Punishing what you want

When I started concocting this posting, earlier in the week, I was watching a TV show about dogs behaving badly, called, if I remember it right, “Dogs Behaving Badly”. (Very), it turns out. Things like bribing them with dog-sweets to stop them misbehaving, which turned out to mean you are rewarding them with dog-sweets for misbehaving. Guess what the dogs continued to do. Until the English version of the Dog Whisperer started working his dog-magic.

While watching that, I was rootling through tweets I’ve been saving, to see if any were deserving of the immortality that comes with being mentioned here at BMNB.

These ones seemed good, and they chimed in rather nicely with that dog show I was also one-third-attending to.

Clarissa:

Currently experiencing the usual reward for demonstrating competence at work. …

Graeme:

More work?

Clarissa:

Bingo.

Graeme:

Well I hope you learned from your mistake!

Well, Clarissa is not a dog, so maybe not. Maybe she was rewarded for the more work that she did. But if not …

Hey, what with all this Coronavirus disruption, maybe Clarissa has managed to hang on to her job.

A fond farewell to some disintegrated footwear

I am a terrible hoarder. I often find chucking useless stuff out damn near impossible. Especially if, as with the collapsed sandals pictured below, they have given me a decade and more of faithful service:

I find that the combination of photoing and blogging can take much of the sting out of such partings. These sandals don’t deserve to to be dead and buried, but dead and buried is what they must now be.

I did not do this posting for you. I did it for me. And for my departing sandals.

Corona Time

Yes: “Corona Time”. I just heard this phrase, from the all-the-rage-just-now Icelandic classical pianist Víkingur Ólafsson. He was being interviewed on Radio 3’s Music Matters, and talking about how he’ll be juggling his work during the next few months, in the face of the tornado of cancellations that he and others like him now face. Far fewer public performances and lots more time spent studying and practising, and recording.

A lot of people are about to have a lot of Corona Time in the next few months.

Some people are going to be more deranged than others. Basically, the more sociable you are, and the less solitary and virtual in the way you live, the worse it will be. I especially like this Babylon Bee title:

Nation’s Nerds Wake Up In Utopia Where Everyone Stays Inside, Sports Are Canceled, Social Interaction Forbidden

Nerds have always had lots of Corona Time.

LATER: More Corona Time advice. I have in mind to write, like he says.

Dogs in cars

Still no photos here, but lots of dogs in cars photos at Mick Hartley‘s. Hartley chose fifteen from the forty one which Martin Usborne posted here.

Says Usborne:

I was once left in a car at a young age. I don’t know when or where or for how long, possibly at the age of four, perhaps outside a supermarket, probably for fifteen minutes only. The details don’t matter. The point is that I wondered if anyone would come back. The fear I felt was strong: in a child’s mind it is possible to be alone forever.

Around the same age I began to feel a deep affinity with animals …

When I started this project I knew the photos would be dark. In a sense, I was attempting to go back inside my car, to re-experience what I couldn’t bear as a child. …

Well worth a look, and a read. And worth a look also if you like quite ancient cars, as I do. There are many such cars in these photos. It would appear that Usborne has been photoing these photos for quite a while.

Visiting the places that will hold up the map

6k says that this is very good:

I want to hang a map of the world in my house. Then I’m gonna put pins into all the locations I’ve traveled to, but first I’m gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so it won’t fall down.

Apart from how travelled is spelt, I agree.

But now I’m not sure I do. I thought this was a real circumstance. It turns out that the bloke who said this is a comedian. He merely says things like this, for a living. He’s not actually going to go to these two places. He didn’t mean it. He was only joking. That, I think, makes it less funny.

Steven Pinker: “Don’t confuse pessimism with profundity …”

See the world through Pinker-tinted spectacles than you may be inclined to:

Keep some perspective. Not every problem is a Crisis, Plague, Epidemic, or Existential Threat, and not every change is the End of This, the Death of That, or the Dawn of a Post-Something Era. Don’t confuse pessimism with profundity: problems are inevitable, but problems are solvable, and diagnosing every setback as a symptom of a sick society is a cheap grab for gravitas.

My sentiments exactly.

That’s to be read on page 452 of my paperback edition of Enlightenment Now, Pinker’s most recent book.

Meanwhile:

Those were a couple of the day before yesterday’s headlines. Let’s hope it soon becomes yesterday’s news. Problems are, as Pinker says, solvable, and let’s hope this one too is soon sorted.

Pinker is particularly aware of the way that the news is in the habit of putting a pessimistic spin on everything. If it bleeds it leads, and so on. Good news, meanwhile, creeps up on the world more gradually.

BT Tower reflected – as seen from outside Warren Street Tube

At the top end of Tottenham Court Road, where it hits Euston Road and then bashes its way across Euston Road and changes its name to Hampstead Road, there is some photo-fun to be had, especially on bright and sunny days, with the way that the BT Tower is reflected back from the building on the far side, at the opposite corner from Warren Street Tube. Warren Street Tube being a Tube Station I often emerge from, on my way to Curry’s PC World whenever I need something electrical that i want to look at before I buy it.

Here’s a clutch of such photos that I photoed on June 29th 2015:

I know. They’re vertical, rather than horizontal. Not my usual thing. For which there is a reason, namely: that my cameras, Windows and my graphics programme don’t see eye to eye when vertical photos are involved. So, I had some sorting out to do with these photos, but I made it work eventually. But that’s also why I’m only posting this clutch of photos now rather than in 2015. Clutches of photos (reprise) used to be very complicated, and any further complication, like this vertical nonsense, I just did not need.

Some of the above photos, the bottom middle one especially, feature another building besides the BT Tower. That’s because the windows that stuff is being reflected in are at a 45 degree angle to the ones where the BT Tower is to be seen. This is clear from photos 3, 4 and 6, and especially if you look at the top of the building. Which might be why photo 5 is definitely my favourite of these. I often, as here, like it when the photo is a bit of a puzzle. What’s happening here? But I also like to try to say what is happening, which is why I include the other five. That way it’s a puzzle, but a puzzle solved.

I also like that effect you often get with reflections, which is that the sky is blue with any clouds being clearly visible, in the reflected bits, but bright white when you look straight at the sky. The human eye sees both as sky, by altering its light setting as it scans the scene. Cameras can’t do that. Or not nearly so easily. They need graphics package help to communicate that kind of thing.

By the way, when I categorise something as “reflections”, that means literal reflections, of light. I’m not claiming that I am myself “reflecting”, any more deeply than usual. Maybe I am, maybe I’m not. Different argument.

They’re about to dig up the road

Another quota photo, because: another busy day. I may have time later to do something for here, but don’t want to have to be bothering about this.

So:

Again, photoed quite recently. Well, this year. And very near to where I live. I recall having to put down two big bags of shopping, and to dig out my camera from underneath shopped items, to immortalise this scene. When you see the photo, photo it, now. Leave it until later and, first, you won’t come back later, and second, it you do, it will probably be gone. In this case, dug up. That’s the photo-rule to have been following here.

The other relevant photo-rule is: If someone sees you doing this and thinks you’re a weirdo, this does not matter. You either care about your photos looking good, or about yourself looking good at all times. Pick one.

What it is is marks on a road, prior to some digging, digging which was still not, when last I looked, completed. My guess is that the symbols refer to pipes, but what do I know?

In its small way, this photo reminds me of something a war correspondent once said about D-Day, which he was at and was reporting on. He said something like: “I didn’t know what the plan was, but I had the strong sense that events were unfolding in accordance with that plan.” I don’t know what the plan was for all the digging that subsequently happened, but there clearly was a plan, and the digging was surely done in accordance with it.

Also (ISIBAISIA), I like photoing things that look like Modern Art but which are not Modern Art. I think this is partly because if reality itself mimics Modern Art on a regular basis, that means that deliberately creating Modern Art is unnecessary, and Modern Artists are not nearly as important contributors to the ongoing march of civilisation as they like to think that they are. Without them, there would still be plenty of Modern-Art-like stuff around for people who like that sort of thing to be looking at.

There you go. Not bad for a mere quota post. And it only took about ten minutes.