Wednesday, September 19, 2012

International Pirate Day

Welcome to my blog! Today I will be giving you a glimpse into the World of Pirates.
From this point on, only Pirates and Pirate enthusiast are welcome! If you are ready we will proceed.
Good Mornin'! It be National, "talk like a Pirate day"! So gather your eye patches and Pirate movies for a great day!
“International Talk like a Pirate Day International Talk Like A Pirate Day is annually held on September 19. What started as a fun concept in which people imitate pirate talk has turned into an event that receives media attention worldwide. What do people do? International Talk Like A Pirate Day is celebrated in more than 40 countries worldwide. It is a fun day that involves people talking like pirates. Some people dress in pirate costumes as well. It is celebrated among fans in countries such as Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. International Talk Like a Pirate Day receives media attention closer to and around September 19 each year. Some communities work with organizations such as Childhood Cancer Support and Marie Curie Cancer Care to raise funds or increase awareness of cancer support and research. Public life International Talk Like A Pirate Day is a growing global observance but it is not a public holiday on September 19. Background John Baur (“Ol' Chumbucket”) and Mark Summers (“Cap'n Slappy”) are credited for creating the concept of International Talk Like A Pirate Day on June 6, 1995. However, out of respect World War II’s D-Day – the day of the Normandy Landings – on June 6, 1944, Baur and Summers choose not to dedicate International Talk Like A Pirate Day on June 6. Instead, they chose September 19 as the annual date for the event. International Talk Like A Pirate Day was a low-key event until 2002, when it received media attention via syndicated humor columnist Dave Barry. The event’s popularity spread from that point onwards. International Talk Like a Pirate Day is celebrated among individuals, work colleagues, and charity and fundraising organizations around the world. Symbols Various phrases, such as “Ahoy”, “Arrr”, and “Aye aye”, are spoken on International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Some people dress in pirate costumes that they make, buy or hire. Costumes include pirate swords, hats and eye patches. Some people have images of the skull and bones on hats, costumes or printed material to promote the day.
Now for a wee bit of entertainment and History!
Golden Age of Piracy
Pirate Origins
Life aboard a Pirate ship
Pirate Firearms
Pirate Cannons
Pirate Women
Hook movie
Documentary of the Caribean Pirates
Pirate song Ray Stevens
Pirates of the Caribbean:Curse of the Black Pearl
Ben Franklin’s Pirate Fleets
Blackbeard The Pirate Here are ten things you should know about his life and legacy.
Blackbeard wasn't his real name Well, you probably guessed that one, right? Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Thatch or Edward Teach: some original sources list it one way, some another. Blackbeard wasn't his real name Well, you probably guessed that one, right? Blackbeard’s real name was Edward Thatch or Edward Teach: some original sources list it one way, some another.
Blackbeard learned from other pirates Blackbeard started his piracy career while serving under the legendary Benjamin Hornigold. He wasn’t “Blackbeard” then: he was just one more pirate out of many. Hornigold saw potential in young Edward Teach and promoted him. Eventually, he gave Teach his own command as captain of a captured ship. The two were very successful while they worked together. Hornigold eventually accepted a pardon and Blackbeard set out on his own.
Blackbeard had one of the mightiest pirate ships ever to set sail In November of 1717, Blackbeard captured La Concorde, a large French slaving vessel. He renamed the Queen Anne’s Revenge and kept it for himself, modifying it for piracy. He put 40 cannons on it, making it one of the most formidable pirate ships ever. With it, he terrorized the Atlantic and Caribbean for almost a year before the Queen Anne’s Revenge ran aground.
Blackbeard looked like a devil in battle Blackbeard knew the importance of image in his line of work. Before battle, he would dress all in black, strap several pistols to his chest and put on a large black captain’s hat. Then, he would put slow burning fuses in his hair and beard. The fuses constantly sputtered and gave off smoke, which wreathed him in a perpetual greasy fog. He looked like a devil who had stepped right out of hell and onto a pirate ship and most of his victims simply surrendered their cargo rather than fight him. Blackbeard intimidated his opponents this way because it was good business: if they gave up without a fight, he could keep their ship and he lost fewer men.
Blackbeard had some famous friends Besides Hornigold, Blackbeard sailed with some famous pirates. He was a friend of Charles Vane, who came to see him in North Carolina to try and enlist his help in establishing a pirate kingdom in the Caribbean (Blackbeard wasn’t interested, but his man and Vane’s had a legendary party). He sailed with Stede Bonnett, the “Gentleman Pirate” from the Barbados. Also, Blackbeard’s First Mate was a man named Israel Hands, and Robert Louis Stevenson borrowed the name for his classic Treasure Island.
Blackbeard went legit…sort of In 1718, Blackbeard went to North Carolina and accepted a pardon from Governor Charles Eden. He may have wanted to leave piracy behind, but his retirement didn’t last long. Before long, Blackbeard had struck a deal with the crooked Governor: loot for protection. Eden helped Blackbeard appear legit, and Blackbeard shared his takings. It was an arrangement that benefitted both men until Blackbeard’s death.
Blackbeard went down fighting Blackbeard wasn’t one to run from a fight. On November 22, 1718, Blackbeard was cornered by two Royal Navy sloops that had been sent to hunt him down. The pirate had relatively few men, as most of his men were on shore at the time, but he decided to fight. He almost got away, but in the end was brought down in hand-to-hand fighting on the deck of his ship. When Blackbeard was finally killed, they found five bullet wounds and twenty sword cuts on his body. His head was cut off and presented as proof to collect a bounty: his body was thrown into the water, and legend has it that it swam around the ship three times before sinking.
Blackbeard didn't leave behind any buried treasure That’s a common myth about Blackbeard and other pirates like him. There are no accounts of Blackbeard ever burying treasure, and nothing attributable to him has ever been dug up. Much of the loot that he captured was vulnerable to the elements, like fabrics or cocoa, and burying it would have ruined it (and it certainly would be in bad shape today!). Still, treasure hunters like to look around his old haunts to see if maybe he did leave something behind.
Blackbeard wasn't the most successful pirate Most people seem to think of Blackbeard as a sort of King of Pirates, perhaps the most successful pirate ever to sail the seven seas. This is far from the truth: other pirates were far more successful than Blackbeard. Henry Avery took a single treasure ship worth hundreds of thousands of pounds in 1695, which was far more than Blackbeard took in his whole career. “Black Bart” Roberts, a contemporary of Blackbeard, captured hundreds of ships, far more than Blackbeard ever did. Still, Blackbeard was an outstanding pirate, as such things go: he was an above average pirate captain for sure in terms of loot, even if he wasn’t the best ever.
Blackbeard's ship has been found Researchers think they have discovered the wreck of the mighty Queen Anne’s Revenge along the North Carolina coast. Searches of the site have yielded treasures such as cannons, anchors, musket barrels, a bell, a broken drinking glass and part of a sword. Work on the site is ongoing and researchers hope to turn up more. It’s the closest thing to buried treasure the famed pirate left behind!
Black Beards Lost ship
I hope you have enjoyed my snippets from the web, regarding Pirates and their American history.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Recap of stories from this week and news of the weird

