A great photo of a great cricketer (and one of mine of the same cricketer (photoed on the same day))

One of my favourite Twitters feeds is the one featuring historic cricket pictures, at which I recently discovered this photo:

The reason I was so glad to see this photo was: I was there! I would have seen this! And I am delighted to see my high opinion of this innings of Sanga’s agreed with by other Surrey fans.

I didn’t photo that particular incident, and if I had it wouldn’t have come out nearly as well as the photo above, but I did photo lots of other photos that day, of which one of my favourites was this, also of Kumar Sangakkara:

A photoer like me cannot compete with the Real Photographers when it comes to on-field action, several dozen yards away. So I made a point of photoing Sanga from close up, after the game was done and won.

As did others.

Here‘s the Cricinfo report of that day.

How to work with Indians

Michael Jennings:

The ability to talk endlessly about cricket is a tremendously useful skill when the prospect of working with Indians comes up.

There are more Indian cricket fans in India than there are people in Europe.

The Mary Wollstonecraft Memorial: The winner and the runner-up

On the left, the winner of the Mary Wollstonecraft memorial competition. On the right, the runner-up.

I learned about all this from Mick Hartley. Here‘s what Hartley says about the Maggi Hambling winner, and here‘s what he says about the Martin Jennings runner-up.

My only strong opinion is that the Maggi Hambling one looks so tacky. Like something you’d (actually not) buy, for ten quid, in a “gift” shop. Hartley says that Maggi Hambling’s design is “about Maggi Hambling”. But it is hardly even about that. It’s just some banal 3D picture of a conventionally pretty woman with no clothes on, at the top a pile of stuff.

Part of my irritation is indeed that Maggi Hambling breaks the conventions of such statues. The usual statue of someone is a likeness of them, fully clothed. But that’s a pretty good convention, I think. The statue needs to look the way whoever it was looked, at their best and most characteristic. If they did a particular job, they need to be wearing the uniform for that job.

Maggi Hambling is quoted by the Standard saying we’re missing the point. I get the point. I see what she was trying to do. And quite aside from the fact that it’s not a statue of Mary Wollstonecraft but instead of a generic naked woman, I just don’t much like what she ended up doing.

Will the runner-up end up winning?

How construction work suits the archaeologists

They’ve just given the go-ahead for the tunnel “under” Stonehenge that they’ve been arguing about for the last few decades. My ignorant and uninvolved take is that “under” is in inverted commas, because actually, it won’t be. But, tell me I’m wrong and you might very well persuade me.

So, not being that involved, I rather liked this:

They should never have built Stonehenge so close to the A303 in the first place.

To which another tweeter attached this:

Would have thought the builders of Windsor Castle would have learned and not built near Heathrow.

Other tweeters pointed out that having the road near Stonehenge must have made it a lot easier to get those big stones there. And, Heathrow is convenient for visits by foreign heads of state to see the Queen.

More seriously, I think I see something else happening, based on a cursory and univolved scan of this archaeologist lady’s twitter feed. A few years back, I found myself exploring London Gateway and surrounding parts. (Although I promise nothing, there’s more postings at the old blog that need transferring.) And that part of the world is also where a great big sewage pipe that they’ve recently built spews its contents. It also spewed a vast amount of earth that they dug out out of it while making it, and with that vast amount of earth, they constructed … a wildlife park! This park is run by and patronised by the local Greenies, and this surely got the local Greenies onside with the big sewer, and with all the Gateway cranes, on a “look on the bright side” basis. Opposition to the Big Scheme is fatally divided, and ahead it duly goes.

Something similar seems to be happening at Stonehenge, and indeed at several of these big and seemingly environmentally-hostile construction projects, only this time it’s not exactly Greenies, it’s their (I assume) ideological confreres the Archaeologists. The Archies don’t like it when you dig up their precious archaeological sites and build horrid motorways and tunnels and such all over them. But then again, they do rather like it, because before construction proceeds, they get to rootle around in all the earth that’s been dug up, a process they couldn’t normally come near to affording, but which the developers now bestow upon them for free. Again, the opposition is divided. Whenever ancient soil is dug up, the archaeologists have first dibs on it. If they find anything seriously significant, the plan that got the digging started will have to be changed.

No more construction work, and the archaeologists would be in quite severe trouble.

Sparklingly witty BMNB QotD: On when clever banter can be called “repartee”

Yes, a champagne Twitter moment from Dan Hannan:

Clever banter can only be called “repartee” if it’s from the Repartée region of France. Otherwise it’s just sparkling wit.

We can all drink to that.

Ghost apple

Weird:

“Ghost Apples” are an unusual phenomenon where freezing rain coats rotting apples before they fall, then when the apple turns mushy it eventually slips out and leaves the icy shell still hanging on the tree.

This is a really good metaphor for … I don’t know what, but something.

Reflections on how an abundance of news every day has transformed American politics

This abundance, brought into being by the internet, means that you don’t have to read or listen to anything you don’t want to read or listen to. Whatever view you have of the world and what is happening in it, you can spend whatever time you have each day for such matters to confirm what you already see and think. I now think that the Democrats can only win the Presidency if they get away with their cheating. Meanwhile, Democrats think Trump is just a sore loser and a conspiracy theorist.

And I think the latest Lockdown here is a great folly.

The big change in America, brought by the Internet, is that the “mainstream media” used to be just that, but are that no longer. Before the internet, the “mainstream media” (basically the big television news shows) spoke to almost everyone but a few truly contrarian oddballs and freaks. Now, if you don’t entirely care for the point of view they give you, you can go elsewhere.

This had a knock-on effect on the mainstream media themselves. They started to acquire those inverted commas. They began not to be so mainstream. Their centre-left, what-the-government-is-doing-is-what-matters, if-you-want-something-sorted-get-the-government-to-sort-it attitude mutated towards an extreme left, put-the-government-in-charge-of-everything, capitalism-is-evil agenda. Why? Because if you thought the problem with government was that there was too much of it, you could now go elsewhere for your daily news, and commentary. You could choose, and daily have reinforced for you, any “extreme” agenda that suited you, in a way that only freaks like Marxists and libertarians of my sort used, before the Internet, to do (by writing our own news for ourselves). Now, if the “mainstream media” tried to appeal to everyone, they’d end up appealing to no-one. The smart thing for them to do was to choose the most popular “extreme” agenda and run with that. Which is what they have done, and which is why calling them “mainstream” no longer makes nearly much sense. (It sill makes some sense, because they have gone with the most popular extreme agenda. Which is still a bit mainstream, hence the survival of the expression.)

All that was needed to turn America into a profoundly different place was for a rival “extreme” agenda to arise, comparable in volume and force to the dominant extreme agenda, and, with Donald Trump arriving on the scene and proclaiming such an agenda, there you have it, America now.

And each tribe spends its entire day that it can spare telling itself how right it is about everything, and what evil nincompoops the other fellows are.

I’m part of this. I’m a Trumpist now. A Trumpist with libertarian trimmings and libertarian reservations, but a Trumpist. And I duly think that the Democrats are, on the whole and with various polite exceptions and reservations, evil nincompoops.

All of which explains why my posting here yesterday evening, about literal reflections, although it began as an attempt to change the subject away from mere politics, actually didn’t really do that. What that ended up being about was the human inclination to see what we’re looking for, rather than what merely “is” there.

See also, Scott Adams on two movies.

As of right now …

Yes, as of right now (I’m starting this at 10.30am London time), it would appear that Biden has just moved back to being favourite to win this thing, very narrowly. Republicans are saying that Democrat state admins paused the counting in states where Trump was ahead, in order to know how many votes they still needed to count or contrive. Trump is angry about this. Leftist media are saying Trump is out of order.

The Democrats aren’t getting their blow-out for Biden, and I am certainly not getting my stonking win for Trump.

That crack made by Lenin or Stalin or some such monster, that what matters is not who votes how, but who counts the votes, is now rattling around in my head.

It’s all very different from last time. Then, the Democrats had no Plan B. Now, if you believe this kind of thing, as I am inclined to, Plan B is unrolling. So, Biden will win? And Republicans will spend the next four years contesting this?

Oh dear. Oh well. Life will go on. I’m now going to go out for a walk in the sunshine, and take some photos.

I’m going to bed now

I had planned to stay up all night, to see whether I get the President of the USA that (see below) I want. But, I’m tired, and it already (at 11pm UK time) looks like Trump has won. Early impressions can be wrong, goodness knows. Look what happened last time. But as of now, I’m fairly optimistic, more so than before the earliest evidence of what is happening started to emerge.

I’ll find out tomorrow. Or sooner, if all the fruit juice I’ve just been drinking gets me up in the middle of the (the as in: my) night.

Michael Yeadon: “SAGE is hugely mistaken”

SAGE being the committee of “experts” who are currently ill-advising the British Government.

Concerning the policy that this advice is now unleashing upon us, Michael Yeadon tweets:

Please spread far & wide.
I’m more certain than ever SAGE is hugely mistaken.
The PCR test has replaced the virus itself as the threat sweeping the country. Completely unreliable.
The number of people dying of respiratory illness Sep-Oct is LOWER than same period last 5y.

And there’s a brief video of Yeadon saying this, that’s more than worth the minute of your time that it will take you to watch.

If you have more time for this guy, and I have a lot of time for him, have a listen also to this interview with Delingpole. Early on, Yeadon asks people to look also at his piece for Lockdown Sceptics about What SAGE Has Got Wrong.

This interview includes, right at its start (in fact before it really starts at all), an amusing way-off-topic anecdote about the WW2 Avro Lancaster factory in Yorkshire, which was at a place called Yeadon.