Category Archive:Environment

Strange Sights in Australia

Introduction

Funnel Web Spider in Mail Box

Funnel Web Spider in Mail Box

These are a few of the odd things that set Australia apart from the mother country (i.e. the UK!)  Similar, yet different, eh?

The Spider Mailbox

The Spider Mailbox

Most suburban houses follow the USA mailbox style, with some sort of box on the edge of the property.  But watch out for spiders when fetching the post!

Yet funnel web spiders, some of which can kill you in hours, aren’t the only strange, odd, things.


Merry Christmas in Rye, Victoria

Merry Christmas in Rye, Victoria

Because just across the road, Santa awaits…  inflated to gigantic proportions in an expensive house, built on sand dunes, made in the style of a 19th century colonial house, filled with all the gadgetry and labour-saving devices of the modern world.


A walk in the country can provide a host of oddities, from the deadly to the silly.

 

More Pictures

These are a few I came across.  Places include Melbourne, Port Douglas in tropical Queensland and various sites across the Mornington Peninsular.  I’m fascinated by the signs that are put up for public information.  A real clue into everything, I think.

Japanese Bomb Sculpture - note the guy mowing the grass in the background. That was a noisy machine I can tell you!

Japanese Bomb Sculpture – note the guy mowing the grass in the background. That was a noisy machine I can tell you!

Japanese Bomb Sign

Japanese Bomb Sign – little girl was the only casualty of WW2 on the East Australian mainland. (This contrasts sharply with the tens of thousands killed NOT on the mainland)

Crocodiles and Stinger Signs Next to Each Other!

Crocodiles and Stinger Signs Next to Each Other!
Just off the Captain Cook Highway.

Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery - contrasts to the large sculptures...

Lotus Blossom in McClelland Art Gallery – contrasts to the large sculptures…

Tourism is Big - this is the Puffing Billy train in the Dandenongs

Tourism is Big – this is the Puffing Billy train in the Dandenongs

Big, forward control lorries are common in Australia even in urban areas. They hammer along everywhere, apparently in all lanes.

Big, forward control lorries are common in Australia even in urban areas. They hammer along everywhere, apparently in all lanes.

Graffiti All Over Melbourne

Graffiti All Over Melbourne – despite the sun and wealth, many of man’s creations are amended with random ink. Cops go on trains in fives.

Even Cats Get Banned from a Vineyard

Even Cats Get Banned from a Vineyard

Man-made Floating Island - this is on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The breaking surf is The Coral Sea

Man-made Floating Island – this is on the edge of the Great Barrier Reef. The breaking surf is The Coral Sea

View from a Yacht

View from a Yacht – Queensland and it’s hills round Port Douglas. You just point and click, there are views everywhere.

More Views - from near Cpt Cook Hwy. Banana and Cane fields just out of sight.

More Views – from near Cpt Cook Hwy. Banana fields just out of sight.

Fascination with Olden Days

Fascination with Olden Days – signs all over, this is Daintree

Daintree River Crocodile Sign - no paddling and keep your eyes open - they've had crocs in excess of 5m long here.

Daintree River Crocodile Sign – no paddling and keep your eyes open – they’ve had crocs in excess of 5m long here.

Humourous Daintree Crocodile Signs on the WC Publics

Humourous Daintree Crocodile Signs on the WC Publics

My own image of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

My own image of Four Mile Beach, Port Douglas

Cape Tribulation - here the tropical jungle hits the Great Barrier Reef via the mangrove swamps and beach.

Cape Tribulation – here the tropical jungle hits the Great Barrier Reef via the mangrove swamps and beach.
It’s where Cook’s ship “Endeavour” was dragged ashore to be fixed after crashing into a coral reef (now named after the ship).

Cassowary v Range Rover

Cassowary v Range Rover; not so fair.

Dangerous Pedestrians!

Dangerous Pedestrians! They can injure and kill people when provoked.

