Westminster lighting effect

Last Sunday was the second near-as-makes-no-difference cloudless day of 2019, and I love it when sunlight bounces around London, in the way that it did in, for instance, this photo:

That’s the scaffolding covering, at the bottom of Big Ben, and those reflections are from the windows of the building across Westminster Bridge Road, with the big towers on the top, the one where the MPs have their offices. The one on top of Westminster Tube Station. Portcullis House, that’s the one.

This next photo shows rather better what’s going on:

As you can see, and as all Londoners will already know, Big Ben is smothered in scaffolding, while it gets a makeover. The sunlight, as you can now see more clearly, is coming from over Parliament, bouncing back off the windows of Portcullis House on the right, and hitting that white surface at the bottom of Big Ben.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

NFL photoer photos The City Cluster (plus video of a stadium roof opening)

I do like an interesting hat, when I photo a photoer:

And I admire this photoer’s choice of subject matter. The Scalpel was looking especially fine, its angle catching what was left of the setting sunlight. We’re at the top of the Tate Modern Extension, by the way. A favourite spot of mine.

But, going back to that hat. What does it say on it? P……..S? Philadelphia Eagles? Pittsburgh Steelers? A bit long, but conceivably one of those.

Hang on, I wonder if I photoed any more photos of that same photoer, which might shed light on the matter.

Yes:

I hope a robot couldn’t identify this guy from that photo, what with it being so blurry, although I dare say his loved ones could. But, anyway, what that says is that the hat goes P….OTS. And we have our answer. He is a supporter of the New England Patriots.

And no wonder he is proud to be sporting this celebratory headgear. The Patriots are due to contest Super Bowl “LIII” (53), against the Los Angeles Rams, this coming Sunday, which I will be watching on my TV. Here is a Daily Telegraph report about that.

The game will be played in Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, of which, the Telegraph says:

That jagged-looking roof opens and closes in a very pleasing way:

The “:” is there because there then follows video of this pleasing effect (that being it on YouTube). I greatly enjoyed this.

Blog and learn.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Three photoers

Strenuous day out, in the sunshine, but also in the cold, which I was really feeling.

Many photos, of which this was one of the more fun ones. Deliberately Bald photoer. Photoer in hat. Interesting shadow of moi, also clearly photoing. Tick, tick, tick.

I remember taking that one. No calculation. Just saw the guys right there in front of me, one with a Deliberately Bald head, which I especially like. Click. My shadow, complete with the right forefinger on the button, with all of that landing right on them, seamlessly, because the sun was exactly behind me, was all just a happy accident. Sometimes, I get lucky.

Behind, County Hall. The Bald Guy is photoing The Wheel.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The new London concert hall at the Barbican takes a step forward

This looks promising. I’ve been waiting all my life for a really good London orchestral concert hall, to replace the abominable Royal Festival Hall, and it looks more and more like the City of London is going to oblige.

Here’s how they are now saying it will look:

Well, maybe it really will look like that.

Here’s what the outside will look like:

Combines being boring with being ungainly and awkward. But then, that was what I thought when I first saw the fake-photos for the Walkie-Talkie, and now I love that Thing. Maybe this Thing will play out the same. Hope so.

This is how the top of it will look:

This is apparently where the horror that is Jazz will be perpetrated. Sorry, if you like Jazz. If you like it, like away. But I hate it, ever since it stopped being pop music.

But, that view looks great. So, the question is: Do I like great views out over London, more than I hate Jazz?

A good way to learn more about this building, what it consists of and where it is, is to watch the video in this Classic FM report.

As for their report, I particularly like when they quote Simon Rattle, whose musical castle this will surely be:

At the press briefing for the new concept designs, Simon Rattle batted away concerns surrounding Brexit, saying: “It’s important for us to remember there are other things going on in this country other than Brexit.

“It won’t make anything easier, but we are trying to deal with something else at the moment. I think we also have to place our confidence in the extraordinary cultural life of this country, and support it.”

Life goes on. I sense that Brexit Acceptance may now be setting in.

They say it’s going to cost a mere £288 million. You can double that. But The City will surely find the money, and I am very glad that The City is having to find the money. I love classical music, more than life, but nobody who is indifferent to it should be forced to pay for the likes of me to listen to it being performed. (Any more than I should have to pay for Jazz.)

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Columbia Road cat

Yes, a rather excellent James Bond villain cat, photoed in London’s Columbia Road, in the Bethnal Green part of town:

Found in the Instagram feed (click on that for her most recently instagrammed photo) of this lady friend.

Columbia road is, as other photos in this set make clear, noted for its flower market.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Nullius in Verba on the impact of automation – obvious and not so obvious

Since I resumed paying attention to Samizdata, some of my favourite comments there have been from someone calling him/her self “Nullius in Verba”. The only drawback being the pseudonym, which I think always unpacks some of the punch in what gets said.

Here’s what Nullius in Verba, commenting on this posting today by Johnathan Pearce, says about the claim that automation will cause unemployment:

Automation generally results in unskilled jobs being automated and disappearing, skilled jobs being automated and becoming unskilled, and impossible jobs being made possible to the skilled with the aid of automation.

But people only look at what’s going to happen to the job they’ve got now, not what new job they could have in the future. So they’re always going to see automation as a problem in need of a political solution.

Most of the confusion about economics is caused by seeing only the obvious damage that something will do, while neglecting the more unpredictable – but just as real and in the long run more significant – good stuff that will also happen. Or, seeing only the obvious good of a certain measure, and neglecting the longer term harm.

Shame that NiV feels the need to use a pseudonym.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Guy’s Hospital with tree

Yes, more on the towers and trees theme, this time with a photo taken in December 2007.

One of London’s most significant recent buildings, I believe.

Photo photoed from the vicinity of another more antique tower, the Tower of London. The Tower, because for several centuries, there was just the one.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Towers and trees in the Docklands sunshine

On the sunniest day of the year so far, I went, as earlier noted, east, to Docklands.

I photoed the blue sky, the leafless trees, and the many towers of Docklands:

Nice. Lots of pollarding.

Almost anything looks nice in weather like that.

I felt the cold so you don’t have to.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

The bowels of fuck

This:

Baffling insanity to read more attacks from People’s Vote types on Norway this morning. What in the bowels of fuck are you doing? In what possible world is that an appropriate target right now?

I have very little idea of what this Twitter-storm is about, other than Bexit in a general sort of way, and frankly I don’t care. But I love that “bowels of fuck” bit.

He’s mixing “What the fuck” with this famous Cromwellian utterance. Just the one word, “bowels”, makes this unmistakable, because there is surely no other famous quote with this word in it.

I love the fun you can have with the English language, mixing it and matching it like this. Do other languages work just as well for this kind of thing, or is English a bit special in this regard? Sadly for me, English is the only language I know at all well, for purposes like this.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog