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Phillip Tyson
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Bustling Pathumwan
With the exception of possibly Victory Monument, Pathumwan is undoubtedly the busiest intersection in Bangkok. It is bounded on two corners by giant gleaming temples to commercialism: Mah Boon Krong (MBK) Centre, and Siam Discovery. On the north-west corner is the modern Bangkok Arts and Culture Centre.

Above ground, in a maze of concrete pylons and overpasses, is central meeting point of the city's two commuter 'SkyTrain' lines, as well as a labyrinth of pedestrian walkways connecting the nearby sports stadiums to shopping centres, restaurants, hotels and train stations.

At ground level, the bustling thoroughfares of Thanon Rama I and Phayathai are a sea of multi-coloured taxis, dirty diesel fume-spewing buses and daringly-driven tuk-tuks. All of this modernity contrasts with impeccably manicured greenery in the gardens that make up the median strips between traffic lanes. A true image of the chaotic nature of life in a 21st century metropolis.

This is a three-shot, hand-held HDR taken in February 2013 using my Pentax *istDL.
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Cheers +Gerard Blacklock. It's a pretty polarising city but you've got to hand out to Bangkok for its photogenic qualities
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Pets In The Park
Yesterday, Knox Council held its annual regional pet expo dubbed "Pets In The Park" at Gilbert Park in Knoxfield. I rocked up mid-afternoon, trusty canine companion by my side, armed with my camera, superzoom lens, a low aperture setting and set to work capturing the proceedings. It was a picture-perfect autumn afternoon and although I had missed some of the main attractions, there were plenty of punters wandering around with their pets of all shapes and sizes. Here's a few of my better shots.
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It definitely does +Am Saowarot
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Smoke And Mirrors
In as sure a sign as any that the Australian Government's anti-smoking message is actually sinking in, tobacco giant Philip Morris is set to close its local manufacturing plant and shift production to Korea. It seems to me like this is a knee-jerk reaction to not getting their way with regards to plain packaging in this country. This has no doubt been a hit to their ego, and it makes me question their publicised rationale for closure in that Australian-made cigarettes are unsuitable for export because of local self-extinguishing laws. Not only are there plenty of global markets with identical restrictions on selling only self-extinguishing cigarettes (the USA for example), but to bemoan being forced to make "safer" products is a petty yet entirely predictable reaction from an industry that profits off the sale of carcinogens.

Imagine if they promoted this "feature" of their cigarettes as a market differentiator in places where it is not mandated instead, in much the same way that car manufacturers promote collision avoidance and other safety mechanisms. Just because you're not legally required to make a product designed to prevent house and bush fires doesn't mean you shouldn't strive for that to be the standard of product you offer.

While the loss of any manufacturing jobs is a sore point in Victoria's current economic climate, I think that this news speaks volumes to Australia's progressive stance on ridding society of this unhealthy and all-too pervasive vice.

http://www.philipmorrisusa.com/en/cms/Products/Cigarettes/Fire_Standards_Compliant_Cigarettes/default.aspx?src=top_nav
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True +Paul Carmona, and the same argument applies to speed cameras: a lot of cash for a questionable  outcome under the guise of "doing something".
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What a fresh approach to the idea of teaching language. Computationally scan through the entirety of available written language, discover what is most important/most frequently used, then teach that first.
 
Lingvist Raises €1 Million To Reduce The Time It Takes To Learn A New Language http://trib.al/oHp4spf
Estonian startup Lingvist, which is developing "adaptive" language learning software that it claims significantly reduces the time it takes to learn a new..
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+Phillip Tyson cool, glad it had some languages of interest, with some consistent usage you should be fluent in vaguely accurate Thai in no time ;) 
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This Mall Has Everything!
In what is possibly the coolest video I have ever seen in my life, Aussie Duncan McConchie (aka +Bricktease) has painstakingly recreated the wonderfully destructive mall scene from The Blues Brothers. This must have taken an eternity to produce, and I am stunned at the intricacy and attention to detail. When you look at it side-by-side with the original (http://youtu.be/J-stcy2er7w), it is even more impressive. I grew up on The Blues Brothers and could not think of a more fitting tribute to this cinematic gem.

