Monday, 29 May 2017

DESKTOP 1399 - COFFEE

Help yourself to a virtual cappuccino!

This post is part of the Mosaic Monday meme,
and also part of the Macro Monday meme,
and also part of the Through my Lens meme,
and also part of the Seasons meme.

Friday, 26 May 2017

DESKTOP 1396 - MANDARINS

Mandarins are in season now in Melbourne, and nothing better than picking them from your own tree when they are at their ripest and juiciest!

This post is part of the Friday Photo Journal,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme,
and also part of the My Town Shootout meme.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

DESKTOP 1395 - ENGLISH DAISIES

Bellis perennis is a common European species of daisy, of the Asteraceae family, often considered the archetypal species of that name. Many related plants also share the name "daisy", so to distinguish this species from other daisies it is sometimes qualified as common daisy, lawn daisy or English daisy.

Historically, it has also been commonly known as bruisewort and occasionally woundwort (although the common name woundwort is now more closely associated with Stachys). Bellis perennis is native to western, central and northern Europe, but widely naturalised in most temperate regions including the Americas and Australasia.

B. perennis generally blooms from early to midsummer, although when grown under ideal conditions, they have a very long flowering season and will even produce a few flowers in the middle of mild winters. Numerous single- and double-flowered varieties are in cultivation, producing flat or spherical blooms in a range of sizes (1 cm to 6 cm) and colours (red, pink & white). They are generally grown from seed as biennial bedding plants. They can also be purchased as plugs in Spring.

The cultivar 'Tasso series' has gained the Royal Horticultural Society's Award of Garden Merit.This daisy may be used as a potherb. Young leaves can be eaten raw in salads or cooked, noting that the leaves become increasingly astringent with age. Flower buds and petals can be eaten raw in sandwiches, soups and salads. It is also used as a tea and as a vitamin supplement.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Friday Photo Journal.

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

DESKTOP 1393 - WHITE CLIFFS OF DOVER

The White Cliffs of Dover are cliffs that form part of the English coastline facing the Strait of Dover and France. The cliffs are part of the North Downs formation. The cliff face, which reaches up to 110 m, owes its striking appearance to its composition of chalk accented by streaks of black flint. The cliffs stretch along the coastline for 13 km, spreading east and west from the town of Dover in the county of Kent, an ancient and still important English port.

The cliffs have great symbolic value in Britain because they face towards continental Europe across the narrowest part of the English Channel, where invasions have historically threatened and against which the cliffs form a symbolic guard. The National Trust calls the cliffs "an icon of Britain", with "the white chalk face a symbol of home and war time defence." Because crossing at Dover was the primary route to the continent before the advent of air travel, the white line of cliffs also formed the first or last sight of Britain for travellers. In World War II, thousands of allied troops on the little ships in the Dunkirk evacuation saw the welcoming sight of the cliffs.

This post is part of the  Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

And one cannot forget the classic Vera Lynn song in this context:

Sunday, 21 May 2017

DESKTOP 1391 - CD SURFACE

You are looking at the surface of a music CD magnified about 400 times, a photomicrograph I took with a laser reflecting microscope.

The surface of a CD is made of a polycarbonate layer with moulded spiral tracks on the top. The data are stored on the CD as a series of minute grooves which are known as ‘pits’ encoded on these spiral tracks. The areas between the ‘pits’ are known as ‘lands’. In the photo, the ‘lands’ are the dark blue-black colour and the ‘pits’ are the various lighter colours, with red representing the deepest area of the ‘pits’.

These pits and lands do not represent the 1s and 0s, rather each change from pit to land or land to pit is interpreted as 0 while no change is read as 1. When you play the CD, the Read Laser bounces the light beams (not capable to modify the surface of CD) on the surface and detects the pits and lands. Each change between pit to land or vice versa is translated as zero and no change (pit to pit or land to land) is translated as one. These binary values form the actual data.

In case you are wondering, the CD is Beethoven's Symphony No 5 in C minor, op 67...

This post is part of the My Sunday Best meme,
and also part of the My Sunday Photo meme,
and also part of the Photo Sunday meme.

Thursday, 18 May 2017

DESKTOP 1388 - MONTBRETIA

Montbretias belong in the the Iridaceae family of bulbs, the Crocosmias having originated in Southern Africa. Montbretia is a hardy member of the Crocosmia group and is very easy to grow. Crocosmia × crocosmiiflora (Montbretia) is a garden hybrid of C. aurea and C. pottsii, first bred by Victor Lemoine in 1880. The variety illustrated here is ‘His Majesty’.

The orange flowers are trumpet shaped and appear alternately along the stems. The leaves are long and narrow.This is one of the few summer flowers in our garden that make a pretty display and can grow wildly. Some people call this a "wild gladiolus", but the wild gladiolus is pinkish in colour.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme,
and also part of the Weekend Green meme,
and also part of the Orange you Glad It's Friday meme.

