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 ianhandricks@gmail.com 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 35
 
Spare a Thought
Clockwork Cranial Concoctions
Move over buddy!
A Whiter Shade of pale 40 years on! Beautiful
The reality of travel plans in 2020!

Unusual Vehicles

Here's a gallery of unusual production cars over the years ...

Extraordinary Pianist - Peter Bence -Africa
Peter Bence -Here Comes the Sun
Day 36
 
You Must Remember This
A menu of magic
A Bulldog Clip!
Uncle Bulgaria - Mezmorising Chants
Whispering Grass
Lovelight Requiem
Written by Brett Howes
Piano and Production by Kevin Crowe
Brett and Kevin have both been guest presenters at our Seniornet North Shore Club
No head for alcohol!

Insurance Humour

 

  • What's the difference between a life insurance underwriter and a Mafia underwriter? A life insurance underwriter can predict how many people will die this year; a Mafia underwriter can name them.

  • A client calls up his insurance agent and tells him he needs to file a claim. The agent says “Tell me what happened?” The client tells him and the agent says “I’m sorry but that’s not covered.” The client says “well, let me explain better what happened.” The agent says “I’m sorry but that’s not covered either.” The client says” I’ll tell you what, you tell me what’s covered and I’ll tell you how it happened!”

  • Three guys are fishing in the Caribbean. One guy says, "I had a terrible fire; lost everything. Now the insurance company is paying for everything and that's why I'm here." The second guy says, "I had a terrible explosion; lost everything. Now the insurance company is paying for everything and that's why I'm here." The third guy says, "What a coincidence. I had a terrible flood; lost everything. Now the insurance company is paying for everything and that's why I'm here." The other guys turned to him with confusion and asked, "Flood? How do you start a flood?"

  • Jack Jones was assigned to the Army induction centre, where he advised new recruits about their government benefits, especially their military insurance. It wasn't long before his boss noticed that Jones had almost a 100% record for insurance sales, which had never happened before. Rather than ask about this, he stood in the back of the room and listened to Jones's sales pitch. Jones explained the basics of the military insurance to the new recruits and then said: "If you have military Insurance and go into battle and are killed, the government has to pay $200,000 to your beneficiaries. If you don't have military insurance, and you go into battle and get killed, the government only has to pay a maximum of $6,000." "Now," he concluded, "which bunch do you think they are going to send into battle first?"

  • Steve’s barn burned down. Julie, his wife, called the insurance company and said, “We had that barn insured for fifty thousand and I want my money.” “Whoa there, just a minute, Julie, it doesn’t work like that. We will assess the value of the building and provide you with a new one of comparable worth.” the agent replied. Julie, after a pause, said, “Well, in that case, I’d like to cancel the policy on my husband.”

Ball-et
Hunnu Guren - Batzorig Vaanchig & Auli
7-Yr Old Brianna Kahane Performs "Csardas" 
Paint it Black - The Harp Twins

Tongue Twisters

 

Now that you’ve had time to give your eyes and brain a work-out, how about trying some of these delightful phrases – you’re doing really well if you can say them more than three times without making a mistake!

 

  • Peggy Babcock

  • A big bug bit a bold bald bear and the bold bald bear bled blood badly

  • Does this shop stock short sport socks with spots?

  • Tim, the thin twin tinsmith

  • Brisk brave brigadiers brandished broad bright blades, blunderbusses, and bludgeons

  • How can a clam cram in a clean cream can?

  • Blue glue gun, green glue gun

  • Sheena leads, Sheila needs

  • Wayne went to Wales to watch walruses

  • Black background, brown background

  • I wish to wash my Irish wristwatch

  • A quick-witted cricket critic

  • Willy's real rear wheel

  • Wasps Nests

  • Stupid superstition!

  • Six thick thistle sticks

  • She sees cheese

  • Knapsack strap

  • Shine my city shoes!

A Town in Iceland Made an Optical Illusion Crosswalk to Slow Traffic

A Town in Iceland Made an Optical Illusion Crosswalk to Slow Traffic

We’re turning into those angry old men who shake their fists at cars flying by these days. Okay, not all the time, we love speed as much as the next guy, but specifically when there’s a crosswalk present. We’re all for ways to get people to slow down at such a point so they don’t hurt someone. 

