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Quote of the Day

Live Earth Concert: Wembley Stadium, London

SPINAL TAP: 'Hello, Wimbledon!'


This was Spinal Tap...

How close was my shave?

Flew out of Glasgow airport on Friday morning (June 29th 2007) bound for Rekyjavik in Iceland. I sat just inside the main doors of the arrival hall and made a few phone calls and texts while waiting for C. to come back from the shop.

Had I sat there the next day, I might not have been around to write this entry now. The Saturday (June 30th) was my birthday, not the most pleasant way to be reminded of your own mortality, but hey, them's the breaks.

So excuse me for taking a terrorist attack on my homeland personally.

Both CNN and SKY news had good coverage on the hotel room tv, so I sat wide-eyed with a stiff Glenmorangie to hand and pondered over what wasn't destined to happen to me this time around.


In from the Land of the Ice and Snow In from the Land of the Ice and Snow
Just flew back from holidays this morning. Many sagas to relate. This is a picture taken by one of the geothermal pools in the lava fields of the South-west corner of Iceland. The blue-white colour to the water is due to colloidal silica...think opals.


Pinus pinea
Pinus pinea
This is a 30 day old seedling of Pinus pinea. I sowed two of these seeds straight after New Year. If you are fond of pesto or pine nuts, then you will have met this species before! The pot was a charity shop buy from last year. I think it is a hand made effortfrom someone's craft evening class.


Shuffle the proteins...

So, H5N1 has been confirmed in a poultry farm in England. Looks like Bernard Matthews has copped it.

Let's break it down: The 'H' stands for the protein hemagglutinin (16 variations to choose from). The 'N' stands for the protein neuraminidase (9 cards in that deck). Chop and change one variety of H and one variety of N and you can see that this particular Influenza virus has a lot of raw genetic material to choose from. The joys of mutation, natural selection and selective adaptation...

A few sites that may be of interest:


Pandemic Influenza Contingency Plan