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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Quiz Questions (12)

Here are four very mixed quiz questions just for fun! The picture above might help you with one of the answers.
1) Who was the ancient Greek goddess of Victory?
2) Who was the leader of the wolf pack in The Jungle Book?
3) Of which best-selling book is this the opening sentence?

Intelligent life on a planet comes of age when it first works out the reason for its own existence. If superior creatures from space ever visit earth, the first question they will ask, in order to assess the level of our civilization, is: "Have they discovered evolution yet?" 4) From which book was the name Starbuck taken and used by the coffee-shop chain?

Answers are now given in the comments!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Sonny Update (2)

Sonny has begun his course of chemotherapy and so far it has gone without a hitch. It is expected that he will begin to feel the bad effects in a few days but there is a possibility he could spend a few days at home starting on Christmas day.
The staff at Great Ormond Street continue to show a dedication beyond what one would have thought possible; he has a strong bond with many of the nursing staff and doctors and has a good understanding of what is happening to him.
The Supporting Sonny Through Lymphoma Group on Facebook now has approaching 300 members. Thanks to the bloggers who have joined. (By the way, a quick way to stop notifications coming as an email every time something is posted to the group is to click on 'Edit Settings' on the top right hand of the group page and take the tick out of the box which says 'Email notifications to...').
In the picture above Sonny is playing a guitar given to him by the Great Ormond Street charity. Last night four burly men from the London Fire Brigade came into the room with sacks of presents for him to choose from. He chose a Teddy Bear.
The family continue to be bowled over by the generosity shown to Sonny and to all of us.
May you have a peaceful and healthy Christmas, New Year and whatever else you may celebrate!

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Spotlight on a Website (3): Ted.com

TED Ideas Worth Spreading
ted.com is a free website that exists to spread knowledge by posting short talks from experts in all sorts of fields. The videos range from about three minutes to 20 minutes in length and are usually totally absorbing. I try to listen to at least one every day.
It might sound rather dull; if it does that's my fault because the range of topics is far-reaching and the speakers, always in front of a live audience, are at the peak of their field of expertise. Here are some I've watched recently:
  • Malcolm Gladwell: On Spaghetti Sauce. Recorded in 2004, business-based but well worth watching.
  • Seth Godin: Hilarious talk from 2006 called 'This Is Broken' 
  • Tim Birkhead: On the early birdwatchers. Suprisingly attention-grabbing.
  • Julia Sweeney: On letting go of God. Comedienne being deeply thought-provoking.
  • Tan Le: A headset that reads your brainwaves. 'nuff said?
Have a search and find your own favourites and let me know what you find at Ted.com

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Sonny Update (1)

Sonny asked me to paint him a picture so here it is. I copied it from a children's book but he loves it and it's in his hospital room. He has been feeling better these last couple of days but the chemotherapy starts in earnest next week and it will inevitably make him very unwell.
Today he met Mickey and Minnie!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Sonny


This is my five-year-old grandson, Sonny. He is one of the most delightful people I have ever met. He is kind, friendly, chatty, funny and very bright.
Sadly, he is currently in Great Ormond Street hospital in central London, one of the world's leading children's hospitals, having had a tumour removed and is now about to begin an agressive course of chemotherapy to defeat B-cell Lymphoma, a cancer of the blood.
Doctors are confident that he will make a full recovery but he faces a tough time ahead.
He is not expected to return to school for six months.
The most remarkable thing, to my mind is, the bravery of himself and his parents, my younger daughter Laura and son-in-law Lloyd. His Aunty Ruthie, my other daughter, gets over 70 responses to some of the update posts she puts on Facebook and she has started a Supporting Sonny through Lymphoma Group.
The huge network of support we have all received is overwhelming and I thank everone who has helped and sent good wishes.
I may be blogging a bit less in the short-term future.
We all love you Sonny!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Painting of the Month (12): December 2010, Banksy


laist.com
Who is 'Banksy'? Nobody knows. Well, obviously someone does but the general public don't. (Actually he is Robert Banks from Bristol). He is a British grafitti artist who has taken the form to a new level.
This picture, informally, known as 'Banksy's Maid' is a piece of trompe l'oeil ('trick the eye') painted on a London wall and sinced removed or you might prefer the term 'destroyed by the Authorities'.
His stuff is usually humorous and often bitingly political and always very skilled and expertly executed. But he is a bad boy because he uses public spaces - you generally don't see his work hanging in galleries.
He is a people's artist in the truest sense of the word.