An England v West Indies memory – at least I got how the stumps looked afterwards

Tomorrow, assuming I have it right, a test match begins between England and the West Indies, in Southampton. There’ll be no spectators, but they’ve all played either English county cricket or whatever is the equivalent in the West Indies, so the players will know how to handle that, no worries.

My favourite moment in an England West Indies test match happened in July 2004 at Lord’s, when Ashley Giles, England’s skilled but nevertheless rather journeyman-type spin bowler, bowled Brian Lara, the West Indian batting superstar.

I photoed it. Well, I did a photo about a quarter of a minute after it had happened:

There you can just about make out Lara, trudging off into the distance, while Giles is mobbed by his team-mates.

Giles knocked back Lara’s middle stump. How do I know that? Because it’s in my photo, which I only just realised, because only just now did I examined it properly:

Crop, sharpen, and there it is. My Canon A70 was pretty terrible by today’s standards, but it was good enough to show that. YouTube confirms it (never seen that before). Giles’s hundred wicket in test cricket, apparently. Blog and learn.

England bowled the West Indies out that day and won the match. Scorecard here.

Afterwards I watched the highlights on telly. I remember thinking how much more informative these were than actually being there. But despite that, less entertaining.

Friday creatures Twitter dump (3): All the others

Further proof that a dog will put up with just about anything, including being biffed by a cat half its size, if it has been subjugated by humans and if the humans say it mustn’t retaliate.

Well that didn’t take long. So, here are the rest, all in one Twitter dump posting.

Congratulations to Laurence Fox, for standing his ground against the mob. Live long and prosper, Mr Fox, and in the fullness of time become Sir Laurence, for services both to acting and to sanity. (LATER: Fox laughter.)

Also on the subject of acting, my favourite recent Babylon Bee story was this:

Hollywood Actors Pledge Never To Take A Role Where They Have To Pretend To Be Someone Else

Finally:

Saw that here.

That’s it for BMNB today, probably (I don’t promise nothing). I’m off out this evening, to do Something, and it will take several hours for me to get ready.

LATER: Bird carries shark.

EVEN LATER (not Twitter, but I’m dumping it here anyway): Robot jellyfish.

Friday creatures Twitter dump (2): Confirmation that Nature sucks

More evolved ghastliness news from Steve Stewart-Williams:

This unfortunate snail is infested with a parasitic worm, which is mimicking a caterpillar so a bird will eat it. The worm will then reproduce in the bird’s gut, and its eggs will be released in the bird’s feces – which will then be eaten by other snails. Yep, nature kinda sucks.

Kinda?

Robot dog progress

Researchers publish open-source, lower cost design for 3D printed robot dog.

What are the future applications of of such a “dog”? Some rather unconvincing tasks are mentioned in the above report, like hanging about in a forest “monitoring” animals. But that sounds like green-friendly make-work to me.

Warfare in complicated terrain does seem like an obvious application. Exploring Mars, in other words, and then fighting other robots for the control of Mars. And meanwhile filming it all, for entertainment purposes?

Airplanes flew for quite a long time before they found a major use for them, which was to spy on opposing armies and to make big guns cleverer, and then to fight and kill other airplanes. Then came high tech sport, in the form of air races, which was really just research and development for better and faster war planes.

Around then, also, very tentatively, airplanes began to deliver letters. And then, airplanes began to deliver people, which was to say very rich people. Eventually, half a century after they first flew, airplanes became part of the good life for regular humans.

Robot dogs look like they might follow a similar path. As of now, robot dogs are the robot equivalent of the useless and clumsy contraptions that airplanes were in the nineteen-noughts, good only for lunatics in goggles to play with.

Comments of how these weird creatures might actually make themselves useful, more quickly and less destructively than my grumpy pessimism just said, would be most welcome.

For starters, if these things are ever going to be liked by humans, they’re going to need heads, heads that are more than merely decorative which gather and transmit information. Then, maybe (and I seem to recall speculating along these lines at my long-lost Education Blog): child minding? A combination of such robot-human interaction and transport? Like a sort of super-intelligent horse?

He just walks it off and goes straight into the pub

Here, via David Thompson.