 

Ísafjör∂ur (hope you can pronounce it), a town in northern Iceland, came up with a clever way to get drivers to pay attention. The town created a crosswalk that appears 3D. Take a look. It will mess with your head. Not only does it look cool, but it should demand some attention from approaching vehicles. 

Day 37
 
Intellectual Entanglements
A Funny Thing Happened on the way to the Club Rooms
Covid-19 Finally Explained
Pink Panther Feet
Perforated?
How to get ahead in life
The word's out - here's some more Curiosity Clicking
A collection of interesting websites worth a visit (click on black button to visit site)

WordClouds

Wordclouds.com is a free online word cloud generator and tag cloud creator. Paste text, upload a document or open an URL to automatically generate a word- or tag cloud

Visual Thesaurus

The Visual Thesaurus is an interactive dictionary and thesaurus that allows you to discover the connections between words in a visually captivating display.

Visuwords

Explore the lexicon. Use the graphs to associate words and expand on concepts. Brainstorm. Move beyond synonyms and find other kinds of relational connections.

Graphwords

Graphwords is a visual thesaurus and dictionary to help you explore English words. Find meanings of words and their associations in easy way 

Etymology Online

Etymologies are not definitions; they're explanations of what our words meant and how they sounded 600 or 2,000 years ago.

Word Art

Free on-line word art maker

The North Shore in times gone by

Here's a gallery of historic photos of the North Shore over the years ... click on image to enlarge and get description

16 yr old Patricia Janečková - Les oiseaux dans la charmille
While My Guitar Gently Weeps played on a Chapman Stick by Bob Culbertson
9 Yr old Krisya Todova from Bulgaria composed, arranged and performed this along with twin pianists Hasan & Ibrahim
Sabine Pyrker on drums and her father, Martin Pyrker, a famous Austrian blues and boogie-woogie piano player.
Day 38
 
Mesmerizing Media
Pictures at an exhibition
Lock down Checkers
Nothing ever happens!
Trying to get my ball-bearings
Woof!

Business and computer definitions (with a twist!)

A Town in Iceland Made an Optical Illusion Crosswalk to Slow Traffic

  • ability: The virtue you are forced to use if your boss has no daughter.

  • advertising: The art of convincing people to spend money they don't have for something they don't need.

  • all new: Not compatible with earlier versions.

  • ambiguity: The lack of clarity in speech, or something like that.

  • argument: An exchange of words between people with diametrically opposed views, all of whom know that they are right.

  • boss: Someone who is early when you are late and late when you are early.

  • civil servant: Someone who isn't civil and doesn't serve.

  • clicklexia: A disorder often suffered by novice computer users in which they have a tendency to double-click on items which only require one click, often resulting in two items opening instead of just one.

  • clone: 1. An exact duplicate; "Our product is a clone of their product." 2. A shoddy, spurious copy; "Their product is a clone of our product."

  • committee: An entity that keeps minutes and loses hours.

  • compromise: The art of dividing a cake in such a way that everybody believes he got the biggest piece.

  • computer: An electronic time-saving device that is commonly used for time-wasting activities.

  • computer expert: Someone who has not read the instructions, but who will nevertheless feel qualified to install a program and, when it does not function correctly, pronounce it incompatible with the operating system.

  • design: What you later regret not doing.

  • dictionary: The only place where success comes before work.

  • Digital: the art of counting on your fingers

  • egosurfing: Typing your own name into google to see who's talking about you.

  • feature: A hardware limitation, as described by a marketing representative.

  • flow chart: A graphic representation of a bowl of spaghetti.

  • hardware: The parts of a computer which can be kicked.

  • inbox: A catch basin for everything you don't want to deal with, but are afraid to throw away.

  • instruction manual: An explanation of how to use something written in a way that is easily understood only by the author.

  • jury: Twelve persons chosen to decide who has the better lawyer.

