4 July 2020

Why Bingo is a Social Game for Women


Gambling is supposed to be a fun activity enjoyed by everyone who can afford to spend a small amount for the thrills of the game. This is what bingo is all about and punters who have discovered this type of entertainment are not tempted to trade it for anything else. Unlike other forms of gambling, it remained the same fun and social game that encourages interactions and generates good vibes. This explains why it has retained its appeal after all these years and why women are so fond of it. Compared to men who are inclined to choose seriously competitive games, women are more balanced and relaxed when playing.

A match made in heaven
Land-based bingo parlors have lost much of their shine over the years, as Internet gambling became the dominant form of gaming. Having said this, there are still plenty of people who enjoy these charming places and women represent the vast majority of the audience. Many have transitioned to online bingo rooms that offer similar thrills in a more convenient fashion, as well as bonuses and special offers. The two communities might look different, but they are brought together by their love for the beautiful game.

Bingo is the perfect choice for anyone who seeks casual gaming and it is just as exciting at low and high stakes. Speaking of which, compared to other types of gambling, bingo is almost never played at nosebleed limits. This means that everyone can take part in the excitement and the risk of developing a gambling addiction is extremely low. It is also nearly impossible to find cases of people who lost a fortune playing bingo, which is extremely important when you take the games casually.

The Top online bingo sites took things to the next level and many provide their members with the opportunity of enjoying their favorite games for free. They supply them with virtual currency, which is automatically replenished whenever players run out. This can be used to buy tickets for free bingo tournaments and learn the game mechanics while having fun. Add to this the fact that occasional bingo freerolls are offered and you’ve got an accurate picture of why so many people have switched to Internet games.

Mobile bingo is the future
An important catalyst for the growth of online bingo was the arrival of smartphones and tablets capable of running the games smoothly. Modern devices are more than enough to enjoy bingo on the go without having to worry about technical glitches. Internet bingo rooms are optimized for handheld gadgets and all the important ones have games that can be played on mobile. There are even special bonuses and offers for those who make the transition from computers to smartphones.

Virtual reality games are just around the corner and bingo looks like the perfect candidate for this evolutionary step. Online bingo rooms are likely to embrace the new technology and provide their female audience with an even more exciting playground.


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21 June 2020

Dignity: The Statue America Needs Right Now

Ask anyone to name a famous American statue and the chances are they will reply with the Statue of Liberty.  A symbol of global enlightenment representing the freedom to live a life unhampered by oppression there was and still is irony there for those peoples who did not fall in to the innate and historical Euro-centricity of Lady Liberty’s promise.  So perhaps this monument in South Dakota will do something to redress this balance, at least in terms of statuary.

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Dignity – for that is her name – stands on a bluff near the Missouri River, arms outstretched and holding a star-quilted blanket, offering shelter to one and all who might seek her protection.  She is 50-feet high and is made from stainless steel – supported by a huge steel rod in her interior to protect her from the high winds which often whistle across the plains.

4 June 2020

Made in Britain: Superb Time-lapse


The chances are if you have seen a time-lapse recently on UK TV that it could well have been made by Chad Gordon Higgins.  This is a collection of some of the work he has done in and around Great Britain and it is quite stunning.  I have to say the Stonehenge section stands out but the shot of the artist completing her painting is probably my favorite part of this collection of sights that were all Made in Britain.
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The Dandelion - Whimsical World-Wide Weed

The humble dandelion. From your garden to almost the ends of the earth this small but conspicuous plant flourishes. Gardeners do not appreciate its presence, considering it a weed, even though its flowering usually indicates the beginning of the honey bee season and could be seen as a welcome sign. Its simplistic looking structure hides a few surprising secrets and its cultural resonance, especially in Europe is strong. Here is a short but sincere homage to one of the small wonders of our botanical world.

Let’s start with the names, both common and scientific. In English, dandelion is a corruption of the French. Originally it was called ‘dent de lion’ and the name came over in 1066 with a certain William and his Conquerors. It means ‘lion’s tooth’ and many people mistakenly believe it refers to the orange colored flower head, confusing the words beard and tooth.

3 June 2020

The King of the Island

Get your hankies out now, because this will quite probably bring a tear to your eye. I know it brought several to my own.

This beautifully made animated short tells the story of Gioannin, a small boy living in the Italian port of Genoa at the beginning of the twentieth century.

His father was lost at sea several years before and Gioannin is pitied by the men of the port and somewhat bullied by the children because he has no father.

The boy, having no concept of death, imagines his father washed up on some exotic island where, because of his size, strength and cunning he soon becomes king.

One day his mother receives news that her husband is returning and Gioannin’s expectations of his father reach a peak. Yet when they are finally reintroduced, his father is nothing like he expected or imagined. He is something even better.

The King of the Island was made by Italian animation company artFive. They produce everything from computer graphics and animations for commercials, visual effects, videogames, web, to events, TV series, books and magazines. Take a look at their excellent demoreel here.
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The Nictitating Membrane: The Third Eyelid

From the picture above you could easily imagine that the animal kingdom had suddenly been enveloped in its own zombie apocalypse.  Yet this is not a still from a forthcoming episode of The Squawking Dead. Thanks to high speed photography, these photographs capture the nictitating membrane in action. It is also known as the third eyelid, haw and the inner eyelid. It is drawn across the eye to protect and moisturize it while retaining visibility. The Ark in Space today has a feature on this extraordinary structure of the eye.

Image Credit Flickr User Simon
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Jan Chodkiewicz – The World’s Greatest Swordsman


Jan Chodkiewicz is often referred to as the world’s greatest swordsman – and perhaps it is in his blood.  The Gdansk based swordsman and sword maker is descended from the great knights, including Poland's most famous commander Jan Karol Chodkiewicz (1560-1621).  Yet even though the years of Communism in Poland saw the interruption of the family’s historic strings, Chodkiewicz continues in the traditions of his kinsfolk.

He also cuts quite a dash - the Polish film industry should take note - they have a ready-made action hero here: movie star looks and a world expert in sword fighting skills.

This short documentary was created by Michał Rytel-Przełomiec.
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Space Shuttle Concept Art of the 1960s and 1970s

The idea of a spacecraft returning from space to a horizontal landing had been around for decades before the first operational space shuttle flight in 1982. A proposal had been submitted to NACA (National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, NASA’s predecessor) in 1954, just eight years after the Second World War. That proposal would ultimately become the X-15 aircraft but classified studies in to the next generation of space transportation systems continued.

An important part of these studies was the production of concept art which could help senior military and political figures (as well as, later, the general public) to visualize the potential shape of things to come. Some of the concept art is remarkably prescient while others are more than a little off the mark. Now historical documents, the drawings for the space shuttle, created before the age of computer aided design, offer a fascinating insight in to how things may have been – as well as how they actually turned out.

17 May 2020

The History of the Tulip


The Himalayan mountain range was the original home of the tulip even though most of us associate the flower with the Netherlands.  How it got there makes for a fascinating story, from the courts of the Turkish dynasties to its Dutch arrival, this animation gives us the whole history.  That shouldn’t really be too much of a surprise as it was created especially for the Tulip Museum in Amsterdam by Stepahne Kaas, an independent Dutch maker of film, documentaries, short fiction, music videos, commercials and this.

When the tulip got there it was considered such a rare and interesting flower that it sparked something of a social frenzy which would eventually lead to the down fall of an entire economy (known as the tulip bubble).  It’s amazing to think that a single flower could be responsible for all of that, but watch the video and discover the truth for yourself!
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5 May 2020

We’ll Meet Again – Possibly the Best Lockdown Project Yet?


Filmed in the Garden Quarter district of the ancient city of Chester, this is a “socially distanced production” featuring some of the best World War II songs, snippets of each sung by one of the neighbors with “We’ll Meet Again” featuring strongly. It's a great concept, the wandering accordion player introducing each of the participants - the coronavirus may be causing us to keep our distance but there's always a way to keep calm and carry on when there is human creativity at play.

As a lockdown project, it’s something else. Plus, with the 75th anniversary of VE Day about to be celebrated this group effort, orchestrated by Matt Baker (who just happens to be a musical director, so, handy) is timely to say the least. It is very obvious, too, that a lot of fun was had in the making of this mini-masterpiece.

This is what Matt has to say about the project on his Facebook page.

