Sunday, 18 October 2015

How to make Hudl faster

(1) Clear the cache partition (instructions)
(2) Settings -> Storage -> Cached Data -> clear the cache

Thursday, 27 August 2015

I am forgiving any bee that has ever and will ever stung me

Seriously, what does it have to happen in order people to realize how serious this problem is?!

Tuesday, 25 August 2015

Bournemouth and Jurassic Coast


1406 - The very first mention of La Bournemowthe in  Christchurch cartulary. Bournemowthe was purely a geographic reference to the uninhabited area around the mouth of the small river which, in turn, drained the heathland between the towns of Poole and Christchurch.

1810 - Captain in the Dorset Yeomanry Lewis Tregonwell and his wife visit Bourne during their holiday; they liked that area of heathland with nice sea views so much that they decided to build a house next to the mouth of the River Bourne (which runs through the Lower Gardens today). That was called The Mansion and was the first house in Bournemouth and it survives to this day as a wing of the Royal Exeter Hotel.

1831 -  A travel guide published in this year calls the place "Bourne Cliffe" or "Tregonwell's Bourne"

1832 - Lewis Tregonwell dies. Statue of Captain Lewis Tregonwell can be seen outside Bournemouth International Centre on Exeter Road.

1841 - The Spas of England, published in this year, mentions town as "Bourne"

1844 - Start of works on building St.Peter's church - the founding mother church of Bournemouth. 

1851 - Mary Shelley, author of Frankenstein, dies and is buried in the churchyard of  St.Peter's church

1856 - The first version of the Bournemouth Pier - just a wooden jetty

1870 - After getting a spa and railway connections, Bournemouth is recognized as town

1879 - St.Peter's church completed. Remains of Lewis Tregonwell are in its vault.

1881 - built Built as the Mont Dore Hotel, today Bournemouth Town Hall

1889Boscombe Pier opened

1893 - Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra formed (it is based in Poole nowadays)

1895 -  The Boscombe Grand Theatre opened (O2 Academy today)

1901 - East Cliff Hall completed. It was built by Merton Russell-Cotes, then the owner of the Royal Bath Hotel, as a birthday present for his wife Annie. It was built in the northeast section of his hotel's garden.

1902 - The Boscombe Grand Theatre made a concert hall and renamed to Boscombe Hippodrome

1908 - The Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum established in East Cliff Hall

1911 -  Bournemouth Hebrew Congregation synagogue built

1929Pavilion Theatre opened

1960s -  Boscombe Hippodrome renamed to Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms, which was visited by acts such as Pink Floyd, Status Quo, Led Zeppelin, Thin Lizzy, Hawkwind, The Faces and David Bowie.

1973 - Tolkien dies in September at his home in Bournemouth

1982 - Starkers Royal Arcade Ballrooms renamed to Academy Nightclub

1984 - The Bournemouth International Centre (BIC) completed. It is a national conference and music venue.

2007 - In survey by First Direct, Bournemouth was found to be the happiest place in the UK, with 82% of people questioned saying they were happy with their lives

2009 - Academy Nightclub becomes O2 Academy

Hotel Miramar - writer J. R. R. Tolkien, spent 30 years taking holidays in Bournemouth, staying in the same room at this hotel

Poole Bay is a bay in the English Channel, on the coast of Dorset in southern England, which runs from the mouth of Poole Harbour in the west, to Hengistbury Head in the east.

Hengistbury Head - a narrow peninsula that forms the southern shore of Christchurch Harbour. It is a local nature reserve and the site of a Bronze Age settlement

Jurassic Coast

- 96 miles (155 km) of coastline designated a World Heritage Site


877 - The town is first mentioned in historical texts in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle

- fishing and quarrying (Purbeck marble, Purbeck stone)

1833 -  Princess Victoria, later to become queen visits luxury hotel opened by MP William Morton Pitt in the early 19th century; The building was later renamed the Royal Victoria Hotel, now the building has been converted into flats and a bar and nightclub in the left and right wings respectively.

