Monday, December 10, 2012

Windows 8: Windows Live Writer

As I’ve managed to install Windows 8 I am now using Live Writer as test of Blog update

Well it Published this test blog easily

So I will try it for now

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Joshua and the Conquest

It is clear that Joshua and the Israelites conquered Canaan. Some archaeologists want to minimise it
Here is an article discussing some aspects
Conquest Confusion at Yale

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wow Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association

From 1940 until 1960 I lived at Emlyn Gardens Shepherds Bush - these were Council flats and hence I wondered what on earth these were
Emlyn Leisure Gardens Association
when it came up in a Google alert

Behind the flats there used to be a railway on an embankment. It closed in 1965 and the land is now allotments.
Click to see map it ran between Emlyn Rd and Abinger 
and a lovely web on these old railways Hammersmith & Chiswick 

Really great to see what would have been a derelict turned into something useful for the community

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Remembering September 2001

Well 11 September already here in Sydney. 11 years ago our family was celebrating the birth of dear Jarvis. I had just spent a month in hospital after massive DVT attack.
And Emma rang in early morning and said turn on the television. Whilst we slept a disaster had happened in USA. I just could not believe what I saw on the news. I'd been in New York just a couple of years before and have friends over there and they were all touched by what was happening.
It still shakes me to see the videos of 9/11.

Today a friend sent me an email on The Search Dogs of 9/11 Today
Here are the photos on line
The Search-and-Rescue Dogs of 9/11 - Slide Show -

I do not know if those wonderful dogs are still around as this from Sep 2011 says Abby is The Last Remaining Search Dog | Dogster
"I love owner and handler Debra Tosch's description of how the dogs didn't realize they were being heroes. They were just having fun doing the job they knew made people happy."

It is a heart touching story and I had not heard of these dogs before. But what lovely servants to people.

Another aspect of that awful day

Saturday, September 08, 2012

King David - what has been found mentioning him

The question was which is the earliest proven Biblical person meaning an archaeologist has found a text that shows the Biblical person lived.

The Tel Dan Stele has

"7. riots and thousands of horsemen (or: horses). [I killed Jeho]ram son of [Ahab]

8. king of Israel, and [I] killed [Ahaz]iahu son of [Jehoram kin-]
9. g of the House of David. And I set [their towns into ruins and turned]"

So Ahab etc are given existence whereas it is argued that House of David does not mean there was real David. I think House of David is pretty clear evidence that these kings saw themselves descended from King David and we are talking some 150 years so that sounds like they would know what they were talking about.

Click for an excellent article on the Tel Dan, Mesha and Shoshenq inscriptions and the relationship to King David:

Of course without Ahab etc being mentioned then they would still be considered fictional characters.

So I will be following the Eilat Mazar work with interest on what she says is King David's palace

As of Oct 2007 no sign of any updates as above is from end 2005

Eilat Mazar - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

2012 Did I Find King David’s Palace? – Biblical Archaeology Society

see also David Rohl - books and websites on his NEW Chronology

and some stuff on the Temple Mount as of October 2007

'Western Wall was never part of temple' The very extreme Muslim claim by Mufti and also said to have been held by Arafat| Jerusalem Post

And then actual traces of First Temple found

WorldNetDaily: Claim: Israel covering up Temple Mount destruction

Finds on Temple Mount from First Temple - Jewish World - Israel News - Arutz Sheva
including a contrary to the Mufti's claim
Moslem claims to the Temple Mount, on the other hand, have been debunked even by other Moslems. A commentator for the official Egyptian government weekly, of all places, has written that the entire Moslem claim on Jerusalem and the El-Aksa mosque is based on a mistaken reading of one chapter of the Quran. Ahmed Mahmad Oufa wrote that the verse that mentions a night journey by Muhammed to a mosque has nothing to do with Jerusalem, as is generally claimed, but with a mosque near the holy Moslem city of Medina.

