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Keeping in Touch


While we are in shutdown due to the COVID-19 we thought it would be a good idea to have a place on our website where we could, on a regular basis,  keep you informed, provide fun things to do, excite your mind, provide links to interesting places, inject some humour,  share some ideas and generally brighten up your day. So, on a regular basis while we are all sitting at home, our webmaster, Ian Handricks, will update this page for you and he would welcome your input, ideas and anything else you might like to share on the page and he will do his best to include your ideas in the next post. Ian can be contacted on Click on buttons below to go to a specific day or scroll down for a journey through the days

n.b. When viewing the videos use these controls ... click on           in bottom left of video to start video and


                                                                                              click on           in bottom right of video to expand to full screen

Day 52
day 52
Counting Down
Loosening the shackles
Speaking Strine!
Wife of the year
Some More iPad & iPhone Apps
... and here we go again- here's another pile of apps that you can explore
.. (click on app icon to learn more) ...
Magic Jigsaw Puzzles
10 Pin Shuffle
Liquid Sketch
Find a Grave
Auckland Libraries
Cats Family
Dog Breeds
Symbols on headstones, and their meanings
All those symbols you see on headstones in cemeteries? They have meanings and can sometimes indicate information about a family member you might not have yet found.


One particularly interesting symbol is the depiction of a rose or rosebud. While it can, of course, mean love, hope, beauty, and/or purity, a rose on a headstone—specifically its stage of bloom—can also indicate the general age of the person at their death. Here is a guide to the various versions you might see:

  • Rosebud: the person was under the age of 12

  • Rosebud with a Broken Stem: a young person’s life was cut short

  • Partial Bloom: the person was in their teens

  • Full Bloom: they passed away in the prime of their lives, usually meaning their twenties

  • Intertwined or Joined Rosebuds: a mother and child who both died during childbirth, or around the same time. Can also indicate two family members with a strong bond who passed away at the same time.


Symbols of innocence, images of angels on headstones, or sculpted figurines on top, are usually found on the graves of children. Because they are agents of God, angels are often shown pointing towards heaven, or in gestures of compassion.

Adult angels who can be identified are Michael who carries a sword, or Gabriel, who carries a horn.

There are no surviving sculptures of angels as headstones in the Symonds Street cemetery. There may have been some that were lost with the building of the motorways. Angels as headstones can be found in many other Auckland cemeteries.


Early Christians used the anchor as a disguised cross, and as a marker to guide the way to secret meeting places. Anchors are also Christian symbols of hope, often shown set among rocks.

  • An anchor on a grave can also represent a life as a sailor. Saint Nicholas the patron saint of seamen, symbolised hope and steadfastness.

  • An anchor shown with a broken chain stands for a life ended, perhaps prematurely.

Broken column

This signifies a life cut short; and a break in existence from earthly to heavenly life.

Clasped Hands

Farewell to an earthly existence. Also symbolizes unity (perhaps with God, or with the spouse who had gone before). Used also as a symbol for members of the Masonic movement and Independent Order of Oddfellows.


A horn-shaped device, overflowing with fruit represents a rich and fruitful life. Also a symbol of the harvest, which in turn indicates the end of a natural cycle.

Covered column

A cloth draped over a column (or an urn) represents the pall – the covering for a coffin in a funeral procession. This is where the expressions "pallbearers" and "cast a pall over…" comes from.


A symbol of triumph over death.


Symbolising innocence, and usually found on the graves of young children.


Traditional Christian symbols of love and peace. Doves also have a place in the Biblical account (Genesis 8:11) – Noah released a bird from the Ark when he thought the flood may be subsiding. The dove returned carrying an olive branch, showing it had found land. So the dove can also be seen as a symbol of hope.

A dove with a cross in its beak symbolizes the Holy Ghost.

Fern fronds

These refer to a person's humility and sincerity. Since the First World War, the war graves of New Zealand soldiers have also carried a fern motif.


Symbolise the blood of Christ.

Hand pointing up/down

A hand pointing up refers to the ascent to heaven. A hand pointing down is the hand of God descending from Heaven.

Hands reaching

The hand of God reaching down to take the hand of the dead person to guide him/her to heaven.


A welcome to the heavenly world.

Here lies

Hebrew lettering for 'peh nun', and abbreviation of 'poh nitman' which means 'here lies'.


The first three letters of Jesus' name in the Greek alphabet. It can also be interpreted to stand for 'In hoc signo' which is Latin for 'by this sign we conquer' – referring to the cross of Christianity.


A symbol of friendship


Marriage and unity.

Laurel leaves

An evergreen plant. The laurel leaves represent the evergreen memory those left behind may have of the deceased.

Lily of the valley

Purity, innocence, virginity

Palm tree or frond

Symbolises victory over death. Also a reference to the Biblical story of Palm Sunday where Jesus made a triumphal entry to Jerusalem.

Passion flower

Symbolising the passion of Christ.

Seal of Solomon

The five-pointed star is known as the Seal of Solomon, and is a symbol of the Jewish faith.

Star of David

The six pointed star made of two triangles is also a symbol of the Jewish faith, but more associated with Zionism and the creation of the state of Israel.


Devotion to God.


A symbol of the soul.

Weeping willow

The drooping branches of the tree are a visual representation of sorrow, or mourning. There were willows planted in the Symonds Street cemetery.

XP overlapped

The first two letters of the Greek word for Christ.


A stylized representation of worm tracks, used in diverse ways at Symonds Street cemetery, usually on the bottom plinths of monuments. Vermiculation is a reference to earthly decay.


The Rose symbolises love, which is linked to its fragrance and beauty. Roses are found on many children's graves as a rose bud that has not opened, and with a broken stem. The fuller the rose bloom is depicted, the longer the person has lived.


The most common and powerful symbol of Christianity, crosses are often carved into headstones, or make up the entire grave marker. There are different versions of the Christian cross represented on cemetery headstones:


  • Latin Cross - One of the oldest and simplest symbols of Christianity and the most commonly-used. It has also been called 'God's mark.'

  • Calvary Cross - A Latin cross standing on three steps or blocks, it signifies faith, hope and charity (or love).

  • Botonee Cross- So named because of its modified trefoil (three-lobed) ends, represents the trinity.

  • Celtic Cross- The circle around the crosspiece symbolizes eternity. Its origin can be traced to the Celtic cultures of the British Isles.

  • Eastern Cross- Used in Orthodox (Russian/ Greek) Christian Religions, this cross' upper horizontal shoulder represents the inscription over the head of Jesus on the actual cross of the crucifixion. The lower slanting shoulder represents the footrest of the crucified Jesus.

  • Flueree Cross/Gothic Cross - This flowered cross symbolizes the adult Christian by its more opened flared out ends.

  • Ionic Cross - Similar to the Celtic Cross, with outward-flaring ends. The ionic cross signifies everlasting salvation, love and glory. The circle around the crosspiece symbolizes eternity.

Special note on horse statues: if the statue shows the horse posed with both front hooves up in the air, the rider died in battle.  If the horse is posed with one front leg up, it means the rider was wounded in battle or died of battle wounds. And if all four hooves are on the ground, the rider died from causes outside of battle.

Art Sculptures
The Grappler
Driving Skills!
The Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge
Day 53
day 53
How Do You Do
Learning new skills
How to Use ZOOM
Zoom allows you to stay in contact with colleagues and classmates to complete work remotely.
How to do anything!
WikiHow, the most trusted how-to site on the internet offers a huge range of how to do almost anything! Also click on green WikiHow logo to view a number of excellent videos to help you use the program
Other How To Sites
Click on the logos below to discover some exciting and interesting "How to" websites
And now for some light relief
The daily plunge into the unusual
Smoke anyone?
Osprey's Prey
The Grappler
Grandmother, mother and granddaughter gymnastics
Naval Suite
Word Play & Other Linguistic Gymnastics
... and I thought my spelling was bed ..."Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteers be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe."
... A list of naughty people: (the names read the same whether you read from start to finish or finish to start - and example of a clever palindrome! ...Dennis, Nell, Edna, Leon, Nedra, Anita, Rolf, Nora, Alice, Carol, Leo, Jane, Reed, Dena, Dale, Basil, Rae, Penny, Lana, Dave, Denny, Lena, Ida, Bernadette, Ben, Ray, Lila, Nina, Jo, Ira, Mara, Sara, Mario, Jan, Ina, Lily, Arne, Bette, Dan, Reba, Diane, Lynn, Ed, Eva, Dana, Lynne, Pearl, Isabel, Ada, Ned, Dee, Rena, Joel, Lora, Cecil, Aaron, Flora, Tina, Arden, Noel, and Ellen sinned.
... and here are some clever word graphics (known as "calligrams") ... Click on any photo to see larger.
Day 54
day 54
Coming Out of Hiding
Finding something new
Find the hidden objects
click on each picture below (and including the one above) to get a full A4 large viewable and printable version of the image (you may need to rotate the view on some to play on-screen)
hidden 8.jpg
hidden 5.jpg
hidden 7.jpg
hidden 6.jpg
hidden 2.jpg
hidden 4.jpg
hidden 3.jpg
And now for some more light relief
The daily plunge into the unusual
Carrot Clarinet!
Miniature Wonderland
Don't Stop Me Now!
Making Russian Nesting Dolls
Here's some more Curiosity Clicking
A collection of interesting websites to brighten your day (click on black button to visit site)

