I really like this bus filled with architecture

As quite often noted here, I am fond of photoing tourist crap. So it was that, earlier this month, I photoed a whole clutch of photos like this:

Well, I like them. But in among them was a photo that I now think to have a bit more to it. This photo:

What I like about this is that cameras these days don’t just have better eyesight than I do; they have better eyesight than almost everyone. And by zooming in on this bus filled with Big Things, well, it’s a bit like looking through a rather weak microscope. But still one strong enough to show you something you don’t regularly see. You know what it is, but you don’t ever look closely at such a thing.

With things like flowers and insects, we all get to see lots of close-up zoom photos, because they are considered worthy of the close-up zoom treatment. There are competitions if you photo photos like that.

But tourist crap, close-up? You don’t see that very often, do you?

So, I don’t just like this photo, I really like it.

Also, note how Portcullis House made it into the bus, entirely because it is across the road from Big Ben.

Christmas is coming – the goose is getting illuminated (and pursued by Sherlock Holmes)

Indeed, in Marylebone Road:

The same night I photoed the car and the leaves and Sherlock Holmes smoking.

I photoed many photos of these geese, in their clutches of four on each street lamp, while waiting for the Curry Night Boys to assemble, my favourite photo being this one …:

… because it turns the four geese into something that looks more like one giant insect. If I had showed only that one, it might have taken you a few moments to work out what was going on.

Okay, so, apart from four geese on each street light, what is going on? Why these geese? And why those strange blue smudges?

It took me a while, but eventually I came across this guide to Christmas street lights, which comes complete with a street map of the Baker Street “quarter”. These Marylebone Road geese are lights clutch number one:

Inspired by the Sherlock Holmes story, The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle, the ornate lamppost columns marking the gateway to the Quarter feature illuminated geese sporting blue jewels (carbuncles).

So, Sherlock Holmes again. If you are in that particular bit of London, you can’t escape the guy.

Wikipedia summarises the plot of this story, which involves a goose getting the above-mentioned blue carbuncle stuffed in its crop, concerning which Wikipedia interpolates angrily …:

… (the fact that geese do not have a crop has been regarded as Arthur Conan Doyle’s greatest blunder) …

… and being chased across London. By Sherlock Holmes.

The Hong Kong news is good (for now)

Hong Kong just had two big reasons to celebrate. First, there was the result of their recent elections, which Hong Kong won and the Chinese Communists lost. And second, the USA just passed a law supporting the HongKongers, with wide support across the political spectrum. American politicians can agree about very little just now, but they do agree about what the Chinese Communists are doing to Hong Kong. They’re against it. Pretty much all of them.

Here’s the photo at the top of a piece about how Hong Kong is now celebrating this law:

And, since this is my blog, let me mention also that I too have today expressed my displeasure at the behaviour in Hong Kong of the Chinese Communist government of China, by posting a posting at Samizdata entitled How to defeat the Chinese Communists.

That’ll show them.

I have a meeting about Hong Kong at my home, tomorrow night. Judging by the RSVPs so far, the room will be comfortably full, and maybe even uncomfortably full.

Black car – yellow leaves

Photoed a few minutes before that photo below of Sherlock Holmes smoking at Baker Street tube, just outside the Indian restaurant where me and the Boys Curry Night gang had just been dining:

This is one of those photos which is actually better than the original scene, as seen through my aging human eyes. The original scene was pretty dull. The car wasn’t shiny black, just a black car. The leaves were’t bright yellow, merely somewhat yellow. Ish. It would seem that my camera took all this dullness and cranked up the contrast and brightness of its own accord. I thought something like this might happen, which is why I photoed the photo. What was there to lose? (Digital photoing is not that cheap, but the marginal cost of the next photo is zero, as good as.)

The opposite of sunsets, in other words. They look fabulous for real, but in my photos, not nearly so dramatic.

