The new Spurs stadium is nearly ready (and the views will be great)


I found that at the Spurs website. That’s how things are looking now, or at any rate pretty recently. From the sky.

Of greater interest to me is this:

Which I found here.

The black bit is a staircase, and a viewing platform:

… the views from the Tottenham Skywalk will be spectacular. The trek has five core stages which offer different vantage points and experiences for its visitors. The walk starts on the southern end of the western side of the stadium where the Skywalk ascent begins. Traveling up to Level 5, one continues on the external open walkway up towards the roof. This is a pretty wild concept. Supporters and visitors alike will be trudging up the outer facade, carabiners and all, where they will catch glimpses of the frenetic indoor pace of the stadium, while also viewing the vastness of greater London.

Carabiners? That means everyone roped together like mountain climbers. So, not just strolling up there, then. Even so, I just might give that a go. And I’ll be doing a lot more than “catch glimpses”, I can tell you. Here’s hoping cameras are allowed.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Hammersmith – cranes – sunset


Lovely. Thank you Twitter.

It’s London, but the colour is Turkish delight. The sky being the chocolate and the sun being the filling.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

How public is Facebook?

Says my friend (also my Facebook “friend”) Antoine Clarke:

“Elites” in the USA, the UK and the EU claim that the masses who favour President Trump, Brexit, or oppose EU control of Italy’s government are “illiterates” , “uneducated” etc. So who’s been in charge of education?

Good point.

But, it’s on Facebook, and I don’t understand Facebook. I don’t believe I am betraying anything especially private here, but maybe I am. I am taking that chance.

With blogging, it’s very simple. What you see is public. You can copy anything on a blog, and paste it into your blog, for all the world to read in the unlikely event that it wants to. All that etiquette demands is that you mention the source of what you copied. But when I read something on Facebook, what can I use? I don’t know.

A friend (also FB “friend”) of mine is just now at the cinema, with his wife, according to a posting by him on Facebook. There was a picture of the two of them, with a movie star in another poster behind them. And there, you see, I may already be spilling beans. What if they told their last-minute – please please can you help us out, this once?!?! – babysitter that they had an “urgent appointment”, medical or some such thing? But really, they were just going to the cinema? If the babysitter also reads this blog, and reads this, it could take them weeks to unscramble the mess. That’s all pretty unlikely, of course. But something like that could happen, or so I fear.

Twitter, like blogging, is fairly straightforward. Anybody can read someone Twittering away, on Twitter, and everything there is accordingly public. If I can see it on Twitter, I can quote it here. Right? I could be wrong, but that’s what I now assume. But with Facebook, I don’t know where I am.

I have a friend (also FB “friend”) who sometimes tells me things in the strictest confidence, in a way which suggests to me that, really, what he wants is for me to say this to everyone I subsequently meet, but keeping his name out of it. Or something. I never really know.

I will be a blogger until I die, because with blogging, all this is straightforward and out in the open. Which means I have to get myself a new blog which goes at a proper speed, unlike this one. People do still read this blog. But the time it takes to load up introduces another version of not-very-publicness. That needs to be done away with, asap. Another friend (also “friend”) is, or so I hope, helping out with that.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The new Tottenham Court Road tube exit – with cranes

The photos here were taken in nicer weather, by a much better photoer than me.

But my photo is better, because my photo has … cranes:

I have visited this place several times in the last few days, each time in the evening, each time attempting to buy a certain CD at nearby Foyles. Twice I was frustrated. First, because I misidentified the closing time of Foyles, on some obsolete website I think it must have been. Then, I forgot that yesterday was a bank holiday. Finally, today, I got my CD, and several other cheaper ones from their second-hand collection.

And, this evening, I finally got the photo I wanted of this tube exit, and its cranes. The key to it was: I had my camera ready to go when I stepped onto the escalator. And then when I wasn’t sure I had what I wanted, I went back down again, and up again. The trick was, taking the photo from near the bottom of the escalator, so that both cranes were included.

In addition to being willing sometimes to look like a perve, a photoer must also be willing sometimes to look like a prat.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Light on dark

A few hours ago, the Waterloo crane cluster was lit up by the evening sun, in front of dark clouds, an effect I love:

That was taken from the downstream Hungerford footbridge, just outside Embankment tube. Minutes after that it was chucking it down. And there was more thunder.

A fine night for the BBC to be showing King Lear.

I had already set the TV recorder.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Internet not working

Using phone. Impossible. That is all.

LATER: Well, not quite. It seems that it was Google not working. Or something. Everything went black. Why? So after all the usual switch-it-off-switch-in-on-again bollocks, I closed all windows, black as they were and were determined to remain, and then opened just one. And that, this, worked. I found out google wasn’t working by trying another internet searcher thingy. That worked. Except that it couldn’t remember how to get here, if it ever knew. So, I closed google and opened it again, a little.

Very peculiar.

As for that using phone thing, well, again, not impossible. Just ridiculously difficult.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Maybe not such a smart idea

I was attracted to Nick Bryant’s Twitter Feed by this Tweet, which someone on my Twitter Feed had flagged up. And that got me looking at other Nick Bryant Tweets.

In one of these, Bryant alludes admiringly to this quote:

“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.”

Which Bryant calls “smart”. And it does sound quite smart.

But think about this a bit more. What this says is that in every room with several people in it, one of them shouldn’t be there.

If everyone followed this advice, social life would collapse. The smartest person in each room would keep leaving, and then the second-smartest, and so on. And the leavers would be frantically searching for rooms with smarter people in them. But the smartest people in those rooms would also have to leave, and eventually they’d be the smartest. And so on. Madness.

Here’s my plan. If you like the company you are in, stick around. If you really are the smartest person there, there’s still plenty you can learn if you have a mind to. And if you are actually teaching everyone else, well, what’s so wrong with that?

The truth is that most people are smart about some things and stupid about a lot of other things. Which means that actually, the “smartest person” notion is inherently flawed.

The idea of the above quote is that we should always be learning things from others. But you can usually learn something from anyone, no matter how much smarter you may be compared to them, or think that you are.

Further thought: If you are in a room where you think you are the smartest person, and that everyone else is stupider than you, well, maybe you should get out of there and spare these people your company.

I have in mind the meeting I hosted last night, where everyone was smart, or so it seemed to me. About whatever each of us was smart about.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Chat perdu :( (et retrouvé)

Those photos of Oscar would appear to have made quite a difference to Oscar’s life, because he went missing last Monday, and three of these photos helped to find him and get him home again:

GodDaughter2 will be telling me more about all this soon. Like: Were there any other recent photos of Oscar that would have worked the same trick? I don’t want to jump to conclusions, as people say when they do want to jump to conclusions, but maybe without my photos, Oscar would have ended up having a totally different life.

The heart of the operation was the much grumbled-about social media. The above poster was concocted in London by a friend of GD2’s, and then socially media-ed all over the local area in France. Facebook, take a bow. In addition to being an actual friend of mine, GD2 is a Facebook “friend”, but I hadn’t been paying attention to her Oscar postings, until she phoned and then emailed me about all this excitement:

About 300 people shared various posts I posted on Facebook to find Oscar. He left Monday, I started looking for him last night and we got him today!

GD2 made all this happen while in London, that email having arrived yesterday, last night being Wednesday evening. It seems that Oscar, having got lost, was then cared for by another family. But when, thanks to the above social media activity, they got in touch and Oscar got back to his original carers, GD2’s family, he apparently spent many hours sleeping, which is not the routine I recall when I was there. This tells to me that he was very stressed while away, and was relieved to be home. With home needing no sneer quotes, the way it might with some cats.

6k has also been impressed by these Oscar photos, this one in particular …:

…, and he has been making that the basis of various would-be internet memes, of which this one is the latest:

Reuniting lost loved-ones is a classic excuse for the Total Surveillance World we now live in.

And actually (see above (sometimes)) quite a good excuse. If I, or someone, had not been surveilling Oscar, he might still be lost.

I also remember how, in the past, GD2’s parents would grumble about how much time she would spend social-media-ing, instead of doing “real” things, like sleep or homework. But finding Oscar was very real.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog


In Quimper, the city in Brittany which I recently visited on account of having friends who live there, I photoed this:

My camera’s ability to notice details that I didn’t notice at the time …

… immediately enabled me to learn who did it, and what else he has done.

I love the internet.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

So …

So I went to Foyle’s this evening, to buy this but got there too late, and then went food shopping in order to confer meaningfulness on an otherwise meaningless expedition. So then I was tired, but managed to write a posting for here, but then it turned into a Samizdata posting, which I will post tomorrow, or maybe not, because I always sleep on Samizdata postings nowadays, because that always makes them better, or not. So now it’s tomorrow morning and I have nothing for here, so here is a photo I took through the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube station:

I like that time of the evening, or the early morning come to that, when natural light and artificial light are in some balance.

Centre Point has had a total makeover and been turned into posh flats. But, it looks exactly as it always did.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog