Archive for January, 2014

New Trumps Game Launched, Prehistoric Sites in Cumbria

January 31, 2014
Set in Cumbria's dramatic  mountain scenery, The Carles of Castlerigg stone circle, near Keswick is one of the magnificent sites that impresses visitors and local residents alike.

Set in Cumbria’s dramatic mountain scenery, The Carles of Castlerigg stone circle, near Keswick is one of the magnificent sites that impresses visitors and local residents alike. C.Paxton photo

Cumbria has over 200 prehistoric sites and yet more remain to be discovered. There are rings of standing stones, there are stones carved with rings and cup marks, there are stones set in avenues and there are single megalithic thunderstones, mounds and Henges of several types.

Mayburgh Henge at Eamont Bridge, Penrith under the Great Bear constellation

Mayburgh Henge at Eamont Bridge, Penrith under the Great Bear constellation

In the course of researching my article for All Nippon Airways (ANA)   Wingspan in-flight magazine to appear in the February 2014 issue, my wife Kimberly and I were smitten by these fascinating monuments. “Stone Crazy” she described our condition, and I think she was right.

The more we looked into the matter, the more sites we visited and the more we visited, the greater our interest became, and the more we noticed. From Birkrigg on the Furness peninsular to Durdar near Carlisle, our investigations took us from coastal monuments to the high plateau of Moor Divock 1000 ft above sea level, then east to the Pennines , then  north into Lakeland and revealed the great diversity of  the sites – all are distinctive and different. Some intriguing similarities emerged, for example in the layout of Hardendale Cairn circle and Castlerigg’s rectangular inner enclosure,  but generally it is the diversity in form that stands out.

We are grateful to our friend Neolithic Sculptor Brian Cowper for his insights, author Robert Farrah for his excellent guidebook (Robert W.E. Farrah’s A Guide To The Stone Circles Of Cumbria ), Penrith Library’s Reference section with its volumes of The Transactions of The Cumberland and Westmorland Archaeological Society, to Archaeologist Tom Clare for his illustrated talk and his excellent book ( Prehistoric Monuments of The Lake District ).

If you are interested in Cumbria’s prehistoric sites and you like playing trumps, then you might enjoy this new pack that my wife and I made just before Christmas.

Prehistoric Sites In Cumbria Trumps

Prehistoric Sites In Cumbria Trumps Includes 32 Sites From Neolithic To Modern

Get to know these treasures through a fun learning game in which players try to win site cards off each other by ‘trumping’each others’ site characteristics. Choose the strongest category for your site to challenge your partners’ and learn about these amazing prehistoric places as you play!

This set includes information cards about 32 Cumbrian prehistoric sites such as Oddendale, White Hag, Long Meg and her daughters, Gunnerkeld, Swinside, Birkrigg, Castlerigg, Gamelands, Moor Divock’s funerary complex and more!

Great fun for all the family. Available in Kid’s pocket size (£5), or larger (£8.00) for easier reading.

You can buy them from my online shop http://thewebcat.biz/sales_gallery.html

New post Review of Leica X VARIO Full Sensor Compact Features Di Gilpin Designs In Black+White Photography Magazine

January 30, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog received this camera review from Andy.

From: Wild Open Eye [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com]
Subject: [New post] Review of Leica X VARIO Full Sensor Compact Features Di Gilpin Designs In Black+White Photography Magazine

wildopeneye posted: " Leica X VARIO camera test by Andy Luck for technical review in Black+White Photography Magazine From rugged rocks to fashionable Scottish woollen designer clothing I put the X Vario through its paces on the Fife coast. Many people these days are loo"

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Review of Leica X VARIO Full Sensor Compact Features Di Gilpin Designs In Black+White Photography Magazine

by wildopeneye

Review of Leica X VARIO featuring Di Gilpin designs in Black+White Photography, February 160 issue

Andy Luck’s latest camera test review includes the demanding requirements of a fashion shoot for iconic Scottish designer Di Gilpin

Leica X VARIO camera test by Andy Luck for technical review in Black+White Photography Magazine

From rugged rocks to fashionable Scottish woollen designer clothing I put the X Vario through its paces on the Fife coast.

Many people these days are looking for professional shots from a high-end compact camera. I took Leica’s X VARIO to Scotland recently to see how it would handle a fashion shoot.

Inspired by the location and strong local craft traditions, Di Gilpin hand-knit designs’ sculptural quality and timeless elegance make them popular in this country and abroad.

Check out my technical review* for Leica’s new full-sensor compact zoom camera featuring Di Gilpin designs in Black+White Photography, February issue. The combination of beautiful garments and coastal scenery provided the perfect scenario for a camera test.

* Andy Luck writes technical reviews of cameras, lenses and other digital photography products. See his technical reviews archived (http://www.wildopeneye.com/archives.html)

wildopeneye | 30/01/2014 at 12:23 am | Tags: Andy Luck, Di Gilpin hand-knit designs, full-sensor compact zoom camera, high-end compact camera, Leica X VARIO camera test, Scottish woollen designer clothing, technical review | Categories: Black+White Photography, Camera Test, Creative Scotland, Leica X VARIO camera test | URL: http://wp.me/p10R9B-ic

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Thai Days: Ghosts?

January 28, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s blog is familiar with my wife’s voice and when I heard it calling I scurried up the stairs.

She explained that she was about to sleep.

After a short discussion we both decided that she hadn’t called out. I felt a bit foolish. As I was walking down the stairs I heard her voice again

It was coming from the woodwork!

This isn’t bullshine! I was hearing my wife lecturing me! From the stairs!

True!

Hugh

Thai Days! Wipe out!

January 28, 2014

Check Trev first! Then the girls!

Hugh

Trev.docx

Andre’s Bit : WOMEN

January 28, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is sure that this will offend lots of people. Thanks Andre in Namibia for this! And….Hey ho! Let’s go!

Subject: WOMEN

ANGLO/SAXON WOMEN:

First date: You get to kiss her goodnight.
Second date:
You get to grope all over and make out a bit.
Third date:
You get to have sex but only when she wants to and only in the missionary position.


IRISH WOMEN:

First Date: You both get blind drunk and have sex.
Second Date:
You both get blind drunk and have sex.
20th Anniversary:
You both get blind drunk and have sex.


ITALIAN WOMEN:

First Date: You take her to a play and an expensive restaurant.
Second Date:
You meet her parents and her Mom makes spaghetti & meatballs.
Third Date:
You have sex, she wants to marry you & insists on a 3-carat ring.
5th Anniversary:
You already have 5 kids together & hate the thought of having sex.
6th Anniversary:
You find yourself a Mistress.


CHINESE WOMEN:

First date: You get to buy her an expensive dinner but nothing happens.
Second date:
You buy her an even more expensive dinner. Nothing happens again.
Third date:
You don’t even get to the third date and you realize nothing is ever going to happen.


INDIAN WOMEN:

First date: Meet her parents.
Second date:
Set the date of the wedding.
Third date:
Wedding night.


MEXICAN WOMEN:

First Date: You buy her an expensive dinner, get drunk on Tequila, and have sex in the back of her car.
Second Date:
She’s pregnant.
Third Date:
She moves in. One week later, her mother, father, her two sisters, her brother, all of their kids, her grandma, her sister’s boyfriend and his three kids move in and you live on rice and beans for the rest of your life in your home that used to be nice, but now looks like a home along the Tijuana strip.

JEWISH WOMEN:

First Date: You spend all your money to impress her.
Second Date:
You take a loan to keep the image.
Third Date:
You’re broke, she finds someone wealthier.


ARAB WOMEN:

First Date: Mother, Father, Brothers, Sisters, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, Friends and entire Arab community finds out.
Second Date:
You are shot dead in the street and your balls are fed to the goats.
No third date!


The POINT?


DON’T YOU JUST LOVE THE IRISH ?

New post Britain Launches Transformative Community Energy Strategy

January 28, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog welcomes any post from Andy Luck. He is a first class photo-journalist and, this is the point, he is a thoroughly decent man.

New post on Wild Open Eye

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Britain Launches Transformative Community Energy Strategy

by wildopeneye

Community energy strategy includes support for projects such as solar Photo-Voltaic Panels for social housing. Panels like these, being installed by Logic Renewables, generate electricity and revenue from sunlight

Community Energy Strategy includes support for projects such as Solar Photo-Voltaic panels for social housing. Panels like these, being installed by Logic Renewables, generate electricity and revenue from sunlight

Would you like to take control of your energy bills and help transform Britain’s energy system? That may now be possible through community action thanks to proposals unveiled today in Britain’s first Community Energy Strategy according to a Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) press release.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey announced

“We’re at the turning point in developing true community energy. The cost of energy is now a major consideration for household budgets, and I want to encourage groups of people across the country to participate in a community energy movement and take real control of their energy bills.

“Community led action, such as collective switching, gives people the power to bring down bills and encourage competition within the energy market.”

SURVEY UNDERPINS COMMUNITY ENERGY STRATEGY

Over 50 per cent of people surveyed by DECC said that saving money on bills would be their major motivation for getting involved with community energy schemes.

About 3.5 million bill payers say they are ready to get together with other people in their local community to take more control of their energy.

40% of respondents said they were already interested in joining a community energy group, and taking part in collective switching or collective energy purchasing schemes.

Under the Community Energy Strategy plans the Government will broaden the support available for community energy projects, whereby people come together to reduce their energy use or purchase and generate their own energy.

Plans include:

· A £10m Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) to kick-start community energy generation projects in England which provide economic and social benefits to the community this is in addition to the existing Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), and shall have the same method of application. Details of RCEF can be found on the WRAP website. The UCEF will be open to all communities in England that are not eligible to access RCEF.

As with RCEF, there will be two stages of funding for the UCEF:

1. Stage one allows applications for grants of up to approximately £20,000 for feasibility work.

2. Stage two allows applications for loans up to approximately £130,000 to support planning applications and develop robust business cases which will attract further investment.

· £1m Big Energy Saving Network funding to support the work of volunteers helping vulnerable consumers to reduce their energy;

· a community energy saving competition, offering £100,000 to communities to develop innovative approaches to saving energy and money. To register interest in the competition email communityenergystrategy

· a “one-stop shop” information resource for people interested in developing community energy projects.

Energy and Climate Change Minister, Greg Barker said “The Community Energy Strategy marks a change in the way we approach powering our homes and businesses – bringing communities together and helping them save money – and make money too.

“The Coalition is determined to unleash this potential, assist communities to achieve their ambitions and drive forward the decentralised energy revolution. We want to help more consumers of energy to become producers of energy and in doing so help to break the grip of the dominant big energy companies.”

Since 2008, at least 5000 community groups have participated in energy projects in the UK. The Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral project in Cheshire, for example, saved local households an average of £300 a year through encouraging behaviour change and installing simple energy efficiency measures. Find out more on the Carbon Neutral Project website

In the future, the generation of electricity by communities themselves could put pressure on energy suppliers to drive down prices, creating warmer homes, cutting carbon emissions and diversifying the UK’s energy mix. Estimates suggest that energy generation schemes involving local communities, such as installing solar panels on social housing buildings, could supply enough electricity for 1 million homes by 2020.

The potential of community energy beyond this is even greater says DECC. Community shared ownership schemes with renewables developers will be an important future part of ensuring that local people reap the financial and social benefits of energy developments built in their area.

The Government’s vision is that every community that wants to take forward an energy project should be able to do so. The Community Energy Strategy sets out how communities that want to take action on energy can create opportunities for more people to get involved. According to DECC the renewables industry has committed to facilitate a substantial increase in the shared ownership of new, onshore renewables developments and is developing new approaches to community engagement and benefits.

The Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change has asked an industry taskforce to work with the community sector and report back to him by spring 2014. This report will include a framework and timetable for implementation, and a level of ambition for community ownership of new renewables developments. DECC says it expects that it will be the norm for interested communities to be offered some level of ownership of new, commercially developed onshore renewables projects by 2015.