Old Harry Rocks
Peveril Point with National Coastwatch Institution Lookout
Durlston Country Park

The rest of Jurassic coast 

Lulworth Cove
Stair Hole


Thursday, 20 August 2015

Stop poaching now!

Some grim facts:

- since 2010, official figures show that on average almost 35000 elephants a year have been killed across Africa
- in the Selous Game Reserve in Tanzania, numbers have plummeted from as many as 55000 to just 13000 in four years
- kilogram of ivory is now worth more than a kilogram of gold
- some terrorist organizations kill elephants to help pay for the weapons it needs to conduct atrocities - Africa's elephants could soon be extinct
- animal that has existed for four million years could be gone in the wild in a few decades

(source: Evening Standard)

Giants Club: President lights the fire that puts Kenya at forefront of Africa’s battle against ivory poachers

It was discovered that chimpanzee meat was on sale in the Midlands as part of a black market in exotic meats. Chimp meat can fetch more than £20 per kilogram.
(Evening Standard, 25/06/2015)

Digital detoxing

Take a proper break — you’ll be much more productive if you do
(by ROHAN SILVA, Evening Standard,  Monday 3 August 2015)

...taking a proper break every once in a while helps you be more creative and clear-headed when you get back.’s a sign of wisdom, not weakness, to be able to switch off from work now and again.

In Tech City today, “digital detoxes” are increasingly popular, with technologists unplugging from digital devices to give their brains a rest.

Monday, 17 August 2015

River Lea walk from Pickett's Lock to Springfield Park

Past Sunday Katia and me took bus 102 from Muswell Hill to Edmonton Green. From there we walked through Edmonton, down St. Martins Rd, Monmouth Rd, Montagu Rd, Pickett's Lock Lane to Pickett's Lock at River Lea Navigation.

On the way downstream we saw anglers and couple of barges. There were many ripe blackberries on the side of the walk so we treated ourselves with sweet fruit. We witnessed the shanty town erected behind the fence enclosing William Girling reservoir. Further down, just before the North Circular Road bridge we passed the London Waste facilities - a huge building with high chimney I always check out when driving on North Circular.

Our first break was at Stonebridge Lock where we rested on a bench in front of the Waterside Centre. It was amusing watching one young lad passing the lock and mooring his barge. He left his little dog at the lock and the puppy was looking across the water and was looking how to get on the other side and reunite with his owner. Young man had to walk back and show puppy that it had to cross the bridge.

We continued the walk, passed Tottenham Marshes, under Ferry Lane where we saw the place where Pymmes Brook joins river Lea. Here we had another break. 

Section of the river adjacent to Warwick reservoirs, down to Springfield Park is packed with barges. We saw remains of two cranes which I guess used to be used for moving goods from barges onto bank. One wall had interesting mural - a man in a sleeping position with animals in boats within him, Above it was some gallery space with a one-day pop-up pizza restaurant!

We left river just before Springfield Park and walked up the Spring Hill to Clapton Common where we took the bus home, via Finsbury Park, Holloway Rd and Archway.

Sunday, 16 August 2015

Roman roads in England

When I was about to move to Huntingdon in UK, I was using online resources to read about my future place of residence and many times I would come across a word Ermine. First, the company I was starting job with was located in Ermine Business Park. This business park was next to Ermine Road which connects Huntingdon with Great Stukeley, the nearby village to the north-west. Then, when reading about Huntingdon on Wikipedia I found that "The town has a well-preserved medieval bridge that used to serve as the main route of Ermine Street over the river." And then I discovered that Ermine Street used to be one of the main roads of Roman England and that many major roads in England actually follow old Roman routes. If some road has unusually long straight sections, the chances are it follows some ancient way.

Ermine Street goes from London to York via Royston, Huntingdon and Lincoln. If we look at its sections, they are clearly very straight like:

  • Kingsland Road (part of A10 road in London)
  • Stoke Newington Road (part of A10 road in London)
  • Stamford Hill (part of A10 road in London)
  • A10 from Enfield to Puckeridge (A10 bypasses Ware)
  • A10 from Puckeridge to Buntingford
  • A10 from Buntingford to Royston
  • A1198 from Royston to Godmanchester and Huntingdon
  • A1 from Alconbury to Norman Cross
  • etc...