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

DESKTOP 1386 - BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA

Brisbane is the capital and most populous city in the Australian state of Queensland, and the third most populous city in Australia. Brisbane's metropolitan area has a population of 2.24 million, and the South East Queensland urban conurbation, centred on Brisbane, encompasses a population of more than 3 million.

The Brisbane central business district stands on the original European settlement and is situated inside a bend of the Brisbane River, approximately 15 kilometres from its mouth at Moreton Bay. The metropolitan area extends in all directions along the floodplain of the Brisbane River valley between Moreton Bay and the Great Dividing Range. The metropolitan area sprawls across several of Australia's most populous local government areas, including the City of Brisbane, which is by far the most populous LGA in the nation.

The demonym of Brisbane is Brisbanite. Brisbane is named after the Brisbane River on which it is located, which in turn was named after Scotsman Sir Thomas Brisbane, the Governor of New South Wales from 1821 to 1825. The first European settlement in Queensland was a penal colony at Redcliffe, 28 kilometres north of the central business district, which was founded in 1824. That settlement was soon abandoned and moved to North Quay in 1825. Free settlers were permitted from 1842. Brisbane was chosen as the capital when Queensland was proclaimed a separate colony from New South Wales in 1859.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Ruby Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme.

Friday, 12 May 2017

Thursday, 11 May 2017

DESKTOP 1381 - YUCCA

Yucca is a genus of perennial shrubs and trees in the family Asparagaceae, subfamily Agavoideae. Its 40-50 species are notable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white or whitish flowers. They are native to the hot and dry (arid) parts of North America, Central America, South America, and the Caribbean.

Early reports of the species were confused with the cassava (Manihot esculenta). Consequently, Linnaeus mistakenly derived the generic name from the Taíno word for the latter, yuca (spelt with a single "c"). It is also colloquially known in the Midwest United States as "ghosts in the graveyard", as it is commonly found growing in rural graveyards and when in bloom the cluster of (usually pale) flowers on a thin stalk appear as floating apparitions.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017

DESKTOP 1380 - ROME

An iconic view of the Tiber River and the Castel Sant' Angelo in Rome.

This post is part of the Wednesday Waters meme,
and also part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Thursday, 4 May 2017

DESKTOP 1374 - POTATO BUSH

Lycianthes rantonnetii (blue potato bush) is a species of flowering plant in the family Solanaceae. It is native to Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina and Paraguay. It is cultivated as ornamental plant the world over.

The blue potato bush is one of about 150 species in the genus Lycianthes, which are found mostly in tropical regions of the Americas, and others located in the Asia-Pacific region. Lycianthes is apparently closely related to the chili peppers (Capsicum). However, it was long confused with the nightshades (Solanum), and several little-known Solanum species presumably should be included with Lycianthes.

The species is named for Barthélémy Victor Rantonnet, a 19th-century French horticulturalist. This plant is noted for its superb display of richly coloured and lightly fragrant flowers over a long season, provided it is grown in full sun. Water and feed regularly for the best display. Cuttings will make good-sized bushes for the following summer. The small red autumn berries are poisonous when ingested.

This post is part of the Floral Friday Fotos meme.

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

DESKTOP 1373 - QUINCES

The quince (Cydonia oblonga) is the sole member of the genus Cydonia in the family Rosaceae (which also contains apples and pears, among other fruits). It is a small deciduous tree that bears a pome fruit, similar in appearance to a pear, and bright golden-yellow when mature. Throughout history the cooked fruit has been used as food, but the tree is also grown for its attractive pale pink blossoms and other ornamental qualities.

This post is part of the Outdoor Wednesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part of the ABC Wednesday meme.

Tuesday, 2 May 2017

DESKTOP 1372 - ATHENS ACADEMY

The Academy of Athens was erected at the expense of Simon Sinas on the basis of designs by Theophilus von Hansen; construction was supervised by Ernst Ziller. On plan the building is symmetrically organised and consists of three wings interconnected by two smaller lateral sections. The main wing houses the assembly chamber. It rests on a foundation of Piraeus stone that corresponds to the lower floor. The main floor is constructed entirely of marble.

The central wing is in the form of an Ionic temple with a colonnaded portico at each end, in visible imitation of the Erechtheion on the Acropolis. The side wings are lower in height and their façades are treated with pillars and an entablature. Two oversized Ionian columns flank the entrance portico, bearing statues of Athena, goddess of wisdom, and Apollo, god of light, that were sculpted by Leonidas Drosis. The main group on the Academy’s pediment, depicting the birth of Athena, is also his work.

The smaller pediments on the side wings, made of terracotta, are the work of Fr. Melnitzky (1875). The monumental assembly hall is adorned by the wall paintings of Christian Griepenkerl on the theme of the mythological cycle of Prometheus.

This post is part of the Our World Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Travel Tuesday meme,
and also part of the Wordless Wednesday meme,
and also part Ruby Tuesday meme.