November 2007 The Thinkers: The Bible and history of Israel shape a life
They have a Hebrew stone wall back to Solomon time.

October 2008
Find of Ancient City Could Alter Notions of Biblical David -

KHIRBET QEIYAFA, Israel — Overlooking the verdant Valley of Elah, where the Bible says David toppled Goliath, archaeologists are unearthing a 3,000-year-old fortified city that could reshape views of the period when David ruled over the Israelites. Five lines on pottery uncovered here appear to be the oldest Hebrew text ever found and are likely to have a major impact on knowledge about the history of literacy and alphabet development.
..............But the archaeological record of that kingdom (David and Solomon) is exceedingly sparse — in fact almost nonexistent — and a number of scholars today argue that the kingdom was largely a myth created some centuries later. A great power, they note, would have left traces of cities and activity, and been mentioned by those around it. Yet in this area nothing like that has turned up — at least until now.

A good article on the site Middle East

Did David and Solomon Exist? - very good analysis of current knowledge and comments of recent archaeology

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Farewell: Max Bygraves dies aged 89

British entertainer Max Bygraves dies aged 89 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Max was indeed one of the greats of British show business. Always there at big events. And a truly lovely man. Good to know he found Australia a good place to live

Friday, August 31, 2012

Video Software and Windows 7

With Windows 7 I have installed Windows Essentials - Download Windows Live Essentials
This includes Windows DVD Maker - which sort of does a job of burning a DVD from a limited range of video formats.
Like it will not do handle MP4 - so essentially its Microsoft formats avi and wmv.
Also it only burns direct to DVD - I could not see how to create an ISO so I could burn extra copies later

So I've installed  DVD Flick | Free Audio & Video software downloads at
Similar features to Windows DVD Maker but you can set to burn ISO and it handles a range of formats including MP4

ISO files I would then burn with IMGBURN - which I really like for many uses - verify disks - create Music CD by setting up a CUE file and then ISO if you want several

I will keep documenting how I find Windows 7

I did try to convert MP4 to AVI using Format Factory - Download
but then realised I still could not create an ISO
and I want to do several of my video collection disk

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Iran - Ahmadinejad - Nukes

I wrote this in 2007 and I am just updating today  18 Aug 2012 with his diatribe Israel a cancerous tumour: Ahmadinejad | SBS World News

Why Ahmadinejad wanted to speak at Columbia. - By Anne Applebaum - Slate Magazine

This morning Bill O’Reilly | The O’Reilly Factor -
was complaining about Columbia having Ahmadinejad there and even had a Body Language expert saying Ahmadinejad was licking his lips to look dominant and O'Reilly raved about him sneering.

I like the Slate comments and their closing has it right:-
"Instead of debating freedom of speech in Iran, here we are once again talking about freedom of speech in America, a subject we know a lot more about. Which is exactly what Ahmadinejad wanted."

Next Day Iran's President upsets New York - World -

Bloggers debate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's visit to Columbia University. - By Morgan Smith - Slate Magazine
starts with what I saw on the news and when the audience laughed at him:
"The Iranian president got chuckles for remarking that, "in Iran we don't have homosexuals like in your country. In Iran we do not have this phenomenon. I do not know who has told you we have it." He also said that "we are friends of the Jews.""

I heard him also retract on his denial of the holocaust with some remarks like "well if it did happen then what is important is that it is does not give an excuse to treat Palestinians the way they do". So we are back to the "who started the violence" question. I still find Palestinian behaviour bordering on insanity. Why when peace negotiations are happening start an intifada?

and more on Iran and what Ahmadinejad being confused Transsexuals tolerated - smh

If he comes out with such obvious nonsense can we believe his 60 minutes comments re no nukes no war etc.
and more on that - BTW only Admadinejad thinks it is over
Issue of nuclear Iran over, leader tells UN - World -

See also Ron's "reviews" The Apocalypse of Ahmadinejad

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

News: Scary and a change needed - Colorado gun sales soar after shooting

Colorado gun sales 'soar after shooting' | SBS World News

The shotgun I saw on TV looked like this one and as far as I am concerned no way  private citizens need weapons like that.
or AR15 rifles
or Glock pistols
all of which the shooter bought legally.
and how did he get the tear gas?

