An historic weather forecast

I have no idea what it was like storming a Normandy beach, on June 6th 1944. I also don’t really know how they do weather forecasting, but in recent years, because of being an amateur photoer, I have acquired a profound respect for those who do know, and who do this for a living.

So, my D-Day blog posting does not feature warriors. I instead focus on this man:

That’s Group Captain James Stagg, Allied Supreme Commander Eisenhower’s D-Day weather man. Stagg it was who advised Ike that the landings should be postponed by twenty four hours, to avoid filthy weather on June 5th 1944 and to take advantage of what Stagg believed would be an interlude of surprisingly good weather on June 6th 1944. Stagg’s advice was taken. To say that “the rest is history” would be to suggest that Stagg’s superbly accurate forecast was not itself history. It very much was.

Such is the internet and such are modern times that if you now do an internet search for “James Stagg”, you get more pictures of the actor and writer David Haig than you do of Stagg himself. This is because Haig recently wrote a play, called Pressure, about the above-described historic episode, and then himself played the part of Stagg in his own play.

James Stagg, and WW2 weather forecasting in general, deserved and deserve to be made much of, so I don’t blame either Google or David Haig for the odd result of this particular internet search. In particular, on the image front, it seems very likely that quite a few more photos were taken of Haig playing Stagg than were ever taken of Stagg himself.

Recently purchased books

Photoed just now:

Although, I should say that I didn’t actually purchase Kristian Niemietz’s book about
Socialism. I tried to buy it, at a recent IEA event, but they wouldn’t take my money and just gave me a copy. It’s very good.

Excerpt from We Now Know, here. Could have downloaded a pdf of the whole thing. But, don’t like pdfs. Prefer books.

There are more that I didn’t include. E.g. one by fake-antiques architect Quinlan Terry that is too wide. (Fake architectural antiques are a good thing. The world now needs more of this. Terry does them very well.)

Memo to self: A habit I must cultivate better is the ability to read a book, while seated in front of my computer, concentrating on the former and ignoring the latter. The internet is just too damn interesting. But books are extremely interesting also, and I love to read them. Or at least: I love to have read them.

I love Amazon. I miss remainder shops.

miwhip?

This afternoon, on my way north from South Ken tube, I encountered these golden little vehicles:

It says “miwhip” on them. Who or what is that? I used to be content to just not know such things, and to forget I ever asked. But this is the age of the internet, in fact it has been for some while, as perhaps you have noticed. And the internet soon obliged.

It seems that “miwhip” is an Uber-challenger, and that if you are lucky, when you whisle up one of the above vehicles, you might instead find yourself travelling in one of these:

The best thing I read in the Evening Standard piece linked to above is that miwhip say they’ll pay their hirelings at the end of each day. If you have any friends hacking away at the coalface that is the gig economy, you’ll know how important that promise is. Provided, of course, that they keep it.

Could England make it the full set of four Euro-finalists? (Spoiler: yes it could)

Concerning Arsenal v Valencia, I liked this, from whoever was doing the BBC text commentating:

I know I said I wouldn’t do it. But Valencia have one minute to score five so I’m saying GAME OVER.

Arsenal are going to the Europa League final.

Indeed they are.

Chelsea, on the other hand, having drawn 1-1 in Frankfurt, found themselves drawing 1-1 in London. Chelsea needed to score, but even more, they needed not to be scored against, again, because they’d then have had to score twice more themselves. So, for Chelsea, it made sense to play it carefully and hope to win on penalties.

Which they did, and did.

Way back on April 17th, I quoted a BBC text commentator asking this:

Are we heading for an all-English Champions League final AND an all-English Europa League final?

Mission accomplished. It will be London v London, in Baku, and (as maybe you heard earlier) London v Liverpool in Madrid. West Ham, where were you when London needed you?

Catch up on the Chelsea Frankfurt game here.

By the way, I only just found out that “Eintracht” means “harmony” or “concord” or “unity”. So Eintracht Frankfurt basically means Frankfurt United. Tonight, united in grief. Or maybe not. Is there also a Frankfurt City?

Not again

Indeed. Spurs were cruising to defeat, but then, this:

One more goal and Spurs win.

Yes: Again. Moura scores a third at the death, and Spurs do win.

“That touch from Dele Alli through to Moura …”

“Unbelievable.”

But of course.

“If last night hadn’t happened, could tonight have happened?”

Good point.

LATER – Stephen Pollard:

Told my son he could stay up for the first half. If we stood any chance he could stay up for second half. So of course he had to go to bed.

How do I break it to him tomorrow? How do I stop him never speaking to me again?

Another good point.

A lot on my plate

From comedian Johnnie Casson:

“You’ve put on weight, Johnnie.”

Johnnie Casson: “I’ve had a lot on my plate.”

Me too, lately. Like I said, brief and perfunctory.

I don’t know where this was. Someone was sitting there with his laptop, with headphones on, and he started laughing. The rest of us demanded an explanation.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Four Channel Islands and a fifth Channel Island

These are technically terrible photos, but I had a lot of fun photoing them, and I get a lot of pleasure when I stumble upon such photos-from-airplanes in the photo-archives. What are these exactly?:

Well, I cranked up Google Maps, and also maps like the one here, and set to work. That photos have exact timings attached to them is very helpful when you are trying to work out what photos from airplanes are of.

And yes, those are the four big-name Channel Islands, TopLeft: Jersey, TopRight: Guernsey, BottomLeft: Alderney, BottomRight: Sark.

I reckon that Alderney, from that angle, looks a bit like a hippo.

But for me, the most intriguing puzzle was this:

What is that? Turns out, it’s the island of Herm. Herm’s sales pitch: There’s no place like Herm. Herm, island of triangular stamps.

Never heard of it, until now. Photo and learn. Blog and learn.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Peter Burke’s Assembly at the Woolwich Arsenal (again)

The designated starting point of my walk beside the river last Monday was Assembly (that being a photo of Assembly being assembled), the sculpture assembly outside the Woolwich Arsenal next to the river:

Those are some of the photos I photoed, and they are pretty much the photos everyone else photos of these metal men, and pretty much the same as the photos I photoed when last I visited these men (LINK TO THE OLD BLOG). That was in April 2011. It doesn’t feel like it was that long ago, which I think is because these metal men, once seen, are not soon forgotten.

Assembly is the work of Peter Burke. My googling skills are such that I often have to have several goes at a subject before I find my way to the stuff that I find the most informative and interesting. I can just about remember visiting the Peter Burke website, but I don’t recall ever reading this biography of Peter Burke before. Nor do I recall learning that this Assembly assembly began life somewhere else. Or maybe he did an Assembly for that rural setting, and then did another Assembly for outside the Woolwich Arsenal. Yes, probably that. Burke is big on mass production, like his contemporary and mate (apparently) Gormley.

And, I certainly never watched this video of Peter Burke speaking until now. As with all artists talking about their work, I see rather little connection between what he says about his work and what the work says to me. But at least what he says is mostly accurate, in that he mostly describes how he made it. There is hardly any pretentious art-speak bollocks of the sort that would get him sneered at at Mick Hartley‘s.

A key to why I like Peter Burke is that before he started doing art he was a Rolls Royce engineer, working on aero-engines. He liked and still likes how stuff like that looks. Snap. Unlike me, from then on, he knew how to make it.

But someone could do all the things Peter Burke describes himself doing when he does his art and produce art that says nothing to me at all. Insofar as he does describe what he thinks his art actually means, he pretty much loses me. Which might explain why I only like some of his art, such as Assembly.

What I get from Assembly, as well as the obvious military vibes I wrote about in that 2011 posting, is something to do with stoicism, emotional self-control, being a man, being a man under extreme pressure while keeping your manly cool. Even to the point of looking rather comical while doing all this.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Nuclear Rabbits From Outta Space?

On June 13th 2008 I was wandering about in Quimper, photoing photos. Mostly the photos were of such things as Quimper Cathedral with its twin spires, photoers photoing Quimper Cathedral with its twin spires, that kind of thing.

But in among all those, and with no accompanying explanation (like a context photo with less zoom (memo to self: always photo a context photo if it might help)), this:

KanaBeach seems to be some sort of Brittany based clothing brand (“Kanabeach est une entreprise de vĂȘtements bretonne”), which a few years later seems to have crashed and burned, after which catastrophe it may or may not have made a recovery. (A recovery attempt which involved a giraffe, for some reason.)

But, I have no idea who Jean-Francois Kanabeach is. And I am similarly baffled by the Nuclear Rabbits From Outta Space. Google’s basic reaction to that was, first off, to ask if I meant “Nuclear Rabbits From Outer Space”.

A rabbit was, so it says here, launched into space in 1959. And the Chinese did some stuff on the Moon in 2013, with something called the Jade Rabbit (aka Yutu). But Nuclear Rabbits, from Outta Space? Quesque c’est? Usually the Internet has something to say in answer to questions like this. But in this matter, rien.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Fitness vehicle

Yesterday, being ill made me think of food, because I wasn’t eating any food.

Today, what I am most feeling the lack of is body fitness. So, this:

Spotted by me in Stoke Newington last week.

As you can see, there’s a website. Interesting how she says that it’s a “sports industry”.

I assume that Lana wants to be noticed, or why would she should drive about in such a very noticeable vehicle?

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog