Tuesday, 31 July 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

Last week I missed doing my weekly review of local newspapers. So it was nice this week to surf the net to see what stories were reported Worldwide last week.

From the Geelong Advertiser, Australia - “Perfumed night gets Marmalade on the carpet”.

“PERFUME wafted through the air, purple lighting set the mood as Geelong's business leaders strolled down the red carpet anxious, nervous and excited.
It was the night of nights for the business community The Geelong Advertiser Business Excellence Awards and the tension was thick.
Prestige, honour and prominence were words used to describe the award as penguin suits and sparkling dresses strolled the red carpet.
Tui Pickett was lapping up the glitz and glamour. Her staff members at Shannon Park Industries joked the red carpet would be rolled out for her, and it was, as she stood posing for a photograph to prove to them she was right.
``I got a letter telling me to write a speech but I haven't had time,'' Ms Pickett said with a nervous laugh, as the reality hit she may just have to make that speech.
Dirty nappies and crying children were a distant memory for the women from City Learning and Care.
They had spent a good couple of hours frocking up, attending hair appointments and getting ready for the big night, of which they had entered three awards.
``This would be great for our business. It would give us recognition within the community that we are doing a great job and that what we are doing is important in working with children and families,'' childcare co-ordinator Julie Thompson said.”

The Vulcan Advocate, Alberta, Canada - “Vulcan home to one and only Scrapbook CafĂ©”.

Found no where else in the country, Vulcan has recently become home to the first cafe geared towards scrapbooking.
“It’s not just a cafe, it’s a social,” said Lillian Duxbury, 57-year-old owner of Scrapbook Cafe. Operating the business with her husband, Tim, also 57, the couple packed up and left Calgary in 2002 in search of a new home outside the city.
Third time was a charm, as their house in Vulcan was the last of three attempts to settle in a new residence and community.
“I love Vulcan, I think it’s a great little town,” Lillian said.
Having delved into the art of scrapbooking over two years ago when her daughter introduced her to the craft, Lillian has spent her share of time in other scrapbook stores that ended up giving her the direction she needed to create the best possible atmosphere.
Previous experience included cramped conditions in dark rooms hidden away in the back of a store, so Lillian knew exactly what not to do.
“I turned all the negatives into a positive,” she said.
Remembering cramped conditions, she made sure the Scrapbook Cafe had plenty of spacious tables and lots of light to work with.
Although not yet available, plans are to be offering scrapbook lessons by September. Once that comes to pass, memberships will be available, offering members access to a scrapbook tool room on hand in the cafe.
“So they don’t have to bring their own stuff,” Lillian said, “they come work whenever they want to.”

From the Evening Post, Swansea, Wales - “SHAMBO MONKS PROTEST IN VAIN”.

A Group of 20 police officers broke up a day-long vigil at a Carmarthenshire temple after monks and protesters gathered to protect Shambo the bull.Worshippers at the Hindu temple in the Skanda Vale religious community surrounded the sacred animal to stop officials putting him down. However, their attempts were in vain as vets destroyed him yesterday evening.

Brother Alex, one of the monks at the community where Shambo was worshipped, said: "We have done our duty and we have a clear conscience in this. Shambo is all right. I know the Lord will take care of him, I have no worries about that.

"It is the the Assembly that is going to pay. The consequences of their actions will haunt them for generations to come. That is the Karma in action."

The bull had tested positive for TB and Defra officials ordered it to be destroyed to prevent the infection spreading.

However religious leaders at Skanda Vale, near Llanpumsaint, mounted a legal bid to save him and when that failed they formed a human chain round the bull.

But their efforts were in vain as a warrant was served and police moved in.

One of the worshippers, 65-year-old Verena Blum, said: "It's bad, but I don't blame the police because they were friendly and they did their duty.

"There is no way that you desecrate a temple in that way."

Police had originally wanted to remove Shambo at 8am yesterday but the Hindu monks at the temple began a vigil which prevented officers from getting to the six-year-old Friesian.

At around 2pm they again tried to remove Shambo. But with around 100 protesters at the site they decided to pin a warrant to the door and "take advice".

Returning two hours later police began to remove worshippers and used bolt cutters to open Shambo's stall.

Speaking after she had been moved, Christine Hough said there was no need to put Shambo down.

"He is sacred to these people - he is not in the food chain," she said.

An attempt by the community's monks to stop the the Assembly destroying Shambo failed at the Court of Appeal this week.

Worshippers laughed as Brother Alex said the Assembly had asked the gathering to disperse because "they are worried it might be upsetting Shambo".

Well that’s the local news for another week, finishing on the sad news that Shambo is no more - well at least not in the reincarnation of a sacred bull.

Monday, 30 July 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

And the captions keep on coming.

Those that particularly caught the eye and brought a chuckle to the throat and a smile to the face and a feeling of contentment in the heart and a rumble in the belly were:

On Saturday
- “Me Dad’s a soldier in this, er, crack regiment”.

Pope Terry’s - "If I stand here long enough, I'm sure a decent man will come for me"
Chewy’s - “All the lovely sidewalk paintings have washed away.”
and David’s very clever - "From yawning chasm to awning chasm in one easy step"

- “The concept of ice floors at the rail station was a dismal flop."
and David’s - “Passengers rail against curling rink”.

Thursday was special for some very funny captions, including -
ozlady 's - "Where is that draft coming from? I feel like I'm doing a bad Marilyn Munroe impression!"
Chewy 's - "Is THAT Big Ben?"
Doug 's - "After seeing her long lost brothers, Trish realised she was the black sheep of the family."
and David's - "Big Ben shows the time as forty minutes past tutu", and "You clowns should be in Parliament."

With more than an adequate number of great captions to select the Caption of the Week from, I thought on Friday I’d slip in a more difficult photo to think up captions for. Another underestimation of the talents of the “Captionists” (the name I have decided to call participants). What a wonderful collection of captions posted including:

ozlady 's - "I told you not to buy that timeshare!"
Pope Terry 's - "Dave... Dave over here, theres still some shrimp left at the bouffet"
david mcmahon 's - "Simon and Garfunkel classic: ``I'd rather be a hammer than a snail''
Chewy 's - "Es-car-go beep-beep."
Doug 's - "Oh great Frank! Move the family to France you said and we'll be safe!"

The list was narrowed down to two captions. So the final choice:

The Runner-up comes from Friday’s postings and it is (cue the trumpets) -

ozlady 's - "I told you not to buy that timeshare!"

And so to the Winner of the Caption of the Week Award, from Saturday (cue trumpets and drums) -

David’s - “Me Dad’s a soldier in this, er, crack regiment”.

And now I’m looking forward to reading this weeks captions.

Sunday, 29 July 2007

YesBut smells the flowers

YesBut all I want to do on a day like this is smell the flowers.

But you have other things to do. Have you voted for the YesBut’s Image’s Caption of the Week?

Please show your appreciate of those who have submitted captions. Vote for the best caption posted between 20th to 27th July inclusive, click here now.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

YesBut that was the fourth week of July

With the flooding that occurred in England at the beginning of the week, Noah and his ark would have been a welcome visitor. This time the weather forecasters had it right; for a week in advance they predicted heavy rain, but the Government failed to react adequately, resulting in hundreds of thousands of people left without electricity and drinking water supplies - well done Gordon (I'm the Prime Minister now) Brown .

On Thursday, I wrote about blogging for pleasure, without pressure, and how bloggers can become obsessed by the number of daily hits on their blog. I must say I was supprised when I visited the Saatchi Gallery web site, which claimed to have had 48,800,468 hits in the previous 24 hours. I know the extensive BBC web sites have a massive number of hits everyday, but 48 million for an art gallery! Palls Yesbut’s Images into insignificance - quality rather than quantity say I.

At the beginning of the month I wrote about the start of the Tour De France in London. This was to be a “drug-free” Tour. The “sport had cleaned itself-up”. Well 16 days into the tour and the pre-race favourite Alexandre Vinokourov was the first to withdraw after testing positive for blood doping. Whose fault is it that the Goose-that-lays-the-golden-egg (and believe me the Tour is a massive money spinner), is being killed? The riders, the team managers, the commercial sponsors or the race organiser? All. But ultimately the good name of the event is the responsibility of the organiser.

Friday, 27 July 2007

YesBut watch the birdie

People have been kind enough to complement YesBut’s photographer on the photographs published on YesBut’s Images, and have asked how he goes about getting the shots. He tells me it’s very simple in London point the camera in any direction and you get a good photograph. Whether it’s a building or tourists. Tourists!! Last week I was walking north along Tower Bridge; three women were standing across the entrance to the stairs down to St Katharine’s Dock.

“Excuse me you are blocking the stairway, I would like to get past”.

”It’s alright we’re on vacation”.

Tourists are totally oblivious of other people.

Back to YesBut’s photographer, he says he has more difficulty, when not in London. He had a particularly difficult time when visiting Holland - not the place to go to photograph mountains! But he sees it as a challenge. He says since he has been looking for things to photograph he has become more observant, and also has improved his reflex actions. Reflex actions? Yes, when there is a dearth of things to photograph, every opportunity must be taken - it’s no good saying, “I’ll come back later” - later rarely comes.

Talking about lost opportunities, today is the last day to post a caption for the photos posted on YesBut’s Images on 21st to 27th July.

So put on your thinking cap and think up captions.

But your participation doesn’t end there. It’s up to you to select the Caption of the Week. Your vote of the best and runner-up caption should be posted on YesBut’s Images blog by midnight Sunday 29th July.

To remind you of the rules:

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 21st to 27th July inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 29th July.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

Join in the fun cast your vote even better post a caption - click here.

Thursday, 26 July 2007

YesBut do it because you want to.

OK you’ve followed advice given to you, done everything you can think of doing, but yet you cannot increase the number of visitors to your blog. There appears to be an invisible barrier or door that slams shut as soon as you have twenty visitors a day. What can you do?

You’ve tried everything. Tweaked the appearance of the blog: changed the template, even adjusted the size of the fonts to the extent the words appear to be shouting out of the screen. Changed the font style, but all in vain.

What can you do next? A lot of bloggers just give up. In May 2006 Technorati reported 13,720,748 blogs it tracked were updated in the proceeding 90 days. That was 36% of all blogs tracked by Technorati. By March 2007 the number of active blogs had increased to 15, 534,430 but this only represented 21% of all tracked blogs. So in the year the number of tracked blogs had nearly doubled from 38 million to 74 million, but the number of active blogs had only increased by just under 2 million.

Bloggers need primarily DEDICATION. At the beginning it’s exciting; you’ve got all those ideas in your head. Then you get a few visitors, great “I’m on the way”. The initial enthusiasm projects you forward. But people who initially visited your blog no longer leave comments, the visitor counter keeps ticking over but a large percentage is you visiting your blog to see if anybody has left a comment. On top of that, thinking of things to write about is getting more difficult. It gets tougher to sit in front of the computer, especially when its sunny outside and the kids want to go out to play, or there’s that task you’ve been putting off which really needs to be done now.

You need to ask yourself one question: “Why did I start blogging?”. If it was to satisfy the need to express yourself and be creative then, remove the “vistor counter”. It doesn’t matter if you have 0, 10 or a 100 visitors a day. It’s nice when people leave comments and you can start conversations; but it doesn’t matter if no one leaves a comment. If the kids want you to play with them, then play with them; don’t feel pressured to write something for your blog.

Blog for PLEASURE without pressure. Don’t let the blog take over your life. When you feel creative then blog, when you don’t then don’t. You only live once, enjoy life, and when you feel the need to share, blog.

Click here to leave your caption for YesBut's Images

Wednesday, 25 July 2007

Memorial day - 7

In yesterday's blog I described Holborn Viaduct, London; as viewed from what was the “Fleet River valley”. If you climb up the stairs you come to the level of the road over the viaduct, to the west the road goes to Holborn Circus, to the east the City of London.

Bronze Flying Lions stand on guard at each corner of the viaduct. They were sculptured by Farmer & Brindley and manufactured at Elkington & Co foundry. Elkingtons was set up by two cousins, George Richards Elkington (1801 - 1865) and Henry Elkington (1810 - 1852). But the main features are the four larger than life size bronze figures, two on the north and two on the south balustrades.

Farmer & Brindley were responsible for the two figures on the north side. At the west end stands “Fine Art” on the east “Science”.

The “Science” figure is very interesting, most people today would be puzzled by the “pair of balls” held in her hand. But at the time the viaduct was built in the 1860s they were the symbols of the age. She is holding the governor which controlled the speed of early steam engines.

The “Fine Art” figure holds in her hand a sheet of drawing paper and pen. Standing on a columb stands the bust of Athena to represent sculpture.

On the south side of the road there are two bronze figures sculptured by Henry Bursill. On the west end “Commerce” and on the east “Agriculture”.

“Commerce” holds money in her hand and has the key to the City of London at her feet.

“Agriculture” holds a scythe in her right hand and a sheaf of corn in her right.

The viaduct is a true jewel and monument to the Victorian age.

Click here to see YesBut's Image of the day - and leave your caption.

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Holborn Viaduct

Standing at Ludgate Circus, London, look east up Ludgate Hill you should have had a clear view of St Paul’s Cathedral, but through inept city planning the view is blocked by a conglomeration of office blocks. Look south down New Bridge Street you see Blackfriars Bridge. West you look up Fleet Street, formerly the “Street of Shame”, (I’ll have to write a blog about this famous thoroughfare). Look north and you see Farrington Street, standing at this point before 1765 and you would have seen the Fleet River flowing down the valley towards the Thames, (on quiet nights, place your ear to the ground and you will hear the river flowing through a subterranean channel). Look along Farrington Street and you will see Holborn Viaduct spanning the Fleet valley.

The Viaduct designed by the City of London Surveyor William Heywood was built between 1863 and 1869 and was opened by Queen Victoria in 1896.

It was built to improve access from the city of London to the west. Before its construction horse drawn vehicles travelling west from the City had to climb the steep-sided Holborn Hill.

In the 1860’s they didn’t just build bridges, it was a statement - Holborn Viaduct epitomises the grandeur of the age, the British Empire was at its zenith, Victoria was the Queen Empress ruling over Canada, Australia, New Zealand, most of Africa, and the Jewel of the Empire the Indian sub-continent.

Constructed from cast iron beams resting on granite columns the details incorporated is magnificent, as you can see from the slide show (if it doesn’t start automatically click the “start tab”).

Tomorrow in Memorial Day blog, I will describe and show the sculptures adorning the viaduct.

In the mean time click hear to enter the YesBut Image caption competition.

Monday, 23 July 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

When I look through my portfolio of photographs to select images to be posted on YesBut’s Images; some photographs jump out almost screaming “post me look at how many potential subjects for captions you can see”.

Other images seem to crawl away into a corner, “I’m useless there’s no hope of anyone thinking up a caption”. I thought the photo posted on the 14th July was an example of the latter. It was taken in the British Museum’s Grand Court - a nice photo with lots geometric shapes, almost bordering on the abstract. But what possible caption could be posted? I still chose to post it because it would be a challenge to think up a caption.

What a very pleasant surprise on Sunday morning when I read the caption posted by Doug - such imagination. My first thought after stopping laughing was the Caption of the Week Award has already been won, even before anybody else has posted a caption.

That thought remained until Friday, when there was a (what is the collective noun for a group of brilliant captions?) galaxy of captions submitted:

Sanjay M 's - "What's with you men just asking for directions?! Alright... I'm going to look up Google maps!"

Ak-Man 's - "We'll need to find a river and a bridge to get back to our hotel."
Doug 's -"Now Henry...No map in the world will ever help you to find common sense." David 's - "I think we went a bridge too far''. In total five captions to choose from, all deserving to win. But which one?

I hate to have to make such difficult decisions, but the final result is:

There are four captions all in the runner-up position, but the winner - selected because the photo was so difficult to think up captions for is click here to see.

One last point:

David. McMahon pointed out to me that the links I posted on YesBut’ Images captions were back to the contributors profiles and not to their website. Well I have had YesBut’s Team of Technical Wiz Kids working on the problem of links to websites and profiles. Bleary eyed they have come up with the solution.

When you post a comment you are given three options of choice of identity:

“Blogger display name”
(if you choose this your link is back to your profile).

“Other” (if you choose you can enter a link back to your web page)

“Anonymous (no link)

So you now know when you post a caption, if you what to get a link back to your site rather than your profile chose the “Other” option

Damn clever these wiz kids.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

YesBut spot the difference

As I was posting the photo on YesBut’s Images, Mrs YesBut asked me which photograph I was going to use. I was puzzled by the question -

“which photo“?
“Which of the two are you going to use?”
“This is just a copy of the other”.
“No its not. I can see at least ten differences”.

“Ten differences?”.

That woman has the eye of a hawk, sees too much some times. But on this occasion she was correct there are 10 differences. Can you identify them?

Also click here to see which of the two images was used as today’s YesBut’s Image. While you are there you can enter in the fun and select the caption of the week.

Saturday, 21 July 2007

YesBut that was the third week of July

One of the joys of being in London during the summer months is the number of free shows that can be seen.

Did I say weather permitting? The weather wasn’t on its best behaviour last Sunday afternoon for the Turkish Fest at Bernie Spain Gardens. For 20 minutes the heavens opened: torrential rain accompanied by thunder and lightening.

For the month of July at the Scoop, More London, near the Tower Bridge, you can relax or swing to music at lunchtimes and in the evenings.

But by far my favourite event is the National Theatre’s free summer festival, "Watch This Space" held in the square adjacent to the Thames. The week before last, there was a very cheeky performance by Te Matarae I Orehu, a troop of the finest Maori dancers from New Zealand.

Last Sunday I was listening to “’Death to America’. Anti-Americanism Examined”, on BBC Radio 4. A member of the Muslim Brotherhood was interviewed in Egypt. He said, and I paraphrase him,
"the trouble with Americans is they want to be loved, and will continue to kill you until you love them”.
That’s a trap bloggers can fall into, no not killing people, but wanting to be loved. The content of their blog is influenced by the desire to please and for their blog to be Bookmarked. The result is, it ceases to be their blog, it becomes an artificial construct, based on what the blogger thinks will please people. The difference between a good blog compared to an average blog is honesty. Blog for yourself, if people like what you write, OK, if they don‘t, so what?

And finally back to the weather. The photo on the left was taken not in the middle of a winter snow storm, but at noon yesterday, i.e. the middle of summer. You might be able to make out the outline of St Paul’s Cathedral. Torrential rain and flash floods are the order of the day.

Friday, 20 July 2007

YesBut you know it makes sense.

Let me at the onset confess I am computer illiterate, more of a glunk than geek. Consequently when I come across something that makes life easier and is readily understandable I am delighted.

Microsoft released Internet Explorer 7.0 when they launched its Vista operating system. Windows XP users can now download an upgrade to install Internet Explorer 7. But yet again MSN are only trying to catch up with Mozilla’s Firefox Web browser. Where Firefox leads Explorer limps behind.

Firefox loads web pages much faster. I have to take the word of the experts, who say it is more secure than Explorer - something to do with the computer language used and protocols, and all that gumff. There are hundreds, nay thousands of geeks at this very moment working in support of Firefox developing add-ons to tweak Firefox to meet your personal requirements.

I know from personal experience Internet Explorer has limitations, Firefox does not have. For one thing, viewing this blog using Firefox you can see all singing all dancing slideshows click here for an example. Now it doesn’t matter how much I write about it, you will never know what you are missing until you experience it for yourself.

Look I tell you what I’ll do, I’ll give you a money back guarantee if you aren’t fully satisfied with Firefox- did I tell you it’s free to download!

Before I forget, today is the last day to post a caption for the photos posted on YesBut’s Images on14th to 20th July.

So put on your thinking caps and think up captions.

But your participation doesn’t end there. It’s up to you to select the Caption of the Week. Your vote of the best and runner-up caption should be posted on YesBut’s Images blog by midnight Sunday 22nd July.

To remind you of the rules:

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 14th to 20th July inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 22nd July.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

Join in the fun cast your vote even better post a caption - click here.

Thursday, 19 July 2007

YesBut what’s the story?

There have been a number of memorable captions posted on YesBut’s Images, one which intrigues me is that posted by Bart on 31st May:

“Perhaps if I keep looking intently, nobody will realize I accidentally glued my thumb to the inside of this book”

When I first read Bart’s caption, two questions sprang to mind:

While the young lady is prominent in the photo, her thumb isn’t the focal point. Question, what drew Bart’s attention to the thumb? Perhaps Bart will answer this.

The second question, how did she get her thumb stuck in the book? I have a theory:

Instead of going home straight from work, Tom decided to go for a couple of pints in the pub. You know how things are, one or two pints leads to three or four, or five. Well it was quite late when he staggered through the front door of his house. Fortunately for him he swayed to his right just as his wife threw the china ornament.