Personally I have used various weapons I served in  Cadet force at school and then National service in RAF. See Ron's Blog: Guns and Rifles for comments on some weapons.

This Australian view mentions our Port Arthur massacre and how our PM John Howard changed our gun laws. Having the courage to defeat law of the gun | Daily Telegraph Miranda Devine Blog
We still have shootings - but the amount of people killed reduced considerably following the new laws in 1996. Worst nowadays we have driveby shootings in Sydney. Our police and Customs are trying to find out how the weapons were imported and a lot have been seized.

Frankly America you need to change your gun laws Charlton Heston when leading the NRA was wrong .

I know USA history is different to UK and Australia. UK had the civil war in 1600s but it took a lot of training for the Parliament side to develop a professional army. And in the end the Cromwell government failed and the real revolution happened in 1688 but without violent action.
Whereas USA had violent frontiers and weapons were needed to defend homes. Also your citizens were able to arm when political events brought war with George III. Your civil war was about soldiers taking sides and not really private people taking up arms.But all these needs are historic.
Nowadays why are such ghastly weapons required by citizens? Why should a private person have a licence for a concealed weapon.
Armies have such powerful weapons that it is really impossible for the people to stage a violent revolt. Such things are achieved by politics. Tunisia is a good example of how to have a revolt. Libya and Syria had violent ones and are a mess.

Have you read The Weapon Shops of Isher - by AE Voigt 
I never saw this book as in praise of guns - after all weapons that are only for self defence are pure science fiction - guns kill.  

However I understand a change is difficult as an enormous retail and production industry is involved.  BUT something has to be done else this kind of killings will continue.

Update: Obama vows gun checks after Colorado shootings | SBS World News
I have to agree with him but of course he doesn't mean just AK47s
"But I also believe that a lot of gun owners would agree that AK-47s belong in the hands of soldiers, not in the hands of criminals -- that they belong on the battlefield of war, not on the streets of our cities," Obama  said.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

Farewell: Ray Bradbury

Author Ray Bradbury dead at 91 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
To me the Science Fiction writer par excellence.
I utterly agree with his grandson
 "The world has lost one of the best writers it's ever known, and one of the dearest men to my heart. RIP Ray Bradbury (Ol' Gramps)," his grandson Danny Karapetian said on Twitter.

A tribute Ray Bradbury: A Legacy Remembered  and reminded of Ray's story "The Veldt" a frightening story of Television and how it could become too realistic

Just 3 years I started this blog post on his 88th birthday
Happy birthday Ray Bradbury! | Jacket Copy | Los Angeles Times

and I posted on the LA Times
Dear Ray, I sure pray that you had a blessed day. Your books have meant so much to me over what is it 55 something years. I found them when I lived in London and you are always the SF writer that comes first. Thank you.. Ron

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DR. BRADBURY!!! - Topic Powered by eve community

It was a pain to register using a strange Groupee system - would have good if they had OpenID
BUT I persevered as I wanted to Thank Ray for his great books

I suppose "Fahrenheit 451" is the famous one - just so true about the modern politically correct world - see Ray Bradbury
but his stories always had a human side - read Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
- life in a small town in 1920s.
Now I love wearing sneakers and back when I was started with Ray it was Dunlop Tennis shoes and One story is about Royal Crown Cream-Sponge Para Litefoot Tennis Shoes.
"How do they feel?"
The boy looked down at his feet deep in the rivers, in the fields of wheat, in the wind that already was rushing him out of town. He looked up at the old man, his eyes burning, his mouth moving, but no sound came out.
"Antelopes?" said the old man, looking from the boy's face to his shoes. "Gazelles?"

