Unpublished Photograph of Sir Winston Churchill

I have a vast and eclectic digital archive. As I was going through it, I re-discovered an image of a scanned slide. It is of Sir Winston Churchill on a post-war visit to Canada. To amuse his nibs, Churchill was taken on a little fishing trip along with Lady Churchill to Lac Jacques Cartier in the Laurentides Provincial Park of Quebec near Quebec City.

In this photograph, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police security detail (one man in a fedora hat) looks on as Churchill shoves off in a boat.

Lady Churchill rummages through her purse up front in the small boat. She is quite nattily and stylishly dressed for a simple fishing trip.

This photograph of Sir Winston and Lady Churchill has never been published before.

Photo Essay -- Tropical Signs

While I suffer the slings and arrows of winter up north, I am posting a photo essay on signs in the tropics.

Let's all go to the Tropicana to banish the winter blues.

Never mind the rum cake, just pass the rum. Next door you can get a $1.99 breakfast to kill the buzz. A $1.99 breakfast consists of tuna and grits.

Just what everyone needs -- tings!

I think they all come in one car.

And finally, the last word in signs, from the Five Man Electrical Band:

Photo Essay -- Downtown Georgetown Exuma

After the second solid day of snow up north, I have decided to make my environment sunny and post a photo tour of downtown Georgetown in the Exumas. The Exuma chain is a mere 50 miles from Nassau at perhaps it closest point (I could be wrong about the exact mileage, but it is a rough order of magnitude).

The capital of the Exumas is Georgetown. It is a sleepy little town with not much going on. Here is my photo essay:

Above, I catch the town taxi stand at a less busy moment. It was a less busy moment for the entire day.

The "Welcome to Exuma" sign is posted at the town center. The building in the back is the government building and town hub (police, post office, fire, customs, courts, etc). Generally, any large building painted pink in the Bahamas is a government building.

The biggest thing that ever goes on in Georgetown, is the regatta. The judging stand pictured above is painted in the national colours of the Bahamas.

The city park on the harbour front provides a relaxing place to cogitate. However, as you can see in the photo, sometimes the crowds are hell.

Please patronize the local businesses.

And the Exuma sunrise on the Palm Bay is an amazingly beautiful sight.

All in all, if you want to get away from it all, and I really mean get away from it all, Georgetown is the place to go and relax. It has clean air and natural beauty going for it. You can catch a flight from Fort Lauderdale, or a flight from Nassau is just $70. If you have never been, you gotta go again.

One of the Best Magazines Ever -- Intelligent Life

We have a usual Christmas tradition at our house -- the Christmas stocking. It is for adults and kids and the stocking stuffers are all neat things. For the adults, stocking stuffers include magazines, treats and small, thoughtful items that normally one would not get as a gift.

This Christmas, among the magazines that I received, was one that I have never seen before -- Intelligent Life. It is published by the same people that put out The Economist. Intelligent Life is the Wired Magazine version of The Economist, but there is nothing about the economy, numbers or any of the usual things that one finds in that relatively boring magazine.

I idly picked up the magazine to read, and was immediately fascinated. Here are some of the wide variety of topics covered:

  • The People watching the Arctic Melt
  • Turn your garden into a pig farm
  • The artist who made his own island
  • Is geography the new history?
  • The Simpson's Versus Disney
  • Are We Too Professional?
  • Colin Firth on his Career Viagra
  • The Meaning of God
  • Simon Hopkinson on Risotto
  • Usain Bolt Wrecked My Theory
  • The Magic of Leather Jackets
  • At Home with Wordsworth (the poet)
  • Europe's Best Cheeses
  • Rising and Shining -- Bright Young Jewellers
  • Ten Years of Online Shopping
  • The Sceptical Shopper tackles Cashmere
  • Niall McLaughlin, the architect behind Deal Pier cafe
  • Tasmanian Nights
  • Unrefined rooms: hotels with a large helping of nature
  • The Manhattan of the Maldives

As you can see, the topics are diverse, interesting and endless. This magazine is one of the best magazines ever!!

You can find it on the web at:

What a Difference a Day Makes

What a difference a couple of days make. I went from this:

to this just by getting into an airplane.

I flew from the tropics to Canada through Philadelphia. As the plane crossed over to land in the Carolinas, everything looked okay. However the further north that we flew, the whiter the terrain got.

It is snowing lightly this morning. It is currently 30 degrees Fahrenheit or -1 Celsius. By Friday, it will rise to +5 Celsius or 41 degrees Fahrenheit. It is getting downright tropical. Wahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh !!!!!!!!!!

