karenak Crown

tech-writer, music-lover, bookworm,
art-appreciator, DVD-watcher, comp-addict,
ex-stumbler, European Citizen, ISFP

Welcome !

Brian's Help Pages

I went through my friends list and removed all those that haven't posted anything for many years.
Afterwards I found out that there are a lot of people here who don't post but are still online.
If you noticed that I unfriended you, please just let me know and I will gladly put you back on the list :-)

A slight detour on my way back

Just so you don't think my last reappearance here was only a blip, I am posting an update about my doings / whereabouts.

I am currently extremely busy with selling the house and moving into a smaller apartment.

This might not seem to be such a huge task, unless you know what the real estate market currently is like in Germany. Finding a buyer for the house should not prove to be very difficult. Finding an apartment is nearly impossible.

Couldn't find one to buy, but I finally found one to rent. A small one. In an ok location. Yay!
However, this means that I have to get rid of most of my stuff, which is not easy at all. I'm not a hoarder, but stuff has accumulated over the decades. So I decided to make a clean cut. I will buy new furniture for this apartment and only take with me what I really, really need.

Then a slipped disk decided to somewhat dampen my energy and enthusiasm. VERY helpful condition when trying to lug around moving boxes and furniture.....

Enough said.

I'm busy, but I'll try to keep in touch.

What sad news !
Haven't even gotten around to reading his latest ideas about what was before the Big Bang.
What a great loss !

"We are just an advanced breed of monkeys on a minor planet of a very average star. But we can understand the Universe. That makes us something very special."

"One cannot really argue with a mathematical theorem"


Ziggy lives in the Serengeti.

So very beautiful!

Article about images the space probe Juno sent us from Jupiter. Truly awesome.

Jupiter - Images Juno sent us

The Snooker legend

Ronnie O'Sullivan

Really looking forward to seeing Ronnie O'Sullivan play. Hope he wins this.

Dafabet Masters 2018: Tournament Preview

Televised snooker returns this Sunday with the start of the 2018 Dafabet Masters from the Alexandra Palace in London. As ever, 16 of the world’s top players will battle it out to claim the biggest invitational title in the sport, with Ronnie O’Sullivan looking to capture the title for a record eighth time – and third in a row.

The oldest invitational event remaining on the professional calendar, the Masters is unsurprisingly steeped in history, with some of its most memorable moments chronicled by World Snooker in a recent article. Known as one of snooker’s ‘triple crown’ events in modern times, the format remains the same as the world’s top 16 descend upon the ‘Ally Pally’, home to the tournament since 2012, with just one table taking centre stage in front of a packed house.

A break from the flat 128 format that we now see regularly in ranking competition, the Masters of course remains a non-ranking event but that does nothing to lessen its prestige. Some might say that it enhances it, as there are no ranking distractions or seeding cut-offs for future cut-offs to consider, with all attention on the £200,000 top prize and the chance to lift the Paul Hunter Trophy, named after the late three-time former champion last year.


SO beautiful !

Frozen Soap Bubbles

177 countries out of 195 is not bad at all. I wonder why we are so welcome there. Maybe because we tend to walk into each and every tourist trap available?

Germany has regained its crown as the world’s most powerful passport

The world’s governments have spoken. Germany’s citizens are the travelers most welcome to cross their borders.

The Henley Passport Index, an annual ranking of passport power by the citizenship planning firm, came out today for 2018. Germany is at the top for the fifth year in a row, with visa-free or visa-upon-arrival access to 177 countries, up from 176 last year.

For the most part, it has been a good year for travelers’ international access. Since last year, most countries have retained the same levels of access or gained some. Seven passports, though, lost visa-free access to one other country: Azerbaijan, New Zealand, Antigua and Barbuda, Algeria, Laos, North Korea, and Syria, according to Henley. The Georgian passport gained the most access of any country, with new visa-free access to 32 countries, including those of the Schengen zone.

Do you want to see which countries you can go to without a visa? ...Click here

This is my favorite book of 2017.
It is laughing out loud funny and sad and very down to earth. Absolutely loved it and immediately got the sequel "Edward Adrift" as well.

600 Hours of Edward

A thirty-nine-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.).

But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone. Over the course of a momentous 600 hours, he opens up to his new neighbors and confronts old grievances with his estranged parents. Exposed to both the joys and heartaches of friendship, Edward must ultimately decide whether to embrace the world outside his door or retreat to his solitary ways.

Heartfelt and hilarious, this moving novel will appeal to fans of Daniel Keyes’s classic Flowers for Algernon and to any reader who loves an underdog.


Finding my way back

Today, after being lured back to facebook for a knitting pattern, I suddenly realized that I hadn't visited the Cateogorian group in a very long while and then wanted to see if my blog page still exists.

So, after installing the new add-on in Firefox and several futile attempts at logging in, I actually managed to see my page - and the sorry state it is in. Guess the Firefox update to 57 wasn't very kind to it.

And yes, you read that right: A knitting pattern. For the past 3 years I spent most of my spare time knitting and crocheting for a charity (hospice for children). I will of course continue to do that, but I think it's time to diversify and I DO love blogging and writing tutorials.

Therefore my next step is to evaluate the existing tutorials and see what has to be updated. I might FINALLY actually be rid of the Internet Explorer exceptions and am looking forward to seeing how Edge works.

Any comments and suggestions are welcome as always.

Can't believe it ! Somehow he was always there. Sometimes a bit in the background, but there.
What a loss!

Je suis

How I wish I could see this from up there.....
Watch this in Full Screen

Alexander Gerst’s Earth timelapses

Watch Earth roll by through the perspective of ESA astronaut Alexander Gerst in this six-minute timelapse video from space. Combining 12 500 images taken by Alexander during his six-month Blue Dot mission on the International Space Station this Ultra High Definition video shows the best our beautiful planet has to offer.

Marvel at the auroras, sunrises, clouds, stars, oceans, the Milky Way, the International Space Station, lightning, cities at night, spacecraft and the thin band of atmosphere that protects us from space.

Often while conducting scientific experiments or docking spacecraft Alexander would set cameras to automatically take pictures at regular intervals. Combining these images gives the timelapse effect seen in this video.

Watch the video in 4K resolution for the best effect and find out more about Alexander Gerst’s Blue Dot mission here: http://www.esa.int/BlueDot

Follow Alexander Gerst via http://alexandergerst.esa.int

This is the best book I read/listened to all year.

I think we can all imagine how terrifying it must be to be stranded on Mars. And to witness how this man copes and fights for his survival with ingenuity and courage is absolutely fascinating.

I wish someone had warned me not to begin this book on a Sunday afternoon, when there was not enough time to finish it all in one go, because I really, really hated having to stop listening 2 hours past my usual bedtime, when reason told me to catch some sleep before going to work Monday morning.

The Martian by Andy Weir

Six days ago, astronaut Mark Watney became one of the first people to walk on Mars.

Now, he's sure he'll be the first person to die there.

After a dust storm nearly kills him and forces his crew to evacuate while thinking him dead, Mark finds himself stranded and completely alone with no way to even signal Earth that he’s alive—and even if he could get word out, his supplies would be gone long before a rescue could arrive.

Chances are, though, he won't have time to starve to death. The damaged machinery, unforgiving environment, or plain-old "human error" are much more likely to kill him first.

But Mark isn't ready to give up yet. Drawing on his ingenuity, his engineering skills—and a relentless, dogged refusal to quit—he steadfastly confronts one seemingly insurmountable obstacle after the next. Will his resourcefulness be enough to overcome the impossible odds against him?


Talking about favorite music with Jefferson I had to mention this album which is one of my all-time favorites! Such beautiful music. I have all of her CDs but this is still the very best.

Enya - Watermark

This too belongs into the category "epic music soundtracks". Awesome.

Requiem for a dream

Here's the Categorian Beginner's First Aid Kit - CONTENTS


Part One - Background Color

Part Two - Background Image

Part Two /a - Background with Photo

Part Two /b - Background Image Sizing

Part Three - Background for Blog Posts

Part Three /a - Background for Single Blog Posts


Part Four - Blog Width

Part Four /a - Move your Blog


Part Five - Photoblogging ? You can do better than that !

Part Six - How to post a photo and make it look good

Example - How to position text and images


Part Seven - Let's talk about fonts

Part Seven /a - Fonts in the Style Sheet - CSS

Part Seven /b - Fonts in the blog posts - HTML

Part Eight /a - Text Formatting - Basics

Part Eight /b - Text Formatting - Columns

General Formatting

Part Nine - Simple Borders

Part Nine /a - Advanced Borders

Part Ten - Linking

Part 11 - Embedding


Part I - Completely messed up your layout ?

Part II - Bandwidth Exceeded

Do it yourself

Create a semi-transparent image


Addendum I - Punctuation Is Powerful !

...to be continued

Suggestions for topics are welcome :-)

I do not quite remember how it came about that I stumbled into this video. But I must confess that it immediately crawled up and down my spine and I have been hooked ever since.

This is music I would not ordinarily come across as I don't play video games, do not watch comics that were made into movies and certainly don't watch those brainless action movies. And I would never have guessed that the music alone would make it worthwhile.

For me there is a whole new world of music to be discovered.

Epic Music compilation 2012

Should have posted this months ago......

These guys are heroes now. Made us all very happy :-)

Here's the Categorian Beginner's First Aid Kit - Q&A - Columns

To answer Susan's question:

Yes, images can be placed anywhere in columns.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit, sed diam nonummy nibh euismod tincidunt ut laoreet dolore magna aliquam erat volutpat. Ut wisi enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exerci tation ullamcorper suscipit lobortis nisl ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis autem vel eum iriure dolor in hendrerit in vulputate velit esse molestie consequat, vel illum dolore eu feugiat nulla facilisis at vero eros et accumsan et iusto odio dignissim qui blandit praesent luptatum zzril delenit augue duis dolore te feugait nulla facilisi. Nam liber tempor cum soluta nobis eleifend option congue nihil imperdiet doming id quod mazim placerat facer possim assum. Typi non habent claritatem insitam; est usus legentis in iis qui facit eorum claritatem. Investigationes demonstraverunt lectores legere me lius quod ii legunt saepius.

