Witness to the Birth of an Island

Imagine sailing through the ocean and suddenly land rises in the middle of the sea with a plume of smoke arising from an underwater volcano. These unsuspecting sailors were witnessing the birth of an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in March 2016. 

This is the incredible story of the crew of the yacht Maiken which was sailing through the south Pacific near the Vava’u Islands in Tonga. Oot the blue they noticed that the water in the distance had turned a strange colour. Then, as they approached it, the sea mysteriously turned to stone.

Main picture: The eruption occurred at an underwater seamount called Home Reef near the Vava’u Islands in Tonga

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Beaches of D-Day: Images of June 1944 versus June 2016

Seventy two years after the D-Day landings on the beaches of Normandy in France, are the places in these iconic images still recognisable today? Surprisingly most locations can still be identified 72 after that momentous and pivotal day.

Four years ago, Nigel and I traipsed across some of these beaches and cliffs. Standing at the German gun emplacements on Omaha Beach, one wonders how anybody could have survived the landing on this exposed beach.

Main picture: The sounds of Nazi jackboots have been replaced with the slap of sandals on the tar

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Lateral Thinkers with Time on their Hands

Just when you thought that you had seen it all before, along comes somebody with time on your hands. Each in its own way illustrates a create spark that was actualised. As can be seen from these two dozen examples, it many instances the inventor/creator is merely using discarded items with a minimal monetary investment. Instead such investment is mainly or wholly in the artist’s time.

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Just Don’t Look Down

Especially if one suffers from acrophobia. It might be irrational but, for sufferers, they feel a sense of panic when they are at a certain height. When gripped with this fear, they are often unable to trust their sense of balance. If you are concerned for the safety of the users of these structures, what about the workers who constructed them?

Just a word of caution. Never attempt to take the ultimate selfie. It might well be the last one that you will ever take.

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Would these Adverts get past the PC Police Today?

Probably our grandchildren will have the same response when they view our adverts or even movies such as Star Wars. It is highly likely that the Beatles will sound tinny and David Bowie will look nerdy. They will possibly be amused at rap, wondering why an artist would talk through a song instead of singing. Ironically shoulder length hair for men will probably be in vogue again as well as bell-bottoms.

Main picture: How can the PC Police claim that this advert is sexist. Rather it displays concern for the welfare of one’s wife. Surely!

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The Fate of Abandoned Artefacts of Civilisation

For the most part, mankind’s artefacts are neither durable nor resilient. Left to the elements most man-made objects would have been reduced to their original elements within a century. Even such ancient memorials of a past civilisation such as pyramids and the Sphinx will be reduced to dust within 10 millennia.

Needless to say, it is not merely the dispassionate elements and nature which inexorably destroy man-made artefacts but there is also the intentional laying waste to artefacts of one’s rivals whether political, social or religious.

Main picture: A bridge made out of an abandoned train carriage
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Children’s Antics which make their Parents Apoplectic

Why is it that some kids just have the knack of doing the wrong thing whether it is regarding their room’s walls as a blackboard or attempting to climb into places which they shouldn’t like the toilet. Often it is the family’s animals that are the object of their naughtiness? Whatever it is, at least 10% of children will be egregious offenders whereas the other 90% will be model responsible children. As such they will never be a burden on their parents.

Dream on.

Main picture: Clearly this little boy knows that scibbling on the wall and “colouring-in” the dog were verboten, yet he did it. Why? Is this an indicator of a future delinquent or is it merely an example childhood naughtiness; a passing phase?

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Photographs to Electrify a Curious Mind

So many questions never get answered. Not that one is incurious but life is too short or the answer is not readily available. Whatever the reason, one never finds out. Instead of the usual canon of photographs of stunning sunsets or virgin African bush populated with grazing animals, this is an unusual collection of eclectic photographs. Take time to ponder on each.

For instance I have always been fascinated with Mount Everest. For me it defies belief that people would want to climb it knowing that the risk of dying is 1 in 10 and that the risk of losing a digit or a limb is even higher at between 2 to 3 in 10. Yet, for all that, men in the hundreds will not be dissuaded by the deprivations of freezing cold, oxygen sparse altitude and precipitous climbs in order to satisfy an inner yearning, a life-long desire to conquer their fears and the mountain.

Main picture: Climbers ascending the highest mountain in the world and the greatest challenge in their lives

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