mymodernmet:

24-year-old photographer Asher Svidensky recently traveled to west Mongolia with the intention of documenting the lives of traditional Kazakh eagle hunters, people who tame eagles for the purpose of hunting smaller animals.

With the traditions typically laying in the hands of the boys and the men, the biggest surprise throughout the journey was Svidensky’s discovery of a young eagle huntress, 13-year-old Ashol Pan, the daughter of an experienced eagle hunter. These stunning photographs symbolize the potential future of the eagle hunting tradition as it expands beyond a male-only practice.

Eagle hunting and gender role smashing. Best story this week.

Via: Mokatumblr
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Winter came back. 

And to think I was going to change to summer tyres yesterday. – View on Path.

Winter came back.

And to think I was going to change to summer tyres yesterday. – View on Path.

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Enjoying an onsen, by the beach, surrounded by snow. I feel like this guy. at 岬の湯 しゃこたん – View on Path.

Enjoying an onsen, by the beach, surrounded by snow. I feel like this guy. at 岬の湯 しゃこたん – View on Path.

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Reading Year Zero by Rob Reid

If you are over 35, a tech nerd or geek, someone with a passion for music (especially tunes pre 21st century), a Douglas Adams fan, and you play(ed) RPG games (or a perhaps a mixture of any of the above). This is the book for you.

With the exceptions of some American references it feels like this book was written for me. – View on Path.

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I’d rather be… – View on Path.

I’d rather be… – View on Path.

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I’ve shared 2,342 memories with my friends on Path - see them now at path.com!

I’ve shared 2,342 memories with my friends on Path - see them now at path.com!

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A simple question Mr President

“Our time here is limited and it is precious.  And what matters at the end of the day is not the small things, it’s not the trivial things, which so often consume us and our daily lives.  Ultimately, it’s how we choose to treat one another and how we love one another,”
President Barack Obama
Ht_barack_obama_motorcade_jt_1

How many innocents have died at your orders over the last four years?

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Snow White and the Huntsman

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I have been wondering how I should start this review, and I can’t avoid it. Charlize Theron is way way way fairer than Kristen Stewart. If you are going to cast Charlize as the wicked witch Ravenna, then Snow White has to be extraordinarily beautiful and Kristen Stewart is not that.

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Charlize Theron vs Kristen Stewart - there game is over before it begins.
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Visually this movie is fantastic, the castle, the snowy gardens, the dark forest, Sanctuary, the eight? dwarves all look great. It is truly a work of art. However this is clearly where the budget went as the writing was clearly left to a group of 12 year olds in a joint creative writing class. 

The film is hugely disjointed, breaking all kinds of rules of the universe and time. Fine you might say, it’s a fairy tale, but then it even breaks the rules that itself setup. A simple example is the epic journey/escape that Snow White undertakes, across the land to reach an army of her supporters. It is of Tolkien proportions. Only once she rallies her troops, her army gallops back to face Ravenna and her army in a journey more akin to the trip down to the supermarket. 
Both Ravenna and Snow White deliver speeches that will be appearing on YouTube in the not too distant future as examples of the actresses worst work: I literally cringed and sunk into my seat. The speeches both actresses were solid. The one performance of note was  Chris Helmsworth, the Huntsmen his character was possibly the best written character and his performance the more satisfying. I also enjoyed the dwarfs, great British talent mixed with CGI brought Ian McShane, Bob Hoskins and Ray Winstone down to size, but like their size, their role in the film was diminutive. The dwarves did provide the only humour in the film but, if I recall correctly, it was two laughs only. So out of place was the humour that it felt odd to find a momentary out burst of mirth and for a moment the Time Bandits flashed through my mind. 

As for romance, which ultimately Snow White is all about, Prince Charming kissing the sleeping Princess etc, this movie took it all out. Deleted every last skerrick of romance, and then remembered that it was Snow White and injected a dash here or there. The love triangle Huntsmen - Princess - Prince went nowhere, the Prince - Princess went nowhere and the Huntsmen - Princess went nowhere. All very boring.
I can’t help but feel that this belonged as a TV series. The world created was epic in size, rich and dazzling. TV would have allowed the same development for the characters.

Finally there is that 3D element. If you know me, or follow me on Twitter you will know that I don’t think much of 3D. In fact I loathe it. So naturally I saw this film the way I like my movies, in 2D. But directors and directors of cinematography are so intent on making the most of 3D and having things fly at the audience it all gets rather boring. The Prince’s weapon of choice was the bow, I suspect just so things could go zinging around your head while you sat in the cinema. Hollywood really needs to stop it and get back to telling stories.

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Beautiful Classic Nissan Skyline

If Detective Inspector Gene Hunt* was Japanese this is the car he would drive.

*From the classic British TV show “Life on Mars”
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Beautiful Classic Nissan Skyline

If Detective Inspector Gene Hunt* was Japanese this is the car he would drive. *From the classic British TV show “Life on Mars”

Img_1268

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Beautiful Classic Nissan Skyline

If Detective Inspector Gene Hunt* was Japanese this is the car he would drive.*From the classic British TV show “Life on Mars”

Img_1268

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Christmas Nights Plan

As I sit here in my lovely warm home and listen to the howling wind whipping snow outside my plan for this evening The Cowboy Junkies - Trinity Sessions
Kindle (undecided which novel I shall read)
Enough lighting to read by
and my sofa


This morning being alone sucked. Tonight it is a blessing.

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The Galaxy Nexus

It is time, after two weeks of using the Galaxy Nexus I feel that I can write a decent review.