Section of A10 connecting London's City with Royston in Hertfordshire is a part of Ermine Road

Straight A1198 road between Royston and Huntingdon follows Roman Ermine way 

When I was later living in Cambridge, I was curious whether any of its main ways was also following some old route. Quite straight sections are:

  • road going from Balsham to Fulborn 
  • Mill Road 
  • Parkside
  • Sidney Street
  • Bridge Street
  • Castle Street
  • Huntingdon Road
  • section of A14 connecting Cambridge and Huntingdon
  • section of A14 going from Brampton to Thrapston
  • etc...

And this is not just coincidence - these sections are part of old Roman Via Deviana which was connecting Colchester (the oldest town in Britain) and Chester.

Roman Via Deviana connects Cambridge and Huntingdon

And now question for Londoners: have you ever noticed how straight is the route made of Edgware Road, Maida Vale, Kilburn High Road...connecting central London with Edgware (and going further north-west)...? Yes, you are right...that's an old Roman road - Watling Street, connecting Canterbury with St. Albans.

Edgware Road is part of Roman Watling Street

Roman traces across England are impressive. Without Roman legacy, Balfour Beatty, Carillion, Kier and other road construction companies would have much harder job to do.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

St.Petersburg - History & Places to visit

1611 - Swedes build a fortress Nyenskans (Nyenschantz) at the mouth of the Neva river in Swedish Ingria (Ingermanland) on the site of the present day St. Petersburg (Nyen = Neva, skans = bastion). A small town called Nyen grows up around it.

1642 - Nyen is granted town privileges and becomes the administrative centre of Swedish Ingria

1656 - Russian attack badly damaged the town, and the administrative centre was moved to Narva

1682/05/07 - Peter I (Peter the Great) becomes tsar

1700 -  The Great Northern War started when an alliance of Denmark–Norway, Saxony and Russia declared war on the Swedish Empire

1702 - Nyen was burned down in order not to become a threat to the fortress in the event of a Russian invasion.

1703/05/01 -  the fortress of Nyenskans was taken by Peter the Great and renamed Schlotburg (Shlotburg, Sloteburg)

1703/05/12 - Peter the Great captured Nyenskans, and soon replaced the fortress

1703/05/27 - on Zayachy (Hare) Island, Peter the Great laid down the Peter and Paul Fortress, which became the first brick and stone building of the new city

1710 Menshikov Palace founded.  It was the first stone building in the city. Alexander Menshikov was Saint Petersburg Governor General. The city was built by conscripted peasants from all over Russia; a number of Swedish prisoners of war were also involved in some years under supervision of Alexander Menshikov

1710 - Summer Palace construction commenced

1712 - Peter moved the capital from Moscow to Saint Petersburg

1712 - Construction of Peter and Paul Cathedral started. It would be the first church in the city to be built of stone.

1714 -  Summer Palace completed
1714 - Peter I began construction of the Monplaisir Palace in Peterhof

1715-16 - Anichkov Bridge being built. It is the first and most famous bridge across the Fontanka River. Nevsky Prospect today passes over it. Until the mid-18th century, the Fontanka River was considered the southern boundary of St. Petersburg.

1716 - During its first few years, the city developed around Trinity Square on the right bank of the Neva, near the Peter and Paul Fortress but by this year Domenico Trezzini had elaborated a project whereby the city centre would be located on Vasilyevsky Island and shaped by a rectangular grid of canals. The project was not completed.

1716 - Peter the Great appointed Jean-Baptiste Alexandre Le Blond as the chief architect of Saint Petersburg.

1719 - Start of building of Kunstkamera - the first museum in Russia, established by Peter the Great.

1721//11/02 - Peter I (Peter the Great) becomes an imperator

1721 - Treaty of Nystad ends The Great Northern War

1721 - from;  Peter and Paul fortress houses part of the city's garrison and also serves as a high security political jail;  among the first inmates was Peter's own rebellious son Alexei

1725/02/08 - Peter the Great dies

1725/02/08 – 17 May 1727 - Yekaterina I Alekseyevna (the second wife of Peter I) rules

1727 - Menshikov with his family was exiled to Siberia and his property was confiscated

1727 - Kunstkamera completed.

1727/05/18Pyotr II Alekseyevich becomes a ruler

1729/05/02 - Yekaterina II (Yekaterina Alexeyevna, Yekaterina  the Great) born

1730/01/30 - Pyotr II Alekseyevich dies

1730 - Anna Ioannovna (Anna Ivanovna Romanova) becomes a ruler

1731 -  Cadet Corps were established and occupied Menshikov Palace and neighboring buildings

1740 - Peter and Paul Fortress building completed

1740/10/28 - Anna of Russia dies

28 October 1740 – 6 December 1741 - Ivan VI Antonovich rules.

1741 - Elizabeth of Russia (Elizaveta Petrovna;  daughter of Peter the Great/Peter I) becomes a ruler

1745 - 1755 - Elizabeth adds wings to Grand Palace in Peterhof

1754 - Anichkov Palace finished. It was designed for the Empress Elizabeth of Russia (Elizaveta Petrovna).

1762/01/05 - Elizabeth of Russia dies.

5 January 1762 – 9 July 1762 - Peter III (Pyotr III Fyodorovich) rules.

1762/07/09Yekaterina the Great becomes a ruler

1782 The Bronze Horseman statue (The equestrian statue of Peter the Great ) finished

1783 - The Imperial drama, opera and ballet troupe in Saint Petersburg was established

1796/11/17 - Yekaterina II dies

1796//11/17 - Paul I becomes ruler

1801/03/23 - Paul I dies

1801/03/23 -  Alexander I (Aleksandr Pavlovich) becomes ruler

1812 - Napoleon's invasion of Russia

1825/12/01 - Alexander I died. Presumed heir was Alexander's brother Constantine who made his renunciation and Nicholai stepped forward to assume the throne.

1825 - Nicholai I Pavlovich Romanov becomes a ruler

1825/12/26 - Decembrist revolution took place in the Senate Square: army officers led about 3,000 soldiers in a protest against Nicholas I's assumption of the throne after his elder brother Constantine removed himself from the line of succession.

1825-1826 - Egyptian Bridge (over Fontanka) constructed.

1832 -  Two ancient sphinxes brought from Egypt (via France) and placed at the quay at Universitetskaya Embankment which got name Quay with Sphinxes.

1833 - Pushkin writes poem "The Bronze Horseman"

1841-42 - Anichkov Bridge re-built.

1849–50 - The Horse Tamers - four famous horse sculptures erected on the Anichkov Bridge.

1855/03/02 - Nicholai I Pavlovich Romanov dies

1855/03/02Aleksandr II Nikolaevich becomes a ruler

1860 - Mariinsky Theatre opened.

1861 - serfdom (slavery) abolished in Russia

1868/05/18 –  Nikolay II Romanov born

1881/03/13 - Aleksandr II Nikolaevich dies

1881/03/13 - Alexander III (Alexander Alexandrovich Romanov) becomes a ruler

1894/11/01 - Alexander III dies

1894/11/01 - Nikolay II Romanov's rule starts. He would be the last Russian tsar.

early 20th century -  Peter and Paul Fortress was still used as a prison by the tsarist government

1910 - Construction of The Saint Petersburg Mosque begins.

1913 - The Saint Petersburg Mosque opened. At that time it was the largest mosque in Europe outside Turkey.

1917/03/15 - Nikolay II Romanov forcibly abdicates.

1918/07/17 - Nikolay II Romanov

1921 - The Saint Petersburg Mosque completed. Is is patterned after Gur-e Amir, the tomb of Tamerlane in Samarkand

1938 - Museum of History and Development of Leningrad founded in Peter and Paul Fortress

1940 - The Saint Petersburg Mosque closed. Soviet authorities banned services and turned the building into a medical equipment storehouse. During the Second World War St. Petersburg Mosque was closed and was made into a warehouse.

1955 - Museum of Leningrad History founded

1956 - At the request of the first Indonesian President, Soekarno, ten days after his visit to the city, the mosque was returned to the Muslim Religious community of St. Petersburg. The Saint Petersburg Mosque reopened.

1956-1981 - the Menshikov Palace was restored again and finally opened to the public as a branch of the Hermitage Museum

1991 - Museum of Leningrad History renamed to The State Museum of the History of St. Petersburg

Monday, 15 June 2015


So who was the only person to escape the Oregon Mental Hospital in Salem? It was Chief. Why? Because he was observant, quiet, he tricked the system and the environment - everyone thought he was deaf and could not speak. Most of the time he was just slowly mopping the floor somewhere in the background but he was carefully listening what was going on. He was observing, he was learning. He did not expose himself, he was always calm, quite opposite from what one would expect from such a gigantic man. He got hope, courage, inspiration and escape idea from McMurphy. And he used them at the end!

To read: |
And the script:
And interesting article about screenwritng tips taken from this film:

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Depeche Mode - Enjoy The Silence (1990)

Words like violence
Break the silence
Come crashing in
Into my little world
Painful to me
Pierce right through me
Can't you understand
Oh my little girl

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable

All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm 

David Bowie - This is not America (1985)

This is not America

A little piece of you,
The little piece in me,
Will die
(this is not a miracle)
For this is not America

Blossom fails to bloom this season,
Promise not to stare,
Too long
(this is not America)
For this is not the miracle

There was a time,
A storm that blew, so pure
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America


This is not America (No)
This is not

Snowman melting from the inside
Falcon spirals to
the ground
(this could be the biggest sky)
So bloody red, tomorrow's clouds

A little piece of you,
The little piece in me
Will die
(this could be a miracle)
For this is not America

There was a time,
A wind that blew, so young
For this could be the biggest sky
And I could have the faintest idea

For this is not America


This is not America (No)
This is not,
This is not America (No)
This is not,
This is not America (No)
This is not,

Monday, 20 April 2015

David Bowie - Ashes to ashes (1980)

Do you remember a guy that's been
In such an early song
I've heard a rumour from Ground Control
Oh no, don't say it's true

They got a message
from the Action Man
"I'm happy, hope you're happy too
I've loved
all I've needed to love
Sordid details following"

The shrieking of nothing is killing 
Just pictures of Jap girls 
in synthesis and I
Ain't got no money and I ain't got no hair
But I'm hoping to kick but the planet it's glowing

Ashes to ashes, funk to funky
We know Major Tom's
a junkie
Strung out in heaven's high
Hitting an all-time low

Time and again I tell myself
I'll stay clean tonight
But the little green wheels are following me
Oh no, not again
I'm stuck with a valuable friend
"I'm happy, hope you're happy too"
One flash of light 
but no smoking pistol

I've never done good things
I've never done bad things
I never did anything out of the blue, 
Want an axe to break the ice
Wanna come down right now


My mother said
to get things done
You'd better not mess 
with Major Tom 

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Pink Floyd - High Hopes

Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young
In a world of magnets and miracles
Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary
The ringing of the division bell had begun

Along the Long Road and on down the Causeway
Do they still meet there by the Cut

There was a ragged band that followed in our footsteps
Running before time took our dreams away
Leaving the myriad small creatures trying to tie us to the ground
To a life consumed by slow decay

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
With friends surrounded
The nights of wonder

Looking beyond the embers of bridges glowing behind us
To a glimpse of how green it was on the other side
Steps taken forwards but sleepwalking back again
Dragged by the force of some inner tide

At a higher altitude with flag unfurled
We reached the dizzy heights of that dreamed of world

Encumbered forever by desire and ambition
There's a hunger still unsatisfied
Our weary eyes still stray to the horizon
Though down this road we've been so many times

The grass was greener
The light was brighter
The taste was sweeter
The nights of wonder
With friends surrounded
The dawn mist glowing
The water flowing
The endless river

Forever and ever