As a commenter comments: adrenalin is a wonderful thing. Because actually, as another commenter reports:

“Mr Smith suffered two fractures to his shoulder and ribs, as well as some internal bruising.”

The psycho bus driver has been “sentenced”. Mostly to never being allowed to drive a bus ever again, I devoutly hope.

Seeing this reminds you of how well and how carefully most bus drivers do drive.

Shelby Steele talks to Peter Robinson

I just watched this video of Shelby Steele being interviewed by Peter Robinson of the Hoover Institute. If, like me, you’ve not been paying attention to this man, this interview would be a good way to correct that. If you have been paying attention, well, well done you. But for me, even seeing this man talk was a first. Better late than never.

The idea, which Steele talks about a lot, of freedom being a “shock” makes a lot of sense to me. I recall having this shock explained to me by an east European lady who had spent her adult life being unfree, under Soviet Communist domination. Suddenly she was in a Western style supermarket, facing choices she didn’t know how to make. And that was just the toothpaste.

Towards the end of the interview, Robinson asks if there are any more “Uncle Tom” Black people, now talking about Black Americans getting to grips with the freedom they now have rather than continuing to complain ever more implausibly about the lack of it, and Robinson mentions: Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell, and, er, that’s it. Well, how about, and this is just for starters, Candace Owens?

A garden centre in Vauxhall

Just after checking out that China Works Tower, on May 25th, I walked along Black Prince Road, under the big railway that goes into Waterloo, and turned left into Newport Street. There I came across this place:

This is, Google Maps tells me, Spring Gardens Nursery, that being their Facebook page. There you will see photos that emphasise the plants they sell rather than the wire fence at the edge. But when I went there, Lockdown was in full lockdown mode, so I had to make do with photoing through that wire.

It all looks rather temporary, an impression strengthened by a sign (see photo 2 above) with the words PLANNING NOTICE at the top. All the more reason to enjoy it while it lasts, if it doesn’t. Or, if you can’t visit or don’t reckon it to be worth all the bother, you can click on my photos.

Did I say temporary? If you go here, scroll down a bit and watch the video there about the “Relocation” of whatever exactly this is, you learn about how … whatever it is … “moves from Tate Britain to Vauxhall, for permanent installation”. Permanent.

But only originally. It would seem that this Thing began as an outdoor Art Gallery, and ended up as a Garden Centre for selling plants. The shop, in other words, took over the entire place. Guess: Getting people to just stare at Art Stuff became a problem, because it wasn’t lucrative enough? Guess: Their grant got cut? So, they expanded the shop bit and the Art retreated. Now it’s just a shop. A very nice shop, I think, and out-of-doors. But, a shop. At which point, the place having degenerated into mere capitalism, it becomes vulnerable to bigger and richer capitalists who want to buy it and put Machines For Living on top of it, instead of merely one little layer of plants.

All this is taking place in something calling itself Vauxhall One, hence the big coloured letters in my photos, beyond all the plants. I can see from this website what “Vauxhall One” says it does, but I am not yet clear what Vauxhall One is. I think it may be the name of a Creative District, or some such thing. Anyone?

All of which is only me guessing. This place is only a longish walk away from where I live, which is how I came to be photoing it during Lockdown in the first place, strictly for the exercise you understand. So, memo to self: Go back there in a while and check out what happens. Maybe: nothing. Maybe just, more plants.

By the way, “Beaconsfield” (see the last two photos above) is an actual art gallery, still, it would appear. Shut now, of course. Memo to self: Check that out too.

How to keep busy during Lockdown

Farvardin Daliri passed the time by building a Giant Kookaburra:

“If a bird can laugh, why not me?” said Mr. Daliri, 65, who unveiled his work this week by towing the kookaburra, a beloved Australian icon, around his block in suburban Brisbane, where it cackled its distinctive laugh through a sound system installed inside.

He posted video of his project online without much thought. To his shock, it went viral, hailed by some as a perfect antidote for this moment. Others were simply confused.

Michael Jennings, who’s Facebook posting alerted me to the existence of this remarkable bird and the sayings and doings of its creator, said only this:

Straya.

I just think it’s a really flash bird.