Showing posts with label mona lisa. Show all posts
Showing posts with label mona lisa. Show all posts

Saturday, 30 April 2011

Tesco riots: Another slice out of the NHS: Barcelona Bikini Ban: Labrador Ice Island: Smile-you are going to be exhumed: and a show jumping Rabbit.

Sunny, nippy and a touch windy at the Castle this morn, the Honda is shiny red again (for a while) and apparently there was some sort of a do in the smoke yesterday.

On a personal note-“happy birthday” to my lovely “M” who would have been 60 today, my turn in few months, doesn’t time fly………

Forgot to put this in earlier.

The first Roses are out in the garden, this is a scented dog rose which I bought from Wilkinsons ten years ago, it was a four inch "stick" and cost 50p, and smells like Turkish Delight-go on,. have a sniff, you know you want to....

Police launched an eviction raid on a Bristol squat yesterday after riots raged for a second time in a suburb that has become a focal point for anger against heavy-handed policing.

More than 30 people were arrested after another night of violence in Stokes Croft, a bohemian suburb of Bristol that is vehemently opposed to the opening of a Tesco store.

Last week's protests centered on the opening of the new Tesco store, but many local residents of Stokes Croft yesterday voiced concerns that their demonstrations had been hijacked by outsiders keen to fight with the police.

Bloody Tesco.

And: John Healey, the shadow health secretary, raised questions over the timing of an official announcement that hospitals may need to make savings far greater than those already planned.

He said the statement by Monitor, that leading hospitals must make savings of up to 7 per cent a year, proved that the re-organisation of the NHS and cost-cutting plans are putting the system under “huge strain”.

Mr Healey said: “With all eyes on the Royal Wedding, the Government is trying to bury bad news on the NHS.

“This confirms the combination of broken promises on NHS funding and re-organisation is putting a huge strain on hospitals. David Cameron must halt his high-risk, high cost overhaul of the NHS.

“The Prime Minister promised to protect the NHS but his health policies are piling extra pressure on health services, and patients are starting to see the NHS going backwards again under the Tories.”

In plans established under Labour, the NHS must make efficiency savings of 4 per cent of its budget by 2015, totaling £20billion.

Many trusts have already announced job cuts and service reductions, although ministers want them to concentrate on reducing waste.

But Monitor, which oversees the 137 leading hospitals known as Foundation Trusts, has warned them that they may need to make savings of at least 50 per cent more than initially thought.

In a letter published on Thursday, the day before the royal wedding, the regulator said it had revised its figures on the basis of last year’s spending review, current inflation expectations and new NHS operating rules.

The Department of Health insisted the NHS is in a “strong financial position” and that the higher savings estimates represented Monitor’s worst-case scenario.

“We are investing an extra £11.5 billion into the NHS by 2014/15. But higher costs and an ageing population mean that the NHS must meet the highest possible financial standards and find savings to reinvest into patient care.

“Monitor's assessment of 6 per cent to 7 per cent is its 'downside case', meaning it is more pessimistic. But it is right that Monitor's assessments are challenging - we want all hospitals to be able to meet Monitor's standards and show that they can provide sustainable, high quality and efficient services for their patients.”

Well, excuse me for getting “old” and paying all that money to the Gov for all those years……

Tourists in Barcelona who wander off the beach onto the streets in just their swimming costumes -- or even less -- will now face stiff fines.

The city hall voted on Friday to ban "nudity or virtual nudity in public places" and limit swimming costumes to swimming pools, beaches, adjacent roads and beach walks.

Nudists who stray off their designated areas of the beach will be subject to fines of 300 to 500 euros ($450 to 750).

Those who wander into the streets in bikinis, swimming trunks or swimsuits face fines of 120 to 300 euros.

Authorities in the city, where the port and the beach areas are adjacent to the historic old town, earlier this year put up posters discouraging such behaviour.

They showed a couple in swimming costumes with a red line across it next to another couple dressed normally but without the red line.

With the new regulations, city authorities hope to "ensure coexistence between citizens in public areas," but denied that they are "telling people how they should dress," said the city councillor in charge of security, Assumpta Escarp.

You have been warned….don’t hang out in Barcelona

A massive chunk of ice that broke off a glacier in Greenland is drifting towards Labrador, the Canadian Coast Guard has warned.

Currently, the so-called ice island is moving through icy portions of the Labrador Sea where there is little human activity, but it's making its way south towards areas with lots of shipping activity, said Dan Frampton, superintendent of ice operations with the coast guard's Newfoundland and Labrador division.

But by the time it reaches an area where it could pose a risk, it will likely be broken into less dangerous ice chunks, said Frampton.

So what’s all the bleedin fuss about then? Unless your ship is named Titanic……..

Researchers have now begun their hunt for the remains of the woman who might have been the model for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, hoping to unravel a mystery that has baffled art historians for over five centuries.

A team of experts armed with a special radar device descended this week on a dilapidated convent in Florence where they believe the body of the woman who modelled for da Vinci back in the 16th century is buried.

The real Mona Lisa, Italian art historians say, was Lisa Gherardini, the wife of a rich Florentine silk merchant named Francesco del Giocondo who is thought to have commissioned the portrait -- although there is no definitive proof of this.

The researchers say that if they can find her skull, they will be able to reconstruct her face and compare it with the painting.

Grave robbing in the name of “art”.

And finally:

The very hoppy bunny, Snoopy from Jena, Germany, earns his carrots by trying to jump as high as he can around specially designed rabbit race courses.

The sport sees little Snoopy leaping over a number of dressage style fences arranged at different heights as well as taking part in long-jump and high-jump challenges.

Snoopy's owner Claudia Fehlen says that the black and white rabbit can reach up to 60 centimetres high (about 2 feet).  

23-year-old Miss Fehlen is very proud of Snoopy saying: 'He has done well in tournaments. He came in second once, and third another time.'

Miss Fehlen found out about the sport five years ago on the internet and has been training her rabbits since 2009.

Rabbit jumping is said to have been invented in the early eighties in Sweden and is now taking parts of Europe, America Canada and Japan by storm.

Japan and storm aren't really two words you want to see in the same sentence.

And today’s thought: Can we please have news other than the “Royal Wedding” on the TV today…


Friday, 8 April 2011

Fuelled off: Harry’s crack: Piss Poor Policies Dave C U-turns again: Enigmatic exhumation: 'Wonderfully rude' Craigievar Castle: and is the Big Apple an Onion?

Yet another wondrous day at the Castle this morn, mainly because I didn’t wash the windows yesterday, usual problem-broken computers, but I did splash out on a curry last eve which was very tasty and very hot and has left me with fluttering sphincter syndrome this Friday am, hence the lateness of this post-that’ll teach me.

Still looking for a classic car as a summer project, prices are very high at the moment and just to add to the difficulties the cost of petrol has wiped out the tax cut kindly given to us by that son of a B…..aronet George Osborne.

Drivers are now paying an average of 133.5 pence a litre for unleaded, the same price as it was on
March 21.
Diesel, meanwhile, has reached 140.13 pence a litre just 0.13 pence short of the record set on March 23.
With oil hovering around $120 a barrel on the world market, another three pence of prices are in the pipeline by the end of the month.
Meanwhile Adrian Tink of the RAC added. "The volatile oil market has meant that drivers have seen very little benefit from the duty cut. Prices are continuing to spiral upwards with no end in sight to the high prices.
"The Chancellor made a great deal about the 'Fair Fuel Stabiliser' but it's only stabilising government revenue – motorists are still going to be hit by the rising cost of fuel.”

Thanks George……

It seems that Prince Harry is stranded by crack-s; all flights out of Borneo Ice Airfield - about 200 miles (320km) from the North Pole - have been cancelled while the runway is rebuilt.
The prince was due to fly home on Thursday, but Clarence House said it could be 48 hours before he can leave.
Expedition spokesman Alex Rayner said airfield crews were working round the clock to rebuild the runway.
"It is a feat of engineering to build a runway on what is effectively a floating piece of ice on the Arctic Ocean.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and hope to have Prince Harry back on dry land within the next 48 hours."

Ah… the old “cracks in the runway ploy”.

He is “actively engaged” in a reassessment of Britain’s military capabilities and planned reductions in equipment and manpower, sources have disclosed.
The rethink has raised hopes that some of the cuts to military aircraft and ships in the Strategic Defence and Security Review (SDSR) could be postponed or even reversed. Insiders said it was not too late for a change of mind on the decision to cut the number of RAF Tornados and scrap surveillance planes. Some Royal Navy frigates could also be spared, or have their retirement delayed.
In the first sign of compromise on defence cuts, Mr Cameron has ordered the Treasury to give the Ministry of Defence a reprieve on its overspent 2011-12 budget. The £800 million climb down will spare the Armed Forces further cuts this year. Senior government figures admitted that the Libyan conflict has raised questions about the wisdom of cuts that will leave Britain facing a “dip” in its military capabilities for several years

Dave must be tired of changing direction by now-I know I am.

Researchers will attempt to identify the woman who sat for Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa, by digging up the remains of an Italian noblewoman.
Art historian Silvano Vinceti believes that by locating the remains of Lisa Gherardini, he can prove whether she was the artist's model.
A recently discovered death certificate suggests she died in 1542 and is interred in a convent in Florence.
The excavation will begin at Saint Orsola later this month.
The mystery behind the Mona Lisa and her enigmatic smile has baffled art experts for five-hundred years.

Bet she isn’t smiling now……

A waterspout at a castle has been described as "unexpected" and "wonderfully rude" by staff who has documented the property's gargoyles.
Believed to be a female fertility symbol, it was among stone carvings that decorated the upper walls of Craigievar Castle in Aberdeenshire.
The Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS) made a study of the carvings.
Images taken of them have been uploaded onto the RCAHMS' website.
A book about the stonework and the study made during a major restoration of the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) property has also been published.
Records of the Craigievar carvings join data the RCAHMS has gathered on rock art, sculptures and also Pictish carvings found across Scotland.
Commission staff carried out its work at Craigievar in partnership with NTS between 2007 and 2009, recording the 17th Century carved cannons, waterspouts and gargoyles fixed to the castle's walls.
The waterspout listed as number 394 is thought to be a fertility symbol.

Spiffing…there are a few rude things at the Angus castle as well.

And finally:

 A political battle is under way in New York – over whether the onion or the sweetcorn should be made the official state vegetable.
While New York counts the apple as its official fruit, the rose as its official flower and even the beaver as its official animal, a vacancy exists for the vegetable that best sums up the empire state.
A bill that would see the onion victorious has been proposed in the state senate by David Carlucci, an independent Democrat from Rockland County.
Mr Carlucci's constituency contains the "black dirt" region, which produces half of all onions consumed in New York. His bill states: "Onions are one of the most important vegetable crops in New York in terms of crop value".
Meanwhile Michael Nozzolio, a Republican from Seneca County, insists that the honour must be bestowed on the sweetcorn. He has quickly gained the support of several Republican colleagues.

So is the Big Apple an onion or a tin of sweetcorn? Send your choice Here.

And today’s thought: "A bargain is something you can't use at a price you can't resist." - Franklin Jones