A picture of a not missing cat and the link to the story

Twitter is getting seriously addictive for me these days. What will stop that is that it is getting a bit samey, as the same people keep on saying the same things.

Kristian Niemietz spends most of his Twitter time shouting at Corbynistas. So I was rather delighted to see this:

Miemietz supplies no link, which I hate. This hatred reminds me of the time when I used to rain curses down upon would be Libertarian Alliance authors who did not supply proper footnotes, in that now long gone era when there were no links. Just footnotes. I know, weird.

To quote myself (who else will?):

If you submit something to the LA for publication, your manuscript must be legible, and it must be complete. If we publish it exactly as you have submitted it, you should be content. On the other hand, if we are unable to publish it as it stands, either because we can’t read it, or because it lacks vital details, we will not be at all content.

We do not favour the “people generally, are, in a general way, inclined to think approximately such and such” style of writing. Who thinks it? Exactly what do they think? Where’s the proof that this is what they think? You should supply chapter and verse. If you are depending upon or taking issue with some written point of view or other, it is essential that you should enable your readers to acquaint themselves at first hand with what you are praising or criticising. They must be able to satisfy themselves that your criticisms are fair. They must, if encouraged by your praise of something, be able to explore further. The LA would be a waste of everyone’s time if all that happened was that a whole bunch of people read everything published by the LA, but read – or wrote – nothing else.

Accordingly, you must supply complete and accurate footnotes. …

Ah, those were the days. It’s a wondrous exercise in invective, though I say it myself.

Although, I note that I broke my own rule. Who actually said: “no one says that”?

But however much those days were the days, I still prefer these days, when you just shove in a link. Much easier.

Like this link, to the actual story about the missing cat that no longer was missing.

Later: Also this.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Haircut selfies

Yes, a few days ago now, I had a haircut. I like to get value for money, and get rid of lots of hair whenever it gets cut. Here’s the before and after of it:

Both of those photos are examples of Multiple Selfies, where, one way or another, you get two or more selfies instead of just the one. The one on the right, if my camera screen and my camera and my mirror and your screen were all perfect (which they are far from), would have been an Infinitely Multiple Selfie, but in reality it only makes it to being what the one on the left is: a Double Selfie.

Note how in each case I artfully disguise the state of my chin(s?). On the right by holding my head high and stretching it. On the right with the careful (but alas not quite perfect) placing of the camera. Sometimes, when selfie-ing I try to look my best. Often, I just don’t bother.

I know what you’re thinking. Selfies aren’t cool. But look at it this way. The human face is interesting, but you can’t just photo Other People and shove their faces up on the WWW, WWWithout their permission. It’s not polite. It could make trouble for them, if they are strangers who didn’t want it known that they were in London, or if they are friends of mine and don’t want it know that they are friends of mine. Which leaves my face as the only face it is convenient for me regularly to photo and then stick up here, with my oWWWn full permission. I had to crop the Double Selfie on the left to cut out another bloke. I did this because of internet etiquette, not raging egocentrism. Besides which, if selfies are raging egocentrism, this is my blog and I’ll do whatever I want with it.

So anyway, back to the haircut. I have been going to the local haircutting shop, Adriano’s, at the corner of Horseferry Road and Horseferry Road (it does a right angle kink), pretty much ever since I moved into my home in about 1990. Every time I go there, I say: very short please, shorter than you usually do. And the old bloke there (Adriano?), who has a full head of hair, starts snipping away, very carefully, and goes on for as long as he considers seemly. The result looks great, but not as short as I want. Once, I very nearly got what I wanted, when another bloke with shorter hair cut my hair shorter.

This time was different. It was another bloke, with no hair on his head at all. He is not completely bald, but he had that look where he was pretending he wasn’t partly bald by saying, I’m deliberately bald. On purpose. Without such deliberation, I would have hair all over my head! It fools nobody because his hair immediately starts to grow again, and his actual baldness is quickly evident.

Anyway, I felt optimistic about this guy. Make it almost as short as your hair, I said, but not quite. Said he: OK. Maybe, finally, I’d get the haircut I wanted. I did. Instead of the agonising, disapproving and prolonged snipping I was used to, Mr Baldie got an electric shearing device and just sheared it off, as if my head was a sheep. It took less than a minute. The next three minutes was just tidying up, and it was all done.

Next time, if Mr Baldie does it again, I will take photos during as well as before and after, because these would have been outstanding.

I rather think that in the left hand one, above, before, a weird effect is that my hair is shorter on my right side than on the left. This is because, being right-handed, I pull out more hair from the right side than the left side, when washing it in the bath. (I wash it in the bath.)

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Show and tell

A reason I like to put my photos on a blog, rather than just shove them out to the world on Flickr or Instagram or some such thing, is that I often like to say complicated things about them. I like to say why I like about them, basically. For the photos I show here, this blog is about what’s in the photos, as well as just photoing itself.

I also like explaining the photos. Often it isn’t obvious what they are off, or where the thing they are of is.

Distressing though it is to contemplate, not everybody in the world is able to live in London, the way I do. Some of these unfortunates read this blog and view my photos. Not knowing London, such persons require explanations.

Take this photo, for instance:

Very pretty, I hope you agree. But where on earth is it, and where was it taken from? It was taken from the top of the Tate Modern extension, which is the brick building in the middle of this photo:

What we also see in that photo is the big old tower of Tate Modern, and in the foreground, one of London’s more interesting railway stations, interesting because it is on a bridge. I love that about it. Especially if it encourages other bridges to be building, say out east, which also have buildings on them, like old London Bridge once did.

But I digress. Which is another reason for sticking photos on a blog. On a blog you can digress all you want.

So anyway, back to that photo at the top, of the staircase with all its shadows. Where would that be?

Well, here’s another photo taken from the exact same spot, at the top of the Tate Modern extension, which puts the staircase in context and shows where it is. It is right in the middle of this view:

Or consider this rather banal view, also to be seen from the top of the TME, this time looking south:

On the right are those flats, whose inhabitants have been complaining about being looked at through their big windows, with its big lift shaft on its left. And further over to the left, further away, we see the three-eyed tower that is Strata, or the Razor as some call it. Why do I show you that? Because this …:

… which is what I saw by moving along a bit to the right, and looking at Strata through the lift shaft.

How would you know what that was, if I didn’t explain it?

And there’s more explaining to be done. What is that odd brick pattern, reflected in the glass of the lift shaft, through which Strata is to be seen?

Well, here is a closer-up photo of the TME, taken around the same time, but when the sky was white rather than blue:

Click on that and you get a closer look at that brickwork. Or better yet, just look at this even-closer-up photo of it, that I took, also on the white sky day:

I actually like this brickwork a lot. It makes this extension both blend in with the old power station that Tate Modern used to be, and yet makes the new building distinctive. In general, this extension has a highly individual look about it. As I think I’ve said here before, Art I can take or leave, but I do like the new buildings they build for it. Yes, see also here.

Hippo with lid

So this evening I dined at Chateau Samizdata, where hippos assemble, from all parts of the world. This hippo, with storage space and a lid, is the latest arrival:

I said I thought it looked a bit like a sheep. It’s the legs. I was told, no, it’s a hippo. The food was great and the drink was even greater, and I even got a present of some drinks glasses that were superfluous to Chateau Samizdata’s current requirements. So yes, now that I look at it again, I see that it looks exactly like a hippo. No question about it. Not like a sheep at all.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

An encouraging picture for Spurs

I became fixated on Spurs in the 1960s, like a baby goose, because then they were so good. Plus, I always like their Jewish angle and still do. I have supported them, strictly at a distance and media access permitting, ever since. They’ve been sporadically good since that ancient time, but never as good. Finally, that seems like it might be changing.

Today Spurs beat Chelsea at Chelsea, the last time they did that having been in 1990. Spurs are now in fourth place, which if they stay there is high enough to get them into the Champions League again. They are now 8 points clear of Chelsea in fifth. With seven more games to be played, it’s not settled yet, but things just got a lot better for Spurs.

I just watched Dele Alli’s two goals on the TV highlights, and with both it was not just the skill but the speed with which he did what he did that was so impressive. Before that, Eriksen hit what the radio commentators were calling a potential goal of the season. One of those long distance, fast and late inswingers.

So, to celebrate, here is a photo I took of the new Spurs stadium, which will get moved into next season or thenabouts. It will be a few games before the Spurs team settles in and starts enjoying their home advantage whenever they play there. But judging by how well they did this season at the at first unfamiliar Wembley, it shouldn’t take them too long to settle into New White Hart Lane.

So, this is how New White Hart Lane was looking last November, with one of the Walthamstow reservoirs in the foreground:

Mmmm. Cranes.

I haven’t checked progress more recently, and can offer no photos from since then. But here are 103 more pictures, and counting, of New White Hart Lane’s progress. I knew you’d be excited.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Immobile but mobile – straight but crooked

BMdotcom doesn’t do video very often, but this actually immobile piece of graphics does a fair amount of apparent moving around, especially if you do any scrolling up and down:

Says Akiyoshi Kitaoki:

Each row appears to move. Each row is horizontally aligned but appears to tilt.

I made it slightly smaller than it was, but that hasn’t changed anything.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

No daisy eating

The other day, I photoed the Battle of Britain Monument. This is across the road from the Victoria Embankment Gardens, which I also explored, to begin with just to find out if I could. I could. This contains various war memorials and statues, but also many things that you are either urged to do or urged not do:

That is a horizontal slice of a sign next to one of the entrances. Click to get the whole thing.

It reminds me of an American book I read long ago entitled Please Don’t Eat The Daisies. The point of that title being that every time the American parents described in the book left their American children to their own devices, they had to ask them to please refrain from an ever longer list of things that they had previously done which were bad. One time, they ate the daisies. So, that had to be added to the list of things they were begged not to do.

Each of the do-this don’t-do-this red circles above feels to me like a moment in the past when people started doing or to fail to do whatever it was in noticeable numbers, having previously not thus misbehaved.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The perfect time to enjoy a bit of pollarding

Pollarding is what you do to trees, if you want to make them look like this, as lots of people seem to:

It’s not that warm now. But nor is it that cold now. It now feels warm because of it being less cold than it recently was. Simply weather-wise, I probably prefer June. But in June, the trees are all smothered in leaves. Pollarding effects would be hidden.

I like the bobble on top of the building, far right. Fits in well, I think.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog