So …

So I went to Foyle’s this evening, to buy this but got there too late, and then went food shopping in order to confer meaningfulness on an otherwise meaningless expedition. So then I was tired, but managed to write a posting for here, but then it turned into a Samizdata posting, which I will post tomorrow, or maybe not, because I always sleep on Samizdata postings nowadays, because that always makes them better, or not. So now it’s tomorrow morning and I have nothing for here, so here is a photo I took through the new entrance to Tottenham Court Road tube station:

I like that time of the evening, or the early morning come to that, when natural light and artificial light are in some balance.

Centre Point has had a total makeover and been turned into posh flats. But, it looks exactly as it always did.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Heroes with photoers

Ten years ago, to the very day, I took these photos. Two are of regular heroes, Indiana Jones and Lara Croft; and two are heroes of the Super variety, Batman, and Superman:

The above heroes were, of course, not real. They were plasticated sculptures, standing outside the old London County Council building, to advertise movies, presumably.

It’s interesting – is it not? – that no such statues are erected to honour real people. Or none that I know of. Those are still done in monochromatic metal.

I’ve just seen how the photos have worked out. Indy is trying to whip Superman. And Lara Croft is shooting Superman. Both of which seem rather unwise.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Death Wish avec Bruce Willis

I spent most of the time I had available today for blogging working on a piece about Dominic Frisby, in connection with this. I want to sleep on it rather than shove it up tonight, but it should be up at Samizdata tomorrow.

So here is a quota movie poster, on the side of a bus, which I photoed in Paris, when I was there recently:

I don’t love movies as much as I used to, but I still love movie posters. And I especially love them when they are advertising an Anglo-movie to non-Anglos.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The ultimate non-disruptive technology

Next Friday, my good friend Adriana Lukas will be giving a talk at my home entitled Personal Recollections of Life Under Communism. While concocting some biographical information for my email list members, I took a closer look than I have before at her Twitter feed.

Way back in 2015, Adriana retweeted this remarkable image:

It looks like some ancient oil painting, rather than the latest-thing highest-of-high-tech imagery, which of course is what it is.

GE Healthcare’s 3D-printing software works seamlessly with GE Advantage Workstation systems already working inside hospitals around the world. After a scan, the anatomy is rendered as a 3D image using GE’s Volume Viewer software, a 3D-imaging platform that combines data from sources like CT but also MRI and X-ray. The software then converts the image file generated by the Volume Viewer and within seconds translates it into a file format that can be interpreted by a 3D printer.

“In the past, it would take several days to get the images back” from an outside 3D software processor, Cury says. “The advantage of the new software is it’s in the same workstation where the technologists already do work on 3D images. The steps are a lot quicker and easier.”

More than 100 hospitals around the world have already ordered GE’s 3D organ printing software, which can be used for any type of organ as well as models of bones and muscles. GE says that as more hospitals use the software, it will be easier and quicker for doctors like Cury to share files with each other and have 3D models to use for planning and education prior to procedures.

The most impressive 3D printing stories often feature hopelessly old-school businesses, like GE. This is because 3D printing is the ultimate non-disruptive technology. It attaches itself to existing businesses and makes them better. If you know only about 3D printing, and are not willing to cooperate with a regular business, forget about it.

All those stupid 3D printers that they tried to sell in Currys PC World a few years back were just ridiculous junk for making further even more ridiculous junk.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

River walk

The plan was simple. Get out into the sunshine. Cross Vauxhall Bridge. Turn right and proceed along the south bank of the river, upstream. Check out what is happening on that side of the river, up to an including at Battersea Power Station. Then turn left, and proceed to Battersea Park Station. Take the train to Victoria. Do some shopping. Get home, knackered, and post one photo. Just one.

All of the above happened, and here is that one photo:

That’s Riverwalk, although why it’s called that, I do not know. Seems rather misleading. A building is not a walk. A walk is what I was doing.

It was the kind of weather where almost anything looks good in a photo. I was going to say: even Riverwalk. But as with every obtrusively new building in London that I start off not liking, I am getting used to this one, and may eventually even start liking it. I may even start liking its colour, if colour is the right word.

I had no great hopes for this walk, and that was one of the first photos I took, what with Riverwalk being on this side of the river. But the expedition turned out to be a lot more interesting than I expected. More to follow, maybe, I promise nothing.

Good night. Sleep well, I believe I will.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Photos of Oscar

My friends in Brittany have a new cat: Oscar. (He replaces this cat.)

I, of course, took many photos. I like these ones:

And I like this one best of all:

Oscar has reached the stage in life where he is still a kitten in his behaviour, but not any longer in his appearance. Sort of a cat teenager.

Oscar has a very short attention span, and is currently programmed to check out everything he sees, like some obsessively exploratory robot. He sees a lot and he keeps on seeing something else.

So, for instance, you click your fingers at him to initiate some sociability, and he sees that, and runs towards you, but then, while still on his way towards you, he sees something else behind you, and carries right on towards that, after only the most perfunctory acknowledgement of your fingers, in which he has already lost interest several tenths of a second earlier. Or he has simply forgotten why he is in motion, and he just carries on. Very strange.

But as he calms down, he will presumably start to treat people more in the way they like to be treated. When I took an afternoon nap, he also fancied a nap and had his on top of me. But, had there been a more satisfactory household appliance, like a warm fire, he might well have preferred that to curl up next to that. It didn’t seem personal, just a matter of comfort.

But I still liked him. Cats are just so likeable, whether they are actually being likeable, in their own minds, or not. All they have to be is non-objectionable and not too scared to check you out.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

A couple of nice Tweets by Frank J. Fleming

I have yet to break my Twitter silence. I am just letting all the people I follow just Twitter away all over me, while I try to get a sense of who Twitters well, so that when I finally do, if I ever do, I too will Twitter well, or at least quite well.

One such role model is Frank J. Fleming.

From whom, this is deservedly getting around:

I think you’re always going to have tension in the Middle East when there’s people who want to kill the Jews and Jews who don’t want to be killed and neither side is willing to compromise.

More recently, I also liked this, about an American psycho-gang that President Trump described as animals:

I assumed the threat of MS-13 was being overblown since I don’t trust Trump, but now other people I don’t trust are doing overtime belittling the problem of MS-13 and I don’t know who not to trust more.

When I was young, I wondered if I would be able to respect my youngers but betters. How would that work? It turns out it works fine. That would make another nice Tweet.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The Guy’s Hospital Tower in 2000

I was rootling around in the archives for something interesting, and this time I really went back, to the time of my very first digital camera. And in among lots of photos of my friends and GodDaughters all looking eighteen years younger, I found this photo, taken while on a trip around the Wheel, of the Guy’s Hospital Tower, looking just as brutally (because Brutalist) ugly then as it does now:

That’s right, no Shard.

But more to the point, it shows what a Big Thing that building in the middle there used to be.

And I’ve said it here before. This was London’s Montparnasse Tower. What Paris concluded from the Montparnasse Tower was: never again. But what London concluded from the Guy’s Hospital Tower was: we need to build lots of bigger towers, so that this one won’t be any part of the definition of London. And in particular, we need to put a really big Big Thing, right next to this big old thing.

So, in the photo: Guy’s Hospital, and no Shard.

And: without Guy’s Hospital, also no Shard.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Here are some I took earlier

Today was a perfect day for a day out on a big photo-expedition, but for some reason to do with getting older, I didn’t feel up to it. It’s too early to be sure, but I sense that a phase of my life, a phase that consisted of, among other things, exploring and photoing London, may just have come to an end.

So, instead of showing you photos I took today, here are some from an ancient I Just Like Them! Directory:

Taken in 2008 in Trafalgar Sqaure (1.1), in 2012 underneath that rather pointless ski lift thing out east (1.2), in 2014 while those swanky student accommodations were under construction at the far end of Westminster Bridge from Parliament (2.1), and at the top end of Horseferry Road looking at the top of a random building at the top end of Rochester Row (2.2) also in 2014, when all the tree leaves had been shaken off.

Back in England

Having spent a week appreciating the Frenchness of France, I now find myself especially noticing the Englishness of England:

1.1 (cricket in Vincent Square) and 1.2 (Prince Albert outside his Hall) were taken yesterday afternoon. 2.1 (Westminster Abbey plus Big Ben smothered in scaffolding (plus a tiny bit of Wheel)) was taken yesterday evening. 2.2 (a Handley Page Victor recently acquired by a friend) was taken earlier this evening.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog