Thursday, April 30, 2009

Sturnus Vulgaris in the Sky again

To build a nest is a demanding task for our little winged friends.



PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.


A POTD to Organ Donation!

This time I feel extra humble, but my post on Organ Donation have won another Post of The Day from the well-known Australian journalist and super-blogger David McMahon. Thank you very much indeed, David! I see it as a support for just that principle - Organ Donation

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

O is for Organ donation in ABC Wednesday

Regular visitors to my blog will know that I had a successful heart transplant five years ago. However that is not the issue of this post - the issue is what made this possible: A donation of an organ by an unknown donor who no longer needed it.

Wikipedia defines Organ donation like this:

Organ donation is the removal of the tissues of the human body from a person who has recently died, or from a living donor, for the purpose of transplanting. Organs and tissues are removed in procedures similar to surgery. People of all ages may be organ and tissue donors.
WHO has the following sentences as one of the major guidelines for organ transplantation:
Cells, tissues and organs may be removed from the bodies of deceased persons for the purpose of
transplantation if:

(a) any consent required by law is obtained, and
(b) there is no reason to believe that the deceased person objected to such removal.
The laws varies from country to country concerning how this is done and how the obvious ethical questions are handled. Concerning the last question, it is worthy of note that all the major religions in the world accept organ donation - it is the ultimate gift. Registers are often used, either with "yes" or "no". In Norway one can in principle use any organ that qualifies medically and ethically, but in practice a known acceptance by the donor or the relatives is required. That is why there are yearly campaigns where people are encouraged to fill out donor cards that they can carry on their person and to inform their relatives and friends about their decision. The second picture is from such a stand in Bergen in 2006. The text on the poster board says it all:

Organ donation - life as a gift.

I owe my life to a donor whose family gave a positive answer to the ultimate question when no hope of continued life was left: Do you wish that the organs of your relative shall save the life of somebody else? They did so, and I will be eternally grateful.


Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Monday, April 27, 2009

An Odd Shot Lesson

Or how to ruin a perfectly good photographic subject.



Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd Shots!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Daffodils in Today's Flowers

For once, the flowers are our own!





PS The Today's flowers meme was founded by LUIZ SANTILLI JR. . Please visit and enjoy.

Monochrome Maniacs in a tunnel

Fløibanen, a funicular cable car, is approaching...




This Monochrome concept came from Aileni at The Monochrome Maniacs

Friday, April 24, 2009

Bench(es) of the week (5)

This week's benches are not from out of doors. Rather, I stumbled over this trio in one of the shopping centres in Bergen Thursday. All the vertical, horizontal and diagonal lines, in combination with the hard sunlight through the window caught my attention. Together with the curves of and in the seats they brought me into "photographic mode" and I grabbed my trusty Panasonic that is always hanging in my belt. I hope I have managed to convey some of the futuristic feeling it gave me.

I have not made this into a meme, but if anyone else would like to join me in publishing benches on Fridays, they are of course welcome to do so. Give me a hint and I'll come visiting.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Flight watching in Sky Watch

Natural made flight at 11:14:54

Human made flight at 11:15:29



PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Weed or what?

They start out like this...

- and continue like this.

Many people consider them a pest and a weed. I look upon them as beautiful representatives of spring.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

N is for Newgrange in ABC Wednesday

In September 2006 I found myself in Dublin; Ireland. I had two things on the agenda: Attend a conference and visit Newgrange. And if you don't know what Newgrange is; here is Wikipedia for you:

Newgrange (Irish: Dún Fhearghusa) is one of the passage tombs of the Brú na Bóinne complex in County Meath, one of the most famous prehistoric sites in the world and the most famous of all Irish prehistoric sites. Newgrange was built in such a way that at dawn on the shortest day of the year, the winter solstice, a narrow beam of sunlight for a very short time illuminates the floor of the chamber at the end of the long passageway.
And if you want more, this is from Newgrange.com:
Newgrange was constructed over 5,000 years ago (about 3,200 B.C.), making it older than Stonehenge in England and the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Newgrange was built during the Neolithic or New Stone Age by a farming community that prospered on the rich lands of the Boyne Valley.
You cannot visit this landmark on your own, you'll have to attend small guided tours which starts at the visitor centre Brú na Bóinne .

After a short tour in a mini-bus, you'll see this dazzling, white, grey and green structure on top of a small hill as you enter by a side road - Newgrange.

Here it is seen from the front with the main entrance to the passage that leads to the centre of the mound, the roof box and the entrance stone.


A bit closer up and you'll see the special tri-spiral design on the entrance stone. This is also found inside the passage and may be the most famous Irish symbol of all. In addition you can better see the upper opening, the so-called roof-box where:
The passage and chamber of Newgrange are illuminated by the winter solstice sunrise. A shaft of sunlight shines through the roof box over the entrance and penetrates the passage to light up the chamber. The dramatic event lasts for 17 minutes at dawn on the Winter Solstice and for a few mornings either side of the Winter Solstice (from http://www.knowth.com/newgrange.htm).
We were allowed to enter the chamber, but not to take photographs. Since it was not December we could not experience "the real thing", but we were treated to an electronic re-re-enactment. For the real thing, look here.

Another thing you'll notice is a number of large standing stones - 12 of them. They are the last of probably 35.

If I have ever felt the centuries looking down on me, I did so when I stood at the centre of that mound.

Go!


Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

My slender friend won a POTD!

I must be careful not to take off, but helped by my slender friend in the post below, we have won another Post of the day from the well-known Australian journalist and super-blogger David McMahon. Thank you very much indeed, David!

Thank you once more David - I hope your autumn down under will be like our spring!

Monday, April 20, 2009

A slender Odd Shot

This slimming and exercising fad has gone too far, but at least she/he has kept the helmet on and the shoes are in order.



Please visit Katney's Kaboodle for more about Odd Shots!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

More fog on Monochrome Maniacs

Go slow! ("Sakte fart")


This Monochrome concept came from Aileni at Monochrome Maniacs

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bench of the week (4)...

Some of you may wonder why I have named this Bench of the week (4) when last week was number 2. The answer is simple: I got such a compliment from Anna-Lys in the comments, which in addition led to her own Bench of the week (3) that I couldn't with any respect use that name! So No. 4 it is.

My own growing interest in benches stems from the site published by PERBS and Kerri and the site published by Malyss. Also, many others have shown an interest in the subject, so I have started to take photos of benches when I "stumble" across one.

The present bench is also from the Arboretum and Botanical Garden here in Bergen. In this case they have combined "ready-made" wooden seats with not-so ready-made stones in an area which is more paved and elaborately laid out.

I have not made this into a meme, but if anyone else would like to join me in publishing benches on Fridays, they are of course welcome to do so. Give me a hint and I'll come visiting.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Sturnus vulgaris Watches the Sky

"Nice weather today - I might find something for this new nest!"

"If that photographer could just leave!"

"Oh, drat him - here goes!!"

"Made it!"




PS Please visit Sky Watch Friday's own site for more.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Norway is at war...

And the aggressor is this little slug called the Spanish slug (or in Norwegian - brunsnegl). According to Wikipedia:

The Spanish slug, more commonly known in English-speaking countries under its Latin name, Arion lusitanicus, is a species of air-breathing land slug, a terrestrial pulmonate gastropod mollusk in the family Arionidae, the roundback slugs.

This is a highly invasive slug species. It is often considered a pest, not only in areas where it has been accidentally introduced, but even in places where it is indigenous.

I found the specimen depicted here yesterday in a garden in the neighbourhood. During the later years it has been a popular pastime among the garden owners in Norway to chase these slugs, as they apparently eat many varieties of flowers and bushes. There also seem to be a contest among the gardeners about who can kill the most. "Today I took 345" you can hear from one. "That is nothing - I caught 467" says his neighbour satisfied. It reminds me of both P.G. Wodehouse and Monty Python; at the same time.

I am safe - they don't eat moss.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

M is for Macros of Mechanical Machinery in ABC Wednesday

Macro photography is fun! Wikipedia has among many other things this to say on the subject:
The classical definition is that the image projected on the "film plane" (i.e., film or a digital sensor) is close to the same size as the subject.
The consequence is that for the best results you need a special lens. I bought myself such a macro lens (Sigma DG 70mm/2.8) last autumn, and has since then tried to learn more about it. And it is difficult (at least for me). One subject that I think fascinates all who have tried this is mechanical machinery. All the nuts, bolts, edges and structures are as made for macros. My post today is an example: At the top is a corroded nut with a bolt (or whatever it is) holding something in place.

Here is a cogwheel which must have some function

And this function obviously involves some steel wire

A wire that leads somewhere

Here things are getting a bit more clear

A winch!



Today's post is an entry in the fourth round of ABC Wednesday, the meme initiated by Denise Nesbitt.


For more, you can log on via a Mr Linky enabled site

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

With my first "homegrown" daffodils!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Bench of the week (2)

Last Friday I carelessly named my post Bench of the week. It was not meant as anything more than that - the picture of a bench posted that week. However, some of my commentators wondered whether I was starting a new series, a new meme or something. I was not. On the other hand, I have quite a lot of pictures of benches lying around and more are not difficult to find, so here is Bench of the week (2). Should anyone else feel the urge to do the same, they are of course welcome to do so.

This little stone bench is also from the Arboretum and Botanical Garden here in Bergen. It shows how one with simple remedies can make a useful little resting place for the weary flower-enthusiast. This whole area is criss/crossed by small trails that are often interrupted by small benches made in many different ways and of different materials.

You usually stumble in people carrying cameras.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

More laziness

In my last post I showed a sleeping duck. Some of the commentators doubted various aspect of this interpretation of the picture, so here is another one showing both members of this lazy pair. Maybe they are just sleeping partners?