An exercise lesson on Zoom

I can remember when e-mail became a necessity for me. I got a phone call from someone who asked: “What’s your email?” and I said “I don’t do email”. It was the way she then said “Oh” that made me realise that something had happened.

There hasn’t been a single moment like this for me with Zoom, but it has become made clear to me that making easy and regular use of Zoom has now become part of everyday life for all civilised people. Stage 4 lung cancer means you get cut some slack on these sorts of things, or you do by the people who are treating you. Nevertheless, I got, and get, the message.

And today I got an exercise lesson on Zoom from an exercise coach at the Royal Marsden. For some reason or other, the audio aspect wasn’t perfect, there being a slight delay, like the Royal Marsden was in India. But the job got done very satisfactorily nevertheless, and it’s hard to see how this could have been done by any other means than me being at the Marsden in person. Like all good teachers, he wasn’t content with showing me what he wanted me to do. He wanted also to see me doing it. Not only did Zoom enable him to show me what exercises he wanted me to do, he was also able to see that I was doing them the way I should be doing them.

All of which will be very old news to almost everyone reading this. I am well aware that when it comes to Zoom I am the ultimate late adopter, just as I was with email. Nevertheless, this posting is definite Zoom information for you, even if you’ve been using Zoom for the last two years minimum. And the information is that everyone is now using Zoom, the proof of this being that I am now using it.

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.

Cows love listening to accoustic guitar but not to electric bass guitar

Yes. Here is a cow listening to some accoustic guitar. And here, from among the responses to the above, are some cows all running away from electric bass guitar (scroll down a bit to get to that).

Day One of the county cricket season

… and the excitement at Bristol, where Gloucester are playing Surrey in Group 2 of the County Championship, has reached fever pitch:

Lockdown suits four day County Cricket rather well, because it supplies a readymade excuse for why nobody is at the ground watching it.

Happy Easter!

I hope you are having one.

I definitely am, and I will tell you (a big part of) why. This, on YouTube, from Steve Baker MP, no less.

Just over two minutes long, so not a big chunk out of your life it you follow the above link and watch it all.

I’ll surely have more to say about this by way of thanks. But, busy day for me today, and I could hardly postpone at least noticing this here.

Ask, and you shall receive. This exploiting my impending death to achieve a dose of upward social mobility thing is really working out well.

So what does this Real AI do to the network?

Here’s the latest Taxi-with-advert photo I photoed, not far from a favourite taxi spot even during Lockdown, Victoria Station:

Whereas yesterday, the posting was about a big gadget that merely happened to have words on it, this is an advert that consists only of words. “Juniper. real networks. Real AI. Real results.” Even I know that the Internet will tell me more, if I only ask it. “.

So I went to the Juniper website, and watched and listened to two minutes and more of Juniper Supremo Rami Rahim, talking about an AI driven network, or something. But I am afraid I am not much the wiser. To summarise my question simply: What is he talking about? I know that AI stands for artificial intelligence, but how does this artificial intelligence apply itself to the network? Does it run the network? Thereby saving humans the bother? Does it run the network in a way that is more efficient than it could ever be in humans ran it? Or is the AI doing something entirely different? Or, is Rami Rahim just talking about a somewhat fancy computer programme, that runs the network, which isn’t really AI at all? I’m genuinely eager to learn more.

All of which illustrates a more general point about Lockdown, which is that during it, anyone in the computerised communications business is liable to be doing rather well, and to be eager to advertise, unlike, say, restaurants.

The Royal Marsden and its money

One of the things Patrick Crozier and I talked about in our latest Recorded Conversation is how the Royal Marsden Hospital is more mixed economy than pure NHS. It supplies services to the NHS, but is its own boss.

And surely the reason for this is that it possesses a vast flood of charitable money, as gratefully noted on the walls of the Piano Room, here:

Those are the biggest donors. (I did some notPhotoshopping there, to make the names less impossible to read.) And here:

Still big, but not so big.

My favourite, because I have a dirty mind, is the “Lady Garden” Foundation, top photo, bottom right. This sounds like something comedian Jimmy Carr would talk about.

Paperbacks

I only watch a few of the videos that the Quotulator likes to put up at his excellent blog, but I just watched this one and enjoyed it greatly:

What I find so entertaining about this chunk of history is how this new way of selling and consuming books oscillated wildly between Very Low Art (“Penny Dreadfuls”) and Very High Art (classic (hence out of copyright) novels, Shakespeare, etc.). Low Art created the format. High Art discovered that it could use the format.

My Dad collected Penguins before and after WW2, and probably also during. I still have some of those. None of them were Penny Dreadfuls.

Also interesting was the claim that paperbacks are now thriving, better than ebooks are. My suspicion about that one: give it time.