More Photos: Butterflies and Rabbits

I’ve just uploaded some more photos.  I took the first of them today, and here is a sample:

Tortoiseshell DrinkingAlso, over last Easter I took some pictures of baby rabbits.  I thought they were no good, but when I went through them, there were some usable pictures.  Again, here is one of them:

baby-rabbit3And finally, a little rabbit in a big world:


You can see all the pictures on my main photography page, as usual.

Someone is Wrong on the Internet

Never admit to being ill on the Internet. The alternative medicine mob will arrive within minutes, blue lights flashing and prescription pads at the ready.

Just occasionally, the blue light gang target the wrong website.  Are the Raspberry Pi people really going to go for alternative medicine, when the whole project is about promoting science and engineering?

Cow Clicker the Sequel

Remember Cow Clicker, Ian Bogost’s clever satire of the original Farmville?  Sadly it has now closed down.  The cows went first, apparently taken up to heaven during the Cowpocalypse.  The game was still playable, kind of, but it was eventually shut down because it needed significant work following a reorganisation of the Facebook site.

Just occasionally you hear a faint moo, and you start to wonder if the cows are closer than you think…  This week, the cow noises got louder.  Super Monster Bros would be a worthy successor to Cow Clicker—assuming that it was actually meant to be funny, of course.


Please read the following article to its importance.

Apparently the BBC’s Twitter feed was taken over.  Staff were sent an email that was, actually, just like the first part of this article.  Some of them hadn’t checked their email since 1998 and so didn’t know about scam messages.  They were taken to a site that looked like the BBC’s email portal, where they entered their passwords.

(You can click the link safely, and you will be taken to an article where you can read more details about the hack!)

Spotting Patterns

Humans tend to be good at spotting patterns, to the point where we’ll see patterns that don’t exist or aren’t useful.  Suppose we tossed a coin repeatedly and got


We got five heads in a row, then shortly afterwards, five tails.  That seems unlikely, so is there a pattern?  I suppose so, but it came about entirely by chance.  You can’t use the pattern to predict the results of tossing the coin some more, and it doesn’t tell you anything about the reasons for the coin coming up heads or tails.

The National Portrait Gallery have x-rayed a picture of Sir Francis Walsingham, and allegedly there is a picture of the Virgin Mary underneath.  Can you see it?  If the gallery doesn’t have other evidence to support their claim, I think there is a real risk the ‘Virgin Mary’ could be a few random blodges, and a few people who are willing to see patterns in things that are random.

Farmer Adrian Ivory said ‘colder, wetter summers seemed to be becoming the norm’ and this was a reason to grow GM crops.  Can you see it?  (There is some argument with the rainfall, but any change is quite recent.  On the other hand, if anything, summers seem to be getting hotter, as you’d expect with global warming.)

Unleash Your Inner Dragon

Blender’s fire simulator has been improved with the latest release, allowing Elaine to embrace her inner dragon.

Elaine is, obviously, computer generated. I’m looking for people who want to stand in front of a video camera and breathe fire. It’s a perfectly safe process. We start by creating a fireball, you swallow it, and then you’ll be able to breathe fire whenever you want to. We’ll have a fire extinguisher on hand in case you set light to the house.

All the News that is Unfit to Print

If you’re British, you probably already know about the prank call to the King Edward VII hospital. Australian radio presenters pretending to be the Queen were given information about the Duchess of Cambridge’s medical condition.

You may not know how the conversation went:

The ‘Queen’: I’m just after my granddaughter, Kate. I wanted to see how her little tummy bug is going.

Hospital: She was quite dehydrated when she came in… She’s sleeping at the moment and she has had an uneventful night, she’s been given some fluids, she’s stable at the moment. She hasn’t had any retching with me.

Did your favourite newspaper tell you this?  Mine didn’t, so I was forced to read an American newspaper to find out news about my own country.  Is Radio Free Europe still running these days?

At the moment, British newspapers are scared, because of the threat to impose government regulation following the Leveson enquiry.  Illegal intrusion into people’s private lives was the focus of the enquiry, so they aren’t going to print the kind of detail you’ve just read here.  It doesn’t matter whether printing the details would be illegal: it won’t happen because the newspapers don’t want to do anything controversial at the moment.

Let’s hope the calls for government regulation go away, because a scared or regulated press cannot hold the government to account.

Update (11th December)

We’ve now all heard the very sad news about the suicide of the nurse involved, Jacintha Saldanha.  This article was intended to make a political point about freedom of expression, but now I can’t help thinking about the human price paid by Ms Saldanha and her family. I would like to offer my condolences.

I Like Having a Good Cellophane on my Cigarettes

If cigarette advertising is banned, how do you advertise cigarettes? I don’t know, but this video creased me up. ‘I like having a good cellophane on my cigarettes,’ says our modern-day Marlboro man, as he takes a cigarette packet out for a test drive.

Funnily enough, this guy seems to have done ‘reviews’ of all sorts of cigarettes. Marlboros are made by Philip Morris, and he has also reviewed Pall Malls, which are made by R. J. Reynolds and BAT. That makes me think he wasn’t paid. So, err, why did he make the video?