2014 — 27 July: Sunday

Another piece of my life has just (a couple of hours ago) been literally demolished, it seems.1 Have a cuppa, lad! Meanwhile, I shall be avoiding the (it seems, aptly-named) "Blue Haze" landfill site near Ringwood which has been blazing away for a while now.

Even closer to hand, I've just spotted my first dead pixel2 on the left hand desktop screen. (Cleverly confirmed by using the Snipping Tool to grab an image of the area and then moving the capture around to see that that one pixel doesn't move with the rest of the 'snip', dagnabbit.) Still, it also offers some reassurance that the effect of the Posterior Vitreous Detachment afflicting both my eyes for the last couple of years has now more or less been tuned out by the neural processor a couple of inches further into the skull. That has to be good, right?


... the morning theme (blowing things up, that is) I can better illustrate the problem at 800% magnification. Click the pic (if by any remote chance you share my visual acuity):

"Can you see what it is, yet?"

Nurse! Is it time for my meds?

As a...

... picker-up of unconsidered trifles (that reminds me, I must try my hand at making a sherry trifle one day) I love collecting anecdotes, particularly about heroes of mine such as Charles Babbage. Here's one such:

Charles Babbage, in designing his 'difference engine', anticipated all the basic principles of the modern computer — including 'garbage in, garbage out'. In Reflections on the Decline of Science in England (1830) he accused his fellow scientists of routinely suppressing, concocting or cooking data. Such corruption (he confidently insisted) could be cleaned up if the government generously subsidised scientific research. That may seem naive today, when we are all too aware that scientists often fudge results to keep the research money flowing. Yet in the era of the First Reform Act, everything appeared to be reformable. Babbage even stood for parliament in Finsbury, on a platform of freedom of information for all. But he split the scientific radical vote with Thomas Wakley, founder of The Lancet, and the Tory swept home.

Jonathan Rose in Literary Review

Don't they always?

I was reading the...

... self-published outpourings of my local Tory MP (you know the chap... name resembles salt water, represents Winchester, into whose constituency boundary my bit of Eastleigh was shovelled at the last General Election, to help make quite sure the Tories didn't fail to recapture the True Blue seat in that fair city) just yesterday. As the saying goes: "I didn't vote for him", though we have exchanged quite cordial emails on the Leveson Inquiry's recommendations for Press regulation — whatever happened to those, by the way? Is Murdoch's fragrant little operation still in, erm, unfettered operation? Just askin'.

And, no, I don't want him getting hold of Warners to get his sticky mitts on HBO and that Game of Thrones TV show... Though I do want my Season #4 box set of Blu-rays.

Gazing glumly...

... at the rapidly proliferating brambles in my garden, I found myself musing on Triffids. And Teutonic toilets :-)


Iggy Pop played a nice track in his 6 Music show this afternoon. It came from the soundtrack of a Jim Jarmusch film ("The Limits of Control") I'd never even heard of. Investigating, I concluded it sounded like just about the opposite of a barrel of laughs. And the only affordable download of the soundtrack was on Amazon.com which (I suspect) doesn't respond well to purchase attempts from this side of the Pond. No matter. I found a cheerful trio of Woody Allen titles that have been absent from my collection since the departure of my LaserDiscs:

All going for the proverbial song on DVD, happily. The £13.45 total for these is less than half the cost of just one such LaserDisc, 20 years ago. Amazing.



1  Not a major piece, though it formed a memorable visual landmark on numerous trips up to see dear Mama in her Midlands bat cave over the past quarter of a century.
2  What difference does one dead pixel out of 3,686,400 make, some will ask? That's not the point. At my advanced age I need all the pixels I can get. Besides, I've paid for it :-)