Tree and Bush Patterns

I was walking around with my camera on Friday last and I was struck by the patterns of the trees against the sky. In the above photograph, two trees on both sides of a sidewalk grew intertwined.
After I took the first picture, I glanced to my right and saw another pattern of wood in the bushes -- growing in lines straight up.

I have no idea what the names of these trees and bushes are.

Winging Away Home

Seagulls Winging Their Way Home

These seagulls were at the end of Cabbage Beach. They were on the wing. Here are some Jonathan Livingston Seagull quotes:

  • How much more there is now to living! Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there’s reason to life! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can be free! We can learn to fly!

  • You will begin to touch heaven, Jonathan, in the moment that you touch perfect speed. And that isn't flying a thousand miles an hour, or a million, or flying at the speed of light. Because any number is a limit, and perfection doesn't have limits. Perfect speed, my son, is being there.

  • Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding.

Everyone Loves Ray(s)

Like to go swimming with the fishes ??

How about rays? Specifically stingrays.

Two rays salute each other as they pass:

Here a ray chases down its dinner:

Dinner is served:

Here is the best Ray of all:

Mystery Plant Pods

Every day when I walk to the beach, I pass under a vine that reaches from a fence to a pole on the street. The vine is quite substantial and it has beautiful violet and purple large flowers something like a hibiscus, but not quite.

It is spring now, and there aren't any flowers on the vine, but there are huge pods on it where the flowers were. I picked a couple of them. They look like huge okra pods.

The vine still has some pods that are not quite dried out.

Since I spread seeds around to try and fill up the landscaped places with different tropical plants, I decided to open the pods and spread the seeds around the house.

It took quite a bit of force to crack the pods, and when I did, there was a cylinder inside. Cracking the cylinder yielded hundreds of seeds like milkweed with their own parachute-like attachment to fly in the wind. The parachute like thing was soft and like gossamer. I spread the seeds around hoping that at least one will take in the flower beds.

Things That Need Inventing -- Edible Fruit Marking System

Last night, I went to get a pear for my evening snack. I was enjoying it immensely until I realized that I was eating the annoying little sticker that one sees now on fruit. The episode derailed all of the enjoyment for me of eating the pear.

I thought that there has to be a better way. I thought of all sorts of other ways to mark fruit. I thought of laser etching, but it is too expensive and time consuming. I thought of edible rice paper stickers, but it might not be water proof. Then inspiration struck me. When meat is inspected, it is stamped with an ink made from the skins of red grapes.

Why not have a stamp for fruit with edible ink. It would be environmentally friendly, you could eat it, and it would eliminate all those annoying little stickers.

The other enhancement that I thought of was that the little stickers cannot be scanned at the supermarket checkout. With my system, the stamp could be a barcode that can be scanned as pictured below.

On top of all of that, you could dope the ink with vitamins or caffeine such that people would want to eat it. This is definitely something that needs inventing. I will race you to the patent office on this one.

To see my entire collection of things that need inventing, please click HERE.

Sand and Moses

For all you tourists considering coming out to the Bahamas, the weather hasn't been that hot for the past week. It has been coolish, and this morning I woke up to rain. Now mind you, I had the window open (something that you can't do this time of year back home) and the cool weather and the sound of raindrops falling reminded me of being in a lakeside cottage in the boreal forest in summertime.

The ocean has been roily and wavy again. In the picture above, a tourist was mugging for the camera held by his girlfriend, and I snapped a pic of him as well. Then I used the i-Warp facility in an image manipulation tool to make him look like Moses parting the sea.

To show you just how massively roily the ocean is, it moves yards and yards of sand overnight. In the picture below, the ocean covered the last three steps of the beach access point with a few feet of sand. The next day, the sand will by gone, and the bottom step will be waist-high.
With action like this, the beach is different every day.

Cosmological Cabbage Paparazzi And Stress Relief from Mokena Illinois

I was doing my usual beach walk yesterday, and came across the above scene. I am not sure what was going on, but I think that someone was filming a webinar, or podcast or Youtube video. With the amount of celebrities in the Bahamas, you never know who is famous and who is not. It was at this exact spot that I saw Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas jogging. I didn't engage the people to find out who the woman is what they are doing.

On the walk back, I found a stress relief ball. It is from Crown Painting.

I checked them out. They are located in Mokena Illinois near Chicago. Crown Painting folks, if you are ever back in the Bahamas, don't come looking for your stress ball. Finders keepers!