This week has been a spirited week! This week we had the DNC and the Bashing of the RNC. This week we have heard nothing in the news except Political analysis and Back stabbing campaign ads. I want to help us out of the funk that this week put us into. I want to recap this week, but in a humorous way. I also want to give you the Weird stories of this week to help kick start your weekend. I hope that you enjoy my collection for the week. 
Glitter Graphics |

2,000 pound bacon cheeseburger made World Record

A Family of Ducks cross busy Highway

Dancing officers direct traffic at DNC

Seal holds hand with diver

Graveyards are going high-tech. A British funeral home has launched a company that places QR codes on tombstones. When scanned with a smart phone, the code launches a web page full of pictures and biographical information about the deceased.
The innovation is a logical progression in the digital age. Families often build web pages on social media websites for the departed where visitors can share memories and well wishes. Now, anyone visiting a graveyard with a computer in their pocket can learn about the lives of those buried there.
“To be able to scan a code and read about the people buried there immediately will bring memorials to life,” Stephen Nimmo, managing director of QR Memories, a subsidiary of funeral director Chester Pearce Associates in the United Kingdom, said in a news release
“Suddenly a simple plot in the ground with a stone on it reveals so much more.”
Each QR Code is about 1.5 inches square and generally cut into granite or metal. They can be placed on a tombstone, bench, or other location to memorialize the departed.
The websites are updatable and interactive, allowing anyone with a password to add photos and information, such as the birth of a grandchild.
The codes cost up to about $475, depending on materials and how they are applied to the tombstone or other memorial. An additional $150 buys unlimited hosting, administration and set up of the website, the Daily Telegraph reports.
Glitter Graphics |

Could Betty White be the Clint Eastwood of the DNC

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Glitter Graphics |

Betty White did not perform at the DNC this year, although many people where encouraging her to do so.

