GD2 does a selfie session with a fan

Yesterday a big gang of friends and family, me among them, heard G(od)D(aughter)2 do her end-of-year recital, way up at the top of the Royal College of Music just near the Albert Hall. It was terrific. If they picked her up out of the rather small room she sang in and dumped her down in that same Albert Hall, and replaced the pianist and his piano with a huge symphony orchestra going full blast, GD2 would have sounded great and entirely at home and in command, and they’d have cheered like crazy. That’s how good she seemed to me.

Immediately afterwards I of course photoed photos of GD2, but these photos weren’t that good. Closer-up, she was still in performance mode, but looking tired, understandably. Worse, I wasn’t able to get a proper view of her, together with the lady who was also photoing her.

Later, when we all went to the nearby Italian restaurant, GD2 was able to relax and enjoy, and this time, my view of her was perfect. She did a selfie session with the same lady who had photoed her immediately after the recital, and whom I had sat next to for the performance. “What a voice!” said this lady, when GD2 had finished. In the restaurant, she and GD2 sat right across the table from me, and more photoing occurred. I photoed this photoing:

It’s not that I object to the face of the lady on the left, who turned out to be a friend of GD2’s mother from way back. It’s just that I don’t shove faces up here without prior approval. GD2 has already said she has no objection to her face appearing here. Lady on the left has not said this, so her face gets hidden, same as when I photo any other photoers, without their permission.

Lady on the left has, it turned out, a blog, which I have already looked through, partly to see if she has photos on it of herself, in which case I could presumably put a photo of her here without causing offence. No photos of her there, that I could see.

At her blog, she follows a completely opposite rule to the rule here. Here, I say something every day, whether I have anything sensible to say or not. She, on the other hand, seems to follow the strange rule of only saying something when she has something she considers worth saying. I know, very strange. If everyone followed that rule, hardly anything would get said at all.

But I digress. My main point here, today, is well worth saying, which is that GD2 is doing very well.

Note the electric plug sockets in all the above photos. These sockets were all over the place in the restaurant, 4×2 of them at our table alone. I assume that these sockets are for recharging mobile phones, like the one being deployed in the above photos.

More art beside the river

After I photoed those metal men beside the river; outside the old Woolwich Arsenal, I then walked up river towards the Dome, photoing photos like this:

However, just before photoing that photo; I photoed this next photo, of a painter, hard at work:

And here is the photo I photoed of how he was making this scene look:

The painting above had yet to say this, but that is the Tate & Lyle factory just south of London City Airport.

I asked this artist’s permission to photo his painting, which he graciously gave, but I did not ask him who he was. The polite way of asking that would have been to say: Do you have a website? But, alas, I forgot to ask this: So, no link to any website, Apologies to him if he does have a website, and apologies to you.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

More healthcare technology in action

Yesterday, as already noted, I was out and about in London. And another interesting thing I photoed was this, also healthcare-related:

I photoed this photo with his permission, by the way.

I guess that the purpose of this gizmo is to enable the knee-joint to keep moving, while remain in its correct state, without putting any (or at any rate undue) strain on it, the strain being taken by the gizmo and the bits of limb it is attached to rather than (only) by the joint.

But, truthfully, I don’t really know. What I do know, just from looking at this photo, is that there is a definite plan in action, and that it is helping a lot, far more than one of those big old rigid plaster caste monsters would have.

Here is a close-up of the name of this contraption …:

… which enabled me to find some produktinformation. What the gizmo does is Führung und Stabilisierung des Kniegelenks. Which is, I rather think (guess), pretty much what I just said.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Neo Bankside residents lose battle to stop Tate Modern visitors looking into their flats

Here. The verdict is: They knew what they were moving into. They should install blinds or net curtains.

Or, turn the viewable-from-the-Tate-Extension living rooms into art installations. The judge didn’t say that; I’m saying that now.

I’m rather surprised by this verdict, but also pleased. Because this is now one of my favourite London photo-spots, and there is lots to be seen looking south, besides into other people’s living rooms.

From this spot I have photoed many, many photos, of which these are just four, taken in July and August of 2016:

Those photos all illustrate the problem that the flat-owners now have.

But, this next little clutch of photos, taken at the same time, illustrate what could be another answer:

In these photos, what dominates is the way that light, rather than coming through the window from those living rooms, is instead coming from outdoors London and bouncing off the windows. At the time I took these photos, I was thinking about that (to me) rather appealing crinkly brick surface that this Tate Modern Extension is covered in.

But now, it seems to me that I was photoing another sort of answer to the problem that these flat-dwellers now have. Could the glass windows be replaced by glass that is more reflective of light, while still letting the outside view in? Or, could the existing windows have some sort of plastic film or sheet stuck on them, preferably on the inside but maybe on the outside, that would contrive the same effect?

A problem stated is often well on the way to being a problem solved. The judge said: It’s up to you to stop the light bouncing off the interior of your home from zooming up to the onlookers at the top of the Tate. You knew this was going to happen. Sort the problem yourselves.

It will be interesting to see how things change with these windows, and inside these living rooms, in the months and years to come.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

BMdotcom financial quote of the day

In this:

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Google and Facebook have a combined market capitalization of $3.7 trillion, equal to Germany’s gross domestic product last year.

Quoted at Instpundit by Stephen Green, who says that this is an “incredible figure”. It certainly is very big, if that’s what “incredible” means, when you are describing a very big number.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Rob Fisher on the meaning of Facebook

Here are what I suspect to be some wise words, from Rob Fisher, in a comment on this Samizdata posting I recently did about Facebook’s political bias:

Facebook is for cat pictures, baby photos and holiday photos. I recently posted some photos of some old model trains I have and another friend offered to give me some old toy trains they don’t want any more. That’s what it’s for.