Every time I look for new sneakers Ray's story comes to mind. Just so funny the hype that certain brands have.....  

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Farewell: Patricia Medina dies at 92; born in Briton

An actress that was in so many Hollywood movies especially swashbuckling ones and if you are my vintage you would know her well. Patricia had a good touch for comedy.

Patricia Medina dies at 92; Briton was '50s Hollywood leading lady -

Married to Richard Greene the TV Robin Hood and then to the great Joseph Cotton.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Book: Not A Good Day To Die: The Untold Story Of Operation Anaconda

Currently in my reading pile.
very well written but a sad story.
I am at the day before the operation starts and things are looking bad.
Planned for 250 enemy in a village and looking like 700+ up on the high ground

Some reviews here
Not A Good Day To Die: The Untold Story Of Operation Anaconda - Books on Google Play
Not a Good Day to Die: The Untold Story of Operation Anaconda Book Reviews

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Afghanistan - Bring the Diggers Home

I started this post as "When will we get out" in March 2012 as events seem to be getting worse - at bottom an update 17 April
Today 18 April following on from General Alan Stretton,  I am now saying "Bring the Diggers Home"

The inside story of how a rogue soldier massacred 16 Afghans |

Why was this man serving there - with his war record he should have been placed in some safe place at home. 

Why are we still in Afghanistan?  Invading Iraq before ensuring stability for the Afghans was a mistake. Now what are we trying to achieve? Obama has plan to pull out by 2014. What will change in two years?

Britain has fought 4 wars in Afghanistan. 1830s 1870s 1919 and now.   Last week more British soldiers killed. Australians are trying to help the people but are still involved in fire fights etc....

 15 March 2012 We will complete Afghan mission: Obama : World News Australia on SBS
Still 2014 - note warning to Iran

 Karzai slams US after shooting suspect flown abroad : World News Australia on SBS
   "This is by all means the end of the rope here," added Karzai

All that is happening is the people are getting more and upset - civilians still being killed - then that ghastly video of disrespect to dead enemy - the Koran burning - has there been a rational explanation. And now this poor traumatised man allowed to have weapons.
March 21 a very disturbing article Accused soldier has 'no memory' of Afghan massacre |

A good article
Inevitable injustices in unjust war - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Now 17 April  Diggers tipped to be in Afghanistan after 2014 - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) following last nights Four Corners with so many experts saying nothing being achieved. Including an Australia general who commanded our troops in 2010 and still worrying. Our War/Defence Minister Stephen Smith spoke well on achievements in last 18 months and talking about the success of Afghan security forces in Afghan officials blame attacks on Haqqani | SBS World News - the attackers all seem to have been killed. Note they were the attackers and they are said to from a 10,000 strong group called Haqqani. Karzai says NATO intel failed BUT is there no Afghan intel?

And now today we hear this promise Gillard to bring troops home early - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) BUT some will stay
PM announces early Afghan withdrawal | SBS World News - vague as anything 
In the meantime
Hundreds of prisoners at large after Pakistan jailbreak - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

And now 18 April 2012
 Australian general says Afghan deaths in vain - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Four Corners had General Cantwell and now today it General Alan Stretton
"I support retired General (John) Cantwell who questions whether the Australian mission in Afghanistan has been worth the loss of Australian lives."

April 18 it gets worse Barack Obama Condemns Soldiers In Afghan Body Parts Photos

and so it gets worse - wanton killing of civilians - burning Koran and now this gruesome trophy business.

Over and out: Gillard's surprising Afghan war speech - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) ok he is a Green but most of his article is sound

 Parliament - Bring the Diggers Home

Friday, April 06, 2012

Ron Lankshear's Faith Page

Thank God it's Good Friday
I don't know where you are in your thoughts about God
Perhaps try a prayer today something that seems meaningful to you
Or even just something like "Dear Jesus, please show me you are real"
Please visit
Ron Lankshear's Faith Page

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

SCAMS: Caveat emptor or rather Seller Beware

If you are selling a car well anything expensive via ads watch this scam.

