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Monthly Archives: February 2012

Leap Year – the ins and outs

 

Leaping Greetings

Thirty days hath September, April, June and November;
All the rest have thirty-one
Save February, she alone, Hath eight days and a score;
Till leap year gives her one

Today is an extra special day – only seen once every 4 years!!! For some of you it is the birthday you barely get to celebrate – which some of us might be cause for the green monster as you age very well 😉 I think it should be an opportunity to do something you never ever do!!! While we all know that it is a leap year day, how many know why? I’m gonna take a quick look at that and then delve into the fun stuff of myths and traditions!!

So why do we even have a leap year??

Right so thinking caps on? Let’s explore. Firstly for those of you who still don’t know we operate on the Gregorian Calender, meaning we have 365 days (and that sneaky little quarter) The reason we have that little quarter is because our Mother Earth takes a tropical year to circle around the sunny sun. A tropical year = 365.242199 days (you see that little quarter now?)

So if we did not add one day extra we would lose nearly 6 hours from our calender in a year – and for those who don’t feel like working it out it would add up to about 24 days every 100 years!! Now, I don’t know about you, but time is already so precious to me that I don’t want to lose any more!! So bring on the 29th February!!!

How to know when it is a leap year??

To make things easy it is generally every 4 years, BUT did you know that in order for a year to qualify it actually has 3 criteria??

1. Year must be evenly divisible by 4 ie 2012 / 4 = 503

2. If the year can be evenly divisible by 100 it is NOT a leap year UNLESS…

3. The year is also evenly divisible by 400

But just to make things easier for you, here is a list of the up and coming leap years so you don’t have to go looking for a calculator!!

2012 Wednesday
2016 Monday
2020 Saturday
2024 Thursday
2028 Tuesday
2032 Sunday

Shooo ok now that the brains have been worked a little, it’s time for some of the fun info regarding leap year.

  • This one is probably the most heard of and known – and which some long awaiting ladies use to their advantage:

It is said that St. Patrick was approached by St. Bridget, who had come to protest on behalf of all women the unfairness of always have to wait for men to propose marriage. After due consideration, St. Patrick offered St. Bridget and her gender the special privilege of being able to pop the question one year out of every seven. Some haggling ensued, and the frequency ultimately settled upon was one year out of four — leap years, specifically — an outcome which satisfied both parties. Then, unexpectedly, it being a leap year and St. Bridget being single, she got down on one knee and proposed to St. Patrick on the spot. He refused, of course, bestowing on her a kiss and a beautiful silk gown in consolation. (about.com)

  • According to English law, the 29th was ignored and had no legal satuas. Ergo a crime committed on the day was no crime at all!!
  • In Scotland it is considered unlucky to be born on the 29th
  • In Greece it is considered unlucky to marry during a leap year
  • The longest time between two leap years will be 8 years (remember the criteria) the last time this happened was between 1896 and 1904 (1900 divisible by 100 and not 400) and the next time will be between 2096 and 2104 (2100 divisible by 100 and not 400) – Interestingly 2000 was a special year as it was divisible by 100 (meaning it shouldn’t be a leap year) but was divisible by 400.
  • Astrologers believe those born under Pisces on the 29th have special talents and personalities
  • People born on leap day are known as “leaplings” or “leapers”
And that as they say is all folks!
May your leap day be blessed and possibly filled with a few proposals!
xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in General

 

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Wednesday Funnie 29/2

A funnie with a date as a topic seemed appropriate on this leap year day 🙂

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 29/02/2012 in Fun

 

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Upliftment Quotes

Top of the day!!!

No matter who you are a little upliftment goes a long way. Here’s hoping these might just be the kick you need!

A great attitude always precedes a great performance ~ Anonymous

Live your life so that your epitaph could read, “No Regrets” ~ H Jackson Brown

No matter what size the bottle, the cream always comes to the top ~ Charles Wilson

As long as you’re going to think anyway, think big ~ Donald Trump

All our dreams come true, if we have the courage to pursue them ~ Walt Disney

Tough times don’t last, tough people do ~ Anonymous

The one thing worse than a quitter is a person who is afraid to begin ~ Anonymous

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 27/02/2012 in Quotes

 

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Lion Photoblog

Top of the day all!

