Saturday, January 19, 2019
I guess you already know that if you hit CTRL + F you will get a little search box in the top righthand corner of your screen, and that the whole page -- or document -- will be conscientiously searched for the word or phrase you type into it.
There are other handy shortcuts.
Want to hurry up the YouTube video you are watching? Or pause it? Use the numbers on your keyboard. Pressing 5 will take you halfway, and 9 will take you to the end. To get to the start, press 0. Pressing j and l will send it back and forth in ten-second bits. The "seagull" arrows (< and >) will shift it frame by frame.
Want to lock your computer while you head off for coffee or a comfort stop? Press the Windows key + L This prevents malicious use of your computer while you are away, as your password is needed to get it going again.
Are you one of those people who like to liven up everything with emojis? Pressing Windows + fullstop will bring up the emoji screen.
Want to minimize all screens at once? Windows + M will shrink most of them.
Doing some large-scale internet browsing? CTRL + T will bring up a new tab without the bother of moving your mouse.
A quick way to rename a file is to press F2 after clicking on the file. Again, it saves you shifting the mouse, and is easier on the wrist.
And this is a beauty. The print screen function can often save part of the screen that you don't want to keep. In the past, I used to copy it to powerpoint and crop the unwanted bits. An easier way is to press Windows + shift + S. This creates a rectangle, which allows you take a screen shot of just the desired area.
To delete whole words, press CTRL + Backspace.
To add the date to a manuscript, press Shift + Alt + D
To add the time, press Shift + Alt + T
Friday, January 18, 2019
Tuesday, January 15, 2019
From Radio New Zealand
From time immemorial, man has navigated by the stars. Then, over two thousand years ago, someone in China discovered the lodestone, naturally magnetized iron ore. Oddly, its north-south orientation was not used at first by seamen, but instead by builders and architects, to place buildings according to feng shui. But then seafarers realized that if a lodestone was hung from a string, its natural orientation was a great aid for navigation.
About 1300, compass needles -- made by striking iron needles with a lodestone -- appeared in Europe, probably adopted by Crusader sea-captains, who noticed them being used by their Islamic foes. And so the discovery of new routes and new lands accelerated, as navigators had a means of telling the position of north.
But now, according to a RNZ report, that position is moving, rather rapidly. The north magnetic pole has crept unpredictably from the coast of northern Canada a century ago to the middle of the Arctic Ocean, moving towards Russia.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Tuesday, January 8, 2019
We recently went on a cruise around New Zealand. Well, I guess it was time we saw our country from the outside, but it did mean that we knew most of the ports already. However, we had never explored Port Chalmers, the port for the city of Dunedin, so we left the ship eager to see what we could find.
And we were immediately rewarded by the clean, charming, and very comprehensive Port Chalmers Maritime Museum, just a short walk from the wharf.
For a start, it is unique, in that it is surrounded on three sides by a working container port, Port Otago. The building is historic in itself, being the original post office, which dates back to 1877. And it is sited where the sailing ship John Wickliffe landed the first settlers, on 23 March 1848.
Though small, the building offers a surprising amount for the maritime enthusiast. Immediately striking is the number of very good ship models that are grouped near the entrance.
A connecting door leads to the Pioneer Room -- originally the dining and living rooms of the resident postmaster -- which is devoted to local history, and tells some fascinating stories.
Above, is the Port Otago Gallery, housed in the mezzanine floor, which documents the history of the very busy port.
For researchers, there is the Ian Church Archives, lovingly collated by my late friend, and maritime historian, Ian Church.
As well as a collection of ships' registers, it includes family and oral histories, shipping indexes, and school and cemetery records. There is also an electronic database. Access is by prior arrangement, by contacting one of the volunteer curators, at firstname.lastname@example.org to make an appointment.
So it is worth visiting Port Chalmers just for the museum. But we enjoyed exploring the picturesque village, too.
Sunday, January 6, 2019
DEAR DIARY - DAY 1
All packed for the cruise ship - all my nicest dresses, swimsuits, short sets. Really, really exciting. Our local Ladies Bowls Club, 'The Late Bloomers' decided on this "all-girls" trip. It will be my first one - and I can't wait!
DEAR DIARY - DAY 2
Entire day at sea, so beautiful. Saw whales and dolphins. Met the Captain today, seems like a very nice man.
