Showing posts from December, 2013

looking back


rocks of ages

In this digital age, the concept of a printed calendar is somewhat old fashioned. As I am clearly one of those still vehemently holding on to the past, I was considering creating a 2014 calendar from some of my favourite photos throughout 2013. The photo selected for each month would have to have been taken on the same month of the year.  Sort of a fun photography project. In the process of selecting the photos, I came across some photos I took at my last visit to Stonehenge. Apt is it not? 

I read somewhere that the earliest recorded date in history is 4236 B.C (young Earth creationists rejoice), by the very ancient Egyptians who first devised the 365 days a year calendar. The same one we use today with the minor 6 hour per year adjustment. Seems obvious to us now – it’s based on the movement of celestial bodies. However, kudos to the Egyptians of old for choosing the correct celestial bodies to track, namely the sun, moon, and the ‘dog star’ Sirius, which they noticed rose next to…

never hungry never die

I've always had a problem with the title phrase since childhood. It just felt grammatically uncomfortable for me to say, and it does even today.  It seems the phrase should be either 'never hunger never die' or 'never hungry never dead'. Right? It's a matter of semantics of course,  the syntax is perfectly correct.
Anyhow, I first heard it at the age of 7 from a dear friend and neighbour. I'm not sure if it was her invention, or she'd heard it elsewhere herself, but that was how she referred to the innards of a hibiscus flower - consisting of the ovary and style. A flower is a plant's reproductive organ after all.
Why the bizarre name I hear you ask?  It isn't bizarre actually, once you know the story. The hibiscus flower is basically, mostly, edible the way it is. The petals, the stem, the style and ovary, the whole lot.  If it is clean, you can just pluck it, and eat it. Which is almost exactly what we did - we didn't eat the petals and w…

walls have ears

So has it been from the very beginning. One would've thought we'd be used to it by now.
Hebrews 4:13 - neither is there any creature that is not manifest in His sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.
(check out Psalm 139 to get the full picture of this)
Surat an-Nisa' 4: 108 - They try to conceal themselves from people, but they cannot conceal themselves from Allah, ...
Rig-Veda (extract of a hymn) - ...The Sun, that men may see the great knowing god.  The Stars slink off like thieves, in company with Night, before the all-seeing eye, whose beams reveal his presence...
Odu Ifa (paraphrased) - .. Esu Elegbara is always vigilant, sees and hears everything..

One could go on and on. I thought it quite funny that 'surveillance' points are clearly marked in this funky part of London.  Unless of course it's all tongue-in-cheek. Or even more awesomely if it is real, but camouflaged as tongue-in-cheek - that would be ge…

flight makes no sense

How is it that a metal tube weighing about 2.5 million kilograms, laden with a cargo of 2.5 million kilograms - human and otherwise, manages to take to the air and move through the apparent void of atmospheric nothingness? It makes no sense. Not from down here looking up, not from up there looking down.
Ok. So, channeling Isaac Newton the great, a certain Leonhard Euler explained the concept thoroughly way back in 1754.  To paraphrase - a curved body moving through fluid (air, say) experiences a difference in pressure from the fluid above and below it. This pressure gradient creates movement of the body in the direction of the pressure gradient, creating 'lift' (or dip, depending).  This lift is proportional to the velocity and angle of interaction of the body and fluid. Offsetting lift against gravity thus is how these gigantic metallic birds, and flesh-and-blood ones too in fact (albeit slightly differently), take to the air as if by magic.
I am well aware of the above. I&#…

dreaming of a warmer place

As we're hit with high velocity winds and blanketed by cumulus and cumulonimbus clouds the continent over, I find myself fantasising that the 25 bus is headed for somewhere warmer. A coast, say, of the sun. With hundreds of miles of sandy beaches and warm aquamarine aqua marines. With endless lazy hours spent on beige linen covered giant mattresses with a pipeline of chilled fresh fruit juices.  
I know that world exists. I've seen it with my own two eyes.

the holidays are boxed

Christmas 2013 is over. Sure, there's New Years day to look forward to, but for most, it's business as usual now for another year.  The rat race of the big city has begun. Back to the metal and glass structures. Back to the artificial light. Back to the internet cafe-esque cubicle life.

merry christmas!

It's theoretically Boxing Day in England right now, but It's still Christmas in America, so I suppose I'm still on time. Besides, in ancient days when all this went down, it wasn't the 'next day' until sunrise, or at least dawn.

Anyhow, in honour of the (modern) origin of the whole Christmas shebang, here are some photos of christian places of worship, mostly cathedrals and old churches in England and Spain, all taken with my Olympus 35 RC.

I wish you all peace, love and happiness.

canon eos 350d part 2

When the iPhone 3GS was released, I could no longer resist. I had the O2 Xda smartphone running Windows Mobile - Or was it Pocket PC? Whatever it was, I made do, all the while convincing myself that I didn't need an iPhone. However, once I saw the Apple commercial featuring the voice commands - "Play songs by Kaiser Chieves!" - I drank a gallon of the apple flavoured kool-aid.
The iPhone was many things apart from a phone. One of which was a capable point and shoot camera in my pocket, all the time. "Take your camera with you at all times" was no longer the mantra reserved for Lomographers and street photographers, it was for everyone, including me. Again, that online benchmark revealed the iPhone as the primary source of images uploaded. For many, it quickly replaced whatever camera they previously used. I was no exception. "Ah, I'll just leave the camera behind, I've got the iPhone". Then social networking hit the big time. Facebo…

canon eos 350d part 1

The world moved on. Film went out of fashion and affordable digital cameras rolled in. Film photo labs closed down all over the place. Consumer photography transitioned gradually from emulsion to silicon. Inevitably, I too stopped reaching for the film camera. One day, ten years or so ago, I placed my camera (with unfinished film) into a drawer, and simply forgot about it, till this year. There it laid, the boots 500AF, dormant, the battery slowly draining over the years, waiting for the day I'd pick it up again and snap it's positive battery contact.
I quickly grew frustrated with the Nikon Coolpix 775. The image quality appeared to deteriorate over time.  The apparent loss in quality was of course relative.  It's a digital camera. Zeros and ones then, are zeros and ones now. It was in fact other people's photos that had improved. Annoyingly enough, at some point there was a sudden spike in the quality of photos on Flickr (yes yes). It was as if Earth had been invade…

nikon coolpix 775 part 2

I found it!  It was stashed away in my PS3’s cardboard box with other wires and cables of electronic/electrical devices past. I’m talking about the Nikon proprietary battery charger. Hate AA batteries all you like, but they’ve been a steadfast standard for many, many years. Being digital, the camera may well be a paperweight without its battery/charger. It is too light to be a doorstop. This time round, I was more obedient to the instruction manual and let the battery charge overnight. This was of no consequence of course, as it wasn’t the ‘first’ charge, but there you go.
‘Twas a cold sunny Saturday morning – the weather man had been right, for a change.  Coincidentally, Spotify mobile just went ‘free’. I used to be a premium (paid) user of the service, as such I had created many playlists for on-the-go musical bliss. To be appropriate, I loaded a playlist that most closely approximated the sort of music I was into back when I first got this camera, and headed down the same route I …

nikon coolpix 775 part 1

So here it is, my first ever digital camera. Actually, that’s a teeny-weeny fib. I bought one from Maplin the day before which I owned for about 2 hours before taking it right back to the store.  As it happened, 2 hours were all it took for the square block of Vivitar metallic ugliness to burn through 2 AA batteries. I guess it was the early days of consumer digital cameras, but what were they thinking?  It had a 1.3 megapixel sensor I remember, with an always-on LCD.  That was probably what killed the battery so quickly. I think I managed to take 2 photos with the thing and I recall being resoundingly disappointed with the outcome even back then.
So here it is, my first (unreturned) digital camera – the Nikon Coolpix 775. I remember doing all the research about this camera after purchasing it, which may sound pointless until after you've heard the story behind that.
Long time ago in an Argos store far, far away, I opted to buy a 1.3 megapixel camera with a RECHARGEABLE battery. …