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Welcome to the world of the Vincent D'Onofrio obsessed - and a bit of real life thrown in.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

Sorry, Gorillas

Much as I love gadgets (and I love them far more than I am able to use them) I have resisted replacing my mobile phone. It's at least 3 or 4 years old, and I like it a lot.

Sadly, it has been acting up lately. When my car windscreen was cracked in February, it cut out while I was on the phone to my insurance broker, telling me to insert a SIM card. I took it into the shop and a young man removed the SIM and gave the whole shebang a good blow. It seemed OK, but I use it very little, and could not be sure it would stand the test of time.

So when I witnessed a road accident on the way home from the Zoo yesterday, and wanted to call an ambulance for the injured young woman, I was not surprised - though I was upset - when the phone refused to work.

Today I have chosen a new model, but because it is by a new maker, my memory card won't fit, and unfortunately, I did not check that all my contact info was on the SIM before I left the old phone behind to be recycled. So there is a gap in my knowledge of numbers that, to my amazement, only existed on my mobile phone.

But why was I so reluctant to buy a new phone? Well, one of the vital ingredients of a mobile phone is contributing to the march towards extinction of the Western Lowland Gorilla. Here's an old article about the problems caused by the mining of this substance:

What Is Coltan ?
Coltan, short for Columbite-tantalite is a metallic ore comprising Niobium and Tantalum, found mainly in the eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo (formally Zaire). When refined, coltan becomes a heat resistant powder, metallic tantalum which has unique properties for storing electrical charge. Of the 525 tons of tantalum used in the USA in 1998, 60% was used in tantalum capacitors, with a predicted growth rate of 14% per annum (from Uganda Gold Mining Ltd web site).
It is therefore a vital component in the capacitors that control current flow in cell phone circuit boards.

Coltan and Gorillas
The main area where Coltan is mined, also contains the Kahuzi Biega National Park, home of the Mountain Gorilla. In Kahuzi Biega National Park the gorilla population has been cut nearly in half, from 258 to 130 as the ground is cleared to make mining easier. Not only has this reduced the available food for the Gorillas, the poverty caused by the displacement of the local populations by the miners has lead to Gorillas being killed and their meat being sold as "bush meat" to the miners and rebel armies that control the area. Within the Dem. Rep. of Congo as a whole, the U.N. Environment Program has reported that the number of eastern lowland gorillas in eight Dem. Rep. of Congo national parks has declined by 90% over the past 5 years, and only 3,000 now remain.
Due to the damage caused to the Gorilla population and their natural habitat, companies that use Coltan are now starting to demand that their Coltan only comes from legitimately mined sources and is not a byproduct of the war. American-based Kemet, the world's largest maker of tantalum capacitors, has asked its suppliers to certify that their coltan ore does not come from Dem. Rep. of Congo or from neighbouring countries. Such moves could lead to "Gorilla Safe " cellphones being marketed, much in the same way that Tuna meat is now sold as "Dolphin Safe".

I'm sure we all know just how "dolphin safe" tuna is nine years on, and the coltan used in our phones is just as un-gorilla-safe as it ever was, too.

So, folks, please don't go for a free yearly upgrade just because you can, and make sure you have your old phone recycled so that the materials that are being obtained at such a cost to the planet and its inhabitants can be used again and again.

Meanwhile, this is the little beauty I opted for.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I have my wallpaper picture of Vincent back, and the LOCI theme as my ringtone.
Now all I need is to bother to use the darn thing! I don't want my next call to be for an ambulance, though.

Gift Exchange

Bobby unpacks the gift I sent him.

Eames helps him write a thank you letter.

Then he puzzles over what to send me in return.

Every word is true!

Friday, May 07, 2010

Really Wild?

It was a few weeks since I'd managed to get to the zoo, so today I decided that, if it wasn't actually raining, I'd go along.

In the rainforest exhibit, one of the keepers
was hand-feeding the male sloth.

Considering those claws, he was amazingly dextrous.