· Alongside the Community Energy Strategy, DECC has also published today a series of research reports assessing the scale, ambition and achievements of current community energy projects including:

o Community Energy in the UK: Part 2;

o Community Energy Efficiency Outreach Programme;

o Local Energy Assessment Fund Evaluation;

o Community Renewable Electricity Generation: Potential Sector Growth to 2020; and

o Local Authority Competition Evaluation

wildopeneye | 27/01/2014 at 10:43 pm | Tags: £1m Big Energy Saving Network funding, collective energy purchasing schemes, collective switching, community energy saving competition, community energy schemes, Community Energy Strategy, Energy Conservation, Renewable Energy, Rural Community Energy Fund (RCEF), saving money on bills, The Ashton Hayes Going Carbon Neutral project, Urban Community Energy Fund (UCEF) | Categories: Climate Change, Energy Saving, Renewable Energy | URL: http://wp.me/p10R9B-hX

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Thai Days: A few cock ups

January 27, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog regrets there have been a few cock ups regarding sensitive information inadvertently leaked on the Sandra Myanmar post regarding my pink hat with bunny ears a tinkling bell on top and a nose protector. Also pink.

Just to clear things up.

Yes, I have been seen in public wearing intriguing head gear. Made, hand knit no less, in Cumbria by my brother’s beloved wife, Kimmie. If you would like a similar set it will cost you a meager 100 US. I call that a steal!

I will, ouch, model the hat. Please don’t let this go viral.

I looked so much more macho walking the street clad in para-military jacket with a Yellow splash on the back. The Red Shirts sniffed and growled like the underpaid puppies they are. An overwhelming truck crawled past.

Yellows!

The lads in the back were being unobtrusive.

Lots of those lads.

I joined the game. Gave a quick smile. Half salute.

I got everything back. Smiles.Salutes.

The boys were off to peaceful war.

And I’m with them!

Hugh in Bangkok!

Nik’s bit! BBC- Power of Nature

January 25, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog got this from a prominent conservationist. Nik. The chap’s a bit of an inspiration. A force for nature!

Subject: BBC- Power of Nature

The BBC has produced a series of shorts, now being screened, on the contributions of nature to our well being.

This is a big scoop for TNC and Pavan Sukhdev et all, all featured. Its worth a watch,

http://www.bbc.com/future/columns/power-of-nature

Nik

Nik Sekhran

Principal Technical Adviser- UNDP-GEF Ecosystems and Biodiversity

Head UNDP Biodiversity Programme

United Nations Development Programme

<email: nik.sekhran>

Phone: +27 12 3548131

Cell Phone: +27 829642384

www.undp.org Follow us:

Please consider the environment before printing this email.

New post Guest Post: Impress Your Guy with these NYC Date-Night Destinations

January 25, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is poised to fall asleep but a post from TheGirl always needs passing on. My plan is simple. I will feed two hedgehogs, bung a bit of grub into my cat fish pond, trip over a beagle, attempt to watch the end of the EVIL DEAD (horror movies are meant to promote fear and thrills – is it me? Or have the EVIL DEAD paled by comparison with THE EVIL LIVING?) This movie so far is a loser. But it isn’t fair to issue verdicts before the conclusion of affairs.

Here’s my plan! Read The Girl’s Blog.

While you are doing it I will either be watching the EVIL DEAD and clutching a pillow and saying things like “You stupid bitch! Don’t open that door to the cellar!” or ”You moron jock take off the kit and run like shit! You may be Prom King material but you are being chased by a demented, twisted, horror that wants to ….”

Then my wife, reasonably enough, will say “Hugh, can you turn that racket down?”

Over and out!

Hugh (Bangkok)

Here Goes The Girl!

From: TheReporterandTheGirlMINUSTheSuperMan! [mailto:comment-reply@wordpress.com]
Guest Post: Impress Your Guy with these NYC Date-Night Destinations

TheGirl posted: "If you live in New York City, chances are that you’ve lost touch with the city’s magical qualities. Yet every year, millions of visitors flock to the Big Apple for a slice of NYC glamour and glitz. In fact, NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing"

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Guest Post: Impress Your Guy with these NYC Date-Night Destinations

by TheGirl

If you live in New York City, chances are that you’ve lost touch with the city’s magical qualities. Yet every year, millions of visitors flock to the Big Apple for a slice of NYC glamour and glitz. In fact, NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing organization, estimates that New York attracted more than 52 million international and domestic visitors in 2012 alone. But lucky you—this thriving city is your playground and you have all its treasures at your fingertips, especially when planning your next hot date.

