The Blogger Himself

Weird Metals Story of the Day

Slightly odd:

South Korean scientists said Tuesday that they have developed an eco-friendly topsoil that enhances plant growth and drastically reduces harmful residues of pesticides.

A research team led by Chung Byung-yeoup at the Korea Atomic Energy Research Institute (KAERI) said the new soil is made by using small quantities of so-called rare earth elements. These are a group of compound materials made up of Lanthan, Scandium and Yterium.

"Test have shown that this new topsoil boosts plant growth by 30 per cent, strengthens roots, while lowering nitrate and pesticide levels by up to 60 per cent.

There\’s another name for Lanthanum, Yttrium and the like: heavy metals. Serioulsy, most surprised that anyone is recommending adding these to topsoil.

Excuse Me

I\’ve just finished reading through some 1200-1500 sex blogs in order to write up 100 of them for this book coming to all good bookstores near you real soon now.

Does anyone mind if I go scrub my eyeballs now?

Some of them were truly, awfully bad.



Let There Be Light!

This is the image The Guardian uses to launch a new site promoting a reduction in carbon footprints.

It creates quite a feeling in me I have to say. I\’ve been sent a similar image in the past and told that some 50% of the light that can be seen in such satellite photos of the earth at night comes from halogen light bulbs. As we are suppliers of a vital ingredient (scandium, if you should care to know) to some 80% of that part of the light bulb market, that means that we are involved in providing 40% of the light you can see in that photo (assuming that the first assertion is true).

It\’s extremely gratifying to know that, however a minor cog one is, one\’s business life contributes so visibly and vividly to human civilisation.

Things I Didn\’t Know About Greece Before I Came Here

Back in Athens, every cabbie is an ex-sailor, and he makes sure you find out all about it.


There are a lot more blondes here than I expected. Strangely, it\’s one of those genetic oddities that only seems to affect the female of the species.

Looking down at Athens from the top of a hill (from St Giorgios) my first thought was that this is Los Angeles: specifically the San Fernando Valley. Swathes, mile upon mile, of indistinguishable suburbs, with mountains poking through. Bet it\’s got the same temperature inversion as well, creating and trapping the smog.

The Acropolis is really high. What in Western Europe would have been the location of the castle was here dedicated to the Temple. Says something, not sure what.

There is something truly stunning about a woman with the black, black hair here (those without the strange blondness above), the tanned, olive, skin and a pair of bright, bright, blue or green eyes peering out. A reminder of all those Vikings (ie Normans), Franks and the rest who ruled this place for a few hundred years (c.1200 to 1500).

Airport Blogging

Very strange the way these Portugees work. Most odd.

You see, they have this system whereby if you would like to smoke a cigarette while waiting for a plane, there\’s an area set aside for you to do so.

If you would prefer not to be surrounded by such noxious fumes, the rest of the airport is free of them.

Interesting idea, ain\’t it? Wonder if such choice, liberty and freedom might catch on elsewhere?

The Perils of Expatria

One of the perils of living aborad is that the infrastructure might not be quite as robust as what is expected in Northern Europe. We\’ve entered the rainy season here and so we\’ve got regular thunder storms and buckets of rain. Fine….but the local power station (down the hill in Tunes: it\’s actually the vast field of transformers they have there that gets hit) is always the first place hit by the lightning. Thus 50% of the storms knock out the electrical power.

Thus the late start to this morning\’s blogging: apologies to the paying audience (size, nil) and those who are getting it for free, well, you get what you pay for, eh?