Views! Along Captain Cook Highway. Australia is full of views. Loads. All over the place.

Views! Along Captain Cook Highway. Australia is full of views. Loads. All over the place.

Tropical Rain Forest, Hot. This is Mossman Gorge, Queensland.

Tropical Rain Forest, Hot. This is Mossman Gorge, Queensland.

Garbage Recycling, Queensland Style

Garbage Recycling, Queensland Style.
In Packers Creek, upstream from Port Douglas, they just dump their boats and leave them to the crocodiles when they’re finished with them.

Sign Overload, some graphically scary

Sign Overload, some graphically scary – Stingers are not nice

View at Port Douglas

View at Port Douglas, Queensland

Memorial to a war on the opposite side of the world

Melbourne Memorial to a war on the opposite side of the world – beautiful quotes from Wilfred Own in there.

Another sign

Another sign

Random Public Art - McClelland Gallery, Frankston.

Random Public Art – McClelland Gallery, Frankston.

Odd Signs with Humour

Odd Signs with Humour

Serious Melbourne Tram System

Serious Melbourne Tram System

Odd Signs

Odd Signs

Ancient "cold" Tropical Rainforest in the South

Ancient “cold” Tropical Rainforest in the South (Dandenongs)

Odd signs

Odd signs

Odd Signs and characteristic Oz Humour

Odd Signs and characteristic Oz Humour

Blue-ringed octopus in a pool at Cape Schanck

Blue-ringed octopus in a pool at Cape Schanck – there is no known anti-venom!!! It is there in a crack.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue-ringed_octopus

Odd Signs

Sudden Waves don’t reach the odd sign.

Red-bellied black snake - when walking down to Cape Schanck

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red-bellied_black_snake
Red-bellied black snake taken walking down to Cape Schanck

 


Conclusion

Australia is a strange, deadly place, filled with amazing natural resources.

The quirky humour of the people is to be treasured.

They try to be uppity with their restaurants, vineyards, big boys toys and gadgets, yet underneath, the wild west existence is evident all around.

It’s all in the nature of the place.

We are a mixture of the land we live in and the land we came from.


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Use Loads of Water – Ignore Hosepipe Ban

Pre-Emptive rationing Behaviour

Cars Queue Needlessly for Fuel

Cars Queue Needlessly for Fuel

In the spirit of the recent government diktat from dorky Francis Maude  for all motorists to get into their cars, then queue for hours to buy up all available petrol, I’ve decided to jump the gun on the water shortage!

I’ve now run round the house turning all the taps on and put the lawn sprinklers on full blast because I’m just outside the hosepipe ban area.

Hosepipe Ban

Hosepipe Ban

Five Baths!

Five Baths!

My partner plans to have five baths today as well.

This will ensure that all the water is gone before the ban starts!

Punch And Judy

That’s the way to do it!

That’s the way to do it!

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Google Tsunami Alert

Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami

Google Tsunami Alert

Google Tsunami Alert

Following this morning’s (using GMT) earthquake just off Japan (now set at 8.8 on the Richter Scale, but it keeps rising as more information is analysed), I noticed that the Google search page has a Tsunami warning for all to see.

I thought I’d capture it for posterity.

Enormity

This truly is an enormous event, the TV videos this morning of the wave’s advance making this perfectly clear.  How and when it finishes, we can only watch and wait as one of the great forces of nature plays out before us.

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Tsunami Transit Time for Japanese Tsunami of 11/3/11

Fortunately, the Tsunami warning system seems to be doing its job, and hopefully, those countries around the Pacific and the small Pacific Islands within have had enough time to warn folks to get to high ground.  This image shows how much time they’ve got!

 

NOAA Tsunami Warning @ 10:30 GMT

This is the state of play a short time ago and the actual alert, showing wave heights and periods out at sea.  When they hit the coast, things are very, very different.