Whether you’re in search of a destination for a memorable first date or looking for something special to commemorate an anniversary, New York City has a number a number of ways to impress the special guy in your life.

A Dinner to Remember

Elevate an average dinner out by taking your guy to the restaurant that topped Zagat’s 100 Best Restaurants list, Le Bernardin. This exceptional restaurant, which has also been awarded three stars by the Michelin Guide, features exquisite French dining by well-known chef, Eric Ripert. Le Bernardin’s pre-fixe dinners start at $130, so this is definitely going to be an epicurean experience to remember—in other words, not cheap. But if your guy is worth the bucks, this is the place to spoil him.

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Photo by arnold I inuyaki via Flickr

A Thespian’s Delight

If your beau’s favorite thespian is in town, purchase a pair of New York City Broadway tickets. Look for Bebe Neuwirth to appear again in Chicago. Neuwirth, who won a Tony for playing Velma Kelly during the 1996 run of this musical, will be trying her hand at a different role this time. According to Artsbeat, Neuwirth will appear as "Mama" Morton for this outing.

Other stars hitting Broadway stages soon, include Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming who will be in town in March for Cabaret. And if your guy likes controversy, the current talk of the town has been focused on the rather "interesting" casting of Carly Rae Jepsen in Cinderella, which will also feature Fran Drescher.

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Photo by Broadway Tour via Flickr

Move to the Groove

If you and your partner spend many a night in awe of the glamorous outfits and choreography of the dancers on "Dancing with the Stars," consider booking a dance lesson with Big Apple Ranch, which is held at the Dance Manhattan Studios. The Big Apple Ranch offers courses in a number of different dance styles, including West Coast Swing, two-step and line dancing.

Cooking Love Lessons

You’ve heard the expression: The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach, right? So why not take a cooking class—or better yet, a sensual cooking class. Appetite for Seduction offers classes that teach couples how to create three-course sensual meals together. Its classes have names such as Insatiable Italian and Steak and a BJ. CBS New York recently included Appetite of Seduction in its list of the Seven Best Cooking Classes in New York and New Jersey.

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Photo by Jeff Kubina via Flickr

TheGirl | January 24, 2014 at 5:00 am | Tags: date night, Dating, new York City, Relationships, romance | Categories: Musings and Life | URL: http://wp.me/p2MqP7-hr

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Andre’s Bit: The Art of Handwritten Communication

January 24, 2014

Hugh Paxton’s Blog is delighted to follow up on my theme of pen and ink. In an Andre-ish way!

START:

A handwritten note expresses things in a way that texts and tweets just can’t. Especially now, when kids and adults alike seem to be glued to their smartphones at all times, it’s always nice when a child takes the time to actually put pen to paper.

· Well, maybe it’s not always nice.

· Sometimes the sentiment is there, but execution errors obscure the message.

· At times it’s hard to tell what the sentiment is at all.

· Your child’s notes may invoke mixed emotions.

· Either intentionally …

· … or not.

· Other notes are for purely informational purposes.

· The notes don’t have to be elaborate.

· Leave notes around the house, too.

· Add a follow-up if necessary.

· If you leave enough notes, yourkids may think they’ve learned enough to effectively imitate you. (They’ll probably be wrong.)

· It may take a while for your kids to develop an appreciation of the written word.

· Some kids will resist all the way.

· But when your hard work pays off …

This message (including any attachments) is intended only for the use of the individual or entity to which it is addressed and may contain information that is non-public, proprietary, privileged, confidential, and exempt from disclosure under applicable law or may constitute as attorney work product. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any use, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If you have received this communication in error, notify us immediately by telephone and (i) destroy this message if a facsimile or (ii) delete this message immediately if this is an electronic communication. Thank you.


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