Sunday, November 30, 2008

Failed Parenting

Parents ... stay aware of flying feet!
Watch this video!!

Solve one problem, another crops up!

Most wine bottles these days have screw caps instead of the the corks. But this is having an adverse effect on the environment too. The destruction of the cork oak forests which are home to some rare and beautiful animals in Europe.

The cork oak can have its bark stripped off every nine years. Each stripping yields enough cork for 4000 bottles. However of late, to avoid the problem of wine being 'corked' wine producers have started switching to screw caps and synthetic corks. As a result, farmers who harvested cork are finding themselves with no income. So they are uprooting the cork oaks and trying to replant with more economically viable trees. There is one problem though ... it is not easy to replant on land where cork oaks stand. It usually just turns to desert.

Cork oak forests, which cover 2.7 million of hectares worldwide and support rare species such as Iberian lynx, black storks and booted eagles, are already disappearing in some areas. Faced with falling demand for cork stoppers, which make up 70 per cent of the income from cork harvests, farmers are ripping up trees that have been on their land for hundreds of years in an attempt to grow alternative crops, such as eucalyptus.

The land that cork oaks grow on, however, is poor quality and when the trees are removed, the land often turns into desert. In the Algarve, Portugal, cork forests have declined by 28 per cent in the past 10 years.

A study by conservation charity The World Wildlife Fund estimated that up to three quarters of the Mediterranean cork forests could be lost within 10 years if the trend for plastic stoppers and screw tops continues, and a new BBC Natural World documentary, will next month highlight the threats facing the forests and warn they could vanish completely unless wine makers switch back to using real corks.


Saturday, November 29, 2008


Can you tell I am working on the school album these days? Blue printed paper is K & Co. As is the faux stitching rub-on. Chipboard alphabet by Heidi Swapp. Sentiment coaster by Imaginations Project. Font downloaded from 2Peas. Ric-rac ribbon from my stash.

Someone needs a trim ... :-D

China police stop a driver - discover he has no arms!

Police were amazed at their discovery during a routine check of vehicles on the road. Zing Shen, 42, was steering the vehicle with his feet and said he had been doing so for years. It was reported that he was stunned when police officers issued him with a public safety summons. The man told traffic police that ever since he lost his arms in an industrial accident several years ago, he had used his feet to steer his vehicle without difficulty. He has no arms from the elbows down. His car was an automatic so he did not have to concern himself with changing gear.

Priceless Observations

Sometimes, when I look at my children, I say to myself,'Lillian, you should have remained a virgin.'
- Lillian Carter (mother of Jimmy Carter)

I had a rose named after me and I was very flattered. But I was not pleased to read the description in the catalog: - 'No good in a bed, but fine against a wall.'
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Last week, I stated this woman was the ugliest woman I had ever seen. I have since been visited by her sister, and now wish to withdraw that statement.
- Mark Twain

The secret of a good sermon is to have a good beginning and a good ending; and to have the two as close together as possible.
- George Burns

Santa Claus has the right idea. Visit people only once a year.
- Victor Borge

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.
- Mark Twain

By all means, marry. If you get a good wife, you'll become happy; if you get a bad one, you'll become a philosopher.
- Socrates

I was married by a judge. I should have asked for a jury.
- Groucho Marx

My wife has a slight impediment in her speech. Every now and then she stops to breathe.
- Jimmy Durante

I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back.
- Zsa Zsa Gabor

Only Irish coffee provides in a single glass all four essential food groups: alcohol, caffeine, sugar and fat.
- Alex Levine

My luck is so bad that if I bought a cemetery, people would stop dying.
- Rodney Dangerfield

Money can't buy you happiness .. But it does bring you a more pleasant form of misery.
- Spike Milligan

Until I was thirteen, I thought my name was SHUT UP.
- Joe Namath

I don't feel old. I don't feel anything until noon. Then it's time for my nap.
- Bob Hope

I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.
- W. C. Fields

We could certainly slow the aging process down if it had to work its way through Congress.
- Will Rogers

Don't worry about avoiding temptation. As you grow older, it will avoid you.
- Winston Churchill

Maybe it's true that life begins at fifty .. But everything else starts to wear out, fall out, or spread out.
- Phyllis Diller

By the time a man is wise enough to watch his step, he's too old to go anywhere.
- Billy Crystal

And the cardiologist's diet: - If it tastes good spit it out.

(Thanks Michi!)

Interesting Wildlife Shots

Rare Squid on Film

This is the Magnapinna Squid which lives at depths of 4000 feet in total darkness. The video footage below is the first time they have been filmed with such clarity. The tentacles of this squid have elbows.

The squid was spotted a mile and a half below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico at an oil and gas drilling site off the coast of Houston, Texas. The footage, recorded on a remote-controlled camera, shows the creature's long tentacles hanging at right angles from shoulder-like "arms" jutting out of its body.

The magnapinna's peculiar arrangement of limbs has baffled marine biologists since the deep-sea species was first identified in 1998. One theory is that the elbows help prevent the squid's tentacles from becoming tangled, as it drags them along the seabed trawling for food. Others suggest that the squid waits for prey to collide with and get trapped among its sticky limbs.

Friday, November 28, 2008

First Merit Certificate

Layout done with a Club Scrap kit. This particular paper was so beautiful to look at and touch but not easy at all to scrapbook with. It overpowered the photographs very easily and coloured photos just did not go with it at all. I think it would be perfect for sepia toned photos but I have none of those at present. It would make amazing cards and I have some stashed away just for this purpose ... someday I shall use them! lol! It is a good thing these papers are of very good quality - otherwise they'd turn brown by the time I got around to using them!

So I decided to use it for this layout, where the photograph is not really that important. It is a reduced scan of Lily's first merit certificate which was too big to put inside the scrapbook. I layered a photo of her onto the scan - one of my 'photoshop learning' projects. Letter stickers and stamp are also from Club Scrap.

Fossil Ammonite washbasin

Gosh ... how beautiful is this?!!? Makes me want to redo my bathroom all over! HighTech Design Products AG (I think they are a German company but they seem to have a Chinese branch too ... yay!) makes this washbasin in concrete. Cool spiralling fossil look - something new in the world of washbasin fashions!

Called 'Ammonite' like the fascinating fossils, a rolled up helix is the basic design of this basin. The Egyptian god Amun or Ammon was always depicted wearing sprial rams horns and Pliny the Elder named these fossils ammonis cornua ("horns of Ammon"). There is also something mathematical about the spiral - some very interesting calculation with ratios (I think!) but I cannot remember it exactly. If you know what I am talking about, please contact me. I need to remember!


An interesting subject at school: Witchcraft

It is a sad thing that not only do people still believe in witches but that this belief often leads to the killing of innocents. It is like we never left the Middle Ages! So now schools in India will include witchcraft in the syllabus as part of the Governments efforts to stamp out the superstitions and put a stop to the horrendous witch hunts. I wish them well.

Many tribal communities in the country believe in witches and their ability to cause harm to people, animals and the harvest. About 750 people, mostly old women, are estimated to have been killed in witch-hunts in rural India since 2003. In one of the worst cases, a family of four stoned and buried alive for allegedly cursing a relative of the village chief, the Times reports. Advocates for a change to the syllabus say beliefs must be altered early if India’s witch-hunts are to be stamped out.

A Santa training school in South Korea!

Want to learn how to say 'Ho Ho Ho' just right? Or maybe do the Santa dance moves (what are those?!) ... Off you go to South Korea to learn how to be a Santa. And then maybe to Germany for a month long working holiday? You have got to get used to globe trotting anyway - it's part of the job description.

A South Korean amusement park is teaching students what it takes to be a good Santa Claus during the festive season. Dozens of Santa school students gathered on Wednesday (November 26) at Everland Park, which is about an hour's drive south of Seoul, to master the Santa technique. Instead of riding a sleigh, the 30 male and female Santa students rode on the roller coaster, they were also trained to perfect their chuckle, dance-moves and carolling.

Comments that could have been made in the year 1955

'I'll tell you one thing, if things keep going the way they are, it's going to be impossible to buy a week's groceries for $20.00.'

'Have you seen the new cars coming out next year? It won't be long before $2, 000.00 will only buy a used one.'

'If cigarettes keep going up in price, I'm going to quit. A quarter a pack is ridiculous.

'Did you hear the post office is thinking about charging a dime just to mail a letter?'

'If they raise the minimum wage to $1.00, nobody will be able to hire outside help at the store.'

'When I first started driving, who would have thought gas would someday cost 29 cents a gallon. Guess we'd be better off leaving the car in the garage.'

'Kids today are impossible. Those duck tail hair cuts make it impossible to stay groomed. Next thing you know, boys will be wearing their hair as long as the girls.'

'I'm afraid to send my kids to the movies any more. Ever since they let Clark Gable get by with saying DAMN in GONE WITH THE WIND, it seems every new movie has either HELL or DAMN in it.'

'I read the other day where some scientist thinks it's possible to put a man on the moon by the end of the century. They even have some fellows they call astronauts preparing for it down in Texas .'

'Did you see where some baseball player just signed a contract for $75,000 a year just to play ball? It wouldn't surprise me if someday they'll be making more than the President.'

'I never thought I'd see the day all our kitchen appliances would be electric. They are even making electric typewriters now.'

'It's too bad things are so tough nowadays. I see where a few married women are having to work to make ends meet.'

'It won't be long before young couples are going to have to hire someone to watch their kids so they can both work.'

'Marriage doesn't mean a thing any more, those Hollywood stars seem to be getting divorced at the drop of a hat.'

'I'm afraid the Volkswagen car is going to open the door to a whole lot of foreign business.'

'Thank goodness I won't live to see the day when the Government takes half our income in taxes. I sometimes wonder if we are electing the best people to congress.'

'The drive-in restaurant is convenient in nice weather, but I seriously doubt they will ever catch on.'

'There is no sense going to Lincoln or Omaha anymore for a weekend, it costs nearly $15.00 a night to stay in a hotel.'

'No one can afford to be sick anymore, at $35.00 a day in the hospital it's too rich for my blood.'

'If they think I'll pay 50 cents for a hair cut, forget it.'

Thursday, November 27, 2008

My Heart Hurts

I grew up in Bombay ( it will never be Mumbai for me). Lived there for twenty-one years.

I shall leave the figuring out the 'whys' and the 'hows' to others who understand this stuff better. I do not understand, cannot comprehend, how killing and maiming of innocents can achieve anything. I see people bleeding and dying. I see the city I love in chaos and suffering. And my heart hurts ...

My first ever employment - a real job where I actually got paid good money - was at the Taj hotel. It is a beautiful building, gracious, old, charming, full of works of art. Inside the building a lot of the structure is in wood. It is the preferred hotel for most visitors. It was a lovely place to work. Now I see this grand old building in flames. And my heart hurts ...

IBNLive streaming video

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Seven Kinds Of Sex....

The 1st kind of sex is called ... Smurf Sex.
This kind of sex happens when you first meet someone and you both have sex until you are blue in the face..

The 2nd kind of sex is called ... Kitchen Sex.
This is when you have been with your partner for a short time and you are so needy you will have sex anywhere, even in the kitchen..

The 3rd kind of sex is called ... Bedroom Sex.
This is when you have been with your partner for a long time. Your sex has gotten routine and you usually have sex only in your bedroom.

The 4th kind of sex is called ... Hallway Sex. (also called Oral Sex)
This is when you have been with your partner for too long. When you pass each other in the hallway you both say .... 'F*%k You.'

The 5th kind of sex is called ... Religious Sex.
Which means you get Nun in the morning, Nun in the afternoon and Nun at night. (Very Popular)

The 6th kind is called ... Courtroom Sex.
This is when you cannot stand your husband/wife any more. He/She takes you to court and screws you in front of everyone.

And last ... But not least ...
The 7th kind of sex is called ... Social Security Sex.
You get a little each month.. But not enough to enjoy your self.


Bra for Boys ...

A bra for men becomes the hottest selling men's underwear item on a Japanese online shopping site. The move has provoked heated online discussion in Japan with thousands debating the merits of male use of the item of underwear.

Toshi Maeda reports.

And hats off to him for reporting in a bra ...! lol!!

Worm in the brain

Another story emphasising the importance of washing your hands frequently! Supposedly a worm on dirty hands got inside the body of a woman from Arizona. It then travelled up into her brain where it caused her to have numbness in her right arm and blurred vision. On being operated, surgeons found the worm happily lodged in her brain stem.

I spent time time staring at the photo (check the link) but I still can't see the worm. Some one point the worm out to me!

Doctors in Arizona operated on Rosemary Alvarez after she started feeling numbness in her arm and blurred vision. Ms Alvarez went to the emergency room twice and had an x-ray, but everything appeared normal. It was only when doctors took a closer look at a scan that they discovered something very disturbing.

Neurosurgeon Dr Peter Nakaji said: "Once we saw the MRI we realised this is something not good. It's something down in her brain stem which is as deep in the brain as you can be." Ms Alvarez was taken into the operating room where Dr Nakaji and his colleagues were expecting to remove a tumor.

Experts said worms can come from eating undercooked pork or spread by people who do not wash their hands after using the bathroom, according to reports. "It only takes one person who is spreading it constantly to get a lot of people exposed and some of those people are going to go on to develop this problem," Dr Nakaji said. Ms Alvarez, who is now healthy, said she hopes people learn lessons from her story. "Wash your hands, wash your hands," she said.

Germany needs Santas!

The job pays up to $75 (60 Euro) an hour. Even though the job is only for a month, the pay is not bad, is it? Qualifications: Chubby, cheerful and no criminal record. If you have a white fluffy beard growing from your chin, it will be an added bonus. But not too many takers around!

Germany is running out of qualified Santa Clauses and needs to recruit and train them fast, a leading job agency says. Germans are trying to shut out the financial crisis by taking comfort in traditional festivities, and there is an acute shortage of Santas to entertain children at shopping centers, Christmas markets and private parties.
"Being Santa is not an easy job," says Jens Wittenberger, in charge of Santa Claus recruitment at the Jobcafe Munich. The job center wants its Santas to be child-friendly, good organizers, reliable and have acting skills. They also need a clean police record. Recruitment sessions are being held in cities across the country, and while the job may be stressful, it's better than being jobless.

Finally: Widescreen YouTube!!

YouTube has switched to a widescreen format as part of its drive to encourage Hollywood studios to release films on the site. The video-sharing website increased the size of its player after years of complaints from users, many of whom have switched to rivals offering bigger screens and higher quality.

The move to widescreen is the latest in a number of recent changes at YouTube, which was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion (£1.07 billion at the current exchange rate) in 2006 but has been unable so far to turn its massive popularity into profits. The website has also been experimenting with high-definition videos.

And a very interesting clip that shows the difference between widescreen and box view:


Mostly used supplies from Club Scrap - some stamps from Sunday International. I enjoyed the folding of the kimonos using coloured vellum. I used to be very good at origami as a child. There are two kinds of boxes that I could fold almost blindfolded. Have been meaning to take up the art form again. Yes ... yes .. lots of plans for my free time - which seems to be getting ever more scarce!

Dutch will now grow their own Cannabis

Folks in Holland, who visit the famous 'coffee houses' will now be able to consume cannabis grown in the country. Just think how much the environment is helped by consuming locally grown produce! And that is not the only plus point. By allowing the local production of soft drugs, the criminal element in this industry will be thwarted. Good for business!!

The "grow-your-own" idea has taken hold in Eindhoven, while Tilburg's city council has said it is considering starting up a "cannabis market garden" of its own to supply local coffee shops. Others are expected to follow suit, as the Dutch government considers nationalising soft drugs production and sales in a bid to decriminalise the industry. Forty mayors met at the weekend, with many in favour of legalising soft drugs, whose consumption is a major tourist draw for Holland.

But there are some nay-sayers ... well sort of. Read on ...

Monday, November 24, 2008

And how about doggies ...

Like them?

Like Quizzes?

Then you will enjoy this website:

It has a lot of well thought out and smart quizzes - like 'The 4-Variable IQ Test' or 'What Colour crayon are you?' :-D

Forest Fires

A few years ago some people deliberately set fire to the countryside in France. And a couple days after the fires were finally put out we drove through the area. I cannot describe in words the desolation and sadness that fell upon us as we looked upon mile after mile of charred earth and bare trees, standing mute testimony to the aberration of the human kind. And yet this lifelessness had a surreal beauty of its own which compelled me to take these photographs.

Paper is from Club Scrap. Journalling block is a stamped image. I singed the cardstock under the title. The metal corners - not sure who makes them. They were all the rage a few years ago!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

5 million starlings over Rome!

Local bird-busters are hitting the streets of Rome to clear the city from thousands of starlings. For decades starlings have descended on the Italian city of Rome making it their winter home. But the bird's excrement leaves the city's residents annoyed and frustrated.

The city council has called the bird-busters for assistance. At a cost of around 120,000 euros ($150,200 U.S. dollars) each season, the starling squad moves around Rome, scaring the birds with recordings of their own distress calls, amplified to ear-splitting volumes.

Jukebox Site

Play all of your favourite songs from 1952 through 1982. Each year has a scroll or drop down box that shows all the great songs for that year. Most years have over 40 songs. There is even a section at the bottom that allows you to listen to show tunes, TV show themes, Doo Wop and several others. This is pretty neat....and it is free.


Layout done with the Extra Extra kit from Club Scrap.

Text: Among Hindu Brahmins all boys in their early teens have a thread ceremony. Jishnu had his thread ceremony a bit late - at 18. As part of the ritual he had to have his head shaved bald. He was not too pleased about it, as evidenced from his expression.

Jishnu had to wake up very early in the morning - actually before sunrise. After having a very minimal breakfast he had to fast all day. He was rubbed all over with turmeric paste. Then he had to bathe in very cold river water. He insisted that it was slimy too! Then the barber came brandishing his razor and shaved off all that beautiful hair - traumatic but the boy bore it equanimity. However when he was told to wear a large conical hat and parade around the neighbourhood with an umbrella held over his head, Jishnu refused to cooperate and marched back into the house. All-in-all a very successful thread ceremony indeed!

Playstation Addiction

After a really long time (the article does not say how long exactly but I am interested in knowing how many hours the kid was playing!) on his Playstation, a youngster seemed to go into a trance-like state and not comprehend or react to his surroundings! he could not speak - it look like he was having a brain seizure. This required a new diagnosis 'Playstation Addiction'. Another problem to add to our growing list of woes.

Lorenzo Amato was rushed to hospital by his father, who feared he was suffering a stroke or brain trauma as the teenager would not respond to his surroundings. At first doctors at Lecce hospital, Southern Italy, thought Lorenzo Amato was suffering from a severe brain disorder. The teenager couldn't speak and didn't seem to understand anything going on around him.

Doctors diagnosed the condition after discovering that Amato had just finished a marathon session on his new PlayStation. Local politician Antonio Buccoliero, who spoke to the doctors, said: "They eventually managed to take care of him once they understood that this was a strange kind of mental detachment connected to his PlayStation."

Friday, November 21, 2008


This is one of those photographs that one does not know where to put ... it is supposed to be part of the Verbier album but it was too different from the rest - I am all for putting as many photos on a page and getting the album done kind of scrapper! This photo put me in a quandary. Finally I decided I had no choice but to make a single photo layout even if the photograph is a bit blurred and not good enough for a 'stand alone' sort of page. It was just the kind of edgy shot that I'd love to take but am never able to ... lol!

I used a lot of glitter glue and stickles and interference acrylic paints. - the shiny stuff!! The 3 star shapes are grungeboards by Tim Holtz. The arrow is a stencil which I cut out from pink cardstock. The letters I drew and cut freehand. They are stamped with a Stampendous cube that has 3 sides. If you use all three you get a plaid pattern. I just used one side with Brilliance inks. All cardstock is the shiny stuff from Worldwin - Elan Metallics I think they are called. Really like some of the shades. I wanted to use the Saturn Red on this layout but ran out. The border stickers are from Starform.

Time to visit Dubai ...

I was last there almost 15 years ago. I cannot wait to go again and marvel at the changes! And Atlantis the Palm, which I must go see and perhaps stay one night, is one of those hotels that I think have become a destination in itself!

Some of the staggering statistics involved in the opening of Dubai's latest luxury resort:

Atlantis by Numbers

£15 million (US$22.5 million) budget
2,000 guests
1,000 serving staff
500 chefs
1.7 metric tonnes/tons of lobster eaten
5,000 sushi canapes
£1.5 million (US$2.25 mil) reported fee for Kylie ($225,000 per song)
One million fireworks, including 100,000 rockets

1,539 rooms
£25,000 (US$38,000) per night to stay in the Bridge Suite
1.4km of beachfront
2,250 tonnes of marble and stone used in the construction
60,000 trees and shrubs planted in the grounds
68 languages spoken by staff
11 million litre aquarium
65,000 marine animals, including 24 dolphins and a whale shark
100 staff to look after the fish, including a team of chefs

Thursday, November 20, 2008

more Verbier

I’d liked to have fit five photographs on this layout, since I think odd numbers look better than even, but I simply could not crop the photos any further. So four it would have to be! Thin borders on both sides create another simple showcase for some very nice photographs. This layout uses Elan Metallics Expressive Paper in WHite and Blue from WorldWin Papers and decorative scissors in 'Imperial' design.

This layout started with a base border of sand colored cardstock. Then I used a beautiful textured cardstock in green to bring out the green in the photographs. To emphasize the texture, I lightly rubbed a white chalk ink over it. The three photographs are anchored to the base border, so technically are part of the border. This design works very well on a 12X12 page with five or more photos. The empty upper half of the layout will be larger, thus making the photographs more striking. Elan Metallics paper in Sky, Sand and White by Worldwin Papers. Also the green Ruche cardstock is by Worldwin. Nostalgique Stickers by Rebecca Sower - laugh description. 'Escape' sticker by Terri Martin for Creative Imaginations. Queen crown bling by Heidi Swapp. Font is Sonnets Script by 2Peas.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Virtual affair in second life leads to divorce

Remember the website Second Life I mentioned a few days ago? Well it seems a woman discovered that her husband's alter ego on Second Life was having affairs with virtual women. She is divorcing him. And the solicitor handling the case said that this was the second divorce case this week involving Second Life. Interesting!

Photo credit

Amy Taylor, 28, said her three-year marriage to David Pollard, 40, came to an end when she twice walked in on him watching his online character, Dave Barmy, having sex with other virtual women. The couple met in an internet chatroom in 2003 and married in real life and in a fantasy tropical setting in Second Life.

However, Taylor always had suspicions about Pollard's online loyalty. At one point she hired a virtual detective to test whether his avatar was cheating on her, after finding him at the computer watching his character having sex with a prostitute.(Link)

Would you do this for beauty?

I am sure if I walked around my home with this contraption I'd scare the living daylights out of my family! Reminds me of Hannibal!


British Accents confuse Google iPhone

A new US-developed Google application for the iPhone which allows users to search for information using voice-recognition has hit a stumbling block - it does not understand British accents.

The high-tech programme, which was launched this week with much fanfare, allows users to search Google for cinema times, bring up pictures and information and convert currency and measurements with one tap of the screen. iPhones owners can download it for free, and if popular, it could be extended to other mobile phones. But British iPhone owners who eagerly downloaded the new software to their phones were left baffled after it responded to requests with bizarre titbits of unwanted information.

When asked to search for "iPhone" the results varied wildly. A user with a Scottish accent found his phone opted to search for the term "sex" instead, and suggested a link to an adult web site. On a second attempt, the search engine looked for "sledding". Asked in a Kentish accent to search for "iPhone", it came up with "my sister" and "Einstein", while a Surrey user was offered "myspace" as well as "Einstein". A Yorkshireman was offered "bonfire" before managing to get "iPhone" - the only time the voice-recognition worked. The most unusual responses were to a Welsh accent, when the device interpreted "iPhone" as "gorillas" and "kitchen sink".

Google points out on its website that the application is "currently available only in US English".

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Japanese Water fountain

Thanks to my pal Michi for showing me this video. This is a water fountain at some mall (I imagine) called canal City. Amazing stuff the Japanese come with! The audio may make you want to rush to the bathroom though ;-)

On the slopes of Verbier

Continuing from the post Skiing in Verbier ...

I had this green die cut border for at least five years – maybe more. I realized that the theme was perfect for the alpine photos I was working on. I cannot tell you how pleased I was to be able finally to use this border! Since it was 12 inches long, the extra bit I cut off went above the photo. A rub-on title and the page was done!
The photographs form the corner in this layout. I would have liked to put a corner flourish at the centre right angle but could not find anything appropriate. So some journalling had to suffice. The alphabets are die cut using Quikutz. The little yellow dots are brad head decorative rub-ons from Creative Imaginations. Who still has these?

Another quick layout that can be finished in less than five minutes unless, like me, you want to spend too much time on the ‘THE’ and botch it up in the process! The article in the title is a fine example of why too much is not necessarily good. The title forms a very prominent border on the page. The thin red strip above the photographs continues the effect of the horizontal border. The big red alphabets are Thickers from American Crafts. Smalle alphabets are Paige die cuts by Quikutz. Prisma glitter is by Hero Arts and Golden Acrylics makes the mica flakes paint.

Two simple strips of ribbon border either side of the photographs, as does the journalling strip. The ribbons have been glued down. I put a little extra glue at the ends so the ribbon will not unravel. Starform stickers makes the sparkly alphabets. Font is Arno Pro. Ribbon is from my stash.

Just one flourish in the corner finished this page. I covered the flourish with Encore metallic silver pigment ink and then embossed it with Satin Pearl EP so that it would have the same frosty finish as the Elan Metallic paper. Self Adhesive graffiti by Art Warehouse / Creative Imaginations. Grungeboard Swirl by Tim Holtz Ideology.

Two photographs on opposite corners, journalling on the third corner and some stickers on the last corner and voila! A page completed in just under five minutes. The snowflakes stickers are by Sticklers. Font is Barefoot Professor downloaded from 2peas. Self Adhesive graffiti by Art Warehouse / Creative Imaginations.

Live Snakes ... in through the mouth, out through the nose

So ... there is this guy in India ... and he likes putting live snakes into his mouth and then they crawl out through his nose. The whole thing, photos and all, grossed me out so I am not going to put any photos on my blog.

For those of you that really want to take a look, click on the link: Snake Man

Carp attack duck

I would not want to be where that duck is ... lol!

The bird, clearly used to getting his own way when looking for dinner, headed confidently into the shoal of fish in Changsha, in China's Hunan Province. But the colourful carp took exception to the intruder and fought back, bunching together into a seething mass to assert their authority. The duck quickly surrendered and fled the scene, doubtless still feeling peckish.

Monday, November 17, 2008

New Star Trek movie trailer

I want to watch this movie!! Huge Star Trek fan here :-)

Star Trek Movie Trailer shown in front of James Bond Quantum Of Solace QOS Star Trek bootleg Trailer leaked online Movie Release dates

Update: Here is the link to the official site which has both trailers and in HD too!: Star Trek Trailers

Pot Plants instead of bouquet for next Olympics

This is a brilliant idea! We should completely stop buying bouquets that contain flowers flown in from other countries (like tulips!). Can you imagine how much carbon is burnt just getting them to your local florist? And then they just wilt and die after a few days. A plant, on the other hand, lives!

Medallists at the 2012 London Olympics could be presented with pot plants rather than the traditional bouquets of flowers. Officials are proposing to give athletes home-grown plants, rather than flowers flown in from abroad, due to the hefty carbon footprint such flights would leave.

Tessa Jowell, the minister for the Olympics, has confirmed in parliament that "locally sourced plants" will replace cut flowers as gifts to medal winners, competitors and other visiting dignitaries in 2012. She said the awarding of potted plants was "absolutely" being considered as part of the sustainability agenda, along with English cut flowers.

The organisers are also looking at a carbon-neutral Olympic flame fuelled by waste wood.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Skiing in Verbier

In March 2008 Lily went skiing with her friends. Just over a week in the Swiss Alps. We were worried before she left that there would be not enough snow but we were wrong. It was perfect! As you will see from the photographs. I am now in the process of finishing her album. Luckily I had frosted cardstock from Worldwin and these were great for this album. They are called Elan Metallics Expressive Paper. The layouts below are from an article called 'Corners and Borders' at SS Reflections.

The blue border is cut with the Basic Grey tool. I lightly pencilled a line and then alternated the cuts on each side of the line to get the deep waves. The photograph is matted with Worldwin Red Ruche paper, and then I pierced holes around two edges for a border with fibre. While this looks like a difficult process, it is not. If you punch your holes large enough, threading the fiber through will not take even five minutes! Butterfly stickers, from Startform Stickers, on opposite corners have been first applied to white cardstock. Letters for 'SKI' are drawn and cut freehand.