What safer place could a duck choose
to raise her young than an enclosure in a zoological garden
in the middle of a royal park?
No foxes or other native predators...

...just a very interested male lion cub.
Yes, she's raising her babies in the lions' enclosure!
And a couple of weeks ago, a lion cub caught and killed a duck on the pond.

Morning After The Night Before

"I wore my shades today...

...because I had a rough night last night."

There are so many great pictures in this album, and look what I chose for you!
So here's a little (little?) something to make it up.

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Coming Soon

What will Bobby and Alex do now they have left Major Case? I've been wondering about this, and I'm sure I'm not alone in having some stories in my head about their futures - well Bobby's anyway.

I'm not a shipper, so my stories are Bobby-based. But I'm going to open a new blog soon where people will be able to publish their stories about Bobby and Alex, together or separately.

The opening story is under construction. Start creating now to include your story about Goren and Eames After Major Case.

Election Day

Today is the day we've been waiting for for so long. It's been politics for what seem like years now, relentlessly thrust in our faces. People have remained undecided up to the wire, and the polls are too close to call.

In the London Borough of Lewisham, as well as electing our MP and our local councillors, we also have an elected mayor (who costs us a fortune both in pay and in selling off our assets). The borough is divided into wards, and each ward elects 3 councillors. Unusually we have 3 Green Party councillors, with whom I have worked closely for the past 4 years. They have really worked hard on our behalf. But in a General Election, people often ignore the smaller parties, and with a high turnout they may be in danger.

Nevertheless, we are one of the top 3 Green Party targets for a Green MP. Here is our candidate Darren Johnson, who has been deeply involved in local politics - for Lewisham and for the London Assembly - for years:

He's with Ute Michel, one of the current councillors (and coincidentally they are holding a meter to measure the current you are using in your house). The managed to get some put into local libraries so that people could borrow them to keep track on their electricity consumption.
Darren phoned me up last night (along with many hundreds of other people, I would imagine) to make sure I was going to vote for him today. As I have a huge Green Party sign erected like a flag in my front garden, I was able to assure him that he didn't need to worry about my vote.
The polls close in two-and-a-half hours and then we just have to wait and see. I don't think the end can come quickly enough for our local policeman, Brian, who has been instructed to do a 7-hour stint outside the polling station at the end of my street "in case of trouble".
The polling station is in the car park of some old people's flats.

Truth and Lies

"Your ears are turning red, my mother told me what that means."

But this guy was telling the truth.


Really lying.

Lying again.

This lie's so big it surprises even Bobby.

I think she's telling the truth, though.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

Grooming Tips

"I was thinking of getting my teeth fixed."

"Did it. What do you think?"

Love 'em both ways, Bobby baby.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

End of another era - almost

Another member of the Redgrave clan has bitten the dust. First Vanessa's daughter, Natasha Richardson, after a skiing accident. Then Corin Redgrave died, just last month. Now Lynn, so soon after appearing with our Vincent.

She wasn't one of my favourite actors, but it's always sad to see a familiar face disappear so relatively young (just 67).

Who saw Thor?

There's a poll here:

It's asking which image of Thor people prefer, and VINCENT IS NOT WINNING!

Nip over, Vixens, and give him a boost, please.

Monday, May 03, 2010

The Five Senses






It's rather hard to illustrate some of the senses in pictures.
Any volunteers to demonstrate them on the lovely Bobby? Or on Vincent himself?
Form an orderly queue now, behind me.

Sunday, May 02, 2010


I've given up trying to visit your blogs for the time being, as getting there is taking ages, and when I do, I can't see any of your pictures.

I don't know if it's Blogger, or my internet connection - I imagine half the country is online at the moment, because this is a long holiday weekend and, typically, the rain is tipping down outside.

Too Fat To Fight

Apparently, 25% of young Americans are too obese to join the military (sounds like a good reason to get fat) and this news has made me wonder how a certain Marine recruit came to be drafted.

I suppose that's the point, though, when there's a draft, anyone will do, no matter how unfit, in both senses of the word.

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