A friend arrived today asking about a buyer for a car wanting to pay through Paypal - I said No way it will cost you $200 or so in Paypal fees. Tell him to send to bank account. He was chatting via SMS with this buyer.
The buyer said he would transfer the money from the Royal Bank. Funny the only Royal I know is in Canada.  It was all strange my friend said the guy has not seen the car as yet.

Next seller asked for email address. Emails arrived saying his agent was in UK and transfer fees were $1500 to be sent via Western Union.
And also there were notes appearing to come from Royal Bank in Canada saying money Plus the $1500 fees had been transferred but was on hold until the fees were paid. Sounding like once the fee was paid the money including the fees would be deposited.

Then SMS started to arrive from the buyer asking when fees would be paid so money could be released.
I asked for the phone number and it had a prefix of 1646 which is New York. So my friend stopped SMS as must be costing to SMS to USA.

Then my friend realised this was a different buyer to the one who had spoken to the night before. And he phoned this real buyer..

So this is a Scam like "you've won the lottery". Except someone is scanning Aussie for sale notices and contacting by SMS or Email offering to pay the full price but inventing this agent story and trying to extract this rip off fee.

So this was real scam not just directed at a list of emails but directly at a person. Some people might be taken in as there was a real push to pay the fee to release the funds.

I advised my friend to perhaps contact the AFP see Internet fraud and scams - Australian Federal Police

Watch yourselves friends

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Ridiuclous use of Similies and Minister moves to stamp out Customs corruption

28 March 2012 saw this interview on ABC Breakfast - Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare was there because of a major arrest of  drug runners in co-operation between AFP and SE Asia Police.
He then went on to talk about the Asylum boats and wanted to push "send them back to Malaysia if only Tony Abbott would allow it"
He compared current effort in trying to stop the boats as like trying to stop water out of a garden hose by putting your finger over the hole. He said "we should do is send the boats to Malaysia to turn the tap off". This is utterly confused logic. It is like pouring the hose into a bucket and taking the bucket back to the water tank so it all pours through again.
The reporter was obviously enjoying the discussion as he then said "what is being done to turn this tap off?
and hence the story
Minister moves to stamp out Customs corruption - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

I am very sad to hear  of this corruption as in UK I was an Officer of C&E

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Historian uncovers Australia's censored books and my time in HM Customs

I was only discussing when I was a UK Officer of Customs and Excise yesterday and censorship and then today
Historian uncovers Australia's censored books - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

Note article mentions Children's comics. Well I remember seizing comics under the 1953 Children's Harmful publications Act. These were Horror Comics. Even nowadays Horror Films are X rated some are banned and these comics of ghastly content were in a format that appeared to a kid's comic. No question they should be banned..... What I had was a shipment of samples and when I seized them the importer said he was only bringing them in to see if he would publish. I said that was the point and why I was seizing them...

I did disagree with a fellow officer who had to inspect a suitcase coming in as freight and wanted to seize a man's photo album as he had some very personal photos of himself. I didn't think this was covered by the intent of any law...

Then some other officers at London Airport wanted to seize some Harold Robbins book "Carpet Baggers?". We were at the newspaper stand at lunch time and there was same book on sale....

PS I wonder if the ban on books from certain Paris publishing houses is still in force

Friday, March 23, 2012

Farewell?: Dame Edna

Dame Edna Everage, announced her impending retirement from live - or what she calls ''flesh and blood'' - theatre.
Not your average Edna

Amazingly Edna has been "''To be the most loved woman - I won't say in the world" since 1955....
Ah the trick was not to be arrive late at his/her show as you'd be up the front and have words and gladdies thrown at you....
Fortunately Sir Les seems to have retired BUT I do miss Sandy Stone....

