Sunday, 30 November 2008


Go hug one today, while you still can.

Jared Diamond really rates trees. He wrote a book about why societies survive or fail and gave comparative examples. Japan for example is heavily forested, and is doing OK thank you very much. Easter Island is the famous counter-example. The Easter Islanders chopped all their trees down and their society collapsed. They couldn't have known that because of the type of island, and it's geographical location, the rate of replenishment would be exceeded by the rate of consumption. Yet the wastefulness of the resource use (to build and transport the statues to enhance the prestige of their elite) has obvious parallels with the modern world.

Look at most Pacific Islands and you'll find that they are heavily forested. Really. Open up google Earth and take a close look at Ducie Island, or Tetiaroa, or Tahiti or Kauai and you'll find swathes of thick forest. Easter Island though remains largely deforested to this day, as the picture shows...

Of course, you wouldn't find us doing something so stupid in this day and age, now would you?

The Amazon is being cleared at a rate of about 11,750 square kilometres a year. That's an area slightly bigger than Wales being denuded every two years. If it continues at it's current rate, there will be no more Amazonian rainforest in 142 years. If the rate of deforestation increases because, for example, there's less of alternative sources of nourishment or energy, it will happen in less time. And with the forests of course, will go the thousands of species of plants and animals that depend upon it.

But scary as this is, it's chickenshit compared to what's going on in other parts of the world. The Asian rainforests are being cleared even faster.

It's not so much that people need wood. It's that that they need land. There's money to be made from growing things like cows and coffee and palm oil and soya.

Of course, we need Biodiveristy and oxygen and what-have-you, but we have to prioritise. People gotta earn a crust now, aint they?


Unsurprisingly, there are umpteen unusual U's to use, from Uganda to Uttoxeter. It's utterly ubiquitous. This particular one is somewhere between Utrecht and Uzbekistan.

55°39'20.12"N, 12°36'56.80"E


Saturday, 22 November 2008

Another link

This one is totally self-interested.

I'm a driving instructor. When I'm not scouring the globe for interesting irrelevencies, I'm out on the streets with people that keep trying to kill me.

But perversely, I want more of it! So I'm putting a link here so that people will visit my website.

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...and I've made it invisible just to confuse people. It doesn't say anything interesting by the way, but if you hold down your mouse button and go over the bit above, the text will be revealed.

There is method in my madness of course. I can do this on virtually any post, now that I've set it up here, so that should hopefully bump my driving school up a few places in the google search thingy.

Other alphabets

As you can see, one of my projects here is to create a complete alphabet out of found images from the surface of the planet.

I'm not alone in wanting to use the world around me for such a purpose though.

Check these out!

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Friday, 21 November 2008

OK. I'll s-p-e-l-l it out for you.

I want, at some point, to delete all the Trafalgar Square/Google campus crap and replace the tour with my own pushpins, so that it spells out rude phrases or secret messages using the letters I've been finding.

I clearly need to get searching for more letters. I find my self severely limited since virtually all well known expletives contain letters that I have not yet discovered.

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It's a holiday in Namibia

Did you ever do this as a kid?

Get your cheap plastic or tin globe and rest your finger lightly on it's surface then give it a good old spin. Wherever your finger ends up is where you are going on holiday.

Well I was only 8.

Now I'm a little older, and times have changed, but thanks to Google Earth, I can revisit my childhood.


Open Google Earth. Zoom out as far as I can, and...


Yay! I'm on land! I expected to be in the middle of the Pacific, 3000 miles away from the nearest atoll, but no! I'm smack bang in the middle of the Namib desert. If I was still 8, I'd be disappointed and I'd probably have another spin.

It's at 25°11'48.55"S, 18°20'20.18"E if anyone's interested.

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Thursday, 13 November 2008

just doing my bit... eon and climate change...


I can't find their power station on google earth right now but will try to put a pic up later if I find it.

This, by the way is part of a googlebomb


also e-on

and e.on

for more information, look here

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Wednesday, 5 November 2008

All gone :(

Well first of all, firefox upgraded itself to FF3, and stopped working properly. I found the FF2 installation files and put the one I was used to back on my system, but I lost all my bookmarks in the process. That means a couple of the things I had planned for this blog are now going to be more difficult to write.

Then the computer buggered up in a different way, and I lost all the push-pins from my Google Earth. That's simple enough to replace or replicate mainly, but again, there were a couple of things I intended to post about that I can no longer find.

Oh well. As long as you have your health, right?

I really can't decide if I'm really lucky or really unlucky.

On 20th October I got hit from behind as I joined this roundabout...

pretty much where the white van in the middle of the picture is. I walked away unharmed. I was given a replacement vehicle and carried on with my life until November the 1st, when I got hit again.


This time I got a bit of whiplash, and the person in the car with me ended up getting taken to hospital with her neck in a brace. She's OK by the way, as is the dog that ran out in front of me and caused the whole thing.

Let's hope trouble doesn't come in threes, huh? I used to be a very confident driver, but at the moment, I shit myself every time I have to slow down.

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