Angus’ Ant Trap

My eldest son built this contraption this morning. After a very long explanation I got out of him that it is in fact an ant trap. After it traps them it kills them. I have labeled the image on Flickr in case you want to know what the components are to build your own.

Beware ants, Angus is onto you… I am pleased to see that he not only has a vivid imagination but also some emerging architectural and building skills.

I am scared looking at it. Dunno what the ants think!

Ant Trap

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Flickr Make it Easier to Share Images

You see an image on Flickr and you want to share it with a friend or a family member. Now you have to copy and paste the link into an email or some other form of getting that link to them, right… Not any more.

Send_to_a_friend screenshotFlickr have introduced easy photo sharing right from the source of the image. Now my only problem was that after hearing about the feature and wanting to check it out but I’d be damned if I could find the feature. After a bit of looking around in a few menus  and having no luck I went back to the image page and looked more thoroughly. I spotted the option in the bottom right of the page in small print. “Send to a Friend”

Not sure why Flickr has made this feature so hard to find. Or is that that I am not observant enough? Features like this should be easy to find and use. No problem with the ease of use, in fact 10/10. They get a 2/10 for easy to find, in my opinion. Maybe they are trying to save on the bandwidth or something. Beats me.

Clicking that link throws you to a page with the option to send the image via email or to another Flickr member. There is a default message that you can add to or just send as is. The default message is fine in my book. I sent one to myself. The cool thing about this feature is that the recipient gets the message and the image in their inbox with an additional link to the page on Flickr that it comes from. What this means is that they can save the image locally. To save a photo on Flickr from the web page you have to have an account and be logged in. Now you don’t, provided someone with an account send it to you.

Nice feature and I think I might actually upgrade my account to a pro account as this is great for family and friends and I am going to use it a lot. I am actually trying to update my Flickr page more often, to keep the family in the loop a bit better. Some of our family are a couple of 1000 kay away and I know they will appreciate it. Thanks Flickr!

Flickr_Home_Screenshot

The Staple Diet of Dragons

I had a very interesting conversation with my four year old last night. He is apparently the resident expert on the diet of dragons. Which he says don’t exist, they used to… but they are dead now. Not sure what that means, but it makes perfect sense to him.

The following dialogue made perfect sense to him also:

Angus: “Yeah Dad, you know about dragons… got big teeth and have fire”Dragon Picture

Dad: “Sure yes, I know about dragons. Dude do you know a lot about dragons?”

Angus: “Yup, I know lots about dragons… like what they eat”

Dad: “Cool, what do dragons eat then?”

Angus: “Well, dragons eat muesli Dad…”

Dad: “Oh, they do?”

Angus: “Yeah and rubbish…”

Dad: “Rubbish?”

Angus: “Yes Dad, rubbish. But you have to watch the young dragons they will run off with your rubbish bin and won’t play. The older ones are nice they will play and then eat your rubbish.”

Dad: “Great, I’ll remember that. What do they have for desert?”

Angus: “Shampoo”

So today’s hot tip is to watch out for those young dragons.

Picture a Year Since 1976

This page shows  a great deal of foresight, persistence and patience. Things like this are hard to stick to and if you miss but one the whole project is ruined. The Goldburg family from Argentina have photographed themselves every year on the 17th of June since 1976.

The timeline and pictures are presented in an unusual way. Only so much as you would think that time is linear and therefore a straight line. But when you have a closer look it makes sense. Diego and Susy started off as a couple, then as they had children they were added to the yearly photo shoot. Being a vertical representation means that each individual is in the same spot each year. You can scroll down the page to see how they have changed.

While simple this project provides some great information for the family and those that view it. Such as the ages of their children and how many years apart they are. Sure you have to work that out but the site is really for themselves and I am sure they know. I wonder what the children think of this wonderful legacy that their parents have created for them. It reminded me of the people that have taken a photo of themselves every day for a year or for six years in this example and made a video of it.

These type of projects inspire us and we appreciate them greatly. Usually because with the best intentions we would probably start one and fail. The main reason I have not started mine. Top effort and deserves recognition. I enjoyed the site.

Now if those pictures could talk, imagine the stories they could tell.

The Arrow of Time Screenshot

James’ Take on Skype and Family

Tonight my brother and I had a chat via Skype, it was great, plus our families got together on the video. I blogged about this sort of thing before, technology making a real impact on people’s lives and making a difference to how they communicate.