  • life insurance: term for a plan that keeps you poor all your life so you can die rich

  • management consultant: Someone who tells you how to do improve doing something that he or she can't do at all.

  • meeting: An assembly of people coming together to decide what person or department not represented in the room must solve a problem.

  • mouse: An input device designed to make computer errors easier to generate.

  • negotiate: To seek a meeting of the minds without the knocking together of heads.

  • password: Series of letters and numbers written on a post-it note and stuck on a monitor.

  • recursive: See recursive.

  • ROM: Where the Pope lives

  • search engine: A program that enables computer users to locate information and advertisers to locate computer users.

  • self-employed: Jobless.

  • state of the art: Anything that you can't afford.

  • strategy: A long-range plan whose merit cannot be evaluated until sometime after those creating it have left the organization.

  • unfair competition: Selling more cheaply than we do.

  • wisdom: Knowing what to do with what you know.

Some Stunning Pictures

Here's a gallery of amazing photos ... click on image to enlarge

The etymology of some computer terms

A Town in Iceland Made an Optical Illusion Crosswalk to Slow Traffic

  • Ada — programming language named after Ada Lovelace, who is considered by many to be the first programmer.

  • biff — named after a dog known by the developers at Berkeley, who – according to the UNIX manual page – died on 15 August 1993, at the age of 15, and belonged to a certain Heidi Stettner. Some sources report that the dog would bark at the mail carrier, making it a natural choice for the name of a mail notification system.

  • booting or bootstrapping — from the phrase "to pull oneself up by one's bootstraps", originally used as a metaphor for any self-initiating or self-sustaining process. Used in computing due to the apparent paradox that a computer must run code to load anything into memory, but code cannot be run until it is loaded.

  • bug — credited to Grace Hopper. In 1946, she joined the Harvard Faculty at the Computation Laboratory where she traced an error in the Harvard Mark II to a moth trapped in a relay. This bug was carefully removed and taped to the log book.

  • cookie — a packet of information that travels between a browser and the web server. The term was coined by web browser programmer Lou Montulli after the term "magic cookies" used by Unix programmers. The term "magic cookie" in turn derives from "fortune cookie", a cookie with an embedded message.

  • Google — a search engine. The name started as an exaggerated boast about the amount of information the search engine would be able to search. It was originally named 'Googol', a word for the number represented by 1 followed by 100 zeros. The word was originally invented by Milton Sirotta, nephew of mathematician Edward Kasner, in 1938 during a discussion of large numbers and exponential notation.

  • Hotmail — free email service, now named Outlook.com. Founder Jack Smith got the idea of accessing e-mail via the web from a computer anywhere in the world. When Sabeer Bhatia came up with the business plan for the mail service, he tried all kinds of names ending in 'mail' and finally settled for Hotmail as it included the letters "HTML" — the markup language used to write web pages. It was initially referred to as HoTMaiL with selective upper casing.

  • Java — a programming language. "Java" was selected from a list of suggestions, primarily because it is a popular slang term for coffee, especially that grown on the island of Java. As the programmers drank a lot of coffee, this seemed an appropriate name.

  • Lisa — A personal computer designed at Apple Computer during the early 1980s. Apple stated that Lisa was an acronym for Local Integrated Software Architecture; however, it is often inferred that the machine was originally named after the daughter of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs, and that this acronym was invented later to fit the name. Accordingly, two humorous suggestions for expanding the acronym included Let's Invent Some Acronyms, and Let's Invent Silly Acronyms.

  • Lotus Software — Lotus founder Mitch Kapor got the name for his company from 'The Lotus Position' ('Padmasana' in Sanskrit). Kapor used to be a teacher of Transcendental Meditation technique as taught by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.

  • Macintosh, Mac — a personal computer from Apple Computer. From McIntosh, a popular type of apple.

  • Nerd — A colloquial term for a computer person, especially an obsessive, singularly focused one. Originally created by Dr. Seuss from his book If I Ran the Zoo.

  • Pac-Man — a video arcade game. The term comes from paku paku which is a Japanese onomatopoeia used for noisy eating; similar to chomp chomp.

