Four of BrianMicklethwaitsNewBlog dot com’s greatest hits

Every so often, this blog attracts a flurry of attention from some mysterious other place that I am typically not clever enough to identify, and today this is happening again. The posting that is today attracting a stampede, by my very modest standards, of hits is one I did way back last October, about Jonathan the 188-year-old tortoise, whom I just happened to learn about from this Tweet, by “Anna Berserk”, which included the photo that I stuck up here. All I can tell you about this sudden interest in this old tortoise is that it appears to have happened because of something someone said on Facebook. Beyond that, I cannot even guess.

An earlier flurry of interest was provoked by a November 2019 posting here which featured a picture of what a Ripped piece of paper under the microscope (100x magnification) looks like. I came across this where I come across a lot of stuff I like, which is the Twitter feed of Steve Stewart-Williams.

Another little stampede was provoked by this photo of the damage a tiny speck of space debris can do at 15,000 mph. I came across that photo here.

My favourite of these little stampede-inducing postings was one that featured a lady, Lady Florence Norman, who was photoed riding an electric scooter in 1916. I first encountered her ladyship here.

All of these Greatest Hits of mine featured photos, none of which were photoed by me, and all of which were first seen by me on Twitter. The timing of these mini-stampedes was random, and they often happened, as today, long after I had thought my posting would have been completely forgotten. Make of all that what you will.

Another quota advert

Yes. Spent the day chasing details, and keeping half an eye on the Six Nations. In an empty Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, the crowd was not missed much and Wales beat England. Oh well, it’s only a game.

So, another quota advert, photoed very recently, this time for an enterprise which, I am guessing, needs all the help it can get just now:

Something looked wrong about to me about this bike. The handle bars seemed like they had been turned round and are pointing backwards. Then I got it. They had been turned round. They are pointing backwards. Together with the front wheel that is attached to the handle bars.

The Cave website. I see there’s a cafe. Memo to self: Check it out when you know what stops.

Gas works before lockdown ends?

I did quite a bit of writing today, but none of it for here, today. So, quota photo time, and again, it’s photoed in the well-lit dark with my Samsung Galaxy A40 mobile phone. I don’t know if gas work is what is happening, but that’s my bet, and if that’s right there is a lot of it about. I’m guessing they don’t like big rearrangements of the gas pipes when it’s freezing cold, as it was a week or two ago, but they want to get anything they want done done, before lockdown ends. And I further guess that this, at the junction of Warwick Way and Tachbrook Street was part of it:

I’ve been seeing gas work everywhere, like in Vauxhall Bridge Road. And are those smaller orange pipes also for gas. Guess: yes.

While wondering what verbiage to attach to the above photo, which I like simply for artistic effect and because of that sign about social distancing, I came upon this photo I photoed quite a bit earlier, at a spot I often shop at, where Horseferry Road does its big kink, where I often do very local shopping, and where I get my hair cut:

That’s definitely gas they’re working on there, because it says so. And it also goes on about social distancing, which at least fits with the social distancing sign in the first photo.

These annoying signs are becoming my most vivid recollection of lockdown, and it’s gone on for so damn long I can still photo more of them whenever I see them, as I surely will for quite a while.

Engine issue

Via Instapundit, this:

Police in Broomfield stated on Twitter that they received reports of dropped debris in several neighborhoods …

One of the engines on a passing United Airlines plane exploded. The plane flew back to Denver and landed safely. Nobody was hurt either by falling debris or in the plane.

CNN reported that there was an engine issue. I’ll say. A Boeing 777 apparently.

Lots more social media photos, including passenger videos of what remained of the engine, at the other end of the “this” link above. No way anyone could pretend this didn’t happen.

Quite a story. The Guardian agrees.

Big yellow pipes

Vauxhall Bridge Road is a bit of a shambles just now, because it is being dug up. It’s as if they’ve told whoever it is doing this pipe work that now is the time to doing this sort of thing, or never.

A few days ago, on my way to the shops, I encountered some of these pipes, all gathered together on the road and ready to be buried:

And then, a bit further up, nearer to the junction with Warwick Way, I came across some of these pipes actually being buried:

It was all a big reminder that roads are not simple unchanging surfaces. Rather are they elaborate volumes, volumes that are constantly being tinkered with and rearranged.

These photos were photoed, like the photo of that piano, with my Samsung Galaxy something something Forty. It’s recent rather than the very latest thing, and definitely not the latest iPhone. Yet look how it performs in very limited and completely artificial light. Okay the buildings in the background are more than somewhat distorted, but the pipes are clear as day.

Steve Davies: Four new technologies to be optimistic about

I seem to recall a lecture, given by Steve Davies at the IEA just before Covid and the political reaction to Covid started spoiling all our lives, in which he warned that modernity might be stopped in its tracks or worse by some unforeseeable disaster, and that we should watch out. And I’m pretty sure that, during the Q&A, he even mentioned the possibility of a pandemic.

Now however, Steve Davies says, not unreasonably or inconsistently, that the future is brighter than many now, as the Covid crisis persists, assume or at least fear:

People everywhere need to recover their sense of confidence and optimism and to realise not only that this is, undoubtedly, the best time ever to be alive, but also that the future will be even better.

Davies then writes about four technologies which he says will transform life for the better: autonomous vehicles, synthetic food, artificial intelligence, and anti-aging medical treatments. So, life will not only be better; it will also last for far longer.

Regular readers of this blog will know that recently I have particularly noticed technology number two in the Davies list, synthetic food. And number one, autonomous vehicles, has long been to be an interest of mine also. I agree that both will be “epoch making”, eventually.

But I probably won’t live to see either epoch unfold. As far as I’m concerned, that last one, extended life-span, through the conquest of such things as cancer, can’t come too quickly. Which is why it almost certainly won’t come, for me, quickly enough.

However, I recently I heard some wisdom based on recent personal experience spill out of my mouth, to the effect that, now, being told that I have a potentially quite-soon-fatal disease, at my already quite advanced age, is a big deal, but not that big a deal. This just means that I will die a bit sooner. But what if such a medical mishap meant that I died a lot sooner, like about a two hundred years or more sooner? That would be a very big deal. In an age of multi-century lifespans, if that is what is about to arrive, people will surely become far more risk averse even than they are now, because they will have so much more to lose by dying.

But then again, adolescent boys have long had a lot to lose and they are notoriously prone to risk-taking, just for the hell of it. So, what do I know?

In general, will people actually be any happier? I doubt this, because happiness seems to depend more on one’s internal mood than on one’s mere circumstances. I don’t feel any more miserable now than I was a couple of years ago, when I was unaware of my medical condition and before it started or at any rate before it started hurting.

Cricket lag will now be unavoidable

Oh dear. I’ve just discovered that this is happening, on Channel 4 TV:

You don’t need a jet to screw up your sleep patterns. Interesting television at 4am will do the job just as well.

I was just looking for daily highlights. Instead, I discover the whole thing.

For some reason this bit of computer graphics refused to allow Gadwin, my screen scanner, to scan it. So, I photoed it. “Rating 7”. Bloody cheek.

The game I’m now watching is this one. The very first thing I saw was Stokes getting out. Pujara nearly dropped it, but he didn’t. England now 431-4, with Root approaching his second double century in the space of three test matches.

And Root now has his two hundred, going to it with a six. 440-4. The stadium is empty, but he won’t care.

It seems I’m not the only one photoing taxis with adverts

Indeed:

Photoed by me last Tuesday, near to where I live.

Five more crowd scenes photoed in and from the Tate Modern Extension

As I have said here many time before, I love the Tate Modern Extension that they recently stuck behind the original power station. The Extension is the Thing you can see here, centre left, at the back:

It’s not that it is especially beautiful to look at, although liking the Thing itself so much, I have myself come to like how it looks. And I like the Thing itself because of all the fun things I can photo in it and from it.

For instance, I can photo crowd scenes in it and from it, or I could once upon a time. Like this crowd, photoed a bit nearer to it, after I’d gone under the bridge with the railway station on it (Blackfriars):

And here is part of that same crowd, photoed once I was up and in among that crowd myself:

So much for the crowd in the Tate Modern Extension. Now for four more crowd scenes, all photoed in one photo, from the Tate Modern Extension:

Three crowds in three boats there, and another crowd on a bridge, the Millennium Footbridge, another recent favourite addition to the London bridge collection.

Those were the days. May they soon return, which I will believe if and when I ever see it and no sooner.

The day when I photoed all of the above photos was in August 2016.

A regular view of Battersea Power Station – but in the morning!

A couple more photos from Christmas Eve, the first was showing what a weird, for me, time of day it was, even though I was already two-thirds walked home by then:

I know. 10.20am. AM!!! That’s the big clock at the top of Victoria Bus Station. And yes indeed, look at the weather, too.

Yet the funny thing is about that time in the morning is that in many ways it resembles the time when it is about to get dark again.

Consider, for instance, this next photo, of a favourite view of mine taken from the same spot and at the same time as the photo above, but just pointing in the opposite direction:

That’s one of my favourite views in London, being from the road where Warwick Way turns right, past the big bus terminal, over the big railway line into Victoria, and towards Posh Pimlico and its posh antique shops, as you go towards Sloane Square, which was where I had just come from.

I have photoed the slowly changing scene that has been Battersea Power Station over the last few decades, many a time during those years. And I have photoed photos where the evening sun was bouncing up at me like a short-pitched cricket delivery off the pitch in front of me, from railway lines like that. But I don’t recall ever having before photoed Battersea Power Station in the morning and combined that with the reflecting railways lines effect. But Christmas Eve morning having been the morning, the sun was coming from the opposite of the usual direction, and there it all was.

I like how the railway line has to climb, and also curve like that to get itself in line, past those sheds on the left, in order to be high enough and pointing in the right direction to get across the river bridge.

This is really just a posting to see if posting has got any easier from the mess it was yesterday, but I also owe regulars here, after yesterday’s single and decidedly fiascotic (also time-cheated (small hours of this morning) posting. Which means I am now going to save it in my Word-clone before trying to post it here.

Seems to be working better. Good.