There is always more space if you just keep looking

For quite a few months now I have been pacing about in my little flat in London SW1 (one of the many unfashionable bits of that postcode) looking for more space to put shelves for books and magazines and CDs. Will I have to move? The Horror. Will I have to chuck out some of my books and CDs? Double The Horror.

No. The great truth about shelving is that there is always, always room for more, if you just keep looking.

Example, look at this huge empty lump of absolutely nothing, in my bathroom, above the door-shaped gap that leads to the toilet, into which I now plan to put another shelf, upon which I will pile ancient copies of the BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone:

That giant gap of empty air with a wall behind it has been there for thirty years. I just never saw it for what it was, a big mouth shouting at me, saying: Give me a shelf! Give me a shelf! I can help! Just let me do it!

That will make a huge dent in the problem.

I put up these photos to basically get me to do this job. I have completed the design. I have the necessary brackets and screws, and one of the many planks I have collected over the years is the perfect size and ideal for the task. I just need to do it. So these photos are – indeed this entire blog posting is – a memo to self. Do this.

But before I do, I note that there is and has for several decades now been paint falling off the ceiling. So, before I embark on this construction project, I need to vacuum clean the ceiling, which I cannot do at night because it might disturb my neighbours, above and below. After that, it’s all go.

And no I don’t know what all those pipes are on the right, as we look. Strange, very strange.

No smoking Sherlock

There’s not been a photo photoed by me here for a while, but here’s one I photoed last night, in a tube train.

I was trying to get a photo of the Baker Street version of the Underground logo featuring poppies, as seen in photo number 6 here.

Instead I got something rather more entertaining, in the form of a No Smoking sign (in focus) on top of a regular Baker Street sign (a bit blurry), alongside Sherlock Holmes himself. Smoking.

Bad Sherlock.

Once again not mentioning The Wires!!! – this time in Kyoto

I think this must be the first The Wires!!! posting at BMNB, but there were several at BMOB. What these postings celebrate is photography that itself celebrates new architecture, typically Japanese, which is full of The Wires!!!, but which never mentions The Wires!!!

Here are some classic photos in this genre, which I first encountered in this report, celebrating a modernistical new house in Kyoto:

I tried copying the top one of these three photos from where I had first seen it, but that didn’t work. Instead I tried copying it from here. That worked, sort of, because I found I’d copied all three of the above photos, in one big old .jpg file.

But since these all three photos feature The Wires!!!, and since, once again, these The Wires!!! were never discussed in the text, I am content to just shove up all three, in one big old .jpg file.

One day, some Japanese architect is going to design a building which includes The Wires!!! itself, as a decorative feature.

I predict that as soon as The Wires!!! start getting buried, The Wires!!! will start to be missed, and will become a relentless topic of architectural analysis. In other words the opposite of what they are now.

3D printing nano-tech inspired forms could lead to stronger, lighter buildings

And there’s a great picture at the top of the report:

What they did was scale up a 3D printing technique that had been developed at a micro level a quarter of a century ago, for making a really strong micro-structure, and they scaled it up, with results such as you observe above. They they fired bullets at it. And it was neither shattered, nor even much penetrated. Which was the same story as happened with the original miniature version.

But the report is in The Architect’s Newspaper, so they give the story an architectural twist:

But what does this mean for architecture? The team at Rice envisions a future where ceramic, concrete, steel, and other common building materials could be printed in porous tubular approximations. Limited only by the size of the printer, these structures could someday form the basis of ultra-strong building materials that are more durable and react more safely to stress, all while being lighter and, if left uncovered, having a unique, knit-like aesthetic.

Sounds a bit like a sword (in this case armour plating) trying to pass itself off as (or being passed off as) a ploughshare. “Could” (see also the title of this posting (and of the report itself)) suggests to me that the stuff like that in the above quoted paragraph was actually spoken by someone ringing up these scientists, and one of them merely saying: “Yeah, I suppose that could be true.” But, you know, maybe it could.