The problem was the ornament’s head broke off. Now that wouldn’t have been a catastrophe as neither Tom nor his wife liked the statue. But, it had been given as a wedding present by Tom’s maiden aunt Gladys. Now Tom wanted to keep Gladys happy as he hoped to inherit her money. So the next morning, after he had sobered up, Tom attempted to glue the head back on.

He used one of those supper glues which you have to mix the contents of two tubes. Tom isn’t what might be called “clever with his hands”, and managed to stick his thumb and forefinger together. He panicked and rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department at St Thomas’ Hospital. Passing the bookstall under Waterloo Bridge he saw a book “One Thousand Six Hundred And Forty-three Things You Need To Know”. At that moment Tom only needed to know one thing, how to get his finger and thumb unstuck. He flicked through the book. But unfortunately, how to get fingers unstuck wasn’t considered by the author something you needed to know. Tom put the book back on the table and went on his way. Unknowingly he had left a blob of glue on the book.

Patricia was due to meet her friends to see a film at the National Film Theatre. Arriving early she wandered around the book stalls. She didn't notice something sticky on her finger as she moved out of the way, one of those stupid things you need to know books, as she had her eyes firmly fixed on the book underneath “Zen and the Art of Trampolining for Flower Arrangers ” - she thought it would make a nice birthday present for her grandmother, who was a obsessive trampolinist. It was only when she went to pay for the book that she was horrified to discover that her thumb was stuck to the book.

Some hours later Tom was amused to see a young woman with her thumb stuck to a book walk into the waiting room of St Thomas’ A&E Department.

I wonder if Bart will leave a caption for today’s YesBut’s Images photograph? Better still why don’t you click here and leave a suggestion for a caption.

Wednesday, 18 July 2007

Memorial day - 6

This is the sixth in a series of blogs posted each Wednesday dedicated at looking at memorials and public sculptures.

Within the shadow of the Houses of Parliament, in the Victoria Tower Gardens, can be seen the monument / sculpture “The Burghers of Calais” by Auguste Rodin.

Click the “view show” tab if the slideshow doesn’t open automatically

The sculpture has only just been replaced on its plinth having been on exhibition at the Royal Academy in 2006, and then on loan to the Kunsthaus, Zurich where it was part of the “Rodin - A Retrospective” exhibition.

At the exhibition it would have been guarded, with visitors not allowed to touch it. How different to its treatment in the gardens. While I was there to photograph the statue for this blog, a group of tourists were climbing over it, one placing a bottle top on one of the figures up held fingers.

The statue commemorates an event during the Hundred Years’ War, when in 1347 six citizens of Calais, then as now an important French port on the English Channel, offered themselves as hostages to Edward III after he had unsuccessfully besieged their town for nearly one year. The story goes Edward laid siege to Calais, Philip VI of France ordered the city to hold out at all costs. Philip failed to relive the town and eventually the town had to surrender. Edward said he would spare the citizens if any six top leaders surrendered to him almost naked with nooses around their necks and carrying the keys to the city. Eustache de Saint Pierre, was the first to volunteer followed by five other town leaders. They knew they were walking to their death. Their lives were spared at the pleading of Edward’s queen Philippa of Hainault.

In 1880 the mayor of Calais proposed commissioning Rodin to make a statue to be placed in the city square. Rodin’s figures are slightly larger than life size, and contrary to common practice he placed them standing at ground level - not on a plinth. So they were placed until 1924, when against Rodin’s wishes the statue was placed on a plinth.

As was common with Rodin’s work more than one statue was cast from his mould. In 1911 the British Government purchased one of the eleven casts permitted to be made by French law after Rodin’s death.

Click here and leave a suggested caption for YesBut’s Image

Tuesday, 17 July 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

Once again I have been surfing the net to find interesting stories in local newspapers. I leave it to you to judge the success.

From The Chronicle, Toowoomba, Queensland - “ Stress levels rise over leaning tree”.

"VOLUNTEERS cursing a giant eucalypt tree towering over the Visitor Information Centre in James Street, have nothing to fear.

But Cr Michelle Schneider isn't convinced. Apart from the safety concerns, there were issues of nuisance debris blocking gutters and on the verandah.

She stood alone in the 8-1 vote at the Toowoomba City Council ordinary meeting last Tuesday night.

The motion was lost Mayor Dianne Thorley ruled.

"Tell that to the volunteers that get killed by it," Cr Schneider joked.

Cr Schneider called for an inspection of the giant gum, more than 20 metres high and on a distinct angle."

The Sherwood Park News, Alberta - “ County Clothesline fed up with dumped junk”.

“The County Clothesline, a not-for-profit organization that sells donated clothes and gives the money back to the community, has become a cheap alternative to the dump, and staff aren’t happy about it.
Although the organization appreciates donations as that’s what keeps it running, many items are being dropped off that belong in the garbage because they could never be resold, according to executive director Loretta Nicholson.
“We’ve changed from being the County Clothesline to the county dump,” she said as she looked at the tears in an old leather couch that was dropped off earlier in the week.
The organization doesn’t take in or sell furniture, yet many people have been dropping off old couches, dressers, mattresses and other large items. But they have no room for these items so they have to be trucked to the dump, which costs the organization money. They also receive computer equipment, which they have to pay to have recycled.
“Every dollar we have to spend to get rid of this garbage is a dollar not going to the community,” said Nicholson.”
From the Waikato Times, New Zealand - “Salty language sees youth MP booted out”.

