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Website: The Book Stand


The Book Stand is my latest Blog offering and complements my At the BookShelf Blog. The Book Stand is a place to find free Kindle and/or pdf format ebooks, as well as good ebook offers from time to time.

For more visit:
http://bookstand.tumblr.com/

Native Wildlife of the Area


It’s another wet and windy day in paradise, so not much to do but sit it out. It also means I haven’t got a lot to type about (as opposed to write about, given I’m using the keyboard). So I’m going back a little and posting about some photos I’ve taken in recent months here. In fact, what I’m posting about today is one of the great things about living here in Tea Gardens, which differs a great deal from other places I have lived down Newcastle and Lake Macquarie way and that is the abundance of wildlife around here. Sadly we have managed to kill of most of the wildlife down around Newcastle, or at the very least drove it all away. Here it abounds and I love it being so.

Diamond PythonI’m not talking about just the smaller animal and bird species you might expect to find in a suburban area, but even the bigger examples of wildlife also. Kangaroos and Wallabies can be found all over the place in this area and it isn’t unusual to see them bounding down the main street in numbers. In fact, sadly, you often find them as road kill on the main road out to the highway. Where I work we have smaller wallabies and kangaroos actually living in and amongst the homes, with joeys in their pouches as well. The odd Dingo can also be seen from time to time. Koalas are known to live in healthy numbers around the area – not that I have spotted one here yet.

Reptiles abound here also, with large numbers of Red Belly Black Snakes, Diamond Pythons (pictured at above left) and Tree Snakes readily found in the warmer months, along with Blue-Tongued Lizards and Goannas. I have seen some Goannas that have been at least 1 metre long. Some of the Diamond Pythons have been closer to 2 metres in length.

It is the bird life that really thrives around here, especially the wetland varieties. The area is rich in bird life. At work you can see on a daily basis Wattle Birds, Blue Wrens, Finches, various Parrots and Rosellas, Black Cockatoos, Galahs, Water Fowl, Wood Ducks, Ibis, Egrets, Spoonbills, Herons, Black Swans and many, many more species of birds. There are the rarer sightings of birds also. A Tawny Frogmouth (pictured at below right) has made its home near where I live, trying its best to look like part of the tree in which it chooses to roost.Tawny Frogmouth

The area also abounds in sea life, of various types and sizes. It is not unusual to have Humpback Whales sighted of the coast here and Dolphins can be spotted almost every morning if you know where to look. The Sting Rays are also easy spot at the right time of the day.

You do get your not so welcome species of wildlife also, such as mosquitos and sand flies, but I guess these play their part in the general run of things, being food perhaps for the more welcome members of wildlife society.

One of the things I’m doing down here, tieing in my interest in web applications and social networks, is being involved with the Project Noah social network. This is a place to log wildlife spots with GPS markings using the iPhone application, along with the web application. I haven’t long been involved in it, but it is something I will be doing more and more. It will be good to build up a more complete picture of what species live in the area. Others can get involved in recording and mapping the wildlife of the area here by joining the ‘mission’ I have started at Project Noah.

The mission I have started for Tea Gardens can be found at:
http://www.projectnoah.org/missions/12346009

Pain


I don’t know what it is about work and I, but I always seem to find some way to injure myself – pretty much on a daily basis. I don’t believe it is about being careless, as I generally attempt to do things carefully and with awareness of occupational health and safety. However, I seem to always find a way of injurying myself.

At the moment I find myself in a fair amount of pain from a knee injury. How did I do it? I was getting into a golf buggy (we use these to get around the work site) and managed to collect my knee on a section of the buggy that juts into the passenger/driver space. It’s a very pointed section of the vehicle (extremely poorly designed actually and I’m not the only one who keeps hitting this spot) and I hit it fair in the middle of my knee with some force. The immediate pain was terrible and the the bruising appeared immediately. I couldn’t walk straight away (and being a fella I attempted to walk it out as we do), but eventually was able to do without pain – though the knee area was quite painful to touch.