Via +Kelvin Morrison
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Is that a George Lucas minifig at 00:41?
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Phillip Tyson

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Something To Pond-er
While cruising New South Wales' Sapphire Coast towards the end of last year, I happened to stop into Mimosa Wines on my way to Bermagui. The proprietor - a former teacher from Melbourne - was only too happy to discuss the genesis of the vineyard and subsequent extensions including a restaurant and guesthouse. The large block was once used for grazing, but has been largely converted to vines and has had some beautiful landscaping work done, including the creation of a couple of picture-perfect dams. After sampling (and purchasing!) most of their fermented offerings I had a wander through the grounds and couldn't help but admire the beautiful flowering water lilies.

This is a single hand-held image with some light processing in onOne's Perfect Effects 8.
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That I understand +Am Saowarot. And thank you :)
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Universal Appeal
Having originally been put off by the early previews for The Lego Movie, I gave in to the rave reviews and went and saw it last night. Pleasantly surprised doesn't come close to describing my reaction to this brilliantly made piece of cinema.

There can't be many of us that didn't grow up playing with the iconic toy, and to watch this movie unfold through the lens of the eternal child in all of us was supremely satisfying. The star-studded cast of voice actors coupled with a fast-paced, witty and wonderfully self-referential storyline would be reason alone to go and see this movie. But I had grossly underestimated the level of intricacy and realism of the animation. I felt a pang of patriotic pride while reading through the credits that the entirety of the animation was handled by Sydney-based Animal Logic, the studios behind the special effects work on The Matrix trilogy and The Great Gatsby, and the hit animated feature Happy Feet.

It's not at all the movie I expected it to be, indeed it was much funnier and infinitely more engaging and is a credit not only to the writers and producers, but to our Aussie-grown movie-making talent.
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I really like him too. +Phillip Tyson
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There's An App For That...Search Result
Man this is cool. As if the infinite use of intents between apps wasn't already a killer feature, tying web search results directly to apps shows why I prefer the usability and functionality of Google's Android over WP8 or iOS.
 
Creating a seamless experience for moving between search results and your own apps Google has been experimenting with new ties between keyword searches on mobile and Android apps, and now that functionality is being expanded pretty dramatically. Back in 2013 Google started partnering with a...
Creating a seamless experience for moving between search results and your own apps Google has been experimenting with new ties between keyword searches on mobile and Android apps, and now that functionality is being expanded pretty dramatically. Back in 2013 Google started partnering with a selective few big names like IMDb, Wikipedia and Open Table to have an "Open in app" button...
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Just getting better and better :) 
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Photographic Clichés
So it turns out that despite all of my most concerted efforts to appear creative, I am little more than a living, breathing collector of photographic clichés.

The other day, fellow Melburnian photog +Trace McLean shared a blog post from +PetaPixel (http://goo.gl/DHnbpF) that listed the 7 types of shots that all photographers have in their collection. "That couldn't possibly apply to me", I vainly protested to no one in particular. Sure enough though, as I pondered it some more, the gradual realisation that a vast percentage of my work was little more than facsimiles of photographic standards began to sink in. Ho hum.

Without further ado, I hereby submit my portfolio of clichéd shots, amassed over a period of about 20 years using a widely varied range of photographic equipment.
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Hence the Pffftttt +Phillip Tyson :-)
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Textbook Definition Of Cuteness
Tasmania's Freycinet Peninsula is one of the state's most iconic attractions, boasting a picturesque isthmus, bound on either side by the crystal clear waters of Wineglass Bay and Hazards Beach.

On a trip there a few years back, I was greeted at the car park - most surprisingly - by this cute little wallaby. Intent on not scaring her away from me, I edged gently closer and closer, delicately taking out my camera gear to get a series of close-up shots. Only after about 10 minutes of this carefully calculated behaviour did I realise that this photogenic subject of mine was no stranger to being snapped, and was not overly fazed by people at all. Truth be told, she was something of a little poser.

After I'd had my fill of snaps, I left her to go on my walk, and as I departed, I noticed a van-load of tourists show up.They got out and all raced over, and then as if on cue, she began striking adorable pose after adorable pose, much to their giddy delight. Sometimes I wonder why I bother! ~sigh~
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Ha..so funny.
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