”A youth MP was kicked out of the debating chamber after telling the Government to "stop f***ing with our futures" during a heated exchange on climate change.
Kate Steel, 16, a Green Party nominee, had been arguing The Household Response to Climate Change Bill was "rigged".
Deputy speaker Ross Robertson - seemingly forgetting a recent verbal slip by Broadcasting Minister Steve Maharey - told the unruly youth representatives the word in question had "never been used in Parliament before", and ejected Ms Steel from the chamber for five minutes.
Ms Steel withdrew her comment but her apology was drowned out by applause and cheering from her fellow MPs as she was escorted from the chamber.
The bill failed to proceed after voting ended in a 53/53 split with 14 MPs - including all the Greens - abstaining. "

From The Inverness Courier, Scotland. - “Cocktail gives the wallet a shake”.

“IT has been called Scotland’s most expensive cocktail and, at £200 a glass, it could give you a financial hangover. The Magnum Royal is a heady mix of the world’s finest Cognac, Louis XIII de Remy Martin 1999, vintage Dom Perignon champagne and a raspberry liqueur-soaked sugar cube. It was created by Mathieu Clausel, bar manager at the Glenmoriston Town House Hotel in Inverness, with its bar the first in Scotland to be supplied with a magnum of the costly Louis XIII Cognac, whose connoisseurs are said to include the Queen, Elton John and Christian Dior.
“We have been selling a lot of Louis XIII in our Piano Bar, which led to us being supplied with the magnum instead of the smaller bottle,” he said. “As we were the first Scottish bar to receive this, I thought I should create something extra special to mark the occasion and the Magnum Royal was the result.” A member of the United Kingdom Bartenders Guild (UKBG), Mr Clausel is originally from Lyon in France, where he studied and trained in his profession. He moved to Scotland last year to improve his knowledge of whisky. The Piano Bar, next to restaurant Abstract, offers more than 250 different malts. Although too pricey for the normal pocket, the Magnum Royal is a bargain compared with the cocktail named in the Guinness Book of Records as the world’s most expensive. The £750-a-glass Mai Tai, sold at the Merchant Hotel, Belfast, is made using one of only six bottles of 17-year-old Wray and Nephew Rum in existence.”
And after that, all I can say is “cheers”.

Monday, 16 July 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

Another week, another challenge in trying to decide which of the many captions posted should be awarded the accolade of Caption of the Week.

I really wish more people would vote, in order to relieve me of the strain and stress of having to chair a meeting of YesBut’s Editorial team. I’ll save you the trouble of reading an account of the abuse hurled - Mrs Mop can be so undignified sometimes and Mrs YesBut always reacts.

After several hours a shortlist was drawn up consisting of:

From Sunday

Ozlady’s - “ Rider: "I think that with this motor we should have a chance of beating him this year"
Pillion: "Yes, but there's two of us..."

From Tuesday

David McMahon's - "Flagging spirits"

From Thursday

Doug 's - "Rider: 'If I could only unglue this guy from my back I might have a chance of winning'."

Chewy 's - "On Your Mark, Get Set, PUSH!"


"It's all downhill from here."

Anonymous 's - "Despite the cutbacks in funding, the British manned expedition to Mars was finally ready to launch.."

David McMahon 's - "Back on da chain gang"

And finally from Friday

Bart 's - "Okay, you down in a row like this; I'll go get a motorcycle to jump over you."

Eight captions, but there can only be one winner, and one runner-up - a very difficult choice.

Finally it was decided the runner up was:

David McMahon's - "Flagging spirits"

This caption has two meanings, the non-obvious one being - the photo was taken at the rehearsals for the celebrations for the re-opening of the Royal Festival Hall. By the afternoon, all concerned were getting rather exhausted and fed up.

The winner because it was so zany,

Anonymous’s caption -

"Despite the cutbacks in funding, the British manned expedition to Mars was finally ready to launch.."

If you disagree with the choice, then please leave a comment.

Why not post your own caption for today's image, just click here.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

YesBut where have I seen it before?

The above photo is part of a picture posted this week on YesBut’s Images. Click here to see if you can identify which day’s picture it’s from.

While your there check out the captions posted. Join in the fun and leave a comment with your vote for the best caption of the week 7th to 13th July inclusive.

Saturday, 14 July 2007

YesBut that was the second week of July

The week started with a sporting fiesta: Tennis at Wimbledon, Cycling, Le Tour De France in London and if that wasn’t enough F1, British Grand Prix from Silverston.

After two months of rain, thank goodness there was sunshine for the cycling - and a good time was had by all.

On Monday, it was nice to have some sunshine to walk along the Thames to Tower Bridge to see the Gibson Guitar Town London 2007 exhibition. Thirty 10 foot Gibson Les Paul guitars are displayed around More London, by Tower Bridge. Each guitar is signed by the associated musician to authenticate and endorse their own individual guitar. Click here to read more.

Both the Tour De France and the Gibson exhibition provided ample photo opportunities. Though cyclists passing at 30MPH doesn’t give much time to frame the shot, focus and shoot. Especially when using a digital camera you have to press the shutter button in advance in the hope cyclists will be in the frame when the shutter opens.

In the middle of the week Mrs YesBut gave me the traditional Indian dish dhal to eat, (made from split yellow peas). A very appropriate dish for this blog - the result was a cacophony of continuous farting. As a result I realised President Bush is correct; the answer to Global Warming isn’t through applying restrictions on the use of carbon based fuels in the West but by banning the Indians eating dhal.

Think about it, there are an estimated 1,129,866,154 (the figure comes from CIA - The World Factbook - India - why one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine million, eight hundred and sixty six thousand and one hundred and fifty four why not one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine million, eight hundred and sixty six thousand and one hundred and fifty five or one thousand one hundred and twenty-nine million, eight hundred and sixty six thousand and one hundred and fifty six?).

Back to Global Warming - there are over one billion Indians all eating dhal and as a result farting greenhouse gasses! Not only that - fact a cow emits more greenhouse gases in a day than a car!!

What do they have roaming all over India? Sacred cows! The combination of dhal and sacred cows must result in a massive hole in the ozone layer above India, which will inevitably result in an increase in temperature with the resultant melting of the Himalayan snow - disaster!

But to be even-handed if India is required to get rid of its sacred cows, then it has a right to demand a quid pro quo and America must stop making cowboy films.

And finally don't forget to vote for the Caption of the Week posted on YesBut’s Images on 7th to 13th July.

Friday, 13 July 2007

YesBut you are never too old.

One of the noticeable things when reading blogs, or to be correct the profile of bloggers, is the wide age range of bloggers from Teens to Old Crinklies like me.

I meet people who are fearful of the approach of retirement. In their minds they only exist as the job they do. The first question they ask is not “how are you?” or “what’s your name?” but “what do you do?”. Remove them from their occupation and they become like deflated balloons. Others say “I really love my work, I don‘t want to retire”. Haven’t they heard this isn’t a rehearsal - it’s the only life we have, live it to the full.

That is one problem I have to protect against. I have great pleasure preparing this blog and YesBut’s Images, but it takes time. I have to guard against living my life out only through the medium of blogging. Having said that I have to shout from the roof tops the benefits of blogging for Old Crinklies- as they say “use it or lose it”.

The brain is a muscle and needs to be exercised. What better exercise than sitting before a blank computer screen and thinking about words and images to convey your thoughts and ideas.

Irrespective of age the brain needs its daily workout. YesBut’s Research and Development boffins have just concluded extensive tests and have conclusive evidence the optimum brain exercise is participating in YesBut’s Images Caption Competition.

Today is the last day to post a caption for the photos posted on YesBut’s Images on7th to 13th July.

So put on your thinking caps and think up captions.

But your participation doesn’t end there. It’s up to you to select the Caption of the Week. Your vote of the best and runner-up caption should be posted on YesBut’s Images blog by midnight Sunday 15th July.

To remind you of the rules:

  • Visit the blog and review the captions for the postings 7th to 13th July inclusive.
  • Select your wining caption and runner up
  • Post your choices on the blog (some times contributors submit more than one caption each day; so please clearly identify which caption you are nominating).
  • Voting will close at midnight GMT Sunday 15th July.

First nominations will be given 2 point, 2nd nominations 1 point. The caption having the highest total of points will be awarded the “Caption of the Week Award“.

Results will be posted on this blog and YesBut’s Images.

Join in the fun cast your vote even better post a caption - click here.

Thursday, 12 July 2007

YesBut is it recognisable?

When I started this blog I had the intention of posting something each day. The subject would depend on whatever dropped into my head that day. Gradually I formulated a method of identifying the subject for the day’s blog. So the blog was very much a hotch potch of subjects: sport, the next day politics and the day after that(?).

The international store group Woolworths ran into financial difficulties in the 80s in the UK. Sales and so profits slumped. Management consultants were called in to analyse the business. The problem was easily identified: people were not visiting Woolworth’s stores. Why? They didn’t know what Woolworths sold. The group had gone through a re-think of what it sold. As a result people who since childhood had gone to Woolworth to buy "widgets" and things, found they were no longer sold.

What has Woolworth’s problems in the 80s got to do with blogging? If you are just blogging for fun - because you are satisfying a personal need - nothing. But if you are concerned about growing the traffic visiting your blog, and importantly making return visits - everything.

Readers need to know the overall “character” of the blog. If the blog is a hotch potch of rants that’s OK. But if the blog is about photography, and then for a few days it goes off on a rant about what happened to the blogger at the hairdresser, readers are likely to get confused and the blogger is likely to lose their loyalty.

In my own case, albeit unintentionally a structure has started to appear in my blog;

Saturday is still a hotch potch review of the past week. When something catches my eye I add a snippet to the draft.

Sunday; last Sunday I posted a Sudoku puzzle for you to complete, in future weeks I will be posting other puzzles. Watch this space.

Monday is devoted to announcing the winner of YesBut’s Image - Caption of the Week Award.

Tuesday looking at what local papers are reporting around the World. I find it interesting to read what is considered important by communities around the world, also you can come across very funny (intentionally or unintentially) stories.

Wednesdays are devoted to looking at memorials and public sculptures. The preparation of the blog takes hours. Visiting the monuments to take photographs and then doing research on the monument, its subject and the sculpture. No longer do I look, or more likely pass a monument without giving it a second glance. Now I look and question. And I discover interesting historical and artistic facts. In reality the writing of the blog has become secondary - the final phase of an enjoyable journey.

As for the other two days? A hotch potch of rants or as today the sharing of information.Though I have in mind a new regular feature for Thursdays, starting next week.

Does your blog have a structure the “X” factor, which makes it iconic and its “persona” clearly identifiable?

YesBut’s Images has no problem it’s the same every day, YesBut posts a photograph and you are invited to post a suitable (humorous or amusing) caption.

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Memorial day - 5

This is the fifth in a series of blogs posted each Wednesday dedicated at looking at memorials and public sculptures.

Click the “view show” tab if the slideshow doesn’t open automatically

Abbey Garden adjacent to the Jewel Tower, is one of the most filmed locations in London. It lies across the road from the Houses of Parliament. It is the site TV news crews from around the world set up their cameras to interview Members of Parliament and report on notable British political events. Henry Moore’s sculptor “ Knife Edge” is located in the middle of the well manicured lawns of College Green.

The bronze sculpture was completed in 1962 specifically to be located at its present location. It was presented to the Nation in 1967 by the Contemporary Art Society.

Undoubtedly Moore (1898 - 1986) and Barbara Hepworth (1903 - 1975) were the two leading abstract sculptors in post war Britain. They introduced abstract imagery to the general British public, not in art galleries, but by their sculptors located in public spaces. While the subject of their sculptures wasn’t readily recognisable, the fact they were Moore’s or Hepworth’s work was.

Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture “Reclining Figure” 1969 -70 was stolen from the Henry Moore Foundation at 10.13 pm on Thursday 15 December 2005.It was valued at £3million (US$6m).It could never be sold as a work of art, it is believed the 2.1 tonnes figure was stolen to be broken up and sold for its scrap value for less than £10,000 ($20,000).

Click here to see YesBut’s Image of the day.

Tuesday, 10 July 2007

YesBut what's the local news?

Do you know how many English local newspapers are published worldwide? No idea. Neither have I. But there must be thousands.

For your education, entertainment and amusement I’ve done another troll of local papers, and offer you:

From The Bayside Bulletin, Queensland, Australia - “Councillor warns on water stealing”.
“ ANY water truck filling up from the mains supplies, where the operator is not using a blue Redland Shire Council-issued standpipe, could be breaking the law. A Redland councillor has issued a reminder that anybody taking water from the mains system must use an approved metered standpipe.”

From The Barrie Examiner, Ontario, Canada - “Government Huffs and Puffs, Ombudsman finds".

“Dalton McGuinty may have earned himself a new nickname – “Puff” Daddy. There is a troubling and growing gap, the province’s Ombudsman charged in his annual report, between what Ontario’s government promises to do and what it delivers. “It has not escaped the people of Ontario that strongest leadership shown by many key government bureaucracies has been in making puffed-up promises,” Ombudsman Andre Marin said at a Queen’s Park press conference. “I’m referring to what has become an all-too familiar and rampant refrain among government organizations,” Marin said. When confronted with criticisms, failings or “shabby and incompetent” actions, government ministries, agencies, boards and commissions routinely respond with attempts to “sideline the issue” or proclaim themselves “world class,” an “international leader” or otherwise engage in self-serving hyperbole. There is a cost to such bureaucratic hype and “spin-doctoring,” the Ombudsman maintained. “If government and their agencies believe they can hustle the public, they will be tempted to leave their programs under-resourced and flawed, crossing their fingers that no one will pull back their Wizard-of-Oz curtain and expose the real state of affairs,” Marin said. “.
From the North Devon Gazette, England - “Pub takes last gasp”.

“SIR Walter Raleigh joined customers at the Appledore Inn in Bideford for a last puff on Saturday night as smoking in public premises came to an end. Customer Liz Byng dressed for the part as the locals played out The Final Ashes with an evening in which smoke held sway. A smoking-related quiz brought prizes of ashtrays, lighters and nicotine patches, there was a tasty buffet of smoked foods and a smoke machine added to the atmosphere. Was it tears, or did smoke get in the eyes of the regulars as young Albert Vane, 12-year-old son of landlords Simon and Lucy Vane, serenaded them with "Smoke On The Water?"“.
And that's the news form around the world for anther week

Monday, 9 July 2007

Winner of the YesBut's Image - Caption of the Week Award

Last week there were some difficult images to think up captions for, but as always those who participated came up trumps.

There were two captons that deserved to be awarded the Caption of the Week Award, and both were posted on Wednesday, they were:

b.t. bear (esq.)’s caption - “The unusual July winds had blown away the "Caution: WET GLUE" sign from the wall“;

and Doug’s caption - “Randy hoped his cool new sunglasses would make his friends forget about his B.O. problem but alas it was to no avail.”

YesBut’s Editorial Team couldn’t decide which should have the award. It was decided the tie break would be a comparison between the other captions posted by b.t. and Doug.

Finally it was decided YesBut’s Image Caption of the Week Award for the week 30th June to 6th July 2007 should be awarded to - click here to see.

Sunday, 8 July 2007

Le Tour De France

Tour De France peloton passing YesBut’s London HQ.

I would have joined in but unfortunately I’ve lost my bicycle clips - and I don’t want to dirty my trousers on the chain.