Unusual Jobs

There are a lot of people out there who are not satisfied or just plain bored with their office work. There is also a small group of people who are doing jobs you will never believe exist 

Tour of the Great Wall of China

As China's most famous attraction, the Great Wall of China is an essential stop on all China tours. Commonly considered a wonder of the world, the Great Wall boasts a history of over 2,000 years and stretches more than 3,000 miles across several provinces of northern China, making it one of the most impressive ancient structures on the planet.

Tour The Louvre

Visit the museum's exhibition rooms and galleries, contemplate the façades of the Louvre... Come along on a virtual tour and enjoy the view.

Tour The Smithsonian

The Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History virtual tours allow visitors to take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits and areas within the museum from their desktop or mobile device. Visitors can also access select collections and research areas at our satellite support and research stations as well as past exhibits no longer on display.

Tour Yosemite National Park

From the epic views atop the Diving Board to the jaw-dropping Nevada Fall, the 360-footage of California's Sierra Nevada mountains is breathtaking.

See The Great Pyramids

Visit the Pyramids of Giza. When you arrive at the website, scroll down to tour the pyramids and surroundings

A spectacular CGI 3D dynamic representation of what Ancient Rome looked like - stunning!
A spectacular CGI 3D dynamic representation of what Ancient Egypt looked like - stunning!
A spectacular CGI 3D dynamic representation of what Ancient Greece looked like - stunning!
Garden railway:  1/10 scale: Drivers Eye View of Bekonscot model railway - incredible detail!
Day 55
day 55
The Finale!
Day 55 will be my last effort for "Keeping in Touch" - I hope you have enjoyed
Job Hunting
Bucket List for Two
Discovery of the Year!
I've accidentally stumbled upon a great feature in Microsoft Office products such as Word, Excel and Powerpoint. If you are using Windows 10 and have Microsoft Office 360 or versions of Office 2016 or later then this is a sensational and productive addition to what can be achieved with these programmes. 
Microsoft Office has add-ins. (Earlier, they were called Office Apps.) These are little assistants which help you do a few things that Word cannot do on its own.
There are more than 2000 Microsoft Office add-ins. Microsoft Office organizes all add-ins in neat categories. Microsoft Word has a dedicated Office Store which lists all add-ins available for all Office applications. You can access the add-ins inside Word (and other Office apps).
To access the add-ins, go to the "INSERT" tab in your Word program. There you will find a RED icon called "STORE". This is where all the add-ins are located. (under that icon is "MY ADD-INS" which lists all the add-ins you have installed. 
A list of add-ins can be found here (click black button)
A list of Word add-ins can be found here (click black button)
...and here's how to install add-ins  (click black button)
I've found the following add-ins to be really useful (and, yes, I've installed them in my copy of WORD!) ...
Stunning and Amazing Websites
A collection of beautiful, clever, unusual, ground-breaking and Wow! websites (click on each image to visit site)
Not only is Feed an interesting concept, but it also has a stunning execution that challenges our understanding of what is possible on the web. Through a creative blend of animation and video. When in the site try rolling the roller on your mouse!!
RESN is a digital experience design studio in New Zealand that make innovative and stunning websites. Explore by holding the mouse button down for a while
The Artery sets the creative bar very high and then hire pole-vaulters. Passionate people. People who look for the incredible satisfaction that comes from doing something extraordinary. And having fun doing it.
An innovative plastics manufacturing and design company. Have fun with the scroll wheel on your mouse.
In machine learning, computers apply statistical learning techniques to automatically identify patterns in data. These techniques can be used to make highly accurate predictions.Scroll down with roller on mouse
Swiss design site - stunning website with amazing colours and graphics
Stormy weather
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And now for some more light relief
The daily plunge into the unusual
Pipe Dreams ... more below
6 year old Bulgarian, Tereza Todorova
Capricho Arabe, performed by Tatyana Ryzhkova
Anastasia Huppmann - Beethoven Moonlight Sonata
Dinner Table Trivia
Quirky and Unusual facts
  • Butterflies taste with their hind feet.

  • A group of crows is called murder.

  • Tomato sauce was sold in the 1800’s as medicine.

  • A donkey will sink in quicksand, but a mule won’t.

  • A lion in the wild, usually makes no more than 20 kills a year.

  • India has a Bill of Rights for cows.

  • Dartboards are made out of horse hairs.

  • Grapes explode when you put them in the microwave.

  • In 1980, a Las Vegas hospital suspended workers for betting on when patients would die.

  • In France, there’s a place called Y.

  • Almonds are a member of the peach family.

  • In every episode of Seinfeld there is a Superman somewhere.

  • The Bible is the world’s most shoplifted book.

  • Half of all bank robberies take place on a Friday.

  • In Utah, it is illegal to swear in front of a dead person.

  • A crocodile cannot stick its tongue out.

  • A snail can have 25,000 teeth.

  • It is illegal to carry an ice cream in your back pocket in Kentucky.

  • A cornflake in the shape of Illinois sold on eBay for $1,350.

  • A "moonbow" is a rainbow that happens at night.

  • Someone tried to sell New Zealand on eBay.

  • The electric chair was invented by a dentist.

  • Grooves in the road on Route 66 play "America the Beautiful."

  • Bubble wrap was originally intended to be wallpaper.

  • Ohio DUI offenders must use yellow number plates on their cars.

  • Roller coasters were invented to distract Americans from sin

  • The last letter to be added to our alphabet was J.

  • Women blink nearly twice as often as men.

  • One 18-inch pizza is more pizza than two 12-inch pizzas

  • There are 336 dimples on a golf ball

  • Flamingos bend their legs at the ankle, not the knee

  • It’s impossible to hum while holding your nose

  • Apples, peaches, and raspberries are all members of the rose family.

  • Canada eats more macaroni and cheese than any other nation in the world.

  • In Israel, it is illegal to bring bears to the beach.

  • It snowed in the Sahara desert for 30 minutes on February 18, 1979.

  • Cookie Monster’s real name is Sid.

  • The fear of vegetables is called Lachanophobia.

  • Lettuce is a member of the sunflower family.

  • In Utah, birds have the right of way on a highway.

  • There are more than 70 species of mushrooms that glow in the dark.

  • Jousting is the official sport in the state of Maryland.

  • Selfies now cause more deaths than shark attacks.

  • Pope Francis used to be a nightclub bouncer.

  • Someone who has Geomelophagia also has the urge to eat raw potatoes.

  • The most leaves ever found on a clover is 56.

  • Camel’s milk doesn’t curdle.

  • All porcupines float in water.

  • New Zealand has more golf courses per capita than anywhere else in the world

  • The longest one-syllable word is “screeched.”

  • Before mercury, brandy was used to fill thermometers.

  • In 1878, the first telephone book ever issued contained only 50 names.

  • Dim lights reduce your appetite.

  • The man who invented Wonder woman also invented the lie detector

Pipe Dreams II
Future Retro
Pogo sticks
Resonant Chamber
Acoustic Curves
Gyro drums
Aqua Harp
About Animusic
Animusic is an American company specializing in the 3D visualization of MIDI-based music. Founded by Wayne Lytle, it is known for its Animusic compilations of computer-generated animations, based on MIDI events processed to simultaneously drive the music and on-screen action, leading to and corresponding to every sound. Unlike many other music visualizations, the music drives the animation. While other productions may animate figures or characters to the music, the animated models in Animusic are created first, and are then programmed to follow what the music instructs them to do. Many of the instruments appear to be robotic or play themselves using seemingly curious methods to produce and visualize the original compositions. The animations typically feature dramatically-lit rooms or landscapes.
More Line Riders
Music taken for a ride
The Thieving Magpie (Rossini)
Light Cavalry Overture (Von Suppé)
Bohemian Rhapsody
Minuetto (Boccherini)
That's All Folks!
Putting together, researching and compiling "Keeping In Touch" has been an exciting, and hugely time-consuming task - but it has been fun and I've learned a little, laughed a lot, discovered a bunch and I've appreciated all the support, emails, videos, jokes and tidbits of stuff from the many who have contributed. 
There's enough material here to keep you all amused for many, many months I would think and some of it will be good material to discuss in tutorials at the club.
Thank you all again for your contributions, humour, advice and encouragement. 
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