Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The world is not falling apart

We live in an age of instant global news, fast computers and volumes of data.  If we look at the data, and not the hype, the world is more positive and upbeat than most believe.

See the Slate article from December 2014.

One example is police dying while on duty. Police work in the US is dangerous, but despite the recent assassinations police work has become safer in recent decades. The trend is good, and we need to keep working at it.

Reality is often boring, it does not get people elected, advertising sold, or keep people's interest.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Conversation at Salvation Army Resale Store

I drove home via the Salvation Army Resale Store to pick up a chair that did not fit in the car. I saw it as soon as I entered, it was by the checkout.

"I am here to collect the chair," I said to the lady at the counter. "Is it paid for?" She asked.

An employee nearby answered for me, "Yes" He said. "What is your name? I gave it. "And what is the name on the chair?" I gave that too.

Then he asked me to read the label on the chair, as he did not have his glasses. And it matched, it was guaranteed to match.

I went to get the truck and he carried the chair out of the front entrance. "You are rich" he said.

"No, look, I am driving an old truck," I said.

"You live is River Oaks," He continued with his assessment of me.

River Oaks is a prime expensive area of Houston.

I was not going to win, I looked respectable, still dressed for work, and sounded slightly foreign. And he was right, in the scheme of things I am rich although I do not live in River Oaks.

Monday, July 25, 2016

A Taste of Honey

The good news, the bees are making honey for themselves, and "we" plan to steal some of it, a kind of a forced rent charge for the multi-story home.                                               The bad news, two of the bees understood the real situation and stung me twice, in a kamikaze attempt to protect their hive.

The honey tastes flowery.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Friday, July 22, 2016

A different world

Shoot. This event had already come and gone.

So the women are the stand-up comics, and the guys are modest fashion models?

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Geffrye Museum, London

This is a surprising museum, that has multiple facets.  The building is from 1714 and for 200 years provided accommodation for poor pensioners.

The main part is a series of rooms, set in different moments in time. Each room has a timeline, and an alternative view from people, such as servants, who lived at this time.

One panel read:

"Thanks to new suburban railways, factories, and a dense population living in houses heated by coal fires and lit by gas lamps, late-Victorian London was filthy. Most middle-class homes had one or two female servants, who would spend hours every day cleaning the soot and grime of the city out of their employer's homes."

Also on the property is a very nice cafe, a good place for lunch, and period gardens.

Downstairs is an exhibit of the unresolved issue of the city rental high-rises. People lived in places that became unsafe, but it was their neighborhood, around friends, neighbors and people they knew. They did not want to move.

From the Financial Time, October 14, 2015 6:05 am

Boundary Gardens in Arnold Circus, Shoreditch, London, UKLondon’s housing crisis may be acute, but it is not the first. Shoreditch shows evidence of the response to an earlier crisis — the handsome Boundary Estate. Built over what had been east London’s most notorious, crime-ridden slum, this estate, completed in 1900, consisted of sturdy but elegant red-brick buildings on tree-lined streets — a winning arrangement that now helps flats here go for high prices. Alas, the development also had its victims. The rents for the new accommodation were too high for the area’s original slum-dwellers, who were desperately poor and ended up moving to equally dire conditions elsewhere.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Eye in the Sky

A compelling and thought provoking movie, illustrates two very different cultures.

One is tribal and primitive, out to do harm, and has no concern about collateral damage, values life in the hereafter but not in the present.

The other values life in the present, has clever technology, and spends emotional capital and money to try and mitigate the damage caused by the tribal group, to protect life, to kill only those that are out to kill others.


Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Dennis Sever's House, London

The place is dark and foreboding, a multi-room building set in period vignettes.  The viewing, as there is an enforced silence, is memorable and takes about 40 minutes. The cat on the bed was real but acted the part well.

When you exit into the daylight and the real world, you will think or say, "What the hell was that?"

The review from Timeout:

Dennis Severs’ House is a time capsule attraction in which visitors are immersed in a unique form of theatre. The ten rooms of this original Huguenot house have been decked out to recreate snapshots of life in Spitalfields between 1724 and 1914. An escorted tour through the compelling ‘still-life drama’, as American creator Dennis Severs put it, takes you through the cellar, kitchen, dining room, smoking room and upstairs to the bedrooms. With hearth and candles burning, smells lingering and objects scattered apparently haphazardly, it feels as though the inhabitants had deserted the rooms only moments before. The Dennis Severs House tour is unsuitable for children as tours are conducted in silence.

Friday, July 15, 2016

London 2016

A week in London, and the weather was perfect, 15 to 20 C, dry and mostly sunny. But far too many people!  
Click on a picture then click on the white info button on the top right