World Cup torture

Well, I didn’t watch England slowly torturing the All Blacks to death yesterday, because I could not bear the thought of watching what I was sure would happen, viz: the All Blacks slowly torturing England to death. I merely recorded it all, in the unlikely event that England won and I would then want to see it all. While England were, in fact, winning, I had a Sunaturday morning lie-in.

The thing is, England are pretty good this time around, and watching all the hope being squeezed out of them, and experiencing all the hope being squeezed out of me, was more than I could have endured. I just wanted one nice, humane bullet to the head, with no messing about.

The thing also (see above) is, England never beat the All Blacks at the World Cup. Never. It just doesn’t happen. They always lose to them. Not necessarily by much, but by enough, every time. The French, yes, they beat the All Blacks at the World Cup, every other decade. But England? Never. As Shakespeare would have put it had he been a rugby fan: Never never never never never. So, why was this game going to be any different?

Now, my problem is that I, along with millions of other real rugby fans (such as I clearly am not) by no means all of whom are even English, now think that England are favourites to beat South Africa. South Africa only just beat Wales this morning, and Wales only really really care about beating England. England beat South Africa at the World Cup quite often, just as South Africa beat England at the World Cup quite often. More to the point, England have now beaten the All Blacks at this World Cup, and the All Blacks beat South Africa at this World Cup in the group stage. So, logic says that England will accordingly beat South Africa. So I probably will watch the final. At which point all those South African backs will go crazy and beat England by twenty points. Deep down, however, I only say that to stop it happening. What I really think is that England will win, and very possibly by quite a lot.

It really would be something if England could dump the three senior Southern Hemisphere teams out of this thing, bang bang bang, one after another. Trouble is, this has not happened yet, and with sport, you never know. Sport is not, to put it mildly, always logical.

I mean, I imagine all those All Black fans got the shock of their lives, as it gradually dawned on them that England were, yesterday, better than them, and were going to beat them, at the World Cup. For the first time. Ever. Ever ever ever ever ever. They should have stayed in bed or gone to bed early, or whatever they would have needed to do in their time zone, to spare themselves the grief.

Stephen Fry once quoted Vincent Price saying: exquisite agony. That about sums up what I’m trying to say in this.

Pause over

I am happy to report that the transmigration referred to earlier has now, it would seem, happened. Because, I am now allowed to put stuff up here again.

The pause lasted longer (longer enough to break my rule here about something-every-day-however-insignificant) than had been hoped. Such pauses usually do, in my experience. But it would appear that Civilisation managed to stagger along yesterday in its usual imperfect manner, despite having had no input into into it from BMNB. Now, normal service resumes.

Hope for more stuff here today, if only to make up for yesterday’s silence. But do not assume it.

The other good news is that there was recently a comment here, from “Fred Z” about his preference for watching dogs trying to get big sticks through smaller gaps over the process described in this video, and this comment did not disappear. Comments here are welcome, but rare, so I am glad about this. Fred Z says that such video-caninery is the same but better. I think Fred Z is wrong on both counts, but that’s not the point. I rejoice that Fred Z’s mistaken opinions are still here, for all here to read and to correct.

The soul of this blog will be transmigrating this evening

Yes. Some new sort of payment system means that this blog needs to go to a different server, or something. This shouldn’t affect all of you, but it will mean that this evening I will at some point be advised not to try to add anything to it, until the transmigration has completed itself.

So, to keep me well out of the way of this, and following my something-however-insignificant-every-day rule (which I followed yesterday also, twice), here is a link to one of those optical illusions I like to mention here from time to time, basically whenever I see one I like. This optical illusion, by turning some blue to black next to some white, turns the white yellow. Yellow that is not there but which is plainly visible. Very strange.

It isn’t Friday, which is my usual day for Cats and/or Other Creatures postings, but optical illusions like this make me wonder how the world looks to other creatures. They all see things we don’t, and we presumably see things they don’t. Could a video be made of how some Other Creature sees things, which we could then see?

Video of straight line going through curved gap

If I add all that href https blah blah stuff to the link, then I can put the link to this cute video here.

But if I just shove the address without any hrefery, I get the video right here:

Blog and learn. I just shoved up the link, and there it was! Here!

This is also fun. Although, it feels so fun it could be fake.

Creature stuff

First up: Otters chasing a butterfly.

Next, zebras:

One of these photos. Jordan Peterson would surely like this photo.

In case you didn’t realise, Cats bond with their people too. I’m already convinced. When GD2’s family’s cat Oscar got home after going awol, he slept for about a solid day. This says to me that he was stressed out when away from home, but not when home with his humans.

From Laughing Squid, a paper cameleon, a trampolining fox, and a raven who speaks German.

Lastly, and most depressingly: Animal painter known as ‘Galician Picasso’ found half eaten by own dogs.

Vapour trails

I photoed this vapour trail in December 2005. I’m pretty sure I have others, but this was the first vapour trail I found in the archives:

And I think that it is indeed a vapour trail. But now take a look at this next vapour trail.

That’s not a vapour trail.

This is a vapour trail:

As Michael Jennings, this blog’s technical curator (to whom continuing thanks), would say, this was in Straya.

Aerodynamic contrails occur when a plane lowers the air pressure as it flies, in turn lowering the air temperature and causing condensation to form on the wings. This condensation then trails behind as the plane continues forward.

In certain humid conditions, the drop in temperature and pressure is such that the droplets of condensation will freeze at varying sizes.

When the sunlight shines through these different sized droplets, it will refract at different wavelengths, hence the variety of colours that can be seen.

Blog and learn.

That’s more like it (LATER: except that it wasn’t)

So far, Surrey have been doing well against Hants, who are now 120 for 8. At lunch, Hants were 60 for 5. And I love that those five wickets were taken by Clarke, Clark, Clarke, Clarke and Clark. That’s Rikki Clarke with the e and Jordan Clark without the e. Rikki Clarke has since got another, and has 5 for 21.

This is the game I’m talking about. Wickets are tumbling all over the country, so 120 for 8 may not (that sound you hear is of bets being hedged) end up being such a bad score. Yeah, now it’s 135 for 8. Morkel, now bowling, has 0 for 37. This year, Morkel is not the force he was last year. Even so, this makes a nice change from all this.

Surrey just brought Clark back on, and he now has three wickets. Jordan Clark. Hants 135 for 9. They were 26 for 4 at one early point. Not unrelated, I surmise, to the fact that they are starting county matches at 10.30am rather than 11am, now that it’s not summer any more.

TWO DAYS LATER: Well that was a hell of a lot less like it that it had started out seeming to be. Far from taking my mind off the England test team (currently 226 for 7 in their first innings in the final test), Surrey copied it. In the first test this summer, as I recall, England got eight early wickets, but nevertheless contrived to lose by a lot. Surrey have just done exactly the same, losing this game by a whopping 272, having started out by having had Hants 90 for 8.

I am a true cricket fan. I am unable to ignore cricket merely because it is going badly for the teams I support. Real fans don’t just enjoy. They suffer. It’s the rule.

LATER: Surrey coach Di Venuto holds forth and it’s not nice.

Michael McIntyre speaks for me

And for many others, I’m very sure:

I found this here.

I am Old, but I have made enough friends among the Young for me to be able to twist Young arms and mostly get them to do all this for me. The other day a Young Person agreed to get a copy of this CD for me. (I only buy CD’s on line from Amazon, and this CD is not on Amazon.) If I had tried to buy this CD, I would probably have spent longer failing to accomplish this than I will take listening successfully to the CD.

One of the things I like about living in London is that if I want to buy tickets for something, I can go there beforehand, and buy them, the twentieth century way.

Increasingly, I find that trying to visit any “visitor attraction” is starting to resemble trying to get on an airplane. And as McIntyre explains, booking beforehand on your computer is just as bad.

A good bit, concerning those never-read “terms and conditions”:

I’m slightly worried that in five years time iTunes are going to show up at my door and say: “We own this house now.”

And don’t get me started on passwords. Just watch him speaking (for me) about passwords.

I don’t know why there are big black bits above and below Michael McIntyre. If anyone can suggest a way to get rid of these that I am capable of doing, I would be most grateful.