Deer with reflections photo on Twitter

I just encountered this photo by Austin O’Connor on Twitter:

This was the sort of thing I had in mind when I did this earlier little posting. For me, this photo is, if anything, too picturesque, like a very sugary pudding. But, I can definitely see why he’s proud of it. I would be if I’d photoed this, sugar or no sugar.

Take a few deep breaths when Tweeting …

The Niggle Magazine:

Reminder: Before you type something offensive on Twitter, sit back, count to 10, and take a few deep breaths. The brief pause may give you a chance to think of something even more offensive.

Twitter is surely what you make it. If you follow lots of political mouthers-off, as I do, then the ones who get excited are the ones who Tweet the most, and who pause and consider and take deep breaths the least, and that’s a lot of what I see. But I also follow lots of people who, although often also political, are more interested in fun, truth, beauty, or (in the case of the above quote) humour, and suchlike. I tend to scroll past all the shouting and pick on the nicer and subtler stuff to savour. It can be done.

On people not having to put up with too much crap at work any more

Seen today on Twitter:

A lady cleaner jacks her job in after getting a dressing down from her horrid boss. I don’t know the details, or whose fault this really was. Maybe “Julie” behaved very badly. But maybe the cleaning lady had driven Julie to distraction with her wrong ways of cleaning.

But, let’s now assume that whatever Julie’s reasons were for flipping her lid like that, it was indeed very unfair on the cleaning lady and could have been handled much better by Julie. Julie shouldn’t have bawled her out like that. Well, that means that Julie is now in some trouble, even if that trouble is only the fear of trouble. (Only!) Julie now faces being investigated by her superiors for perhaps provoking this contretemps and for making the bank look bad on Twitter.

I think the key change here is that your typical worker in a country like ours does not any longer have to take this sort of crap (assuming this was crap). Two hundred years ago, what percentage of the working population could be unemployed for a month without staring death by starvation in the face? And what is the answer to that same question now? Very different, I think we can be sure. And I think this is a very big change.

A century and more ago, this cleaning lady and all the people at her economic level, i.e. most people, just had to put up with this sort of humiliation. But not any more. Upping and leaving isn’t necessarily any fun, but for millions of workers now, it is now doable, if the alternative is made too horrible to endure.

As a result of this profound economic change, there is now a huge industry, populated by people who trained as actors and actresses (I have a couple of friends of this sort), which instructs middle managers in how to combine two things which can be hard to combine, namely being kind and polite, and yet still saying what is wanted. The danger is that if you are too nice, you’ll stop communicating clearly, which can then be torture of another kind. So you have to learn to be as kind as possible, while still being clear about what you want from your underlings and colleagues. Because such skills can be easier to describe than to master, these middle managers often have to practice doing all this, by playing out scenes, wrongly and rightly.

And note this. The process of them learning to be nice while remaining sufficiently clear and assertive has itself to be done in a way that works, but is also nice enough for them not to up and jack in their jobs because it’s all too damn humiliating and also a load of bollocks.

Pfaith

Seen recently at a Facebook Friend’s page:

While searching for more about this, I came upon this recent story:

A single pill home cure for Covid could be available by the end of the year, according to reports.

Pharmaceutical giant Pfizer, whose coronavirus vaccine has been successfully rolled out around the world, has begun human trials of the first pill specifically designed to stop the virus at its buildings in the United States and the European manufacturers’ base in Belgium.

The company, which brought the first US-approved Covid-19 vaccine to market, is conducting the stage one clinical trial on an oral antiviral therapy that a patient could take when they first develop symptoms, which would make it the first oral antiviral treatment of its kind in the world for coronavirus.

My take on Covid as of now (guess (reserve the right to change mind without embarrassment)) is: Lockdown CROSS, Treatment TICK, Vaccines TICK. Most of “They” were wrong to obsess about Lockdown, wrong that treatment wouldn’t work, and right about vaccines being something worth throwing a ton of money at. Good that the treatment error seems now to be being corrected.

Alas, Lockdown, is something that many now love, for quasi-religious reasons, and want to continue with.

Blue iceberg

CuriositĂ  Scientifiche:

How come? Here’s how:

Blue icebergs form in 2 ways: either because they flipped upside down by emerging the submerged part out of the water, or because of extreme ice compression that takes place in hundreds of years.

Blue icebergs are often very old, and contain very little air, originally present in the ice. This composition varies the refractive index generating the amazing blue color.

Comments included: “Spettacolare!”, “Bellissimo”, “Fantastico!”, “La natura è meravigliosa” and “Stupendo”. Or as we Anglos say, and as an Anglo did say: “Wow”.

Photo by Robert B. Dunbar. All hail the Internet. Thank you Nick Gillespie.

No wonder artists don’t do beauty any more.

Three especially good links to SteveStuWill

As I mentioned earlier in the week, I’ve been catching up with the SteveStuWill Twitter feed. This time, I’ve picked out just three creaturely amusements that particularly entertained me. I could have listed many more, but these are the ones I especially liked. I mean, if I link to lots of them, you might as well just go there and scroll. If I pick only a few, you get only a few, which may be just what you want.

So: Male sea horse giving birth, to a lot of sea foals; a black heron hunts fish by blocking out the sun; and perhaps most remarkable of the lot, the courtship dance of the hooded grebe. Enjoy.

You can see every organ in the glass frog

Today’s ephemera at David Thompson’s blog has links to some excellent animal amusements.

There is this scaredy cat. And my favourite for a good LOL is this very sensible cat.

But the most seriously remarkable ephemeron is this glass frog:

How did that come about, I wonder? And given that it did, why we do not see this sort of thing more often?

The front of an electric scooter gets attached to the front of a wheelchair – turning it into an electric tricycle

My habit of opening too many windows at once, and also the rather intrusive vagaries of my back-up system, mean that Twitter, for me, comes and goes. So it’s been a while since I took a look at the Steve Stewart-Williams Twitter feed. Earlier today, I picked out lots of stuff to link to this coming Friday, involving creatures of various kinds doing various amusing and surprising things things. However I was particularly impressed by this bit of video showing … well, see above.

The electric “scooter” (inverted commas because that words seems to include lots of very different contraptions) market is a classic emergent market which has yet to discover exactly what its big products are going to be, rather like cars in about 1900. Maybe this idea of attaching the front of a “foldable scooter” to the seating or standing arrangement of your choice may end up being part of the product range that finally emerges.

A gallery of Michael Jennings photos

For the last few weeks, a strange glitch has been afflicting this blog, involving spacing. If I stick up just the one photo, stretching all the way across the width of the blog’s column of text, all is well. But if I stick up a gallery of photos, which is something I very much like doing, there has been a problem. Too much space was suddenly, ever since a recent software update or some such thing, created below the gallery. Any attempt I made to remove this space only resulted in further spatial havoc below, in the form of too much space between subsequent paragraphs of text.

But now, either because the guardians of this software have sorted this out, or because the technical curator of this blog, Michael Jennings, has sorted this out, things are back to how they were. Good. Very good. I attach great importance to how this blog looks. If it looks wrong, I hate that. It demoralises me and makes me want to ignore the damn thing rather than keep on updating it the way I actually do. This was especially so given that galleries look so very good when they are working properly.

Well, as I say, things have now reverted to their previous state of visual just-so-ness. And I will now celebrate, with yet another gallery:

The above gallery, however, is not a gallery of my photos, but rather a gallery of photos photoed by Michael Jennings, all, I believe, with his mobile phone. Not having got out much lately, I have found the photos Michael has photoed while taking exercise, and then stuck up on Facebook, reminding me of how my beloved London has been looking, to be a great source of comfort during the last few months. And I actually like photoing in his part of London more than I do in my own part. This may just be familiarity breeding something like contempt, but is still a definite thing with me.

I started out having in mind to pick just four photos, which makes a convenient gallery. Then I thought, make it nine. I ended up with twenty four. It would have been twenty five (also a convenient number), except that one of the ones I chose was a different shape, which might have complicated things, so I scrubbed that one from the gallery.

But you can still look at that one. Because none of this means that you need be confined only to my particular favourites. Go here and keep on right clicking to see all of them.

I have displayed my picks here in chronological order, the first of the above photos having been photoed in October of last year. The final photo (which is what you get to if you follow the second link in the previous paragraph), of the church, which I learned of today, and which is the only one done outside London, is something of a celebration, of the fact that Michael is now able to travel outside London without breaking any rules, or such is my understanding. (Plus, I like those unnatural trees (see also photo number 9)).

Patrick Crozier, the man I do recorded conversations with (see the previous post), is a particular fan of Viscount Alanbrooke, Churchill’s long suffering chief military adviser during WW2. So he’ll like that this church is where Alanbrooke is buried.

Tokyo – an aerial photo and a comparative map

Luka Ivan Jukic:

There’s cities, there’s metropolises, and then there’s …:

… Tokyo.

It’s that mountain at the back that really makes this photo. That and the extraordinary amount of architectural detail.

And then, from the responses, there’s this:

A century ago, London was, or so my TV told me last night, the biggest city on earth.

I blame the Green Belt. This belt (noose?) should be converted into a ring of parks, all surrounded by more London.