I was in Oxford Street the other day, and photoed this gizmo, once the whole thing, and then a photo of the letters and numbers on the gizmo:
I love the internet because I could type those letters and numbers into it, and immediately learn that this is a pollution measuring device. To be more exact, this is a (see above) Continuous Particulate Monitor.
I tried reading this, but was unable to discern from it whether this process is applied to the emissions of a particular vehicle, or just to the air generally, in the general vicinity of the Continuous Particulate Monitor.
But the funny thing is, when I googled “bx 802”, I didn’t get any mention of any BX-802s, but lots of mentions of the BX-1020. Which I assume must be the more recent version of the BX-802.
Mind you, the internet did also suggest that BX 802 could be a chair.
Taken from a top-down perspective, every aerial photograph we take is of a real place on our planet. We like to compose our images as artworks rather than traditional photographs. Other than slight colour and contrast enhancements none of our images are manipulated in any way. As we always say, “the point is not to work out what it is, but to show how weird and wonderful the world can look from above”.
Actually, not quite my attitude. I like explanations, locations, etc. But, I still like these images.
Here are a dozen (I picked four, then nine, then twelve) that I especially liked:
Here’s the equipment the AAA guys use. Drones. Calling 6k. (The link at the top of this posting is to an earlier posting I did re another of 6k’s drone-photos.)
Definitely the best “other creature” in the news during the last few days:
It looks like a space monster in a movie, from the far off time before special effects became perfect and boring, and everything had to be made by hand.
But this is actually a real creature, much smaller than it looks, and now, maybe, getting a whole new start as a miniature moon monster:
Thousands of tardigrades – also known as “water bears” or “moss piglets” – were on board the Beresheet spacecraft when it crash landed on the moon in April.
The tiny creatures are incredibly hardy and can survive extremely low temperatures and harsh conditions– and The Arch Mission Foundation, which sent them into space, believes some may have survived.
Tardigrades are pudgy little animals no longer than one millimeter. They live in water or in the film of water on plants like lichen or moss, and can be found all over the world in some of the most extreme environments, from icy mountains and polar regions to the balmy equator and the depths of the sea.
The Arch Mission Foundation sounds scary, doesn’t it? Like something a Bond villain would preside over. An arch villain.
On July 23rd, Darren and I went to the Oval to watch Surrey lose to Middlesex. I photoed signs, and I photoed a drone, and that was about the half of it, if by that you mean about 0.5% of it.
As earlier noted, we got there with lots of time to spare and to spend taking in all the incidental sights and sounds of the Oval before the actual game got going. Which meant that when we reached our seats, the entire place (not just the place we were in) was nearly empty.
Darren had purchased seats for us in something called Bedser Upper, in honour of this Surrey legend. And the first thing we noticed when we reached our seats was how very cool it was, compared to how hot it might have been. We could see everything perfectly, yet we would be sheltered from the sun:
Remember, this was was the hottest day ever in London since the dawn of creation. 38 degrees centigrade, and a sure sign of Gaia’s Wrath To Come, to punish Sinful Man for burning too much petrol, gas, oil, etc., and for being too happy and comfortable and well off. Humanity used to be a bunch of slave labourers. Now it is a much vaster throng of, pretty much, sports fans with, compared to olden times, part-time jobs. And the sort of people who disapprove of that disapprove of it by talking about such things as how very hot it was, in London, on that day. And it was indeed very, very hot.
But, not quite so hot in Bedser Upper. Darren had chosen very well.
Later we realised that we were also sitting inside a giant loudspeaker, into which dementedly deafening pop music would be inserted for the duration of the game. Such is modern (very) limited overs cricket. But, we agreed that this was a price well worth paying, for the lack of extreme hotness.
I love the architecture of the Oval. (By which of course I mean the Kia Oval.) So much more interesting that some dreary built-all-at-once football stadium. The big sweep of that big new stand, with its big curved roof, on the left. The classical nobility of the ancient gasometer. The magnificently tall pavilion, on the right. And in the distance, occasional glimpses of the Big Things of central London. What a place.
And, just as divertingly, for me, before the game got started there were lots of interesting rituals being played out by a total of getting on for a hundred people. WIth other sports, a lot of this stuff is hidden away behind the scenes. But with cricket, if you get there early enough, you see it all. More about all that in further postings here about this wonderful night out, Real Soon Now.
Why are wolves increasing all around the world, lions decreasing and tigers now holding steady? Basically, because wolves are in rich countries, lions in poor countries and tigers in middle income countries. Prosperity is the solution not the problem.
This being a South African bird disagreement, nobody thinks to comment on the amazing plants that the above birds are perched on. They’re just … plants.
But, if 6k (that link being to a bird photo that 6k photoed in London a while back), who visits this blog from time to time and via whose Twitter feed I learned of this Sunbird/Sugarbird confusion (now flapping about all over Twitter before the truth can even get its feathers on), can tell me about the vegetation in the photos I have displayed, I’d love to be thus enlightened. I mean, those Orange Things. That Sunflower-like flower. Amazing.
A week away from midsummer and I think I’m going to have to light the stove. Cold, wet and miserable.
And I now have a headache.
Worse, the cricket world cup is proving to be a huge embarrassment, as game after game gets washed out. Today it was India v NZ.
The stupid thing is, it actually doesn’t rain that much in England, not nearly as much as people say. Ever since I started wandering about in London photoing photos, I have paid very careful attention to the weather, and I absolutely know this. The weather isn’t always that great, but actual rain, falling out of the sky, continuously, is quite rare, percentage-wise. It very seldom rains as much as it has been raining for the last few days. Whenever I go out, I carry a small portable umbrella in my bag, in a special compartment. Almost always, that is where it stays. Like I say, it very seldom rains. But, sometimes it does, and when it does, we all notice because it’s so damn unpleasant.
But part of the reason it’s so damn unpleasant is that it rains quite rarely, so we aren’t organised to deal with it, the way they are in countries where they have an actual rainy season.
The title of this posting sounds sarcastic, but no sarcasm was intended. The Bishop’s tweet, quoted above, actually made me feel better. I had been feeling cold, but I didn’t believe how I felt. This is June. It can’t be this cold. I must be imagining it. (To be exact, my feet had to be imagining it.) But now I know that it isn’t just me.
I have no idea what it was like storming a Normandy beach, on June 6th 1944. I also don’t really know how they do weather forecasting, but in recent years, because of being an amateur photoer, I have acquired a profound respect for those who do know, and who do this for a living.
So, my D-Day blog posting does not feature warriors. I instead focus on this man:
That’s Group Captain James Stagg, Allied Supreme Commander Eisenhower’s D-Day weather man. Stagg it was who advised Ike that the landings should be postponed by twenty four hours, to avoid filthy weather on June 5th 1944 and to take advantage of what Stagg believed would be an interlude of surprisingly good weather on June 6th 1944. Stagg’s advice was taken. To say that “the rest is history” would be to suggest that Stagg’s superbly accurate forecast was not itself history. It very much was.
Such is the internet and such are modern times that if you now do an internet search for “James Stagg”, you get more pictures of the actor and writer David Haig than you do of Stagg himself. This is because Haig recently wrote a play, called Pressure, about the above-described historic episode, and then himself played the part of Stagg in his own play.
James Stagg, and WW2 weather forecasting in general, deserved and deserve to be made much of, so I don’t blame either Google or David Haig for the odd result of this particular internet search. In particular, on the image front, it seems very likely that quite a few more photos were taken of Haig playing Stagg than were ever taken of Stagg himself.
There you were, waiting for a good time to con your way past the front door of my block of flats by saying you’re the postman, to climb my stairs, to bash in my front door and to plunder my classical CD collection. All that was stopping you was the fear of me bashing your skull to bits with my cricket bat, which I keep handy for just this sort of eventuality.
So anyway, there you were reading all about how my life for the last week has been complicated. But, I clean forgot to tell you that the reason for all this complication was that I was off in the south of France. Silly old me. I’m getting old, I guess.
Here’s how the south of France was looking:
Those are the Pyrenees at the back there. In the foreground, lots of little wine trees.
The weather looks slightly better in that than it really was, what with it having been so very windy. Especially on the final day of my stay, up on this thing.