DEAR DIARY - DAY 3
At the pool today. Did some shuffleboard, hit golf balls off the deck. The Captain invited me to join him at his table for dinner. Felt honored and had a wonderful time. He is very attractive and attentive.
DEAR DIARY - DAY 4
Won $500 in the ship's Casino. The Captain asked me to have dinner with him in his own cabin. Had a scrumptious meal complete with caviar and champagne. He asked me to stay the night, but I declined. Told him I could not be unfaithful to my husband.
DEAR DIARY - DAY 5
Pool again today. Got really sunburned, and I went inside for a drink at the piano-bar and to cool down; stayed there for rest of day. The Captain saw me, bought me several large drinks. He really is quite charming. Again asked me to visit his cabin for the night. Again, I declined. He told me, if I did not let him have his way with me, he would sink the ship… I was shocked.
DEAR DIARY - DAY 6
Today I saved 2600 lives.
Saturday, January 5, 2019
Just over a year ago, the luxury yacht Tango, rated as #14 in its class, slipped into Auckland, and caused whispers in the port.
As the New Zealand Herald reported, its oligarch owner, Vicktor Vekselberg, had a reputation for trying to influence American politics. According to a story by Grant Bradley, the superyacht was understood to be owned by a Russian tycoon who once paid $100 million for the world's greatest collection of Faberge Eggs, and who has been linked to fallout in the United States presidential election.
Seventy-eight meters long, and with a crew of twenty-two, it is capable of carrying fourteen pampered guests in seven cabins, and is valued at $150,000,000 USD. According to superyachtfan.com, The yacht Tango was built at the famous Feadship Van Lent shipyard, designed by Eidsgaard Design, and has a top speed of 22 knots. She was delivered to her owner Viktor Vekselberg -- one of the richest men in Russia, who made a huge fortune from aluminium and oil -- in 2011.
Well, it was November 2017 when she glided into Auckland with no fanfare at all, having motored there from Fiji. And at once the whispers began. As the news story continued, ABC News in the US had quoted one expert on oligarchs as saying there was good reason to probe the role Vekselberg and another billionaire may have played in the 2016 election, given what he says was "a continuous relationship of these oligarchs with Kremlin and security services".
"Like the real estate plan, it didn’t end well—particularly for Russian tycoon Viktor Vekselberg. His effort to engage in statecraft at the highest level unraveled spectacularly, costing him billions, cleaving his family and severing the extensive ties to the U.S. elite that turned him into what one Moscow newspaper called the “most American” of Vladimir Putin’s plutocrats.
"This saga, much of it previously unreported, began with a chance encounter between Cohen, Trump’s now-disgraced former lawyer, and Vekselberg’s American cousin, Andrew Intrater, in the fall of 2016. Soon, Trump would be in the White House and Vekselberg would be privately boasting of having the pull needed to help achieve the sanctions relief the Kremlin was craving, people familiar with the matter said. Instead, he became the richest victim of the most dangerous standoff between the U.S. and Russia since the Cold War.
"The story of Vekselberg’s fall from grace in the U.S., where his American grandchildren, Yale-educated children and wife all live, is based on interviews with more than a dozen people in the billionaire’s orbit in both countries. The optimism about the future of bilateral relations that the one-time oil magnate expressed as recently as a year ago has given way to bouts of occasional public melancholy.
"Through much of 2017, as the nascent Trump administration navigated controversies of its own making, Vekselberg was giving Russian officials and fellow businessmen vague yet certain assurances about his influence in the White House, according to six people who interacted with him at the time. He’d attended Trump’s swearing-in ceremony in Washington as a guest of Intrater, who’d donated $250,000 to the inaugural committee, and come back with a newfound sense of clout, they said.
"Vekselberg’s spokesman in Moscow, Andrey Shtorkh,said the billionaire never tried to be a go-between on the sanctions issue. “Vekselberg has not and could not have offered anyone his help to resolve sanctions,” he said by email late Thursday. “He has no ability to do so.”"Shortly after being grilled in New York in March as part of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s election-meddling probe, Vekselberg and the younger, brasher aluminum baron Oleg Deripaska (owner of super-yacht Queen K) were slapped with sanctions over Putin’s “malign activities.” Vekselberg has since lost about $3 billion of his-now $13.4 billion fortune, mainly due to declines in the market values of his minority stakes in Swiss industrial companies and Deripaska’s Rusal. And that doesn’t count the estimated $2 billion or more of stocks and cash that have been frozen or tied up in banks as a result of the U.S. penalties...."