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Bushfire at Warrumbungle National Park


Over the last couple of days a terrible, horrific bushfire has impacted on the Warrumbungle National Park, Siding Springs Observatory, 33 homes and numerous rural buildings near Coonabarabran in New South Wales, Australia. The bushfire is believed to have burnt out some 500 000 hectares and now has a fire front of over 100km in length.

Obviously the fire is a terrible tragedy for the people living in the region, as well as the natural wonder that is the Warrumbungle National Park. This fire was started by lightning strikes in a major heatwave currently being experienced in Australia. The tinder dry conditions and gale force hot winds have fanned the blaze and even now as I write, the bushfire is again threatening homes in the region and is expected to burn for weeks. 

The Warrumbungle National Park is one of my favourite places in Australia and I have visited the region many times. It is a sad and tragic disaster in more ways than one. 

Using Lift


If you ever wonder about the various apps I post about on this Blog – generally Sundays – they are usually apps I use already or have begun to use. The one I posted about today is called Lift, which is a relatively new app for the iPhone. I have just started to use it today and it looks a fairly easy one to use and it could be quite useful. 

To start with I am tracking my multivitamin taking. I decided to start taking these as an added preventative for the flu and cold sores (which as you know I seem to have a lot of lately), as well as a general top up for my dietary intake. Each day I simply check off on the app that I have taken the multi and the app continues to track my progress on developing this habit and keeps statistics. 

If I like what it does with the multivitamin tracking I’ll probably start to use the app for other purposes also.

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

Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Browser Game: Tribal Wars


Tribal Wars is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in the Middle Ages and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that.

The current online world started in early June 2011, so it’s early days yet. There are similarities to Land of Destiny (see yesterday’s post), however this is a different experience to that game. I play both, but I do prefer this one.

Play the Game at:
http://www.tribalwars.net/

 

Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) Browser Game: Land of Destiny


And I’m back (again – I know). For the next couple of days I’ll be posting links to various browser games that I’ve been indulging in (or perhaps, wasting time in). I’m not so much into the shoot-em up type games and/or the SciFi/Fantasy type games that are so popular these days. For some reason I’m not big on all of the Facebook games either – probably because my news feed is full of them (which I block by the way). Anyhow, there will be a few games that I have started to play a bit over the next couple of days.

Land of Destiny is a Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) browser game. It is a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game in which you are up against thousands of other players building online villages at various levels of development. The game is set in Roman Times and your objective is to quickly build a village and then participate in defensive/offensive strategy/battles. Not only is it necessary to be aware of potential attackers, you also need to contend with the weather (the season changes on a weekly basis and each day the weather can be different). Of course there is a lot more detail to the game than that.

The current online world is coming to an end in early July 2011, so a fresh start is just around the corner. I am using the remaining time to learn the game and develop my strategies for the new gaming world when it arrives.

Play the Game at:
http://www.landofdestiny.com/

 

Ownzee: A New Blogging Platform


OpenZine has now started a Blogging Platform called Ownzee, which seems to be similar to its magazine making platform. The problem from what I can see, is that there is a serious lack of documentation about ownzee. There is no ‘about’ section, no ‘how to’ section, etc. Have a look and see what you think.

Visit ownzee at:
http://www.ownzee.com/

 

DailyBooth


If you like taking photos and would love to have a place where you could post them in a way that is like a Blog, you may want to check out DailyBooth. It is a Blog for posting photos on a daily basis – or as regularly as you would like. Check out the site at:

http://dailybooth.com

I have just started my own PhotoBooth Profile at:

http://dailybooth.com/Particular_Kev

It is my intention to continue to maintain this Blog with daily posts of a photo, video, quote or a link. However, with DailyBooth, I’ll be seeking to post a photo a day – but the photo will not necessarily be taken on the particular day that it is Blogged there. I simply don’t take photos on a daily basis – I do however have quite the collection of photos from over the years.

Facebook


Undoubtedly the majority of people who come across this posting will already be users of Facebook or at least have heard of Facebook. So why do I want to post a link to Facebook as today’s URL? That’s a very good question and I have a simple answer to it.

Over the years friends have come and friends have gone. In the time since I started to use Facebook, I have been able to re-establish contact with so many people that have been my friends over the years. Today, I have been able to reconnect with another friend from the past – so, this is the reason for posting Facebook as today’s URL. It is a great tool for maintaining friendships and for re-establishing friendships from the past.

www.facebook.com

My Internet Radio Station at Blip.fm


I now have an Internet Radio Station at Blip.fm. Anyone can listen to the music by going to my Blip.fm site at:

http://blip.fm/DJ_ParticularKev

While not a radio station in the sense of what you get on the radio, the radio station that I have begun have a play list that will grow over time, playing songs from the 1980s through to today. There may be an odd song from out of that time period, but that would be the general time frame.

What sort of music? Well, there won’t be anything too heavy there, so I suppose the music could be described as easy listening pop/rock.

I have only just started at Blip.fm, but there is some music there already and it will steadily grow. You’ll soon get a feel for the sort of music I like.