The LAST show may appear somewhere near you anytime in this decade

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Blogger: The 'pencil' icon for editing is missing

Google high-handed ness again.
Last year I was using Google Reader but then they changed the interface and it became unusable so I switched to Feed Demon
Now they have added a country specific address to blogger so that access my blog and you get redirected to - they have added .au - if a Blogger was in UK then it .uk etc
I suppose they will keep the Re-direct in place so I hope all the places on which I put my blog address will not fail to find it.

In meantime there at [IMPORT] The 'pencil' icon for editing is missing and so is gadget quick editing tools - Google Groups folk are discussing what to do and a Google person did acknowledge but as yet they have fixed the edit tool problem...

Anyhow I've just bookmarked the Edit page so its the long way round when I want to fix a page....

Next blog probably Wordpress

Today on the Message forum a guy in Canada posted his URL and I clicked it came up with AU at the end - he is in CA not AU
 It seems it is deliberate
Why does my blog redirect to a country-specific URL? (ccTLD) - Blogger Help
which now means when you see AU at end of URL it might not mean site is by someone in Australia just that google thinks it OK for Australia....

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gillard agrees Carbon Tax will cause a Tax direct on families

The day started off with

Carbon tax may be unconstitutional: Abbott : World News Australia on SBS

Then I watched question time
Member for Ryan: Can PM advise why school children on buses will pay carbon tax and children in their parents cars will not

PM: No No The tax is not direct - we have computed that into the income tax cuts so parents will be reimbursed

Alas PM you made the point yourself - the parents with cars will get the tax cut so will the parents whose kids travel on the buses but they will have to use the cut to pay the fare increase ie the Carbon Tax whereas the car drivers will be able to use the cuts to buy whatever they want...... a holiday

And of course even that is based on the computation work that increases will be offset by the income tax cuts.. How long before the carbon price means everyone pays....

of course to me the only point of a carbon tax is to force people out of the bad energy BUT INTO WHAT?

Do something about global warming and stop playing around with this silly tax

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Domesticated foxes in Siberia:

A while ago saw a docoon why dog behaviour and it included a coverage of this work with Silver Foxes. One fox bred appropriately was as friendly as any dog. Another bred the old way was still a Wild animal - tried to get the zoologist through the cage bars....

Domesticated foxes in Siberia: An experiment in peril. - Slate Magazine

Friday, March 09, 2012

African Despots - Campaign To Make African Despot Famous..or Infamous

My prayer for Africa is that Goodness and Mercy will triumph
March 2012 was first time  I had heard of Kony
Kony 2012 | Campaign To Make African Despot Famous... |
To me Joseph Kony should be infamous

Then my cousin invited me to a Facebook group Kony 2012 New Zealand
and now a resource page  Kony 2012 - Urban Opine » Urban Opine

And same day this was on SMH
Child in Kony 2012 defends film

12 March 2012 Some of the conflicting opinions Good warlords, bad warlords and the #kony2012 campaign - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

 Next Day Ugandans say Kony film is 'misleading', 'too late' | 
 They says that was Uganda 6 years ago and it is different now and people should help them with their businesses. The Point as I understand it is that Kony is still out there somewhere and people need to see justice happen.and followed by
Kony 2012 director answers critics of video - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

12 March 2012 Some of the conflicting opinions Good warlords, bad warlords and the #kony2012 campaign - The Drum Opinion (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Comments about nobody had heard of Kony last week and now all this fuss. Well that is the point
Like 12 March 2012 some good justice announced Lubanga guilty of using child soldiers
Who knew of Lubanga - these bad guys are creeping under the radar - they need to be denounced and arrested and tried

 George Clooney ‘Surprised’ By Success of Kony 2012 Video - ABC News
and next day George Clooney arrested at Sudan protest -   Note also the people arrested with him - the World has to do something about these African Warlords

 'Tasteless': backlash over Kony campaigner's meltdown - looks after he had trauma with all the backlash

 Zimbabweans face jail for Mubarak overthrow talk - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
Just check that talking about Egypt means overthrowing their own beloved leader.....