Maybe media people would make more fuss about the progress of “cultured” meat, the sort of meat that doesn’t involve killing animals, if so much of that progress was not now being made in Israel.
My attitude towards Israel is one of unconditional positive regard. If Israelis do something good, which they frequently do, well done them, as in this cultured meat matter. But if Israelis do something that seems bad, well, I am sure they have their reasons, probably to do with the kind of neighbourhood they inhabit.
However, the typical journo/commentator these days has an attitude towards Israel of unconditional negative disregard. Only when they can explain how Israeli progress in cultured meat is really all about oppressing Israel’s Muslim neighbours will these sorts of reporters report on this, I think, epoch-defining story.
The Moose Cup Powered by Daraz is a regular cricket trophy, except that its giant cricket ball has antlers. On the right, Joe Root, England captain. On the left, not sure, but I presume that’s Karunaratne, not the Sri Lankan captain for this game because he damaged himself and couldn’t play in it.
There have been two days of cricket so far, and England have the upper hand.
Most dogs whom we encounter in nice, polite, safe little England are dogs who have bonded with humans, whom the dogs love, unconditionally. But what happens when dogs don’t bond with humans, but only with one another? Then, they are liable to love humans in another way, as in: I love duck, or I love rabbit. To eat. Ooh look guys, fancy some tasty human?
DOCTORS are today fighting to save the life of a woman whose face was completely skinned by a pack of stray dogs.
Where did this horror happen?
Relax. In Russia:
The predators ripped off all Tatyana Loskutnikova’s clothes and gnawed her flesh down to the bone during the sickening attack in Russia.
In Russia they have hungry packs of dogs. Like these, who were only doing what surely made perfect sense to them. Hellishly bad luck on the woman of course, but maybe she might have known better? Yes, you shoot the dogs, as they did. But you can’t really blame them, the way the Sun seems to.
Today is Christmas Day and all that, and I hope you are having or had a good one. But today is also a Friday, which means it’s my day for non-human living creatures. So, today is the day to say that, just after I’d had another go at Mozart, yesterday morning, I was presented with this wondrous spectacle:
I have never seen such a collection of horses and riders before in London, doing this.
Odd, I think you will agree. At the time I had little idea of what I was merely at the time noticing and photoing. Now, looking at these photos more closely, I see that this is clearly a hearse, for carrying coffins to and maybe from funerals. But, London is locked-down. Why go to all this bother if nobody can be there? Besides which, who’d have a funeral on Christmas Eve? Maybe there are good answers to such questions, like: London Lock-down actually does still allow funerals, or: yes, people often have funerals on Christmas Eve in the morning. But to me, it makes little sense.
Unless … My best guess? Since the funeral business must have been so very flat lately, and because the roads of London are particularly empty just now, what they were doing was practising. Further guess: the lady riding at the back of this procession was the one in charge, watching all the riders and the lady stander in front of her, taking at least mental notes. Later she will tell them what they did right, and what they did wrong.
You frequently see police horses walking about in London, keeping in trim between demonstrations and such like. But, like I say, I’ve never seen this before.
Let me now see if the Internet can offer any further information about such enterprises. Nope, no exact fit. Plenty of horse hearse services, but nothing that seems to match. Can anyone enlighten me and the rest of my readers?
So there I was, out east, exploring what was happening to the canals in the Bow, Hackney Wick part of London, photoing photos like this, …:
When, rather suddenly, I came upon this:
All that grubbing around the canal being to create the sort of place where Desirable Apartments can be constructed, and Desirable Apartments need Desirable Sheep Sculptures.
Have you noticed how upmarket sculpture, and also upmarket toys, made of wood, make it very clear that they are made of wood? The woodenness is emphasised. Downmarket sculpture, and downmarket toys, are as realistic as they can be made to be, with the how of it left entirely behind. I veer into toys, because this sheep looks a lot like a toy, I think.
I see a connection between this emphasising of the particular material that the Thing is made of, in sculpture and toys, with Impressionism. Posh paintings, like Impressionist Paintings, make it clear that they are indeed paintings, made of paint, as well as paintings of something. I mean, take a close-up look. Paint! Paintings for peasants just look as much like what they are trying to be of as possible.
I photoed this photo way back in 2004, at Twickenham railway station:
And ever since, although as sporting photos go it’s nothing special, I’ve always been rather fond of it. It conjures up a world of fandom and fellowship, because if any other Falcons fan sees this guy, for instance on a train from Twickenham to Newcastle, he’s going to know he’s met a soulmate, and they’re going to have plenty to talk about. Nothing transforms public transport quite like sports fans embarking on it en masse, because sports fans, unlike regular travellers, all communicate with each other. This can be annoying, but it is certainly different.
I did some digging concerning the recent form of the Newcastle Falcons, and it turns out it’s been rather good. They got relegated from the Premiership at the end of the season before last, but bounced back in style. It was decided that they should be promoted by a committee, but since the Falcons had won fifteen out of fifteen games down there in Nearly The Premier Division and were heading for victory before Covid abolished the last few games of the season, they surely deserved their instant reinstatement.
Confirmation that they deserved to be back to the Prem came in the form of the Falcons winning all their three games so far. So they’re now eighteen for eighteen. Only the mighty Exeter Chiefs are now above them, with three stonking wins compared to the three close wins that the Falcons have got.
All this falconry is because it’s Friday and that’s my day for non-human creatures of every sort. Humans have a habit of calling their sports teams after animals and insects and fishes and whatnot. In the Premier League, the members of whom you can see at the other end of the above link, there’s the Newcastle Falcons, the Bristol Bears, Sale Sharks, Leicester Tigers, and of course there’s Wasps. Gloucester just call themselves Gloucester but there’s a big old red lion on the shield they promote themselves with.
Such creaturely ruminations aside, the one big fact that all rugby civilians should be aware of is who the most famous Newcastle Falcon has so far been. It’s this guy.
In February 2014 Dominic Frisby performed with his usual brilliance at my Last Friday of the Month meeting. He attracted a good crowd, and also brought his dog with him. Here’s a photo I took of the crowd, and the dog:
I still remember with pleasure how impeccably the dog behaved. Not a sound.
Starting with a new recording of Carnival of the Animals. Saint-Saëns at his harmonious and melodious best. It’s the Kanneh-Mason clan, with additions. Sheku, as of now the most celebrated of this much celebrated classical family, has his big cello moment with the Swan.
Relatedly, “i” reports that the way animals communicate is evolving so that it remains audible above the din made by humans.
Most significantly of all, when it comes to the ever changing relationship between animals and humans, Singapore becomes the first country to approve the sale of lab-grown meat. See also this earlier posting here, about steps in that same direction in Israel.
Came across this in the New York Times, New York being where this double sculpture is to be seen, or was in January of last year:
The internet wander that took me to these sculptures began with the Diamond Geezer, who, in this posting, says:
Mon 16: A sculpture of a dog and a rabbit on a bike has appeared at Canary Wharf, entirely off the radar of the usual websites and social media influencers who’d normally be going nuts over it (because nobody’s getting out and about any more).
That got me to Gillie and Marc, who made this double thing. There I saw a photo of a sculpture of a pack of photoer dogs could learn no more about that there, so I did an image search, and that got me to the New Yorker piece linked to above, with the above photo at the top of it.