Monthly Archives: October 2011

There’s a sock on me breadboard

what am I going to do?

There’s a sock on me breadboard, what am I going to do…

This will only make sense if you sing it to the tune of UB40’s ‘There’s a Rat in me Kitchen’.  Perhaps it will help you stay sane.  It is, after all, too late for me.

At least it’s a clean one.

Here’s a sock a dear friend fixed for me earlier.  I think she’s rather talented. 

The Sock Monster aka Doo Wop in Harlem


He sits on the piano and keeps time.  His theme tune is this song by Prefab Sprout.

A Trio of Trees

We nearly have enough for a spinney

I suppose the leaves will blow away in the wind eventually

The Book is Dead. Long Live the Book!

What we find in books is like the fire in our hearths. We fetch it from our neighbours, we kindle it at home, we communicate it to others, and it becomes the property of all.


I’ve been reading on the Kindle for PC for a while, but have been upgraded to a Kindle, before Kindle upgrades itself again – to include colour graphics – which the Kindle for PC offered anyway.

There’s no doubt it’s a complicated business. I’ve been disappointed there’s no backlight on the Kindle, which of course the Kindle for PC does have but, overall, reading from the Kindle itself is a lot more user-friendly than reading from a screen: less tiring on the eyes.

And actually, it’s the way forward isn’t it? I am not some burn-the-books fanatic, but spreading the word is a lot easier, a lot more cost-effective and a lot more democratic via electronic devices than through print press.

There’s a sadness about that too though. Print creates jobs, but it also uses up resources, so to take the sustainable view, using Kindle and suchlike to read your basic ‘print’ matter must be better in the long run surely? But tell that to those people involved in the publishing, printing, distribution and book retail sectors and see what they say.

People say: oh, I love books. The 3Dness of it, the tactile nature of the experience, the smell, the sense of where I am in it all when I turn the pages. I can lose myself in a book. Equally, I hear the same said of the Kindle. Well I hear people say – I love my Kindle. There doesn’t seem to be quite the range of kinaesthetic experiences available to someone kindling their way through a novel.

On the other hand you can store so much matter on a Kindle. Now I know there are many people who love books enough to keep everything they ever read: I come from a family of bibliophiles who, if they happen to read this (and I kind of hope they don’t), will be gnashing their very teeth at the heresy of this kind of post. Bibliophiles have shelves and shelves of books and that’s lovely, if you’ve got the space. But what if you don’t? And what if you are living with a bibliophobe – someone who finds books untrustworthy at best, and oppressive at worst. Well, a bibliophile will say that the phobe needs correcting in the error of their ways. And I agree that to not enjoy reading is to miss out on one of life’s great pleasures. However, if you want someone to try something out perhaps a handheld gadget is less threatening than a 300 page book, or twenty. It’s a thought. Maybe there’s an aphorism to be had in all of this conflict: that to be well-read these days does not have to mean you have to keep lots of books.

Perhaps, if I try some premembering here, a book will become a luxury item, only warranting a print run for the production of beautiful images and text, or leather-bound collector’s limited editions, or a vanity publishing project, which is where the whole shebang started after all. In fact now, as people can self-publish straight to ebook, we are returning full circle to writers using print to self-publish to reach a wider audience: William Blake, Virginia Woolf, Walt Whitman and Henry David Thoreau to name but a few…

Books are desirable, but they also need to be accessible, sustainable and available when you want them. The Kindle is a great device for all those reasons, but it’s still not a book. Rather than entertain the notion that a Kindle’s subtext is about tossing paperbacks on the bonfire, I prefer to think of it as wholly in the spirit of the Voltaire quote this post started with. The differences between the two media are a cause for celebration, not a reason to start a fight.

Two Tree Island

‘The Divided Brain’

This video loosely follows on from yesterday’s post on Premembering.

To my mind, the structure and function of the human brain is the last frontier.

Watch it to the end and you will find why Stephen ‘Philosophy is Dead’ Hawking is still wrong, but Albert Einstein is so right and even a bunch of renegade neutrinos on a nanosecond jaunt to Italy won’t change that.


pre·mem·bered, pre·mem·ber·ing, pre·mem·bers

1. To call to the mind with effort; think of what has not yet occurred
2. To become aware of suddenly or spontaneously a future event or possibility
3. The cognitive processes whereby future experience is remembered


This kind of thing could only belong to the realms of the esoteric, the paranormal, unless…

Unless some neutrinos break the speed of light and turn up where they are not meant to be, because they haven’t actually left where they are.

Which means that Einstein and the Arrow of Time, which can only travel in one direction (linking cause to effect and not the other way round), may sometimes be contradicted.

Which means, which means… that the visionaries and philosophers of this world may have as much to contribute to quantum theory as the scientists.

Professor Stephen ‘Philosophy is Dead’ Hawking won’t much like that, but I am sure Einstein does.

A Blue Dog

Kinda Ready: Greyhound Derby Winner

The Mark Wallis trained Kinda Ready by Tim Flach

Weigh in, weigh in

Tide in

Thames Estuary, from right: Isle of Grain power station, the Crowstone, a boat, Southend Pier

75% of input to our visual cortex

does not come from our eyes but from the rest of our brain…

So only 25% of the information that comes through our eyes from the outside world is part of our total visual experience. Perhaps, then, seeing is not necessarily believing.

That’s might be why the language of colour is so important in our perception of it.

And why we experience some colours differently *from others, and the same colour differently *from other people.

Study in Blue by Patrick Heron (Basildon Arts Trust)

*Perhaps this should be differently to, too tired to investigate.

The Clan Motto: Forget Not