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Zyra's Circular Newsletter (Issue90)

Here's an example of the kind of thing you'll receive if you sign up to Zyra's Circular List. These messages are sent out every few weeks. This particular issue of the Circular was notable in having a dramatic picture of a humming bird on it.

2006/03/25 18:39 Publication of Issue 90 of www.zyra.org.ukHow about that?


There are many new odd things at this site on Issue90, with plenty to see and to come back to, and the Circular newsletter is also adorned with photographs of wildlife and scenery helping to make it look interesting as well as being interesting.

More about how the photos were taken later, but first: In this issue: a shareware invention for the aviation industry, the return of the Virgin Megastore, notes on aluminium metal, writing your own family history, a large consignment of electronic junk for sale, healthy herbal remedies for various conditions, a famous towel company, how to deal with nuisance text messaging to a BT landline, various holidays and travel booking options, O2 hoax messages, snazzy baths, Hamleys the famous toyshop, the relative merits of hydrogen and helium for when the balloon goes up, and a somewhat candid review of the United Kingdom from an external perspective.

First, let's get the electronic junk out of the way. That is what I would like to do. It is a magnificently copious hoard of electrical and electronic STUFF which has been carefully amassed and accreted over many years, from the early radio ham period, and the heavy industrial bits time, and the mainframe/microcomputer era, and the age of electronic wizardry. Also included: Welding equipment, chemical experimentation materials not for the nervous, and an extraordinary range of bits and pieces of gambling machines. If you are within a reasonable travelling distance of the East of England it is a good excuse for a family day out, and you may have great fun poking over the stuff, if you like that sort of thing. Viewing by appointment only! More about this at www.zyra.org.uk/electrojunk.htm

Oh well, I had to mention it. The list at Zyra's Bazaar www.zyra.org.uk/zlist.htm has been expanded too. Time to haggle for a piece of history before it's too late!

Next, the game of Backgammon. People who feel they are unlucky at chess will find even more of a problem with backgammon, where skill and luck combine to produce the outcome. However, if you feel you have the skill despite the odds, or that you are lucky as well as clever, you might win some money. (Don't gamble more than you can afford to lose, regardless of how good you think you are at the game of backgammon). See www.zyra.net/play65.htm for more about this.Interesting wildlife

Meanwhile, for risk avoidance, the range of insurance companies is expanded again, now including some new links to More Than www.zyra.org.uk/morethan.htm , Liverpool Victoria car insurance www.zyra.org.uk/livervictcar.htm , Asda Annual travel insurance www.zyra.org.uk/asdaannualtrav.htm , and a variety of Motor Insurance for cars, vans, and motorbikes, starting at www.zyra.me.uk/motorinsurancar.htm etc. For travel insurance there is now a customer testimonial from personal experience at www.zyra.me.uk/insurego-testimo.htm !

A week or two ago, someone did a search on a search engine for "what is aluminium made of?" and got my page about aluminium. I checked this and found the actual answer to the question wasn't on the page, so I have now added an extra paragraph to the page www.zyra.org.uk/alu.htm explaining that aluminium isn't made of anything else really, apart from aluminium. Despite the word and its colloquial equivalents such as "ally" sounding similar to the word "alloy", it's largely misleading.Tropical scene

Welcome Back! Virgin Megastore resuming the use of the dedicated page www.zyra.me.uk/virmega.htm , and welcome back to Lloyds TSB Platinum credit card whose page gets reconnected at www.zyra.org.uk/lloyds-p.htm , and also there is the welcome return of Airfares Basement at www.zyra.net/airfarb.htm . These are all examples of companies featured at this site who have been absent for a while and are now back! As luck would have it, the UK National Lottery has resumed affiliate marketing and so now the page www.zyra.org.uk/lottery.htm is connected up again.

New contacts being added include Reuters news agency at www.zyra.net/reuters.htm , Hamleys the famous toy shop at www.zyra.org.uk/hamleys.htm , and Blockbuster video at www.zyra.org.uk/blockbuster.htm

If in doubt, it's worth looking up a place in the full alphabetical list www.zyra.me.uk/sindexf.htm , or if you prefer alphabetical lists to be the other way up with Z at the start (I wonder who would have thought that was a good idea) then there's a Z to A list at www.zyra.biz/sindexz.htm . For consistency, both lists have the same number of entries, which on the current issue is 10,718. Yes, there are more than ten thousand entries in the list.