Firstly, for those who don’t know, I am pretty much strictly an Apple guy, but I do have alternate tech tendencies and am definitely Android curious. My phone of choice (and still is) the iPhone 4S, but having the Galaxy Nexus in my pocket has many benefits and there are many things about the phone and Ice Cream Sandwich (ICS) (Android 4.x) which I like.

The biggest difference between the two phones (iPhone 4S and the Galaxy Nexus) is that there is nothing that drives me mad about the iPhone 4S. It certainly lacks some things that I would love to have but I have never said “Really?!” to my iPhone. My first Android phone (a Nexus S) constantly tempted me to see how far I could throw it into the ocean, I am very pleased to say that the Galaxy Nexus has not come close to achieving this level of frustration but there are some things which do drive me bonkers.

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Size
The first thing that you notice about the Galaxy Nexus is the size. I remember back in the 90’s when the idea for a phone was to get it as small as possible. The era of Smartphones is seeing this trend reverse, to the almost ridiculous. Personally I find the Nexus S to be the screen-size I am most comfortable with in a phone. The Galaxy Nexus for the most part doesn’t feel nearly as large as it is, but there have been times when I just feel that it is too large. On one such occasion it lead me to tweet -
There are times when I really like the screen-size, normally when it comes to viewing videos, photos and books. When it comes to reading Kindle books on a phone, the Galaxy Nexus is king.
The Feel

Other than size, the Galaxy Nexus feels pretty good in your hand. I like the textured battery cover, it has a nice rubbery feel that makes you feel confident with the phone in your hands. It is also reasonably light for its size.
One of the problems the hardware does have, is a lack of physical buttons or controls. With only a powerbutton and volume rocker you quickly learn to appreciate the iPhone’s home button.

A welcome addition to ICS is the ability to take screenshots. Finally!! However I am still yet to master the right conditions under which you can press the volume down button and the power button at the same time to snap the screenshot. (The few shots in this post were attempted many many times).

Ice Cream Sandwich

The Galaxy Nexus’ biggest point is Ice Cream Sandwich. Clearly the folks at Google have been working on this for some time and it feels for the most part pretty slick. A huge step up from Gingerbread. (I know this because I don’t swear at my phone every other hour).

While ICS is awesome, it is no IOS5. Apple’s operating system is clearly a more refined, consistant and polished product.

However in saying that, there are definitly some points that I would love Apple to steal from Android. The biggest one is Widgets.

Android’s widgets have always impressed me. These widgets serve a varitey of functions eg: on screen updating of news, weather, features in apps, or access to phone settings. And it is something that I use often and really depend on when using my Android devices. And I really, really miss when I come back to my iOS devices. 

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Apple - I would settle for just this one widget
One of the biggest problems that Android has had is inconsistancy across apps. ICS is no different with the most glaring example of the menu “button”. As shown below it is in different locations on different apps. This drives me insane! 
Another thing that my Galaxy Nexus loves to do is just randomly reboot. The phone will be sitting on my desk doing nothing and then all of a sudden the opening splash sequence begins and my phone is out of action for the reboot process. Seriously annoying and seriously frustrating.
The biggest thing that drives me nuts is the screen rotation. This breaks down into several points. On my iPhone if am watching a video and I want to rotate the screen (to either landscape or portrait) I double tap the home button, up pop the controls, hit the unlock screen orientation, go back to the video and rotate the screen, the video continues through the whole process!!

On my Android devices I have to quit the video, go to settings ➛ display ➛ turn auto rotation on return to the video and then I can rotate the screen. What makes it even worse, the video stops while the screen rotates. I have now PURCHASED a widget which gives me faster access to the screen settings cutting out a few of the steps, but I still need to quit the video, hit the widget, return to video and experience the pause while the phone catches up.

 

Apps

Just a quick note on Android Apps. I really dislike the marketplace. I hate that it shows me apps that I cannot access or purchase based on my location. (Netflix and Google Current being the two that came to the fore these past weeks). On my iPhone I just went to my iTunes account and downloaded them; no such joy for Android. The other thing I have noticed is that for the large part iOS apps (even from the same developer) feel more polished and thought about. Android apps feel rushed and rough or just incomplete. There are of course exceptions, but on the whole that’s how it feels.

So should you buy the Galaxy Nexus?

I would strongly encourage you towards the iPhone. It is clearly the better phone with a better experience. However if you hate Apple, or what a monster screen and live in the Googleverse then the Galaxy Nexus is a pretty neat bit of kit.

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Scrapping $1 coins to save money? huh?

This morning an article bubbled up to the top of my RSS reader. The article, from the team at Planet Money,  reports that the US Government plans to scrap their $1 coin, citing cost savings of $50 million a year for doing so.
the White House said it will end the program. A small number of dollar coins will continue to be minted for collectors, but the coins will no longer be put into circulation. The shift will save an estimated $50 million a year.

That may seem all well and wonderful. The US taxpayer should be happy. But if cost savings were really the guiding principle at hand then surely the scrapping to the $1 bill would be more beneficial.

As Coin News reported Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona
By making this transition from a dollar bill to a dollar coin, the U.S. will save $184 million a year and nearly $6 billion over 30 years.

I don’t know in what universe $50 million is greater than $184 million but it seems to be one the US Government likes to work in.

But if the government truly wanted to save money (when it comes to currency) they could scrap pennies and nickels.
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I would propose a currency system
Coins
10c 20c 50c $1 $5

Notes
$10 $20 $50 $100
Barak Obama came to power on a platform of change, isn’t it time the US took up the challenge and introduced new change.

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