Following on the “Interview with a Lion” blog I have put together a few of the lion pic’s I have. It is truly amazing to see this “King of the Jungle” in his natural environment!

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 24/02/2012 in Lion

 

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Wednesday Funnie 22/2

hhmmmm … wonder who gets these right!!!

xoLDxo

 

 
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Posted by on 22/02/2012 in Fun

 

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Interview with a Lion

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the first in our series of “Big 5 Interviews” in which we will be covering the lives of the famous Lion, Rhino, Buffalo, Elephant and Leopard.  In studio with have with us today a guest that strikes fear into the hearts of most of us living in the African bush. We all know who he is, but today we are going to delve a little deeper into what makes him tick. I present to you – LION!!!

“Lion, please tell us a little about yourself”

Lion: Even though my family and I are ferocious animals we are very social, being the only cats which live in groups – we call it a pride – of approximately 15 members. As I am fiercely protective, I will cover and patrol a territory covering over 200 square kilometres.

“The ladies in your pride – how do they fit in?” 

Lion: Well as you can see it is us males who have the mane, the darker it is, the older we are. All our ladies are related, as our female cubs will stay with the pride, while the male cubs will fight for and take over another pride. In an act of liberation I suppose, it is actually our ladies who are the primary hunters. They will work together as a team to bring down the beast that has been chosen for supper. We males have first choice of the kill, followed by the females and only then the cubs.

Sir, if you don’t mind me asking, what is your average life span?”

Lion: hhhmmppfff, well if you must know, if we are in the wild and all goes well, we live for approximately 12 years.

You mentioned that the male cubs will leave their original pride, tell us how that works”

Lion: Between the ages of 2 and 4, the male cubs will either leave on their own or shall we say nicely asked by myself to leave – this is usually accompanied by some growling and tooth gnashing. Once on their own it is up to them to find a pride they can take over – this is once again accompanied by some growling and tooth gnashing. Should the male succeed it is not unusual for him to kill all the existing cubs. While this might seem cruel, it is purely intended to ensure that only his genes continues (also prevents revenge attacks in the future) and to establish dominance.

“In the interest of science, what is your scientific name?”

Lion: Panthera leo

“Should tourists wish to visit your home, where should they look?”

Lion: Our primary continent is Africa, where we choose to live in grasslands or plains.

“Tell us about your family life”

Lion: My females will have litters ranging between 1 to 6 cubs. At birth their average weight will only be about 1 to 2 kilograms. This will steadily increase to an adult weight of between 120 and 190 kilograms. There was of course the heaviest lion on record, weighing in at 375kgs – but that was out of the norm. We call our baby lions cubs, whelps or lionets. The females are either lioness or she-lion, while we have been known to be called Tom (which is where the expression Tom Cat originates)

“If you could say one thing to be public what would it be?”

Lion: please respect us and please protect us. Our protection status at this point is vulnerable, and we would appreciate a little help here.

“Please provide us with a few fast facts”

Lion:

  • We are excellent swimmers, unlike our other cat cousins
  • Our tails have tufts at the end, no other cats do
  • When we walk our heels don’t touch the ground
  • After Tigers we are the second largest cat species
  • My roar can be heard 8km away
  • We are the national animal of the following countries: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, England, Ethiopia, Luxembourg, Netherlands and Singapore
  • We need approximately 20 hours rest a day

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 20/02/2012 in Animals

 

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Tracking in the bush

Dear Readers,

Ranger Trompie (please see blog “Day in the life of a ranger”) is sharing his knowledge today on tracking in the bush. May this enjoyable read transport you straight into the heart of the African bush.

xoLDxo

Working in the bush, one becomes in tune with your surroundings, you could almost say that the bush has its own language. I was fortunate enough to have a helping hand in learning this language.

I can still remember the first time – on foot – I was on an ingwe ngkonzo ( leopard track in Shangaan ). I was still very unexperienced and although I had all the knowledge to conduct a game drive, being on foot in a big 5 area was a whole different ball game. Oscar, my tracker grew up in the area and his father had shown him everything he knew. The first thing he told me was don’t run if something happens……… little did I know what he actually meant! We went into a thicket following the track, all of a sudden the bush became dead still, next thing all I heard was growling and out of nowhere a female leopard was charging us!! Oscar was standing dead still as I reloaded my weapon, heart pounding in my throat. During your initial training as a game ranger you are taught to load your weapon, stand your ground, shout and even kick sand at the animal if necessary, but no ranger ever wants to shoot an animal. After the initial charge she slowly moved backwards and in the blink of an eye she gave a second charge, then turned around and disappeared into the bushes. Oscar looked at me and kindly told me that the ingwe did not understand the language I had just used!

Tracking is a science and is something that can’t be learnt from a book, sure the book can give you pointers as to what to look for and how the different tracks look, but the truth is that in the bush there are a lot of other factors to take into consideration. The climate, the time, is the wind blowing, in what direction is the track heading are just to name a few. You also need to have a in-depth knowledge of the animals behaviour.

The bush is like an open book, all you need is enough skill to read it, you need to project yourself into the position of the animal in order to get a better understanding of what the animal was doing, where it was heading and why it was doing it. Tracking is also more than just tracks in the sand, it can be a broken branch, a bent grass or simply sounds in the bush, like insects that become silent immediately when disturbed and pick up again after the disturbance has passed or a Grey Lourie making alarm sounds when sensing danger, a Baboon barking, an Impala snorting. Silence is as loud as an alarm in the bush if you know how to listen for it. It is astonishing to see how the locals respect the bush and the wildlife which live there, it is important to know that we wander on their turf and not the other way around.

One day on a morning drive Oscar and I only had two guests on the landy, a honeymoon couple from London, we had shown them everything they had come to see except the elusive Rhino. We set out to find one for them on their final drive, and went to an area rarely driven to by rangers in hope of finding a Rhino.

In the area known as Sumatra, whilst driving, we found fresh dung and tracks. Oscar told me to stop and he hopped off and I drove around to check if the tracks appeared on the other side. To my amazement there were no tracks, meaning luck was on my side, as the Rhinos were still close by. I met up with Oscar, he told me that he found a mother with a calf, but the bush was too thick for the vehicle, so we had to go on foot. I turn to the guests and they are already both smiling like children that have found a secret stash of candy. I gave them a pre walk briefing and we set off on foot in search of the Rhinos, as walked I kept an eye on the ground, listening for sounds and looking around, since the bush is really thick. Finally I spot them in a clearing, grazing, a mother White Rhino and her calf. I take the guests as close as I can, without disturbing the Rhinos, we viewed the animals for sometime and then left the same way we came,and the Rhinos never even knew we had been there.

In closing, you don’t have to stand next to an animal to see it, it’s better to see an animal during its natural behavior than to spook it and thereby provoking it. Respect life and love it – it’s a privilege!!

Ranger Trompie

 
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Posted by on 17/02/2012 in Guest Blogs

 

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Wednesday Funnie 15/2

and now all as one….”aaaaaahhhhhhhhhh”

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 15/02/2012 in Fun

 

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Happy Valentines Day

Loving greetings and hugs,

Thank you for all the support and love, may this day be special and memorable for you!

xoLDxo

 
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Posted by on 14/02/2012 in General

 

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Hints and Tips part 4

Greetings to all!

On a previous hints and tips article I had a reader who commented: In order to keep a house clean, just use contraception! I must say I did have a very good giggle! Sometimes it is that simple. 🙂

1. Water and vinegar rubbed on to window panes with an old newspaper will really make them sparkle

2. Take a handful of rice and any warm detergent, put into any decanter or narrow-necked vase and it will clean any marks that you can’t reach

3. This is a fabulous one!! To remove dents in wood furniture – place a thick, damp cloth over the area, place the tip of a hot iron immediately over the dent. The steam will penetrate and swell the compacted wood

4. Wipe just a little washing-up liquid over a bathroom mirror to prevent misting

5. A halved lemon rubbed over a wooden chopping board will remove unpleasant odours

xoLDxo

 

 
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Posted by on 13/02/2012 in Hints and Tips

 

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