Since the DNC was this week, all that was in the news was recaps of the Convention and of course, bashing of the other parties. Of course there were funny moments; inspiring moments, and even tear jerking moments on both sides of the political mesh up. I will share with you the parts of both conventions that I found to be either; engaging, funny, or heart throbbing to me. I hope I can share these clips without offending anyone from either political spectrum.

Here is Gabrielle Gifford’s leading the”Pledge of Allegiance”.

Clint Eastwood and the Chair with Invisible Obama.

The complete speech from Mitt Romney.

The complete Obama Speech.

The complete Clinton Speech.

Now the comparison side of the Conventions.

   It’s a bouncing baby boy-er, girl-er, beluga!

Baby beluga in the deep blue sea,
Swim so wild and you swim so free.
Heaven above and the sea below,
And a little white whale on the go.

“As we here at Animal Tracks continue to grieve, with animal lovers everywhere, over the recent death of the beluga whale that inspired Raffi’s timeless children’s song “Baby Beluga,” we are buoyed by this news: A brand new bouncing baby beluga was born this week at Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Is the baby a boy or a girl? Well, ummm, we’re not sure yet. Nobody is. The newborn is being allowed to bond with mom Mauyak (MAH-yak) in a secluded area at Shedd’s Abbott Oceanarium without any physical interaction with human handlers. The baby’s gender won’t be determined until the marine mammal staff thinks the time is right to do a physical examination.

In the meantime, we know these vital stats about the newborn calf:
·         The baby beluga arrived on the scene at about 2 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 27.
·         The calf is 4 1/2 feet long and weighs about 150 pounds.
·         The new baby is the sixth beluga calf born at Shedd.
·         The newborn has two older siblings also born to Mauyak: Qannik and Miki.
·         Mom Mauyak’s name means “soft snow” in Inuit. She weighs about 1,200 pounds and is about 11 feet long.
The newborn’s dad is named Naluark (nah-LOO-ark), and he weighs 2,100 pounds

Did you here that Ben and Jerry’s Ice creams logo and brands have been stolen and used for Porno films?

Did a group of people hack Romney’s Tax returns? They are claiming that they have them and will release his tax returns on September 28th of this year unless they receive a Million dollars. Will this make Romney release the other 8 years of tax returns or will he ignore the threat and expose only the past two years of tax returns?

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Christmas Island Red crabs and the Yellow crazy Ants

Christmas Island Red Crabs - Click here for more amazing videos

Red crabs Gecarcoidea natalis

“It takes the red crabs almost two months to make their way from the forest to the sea and back again. But that doesn't stop the island's human inhabitants needing to get from A to B. The result? The world's most careful drivers. 
“The red crab is by far the most obvious of the 14 species of land crabs found on Christmas Island. Millions of these land crabs live over the island.
They are a big crab with an adult body shell (or carapace) measuring up to 116mm across. The carapace is round shouldered and encloses their lungs and gills. Males are larger than females but females have a much broader abdomen and usually have smaller claws than males.

Where do they live?
Although most common in the moist environment of the rainforest, red crabs live in a variety of habitats including coastal shore terraces, and even domestic gardens. They dig burrows in soil or live in deep crevices in rock outcrops. For most of the year, a crab will settle in one place, living in their burrow.
The crabs' burrows have a single entrance tunnel which leads to a single chamber. Only one crab lives in a burrow and (except for the breeding season) red crabs are solitary and do not tolerate intruders into their burrows.
Red crabs are diurnal (active during the day) and almost inactive at night despite lower temperatures and higher humidity. Sensitivity of crabs to moisture, combined with the seasonal climate on Christmas Island, create a distinct seasonal pattern of activity. Crabs retreat into the humid interior of their burrows during the dry season. They plug the burrow entrance with a loose wad of leaves to maintain a high humidity level, and effectively disappear from view for up to two to three months of the year.

What do they eat?
Red crabs diet consists mainly of fallen leaves, fruits, flowers and seedlings. They are not solely vegetarian however and will eat other dead crabs, birds, the introduced giant African snail and palatable human refuse if the opportunity presents itself.

