Archive for July, 2012

Hugh Paxton Blog off to Tuscany

July 19, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is catching the midnight flight to Rome then there’s been a cock up with car rental so things will go fairly haywire. Nothing new there! Twelve days in Italy then two weeks in my beloved England!

I’ll keep you updated!



The Webcat: Life’s A Beach Part 1 Coral Seas and Ocean Acidifica tion

July 19, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog has been waiting a while for this! But it’s a great educational tool for children interested in coral reefs, is visually impressive and cleverly put together. It deserves and requires wide circulation!

Children, teachers, scuba divers, get going on this one!



New post on Wild Open Eye


Life’s A Beach Part 1 Coral Seas and Ocean Acidification

by wildopeneye

Still image from Underwater scene of reduced biodiversity from BBC Worldwide's Earth Explorer Film on Ocean Acidification produced by Andy Luck

Still image from BBC Worldwide’s Earth Explorer Film on Ocean Acidification

Here’s part one of Wildopeneye’s environmental education comic strip, Life’s a Beach as images and as a pdf. In part one we look at coral seas and acidification it happens when carbon dioxide dissolves from the atmosphere into the sea, the role climate change and acidification may have played in the Permian extinction and some ways we can help prevent marine acidification by protecting carbon sinks and installing low carbon renewable energy in our homes.

You can view a short film about Ocean acidification in the Earth Explorer series on’s films page, produced by Andy Luck for BBC Worldwide. Please click here to download the comic in pdf format. Thank you.

Life's a beach marine comic Page_1

Life's a beach marine comic Page_2page_3.jpegLife's a beach marine comic Page_4

Life's a beach marine comic Page_5Life's a beach marine comic Page_6Life's a beach marine comic Page_7Life's a beach marine comic Page_8Life's a beach marine comic Page_9Life's a beach marine comic Page_10Life's a beach marine comic Page_11Logic Group is installing renewable heating and solar PV in Cumbria and south west Scotland. Look for installers in your area.

Comic created with Comic Life from plasq –

wildopeneye | 18/07/2012 at 4:33 pm | Tags: Andy Luck, ARCAS, BBC Worldwide Films, Logic Renewables, Marine issues, Ocean acidification, Olive Ridley Sea Turtles, short documentary films, wildopeneye | Categories: Environmental education, Forest Conservation, Geology, Renewable Energy, Short Films, The World’s Water | URL:

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Save it with Flowers | Global Environment Facility

July 18, 2012

Thai Days: Nearly half a tonne of ivory seized at Bangkok’s international airport

July 18, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog congratulates Thai customs officials for detecting 456 kg of elephant ivory in crates sent from Kenya labelled as handicrafts. The seizure occurred last Friday at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport. Thailand’s ivory carvers are regarded as the best in Asia – the country has a long cultural and historic relationship with elephants – and this unfortunately makes it a prime destination for smuggled tusks. The origin of this latest batch remains unclear at time of writing but I suspect none of the murdered elephants lived in Kenya.

New web initiative for conservation

July 18, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog received this intriguing bit of news from writer, filmmaker and photographer, Andy Luck, of WildOpenEye blog fame. It looks most promising! Check

Writes Andy, “what made me sit up is this quote:

Wildlife presenter Chris Packham said: “The channel will open up vital lines of communication between nature lovers at home and those organisations that work with animals around the world. There are small NGOs in remote regions of the world that are doing the most amazing work and we rarely hear of them. It’s a win-win for both viewers and NGOs.”

The channel has had a positive response from wildlife conservation NGOs around the world, which recognise the opportunity that the channel presents. It is currently trialing live stream events with WWF, from various locations simultaneously around the world.

Rebecca Klein of Cheetah Conservation Botswana said: “We’re very excited to have this global platform to help us conserve both the cheetah and the Kalahari. Using video to bring home conservation work is an extremely powerful tool. It has the power to educate and motivate people, and bring about positive change."

