The Truth about “Ugg” Boots.

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Ugg boots were first created by Australian farmers, who used sheepskin to stay warm. As the years went by, many Australian surfers also cottoned on to using them for their warmth-giving properties.
Although popular in America, most Australians consider them too dowdy to be worn outside the house. So how did they get the reputation for being fashionable in the United States?
When the boots landed on American shores, a company named Decker decided to copyright them, and after a marketing blitz in which some celebrities endorsed the product, they became a runaway hit.
Decker got greedy, and quickly started trying to shut down Australian manufacturers of ugg boots, for using the now-trademarked name.
To the Australian manufacturers the claim was ludicrous, as they had been selling the boots for many years already.
The Australian manufacturers took their claim to court, explaining that “ugg” was actually just a slang word for “ugly,” and thus the trademark was invalid.
Fortunately for the Australians, the court sided with them.
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A Cloudy Lake Hollingsworth.

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Photograph by Dennis Ramos, National Geographic Your Shot
It seems that Mother Nature was in a collaborative mood, helping Your Shot member Dennis Ramos snap an unusual shot of Lake Hollingsworth in Lakeland, Florida.
“I was walking with my wife,” he writes, “when we noticed this one duck [fly] to the top of the young tree. As we were taking shots, I noticed this cloud very slowly [move] into my camera frame.”
A long-exposure photographer, Ramos was prepared to capture the moment. “I always have my neutral-density filter in my camera bag,” he explains. “I set up my tripod and [dialed] in a 90-second exposure—just enough to blur the water and still have the cloud above without too much motion blur”.
Ramos’s shot was recently featured in the Daily Dozen.
Source: Lake Image, Florida – National Geographic Photo of the Day

Eddie Mabo, Indigenous Land Rights Advocate, 1936-1992.

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Edward (Eddie) Koiki Mabo, was born on Mer (Murray) Island in 1936.
He was exiled from the Island when he was 16, and worked across northern Queensland and the Torres Strait.
He then settled in Townsville with his young family in 1962.
Eddie established Australia’s first black community school in 1973.
In 1982 Eddie Mabo and four other Islanders initiated legal action, claiming customary ownership of their lands on Mer Island.
After being rejected in 1990, Eddie Mabo took the case to the High Court.
The High Court overturned terra nullius in Australia in 1992, but sadly Eddie Mabo died before the decision was handed down.
Following the desecration of Eddie Mabo’s grave in 1995, his body was re-interred on MerQueensland_State_Archives_2531_Murray_Island_court_house_and_people_1898
Murray Island Community 1898.
Read more via ‘Priceless’ Eddie Mabo self portrait held at AIATSIS – ABC News 

Rain & Sunrise, Laver Hill, The Otways.

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Rain on the horizon threatens to overtake the sunrise near Laver Hill, in the stunning Otways of Victoria.
Photo by ABC Open contributor greens_pics
Source: Rain or shine – ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

Swarms of desert locusts fly into the air from crops in Katitika village in Kenya’s Kitui county on Jan. 24, 2020.
In the worst outbreak in a quarter-century, hundreds of millions of the insects swarmed into Kenya from Somalia and Ethiopia, destroying farmland and threatening an already vulnerable region.
(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)
Source: In 2020, AP photographers captured a world in distress

‘Glowing Orbs’.

395A8556-optimizedIn July, 2014, a team of light painters from East Coast Light Painting created a long-exposure photograph of 200 glowing orbs in a field in Virginia.
To create the orbs, the group collaboratively developed a spinning light tool.
During the 1,651-second exposure, the team fanned out to create each of the 7-foot-diameter orbs.
200orbsBThe light painters were inspired by a 2011 photograph in which photographer Andrew Wells created a long-exposure image with 100 orbs.
According to the group, their 2014 photograph has earned a Guinness World Record.
via Light-Painting Group Creates a Long-Exposure Photograph of 200 Glowing Orbs in a Field.

Alan Maynard.

img_0055-scaled696_1-scaled500It’s the one and only Alan Maynard, Cricket Club Legend.

Alan was born at Safety Bay (48 km South of Perth) in 1944.

After a lot of shifting around as a lad, he eventually settled in Adelaide where he worked for the Christies Meat Store in the City Centre as a trainee butcher and smallgoods maker.

Alan commenced with The Old Guv in 1967 mainly doing Store work.

During this time he was actively involved with the GPD Cricket Club and was a star performer (for all the wrong reasons) on the Melbourne Trips.

1024px-SafetyBayWAustSafety Bay, Western Australia.

One of my fondest memories of Alan was watching him desperately crawling down the cricket pitch at the Plympton Oval in a vain attempt to avoid being runout!

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Ray of Light, Bagan, Myanmar.

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Wonderful Photograph by Zay Yar Lin, Copyright.
Young novices clean a temple at Bagan, Myanmar, in the morning before the tourists come to visit.
This distinctive ray of light usually falls directly upon the image of Buddha during June and July of each year.
Source: Ray of Light Photo by Zay Yar Lin — National Geographic Your Shot

Li’l Spiders on Planet Earth.

head-on-spider-4This is a small series of macro shots by photographer Jimmy Kong featuring little spiders staring directly at the camera.
See, they’re not so scary now, are they? The one creeping under your bed covers? That one, yes. I used to have a spider that lived in the corner of the ceiling above my shower.
I jokingly called him my roommate, we actually got along fine. Until the day he tried to touch me, then I bare-hand splattered his guts all over the wall. I still find legs in my shower caddy.
head-on-spider-8Keep going for a couple more, but be sure to check out Jimmy’s Flickr for a ton more spiders and insects staring directly at the camera.
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See more spiders via Cuties!: Lil’ Spiders Staring Directly At The Camera | Geekologie.

Unusual Christmas decorations from America.

The early Roman celebration of Saturnalia, designed to appease agricultural gods who determined the fate of their crops, included the use of evergreen boughs to decorate homes.
The Druids, Celts and Vikings also used them during their winter solstice ceremonies to signify hope during the seasonal dead zone.So how did the practice morph from humble branches to majestic trees?
Some credit 16th Century Germany for that shift. That’s when small evergreen trees were decorated with candies, apples and berries and used in church plays.
Suddenly, the pagan ritual got a Christian makeover, and the uses of larger and grander trees during the winter season spread across Europe. By comparison, Americans got in on the practice relatively late. It’s believed that the first Christmas trees appeared in German American communities in the early 1800s.
But by and large, 19th century Americans still viewed the holidays as pagan until Britain’s Queen Victoria and her family were sketched standing near a brightly festooned Christmas arrangement in 1846.
Soon after, members of the American elite competed to earn credit for the most lavish displays of holiday splendor.

From there, it was game on for American Christmas. 
Nowadays, it’s hard to imagine getting through a December without encountering at least one form of iconic Christmas image, regardless of your geographic location.
Source: See Christmas decorations around America