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

Burj Al Babas New Town

I wonder what this extraordinary place …:

… will turn into.

Approximately halfway between Turkey’s largest city Istanbul and its capital Ankara, the Burj Al Babas development will contain 732 identical mini chateaux when, or if, it completes.

Begun in 2014, the hundreds of houses have been left in various states of completion since the dramatic collapse of the Turkish economy led to developer Sarot Group to file for bankruptcy in November.

Too bad people can’t buy them one by one, and put them in lots of other places around the world. Sadly, houses don’t work like that.

Having them all next to each other surely defeats one of the major purposes of a new house like this, which is to outdo your neighbours.

It looks miniature, doesn’t it? The houses look like things you have to careful not to tread on.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Complicated scaffolding effects in the morning sunshine

Today, as I promised myself on Tuesday, I went east. The weather was even better than was forecasted, and among the very first photos I photoed was this, before I even got to the tube station:

But the good weather came at a price, paid in degrees of temperature. No clouds and there’s nothing to keep the warmth in. It was cold. And all the walking I did has taken it out of me. Also, I met up with occasional commenter here and good friend Alastair, and that meant me getting up and out earlier than usual. So, I am knackered, and I can’t now even summon up the energy to explain what exactly is going on in the above photo, let alone show you any more photos. It doesn’t now help (although it will) that I have nearly six hundred photos to look at and pick from and ruminate about.

Now: early to bed.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Some geometrical video

With thanks to Patrick Crozier‘s Twitter feed, this, posted by Steve Stewart-Williams.

He got it from Denny Borsboom, who says (at his Facebook page), this:

Different scientific models can have equivalent observational consequences. In statistics, this is known as statistical equivalence; in the philosophy of science, underdetermination of theory by data. This is often hard to explain and I know few good illustrations that go beyond Wittgenstein’s duckrabbit. This GIF is a really nice illustration – and beautiful too.

If I knew how to post a GIF here, I would. But I couldn’t make that work.

For me, the the star with seven points is the most remarkable aspect of this.

Wittgenstein’s duckrabbit is presumably that creature that looks like both a duck and a rabbit, depending.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Three top bloakes all playing for England

Yes, I do believe it has finally happened. Stokes, Woakes and Foakes are all in the same England cricket team. Truly, an historic day. Too bad Stokes is not Stoakes, and that Chris Woakes is not Ben Woakes. As it is, we have to make do with Bens Stokes and Foakes, and Chris Woakes.

In other news: this. My opinion? What Steve says.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

On Thursday I will go east

Thursday looks like being the first properly sunny day (though still with plenty of clouds) since I don’t know when:

That’s what the short-term weather forecast forecasts, and short-term weather forecasts are very dependable. (Longer than short-term forecasts (more than a few days) have a random connection to the truth, and ride entirely on the authority earned by the the short-term forecasts.)

So, Thursday will be the day for my first big photo-walkabout of the new year. If I don’t think of anywhere better, I will start by visiting this place.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Spurs win 0-1?

Last night, Spurs lost 0-1, at “home” (i.e. Wembley), to Man U. I had been half hoping that Spurs might lose, because this would make it less likely that Man U would want to replace their current manager, Solskjaer, with the man whom he outmanaged last night, Spurs manager Pochettino. Spurs really need Pochettino to stay, and they want Man U to back off trying to lure him away with their infinite money. It is all explained in this piece. I said that! But alas, I didn’t say it soon enough.

This being why the Spurs strikers were so careful to aim all their shots at goal straight at the Man U goalie, David de Gea. They want The Poch to stay with them too.

Just kidding. de Gea did really well. And concerning that, I liked this tweet at the end of the game last night from Watford goalie Ben Foster:

I see a lot of people saying all De Gea saves were straight at him, please factor in that the guy has some mad sense to know where to be at just the right time, you can’t teach that. Proper goally

But not very proper punctuation. What has Ben Foster got against full stops? Maybe he used up all his stops, performing a similar miracle to de Gea, for Watford against Crystal Palace.

I recall hoping on a previous occasion that my football team would lose. England were playing Germany at home. It was again a management issue. It was worth England losing to Germany if that resulted in Kevin Keegan ceasing to be England manager. Keegan is a great guy, but was wrong to manage England. England did lose. Keegan did step down. Soon after this, England beat Germany in Germany, 1-5. But sadly not in the World Cup or the Euros or whatever it was, which England and Germany both qualified for. Germany presumably won that.

My thanks to Patrick Crozier, with whom I dined earlier this evening, for lots of details about the above, which I had either forgotten or never knew in the first place, like Foster being the Watford goalie and England playing Germany in the last game at old Wembley and then winning 1-5 in Germany.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog

Big Ex-Thing

The reason I’m showing so many ancient photos here just now is because the weather in London is so very dreary, and I’m not going out much. Instead, I am doing lots of tidying up and chucking out, provoked by those sofas. And, I’m back to doing more at Samizdata than of late.

Here’s another relic from another era. This is Southwark Towers, photoed by me on May 31st 2006:

Relic because this really quite Big Thing was demolished in 2008, to make way for London’s ultimate Big Thing, The Shard.

At the time I took this photo, I had no idea that what I was photoing was about to disappear.

If in doubt, photo the photo.

Originally posted at Brian Micklethwait’s Old Blog