Here is the code:

<p class="column" style="padding-left:30px; text-align:justify;"><img style="float: left; margin-right: 10px;" src="...path to the image..." width=80px;/> Lorem ipsum dolor ..................ullamcorper suscipit<img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px;" src="...path to the image..." width=80px;/> lobortis nisl ut aliquip ....................nulla facilisi. Nam<img style="float: right; margin-left: 10px;" src="...path to the image..." width=80px;/> liber tempor cum soluta nobis........................</p>

The tutorial about creating columns is here

Nalbinding (Needle Binding)
or: How the Vikings knitted

It seems like the offline world conspires against my online activities. There is so much to do and to learn that these days I really spend very little time sitting at my comp.

My latest project: Nalbinding or Needle Binding

That is how the Vikings knitted before knitting needles were invented. I was instantly hooked and absolutely had to find out how it works. Surprisingly the technique is still in use today in Scandinavia, Russia and other northern countries. And of course it is used by the Viking re-enactors all over the world. Apparently if you want to take part, you cannot just wear knitted mittens or socks. They have to be authentic.

Well, I'm not a re-enactor but I like the look of it:

Source: Lappone

So I set about learning how to do it. Let me tell you: it's not easy and it takes a lot of patience and a lot of practice. You need the right yarn (pure wool) and the right needle. Currently I'm still using a blunt darning needle that works okay for the stitches I tried, but there are other stitches that need the real thing:

Source:Etsy.com - ShyRedFox

BBC: A History of the world

Viking Sock photo 1.jpg

A woollen sock recovered at Coppergate was made using a technique known in Scandinavia as nålebinding; in English we call it knotless netting, looped-needle netting or single-needle knitting. This type of knitting uses a single-eyed needle to create a meshwork of interlocking loops, and could be used to make not only socks, but mittens, hats and bags. Bone needles found in the excavations could have been used for this type of knitting, but the sock is the only example of nålebinding ever to have been found in England, so it seems more likely that is was brought to York on the foot of a settler or trader, having been made in Scandinavia.

The sock was found in a worn state in the backyard of a 10th-century post and wattle building, and appeared to have been patched. It has a narrow red band around the ankle, but the original colour of the rest could not be determined. The band may have been a decorative edge, or the beginning of a red-coloured leg of a longer stocking.

Very appropriate when it's snowing outside, especially when it's still snowing by the end of March as it is now...

I've been downloading a lot of free ebooks lately. Many by self-publishing authors and most of those books were crap. This one, however, is a gem. Loved it and can recommend it unreservedly. Excellent read :-)

Ice Diaries by Lexi Revellian

It's 2018 and Tori's managing. Okay, so London is under twenty metres of snow, almost everybody has died in a pandemic or been airlifted south, and the only animals around are rats. Plus her boyfriend never returned from going to find his parents a year ago when the snow began - but she's doing fine. Really.

She lives in an apartment that's luxurious, if short on amenities, in a block which used to be home to rich City bankers. A handful of fellow survivors are her friends, and together they forage for food and firewood, have parties once a month and even run a book club. The problem is they have no long-term future; eventually provisions will run out. Tori needs to find transport to make the two-thousand-mile journey south to a warm climate and start again.

Enter Morgan, a disturbingly hot cage fighter from a tougher, meaner world where it's a mistake to trust people. He's on the run from the leader of the gang he used to work with. And he has a snowmobile. ...more

Source: Amazon

Scary and fascinating. To think that so many servers are insecure when we entrust more and more data to "the cloud". Well, I for one, do not.

Check out this animated GIF to see the hacked servers over a 24 hour period.

Click the image below to see the full size resolution.

Mapping the Internet: A Hacker's Secret Internet Census

Just how big is the Internet? An anonymous hacker claims to have answered the question via effective but illegal means. The result is a fascinating reflection of online usage around the world.

The anonymous person simply wanted to find out how many devices that were online could be opened with the standard password "root," he writes in a kind of research report on the project, entitled "Internet Census 2012." The result was the discovery that there are hundreds of thousands of devices secured only with the most common standard password, or without any password at all.

One of the largest groups of devices he found were routers, an issue we recommend that readers address immediately. Routers received by Internet providers are likely to have one of a few standard administrator passwords, including "root" or "admin." The router producers assume that users will change these passwords when they install them, but this rarely happens.

"As could be seen from the sample data, insecure devices are located basically everywhere on the Internet," the hacker writes. He found over a million devices that were accessible worldwide, the "vast majority of them consumer routers or set-top boxes." But there were also other types of devices, including "industrial control systems" and "physical door security systems." The security risks that the hacker's work exposes are dizzying.

Source: Spiegel Online International

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