWIT (to tell tales or blab) emerged 1630 - 1669. The act of TWITTING (good humoured censure) dates back to 1500-1569 according to the Oxford English Dictionary.

Now that is a bit of inconsequential information, isn't it?
But I like the bird on the bowsprit.

Marg - on TWITTER but not a regular Tweeter.
Recently, I joined facebook and much prefer that social network.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Talking to a scarecrow - Crazy or what?

As a guinea-pig for the Tasmanian Menzies Institute Research into the relationship between study and early onset of Altheimers, I’m due to have me head examined in a week’s time...!!!
I joined the program a year ago when I embarked on my course of university studies.
It was prompted by an advert I saw from the Menzies Institute.

Their researchers required older participants (55 to 70 years) to undergo univesity studies and to be tested annually for a period of several years in an effort to show that keeping the brain active helped prevent early onset Alzheimers.
The initial four hours of psychological and response testing was enough to wear any brain out - only joking!

In my opinion, if the statistics from the study prove some correlations between an active brain and a healthy brain, then it is worthwhile.
However, having worked in a pathology lab for many years and watched studies done in relation to amyloid plaques in brains of Alzheimer sufferers, I'm not convinced that brain stimulation can prevent their formation.

Just my line of thought.
Time will tell.

PS: I have a children's story about a bunch of scarecrows which I wrote years ago. One of these days I am going to get it into print.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

STAR CROSSED by Linda Collison

STAR CROSSED by Linda Collison tells the seafaring adventure of an ambitious young lady, Patrica Kelley, who was born on a plantation in Barbados. But having been brought up in England, she must now return to Barbados if she is to have any hope of acquiring her inheritance. But with no money to her name, the only way to leave England is as a stowaway on a sailing ship.

While struggling against herself, the elements and her turbulant emotional relationships, Patricia endeavours to establish herself (disguised as a youth) as mate to a ship’s surgeon. Linda's intimate knowledge of tall ships, the sea and medical practices create an convincing picture of life on both land and sea in the 1760s.

It’s an engaging story most especially when the ship arrives in West Indian waters. Linda's writing style is descriptive and flows easily, and I compliment her on writing in the first person which is not easy.

Set at sea and in the West Indies, STAR CROSSED is a very enjoyable read.

I note from Linda's Facebook page that there is now a sequel - SURGEON'S MATE.
I look forward to reading it.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Roaring Forties close Tasmania

The Roaring Forties has long been recognised as a powerful wind force. And that wind carries some of the world’s cleanest air. The Cape Grim Baseline air pollution monitoring station, on the north-west coast of Tasmania, has measured the cleanest air on earth.

But today, volcanic ash from a Chilean volcano is ringing the globe at a latitude of around 40 degrees. While Melbourne airport has re-opened, Tasmania remains closed and New Zealand is next in the path of the ash.

In the old days, Cape Grim was a bain to the early explorers because of its wild seas, ferocious winds and rugged coastline.

Today that wind is captured in a huge windfarm.

During the 1800s, the area was farmed by convict labour and was part of the Van Diemen's Land Agricultural Company property.

An isolated spot but worth a visit.