Posts Tagged ‘BBC’

I was thinking what to blog about tonight, one of the Christmas Stories or perhaps some attempt at a witty comment or even about how the new book is “not” going, when I realized I had not done a “Weird News” spot for a while. So here’s a couple of items of interest… well perhaps to some of you.

This is an “Axolotl” (there’s a good score in Scrabble for you) sometimes called “The amphibian that never grew up“. The axolotl is a type of salamander that uniquely spends its whole life in its larval form. Its odd lifestyle, features and ability to regenerate body parts make it a popular animal kept in labs, schools and as pets.

But in the wild, the future is bleak for this “Peter Pan” of animals. Now a new survey work suggests that fewer than 1,200 Mexican axolotls remain in its last stronghold, the Xochimilco area of central Mexico.

Ex “Take That” and star performer Robbie Williams created quite a stir at the end of a recent appearance on an Australian radio show. The show host thought it was a joke when on the air Williams asked asked actress Ayda Field to be his “betrothed for the end of time”. However Robbie’s mother, Jan Williams told BBC Radio 5 live that her son had revealed his proposal plans to her “a week ago”.

She said she was “really pleased” for the couple, adding: “I’ve always wanted a daughter-in-law.

Finally something that could make a huge change in the way we live, work and even drive.

A team of researchers at Stanford University have come up with a Battery made from paper.
Made from plain copier paper could make for future energy storage that is truly paper thin.

The work, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could lead to “paintable” energy storage.

Because of its structure of millions of tiny, interconnected fibers, paper is a good candidate to hold on to carbon nanotubes, providing a scaffold on which to build devices.

However, paper is also mechanically tough, and can be bent, curled or folded, more than the metal or plastic surfaces that are currently used or under development.

The paper acts to collect the electric charge from the reaction. Using paper in this way could reduce the weight of batteries, typically made with metal current collectors, by 20%.

The team’s batteries are also capable of releasing their stored energy quickly. That is a valuable characteristic for applications that need quick bursts of energy, such as electric vehicles – although the team has no immediate plans to develop vehicle batteries.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

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Growing up and perhaps after I was meant to have grown up, there were many children’s puppet and cartoon characters that I used to watch on BBC or ITV, the two channels we had in the UK at that time. For any of you from the UK how about some of these…
Muffin the Mule, Tourchy, Twizzle, Andy Pandy, Wooden Tops, Flower Pot Men, Bagpuss, Fireball XL5, Stingray, Four Feather Falls, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds… Tales of the River Bank with the animals play their parts. The list goes on and on.

These are the sort of “can you remembers” that used to chatted about on down the pub or late at night in the kitchen at a party. The “Can you remember the animals in Rag, tag and Bobtail” type of questions.

One of the favorite picture type of children’s program (before cartoons took over” was “Mr Benn”. The show was first broadcast back in the 1970’s, with further programs crated in 2004.
Mr Benn’s adventures always began when he visited a magical fancy dress shop. The shop’s changing room was a portal to another world which reflected Mr Benn’s chosen costume.

Now the residents of the street that helped inspire the Mr Benn stories have clubbed together to pay tribute to the classic children’s character.

Festing Road, in Putney, South London, became famous when illustrator David McKee lived there in the late 1960s and made it Mr Benn’s home address. On Saturday, an engraved paving slab will be laid outside the house where McKee invented his famous cartoon.

McKee has also revealed that he is in talks about a Mr Benn movie.


BARRY EVA (Storyheart)
Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book

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I am now officially part of the “BIG BOYS NETWORK” that means my book is no longer classed as POD, but is now in the Ingram’s Database as being part of a “Bookstore Returnability Service”

This means that where as up to now book stores have not really stocked my book, as most will not stock POD (print on demand) as they want credits back for unsold books. They can stock the book, and you can order the book from them.

Before this takes place I am also looking to correct a few errors and get a fresh version of the book available.


Following the fresh release of Across the Pond, now that it is in Ingram’s several more reviews are starting to appear, more about that next week.

Here’s part of one I received today

“Across the Pond coaxed smiles from me as I read about how Fred handled the many situations he found himself in–especially his often humorous struggle with the differences in language.”


Bear Mugged Me For Italian Sandwich
A northwestern New Jersey man said he was mugged in his driveway by a sandwich-craving bear.

Henry Rouwendal said he was packing his car last Friday when he was hit from behind and knocked to the ground. He said the culprit was a black bear who took his Italian sandwich.

Rouwendal said he kicked the bear in the snout and throat.

He said the bruin made off with the bread, salami and other meats but left behind the lettuce, onions and tomatoes.

Vernon Township police said it’s the first time a bear has attacked a person in the rural community in more than 25 years.