People trying to do politics on Facebook serves only to demonstrate how unsuited it is for that purpose.

That’s comment number 42, and very possibly the last word on the matter.

Like I say, this sounds wise, in the sense that it seems to contain an important truth, even if it doesn’t really sound like the whole truth. After all, I just did another posting here about something political which I first heard about on Facebook.

Here is a photo of Rob’s toy trains that he recently posted on Facebook:

Am I betraying a confidence, meant only for Rob’s Facebook friends? Hardly, since Rob has already mentioned his trains on the Mainstream Media, in a comment at Samizdata.

It occurs to me that I have some toy trains that Rob might like. Like because I think they are N gauge, but perhaps something even smaller. Rob, if you read this, take a look at them next time you visit me.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Battersea rollerblader

If someone is doing this …:

… is it okay to photo them and stick the photo up on the internet, somewhere like here? I feel that it is okay, because, albeit in a very good way, the guy is making something of a spectacle of himself. He is doing something very individual, in public, in a way that people are bound to notice. Therefore, he doesn’t mind them noticing, or he wouldn’t do it. Therefore, he won’t mind me noticing it.

Behind our self-transporter, we can just about make out the towers of Battersea Power Station. Well, I can, because I know that’s what it is, because that’s where I took the above photo, this afternoon. At the time, I was busy photoing the road, because in my opinion it is a very interesting road. For reasons which I may, or may not, explain, here, some other time.

Meanwhile, I miss Transport Blog.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

A dramatic Chicago photo and the photoer who photoed it

One of the more tiresome things about Twitter is the way that a photo goes viral, without the photoer who photoed the photo getting any credit for the photo.

So, I am happy to report that, when I learned, via Mike Fagan, whom I follow, that a tweeter by the name of Arturas Kerelis reported that “someone” took this photo …:

… in Chicago, on September 3rd, the photoer was eventually identified. Commenter Chris Gallevo, to whom thanks and respect, steered any who cared, which included me, to the Instagram site of Kevin Banna, where the above photo is to be found.

I was not able to discover what Kevin Banna himself looks like. That’s the trouble with image googling the name of a photoer. Are the results photos of him, or merely photos by him? It’s not easy to know, without more labour than I was prepared to give to the question.

In a backhanded compliment to Banna’s photo, and also to the extreme drama that the weather in Chicago is apparently capable of providing from time to time, some commenters accused “someone” of having Photoshopped this image. Other commenters assured us that the weather in Chicago that day really was very dramatic, in just the way the above photo portrays, and that it general it regularly lays on such displays and dramas.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Steven Pinker Galapagos photos of weird and wonderful creatures

This is the exactly kind of thing I joined Twitter to be informed of. Pinker, it seems, is a Real Photographer, or at least Real enough for me not to know the difference. I’m sure that The World has known about Pinker’s photoing for as long as he has been doing it, but The World did not include me, until a few days ago.

Also rather Real Photographer is that if you left-click on any of the photos here, you get a little dark rectangle with little blue writing in it saying this:

These photos are copyrighted by their respective owners. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.

So I hope that the small and cropped repro that I have included here, of one of the more eye-catching of these photos, of something called a frigatebird, will not incur the ire of Pinker Inc., or whatever it is that might be irate. If Pinker Inc. does demand the removal of even this little photo, that will happen straight away.

But if it does, no matter. Follow the above links and feast your eyes and your mind on the weird and wonderful creatures of the Galapagos Islands.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

A friend in front of a strange lighting effect

I took this somewhat over a week ago, at a friend’s, of another friend:

I took several versions of this shot. The above was the first and best version, once I had realised that I could crop it to include everything about the shot that mattered and remove everything that didn’t, basically by losing a chunk at the bottom of my original. I tend to resist cropping. There is something (to me) pure, even perfect, about the image exactly as it comes out of the camera, no cropping, no enhancing, no nothing. But this time it made for a definite improvement, I think.

The subject of the photo (perhaps mutual friends of her and me will recognise who it is (and also where it was taken)) put it on her Facebook page, which is very flattering.

She being an Instagrammer used only a square version, which may or may not have been an aesthetic preference. Personally, I find the patterns made on the wall by that strange planetary light fitting very intriguing, especially in a photo, which, by eliminating all context and knowledge of what is going on makes it seem all the more strange. That’s the thing about photos. All you see is the photo.

And talking of how others may recognise her, I find it intriguing how very recognisable she is, to me anyway.

In her version, she added some blue to the wall. To make it more weird and outdoorsy, and less specific? In general, I like it when people take my photos and play around with them. Again: very flattering.

She also said something about how her scrunched up shoulders revealed how stressed she had been lately. I never noticed that, neither when I photoed the photo, nor since. But one thing I do know, from speaking to my friend Bruce the Real Photographer, and being photoed by Bruce the Real Photographer, and from speaking to others who have been photoed by Bruce the Real Photographer, is that Real Photographers know all about things like that. Real Photographers, of the sort who photo people, are experts on human physiology. They know, for instance, how to make your face look different by making you move your body around. Had he been photoing this lady, he would have made her relax.

But I wasn’t doing a portrait; I was just snatching a fun shot, uninvited. Then once I had worked out how to crop it, I sent it to her, and asked could I put it here? She said yes, and also could she use it too. So all the niceties were observed, as is proper in this age of face recognition software and easily violated intellectual property rights. Whatever they are, exactly. In plainer English, both of us like this photo, and are happy for it to get around.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog