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K D.

6 Level 6 Contributor
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Experience: Society, News, Hobbies & Interests

Member since January 2011

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About Me

Well travelled grumpy old man

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225 Reviews by K

3/12/11
Japan News - NHK - Japan Public Broadcasting

NHK, (The Japan Broadcasting Corporation) is the Japanese National Public Broadcasting organisation. It is mainly paid for by obligatory Japanese TV licence fees, which fund three radio networks, two terrestrial TV channels and three satellite TV services. In addition is NHK World – where Japanese news and programmes are provided for world access(satellite and cable), a short wave radio feed, and websites in Japanese and English.

The various channels and feed provide a wide mix from news to kids, cultural, educational, sport and general interest programmes.

http://www3.nhk.or.jp/daily/english links to the English news feed.

Good source of news from Japan.
3/11/11
Japan Times Online

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/

Japanese English Language Newspaper Online

Up to date news straight from Japan.
3/11/11
United States Geological Survey - Geological, Earthquake and Tsunami Info

Just hearing about 8.8 Richter Scale quake off Japan. Very serious. I checked out the very good United States Geological Survey website http://www.usgs.gov/ for hard information.

A 10m / 30ft tsunami is hitting the Pacific coast the whole of the Pacific region may be hit. From news reports and shocking helicopter coverage, a wall of water and debris is hitting the Japanese coast.

At the moment fatality estimates are just 20 from the feeds coming in I would be very surprised if the final toll is not much, much, much higher. This is the worst quake / tsunami to hit the region for more than 100 years.

Japan is fairly well prepared and has good rescue infrastructure Indonesia, Philippines, Papua New Guinea etc have little preparation and much poorer communications and support.

The USGS has a very good website about all things geological USA and world.
It has current world seismic / quake information go to:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/

This shows seismic activity all around the world (non-geologists may be surprised at all the activity)

For more detail on the Japanese quake and tsunami see:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Quakes/usc0001xsy.php

I am hoping that this will not hit anything like the severity of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, which killed over 200,000 people in the region Indonesia, Thailand, Sri Lanka. Awful.
The Jerusalem Post
3/10/11
Israeli Newspaper - Jerusalem Post - Website

Having reviewed Aljazeera recently, in the interests of objectivity in the region I think it only fair to look at the Jerusalem Post.

The website, http://www.jpost.com/ is the online access to the JP newspaper feeds but only gives access to cutdown versions – you need to pay a premium for full access.

The JP is clearly stating opinions from the Israeli side of the fence, but Israel is (currently) the only genuine democracy in the Middle East, and Israel is host to a wide spectrum of opinions – from ultra-Zionists to very left wing internationalists.

The JP has a long history of providing good writing, information and analysis on world affairs – predominately, but not exclusively from the Israeli perspective.

Israeli citizens only (officially) have access to Egypt and Qatar in the Arab world so current reporting on the wave of unrest in the Middle East is generally from wire services. However, they are obviously 100% interested in what is going on as it may impact their country and citizens directly.

Well worth a visit to see the Israeli view of things if you have been on AlJazeera.

I don't particularly like the JP website design and find the initial pop-up ads annoying.

Three stars.
3/10/11
German, Language, Culture, Travel, Training, Germany

The Goethe Institute

Named after Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832), one of Germany's most famous writers and polymaths, the Goethe Institute is the main German funded worldwide organisation promoting learning of German, German culture and education about Germany.

Its offices, available in most countries, generally in the capital and largest cities, are jointly funded by the German government and income from German language teaching. In addition it also operates in Germany with courses for immigrants, students, business people and tourists.

The Goethe Institute (Goethe-Institut in German) organises German proficiency tests from basic conservational right up to professional translator.

It also offers e-learning courses at http://www.goethe.de and the website has many links to language and German cultural sites.

If you're interested in learning or improving your German, check it out!
3/10/11
Time News Magazine

Time Magazine, once one of the largest selling weekly news magazines in the world has decline to a relatively small print run and a website, http://www.time.com now run in partnership with CNN.

The historic archive can be fascinating, with some good photos.
For current news it inevitably mirrors CNN 'tabloid analysis and sound bites' but some of the drill down coverage is pretty good...

It's a matter of personal taste but it has never made it to the top of my list for news.

Good but not great. Three stars.
3/10/11
Life Magazine Photojournalism Archive

Life Magazine has had several lives. It ran as a world class photojournalism magazine from 1936 to 2000, first as a weekly, then as a monthly. The print version appeared occasionally since then, with the last issue dated April 2007. Life now survives on the internet at http://www.life.com/

The current site front page links to:

Current pictures from the rebellion in Libya

Private pictures from the albums of Eva Braun, Adolph Hitler's mistress and later wife.

Afghanistan

The 1969 Woodstock festival

Pictures of the Year

Animal Heroes

Something for everyone! The real value of Life is in their vast photo archive. It is an amazing treasure trove of images, and immensely valuable for researchers and historians.

Four stars.
National Autistic Society
3/10/11
Autism, Asperger Syndrome, Charity, Information, Support, UK

The National Autistic Society (NAS) is the leading UK charity for people with Autism and Asperger syndrome.

The website, http://www.autism.org.uk covers definition, diagnosis, explanations, therapies, support strategies and resources, etc.

There are sections aimed at adults with autism, parents, relatives and carers, and information for professional health carers.

While details on available support services are specific to the UK, the more general information is relevant to anyone, anywhere in the world that is working in this area on a personal or professional basis.

The website is well laid out and is easy to navigate. A lot of other charities could benefit from looking at the structure of this website.

Four stars.
3/9/11
Canvas Holidays Camping in Europe

Fancy a camping holiday in continental Europe but can't face all the hassle of getting all the gear, transporting it to your destination and then having to put it all up? Canvas holidays offers deals where everything is prepared ready for you – from tents to mobile homes at a wide selection of European destinations, most of them on 4 or 5 star campsites. At the moment they have sites in Spain, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, the Alps, Slovenia and Croatia.

Caravan or tent, bedding, crockery, cooker, fridge, even food packs, all sorted.

All you have to do is get there – and if you're going from the UK they can also help with cheap flights / train and ferry deals.

With 40 years of trading experience Canvas Holidays is a respected operator – they generally get very good reviews from customers, plus obviously the occasional moan when something has gone wrong.

I know some of their French sites and they are top rated camping destinations in beautiful country. Especially good for family holidays. Recommended.

http://www.canvasholidays.co.uk
Cockney Rhyming Slang
3/9/11
If you want to translate C*ckney rhyming slang into English or American this site seems to fit the bill. http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk

I used to work just down from Bow Bells, but haven't heard all of these for real, but you never know…

I think SJ might censor the site name, which is a little amusing, but try www dot
Charlie Oscar Charlie Kilo neyrhymingslang.co.uk all one word if you want elucidation
3/9/11
English, American, Translation, Slang

For septics who can't understand limeys http://septicscompanion.com

Translated:

For Americans (septic tank = yank = American) who can't understand the Queen's English as spoken by people of British origin
Audio pronunciation available.

This is a work in progress
I couldn't find a complete translation of:
"This ginger spiv offered me six whistles for a monkey"

So only 3 stars.
3/8/11
Rickysplace Blog / humor / humour / puzzles / rude jokes etc

Some funny, some smutty, 'adult' – you have been warned!

So you know your US States?
http://www.rickysplace.com/states.html

Does your monitor need cleaning? Clean your monitor
You know that you have to clean the inside of your aquarium occasionally? This is usually done with a magnetic brush attached to the inside of the aquarium and it's controlled with a magnetic wand from the outside. Well, now there's a similar tool for the inside of your monitor which is controlled by moving your mouse. You may have seen it or used it before, but it's time to clean it again. (Adult)
http://www.rickysplace.com/monitor/index.html

etc., etc., etc.
Delia Online
3/8/11
Delia Smith - Cookery, Food, Recipes

Delia Smith is the UK's most successful cookery writer and TV show presenter. She has sold over 21 million books and she is seen as the modern standard for sensible, down to earth, no nonsense cooking. None of this Heston Blumenthal $10,000 equipment to use frozen nitrogen and half a nuclear reactor in your kitchen.

Delia does a huge range of dishes with normal kitchen equipment aimed at ordinary people trying to produce good food and food for special events in normal kitchens.
She has been phenomenally successful and is now wealthy enough to have become a majority shareholder in Norwich City – her local soccer team.

She got into some trouble with some of her more purist fans when she produced a cheat at cooking book – using pre-prepared ingredients, but hey, not everybody wants top do everything from scratch all the time.

Her website www.deliaonline.com is good, nice and clear and goes from basic procedures for the new cook to advanced techniques for the more adventurous. A good range of fully tested recipes, British, European and World. I ignore the adverts for equipment and supplies.

One of my bookmarked food sites – her recipes are usually pretty foolproof (i.e. suitable for me!)

FYI Delia Smith baked the cake depicted on the cover of the Rolling Stones album Let It Bleed.
3/8/11
Semper Fi

Website for the United States Marine Corps (USMC), popularly known as 'leathernecks'. (British marines are similarly known as 'bootnecks')

Interesting. Limited site access unless you sign up as a registered member.
Caters for veterans, serving marines and those considering joining up. Quite a lot of info, many forums and galleries once you sign up.
Ukulele Orchestra
3/8/11
The Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain http://www.ukuleleorchestra.com

Completely mad. Completely brilliant. Rock, Pop, Jazz, Classical, Folk – all on ukes.

Having a bad day? Try this. Impossible to watch without grinning.

Love it!

Some YouTube clips to view:

Ukulele Bohemian Rhapsody
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qadUoaWkRW8

Ukulele Pinball Wizard
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XvdpjZYLumw

Satisfaction
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bbX5dldhJlc&feature=related

They're Red Hot
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EwWrKHWXrLg&feature=related

Kaiser Chiefs / Ruby
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=08iTlO3dRZc&feature=fvwrel
3/7/11
UAV, Military, Police, Hummingbird Sized Surveillance Drone

Most people are aware that large unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) are being used for surveillance and missile launches by Western military and intelligence agencies in Afghanistan and other world hot spots. Not so many realise that small hand launched model plane sized UAVs are also being used, to enable troops 'to see over the hill'. A lot of these are coming out of AeroViroment, a USA (Monrovia) based company.( http://www.avinc.com)

AeroViroment have now revealed a really small UAV drone that mimics the size and flight of a hummingbird. Developed at a tiny cost (in military terms) of around $4 million it shows the future of urban and enclosed space surveillance.

Impressive and slightly scary at the same time. Science fiction come to life. Soon to be at a window near you?

http://money.cnn.com/video/technology/2011/02/08/bst_aerovironment_drones.fortune/ (Small hand launched UAVs)

http://english.aljazeera.net/video/americas/2011/02/*******28582858.html
(Tiny hummingbird sized UAV)
3/6/11
Free UK Telephone Cold Call Opt Out Service

If you are in the UK contact the Telephone Preference Service, a free of charge government supported service (http://www.tpsonline.org.uk) and list your landline and mobile numbers for free. It takes up to a couple of weeks to work but is then usually very effective. All UK telephone marketing companies including charities and political parties have to adhere to the TPS database requirements or they will be heavily fined.

It might not stop calls coming in from overseas (not too sure what you can do about those), and it doesn't stop text messages to your mobile/cell phone – contact your service provider direct to stop those.

Good system, works well – don't get conned into paying any money for a rip-off site that just forward your details to the TPS. The TPS is FREE
3/6/11
There is such a lot of interesting stuff coming out of Cuba. This site http://www.havana-cultura.com focuses on music, dance, art and theatre. Being Cuba, there is some politics – especially with older artists who tend to toe the government line. Younger artists are a bit edgier with their comments. English subtitles on Spanish sound. English text option.

22 year old singer / dancer Diana Fuentes is a great find for me.
http://www.havana-cultura.com/INT/EN/cultura.html#/1901

I actually found the site after searching for Alberto Kordo (1928 -2001), the photographer who took the iconic pictures of Che Guevera (supposedly the most replicated image ever produced) and accompanied Fidel Castro on his various official tours after the Cuban revolution.

You may not agree with all his politics, but he's an interesting figure and produced some great images. Check him out.

http://www.havana-cultura.com/EN/visual-art/photographer/alberto-korda.html#/3389
3/5/11
Stunning pictures by autistic artist. http://www.stephenwiltshire.co.uk/

At the age of 7, in 1981, Stephen Wiltshire hit the international news with his photographic memory drawings of detailed cityscapes. His first artistic commission was from British Prime Minister Ted Heath.

Diagnosed autistic at the age of 3, he learned to speak properly at the age of 9. His first words were 'paper' and 'pens'. Teachers realised that drawing was his key to communication. In 1987 Sir Hugh Casson, former president of London's Royal Academy called him 'possibly the best child artist in Britain'.

He is now in his 30s, and is still producing astonishingly detailed cityscapes from around the world, often after very short views of his subject. He draws purely from memory. London and New York are among his favourite subjects.

Since 'being discovered' by the art world and the press, Stephen Wiltshire has travelled the world and been made an MBE in recognition of his services to art.
A great example of what autistic people can achieve – very interesting.
3/5/11
Washington State Potato Commission website http://www.potatoes.com

More spud information, statistics, recipes, nutrition notes and news than you can dream what to do with. I feel a college project coming on…

According to the website, 'Washington potatoes are nutrient dense, have more potassium than a banana, the protein of half a glass of milk and provide almost half of your daily vitamin C needs. Dollar for dollar, Washington potatoes deliver more nutrition than any other produce item.' Impressive! (Do you HAVE to eat 20 a day?)

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