Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Opera quietly gained a built-in adblocker


Since I recently mentioned that Chrome had gained an adblocker (after spotting a news item about the activation of this option), I thought it only fair to note the same for Opera.

I’ve never been able to work up any enthusiasm for Chrome, despite being told that for some unfathomable reason it is reported to be the most popular/used browser. It’s never offered any features that I found useful or attractive, has always been a memory hog (important on my little computer), and the extensions look more like kid’s toys than useful options, especially since Google censors them, and many useful ones (which can be freely added to other browsers) are blocked as they offend somebody or other.

It’s ages since I turned to Opera for some browsing, but as I loaded it up, it flagged up a pending upgrade AND a note to the effect that adblocking was now built in.

While it’s not my browser of choice, I did spend long enough using it after the upgrade to be impressed, as the adblocker seemed to be almost as effective as my own choice.

Bear in mind I don’t use the vast majority of so-called ‘social media’ sites (especially Facecrook), so Opera’s adblocker may have an easy time here – on the other hand, I didn’t see a single ad while using it for an evening.

So… For blocking ads, apparently quite well (they also say they have anti-cryptocurrency mining built-in too)…

Try the Opera browser – now with a built-in ad blocker, battery saver and free VPN.

18/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

What? 2018 is the Year of the Dog!

No wonder they slipped that in under my radar!

2018 Year of the Dog

2018 Year of the Dog

Don’t bother looking for the Year of the Cat – The Rat stole it!

You’re about to learn why cats chase rats with such vigour.

Folktale 1:

One day, the Jade Emperor initially selected 12 animal, and told the cat to inform the rest 11, in which the rat is not included.  The rat heard this information by eavesdropping when the cat told the ox. The rat secretly came to the heaven palace and registered for the first position before everyone else. The stupid Jade Emperor didn’t even check the authenticity of the Rat’s registration. Then the first informed Ox only got second position. Finished informing everyone and came back for his own position, did the cat only to find that no position left for him anymore. So rat is the first and no cat. From then on, cat and rat became life enemies.

Folktale 2:

Once, the Jade Emperor thought it’s better to assign an animal for each year so people can remember the Zodiac cycle easier. So he decided to hold a meeting with all the animals and he will elect 12 of them to be the Zodiac animals in the meeting. At that time, cat and rat are close friends, just like brothers. They are very excited for the meeting and decided to go together.  The cat is a sleepyhead, hardly woke up before noon. Night before the meeting, he ask the rat to wake him up the next morning.  The rat agreed: No problem, take it easy, I will wake you up for sure! The cat felt assured and had a sweet dream. The next morning, the rat got up early and quietly, washed and brushed, left for the meeting alone.

When the cat woke up afternoon, he knew it’s too late.  The news about newly selected 12 animals were everywhere; and the rat is the first of them.  Felt betrayed by the rat, from then on, the cat turned into rat’s enemy. So that’s also why cats are always chasing  after rats.


The two folktales above are the most typical and most funny ones. I like them. But probably you will doubt that’s the truth.  12 animals for the Chinese zodiac must have been developed in the early stage of Chinese civilization for hundreds of year until it become the current edition; and it’s very hard to investigate the real origin.  As to the absence of Cat, most historians agree that Chinese zodiac 12 animal were formed before cats were introduced to China from India with Buddhism.  So the answer is clear: There is no cat on the list because Chinese people never knew a cat at  that time.

Vietnam’s edition has Cat:

Just some additional information on this topic, although Vietnam adapted 12 animal zodiac from China, their edition is a little different. They have Cat in it, while Rabbit is dropped off. Why? Not sure. One explanation is that the “Rabbit” pronunciation in Chinese sounds like “Cat” in Vietnamese, so they made a mistake.

Explanation thanks to finding a Chinese blog:

Why no year of the Cat?

Just Waiting For The Rat

Just Waiting For The Rat

They’re a bit tougher than mice, so I did some checking, and found this, just to help 🙂

Rat Trap

Rat Trap

18/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Upvote teamwork

No words needed.

Just enjoy the ending 🙂

18/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Street art surprise in George Street

I often suggest people wake-up to their surroundings, and pay just a little more attention to what happens around them.

Along with quite a few others, I advise others to ‘Look Up’, especially locals, and especially in Glasgow, where there’s a whole new world that I know many are completely oblivious to.

But sometimes all it takes is a look at places you’ve been seeing ‘forever’, as the fact that they haven’t changed for years doesn’t mean they won’t.

Case in point, this doorway in George Street, passed many times yet never interesting (although I do always look at the building it lives in), yet a quick glance changed that.

I wonder if it would have been different if seen earlier, if perhaps some politically motivated moron thought using it might make one of their similarly moronic posters more noticeable?

Glasgow Street Art

Glasgow Street Art

18/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Battery Day

18 February is Battery Day.

Another simple one that doesn’t really need any explanation.

So, a little history to fill the space.

Credited with the invention of the electric battery, Italian Alessandro Giuseppe Antonio Anastasio Volta (18 February 1745 – 5 March 1827) was a physicist, chemist, and pioneer of electricity and power.

His invention was the Voltaic pile in 1799, and he reported the results of his experiments in 1800 in a two-part letter to the President of the Royal Society.

Critically important, his invention proved that electricity could be generated chemically, ending the belief that electricity was generated solely by living beings.

Volta had disagreed with Luigi Aloisio Galvani’s conclusions about “animal electric fluid” or animal electricity, but the two scientists disagreed respectfully. Volta coined the term “Galvanism” for a direct current of electricity produced by chemical action. The disagreement between the two in regard to the source or cause of electricity led Volta to build the first battery in order to specifically disprove his colleague’s theory.

Voltaic Pile

Voltaic Pile

18/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment


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