000

WEPA40 PHEB 111030

TSUPAC

TSUNAMI BULLETIN NUMBER 006

PACIFIC TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER/NOAA/NWS

ISSUED AT 1030Z 11 MAR 2011

THIS BULLETIN APPLIES TO AREAS WITHIN AND BORDERING THE PACIFIC

OCEAN AND ADJACENT SEAS…EXCEPT ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…

WASHINGTON…OREGON AND CALIFORNIA.

… A WIDESPREAD TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT …

A TSUNAMI WARNING IS IN EFFECT FOR

JAPAN / RUSSIA / MARCUS IS. / N. MARIANAS / GUAM / WAKE IS. /

TAIWAN / YAP / PHILIPPINES / MARSHALL IS. / BELAU / MIDWAY IS. /

POHNPEI / CHUUK / KOSRAE / INDONESIA / PAPUA NEW GUINEA /

NAURU / JOHNSTON IS. / SOLOMON IS. / KIRIBATI / HOWLAND-BAKER /

HAWAII / TUVALU / PALMYRA IS. / VANUATU / TOKELAU / JARVIS IS. /

WALLIS-FUTUNA / SAMOA / AMERICAN SAMOA / COOK ISLANDS / NIUE /

FIJI / NEW CALEDONIA / TONGA / MEXICO /

KERMADEC IS / FR. POLYNESIA / PITCAIRN /

GUATEMALA / EL SALVADOR / COSTA RICA / NICARAGUA / ANTARCTICA /

PANAMA / HONDURAS / CHILE / ECUADOR / COLOMBIA / PERU

THIS BULLETIN IS ISSUED AS ADVICE TO GOVERNMENT AGENCIES. ONLY

NATIONAL AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO MAKE

DECISIONS REGARDING THE OFFICIAL STATE OF ALERT IN THEIR AREA AND

ANY ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IN RESPONSE.

AN EARTHQUAKE HAS OCCURRED WITH THESE PRELIMINARY PARAMETERS

ORIGIN TIME – 0546Z 11 MAR 2011

COORDINATES – 38.3 NORTH 142.4 EAST

DEPTH – 24 KM

LOCATION – NEAR EAST COAST OF HONSHU JAPAN

MAGNITUDE – 8.9

MEASUREMENTS OR REPORTS OF TSUNAMI WAVE ACTIVITY

GAUGE LOCATION LAT LON TIME AMPL PER

DART 21415 50.2N 171.8E 0845Z 0.27M / 0.9FT 52MIN

WAKE US 19.3N 166.6E 0928Z 0.39M / 1.3FT 14MIN

NAHA OKINAWA JP 26.2N 127.7E 0901Z 0.25M / 0.8FT 60MIN

SAIPAN US 15.2N 145.7E 0916Z 0.65M / 2.1FT 30MIN

TOSASHIMIZU SHIKOKU 32.8N 133.0E 0753Z 0.92M / 3.0FT 68MIN

OMAEZAKI HONSHU JP 34.6N 138.2E 0818Z 1.42M / 4.6FT 56MIN

DART 21419 44.5N 155.7E 0716Z 0.40M / 1.3FT 20MIN

DART 21413 30.5N 152.1E 0659Z 0.76M / 2.5FT 32MIN

HANASAKI HOKKAIDO J 43.3N 145.6E 0657Z 2.79M / 9.2FT 76MIN

DART 21401 42.6N 152.6E 0643Z 0.67M / 2.2FT 40MIN

DART 21418 38.7N 148.7E 0619Z 1.08M / 3.5FT 06MIN

LAT – LATITUDE (N-NORTH, S-SOUTH)

LON – LONGITUDE (E-EAST, W-WEST)

TIME – TIME OF THE MEASUREMENT (Z IS UTC IS GREENWICH TIME)

AMPL – TSUNAMI AMPLITUDE MEASURED RELATIVE TO NORMAL SEA LEVEL.

IT IS …NOT… CREST-TO-TROUGH WAVE HEIGHT.