Digital Data Privacy - Beating the Keyloggers

First of all, I realize that today is Valentine's Day, and secondly, this is a very anti-Valentine's Days posting, but the inspiration for this blog posting came to me in the shower this morning.

Digital Data Privacy is very much on my mind lately. It all started when the Lovely One gave me the book "Total Recall" by Gordon Bell. The whole premise of the book is that eventually every one's life will be available digitally -- I mean everything. All of your emails, bills, your events -- everything. Bell himself wears a camera and records everything for posterity. In the book, Bell stated that digital data privacy is of paramount importance.

I have been thinking about how to store data privately, and how to communicate with someone without anyone, and I mean anyone including the CIA , FBI, NSA -- anyone being able to read it. I have some interesting algorithms that I am developing.

And the third key to inspiration was reading the book "Game Change" by Heilemann and Halperin. It is the behind the scenes look at how Obama won the presidency and the back stories to Hilary Clinton, McCain, Palin et al. In it, they detail the story of how John Edwards went from nice guy to egomaniac, including the story of his love child. Privacy, or lack thereof is a game changer for many lives.

So as I was soaping up in the shower, I thought that if a girlfriend, spouse, political opponent, office rival or anyone wanted to spy on you, it would be a piece of cake to do so. They would surreptitiously install a keylogger. A keylogger is a piece of software, sometimes found in viruses, spyware, parental monitoring programs and spy programs designed to capture every single keystroke and save it. That way if someone types "I Love You" to someone that they were having a tryst with, it could be read by reading the keylogger log. It is a tough thing to beat, unless you could actually monitor the software on your machine and find the keylogger. Most people do not have those skills. It is at that point that I got the inspiration.

I know how to beat a keylogger. If you suspect that there is a keylogger on your machine, tactically, it might be better to keep the keylogger on. You could beat it with my method. It is simply this. Open a Notepad (plain text file) and type in the following:

0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 AM PM A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

Then when you want to communicate with your lover, foreign power, secret admirer, dominatrix, whistle blower, reporter etc, you just open the file, and copy and paste letters into you email, instant message, chat bot or however you communicate surreptitiously.

This is the electronic equivalent of the ransom note cut from magazine and newspaper headlines.

As you need more words, you can cut and paste them from internet pages. Other handy words include:

meet me at call cell phone usual place do not come stay go the and don't tell husband

Well, you get the drift. All that the person reading the keylogging files would see would be:

(cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text) (cut text) (paste text)

and no one will be the wiser.

I realize that this information could be dangerous in the wrong hands. However like all inventions it could be good. This way the Palestinians and Israelis could negotiate a peace treaty and no one would be the wiser. You are welcome!

PS - Happy Valentine's Day. Tell someone that you love them -- preferably not by the above method.

The Mockingbirds are Back

I was walking to the beach yesterday, and this mockingbird stood still while I took her picture (At least I think that it is a female because of the markings). I was almost directly under her as I took this picture.

The mockingbirds disappear over the summer, but show up in the winter here in Nassau, and it is nice to have them back. Whenever I hear a new birdsong, and look around to see what it is, invariably it is the mockingbird trying out a new song. They are welcome visitors.

Ghetto Handyman

This is what happens when you let a ghetto handyman work on your house:

An extension cord would have been better.

I wonder if there is room for one more wire.

The ceiling was too low by a foot.

Missed it by a foot? Use a bunch of spare electrical boxes.

No place to put the sink? Let's make it a sink/shower combo!

Adjustable bracket for any angle.

Long flexible elbow?

Can't mount it on the roof? Stick it in the toilet vent pipe.

There's room here...let's put the u-trap here!

Off by a few inches, just use a couple pieces of wood to hold up the main joist

If these can hold you up then why not here?

How about a light in the shower?

Leaky drain - out of duct tape, then use electrical tape

Who's going to work on this.....if there is an electrical or plumbing problem ???

Upside down - sideways trap

What! The trap is there...just turn your head sideways

Why not just buy some shorter nails....

Don't need a light switch

How about a 360 degree to an inline trap equipped with a u-trap along the way?

How to install an attic vent fan......you require the following parts: drywall, sheet metal, fiberglass batt, wire ties, electrical tape, duct tape and nails

The down spout can't handle the heavy rain then let's help it

If one elbow is good, why not put two in?

Eventually it will become a concrete wall equipped with weeping holes?

Breakers keep tripping so let's take it out

The first one couldn't shut off the water so let's put in a second one

New! sideways elbow!

There's arcing? I wonder why?

Remember, you pay for what you get. Let a professional do it!