George Panayiotou, director at Bristol-based Films at 59, explained: “This channel is at the cutting edge of internet technologies and we feel that we have the right skill base to develop the channel – particularly the technical aspects of content delivery to the platform providers.”

I think I saw somewhere that Hugh Maynard was also involved in some way.

Its so close to where we were going with WOE in our own little way with conservation and NGO’s that its uncanny.”

Leonie’s View: 1895 8th Grade Final Exam aka Putting modern education in perspective.

July 18, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s blog has just failed an 8th grade school test as set in 1895. Give it a go!



1895 8th grade final exam

Take this test and pass it on to your more literate friends..

What it took to get an 8th grade education in 1895…

Remember when grandparents and great-grandparents stated that they only had an 8th grade education? Well, check this out. Could any of us have passed the 8th grade in 1895?

This is the eighth-grade final exam from 1895 in Salina , Kansas , USA . It was taken from the original document on file at the Smokey Valley Genealogical Society

and Library in Salina , and reprinted by the Salina Journal.

8th Grade Final Exam: Salina , KS – 1895

Grammar (Time, one hour)

1. Give nine rules for the use of capital letters.

2. Name the parts of speech and define those that have no modifications.

3. Define verse, stanza and paragraph

4. What are the principal parts of a verb? Give principal parts of ‘lie,”play,’ and ‘run.’

5. Define case; illustrate each case.

6 What is punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of punctuation.

7 – 10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar.

Arithmetic (Time,1 hour 15 minutes)

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic.

2. A wagon box is 2 ft. Deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. Wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold?

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3,942 lbs., what is it worth at 50cts/bushel, deducting 1,050 lbs. For tare?

4. District No 33 has a valuation of $35,000.. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals?

5. Find the cost of 6,720 lbs. Coal at $6.00 per ton.

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent.

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft.. Long at $20 per metre?

8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent.

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance of which is 640 rods?

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note, and a Receipt

U.S. History (Time, 45 minutes)

1. Give the epochs into which U.S. History is divided

2. Give an account of the discovery of America by Columbus

3. Relate the causes and results of the Revolutionary War.

4. Show the territorial growth of the United States

5. Tell what you can of the history of Kansas

6. Describe three of the most prominent battles of the Rebellion.

7. Who were the following: Morse, Whitney, Fulton , Bell , Lincoln , Penn, and Howe?

8. Name events connected with the following dates: 1607, 1620, 1800, 1849, 1865.

Orthography (Time, one hour)

[Do we even know what this is??]

1. What is meant by the following: alphabet, phonetic, orthography, etymology, syllabication

2. What are elementary sounds? How classified?

3. What are the following, and give examples of each: trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals

4. Give four substitutes for caret ‘u.’ (HUH?)

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final ‘e.’ Name two exceptions under each rule.

6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each.

7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis-mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, sup.

8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last.

9. Use the following correctly in sentences: cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane , vain, vein, raze, raise, rays.

10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks

and by syllabication.

Geography (Time, one hour)

1 What is climate? Upon what does climate depend?

2. How do you account for the extremes of climate in Kansas ?

3. Of what use are rivers? Of what use is the ocean?

4. Describe the mountains of North America

5. Name and describe the following: Monrovia , Odessa , Denver , Manitoba , Hecla , Yukon , St. Helena, Juan Fernandez, Aspinwall and Orinoco

6. Name and locate the principal trade centers of the U.S. Name all the republics of Europe and give the capital of each..

8. Why is the Atlantic Coast colder than the Pacific in the same latitude?

9. Describe the process by which the water of the ocean returns to the sources of rivers.

10. Describe the movements of the earth. Give the inclination of the earth.

Notice that the exam took FIVE HOURS to complete.

Gives the saying ‘he only had an 8th grade education’ a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?!

No wonder they dropped out after 8th grade. They already knew more than they needed to know!

No, I don’t have the answers! And I don’t think I

ever did!

Have fun with this…pass it on so we’re

not the only ones who feel stupid!!!


Thai Days: My bees

July 17, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is not content if he’s not screwing up. It has been like this for years. Current screw up? Bees.

It began on Saturday and I was hosting a party in the evening. I rushed around in the morning buying orchids and shrimps and then I met a wizzened peasant on a cranky bicycle that looked as if it had done service with General Yamashita’s mobile infantry in the Malaya invasion. Just before the fall of Singapore.

This vision in itself required attention. But what really snatched the eye was the fact that he and his WWII bicycle were covered in honeycombs and buzzing bees. I hailed him, he stopped, I bought two combs and he overcharged me and I thought that’s OK why not?

If I was earning a living riding a bicycle through Bangkok covered in bees I’d seize any opportunity to earn an additional dollar.

He rattled away dodging pot holes in the pavement while street vendors shook their fists or waved him away.

I had a better look at my honeycombs and saw that they were still very much inhabited. There were angry bees twitching their arses at me and writhing pupa. Eggs, too, lots of eggs.

“No taxi driver in his right mind will give us a ride with this lot,” I explained to my daughter.

“Then why did you buy it, Daddy?”

A good question.

1. I felt sorry for the poor fellow.

2.I’m a compulsive idiot.

3.I wanted to show off in front of my party guests and

4.I’ve always loved honeycomb (English style without loads of bees in it)

The orchid lady noticed me in my swarm of bees and came to the rescue. She adeptly secured the combs in a plastic bag, I hid it in my satchel, and then talked loudly to my daughter as our taxi driver took us home to obscure the sound of bees. He was playing hideously loud music so he didn’t hear the buzzing so, in retrospect, my loud conversation was not necessary. We made it back without incident.

I asked annabel, my daughter, to take a comb down to the gate guard. The idea was that he could remove the bees, eggs, etc. and return to us a gleaming comb of golden honey. He ate the whole thing. Wax, bees, the lot! Fleeing bees he pinched out of the air and crunched them and that was that. Half a kilo of comb! Gone.

The remaining comb I served at the party and nobody wanted it anywhere near them. I took it away. I thought about giving it to the guard but then I felt sorry for the bees and thought about their essential role as pollinators so I stuck it on my outside table (under cover to protect it from our current Monsoon rains).

The morning after the party the bees looked doomed and despondent but then the bees recovered with alacrity. Eggs are hatching. Bees are buzzing. Only hundreds at the moment. But give em a week or two and there should be thousands. The nest is revived. Nobody has been stung yet. I’m not sure how this story will end.

I think I thought I was doing the right thing.

But I may have screwed up!






Leonie’s View: No One Has Billboards Like Canada

July 17, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is again confronted with the clever, the bizarre and the …Canadian billboards! Thanks Leonie for sending this lot in! Sometimes I wonder how long this Blog can keep this rapid fire wildly different posting pace up! It’s making me feel a trifle dizzy!




New post Changed

July 17, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog enjoyed this story and at the same time, courtesy of anilbalan, the author, met The Cynic Online Magazine. I found the site intriguing…not terribly sure about some of the poetry. I like poems wot rhyme. I’m a Rudyard Kipling/Dr. Seuss fan. But some great stories in the mag! And I admire the philosophy behind this magazine. And the perseverance that has kept it going. Over to anilbalan and his story.



New post on Ghost Cities



by anilbalan


Click to read my short story, Changed, in The Cynic Online Magazine!

anilbalan | July 17, 2012 at 4:00 am | Tags: Anil Balan, Changed, The Cynic Online Magazine | Categories: Short Story | URL:

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Thai Days: Warship to be sunk off Koh Chang to make reef

July 17, 2012

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes the decision to sink a Korean War era battleship off Koh Chang in Trat province to form an artificial reef and dive attraction. The HTMS Chang was donated to Thailand by the US in 1962 and was decommissioned in 2005. The ship will hit the seabed next month.

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