Sunday, May 11, 2008

Towel Day 2008 - May 25th

It's hard to believe that it's seven years already, but on this day, May 11th 2001, Douglas Adams passed away. May 25th will see "Towel Day 2008" when you are invited to join your fellow hitch hikers in mourning the loss of the late great one. To show your appreciation for the humor and insight that Douglas Adams brought to all our lives, just carry your towel with you throughout the day to show your participation and mourning. I'll be at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 92nd Indy 500 so a towel could well be the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have at such an event. Knowing my luck, it will rain...

It truly is an international event, as this mad video from last year's celebration in Augsburg, Germany proves.
YouTube contributer basti0007 writes...
As Adams was always a friend of international understanding, we combined the Towel Day with the Japanese Algorithm March and danced it with Towels (and myself in a bathrobe).

Friday, May 09, 2008

Long Way Down to see the Mountain Gorillas

I've recently been enjoying Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman's second globe-trotting motorcycle adventure "Long Way Down", and particularly enjoyed the segment up in the Virunga mountains when they got to meet the Mountain Gorillas. However, the whole adventure if full thrills and spills, and interesting meetings with local people and cultures as they travel from London to Cape Town on their big BMW bikes.

This DVD is not yet available in the USA, so I bought it from and I've been using my cheap and cheeful Region Free DVD player from Philips. The Philips DVP5140 Multiformat DVD Player will play any NTSC/PAL DVD on any PAL or NTSC TV, and at this price you can't fall off.
First, to make it region code free follow these instruction:
1. Turn on the unit
2. Open the loading tray
3. Press the "Setup" button on the remote
4. Navigate to the "Preferences" page using the right arrow key
6. Press the down arrow once to enter the Preference page
5. Enter 138931 on the remote
6. You will now see the current region code displayed
7. Use the Up/Down arrow keys to select the region required or "0" for all regions
8. Press the "Play" button on the remote
And that's it, your all set for watching DVDs from anywhere in the world. My latest acquisition is the sequel to the BBC America smash-hit "Life On Mars", this time set in the 1980s and called "Ashes to Ashes". Great stuff.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Baby Amazonian Manatee gets a little help from his friends

Here's a rare piece of Amazonian Manatee news from Florida's It seems that Piti, an orphaned baby manatee was entangled in a net deep in the Brazilian Amazon, when conservationists came to his rescue.
Conservationist Dr. Miriam Marmontel arrived with her team to find the locals had pulled the river animal free using a harpoon to the back.
The two scientists with a passion for preserving aquatic life collaborated to rehabilitate the manatee named Piti in a fiberglass pool on a houseboat in western Brazil's Tef'é Lake. The plan remains to release him back into the wild this fall.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Kakapo Encounter 2008 is coming

Kakapo EncounterJust a reminder that Kakapo Encounter 2008 will be running from 12th August to 23rd October (according to this Wildlife Extra page), although the official site still has it listed for September 8 - October 22, 2008.
Kakapo are nocturnal, so viewing is limited to once a day immediately after nightfall. A charter boat will take you from the wharf at Halfmoon Bay to Ulva Island. Each group will have a experienced guide not only to inform and educate, but ensure no harm or discomfort comes to Sirocco!

Sirocco will be living in a large natural enclosure, with a full time minder in attendance. As a bird that was hand-reared by humans, Sirocco is very sociable with people, and your opportunity to view will come when he comes to his minder to recieve his nightly feeding. The encounter will be very much on Sirocco's terms, but given his consistent fascination with people, we are hoping he will find the experience as enjoyable as you do.
Any profits go to Trust projects which include trail maintenance on Ulva Island (a predator-free bird sanctuary), and the reintroduction and care of endangered bird and plant species.