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Monday, November 30, 2009

Would you pay?

We have got rather used to the internet content being free. The idea of actually paying to read something online seems to be an anathema, when it was rumoured that Facebook was going to charge for use there was uproar.

I heard today that Johnston Press, a large regional newpaper company, is to charge for access to online content from six of its titles. News International are considering doing the same next year. So far the only newspaper site to charge is the Financial Times.

The newspapers are seeing falling circulation and advertising figures and are trying to drag revenue from the their online presence.

So would you pay? My natural response is no. I seldom read a newspaper anyway and virtually never look at the online additions. If I want news I go to the BBC website (Mr Murdoch and his cohorts loathe the BBC, which is enough reason for me to like it !).

Dragging money out of the net for content is rather difficult, the net has traditionally been free so we are all used to not paying. It is an odd mindset, I expect to pay for a physical magazine but not for the online version - and I do see the total hypocrisy in that attitude.

Perhaps with electronic readers becoming more usable we'll be willing to pay to download an electronic version. This of course isn't new, even before the net we had the music industry complaining about music piracy.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Dull, Grey, wet and horrible.

What a difference a day makes! The weather is awful! Dull, grey and wet with no sun at all.

I had so wanted it to be sunny, hey ho.

I snuck out for an hour to snap some pictures of Blue Tits with a Great Tit and a Goldfinch. I REALLY had to dump the ISO up so the pics aren't that good. Some birder I am! I opened the car and no bins! I had to use my little ones.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

A Day out on a sunny late November day

Matters of high finance (ok a saving bond had matured) meant I ended up in Sudbury. Actually I could have done it in my lunchtime but it gave me an excuse to take Dad out.

A very unusual sight nowadays.

We then went to Finchingfield, a lovely picture post card village in Essex. The sun was shining even if it was a tadge chilly.

I'm coming!

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Hammerhead Shark

And what shall we talk about today? I could mention my Facebook account has been b%gg$d for over 24 hours. If you EVENTUALLY contact them you get a naff form email.

I know its a free service but they its a multi-million dollar business that is aimed at bringing people together and it has NO customer service.

Oh well at least I can still play scrabble, farmville and cafeworld, even if I can't accept gifts.

I am hoping to play with the Panasonic GF1 on Sunday. Hopefully a few pictures :D


There's an interesting article on the BBC website about why Hammerhead sharks have such an odd shaped head.

A new survey show that despite the odd eye placement they have better frontal vision than more conventional shark heads.

Its hard to believe that isn't it? The article goes on to say that the as the hammerhead head has expanded, the degree of binocular overlap has increased with it. The eyes of hammerhead sharks are tilted slightly forward, she says, allowing the field of vision of each to significantly overlap.

Interesting stuff

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Squirrel 1 - 0 Dog

Rather good story on the Daily Mail site today (can't believe I'm saying that!!) with some cool pics.

A dog was menacing a baby squirrel when it got attacked by Mum. This distracted the dog and the squirrel got her baby to safety. Check it out!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

The Muntjac in Northern Ireland

Apparently the first sighting of a Muntjac in the wild was announced last Monday. A young male was spotted in County Down in June 2009. It was knocked down by a car in the Carrowdore area.

The Environment Agency believes Muntjac are such a menace it has asked for anyone who spots them to report it immediately. Under the Agency's exclusion strategy and action plan for Muntjac deer the recommended course of action is to eradicate them.

An agency statement said:

A Muntjac Deer Action Plan was prepared by NIEA some years ago which identifies a number of actions to be initiated if a wild population is discovered. This plan has now been activated in an attempt to halt the spread of the species.

The agency has also said anyone who releases or allows the deer to escape into Northern Ireland faces prosecution under the the Wildlife Order (NI) 1985.

There have subsequently been confirmed sightings in County Wicklow and unconfirmed reports from locations across Northern Ireland.

In England Muntjac were introduced into a park in Bedfordshire in the early 20th century and either escaped or were deliberately released. They are fairly widespread now.

Unlike most deer Muntjac don't live in herds but are solitary or found in pairs.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The species make up of RSPB reserves.

This blog has been a little flat of late, the dull grey weather and rain at the weekend doesn't help does it?

Anyway what to talk about?

A new survey has discovered that Minsmere has more species of organism than any other RSPB reserve.

The RSPB survey all it's 200 odd reserves and found a total of 13,400 species of which more than a half were insects, almost a quarter were fungi and 12% were plants. Birds made up about 3%.

Minsmere topped the list with 5,348 different species living there.

Monday, November 23, 2009


If you are at a loose end and want to try out some seasonal recipes you could try out the National Trust Recipes.

Each recipe comes with written instructions and a video demo.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Hitching a ride

The sun was glorious at seven am this morning. Of course now I been round Dad's and had dinner the sky is grey and the wet stuff is falling.

It's about now my thoughts turn to holidays. Of course none of these will take place until April 2010 at the earliest. Sad muppet that I am I keep thinking I ought to go to places you haven't seen on the blog. Anyway my thoughts will go on the back burner until Christmas as come, the only certainty is I want to go to the Isle of Wight in May - I've never been and there are a 7 or 8 churches on that book list.

Anyway lets talk natrure

You can imagine the surprise of a research team working around the Azores when they found a seahorse Hippocampus erectus that is usually found along the Atlantic coast and Caribbean sea coasts of North, Central and South America.

It's the first record of the species in the Eastern Atlantic.

The scientists are trying to work out how it got there. Well it could have been released from an aquarium or transported in the ballast water of a tanker. However the preferred theory according to Dr Paul Shaw (Royal Holloway, University of London) is that the seahorse hitched a ride across the ocean on a floating raft.

The seahorse attaches itself to some floating material such as seaweed or other vegetation, then this 'raft' is carried by prevailing Gulf Stream currents away from the American coast and across the Atlantic to the Azores

Seahorses have been seen in the middle of the ocean holding on to floating seagrass with their tail so I guess the seahorse off the Azores may have done the same.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

An Autumn day out.

The big exciting news of the day is that on Monday @ 4:20 there is a brand new series of ...... Shaun the Sheep WOO HOO. There is a piece in the telegraph. There is repeat straight after so we get 10 minutes of corkingly good telly.

I popped into Stortford and got to handle the lovely Panasonc GF1 with 20mm (40 equiv) f1.7. The size is fine. And no I haven't bought one.

So what to do? I thought i'd finally take a look at a local church (not in the book) but alas Clavering church was locked.

On the walk down I saw these and thought of OC

So lets have another local church Wenden Ambos.

And then for a walk around Audley End.