If you’ve been around here a while you’ll have realised by now that I’m a big fan of singer Robbie Williams. I’m in very good company. This week Robbie performed live for the first time in three years at a record breaking sell-out concert at London’s Roundhouse theatre. As the show was also being screened at 250 cinemas across 23 countries, as well as being broadcast on 23 radio stations, it’s estimated that he reached an audience of an almost unbelievable 33 million people. It puts him firmly back in the Guinness Book of World Records – a place where he is no stranger thanks to his ongoing phenominal chart successes.
This is an old video and the title seemed appropriate for this week. It’s ‘No Regrets’, from 1998. (Fans of the Pet Shop Boys may recognise Neil Tennant on backing vocals).
Robbie’s had his fair share of troubles over the years and has a surprisingly fragile ego. I sincerely hope that this time he’s back, healthy and strong, having finally exorcised his demons.
I feel as though I’ve entered Bizarro World since last Friday. I ‘retreated to the drawing room’ yesterday (Voix Douce) to post for SIMC because it felt as if the bulk of ‘the house’ had been overrun with rampant beardiness (or at least discussion thereof). I’m delighted with the attention that my simple question garnered but in truth, the suddenness of it all has also slightly freaked me out. Our blogs are very much our little space in the ethers and if you’re like me you love welcoming in new visitors, hope that they’ll stay, look forward to getting to know each other, and hopefully become friends and frequent visitors at each other’s ‘houses’. What happened on Friday was quite overwhelming. I am, however, reclaiming my space today and if you came here for the party over the weekend and have decided to stay, then welcome, I’m delighted you decided to stick around. I hope that you’ll introduce yourselves by leaving comments.
So, what else? Well Friday’s flurry of internet activity also coincided with the dreaded (~duh, duh duuuuhhh~) Medical Matters – which are done and dusted for the time being but this is something that I get myself into a terrible stew about and worry over relentlessly.
Then of course there is the competition thing I’ve been wibbling on about. Don’t worry, I’m sick of it too. And therein lies the first of a few lessons. Firstly, I’m dreadful at self-promotion. I’m not a natural saleswoman and I don’t feel comfortable at pushing myself into the limelight. Rather stupidly I suppose, I’d far rather that you magically found me and whatever my product is totally by chance and became instantly enchanted. I hate that feeling that I’m trying to entice people in, like a peddler in snake-oil. The whole process has however been a valuable experience. On the plus side, it’s been interesting for me to see which images have proved popular, and why, but much more than that, I’ve confirmed something about people in my own mind The vast majority have been kind, helpful and encouraging, and that warms my heart. A tiny minority however have been slightly odd with me and there is no point in my elucidating any further on that because it focuses too much on what is their problem. Suffice it to say, I take the attitude that if you don’t much like someone then walk away. Don’t, for goodness sake, waste valuable energy on false friendship.
(By the way, the results of the comp will be collated today – a fancy way of saying that I’ll write out pieces of paper with all the email and web entries and then pick out the winner)!
Anyway, that’s me. Elated but also a little tired and punch drunk. Normal service will be resumed as soon as possible.
The Daily Telegraph today has a round-up of what they describe as the world’s weirdest animals. Many of these I’ve seen before, some are entirely new to me, some are entirely new and pretty creepy. I’m not going to put the pics of the creepier ones here – go on over and see them for yourself…starting with the ‘star-nosed mole’ from North America … a little chap who I’m afraid draws an immediate shiver from me (although I’m quite sure I don’t do much for him either)!
The Blobfish, which hovers just above the sea floor, gobbling edible matter that floats past it.
(I love the ‘face’ of these fish – they look distinctly fed up with their lot in life)!
Who is the biggest polluter in the world now? China? India? Here’s a chart you may find interesting:
China, as a developing country, is not yet required to reduce its emissions under the Kyoto Protocol, but as it accounts for one fifth of the world’s population, its emissions could dwarf any cuts made by industrialised countries.
The U.S. withdrew from its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 6%, preferring instead to support voluntary reductions through the development of cleaner technologies. (A strategy which, according to this chart, didn’t seem to be working). Finding more recent figues has proved difficult but according to an April 2008 article China and the U.S. were still vying for the dubious title of being the world’s top carbon polluter.
If, like most people, you are a follower of the theory that greenhouse gases are responsible for global warming, then this all makes for depressing reading.
A breakdown of the countries on the above chart, together with their commitment and performance relating to the Kyoto Protocol can be seen here.
There is also a fascinating ‘live map’ of the earth, showing CO2 emissions, birth and death rates over at breathingearth.net.
This week a meeting will take place in Copenhagen of the ‘Polar Bear Specialist Group’, set up by the IUCN / Species Survival Commission. What is quite extraordinary is that one of the world’s foremost experts on polar bears, Dr. Mitchell Taylor will not be attending. He has been told to stay away because his views do not accord with the rest of those attending. Dr Taylor has studied polar bears for the last 30 years and contrary to the popular view, has stated on more than one occasion that polar bear numbers are actually much higher than they were 30 years ago.
You can read the full article here and while you’re at it, you might also note that the famous ‘polar bears on a melting iceberg’ shot that has been used over and over by people such as Al Gore to support their standpoint was taken by photographer Amanda Byrd just off the Alaska coast. She has said that the bears were in fact in no danger, and that the photo was taken simply because the wind-sculpted ice on which they were standing made for a striking image – it wasn’t taken to illustrate global warming.
All of which goes to show that you can prove anything if you speak to the right people and find the right tools to illustrate your point.
It’s amazing how with the death of Michael Jackson time seems to have stopped. People have stopped starving to death in Africa, there are no wars, no threats to world peace, no environmental disasters, no companies announcing mass redundancies, entire nations are no longer financially crippled and global warming is no longer a threat to the future of our planet. Phew. Thank goodness for that then.
As my husband said this morning whilst watching Sky News:
‘We’ve had fifteen minutes of Michael Jackson, 15 seconds of British detainees being released in Iran, 10 seconds on the policing of the G20 summit and 5 minutes of Wimbledon.’
It’s good to know we have our priorities right.
Here is another conundrum for you (and a bit of Wednesday wackiness) :
Why don’t flies have enormous noses?
No, you at the back, don’t snicker…I’m being serious. Think about it. Aside from the wings, if you look at a fly, what is the biggest organ of its anatomy? (You’re snickering again aren’t you)? The biggest part of its anatomy in proportion to its body are the eyes and in evolutionary terms this is because the eyes are of huge importance, allowing the insect to view the fly swatter world with 360 degree vision. Yet I’d beg to differ with Mother Nature’s Design Committee here.
Designer eye fly. Photo from National Geographic News ***.
If I’m making a corned beef sandwich in a kitchen that is totally devoid of all wildlife, in a house that is almost hermetically sealed to keep in demonic kittens, why / how is it that a ruddy great fly will suddenly materialise to home in on my sarnie. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t silently watching me for the last 3 days from his lookout behind the boiler flue. No, I reckon he caught a nano-whiff of the food and squeezed in through the 5 millimetre gap in the bathroom window. If his sense of smell is so plum wonderful then strictly speaking he should have a gloriously huge schnozzola to reflect this. But no …instead he’s got big eyes. See. A design fault. Definitely.
And to segue on from this ….
Have you ever tried to catch a fly with a hoover nozzle. No? Try it. I bet you’re thinking that with that weapon in your hands and all that suction power at your behest you’re on to a winner. Wrong! It’s well nigh impossible. Try it. I have.
***The fly with the glasses photo above is genuine . The glasses were made by German manufacturing firm Micreon GmbH and the article accompanying this photo can be read here.