Healthy herbal remedies are available from Herbal Health 2u, whose proprietor Skotti has provided this site with a copious amount of shpiel to describe his company and the beneficial qualities of the requisites available. You can eye this up for yourself at www.zyra.tv/herbalhealth2u.htm and also examine Skotti's autobiographical character review at www.zyra.net/skotti.htm and even order a luxury quality bathtub at www.zyra.org.uk/capitalspa.htm

Also good for your health: ASPRO. The proven anti-depressant effects of Aspro are there to be seen. However, I don't expect you to swallow this with a glass of water, as I'm talking about Aspro Holidays the travel company www.zyra.org.uk/asprohols.htm !

Another good name for having a good look around and broadening your horizons is Panorama. www.zyra.org.uk/panoramahols.htm

view out of a planeWhile I'm talking about the travel, here's a shareware invention which could improve the ability of airline passengers to cope with feelings of claustrophobia while cooped-up in an aircraft for a long haul flight. Because of space considerations and geometry, not everyone riding in a plane can see directly out of the windows, but it's increasingly common for an aircraft to have an individual in-flight entertainment screen for every passenger. So, here's the idea: Have a high-resolution live video camera looking out of the front of the plane and make the live cam videofeed available as an extra in-flight video channel on the screens! More about this at www.zyra.info/flightcam.htm . I don't know if airlines and aircraft manufacturers will "take up" the idea.

Another gadget notion suggested here involves possibilities for what can be done with a GPS watch. Although some gadgets can be confusing, you know where you are with a GPS! Global Positioning System tells you almost exactly what your current location is. It's all done with satellites which are up there in space. How do they stay up there rather than coming down? This is explained at www.zyra.net/orbit.htm , but meanwhile on the ground, the device can tell you your position because all the satellites know what time it is and where they all are, so by a process of calculation you can know where you are. (Don't worry - they don't know where you are! It's all done by you knowing where they are!). That's all very well, but if the machine is a watch as well, there are pieces of extra functionality which could be available, and which might be being missed out on by the manufacturers of the gadgets. If you're interested, there's more about this at www.zyra.net/gpswatch.htm , or if you'd like to see about getting a GPS watch now (rather than watching me telling the watchmakers what might be possible), Sport Tek have some at www.zyra.co.uk/sporttek.htm

It is amazing to see what is available already in the field of curious items and gadgets. Sometimes these are high tech microengineering precision machines, but sometimes they are just a neat idea. I noticed at Hawkin's Bazaar www.zyra.org.uk/hawkinsbazaar.htm there is (among many curious things) a specially curved hard plastic box designed to hold a banana! This is a simple neat idea. The banana doesn't get squashed when being carried about, in contrast to what can happen when everything is rattling around in one of those combined briefcase-lunchbox cases with the little combination locks.

On a more serious note (oh look, it's another dire warning coming up): Have you received a message claiming to be from O2? Your online bill from O2 is ready to be looked at, but there's something wrong? Well, don't be fooled by it! It's a hoax! See www.zyra.info/o2hoax.htm . In fact it's a scam similar to that in which you receive e-mail messages claiming to be from banks! See www.zyra.org.uk/bankhoax.htm . But at least you can see some of these problem messages stuffed and mounted and put on display on the pages here. Even though the list of bogus messages is far from complete, you can see the general things these messages have in common. For example, if the message really had been from the bank, don't you think they would know your name and not need to say "Dear customer..." ?!

Anyway, let's not go on about it. Instead, what about that photograph of a humming bird? How did I take that picture? Am I so dedicated to wildlife photography that I'll wait patiently and get a good close up of a critter? Not exactly. The technique is more analogous to catching a little burrowing sandworm on a beach by driving along in a land excavator and scooping up a ton of sand with the worm somewhere in it and then putting the whole lot through an underwater archaeologist's sieve.The earlier shutter catches the bird In this case it's a small bird some distance away and the camera captures huge chunks of data in a single shot. More about this camera at the page www.zyra.org.uk/eos350d.htm . Yes I know it's expensive, but the film doesn't cost anything and I have taken so many digital photos that it's already cheaper than film!

A few other items to mention on this new issue of the site: There's a good learning resource at ICS via www.zyra.org.uk/icslearn.htm . Autonational car breakdown recovery now has a dedicated page www.zyra.co.uk/autonationalrescue.htm . DIY essentials can be found through www.zyra.org.uk/diyessentials.htm . If you have guests visiting it's nice to have some half-decent towels, but if you want to go one better than that and have some first class towels, the name that comes to mind is Christy. www.zyra.org.uk/christy-home.htm

Something else which is mentioned as a helpful hint on this new issue is the matter of British Telecom's text messaging to home phones. Although it's nice to see new innovations, in the case of BT text messaging it's widely open to misuse. If you receive a silly message, the first time it's a bit of fun. If the same message is repeated it's a nuisance call. (It's like telling the same joke twice and expecting people to laugh). And if it's repeated again then it is harassment. I didn't even wait for the third call and all the fuss associated with getting the police involved. I just instructed the phone company to ban all incoming text messages. This is easy, and you may be interested to know how to do this. See www.btinternet.com/~zyra/bt-txt-ctrl.htm . There are also curfew options and methods of tracking down culprits. I have gone for the simple solution to save time.More interesting wildlife

Next, hydrogen gas! Looking at the atomic weights, hydrogen is four times lighter than helium, so it might be assumed to be much better at lifting a balloon into the sky than helium. Four times better, or at least twice as good? Curiously this is not so. The difference is only a few percent. There are sensible scientific reasons for this, and it's all explained without feeling the need to be too technical. See www.zyra.tv/h2-v-helium.htm (the point about the obvious fire risk is also mentioned!).

In the old days it was easy to buy a computer which you could use for computer programming, and the machines only cost a few hundred pounds. They came with a proper manual which would actually give you a chance of learning the noble art of computer programming.Tropical scene Not so easy these days as computers tend to be more expensive, with a poor quality operating system, no manual worth considering, and all the computer-power being wasted on things which someone else assumed you wanted to do rather than giving you the chance to program the machine for yourself and make it do what you command it to do. However, all's not lost. To get a programmable computer nowadays the best value technique is to get a PC with Linux. The C compiler is included free, and the manuals are included as data files. Places where you can get a Linux PC include those mentioned at the page www.zyra.org.uk/compshop.htm . Good Luck!

Now here's something you can do on any computer, even if it's not ideal for programming. Write your family history! This starts out as a blank text file and then you add more and more material as more memories come to mind. The technique is explained further at www.zyra.org.uk/family-file.htm

And finally in this Circular, the UK is reviewed! The advantages (and disadvantages) of living there are mentioned. As with many of the reviews at Zyra's website, both good and bad aspects are detailed! See www.zyra.org.uk/uk-good-and-bad.htm

There! Plenty to explore!

Have fun!plenty to explore

Kind Regards to ALL!



This message and any disclaimer attached to it are intended for recipients who might like to receive it including those who have specifically requested to receive it. If that's you then that's just great. The message need not be kept private, and if you find it nailed to a company notice-board you do not need to set fire to it with a cigarette lighter or otherwise try to keep it a secret. In particular you should not try to destroy copies of it on hard discs or in other people's in-trays . It is also best not torn into pieces and eaten. The views expressed in this message are not necessarily those of anyone in particular although some of us must have written it. Be it heralded that this website is not trying to pass itself off as any chemists shop nor vendor of hot water bottles. Best Before: Next Issue date. Although you may read it after then and probably not come to any harm. And besides, we don't know when that date will be, although publication is most likely to continue to consist of a new issue every few weeks.

Much of the wildlife in this message was photographed in the Dominican Republic. The page about the Dominican Republic has been created a while after the Circular was sent, and that's why it's not mentioned in the message.

To sign to the receive newsletters like this, here's the link: Zyra's Circular List. (Can't promise you a humming bird in every issue, but there's usually something curious and interesting!)

Time goes on and more stuff is added to the website. However, all of the old pages remain, thanks to having a decent deep linking policy