Red crabs and forest ecology
Red crabs are important in the Christmas Island rainforest ecosystem. Their droppings scattered over the forest floor act as fertilizer. Their burrowing turns and aerates the soil and they are a major determinant of the unique structure and composition of the Christmas Island forest by their selective browsing on seeds and seedlings”(Christmas Island National Park service).

These red crabs are vulnerable to the rather aggressive,"Yellow Crazy Ants". 

The exotic invasive yellow crazy ant (Anoplolepis gracilipes), was accidentally introduced to Christmas Island between 1915 and 1934. They are thought to have come with produce from either Malaysia or Singapore. They didn't appear in the records until about 1930. The ants have no natural predators on Christmas Island and thrive on the habitat and sources of food available. They have a high reproductive rate and can form multi-queened super-colonies in which ants occur at very high densities.
Crazy ants are recognised by their pale yellow body colour, unusually long legs and antennae. The name "crazy ant" was derived from their frantic movements and frequent changes in direction, especially when disturbed.
A single super-colony was discovered on a high terrace above the Grotto in 1989. This colony remained isolated and eventually declined. Super-colonies were again found from 1995 to 1997. Subsequent surveys indicated at least 10 separate infestations, ranging from several hectares to at least one square kilometre, and distributed throughout the island.
At the height of their population growth, the super-colonies affected some 2500 hectares of the island, or 25 per cent of the total forest area. Once a super-colony is established, it can expand rapidly, in some cases doubling in size in 12 months. To put this in context, the edge of a super-colony can expand at around three metres per day or around one kilometre per year.

Effects on Christmas Island ecology

The crazy ant has a significant destructive impact on the island's ecosystem, killing and displacing crabs on the forest floor. The super-colonies also devastate crab numbers migrating to the coast. This has seen a rapid depletion of land crab numbers which are vital to Christmas Island's biodiversity. They are a keystone species in the forest ecology by digging burrows, turning over the soil, and fertilising it with their droppings.
Seedlings that were previously eaten by crabs started to grow, and as a result, changed the structure of the forest. Weeds also spread into the rainforest because there are no crabs to control them. One of the most noticeable changes in the forest is the increased numbers of stinging tree Dendrocnide peltata, which now flourish along many of the walking tracks and other areas that people frequently visit around the island.
Robber crabs, red crabs, and blue crabs are completely wiped out from infested areas. Populations of other ground and canopy dwelling animals, such as reptiles and other leaf litter fauna have also decreased.
During crab migrations many crabs move through areas infested with ants and are killed. Studies show the ant has displaced an estimated 15-20 million crabs by occupying their burrows, killing and eating resident crabs, and using their burrows as nest sites.
Although crazy ants do not bite or sting, they spray formic acid as a defence mechanism and to subdue their prey. In areas of high ant density, the movement of a land crab disturbs the ants and as a result the ants instinctively spray formic acid as a form of defence. The high levels of formic acid at ground level eventually overwhelms the crabs, and they are usually blinded then eventually killed. As the dead crabs decay, a bonus source of protein becomes available to the ants.
Ants in general require two main types of food: carbohydrate to provide energy for the foraging workers, and protein to enable the queens to produce eggs. Crazy ants get much of their food requirements from scale insects. Scale insects are serious plant pests that feed on sap of trees and release honeydew, a sugary liquid. Ants eat honeydew, and in return protect the scale from their enemies and spread them among trees. This relationship is called a mutualism.
The honeydew not eaten by ants drips onto the trees and encourages the growth of sooty mould over the leaves and stems giving the plants an ugly, black appearance, and reducing the health and vigour of the plant.
In summary, crazy ants kill the fauna, but encourage scale insects. Increased densities of scale insects causes forests trees to dieback, creating light gaps in the forest canopy. Light gaps and removal of crabs encourages seedling growth and weed invasion into the forest.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

My Pinterest

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Photo Editing sites for fun

While browsing the news sites for interesting news stories this morning, I came across an article on photo apps that make your photos amazing. This got me intrigued, so I set out on a quest to find some unique Photo editing websites that are free and user friendly. Some of these sites I have personal experience with, while others IO am looking forward to test driving. Here is the compilation of sites that I have found. Cat Effects photo editor picmonkey fotoflexer pizap befunky effectsmagic I hope that you can enjoy these sites as much as I have in the past and will have in the near future.