I think James had a think about all this and he blogged about it. His words are touching and for me ring very true. Nice blog post mate and I think others should read it too. So go and check out The Gray Matter and James’ take on Skype and what it meant to him.

Video Calling Here… What it Means to Me

Video for phone calls may be here but not the way the we might have expected it would be. Certainly not the way I thought it would when I was a kid.

So I thought when I was younger that one day we would have phones that had video in them of the person you were calling. As in home phone that is. I know this feature is available on some mobile phones but it costs a bomb and I would not say that it is widely available and it is price restrictive.

Skype on the other-hand is available, functional and free. The power of Skype was made very clear to me a wile ago when I got a web-cam and a close friend of mine got one as well. We could talk and see each other and it was second best to being there. It is that feeling that, if I can’t be there then this is great and I am feeling like we are hanging out; that is the difference.

With Skype now supporting Mac on the video front I have had a few more of these “being there” experiences. My brother recently converted to Mac only, yup every machine that he owns is a Mac. He was bummed that video was not supported in the Mac, but a week or so ago it happened. Skype for Mac now does video and James and I were able to chat and talk and see each other for the first time. The cool thing in this instance was the fact that we had our kids with us and we were able to interact and have fun, the kids loved it. I think they found it a little strange as well though. This is something that I cherish, my brother’s family is the other end of Australia near Sydney. So Skype gives us something that we would not otherwise have.

Screenshot of Skype Call

Yet another experience that I had recently was that of the Trans-Continental variety. And we took a screen shot to boot. Good mate and podcaster Knightwise from The Knightcast Podcast (from Belgium) and I were chatting on Skype and we fired up the video. He has a Mac as well so this is new to Kinghtwise as well. But the thing that made it absolutely hilarious was the fact that I was talking to Knightwise, using the video and he was cooking potatoes. Don’t know what is was it was just funny. It gave that being there experience and the fact that it has all the ambient sounds of him making his dinner. It seemed a normal thing to do. Talk to The Rooster and make dinner. Not something I thought I would ever do when I was a kid.

The most amazing thing is that all this is free. I can chat for hours to anyone that has Skype for free. Admitedly; a broadband connection is required, but taking something that I would have anyway and using it in this way has blown my mind. That is to say nothing of the fact that this is a free service! Sure phoning me from a land line to Skype costs money, but it is very, very competitive at the cost of a local call in Australia or to call out from Skype is cheaper still at 0.027 cents per minute (no the zero is not a mistake). I am slowly dumping my home phone. I have been saying and will continue to say that the telecommunications companies have a lot to worry about. This is further demonstration of the fact that in the end they will either have to evolve or die.

My home phone just can not give me the experience that the Internet and Skype can. I ask what they are doing about it?

So the ride to where we are now is not what I expected it to be nor have we arrived to where I thought we would end up (since when is that the case anyway). But I am excited about being a part of it and will continue to integrate technology into my life. It is finally becoming something that is impacting my life. Although I still hate computers.

If you want to call me on Skype just call 07 3102 3535, try it out. Or better yet download Skype and call me for free!

Lone Fruit Bat Moved In

Fruit BatI started to notice bat poo on the path. I thought they were visiting at night but yesterday I looked up and I spotted a lone fruit bat.

I do not know why it has moved in but it would seem that our date palm out the back is just perfect for a day roost. It stays all day sleeping and crapping on my path. While I would not normally mind crap of any description from native animals, but as anyone round here knows bat crap is second only to concrete. It also has the consistency of chewing gum. So I am constantly hosing the path before it sets. Starting to think it is more like super glue, seems to set really fast!

Stranger still it has not invited any buddies to our tree, for which I am very grateful. I would have to start getting nasty with the hose. No-one wants a bat rookery in their back yard I can tell you. It seems like a small juvenile bat and is not bothered by us gawking at it. I just wish it decided to roost about 30 centimeters along the branch so it is not over the path!

The kids are enjoying looking at it and watching it. Angus runs out all the time to “check if it is still there”. Anyway weird but our house is like that.

Here is a picture, I could not take one that was good enough. Please enjoy this one from Flickr. Credit for photo to Shek Graham, who also lives in Cairns, some great photos on Flickr please check it out.