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Wednesday, March 31, 2010


There is a movement to introduce double summertime. The clocks wouldn't go back in the autumn but would go on in the spring.

The advantages are that there would be longer evenings and apparently this will mean less road deaths.

I'm not sure how the later happens because we'll have darker mornings. For instance after the clocks went back this weekend my early get up at around half five means I am back to using the lights when I go to work. I like light mornings it means at the weekend I can get out and do stuff whilst everyone else is lying in bed.

Its a latish Easter this year and I had high hopes of goodish weather. As it is the temperatures are more like late February, rain is forecast and there are blizzards in Scotland!!

Still some good telly on at Easter. The new Doctor Who and a Jonathan Creek special.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Mind Control?

Scientists have found they can change people's moral judgements by disrupting a specific area of the brain with magnetic pulses.

Apparently a region of the brain just above and behind the right ear seems to control morality.

The scientists used magnetic pulses to block cell activity they impaired volunteers' notion of right and wrong.

The study was carried out by Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lead researcher Dr Liane Young said:

You think of morality as being a really high-level behaviour.

To be able to apply a magnetic field to a specific brain region and change people's moral judgments is really astonishing.

Sarah-Jayne Blakemore of University College London said:

The study suggests that this region - the RTPJ - is necessary for moral reasoning.

What is interesting is that this is a region that is very late developing - into adolescence and beyond right into the 20s.

The next step would be to look at how or whether moral development changes through childhood into adulthood.

Monday, March 29, 2010


A bit of a change of subject.

Two Historic sex toys were sold at Auction in Essex for £3,600 recently.

The catalogue description read:

Designed to please Lot 340 - an extraordinary and exceptionally rare "Travel Godemiche.

A pair of wooden phallus contained within a fitted kid leather covered Treen case with strap fleurs-de-lys decoration

The case, although having a re-lined interior, appears to have aged commensurate with the phallus.

One was 10 inches long the other 11. They date to the 18th century.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

of boilers and birds

I was just going to head for Dad's this morning when I remembered I hadn't changed the clock on my boiler so I went to do it and found the damn thing was on and I couldn't turn it off!! So I called British Gas to be told soeone would be with me between 12 and 6. Which seemed to mean I was missing my sunday lunch! BUT QUELLE SURPRISE I got a phone call at five to 12 to say they'd be there in 5 minutes!! He quickly fixed it and I told Dad we were on for dinner in the evening.

So I headed to Rye Meads. The birds were frustratingly out of camera range but I did get to see a Kingfisher, Green Sandpiper, a singing Chiffchaff AND a singing Blackcap!

So one photo! A certain person in Newfoundland would not be happy!! So I headed to Fisher's Green and the feeders had been filled!


Saturday, March 27, 2010

Busy doing nothing

I'm sorry no photos today.

My car went in today for its service. All ok, they fixed the rear wash wipe under warranty, but I need 3 new tyres and the 4th was borderline. I can't complain they had done over 30,000 miles.

I waited for the car 2.5 hours which was fine as I read (240 pages) and finished Bernard Cornwall's Harlequin - really good. It's set during 100 years war and covers the Battle of Crecy.

When I picked the car up I headed off but we had a cloud burst so I decided to wander home and laze about. I'll pop out tomorrow afternoon.

The clocks go on tonight!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


I had to use up a days holiday before 31st March so I made a long weekend of it.

I considered heading to Norfolk but given the late spring decided it wasn't worth it. I went to Fisher's Green but the feeding station feeders weren't filled up. No Hirundines seen by me. There was a lovely Song Thrush, Great Spot, Little Egret, Cetti's and ducks and stuff.

I then went to Amwell.

Reed Bunting

Hello what's this?

Let's have a look.

Ooh I'll have a stretch.

Very nice

Has he gone?

Mr & Mrs Gadwall

And a little poser!!

I actually got to see a Cetti's Warbler! A puddle in the woods was used as a bath by both a Song Thrush and a Redwing (with a Chiffchaff calling in the background). There were a couple of Redshank and a Ringed Plover.

After lunch I headed to Hatfield Forest. Chiffchaff about and a first for me a Little Grebe on the lake! It was getting bullied by a Moorhen and a Great Crested Grebe!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

What's in a name?

I was round Dad's today and said

"I see there is a house like yours for sale down Bunces Hill".

Now that seems a fairly routine statement but it got me thinking. How many people would know what I meant?

The term Bunces Hill was probably used by a bunch of people who lived there in the 70's. Bunces was the sweet shop at the bottom of the hill near where my folks live and I passed it going to school! I imagine 95% of the people living there now wouldn't have a clue what I was on about.

Years ago someone I know gave directions and referred to the Saxon Inn Hotel. Again I know where that is but the Saxon Inn has had many changes of name since!

Perhaps sadder is that the village names that went to make up my home town are now being forgotten.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

A fool and his money.....

There is a recession on. Well you wouldn't necessarily know it walking around Selfridges yesterday.

Apparently Selfridges sell Hams for £1,800 and Beef Sandwiches for £86. And there was a waiting list for both!!!!! The Beef was Kobe Beef apparently so that's alright then !!!

When you wander into Selfridges you are greeted by the perfume counter and its smells. The ladies are well groomed and many rather easy on the eye. Must be a pre-requisite I imagine.

I wandered down to look at the Cameras and noticed a lens that retails for £1169 at Warehouseexpress was going for £1500, another that I know cost £4600 was going for about £5500. I have to wonder what the Selfridges service experience must be like! Its going to have to special to be worth a £1000. The same lens at the excellent Grays of Westminster was £4669 (I checked).

I mean honestly I don't care how much money you have why just give it away? Do the girls from perfumes wander down and serve you and mop your fevered brow and feed you your £86 Kobe Beef sandwich? They'd be picking me off the floor in shock!

I don't begrude people earning mega bucks but why pay £1000 more for something when you can have it delivered directly to your desk for a measly £7.50?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

A morning in London.

I was booked for a meeting in London today from 1 to 5. I realised that I could take advantage of this so I took the morning off and headed to London for a bit of sightseeing.


A church! Methodist I think.

And on to my first target

766 The Church of St James, Spanish Place. Roman Catholic.

Views down Oxford Street

And a Nightingale sang in Berkeley Square (well no actually but it is the square).

Target two

767 The Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street. Roman Catholic.

The Dorchester Hotel. A bit out of my price range.

Apsley House. London Seat of the Duke of Wellington. Lovely art collection.

Hyde Park Corner

Once in the park the noise of the traffic recedes (the building you can see below is the one in the picture of Hyde Park corner). These lovely parks are for me the best things of London. Yes the buildings are amazing the art collections wonderful but here you can walk and enjoy nature. The humble Blue Tit may get dismissed when serious birding takes place but here it is a lovely sight. You can also find Blackbirds, Great Tits , Longtails, chaffinches and woodpeckers. Those who despise the Grey Squirrel have to like it here. There are a few here and I presume they are an isolated population.

The Serpentine provides a home for Mute Swans, Mallards, Geese, Tufties, Pochards, Coots, Moorhen and Great Crested Grebes amongst others

Marble Arch.

I stopped for a bite of lunch at a Pizza Hut! And a final view of Selfridges before the meeting.