(So much for the $5 foot long)

The witch job that pays £50,000

A job center is advertising a “witch” vacancy with tourist site Wookey Hole, in Somerset,(England) for £50,000 a year.


Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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This interesting article about TWITTER was on the BBC today, which I thought I would share.

Twitter followers ‘can be bought’

Twitter users who lack an audience for their messages can now buy followers.

Australian social media marketing company uSocial is offering a paid service that finds followers for users of the micro-blogging service.

Followers are available in blocks starting at $87 (£53) for 1,000. The biggest block uSocial is selling is 100,000 people.

USocial said businesses and individuals were queuing up to use its follower finding service.

Find and follow

Leon Hill, chief executive of uSocial, said the company finds potential followers by searching Twitter and working out what individual users are interested in. It also profiles where people are so it can more closely match users with those they might want to follow.

USocial then sends messages to potential followers telling them about the new Twitter user they might want to follow.

“It’s up to the user to follow them or not,” said Mr Hill. He added that uSocial continues to look for followers until the specified number had signed up.

USocial has about 150 customers that had bought followers and had another 80-90 campaigns about to roll out.

A broad range of clients had signed up to buy followers, said Mr Hill including educational organisations, companies and marketing firms.

“A woman who runs yoga classes is one of our clients,” he said. “So are some religious organisations including one man that just wants to get the word out about God.”

“Twitter started as a way for just friends to keep in touch,” said Mr Hill. “As with any social media site once they get big, every business or marketer jumps on the bandwagon.

“It’s an excellent marketing medium,” he said.

USocial estimated that each follower on Twitter was worth about 10 cents a month to a company that got them to sign up. The money would be made from adverts and sales on websites that followers click through to.

Robin Goad, a research director at Hitwise who has analysed Twitter growth, said businesses were definitely starting to sign up to the micro-blogging service.

“At the moment, it’s mainly media and internet content businesses,” he said. “Transactional companies are struggling to find a way to drive real pounds and dollars from it.

“Companies are building up as many followers as they can and trying to monetise them in the future,” he added.

The growing commercial use of Twitter was presenting the network with a few problems, said Mr Goad.

In particular, he said, Hitwise was starting to see the hijacking of hashtags – labels that bring all the messages about a subject together.

In late June, furnishings firm Habitat used tags associated with protests in Iran to attempt to drive people to its site. The firm has since apologised for its actions.

Some Twitter users were also starting to send out messages that are only about a product or service – effectively spam, said Mr Goad.

“Twitter is becoming one of the key viral channels,” he said.

Twitter might cope better with the creeping commercialisation than other social media sites, he said.

“It’s interesting in the way it has developed,” said Mr Goad. “Hashtags and re-tweets have developed organically rather than been designed from the top down.

“One advantage it has over other services is that it can change quickly if hashtags become a polluted medium and it might keep one step ahead of the spammers,” he said.

“We’ve yet to see people defecting to the next big thing.”

Author of Young Adult Romance/Fiction book
“Across the Pond”

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It is amazing to think that November 11 2008 represents the 90th anniversary of the end of ‘the war to end all wars’. Britain lost almost a million men during this war. A million sons. Think about that for a second when you are having a bad day because the fax machine is jammed.
Sixty-four years after the end of the Second World War, still secrets and incidents are making headlines and news.

A few years ago, a man in Australia, weighed down by some harrowing psychological and emotional baggage finally divulged fragments of his life that he kept hidden for decades.

Revealing to friends and family, how he, at the age of five, he had been adopted by the SS and became a Nazi mascot.


In April this year another secret was discovered, when builders found a bottle had been left in the cement of a bunker near the Auschwitz camp. The message, written in pencil and dated 9 September 1944, bears names, camp numbers and home towns of seven young inmates from Poland and France. When it investigated it was found that not only did three of the names on the paper live through the holocaust, one is still alive today and living in the south of France.


On April the 21st a wail of sirens brought Israel to a standstill on Tuesday morning for a two-minute silence to remember the victims of the Holocaust. Six million Jews were murdered in the Nazi Holocaust during WWII. Yet there are an estimated 250,000 Holocaust survivors still alive and living in Israel, many however below the poverty line.

Now this month, Pope Benedict XVI has condemned those that deny the holocaust actually happened. He said the suffering of Holocaust victims must never be denied as he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

I well remember back in 1973 when the British television (ITV) aired what was to be the first of 26 episodes of “THE WORLD AT WAR”. And how my parents wanted us to see the programs that did not glorify the war but showed it all as it happened, including the terrible scenes as the troops first entered the concentration camps and what they found.

World at War is actually rated in the top twenty British television programs of all time.

So I for one am glad that from time to time, news filters through from the past to keep us remembering about all that went on all those years ago.

As Laurence Binyon wrote in his poem “For the Fallen”

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

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