VALUES ARE GIVEN IN BOTH METERS(M) AND FEET(FT).

PER – PERIOD OF TIME IN MINUTES(MIN) FROM ONE WAVE TO THE NEXT.

NOTE – DART MEASUREMENTS ARE FROM THE DEEP OCEAN AND THEY

ARE GENERALLY MUCH SMALLER THAN WOULD BE COASTAL

MEASUREMENTS AT SIMILAR LOCATIONS.

EVALUATION

SEA LEVEL READINGS CONFIRM THAT A TSUNAMI HAS BEEN GENERATED

WHICH COULD CAUSE WIDESPREAD DAMAGE. AUTHORITIES SHOULD TAKE

APPROPRIATE ACTION IN RESPONSE TO THIS THREAT. THIS CENTER WILL

CONTINUE TO MONITOR SEA LEVEL DATA TO DETERMINE THE EXTENT AND

SEVERITY OF THE THREAT.

A TSUNAMI IS A SERIES OF WAVES AND THE FIRST WAVE MAY NOT BE THE

LARGEST. TSUNAMI WAVE HEIGHTS CANNOT BE PREDICTED AND CAN VARY

SIGNIFICANTLY ALONG A COAST DUE TO LOCAL EFFECTS. THE TIME FROM

ONE TSUNAMI WAVE TO THE NEXT CAN BE FIVE MINUTES TO AN HOUR, AND

THE THREAT CAN CONTINUE FOR MANY HOURS AS MULTIPLE WAVES ARRIVE.

FOR ALL AREAS – WHEN NO MAJOR WAVES ARE OBSERVED FOR TWO HOURS

AFTER THE ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL OR DAMAGING WAVES HAVE NOT

OCCURRED FOR AT LEAST TWO HOURS THEN LOCAL AUTHORITIES CAN ASSUME

THE THREAT IS PASSED. DANGER TO BOATS AND COASTAL STRUCTURES CAN

CONTINUE FOR SEVERAL HOURS DUE TO RAPID CURRENTS. AS LOCAL

CONDITIONS CAN CAUSE A WIDE VARIATION IN TSUNAMI WAVE ACTION THE

ALL CLEAR DETERMINATION MUST BE MADE BY LOCAL AUTHORITIES.

BULLETINS WILL BE ISSUED HOURLY OR SOONER IF CONDITIONS WARRANT.

THE TSUNAMI WARNING WILL REMAIN IN EFFECT UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE.

THE JAPAN METEOROLOGICAL AGENCY MAY ALSO ISSUE TSUNAMI MESSAGES

FOR THIS EVENT TO COUNTRIES IN THE NORTHWEST PACIFIC AND SOUTH

CHINA SEA REGION. IN CASE OF CONFLICTING INFORMATION… THE

MORE CONSERVATIVE INFORMATION SHOULD BE USED FOR SAFETY.

THE WEST COAST/ALASKA TSUNAMI WARNING CENTER WILL ISSUE PRODUCTS

FOR ALASKA…BRITISH COLUMBIA…WASHINGTON…OREGON…CALIFORNIA.

 

Wake Island

I wonder how Wake Island is getting on?  The highest point on the island is only 20 feet and the wave should be there about now….

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Whales and Space Demonstrate Contrasts In Humanity

Introduction

Two items on today’s news demonstrated the vast contrasts in our humanity. Stardust probe finds ‘subdued’ comet crater & Japan halts whale hunt after chase by protesters.

Our Absolute Ingenuity and Progress

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

Four views of comet Tempel 1 as the Stardust spacecraft swept past.

The absolute ingenuity of us humans and how far we have come since our cave-dwelling days is supremely demonstrated by the return of pictures by the spacecraft, Stardust.

In this case, 12 years ago, Stardust was launched to look at an asteroid then collect samples from the dust of a comet, Wild 2It did all of this wonderfully.

Then, in the meantime, another spacecraft, Deep Impact, had been launched which crashed a small craft into another comet, Tempel, back in 2005, creating a crater.

The fantastic demonstration of our technical expertise is that almost on a whim, it was decided to get the first craft, Stardust, to have a look at this crater and beam the picture back to us – and it did all of this automatically, 336 million km from Earth, which a radio signal takes 18 minutes to travel!

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust's image with a small extra crater.

Evidence of the crater: Left shows a Deep Impact photo from 2005; Right shows Stardust’s image with a small extra crater.

Our Reluctance to Depart from our Hunter-gatherer Past

Dead Minke Whales On the Nisshin Maru research factory ship

Dead Minke On the Nisshin Maru “research factory ship”

Some people still hunt for sport.  Some nations dress hunting up with weasel words and hide their blood-lust behind the veil of science.  Such a nation is Japan which kills whales for “scientific research” (900-odd this year) yet openly reveals this research as a fraud with with the real goals of short-term monetary gain and blood lust .

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Whale for Sale: Sales of whalemeat have fallen, despite promotion

Here we see an advert for the “research” results.

mmm yummy.

It’s a desperate thing to see this because the Japanese claim that there lots of whales to eat – which was exactly what was said about the blue whale, right whale etc, all of which are now rarities of the ocean when once, they were plentiful.

It’s now being revealed by real research, that the more diverse an ecosystem is (and we live in one, you know), the more chance we will have of surviving all manner of disasters – disease, drought, climate change etc.

Thank Goodness For Bravery

Whalers clash with Conservationists

Whalers clash with Conservationists

So we should all thank the people from the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society who have peacefully risked their lives “for the bigger picture”.

It’s another aspect of humanity revealed to me today, in the news.

Bravery & Courage.

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

Ady Gil and Shonan Maru 2 confrontation

The whalers say constant harassment has forced them to suspend operations – well dah!

That’s the definition of bravery, as seen in these dramatic shots.

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Bridgwater: 5-bed Edwardian Town House For Sale

For Sale: 5 Bedroom town house in Historic Bridgwater, Somerset    SOLD!!

House For Sale

House For Sale - TA6 7DN

On three floors, brick construction.  Located on the west side of Bridgwater, with easy fast access to the town centre.

  • 5 bedrooms
  • 3 reception rooms
  • Full central heating
  • Roof remade to modern standards of lining and insulation
  • Double glazed
  • Triple glazed conservatory area.

Price:

I’m looking at £164k but in the current market, who’s to say? Make an offer.

Cons:

  1. Needs some renovation to the most modern standards
  2. Small garden front and rear
  3. On main road
  4. On street parking (although most people don’t use their garages for parking hereabouts anyway)

Pros:

  • Almost totally complete and original Edwardian (1903) town house with nearly all fittings and fixtures, tiles, original fireplaces (some marble) in every room, inbuilt wardrobes and cupboards, servant’s bell (yes really!). c.f. point 1 above!
  • Minimal garden maintenance. c.f. point 2 above!
  • Sash windows ditched in favour of modern double glazing (visually not so good but a lot less draughty and quieter too)
  • 28kW gas-fired Central Heating (except hall for aesthetics)
  • Huge bedrooms mainly, can easily be converted en-suite with room to spare.
  • Two w.c., one with bath & shower
  • Conservatory-like covered and insulated courtyard.
  • Close to town centre shops & entertainments etc
  • NOT on the flood plain!! (on an old sandstone mound in Bridgwater on the Somerset Levels)
  • New clean & efficient bathroom
  • 2.5 miles from M5 motorway
  • 1 mile from mainline railway station with direct links to London & Edinburgh
  • 5 miles from Quantock Hills (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty)
  • 5 miles from Bridgwater Bay (see above)
  • 15 miles from Brendon Hills & Exmoor, see above
  • Glastonbury (new age mob) is 25 mins away, Exeter 35 & Bristol is 35-60 mins away, (dependant on time of day and place!)

Read the rest of this entry >>

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