This is why they call it death bowling

Shaheen Shah Afridi, bowling for Hampshire against Middlesex this afternoon:

All bowled. And that, ladies and gents, is how you finish off a T20 cricket match.

Hampshire had only won the one game in this tournament until today, but at least they finished well. Last four balls of their season, I think.

Surrey also did well today, against Kent. Surrey were terrible earlier in the season, but are now on a T20 roll. Jason Roy today made 72, which is about as many runs as he’s made in all the other games he’s played this year, for Surrey and for England.

LATER: Closer than “about”. Roy got 72 today, and before that had scored a total of 73 runs in all other games this year, 49 for England, and 24 for Surrey.

London from the air – in 2005 and in 2020

I’ve written here a few times about London City Island, and how a sort of mini-Manhattan of unspectacular but decent looking apartment tower blocks have been built on it.

Well, here are a couple of aerial shots that show that having happened. Here is how things in that part of London were looking in 2005:

And here is the same view now:

This blog actually knows a couple of people who have regular jobs doing tech stuff, but who also in their spare time own and operate photo-drones, and who sometimes visit London. These two are really good photoers, even if they may not be quite your Real Photographers, in the sense of making their living photoing, all their working life. I wish I could tell you that it was one of them who did the above photos, but actually, these photos were done by Jason Hawkes, who is as Real a Real Photographer as you could ever wish to drool over the photos of. (Besides which, no drones in 2005.)

The above two photos are just one pair of before-and-now, 2005-and-2020, photos featured in this amazing Guardian collection of photos of London from the air, with commentary by Hawkes himself attached. All you can do here is scroll back and forth between one such pair, reduced in size to fit here. If that amused you at all, you really should click on the Guardian original, and then scroll down and click on each photo to get the other version. There are, by my count, thirteen of such photo-pairs.

Amazing.

Although this wondrous Guardian offering is a “mainstream media” story, there is no way that it could be shown in all its glory in a mere newspaper. Was any of this in the actual Guardian, the one done with paper and ink and sold in shops?

A sound file with sound advice about photography

Testing testing:

Wow, that worked! First time. A long line with progress on display, just like the real internetters do. I’m not sure what I was expecting, but I wasn’t expecting anything that good. Go WordPress.

The sound file is of me picking the brain of my friend Bruce the Real Photographer. His advice about photoing is very clear and down to earth. I did a posting on BtRP way back in 2006, which included this interview. Now I’m trying to transfer that posting across from the old blog to this blog. It’ll be a while yet before you see that, because the photo-presentation angle of that is complicated. But meanwhile, ff you fancy the idea, have a listen.

Progress and the personal touch

The two photos below, taken at Chateau Michael Jennings, remind me yet again how valuable personal face-to-face contact is in an age of radically progressing technology. The irony being that a lot of the technology that is now progressing most radically is all about making such personal face-to-face contact less necessary. But the more such technology progresses, the more valuable it is to be sitting right next to someone who knows how to get the best out of it, and can watch you failing to do that and can correct you. What’s that you say? Zoom? Two problems for me there. One, my regular C20 computer has no camera pointing at me. Plus, I tried to get Zoom going with just the sound, for a meeting, but the damn sound didn’t work. I’ll only get Zoom going when someone clever pops by and helps me do it.

These photos were taken somewhat over a year ago, when Michael was still regularly tweaking this blog, this posting being the one on the screens. They illustrate one of the improvements of this blog over the old blog, which is that (be warned) the old blog didn’t work nearly so well on mobiles or tablets. This one works much better on such modernistical contrivances:

Another friend is due round soon to help me with get the best out of my new Dyson Graven Image, before Winter arrives. I probably could get this working okay by reading the damn instructions. But, personal face-to-face guidance from someone who already knows will work far better.

New robot ship

My thanks to Facebook and Actual Friend Tim Evans for alerting me to this:

It’s Britain’s First Robot Ship. The coolness of that fake-photo is a big reason for this posting, but not the only reason. I am actually interested in robotised transport.

For some bizarre reason I found I was able to read the article linked to above, but then I wasn’t, and so far I’ve only skimmed it.

So what follows is speculation that could well be answered in the very article I’m linking to. But here goes anyway.

I sense a certain confusion about what a robot ship actually is. Is it a ship that is told where to go and from then on makes all its own decisions? Or is it a ship which is just as much commanded by a human commander, but is merely commanded by a commander who is using a radio link rather than being on the bridge of the ship? My guess is that there is quite a lot of the latter sort of human commanding going on. On the other hand, warships don’t like revealing to the enemy things like their location by sending or receiving radio signals, so maybe the ship really can command itself. But whichever it is, I’m impressed.

Ships now have expensive crews. You don’t need an onboard toilet in a car, or beds for everyone, or an elaborate food supply system. But on ships, you need all that and more for that crew. So, not having people on board is a big deal. Especially if you are sending the ship into battle.

But there are bigger issues than toilets and beds and canteens. The more I ponder the contribution of “robots” to transport, in the form of robot cars especially, the more I am sure that everything depends on a predictable and controlled environment, with the necessary infrastructural back-up. The DLR, with its centrally controlled “robot” vehicles, works a treat, because people, at any rate in Britain, are already well schooled in not wandering onto train tracks, and if they do and get themselves killed, nobody blames the trains. But cars in city centres trying to avoid disaster are a different story altogether, as the delay with robot cars is now proving.

And the sea, rather oddly, is a more controlled environment than a city centre. Although sea dramas can be very dramatic, they are mostly dramatic in a predictable way. Other ships are much more tightly policed than are all the things that can happen on the roads in cities. So robot ships, for war and for transport, make a lot of sense. They are yet another fun thing to be keeping an eye open for, during the next few years.

Another building with a picture of a building on the outside of it

I was browsing through the photo-archives and I encountered this favourite photo from two years ago:

Makes a nice contrast with this photo recently posted here, and this one of the Royal Albert Hall. The point being, in those two photos, they got pretty much the effect they wanted, whereas with this earlier one, they got something a lot more interesting than they were going for.

Had I done an earlier posting featuring the above photo? That the photo had a name as well as a number in the archives suggested: yes. And so it proved.

Photos like this don’t date. If anything, after what they are of has vanished, they get better. Click on that link, and you’ll also see another photo of the same thing, done with a slightly wider angle, and including the entire crane that you can only seen the bottom of in the above photo.

Camden Highline coming

Glad to see that this project is making progress:

The Camden Highline project, planned to open in phases from 2024, will create a new central London park and linear walking route – inspired by Diller Scofidio + Renfro’s New York High Line – featuring seating areas, cafés, arts and cultural interventions and spaces for charitable activities.

Cultural “interventions”? Does that mean sculpture and stuff? People wearing daft costumes? I guess I’ll have to wait until 2024.

I had already noticed this Camden Highline notion back in August 2017. I even included a map.

The Royal Albert Hall with pictures of the Royal Albert Hall on it

Whenever 6k picks up on a posting I did here I always reckon that means I’m onto something, so I’m pleased that he noticed that posting I recently did about a building with a picture of itself on the front.

So, for him and for anyone else interested in such things, here’s another such circumstance, much more recent (February of this year), and much more spectacular. It’s the Royal Albert Hall, no less:

On the left, the big picture. And on the right, we can see the three elements involved in this sort of process. Top left, the ancient Greek looking frieze, that’s the actual Royal Albert Hall itself. On the right, the scaffolding, under a bog standard white covering. And then bottom left, occupying most of the picture, the photo (if that’s what it originally was) of the exact bit (or so I assume) of the Royal Albert Hall that it is covering.

The bit in the middle behind the statue is the also the building itself. “Shadows” is included in the categories list below, on account of there not being any real shadows, just fake ones, when it is just a flat surface. Which makes a real difference to how easy it is to see what the original building consists of. That difficulty actually being an early clue as to what’s really going on.

As often, the trees, although at least leafless, are not helping.

The statue in the front is of Prince Albert. On the other side of the Royal Albert Hall is his Memorial. For a view of the Royal Albert Hall from the same angle, but with rather less scaffolding, and also for some closer-up of this Prince Albert statue, see Royal Albert and his Hall.

LATER: In the original posting, the photo above on the left was a bad choice. I had a better one available, and that has now replaced the first photo.

A photo of itself on the outside

In this earlier posting, about the very underwhelming lights of Piccadilly, I mentioned the relatively recent phenomenon of buildings covered in scaffolding, and the scaffolding then being covered with a picture of the building.

Last night, I came across an example of this in the photo-archives, dating from 2013:

That looks like a photo to me, made possible by the latest graphic trickery that they do with giant printers nowadays. My photo was taken through a bus window on a rather rainy day, but I think you can see what I’m on about.

We’re in Parliament Square. To the left is Parliament itself, and to the right, Westminster Abbey and Victoria Street. Is that St Margaret’s Church? At present I find the statues in the Square more diverting than the buildings around it. I’m in a rush to get out and get some exercise, so I’ll leave that question there. If nobody else answers it, I’ll try to answer it myself later.

2013 now seems to me to be about when this sort of thing started being done quite a lot, presumably because, around then, it could be done. But maybe it’s that I first noticed this happening around then. When archive-trawling I’ll try to see if I have any earlier examples of this sort of thing.

Once again, what we’re seeing is how a temporary circumstance takes the visual shackles off. If it’s temporary, you can do whatever you want, because if it isn’t liked, it’ll soon be gone. In this case, anti-trad grumblers didn’t have to endure this obvious shunning of an opportunity for anti-trad modernity for more than a brief while.

Signs for Trump that passed my LOL test

Found this here:

I don’t know if it’s real or merely computerised. My first guess was the latter, but if so it’s very well done. Either way, this passed the LOL test with me. I really did LOL when I saw it.

This one is definitely a computerised contrivance, but once again, I really did LOL:

This may be a bit out of date. Now that the Dems are starting to fear that the riots are hurting them and helping Trump, they are starting also to disapprove of the riots.

Am I the only Brit finding American politics massively more diverting than British politics just now?

I think it’s because we just saw off Corbyn and Corbynism, for the time being anyway, and as far as Corbynism being in official charge of things is concerned, whereas in America they haven’t yet had their vote on the same approximate subject, but very soon will. This means that the contrast between what is now at stake here and what is now at stake there is far greater even than it usually is.

I think that Trump will beat Biden by a thermonuclear landslide, but that could merely be because I hope that Trump will beat Biden by a thermonuclear landslide.