"This is a tribute from our community to a past generation which came together in the face of adversity. The residents of this one small street in the Garden Quarter, Chester created, rehearsed, directed, choreographed, performed and filmed this little tribute. They were also incredibly careful to adhere to every social distancing restriction throughout each step of the process.

A very special thanks to the lovely neighbours of nearby streets who have had to endure listening to the rehearsals over the past couple of weeks. Thanks also to the people who stopped at a distance on their way to the shops to enable us to complete filming. Thanks to Paula Cain from Chester Costume House for the special delivery!"

It hasn’t been online long but has only garnered just over 20K hits at the time of writing – and this should have many times that number of views, really.

This video has an added resonance for me.  For the first 18 years of my life I called Chester home and my mother still lives just five minutes away from where this was filmed; in fact, she was born just around the corner in Garden Lane in 1940 – the very time that the songs featured here were so important to people all over the United Kingdom and beyond.  I used to walk past this little street every day on my way to school – and it’s lovely to see its residents coming together in this community project.  Someone pass me a handkerchief…

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15 April 2020

Hitler’s Hospital: The Eerie Remains of Beelitz Sanatorium

In the last years of the nineteenth century the population of Berlin was expanding rapidly. The attendant issues of housing large numbers of people in cramped conditions were not far behind.  By 1898 the German National Insurance Institute had a sanatorium built for the victims of tuberculosis.  Beelitz-Heilstätten (or the Beelitz Sanitorium) steadily grew and functioned for many decades, playing host to a number of infamous patients, including Adolf Hitler. Yet most of it is now abandoned.

Although just a short distance from the German capital, the Beelitzer forest was considered suitable for a sanatorium as the area enjoyed fresh air and countryside.  However when the First World War broke out in 1914 it was not long before it was requisitioned and converted to care for the massive casualties inflicted at the front.  In the later months of 1916 a young soldier called Adolf Hitler was sent there to recuperate from a thigh injury acquired during the Battle of the Somme.

The Bizarre Nest of the Central American Paper Wasp

Take a look at the photograph above.  Is it some strange kind of blooming plant?  Is it a fungal growth attached to a tree?  It is something else entirely.  This is the bizarre nest of the Central American Paper Wasp.  It is notable for one thing – an apparent lack of nest altogether.  Those pale yellow cigar-shaped objects? They are the wasps, huddle together in neat order, waiting for the evening to come. Our sibling site, the Ark in Space, has the story with lots of fascinating photographs.
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Casino Hawks: The Best Online Casinos for the Lockdown and Beyond

How is it going for you? Certainly, for me, the lockdown is giving but taking away at the same time. I miss personal contact with friends and family (those family members who do not live with me, that is). I also miss my work colleagues like crazy – something I didn’t think would happen. Yet they used to make me smile a lot more than I had previously considered – they gave me real ‘value for money’ in their own way – and metaphorically speaking of course. In terms of value, if you enjoy online casino games then you may want to consider becoming one of the casino hawks.

I will put this into context of my recent online purchasing experiences. I am a keen gardener and the lockdown has given me the opportunity to really put my patch in order. Local garden centres are closed but I have still been able to go online to purchase my seeds and bulbs. Now what I do is to figure out what I want – say allium bulbs for example – and then price them up on a website. Do I add them to my basket and proceed to the checkout? Hardly!

 I check a number of websites for the same bulbs and go with the one that provides me with the best value. It takes time but what I end up with is money in my pocket to spend elsewhere. What would be perfect, in this instance, is a website that provides me with that service – something that collates the best plant prices from across the web.

Why? That’s because although I am keen to get the best value for my money, this is all very time-consuming. I would much prefer it if someone did it for me!

This is exactly what happens with Casino Hawks. The guys there collate the best news, tips and reviews from the internet and put them all in the one place, so you don’t have to do the hard work – it’s all done for you. So, this increases the value of your “brass in pocket” as you can discover where the best bonuses are to be found (it’s all kept up to date on a daily basis) and save yourself money in the process.

The Casino Hawks are a bit fussy too – only the best UK casino bonuses, rewards and payouts make it on to their list – so this is where to go if you want something specifically tailored to you. Whether it is the latest online slots you are looking for, table games or live casino action, then the reviews on this website will help you to select the ones that will give you the best value for your money.

So, if you are looking for greater value, head over to Casino Hawks. I just wish they did a site for gardeners too!

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