Tag Archives: United Kingdom

Help Choose Year’s Most Amazing Wildlife Photo

Screw the thousand words. Some of these pictures are worth a set of encyclopedia all by themselves.

Mostly because I had a son who always wanted to see more pictures of an learn more about the animals of the world, I’ve had a soft spot for amazing wildlife pictures.

'Shoaling Reef Squid' by Tobias Bernhard
‘Shoaling Reef Squid’ by Tobias Bernhard

Apparently, I’m not alone.

For the past 50 years, the fine folks over at the National History Museum in United Kingdom have collected together some of the best examples of wildlife photography every year. This leads to the selection of the Wildlife Photographer of the Year and a truly stunning gallery exhibition.

This year, the Natural History Museum is allowing you (and, oddly, me) the opportunity to help choose the People’s Choice for best wildlife photograph of the year.

'Feel Safe' by Juan Carlos Mimó Perez
‘Feel Safe’ by Juan Carlos Mimó Perez

Vote for your favourite image from the WPY 2014 People’s Choice collection.

Our jury has chosen 50 of the best images from the 2014 competition shortlist. Which one captures your imagination?

Browse the images in this gallery and select the Vote button to make your choice. Choose carefully as you only have one vote.

Voting closes on 5 September 2014. The winning image will be revealed in October.

Share your favourite with @NHM_WPY on Twitter using the hashtag

'Shoulder Check' by Henrik Nilsson
‘Shoulder Check’ by Henrik Nilsson

#MyWPY and you could win a copy of 50 Years of Wildlife Photographer of the Year: How Wildlife Photography Became Art, published by the Natural History Museum.

I’ll be honest with you dudes. I just spent an hour or so flipping through the gallery with my mouth hanging open in astonishment. These are some freaking awesome pictures, dudes.

My major problem with them is that I enjoyed them all so much I had an exceedingly difficult time choosing which one I should vote for.

StargazerEventually, though, I settled on one that just seemed to speak to me.

Okay, not exactly speak to me, but it certainly had a striking visual that just made me stare. And stare. Eventually, though, I blinked and lost the staring contest.

Seriously, dudes, if you’ve got some time and want to feed your brain and your sensawonder a bit, head on over to the gallery and look for your favorite.

Also, a very happy birthday to my father-in-law, The Italian. He’s the man behind the best, most-flavorful spaghetti sauce in the world and I’m a very fortunate man to have him in my family.

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Maybe If You Hum A Few Bars? Now Hum Lower. . . Lower. . .

by Richard

It turns out that music in the bedroom can actually lead some to feel more amorous, more inclined to actually get a little dirty, dancing there in the sheets.

You see what I did there? That was a little neurolinguistic programming there, getting you dudes set up for the bad news.

Brace yourselves. Ready? You’re sure? Okay, here it is.

According to a survey commissioned by the online music service Spotify, the most arousing music to play in the bedroom is the soundtrack to the 80’s movie Dirty Dancing.

Yeah. I know. I’m having a real hard time getting over that knowledge myself.


“Dirty Dancing” was the top pick for both men and women, although the study’s author, music psychologist Daniel Mullensiefen, also pointed out that men are more willing to adjust their tastes in music in order to ensure “greater success in the bedroom.”

Good on you, dudes. Rather than show a little spine, you’ll wimp out and let the lady play the music she wants to hear all so you can do a little sheet romp. Okay, yeah. I understand that’s important, but the question I’ve got is. . . What are you doing with anyone who thinks Dirty Dancing is a good movie?

Another surprise finding? Respondents said music playing in the background is 40% more likely to turn them on than the touch or feel of their partner.

Rather not listen to “Will You Love Me Tomorrow” during sex? Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” placed second on the list, with Ravel’s “Bolero” finishing third.

So, yes, we like music. Some of us like it a lot. But this? Music that’s better than sex? No. Sorry. Maybe an entire concert with your best friends, with your favorite band playing the best songs ever, might, maybe, possibly approach within shouting distance. But better? No. Especially not these songs.

One in three participants identified Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as a song that is “better than sex.” Next on the list was “Sex on Fire” by Kings of Leon and “Angels” by Robbie Williams. Mullensiefen describes these as songs that take unexpected turns that we respond to in highly emotional, but positive, ways.

The study interviewed 2,000 people in the United Kingdom between the ages of 18 and 91, with an almost equal gender split.

Those folks need to really rethink their priorities.

Meanwhile, I’m going to do a little changing around on my “special” playlist, you know, the one I play when I’m with She Who Must Be Seeing Dirty Dancing At Least Once A Year.

Not my fault. I didn’t find out about this horrible thing until much later into the marriage. By then it was too late.

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Rub It In, Why Don’t You?

by Richard

Sometimes, it seems as if the good news just won’t stop — for those other dudes.

Coastal living could actually be better for your health, according to a new study from the United Kingdom.

University of Exeter researchers found that people who live inland were less likely to report having ratings of “good health” than people who live closer to the coast.

Yeah, that’s right. As if they didn’t have a good enough life what with their home right on the ocean, people who live there in splendor and beauty, also get to live there longer than the rest of us poor land-locked schlubs.

Of course this little tidbit of knowledge was passed on to me by my dad. . . who lives in a beautiful condo on the beach in Florida. I don’t begrudge him the condo. He’s worked hard for most of his life to be able to have this sort of thing and I’m happy for him.


A longer, healthier life? And a house at the beach?


But, why?

“We know that people usually have a good time when they go to the beach, but there is strikingly little evidence of how spending time at the coast can affect health and wellbeing,” study researcher Dr. Ben Wheeler said in a statement. “By analyzing data for the whole population, our research suggests that there is a positive effect, although this type of study cannot prove cause and effect.”

More research is needed to extrapolate the reasons for why living by the coast seems to be linked with better health, but researchers wrote in the Health & Place study that they think “these effects may be due to opportunities for stress reduction and increased physical activity.”

Eh, who really cares why. It just is and that’s all that really matters.

After reading this, I think we all know what to do.

Find someone who lives at the beach and go live with them. It’s only fair that they get to share the benefits.

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