Here is a page with just one photograph and not much else. There seemed to be too much space around so I enclosed it all with four borders. The thinner the border the better – it detracts less from the central photo. You could also stitch a thin line around, but stitching was not an option for me. I use both sides of the cardstock and stitching would show up on the reverse. The journalling block is by 7 Gypsies. I used glitter flakes on Terrifically Tacky tape placed around the border. The postage circular outline and wavy lines are rub-ons from Creative Imaginations. And some original postage stamps from Romania!

The photograph in this layout forms part of the border of the page whereas the journalling is at a corner. This is a simple design which can be used to showcase a special photograph. I would advise not being as lazy as me and actually doing the journalling on a computer if possible. It should not take more than five minutes to accomplish. The closer, even spacing of a computer font will make the corner design more stunning. The water effect stamp is by Inkadinkado. It is stamped with Encore blue pigment ink and Blue Pearl EP by Stampendous. Flourish stamped with Brilliance blue ink and outlined with a Zig marker in black. Journalling is done with Zig calligraphy pen in black.

Old dogs can become young again!

Within the year there will be on the market a concoction that will rejuvenate your dog! It would be in the form of an injection into the liver. This shot would switch off the gene produces myostatin, a protein which inhibits muscle growth in animals and humans. So doggy muscles will start developing again and the old dog will be able to jump and prance around just like when it was a puppy.

An American professor is preparing to market a form of canine gene therapy, which would see dogs injected with substances which switch off the genes that regulate their muscle growth.

Prof Lee Sweeney, from the University of Pennsylvania, has pioneered research into gene transfer technology, a field in which poorly functioning and abnormal genes are manipulated, switched off or replaced. He says experiments on dogs have been so successful that he is preparing to market the treatments to owners of ageing pets across the United States.

He said: "We are now in the final stages of getting all the approvals to offer this through the veterinary hospital as a treatment to try to improve strength in pet dogs. The treatment has passed laboratory trials, but regulatory authorities are now discussing whether the dogs would have to be held in quarantine after treatment, because of possible risks if humans came into contact with their waste after the procedure, Prof Sweeney said.

Scientists hope the same technology could be used in humans, to treat serious genetic diseases such as muscular dystrophy.

Like, how many was that?

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Yesterday Remains

The printed image is cut from a collage sheet by Altered by Design. The background is stamped with Ranger Adirondack ink in Lettuce and layered with green cardstock. Background stamp by Stamper's Annonymous. The paisley frame is painted with Luna Lights Red/Brown by Stamp Oasis. Gold ribbon from my stash. Sentiment stamp, from Club Scrap, is inked with Ranger Adirondack ink in Bottle.

Another reason I am not going into space

... even though everyone has been asking me to accompany them! :-D

I like wine. Sometimes I'll even drink water. But its got to be fizzy and bottled. And I simply will not drink urine - mine or someone else's! I do not care how many millions of dollars are spent cleaning it up! So all those astronauts will just have to do without my company. So there! Their loss!!

As NASA prepared to double the number of astronauts living aboard the International Space Station, nothing did more for crew bonding than a machine being launched aboard the space shuttle Endeavour on Friday. It's a water-recycling device that will process the crew's urine for communal consumption.

"We did blind taste tests of the water," said NASA's Bob Bagdigian, the system's lead engineer. "Nobody had any strong objections. Other than a faint taste of iodine, it is just as refreshing as any other kind of water."

"I've got some in my fridge," he added. "It tastes fine to me."

Mark my words though - the way we are wasting water it will not be long before we have to do this also on Earth.

Tim Holtz masks

I just bought all six of them! And cannot wait till they get here!! What inspired me? This video ...

I do have some simple Heidi Swapp masks and will try this technique today.

Friday, November 14, 2008

A new Hindu ritual

It is new to me - never heard of this one before. Another way to please Shiva - jump into a bed of thorns! Ouch!!

(Reuters Video)

Second Life: A parallel online universe

The Second Life website was created on the internet five years ago to act as a parallel online universe. Users, called "residents", interact with each other through creating characters called "avatars". They chose how they look and can then explore, meet other residents, socialize, play sport, go to concerts and trade items such as virtual property and cars.

It uses an internal currency called the "Linden Dollar", which is purchased for real money. Land is treated as a valuable and scarce commodity; residents can buy, sell, and rent land areas from each other. Some users have reported making up to £70,000 a year in real cash from such transactions.

The Maldives became the first country to open an embassy in Second Life, followed by Sweden. Live theatre has been performed by the Second Life Shakespeare Company and Duran Duran were one of the first artists to join the "metaverse". In 2006, Mark Warner, the former governor of Virginia, America, became the first politician to appear when he gave a speech in the virtual community. British comedian Jimmy Carr also performed a virtual show last year.

(Telegraph UK)

Another way to fight the economic downturn: Have an 'anything goes' nude party!

Below is Tony Fox, the owner of the White Cockatoo resort in Mossman, in tropical Queensland state, Australia. Here he is with his wife promoting his resort. Mr. Fox is going to hold a month long 'anything goes' nude party at his resort in March. To combat the economic downturn. Seriously!

I don't how much it'll help everyone else, but I have a feeling wily Mr. Fox has found a way to fight his tough times! This kind of publicity will have his resort full for a long time - not just in March! LOL!!

All you Swingers from DB - better start booking now! You'll miss out on such a memorable experience otherwise!

An Australian holiday resort will hold a month-long, nude "anything goes" party to combat an expected economic downturn, media reports said on Thursday. "Tough economic times call for stiff measures," Tony Fox, the owner of the White Cockatoo resort in Mossman, in tropical Queensland state, told the Courier-Mail newspaper.
"It will be a hedonism resort, where anything goes for a month. It doesn't take rocket science to work out what it means," Fox said, naming March as the risque party month.

Local regional Mayor Val Schier said she was not opposed to the event as long as no laws were broken. "People in tropical north Queensland are extraordinarily creative," Schier said. "It is tough economic times and as long as it is with consenting adults, then there is no problem."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

50 things about Barack Obama that you may not have known

Makes for interesting reading ...

  • He collects Spider-Man and Conan the Barbarian comics
  • He was known as "O'Bomber" at high school for his skill at basketball
  • His name means "one who is blessed" in Swahili
  • His favourite meal is wife Michelle's shrimp linguini
  • He won a Grammy in 2006 for the audio version of his memoir, Dreams From My Father
  • He is left-handed – the sixth post-war president to be left-handed
  • He has read every Harry Potter book
  • He owns a set of red boxing gloves autographed by Muhammad Ali
  • He worked in a Baskin-Robbins ice cream shop as a teenager and now can't stand ice cream
  • His favourite snacks are chocolate-peanut protein bars
  • He ate dog meat, snake meat, and roasted grasshopper while living in Indonesia
  • He can speak Spanish
  • While on the campaign trail he refused to watch CNN and had sports channels on instead
  • His favourite drink is black forest berry iced tea
  • He promised Michelle he would quit smoking before running for president – he didn't
  • He kept a pet ape called Tata while in Indonesia
  • He can bench press an impressive 200lbs
  • He was known as Barry until university when he asked to be addressed by his full name
  • His favourite book is Moby-Dick by Herman Melville
  • He visited Wokingham, Berks, in 1996 for the stag party of his half-sister's fiancĂ©, but left when a stripper arrived
  • His desk in his Senate office once belonged to Robert Kennedy
  • He and Michelle made $4.2 million (£2.7 million) last year, with much coming from sales of his books
  • His favourite films are Casablanca and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest
  • He carries a tiny Madonna and child statue and a bracelet belonging to a soldier in Iraq for good luck
  • He applied to appear in a black pin-up calendar while at Harvard but was rejected by the all-female committee.
  • His favourite music includes Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Bach and The Fugees
  • He took Michelle to see the Spike Lee film Do The Right Thing on their first date
  • He enjoys playing Scrabble and poker
  • He doesn't drink coffee and rarely drinks alcohol
  • He would have liked to have been an architect if he were not a politician
  • As a teenager he took drugs including marijuana and cocaine
  • His daughters' ambitions are to go to Yale before becoming an actress (Malia, 10) and to sing and dance (Sasha, 7)
  • He hates the youth trend for trousers which sag beneath the backside
  • He repaid his student loan only four years ago after signing his book deal
  • His house in Chicago has four fire places
  • Daughter Malia's godmother is Jesse Jackson's daughter Santita
  • He says his worst habit is constantly checking his BlackBerry
  • He uses an Apple Mac laptop
  • He drives a Ford Escape Hybrid, having ditched his gas-guzzling Chrysler 300
  • He wears $1,500 (£952) Hart Schaffner Marx suits
  • He owns four identical pairs of black size 11 shoes
  • He has his hair cut once a week by his Chicago barber, Zariff, who charges $21 (£13)
  • His favourite fictional television programmes are Mash and The Wire
  • He was given the code name "Renegade" by his Secret Service handlers
  • He was nicknamed "Bar" by his late grandmother
  • He plans to install a basketball court in the White House grounds
  • His favourite artist is Pablo Picasso
  • His speciality as a cook is chilli
  • He has said many of his friends in Indonesia were "street urchins"
  • He keeps on his desk a carving of a wooden hand holding an egg, a Kenyan symbol of the fragility of life
  • His late father was a senior economist for the Kenyan government


  • Christmas Cards

    Christmas cards made with printed images from Altered by Design. Crafted for SS Reflections November issue. Click on the link for details on how to make the cards.

    Friday, November 07, 2008

    Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish

    Speech given by Steve Jobs at the Stanford University. Give the two parts about 15 minutes and be inspired!