Now being home from work, it’s getting late into the night and also quite cold (winter here) the pain has returned, its stiffened up quite a bit and walking has become an issue. I can’t wait for tomorrow morning when I try to get out of bed. Two days until holidays – keep telling myself that and I may be able to drag myself to work.

Movies & Social Networking


I have spent a goodly amount of time this evening trying to find a social networking/web application experience that will allow me to share what DVDs and movies I own, as well as sharing my reviews, ratings, etc. Try as I may (and have), I am yet to find a place that will allow me to do all of this in one place and that will share all that experience to my Facebook timeline. There must be a place – but I can’t find it.

I have tried Keepio and Bagcheck, but these don’t really do what I want. They are probably good for listing your items (not just DVDs and movies), though Keepio is not allowing me to add any more than one item at the moment for some reason. Bagcheck is way too public for my liking. So I have accounts at both, but I’m not likely to use them for this particular purpose.

I use Flickchart and Flixster, which have proven to be very good for rating and reviewing movies, but not so good for listing the DVDs and movies I own. I do like both of these sites and will continue to use them. I will probably use something like Listgeeks (where I also have an account) for listing what movies I own, unless I find something else.

One other avenue I haven’t really explored at the moment are the various iPhone apps, so I’ll do that next.

Anyone got any ideas – I’ll be grateful for that ‘place’ that will do it for me. Someone? Anyone?

So what started all of this off? It was buying and watching ‘The Grey’ last night – it got me to thinking that I should get around to doing this part of the social scene. My review can be found at Flixster – http://www.flixster.com/movie/the-grey-2012/ .

Glitch


Today I am posting a YouTube video concerning the game Glitch. This is a game that is still in beta (entered beta recently) and is being developed. However, there are growing periods of time when the game is open to new users to join and play the game. I have been playing Glitch for some time and I find the game to be quite addictive. It is a complex game, yet quite simple to play – and it is a very social experience as you interact with other Glitchers. I’ll leave you with the video.

 

BookYap: Book Recomendations


I am about to start using a new web application called BookYap. Put simply, BookYap is an application that recommends books based on criteria you enter. There are over 650 000 books in its database, so chances are it will find a book for you.

You can search for a book by using keywords or the filters it has available (based on personality types). By becoming a registered user, the application learns more and more about you and your reading habits, improving the recommendations it makes for you.

Books appear with thumbnails of their covers and book ratings. A brief description appears by hovering over the thumbnail. You are able to interact with the application and associated community by sharing books you have read and your reviews of them. There is connectivity with both Facebook and Twitter also.

You are also able to add books to a reading wishlist if you like. Books can be purchased from Amazon when you choose a book to read.

Visit BookYap at:
http://bookyap.com/

 

Obituaries Australia


If you are into genealogy like me, a site like Obituaries Australia could be a great help. It is even a great site for those who may from time to time need to find out information about a deceased relative or friend. Obituaries Australia is an online database of obituaries published in various print media and is searchable in a variety of ways.

For more, visit:
http://oa.anu.edu.au/

 

Online Video Rotator


From time to time when taking a video you sometimes find it better to shoot the video ‘on its side.’ Of course when this is done the video is only able to be viewed side ways. If only the video could be turned and viewed the correct way up. Online Video Rotator does this job for you, though it is limited to 3MB only. Does anyone know of a place for converting larger files – that would be very useful? Still, having an online tool that does the job even for small files is a great help.

For more, visit:
http://www.rotatevideo.org/

 

Quotista: Sharing Quotes Social Network


I am looking for a web application that will allow me to store quotations online, that will allow me to search the database, allow me to share quotes, etc. I haven’t really been able to find the application that is just what I’m looking for, but Quotista seems to be the closest to what I’m looking for. I have joined the Quotista network and will begin experimenting with it. It certainly has a lot of potential and is still only in beta development, so I’m sure it will continue to improve. It is already a pretty good site.

http://www.quotista.com/