Sunday, 31 March 2013

University Boat Race 2013

No halted by swimmers! Oxford won.

Both crews boasted Olympians and returning Blues. Oxford's Constantine Louloudis won Bronze in the GB VIII at London 2012 while in front of him at stroke was another man from the same Olympic final, Malcolm Howard, he won a silver in that one but a Gold in the same event four years earlier. Cambridge's GB Olympian and President George Nash boasted a Bronze from 2012 while crew mate Milan Bruncivik, the first Czech to race in a Blue Boat rowed at the last two Games.

Oxford won
Both crews earned themselves warnings from first time umpire Sir Matthew Pinsent as neither could make a decisive break and interweaving oars came very close to clashing. But Oxford kept solid, their calmness helping them to creep a little further ahead of their opposition.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Kazan Cathedral, Moscow

Kazan Cathedral, also known as the "Cathedral of Our Lady of Kazan", is a Russian Orthodox church located on the northeast corner of Red Square in Moscow, Russia. The current building is a reconstruction of the original church, which was destroyed at the direction of then General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, Joseph Stalin, in 1936.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

March 27, 1513

March 27, 1513 by paukrus
March 27, 1513, a photo by paukrus on Flickr.
500 years ago Juan Ponce de Leon becomes the first European definitely known to sight what is now the territory of the United States

Friday, 22 March 2013

Mount Redoubt

Mount Redoubt is an active stratovolcano in the Chigmit Mountains, part of volcanic Aleutian Range. It is famous for its powerful eruptions.

The volcano began erupting fours years ago, on March 22, 2009, and activity continued for several months. An ash cloud is hanging over the summit and the valley is covered in volcanic ash.

Mt. Redoubt on March 31, 2009

The Mat-Su Valley, Anchorage, Valdez and large portions of the Kenai Peninsula all received coatings of tephra. 

Wednesday, 20 March 2013


Equinox by paukrus
Equinox, a photo by paukrus on Flickr.
Today is the Equinox. 11:02 UTC, March 20, 2013

Tuesday, 19 March 2013


A Zeppola is an Italian pastry consisting of a deep-fried dough ball of varying size but typically about 4 inches (10 cm) in diameter. This doughnut or fritter is usually topped with powdered sugar, and may be filled with custard, jelly, cannoli-style pastry cream or a butter-and-honey mixture.


Zeppola is typical of Italian cuisine, especially that of Roma and Napoli. They are also served in Sicily, Sardinia, on the island of Malta, and in Italian-American communities in the United States.

It is traditionally consumed during Saint Joseph's Day celebrated every March 19, when the pastries are sold on many streets and sometimes presented as gifts.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

The Deepest Blue Hole

Dean's Blue Hole is the world's deepest known blue hole with seawater. It plunges 202 metres (663 ft) in a bay west of Clarence Town on Long Island, Bahamas.

Dean's Blue Hole

This Blue Hole is roughly circular at the surface, with a diameter ranging from 25 to 35 metres (82–115 ft). After descending 20 metres (66 ft), the hole widens considerably into a cavern with a diameter of 100 metres (330 ft).

Some water-filled sinkholes are deeper than Dean's Blue Hole, Zacatón in Mexico (335 metres (1,099 ft)) and Pozzo del Merro in Italy (392 metres (1,286 ft)) among them. Dean's Blue Hole though is the deepest known sinkhole with entrance below the sea level.

What an excellent place! But very dangerous.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

Falkland referendum

Falklands vote 98.8% Yes!

On a turnout of 92%, 99.8% voted overwhelmingly to remain a British territory, with only three votes against. Had the islanders rejected the continuation of their current status, a second referendum on possible alternatives would have been held.

Falklands: penguins and sheeps

Brad Smith, the leader of the international observer group, announced that the referendum was free and fair and executed in accordance with international standards and international laws.

David Cameron said Argentina should respect vote.

PS. Who were the three Falkland Islanders who voted NO?

Monday, 11 March 2013

Mugimaki Flycatcher

The Mugimaki Flycatcher (Ficedula mugimaki) is a small bird from Asia in the Old World flycatcher family.

Mugimaki Flycatcher in Khao Yai National Park. Credit: JJ Harrison (CC-BY-SA)

Found in forests and woodlands, the birds migrate between their breeding grounds in Siberia and North-East China and their wintering grounds in South East Asia.  

Saturday, 9 March 2013

In amplexus

Two common toads (Bufo bufo) in amplexus, a form of pseudocopulation found in amphibians and limulids.

A male common toad grasps a female with his front legs as part of the mating process. Common toads stay in amplexus for several days. As the female lays a long, double string of small black eggs, the male fertilises them with his sperm; the gelatinous egg strings, which may contain 3000 to 6000 eggs and be 3 to 4.5 metres (10 to 15 ft) in length, are later tangled in plant stalks.

Two Bufo bufo in amplexus. Credit: Bernie Kohl

The common toad  is one of the many amphibians known for its amplexus as part of the mating process. The larger female toad often has to carry the male for days. From head to abdomen the female in the picture is about 95 mm long – the male only 65 mm.