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Spring at long last! - Daffodils on West Quay

Trivia from the Webmaster and Others

Send comments and material to:

Phil Edmonds <phe@mailaps.org>

Webmaster

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This month's travel dreams

The Barbados - Kate Law spends some days there, snorkelling, kyaking, paddle boarding. Ah, bliss!

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The Old and the New in Ghana

Many years ago our webmaster spent three years, or maybe eternity, teaching in a high school in North Ghana. Several of  my students still keep in touch, in particular, Mohamadu Cabilla who includes in his messages of the struggles and pains of living in Ghana, random photos of local scenes. some traditional - 'Village Women at Well', some almost medieval, 'Traditional Household Gods'.

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Wisdom with Hatchling

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Snow and Ice - Jane Smallman

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Wisdom the Albatross

The world's oldest known wild bird, has another chick at age 70

The Guardian Fri 5 Mar 2021

The remarkable bird has outlived mating partners, and even the biologist who first placed a band on her in 1956

At 70 years of age, Wisdom the Laysan albatross has hatched another chick.

Regarded as “oldest known wild bird in history”, Wisdom has outlived previous mating partners as well as the biologist Chandler Robbins, who first banded her in 1956.

Wisdom hatched the chick on 1 February in the Midway Atoll national wildlife refuge in the North Pacific, where more than a million albatross return to nest each year.

Wisdom’s long-term mate, Akeakamai, who she has been with since 2010 according to the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS), fathered the chick. The USFWS also stated that albatross find their mates through “dance parties”.

“We believe Wisdom has had other mates,” US Fish and Wildlife Service biologist Dr Beth Flint said in the organisation’s article on medium. “Though albatross mate for life, they may find new partners if necessary – for example if they outlive their first mate.”

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Cormorants

We have a sunning (my favourite collective name) of cormorants roosting on the empty pontoons of the west side of the marina. Wings spread, drying their feathers. The most I've ever seen is ten, shown above. When I think about their diet, they gulp the entire fish, alive, it vanishes down their gullets, what an extraordinary digestive system, breaks the entire fish, scales, bones, fins, everything, and turns it all into food and a white stream of excrement. I'll stick to meat and potatoes, Louis Armstrong and a glass of Bordeaux.

Entertainment

Introducing this section, I'd love suggestions, 'All that's fit to print'.

 

EBooks from your Library

I've become really tired of all the depressing news and violence on TV, real and theatrical. I've decided to essentially abandon the news programs, haven't read a newspaper in probably a year, this all makes for a much less depressing life.

A really good source of entertainment and learning, reading, is available from our library, our Oxford (Abingdon) library has an ebook program in place, OxfordLibraryEbookProgram.

 

Television

On BBC IPlayer the 'Amazing Grace' programme about the recording session of Aretha Franklin's 'Amazing Grace' album is absolutely fascinating, an intimate view of a Black Methodist church service. The recording is spread over two evenings the first evening is by far and away the most fascinating.

We've got Netflix and after the recommendation of my twelve year old granddaughter, Summer, we starting watching the comedy 'The Good Place' and became addicted to this peculiar mix of really serious philosophy, and light-hearted humour. (No one gets hurt!).

The 5 episode French series 'Lupin' (English subtitles) is really worth watching, brilliant performance by Omar Sy

 

Dancing Noses

And I can not resist including this clip from the Royal Opera House's performance of Shostakovich’s surreal and brilliant first opera, 'The Nose'. The opera tells the story of a man who wakes one morning to find that his nose has gone missing. It's the origin story of Voldemort, Thanks to Sara Skeapskate for background. The link is TheDancingNoses

Keep your mind active and challenged

My daughter in law, Julie, proposed I should take up what she called Killer Sudoku, 
I've been playing normal Sudoku for a long time, Killer Sudoku has the an additional
complication, the puzzle is divided into 'cages' with in the top left hand corner of
the cage the total of all the cells within the cage. Extreme Killer Sudoku doesn't
have any values in any of the cells to start with, I find it easier to play the
simpler version where some of the cells have preassigned values. Details can be found in the Wiki page, including advice on how to solve the puzzle. Try it, I'm totally addictive.
The experts believe that this version of Sudoku is particularly valuable for keeping
your mind alert and delaying age related deterioration. I'm an Android man and the
application I have found best is called KillerSudoku from Beetles Game Studio. The ads are a bit of a pain and easily ignored. Fortunately Julie uses an Apple tablet and so we can't compare performance a serious relief.