Watch the Lighting…

Westworld season three is shaping up to being a real humdinger.  Mostly, in my view, they have been right on the button.  However, the third episode was less successful mainly for the reason that it was a getting us from here to there and filling in a lot of back story.  It was important but at times I did feel my attention drifting.  The final scene is pivotal in establishing the relationship between two of the main characters in season three and was shot on a pier stretching out into the sea and unfortunately the videography nerd in my went bonkers.  It seems that even with HBO money behind them they couldn’t sort out the lighting on the shots on the pier:  Sometimes they were shooting at dusk sometimes earlier in the day.  All of these shots were supposed to be continuous but the lighting was all over the place.  I have no idea why that was – perhaps they only had the pier for one night?  For whatever reason the cinematographer on that episode cocked things up.

In the end did it spoil matters?  Not really but you would have thought they could have tried a bit harder to match the lighting in each of the shots.

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I was having a conversation with my son the other day and I explained just how clear the skies are now that Heathrow is all but closed.   He couldn’t quite believe that the megahub would have such an impact on people living some 150km from the airport but it does (did?).   Everyday overhead tens of thousand of people would pass not really paying any attention to what was happening below more concerned with what to watch or whether they should have a second drink so soon after takeoff?

Of course it wasn’t just aircraft from Heathrow but also those approaching Birmingham airport that would pepper the skies from time to time.  You could always tell the difference as they were much lower and heading in a westerly direction as opposed to the north and eventually the bright lights of New York or the west coast.  It wasn’t just planes from  British airports that filled the skies of course. There were also flights from mainland Europe. You could tell the difference as they were on a different heading to the Heathrow.

It would all start just after six every day as the first flights once more made their way into the wide blue yonder leaving their ephemeral contrails behind them …But no more.

Well they return?  In some shape and form I am sure but I am less convinced of the numbers after what we are going through right now.   How many people will want to be stuck in a tightly packed tube for several hours with other people coughing and spluttering just so they can go and sit on a beach somewhere?  Or is that business trip really worthwhile given that you have been able to achieve just as much by Skype or Zoom or whatever video conferencing software used?  Then of course there is the whole question of just how badly all those contrails are wrecking the environment – is that trip really worth all of that?

Will they return to our skies once more?  Of course but I suspect in nothing like the numbers now and perhaps, just perhaps, the world might be a little better for that.

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Passing the Time of Day…

We all have to find ways of making the most of this enforced isolation.  For me it has given me time to catch up with some in depth historical research – at the moment I am looking at the distribution of Roman settlements in south west Leicestershire.  Niche, I know, but the world would be a boring place if we were all the same.

After a while, however, I’ve had enough and so revert to a quick sketch or two just to relieve the burden on the right (or is that the left?  Not sure) side of brain.

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The thoughts of Pte Baldrick….

Capt. Darling, “Are you Private Baldrick?”

Baldrick, “No!”

And finally a modern reinterpretation of S. Baldrick’s meditation on war…

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Out and About….


After 8 days in what is now known as self isolation I have finally been able to get out.  The great things is that my leg shows no ill effects from the walk through the park.  This is great news.

I know life can seem a bit shitty at the moment but we will survive and there is nothing like a great sunny spring day to lift my spirits..oh and  not spend hours  reading the crap being written at the moment about we all know what.

As that great philosopher Tallahassee says…

You’ve got to enjoy the little things…

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Yesterday I watched a short clip of football journalists trying to pretend they knew something more than the ability to endlessly speculate about who is going to do what with which club.  Or to put it another way which groundless rumour they have been spun by the agent/PR company/Club etc .   Time and time again they have proven themselves totally incapable of predicting anything to do with the simple strange world of professional football.  So this time they decided to pass their forensic eye over the latest British government efforts to ameliorate the effects of the Coronavirus.  It wasn’t a pretty sight.  This collective of talking heads with a I guess a biology O level between them seemed to know everything about the nuanced decisions that are being made and felt able to dismiss this or that with the same disdain as  whether Wayne Rooney can still pass the ball.

Now it is very easy to point to the faults of journalists at this time but I think they really should stop and think about what they are saying and considered the audience before spouting off.  Of course it isn’t just the journalists but also the experts who don’t agree with whatever action is or isn’t being taken.   It is very easy to take to twitter and say something provocative and sit back and enjoy all the hits you get but again to what end?  Everything I have heard from the government experts is that this is not a straightforward set of variables and that all decisions have their own costs which might make the whole situation worse in the long term.   Let us just examine one of these options:  Closing all schools.

Many other countries have taken this option and that may well work for their country but it is not without costs.   There is little evidence to date that school age children are affected by the virus in fact the evidence would suggest just the opposite so what would closure of all schools achieve?  Well the one thing it will certainly do is add strains to the health system.  Here in the UK many of the health staff are mothers who also may well be single parents.  Now how do they look after their children when they are not at school?  They can’t fall back on their parents as they may well be self isolating and so the only answer would be to take time off work to try and look after the kids.  How is that going to increase the capacity of the health system to cope at a time of high demand?   I have no idea how other countries have addressed this situation but I can’t believe that the UK is unique in the proportion of young women, let’s not be coy about this, who are the primary parent when it comes to their children.

I guess that that is my biggest complaint about all these screaming headlines.  They don’t really seem to have any perspective at all.  Their viewpoint is right and if you don’t agree with that then you are a heartless uncaring beast.  Don’t believe me then look at the all heat and craziness flying around the concept of herd immunity.   Now I am not qualified to pass judgement on the nusanced arguments about this concept as I don’t have a PhD nor medical qualifications nor anything else that would say that I know what I am talking about.  However, these caveats don’t seem to have stopped people and the media spouting on about  this in ever carzier terms as though this is something from World War Z rather than an accepted medical approach to preventing diseases.  Don’t believe me?  Well just look what happened to measles, a much more deadly virus, when the antivaz protesters started to spread their, how can one put this politely? Less than well thought through approach?  Suddenly herd immunity  matters and without it people get very ill and and can die.

Now I don’t know whether the British approach is better than others nor whether it is just more nuanced than just shutting down the country, whatever that might means?  What is clear is that none of these decisions are cost nor risk free.   (We  won’t know which was the best way forward for months perhaps years.)  The one thing I do know is that we all have to be careful in this heightened state about exactly what we say and where we say it.  Social media is not the safest place to be at the moment if you want to keep a more rounded perspective on things.   Perhaps as part of any self isolating regime we should also switch off our social media accounts – I doubt that will happen anytime soon!  Responsible news outlets should stop throwing out a constant barrage of opinion pieces and news alerts (I have switched off my New York Times news feed for just this reason.  They are no alone.) We are no longer in a world where hits means prizes.   It is far more serious than that.

Seeing as we are here in Britain are now entering our Second World War comfort zone then perhaps one of the most famous propaganda messages from that period should once more come to the fore:

Careless Talk Costs Lives.

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You got the love….

Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air…

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