  • PHP — a server-side scripting language. Originally called "Personal Home Page" by creator Rasmus Lerdorf. He selected "Personal Home Page" as the name when he did not foresee PHP evolving into a general-purpose programming language.

  • Radio button — Radio buttons got their name from the preset buttons in radio receivers. When one used to select preset stations on a radio receiver physically instead of electronically, depressing one preset button would pop out whichever other button happened to be pushed in.

  • spam — unwanted repetitious messages, such as unsolicited bulk e-mail. The term spam is derived from the Monty Python SPAM sketch, set in a cafe where everything on the menu includes SPAM luncheon meat. While a customer plaintively asks for some kind of food without SPAM in it, the server reiterates the SPAM-filled menu. Soon, a chorus of Vikings join in with a song: "SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, SPAM, lovely SPAM, wonderful SPAM", over and over again, drowning out all conversation.

  • TWAIN – connector format once used by scanners – TWAIN stands for Thing Without An Interesting Name!

  • Wiki - Coined by Ward Cunningham, the creator of the wiki concept, who named them for the "wiki wiki" or "quick" shuttle buses at Honolulu Airport. Wiki wiki was the first Hawaiian term he learned on his first visit to the islands. The airport counter agent directed him to take the wiki wiki bus between terminals.

  • Worm — a self-replicating program, similar to a virus. The name 'worm' was taken from a 1970s science fiction novel by John Brunner entitled The Shockwave Rider. The book describes programs known as "tapeworms" which spread through a network for the purpose of deleting data. Researchers writing an early paper on experiments in distributed computing noted the similarities between their software and the program described by Brunner, and adopted that name.

  • Yahoo! — The word "Yahoo!" was originally invented by Jonathan Swift and used in his book Gulliver's Travels. It represents a person who is repulsive in appearance and action and is barely human. Yahoo! founders Jerry Yang and David Filo selected the name because they considered themselves yahoos.

  • zip — The file format was created by Phil Katz, and given the name by his friend Robert Mahoney. The compression tool Phil Katz created was called PKZIP. Zip means "speed", and they wanted to imply their product would be faster than ARC and other compression formats of the time.

Punctuation!

I’m giving up drinking for a month
Sorry, bad punctuation
I’m giving up. Drinking for a month

Trust your Doctor!
Day 39
 
6,552 Hours in Lock Down
Level-headed lunacy
The Chase Humour 1
The Chase Humour 2
The Chase Humour 3
The Chase Humour 4
The Window Washer
Staying in Shape!
Wiener Cello Ensemble

Amazing Artwork!

Click on image below ... it will take you to a website which has this incredible artwork displayed ... when you get to the website ... click on any person (or object) in the picture and it will transport you to fabulous information about that person or object

InfluentialPicture.jpg

Some More Stunning Pictures

Here's a gallery of amazing photos ... click on image to enlarge and to get a description

Some Stunning Images
Some Stunting Video!
Day 40
 
Bottled-up Art
And other delicacies
Truly Amazing Art
Glass half Full!

Strange Facts about Albert Einstein

Born in Germany in 1879, Albert Einstein was one of the most influential physicists of the 20th century, and one of the greatest thinkers of all time. He was a celebrity famous for his wit as well as his genius, and was a larger than life figure. Here are some facts you may not have known about this brilliant scientist.

  • Albert Einstein was known as the “people’s scientist” because of his down-to-earth sense of humour and his approachable manner. His hair was always uncombed, clothing dishevelled, and he never wore socks- not even when visiting President Roosevelt at the White House!

  • Einstein said: “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” A famous photograph taken on the day he died showed bulging book shelves, a desk cluttered with notebooks, journals, a pipe & a tobacco tin.

  • Einstein was a talented violinist. He began music lessons at age 5, but fell in love with music when he discovered Mozart’s violin sonatas at age 13. His violin was nicknamed “Lina”, and he said that the most joy in his life came from his violin.

  • Einstein was not actually a poor student. He never “failed math.” At age 16, He failed his entrance exam to the Federal Polytechnic school in Zurich, but only because he struggled with the non-science subjects (especially French). Einstein continued to study and was able to attend the school the following year.

  • Fearing a German nuclear bomb, Einstein wrote a letter to President Roosevelt encouraging him to work on a nuclear weapon. This led to the creation of the Manhattan project, which was responsible for the atomic bomb. His famous equation E = mc2 also made the bomb theoretically possible.

  • In 1952, Albert Einstein was offered the chance to be president of Israel. He turned down the offer insisting that he was unqualified.

  • When Einstein’s marriage to Mileva Maric was failing, he gave her a list of rules for remaining together. The list demanded that she be his maid, but should expect no affection or attention from him. After a few months, she left him, and five years later, filed for divorce.

  • Einstein and his cousin Elsa became romantically involved while he was separated from his first wife, and was known for her devotion to him. She also acted as gatekeeper, and would scare away unwanted visitors.

  • Einstein didn’t start speaking until age 3 or 4. When he did, his first sentence was to complain at dinner that the soup was too hot. When asked why he hadn’t spoken before then, he replied: “because up to now, everything was in order.”

  • Up until he was 9, Einstein would think through what he wanted to say before speaking. He preferred to practice his sentences in his head or under his breath until he got them right.

  • Einstein was born with what his family thought was a grotesquely oversized head. The doctor was able to convince them that his body would catch up. Once it did, his grandmother complained to his parents he was too fat.

  • When Einstein died, a man named Thomas Harvey performed an illegal autopsy and stole Einstein’s brain! For decades, he kept pieces of the preserved brain in two mason jars, which he stored in his Philadelphia lab, his basement, and in a cider box stored under a beer cooler.

  • Harvey eventually returned Einstein’s brain to the Princeton Hospital where he performed the autopsy. Today, the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia is the only place where the public can view Einstein’s brain.

  • Harvey also removed Einstein’s eyeballs and gifted them to Einstein’s eye-doctor Henry Abrams. To this day, the eyeballs are stored in a safe deposit box in New York City.

  • Einstein had a terrible memory for details he deemed unimportant. When questioned about why he had to look up his phone number, Einstein replied: “Why should I memorize something I can so easily get from a book?”

  • At age 15, Einstein’s refusal to bend to the authority of one of his teachers led to him being kicked out of class. In college, he irritated his professors with his impertinence, never hiding the fact that he found their classes boring.

  • In 1896, Einstein followed his parents to Italy but, would have been accused of desertion if he didn’t report for conscription in Germany. To avoid military service, he renounced his German Citizenship at age 17.

  • When Einstein was sworn in as a member of the Prussian Academy of Sciences in 1921, he was considered a state official. Since only Ethnic German Citizens could be state officials, he was forced to retake his German Citizenship.

  • Einstein graduated with a teaching degree, but couldn’t get hired at a university. In 1902, he got a job at the patent office in Bern, which he held for 7 years. The job was boring, and gave him lots of time to work on his theories.

  • In 1905, Einstein’s miracle year, he published his four different academic papers. They cemented his theories on the principle of relativity, and among them was the paper that contained the famous formula E=mc2.

  • Einstein played around with an alternative to the big bang theory. The theory proposed that the universe expanded steadily and eternally instead of all at once in a big bang. Einstein later abandoned the theory, and the paper was never published.

  • Einstein was the first to discover the equation that showed the universe is expanding, but he thought it was a mistake. Years later, Hubble’s telescope confirmed that the theory of relativity was correct, and his biggest blunder was thinking he was wrong!

  • Einstein’s greatest breakthroughs came from visual experiments performed in his head. His theory of relativity was born from him imagining lightning striking a train at different times as the train speeds along.

  • Einstein and his colleague Leo Szilard designed an absorption refrigerator that had no moving parts and required no electricity. The fridge never became a commercial product, largely due to the discovery of Freon.

  • Einstein loved to smoke. He believed that pipe smoking “contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgment in all human affairs.” He gave up smoking on doctor’s instructions, but didn’t give up the pipes themselves. He would often stick one into his mouth and chew on it.

  • Einstein loved to sail. His boat was called “Tinef” which is Yiddish for worthless or junk, and it equally described his sailing skills. Not only was he a lousy sailor, but he didn’t even know how to swim!

  • Einstein never won a Nobel Prize for the general or special theory of relativity. He was awarded the prize in 1921 for his work on the photoelectric effect.

  • When he was five years old, and sick in bed, Einstein’s father brought him a compass to play with. The force that guided the needle ignited his curiosity and inspired his lifelong interest in physics.

  • As he left his 72nd birthday party, Einstein was surrounded by photographers. Tired of fake smiling, he stuck his tongue out instead. Einstein ordered 9 pictures for personal use, and signed one of them for a reporter. That photograph sold at an auction for $74,324!

  • When he was 22 years old, Einstein had an illegitimate daughter. The baby, named Lieserl, disappeared from historical records shortly after her birth. Today, her fate is still unknown.

  • Einstein’s brain was overall smaller than average, but the parietal lobes were 15% wider than normal. These areas are linked to mathematical ability, and visual and spatial awareness. Researchers believe that this is why Einstein tackled scientific thought the way he did.

  • Einstein never had a car of his own, and he never learned to drive. If he needed to go somewhere by car, he had friends or a chauffeur drove him.

  • In December of 1932, the FBI started keeping a file on Einstein. At the time of his death, the file was 1427 pages long. Then FBI director J. Edgar Hoover was deeply suspicious of Einstein, and believed he was an extreme radical and a communist.

  • Towards the end of WWII, Einstein had a passionate affair with Margarita Konenkova – a brilliant scientist and Russian spy. Their affair only ended when she and her husband returned to Moscow in 1945. Konenkova was allegedly tasked with learning about and “influencing” the American nuclear program, and was instructed to get close to J. Robert Oppenheimer of the Manhattan Project. Einstein was not directly involved in the Manhattan Project, so it’s not entirely clear what Konenkova was hoping to get out of him.

  • Right before he died, Einstein uttered his final words to a nurse. Unfortunately, the words were spoken in German—a language the nurse didn’t speak or understand.

  • Einsteinium is the 99th element on the periodic table. It’s named after Albert Einstein, though he actually had nothing to do with its discovery or research.

  • Einstein’s eyes and wrinkles were worked into Yoda’s design, giving him a wise and intelligent look.

  • After moving to the United States, Einstein became an active member of the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Coloured People), and courageously took a public stand against racial segregation in America.

  • Einstein made an unusual bargain with his first wife. In exchange for a divorce, he promised to give her the winnings from his anticipated Nobel Prize. Three years later, when Einstein won the prize, he gave her the money.

  • Einstein had tomcat named Tiger that got depressed whenever it rained. Einstein was heard empathizing with the cat and saying: “I know what’s wrong, dear fellow, but I don’t know how to turn it off.”

  • In 1923, Einstein travelled to Jerusalem to present the first scientific address at the Hebrew University he’d helped to fund. At one of his speaking engagements, he declared: “I consider this the greatest day of my life”.

  • When Einstein entered the hospital two days before his death, doctors suggested surgery, he refused. He felt that prolonging life artificially was “tasteless.”

  • Einstein’s wife Elsa managed his fan mail and collected $1.00 for an autograph and $5.00 for a photograph. Einstein donated the proceeds to charity.

  • Einstein tirelessly wrote letters to Presidents, prime ministers, and other leaders asking them to take in unemployed German-Jewish scientists during the Nazi regime. His letters saved over 1,000 Jews from persecution and the Nazi camps. He also wrote a now-famous letter to FDR shortly before the figuring out uranium-powered nuclear chain reactions, which would power the atomic bombs.

  • A Nazi magazine in Germany printed an enemies list, and Einstein was on it listed as “Not Yet Hanged.” It also offered a $5000 Bounty for his head.

  • Einstein realized his life was at risk after Hitler assumed power in Germany. Einstein fled to Belgium, where he learned that his boat and cottage had been seized. He then escaped to England, and he was kept under armed protection until he found safety in America.

  • ‘Albert Einstein’ is an anagram of ‘Ten elite brains’.

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AUCKLAND

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