Weather news

Here at Whydontyou towers we’re saddened to find that this blog has been updated so rarely in the recent past* that its reign over the realm of Whydontyou has been challenged by an alien blog called ydontyou (which I am buggered if I’m going to post a link to.) It feels like the identity theft that we are all meant to worry ourselves sick over.

In case you’ve ever visited it and think we’ve changed completely, that site has nothing to do with the one true whydontyou blog. (Which – to be fair – has nothing to do with the ancient kid’s tv programme that we stole our name from. Oh bugger, pot -kettle, I fear.) However, I see that the evil usurper is trying to be a blog of random posts by anyone who cares to blog. Which:

a) tempts me to post anonymous posts there (but I won’t because the spacetime continuum could be disrupted by the paradox and some strange singularity would occur.)

b) puts me in mind of the income-challenged real media which seems to be getting ever more desperate keen to replace paid journalistic copy with opinions and photos from anyone who cares to send in free content. (Almost by definition, normally lunatics.)

It was bad enough when the media, overwhelmed by the volume of wikileaks material, asked people to submit their own findings from the mass of data. How lazy can you get? How mean, also, to replace professional researchers with free labour? Even unpaid “intern” researchers hope to make contacts and have something to put on application forms. Public content-providers don’t even get that carrot.

But now it’s the winter. It is strange enough that snow in Southern England has occupied the main headlines on the BBC and Guardian websites for days.

You might expect the media might report the existence of snow on the weather pages and traffic delays on the traffic delay pages and leave news pages to focus on people at risk of death from cold – the homeless, the poor, the very old and very young.

Instead, you get calls for “Your stories and your pictures of the snow” – always for unpaid submissions.

Snow is beautiful in reality and can look beautiful in a picture. Snow is cold.

However, snow as a major citizen journalism project is completely uninteresting. Other people’s snow stories and photos are pretty much like other people telling you their dreams.

You’d be forgiven for thinking nothing serious was happening in the world….

Ffs, surely Cheryl Cole has got a new hairstyle or gained or lost a few pounds. And surely the about-to-be-wed prince-and-princess’s old school and university pals haven’t run out of amusing anecdotes yet? By toutatis, I’ll soon have to google if I need to find out to find out who won Strictly Come Dancing/ the Apprentice/X-Factor/Britain’s Got Talent (insert name of standard tv-celeb news items. Sorry I’m struggling here because my brain fails to distinguish any of these programmes)

Shape up, mass media.

* Even spammers see us as not worth the bother. A desultory spam turns up every week or so. Gone are the glory days of a couple of hundred a day.

Trojan Horse

This was too funny to pass up:

Trojan Horse

Trojan Horse

This had me laughing for quite a while.

Ancient Germania

As I have spent the last few weeks on my travels across Europe, I found this and thought it would be an appropriate map to share.

Ancient Germania - (Roman Knowledge)

Ancient Germania - (Roman Knowledge)

Fortunately, things are more modern now and I should be home in a few more weeks.

Gorgeous Beach Scene

I found this on Flickr and loved it. It is a stunning picture with great compositional elements and spot on focusing.

I love the colours and the overall feeling of sunset tranquillity it gives.

montserrat A

montserrat A

montserrat A,
originally uploaded by Manel ^ Urindar.

Stunning landscape and a good reason for browsing through Flickr pics.

While it can be argued that flickr has a mixed bag of images (in terms of quality), it is undeniable that there are some stunning captures there.

Atheist Blogroll Photography Competition

I was going to post about this last weekend, but I figured it would be better waiting a while so this can serve as both an advertisement and a reminder.

Mojoey has initiated the 2009 Atheist Blogroll Photography Competition and you have from now until 15 September 2009 to get your entries in. In the words of the great man himself:

I am pleased to announce the 2009  Atheist Blogroll photography contest. This year’s contest is open to any member of the Atheist Blogroll, their family, friends or significant others. By request, I’ve also opened the contest up to members of the Atheist Nexus too. We have five categories this year.

  • Atheism/Religion
  • Travel and People
  • Self-Portrait
  • Altered Images
  • The Natural World

The deadline for submissions is September 15, 2009.  Send your photographs as a .jpg file to the Atheist Blogroll.

Sounds good, doesn’t it? As always there are rules (but these are not onerous):

  1. Contestants may send up to three photos per category.
  2. Each submission must be an original work and may not have won any other contests.
  3. When sending your photographs, you must adhere to the following restriction: Actual file size may not exceed 2,048 KB (2 MB) and must be in .jpg, .jpeg.
  4. Submissions by persons under that age of 18 require parental consent.
  5. No Pornography – I follow the, “I know porn when I see it rule.”

Some important points to note about your submissions:

These fields are required.

  1. Category
  2. Title
  3. Caption and camera information
  4. Where and when the photo was taken: Los Angeles, May 2008
  5. The name or pseudonym of the photographer.
  6. A link the the artists blog or Atheist Nexus page. If a friend of an Atheist Blogroll member, then a link the members blog is appropriate.

By sending a photo you are granting the right for the photo to be displayed at Deep Thoughts as part of the 2009 photography contest or as part of a Google collection linked to the 2009 photography collection. All other rights remain with the artist.

If you are interested and want to find out more – such as how to enter – then check out the original post on Deep Thoughts. This is a great, fun, competition which seems very easy to enter so get out your SLR/Compact/Phone/Whatever and take some pictures. When you’ve done that (and turned them into JPEG if needed) get them off to Mojoey and see if you can win.

Also, Mojoey is looking for people to help with the judging so, if that is more up your street give it a go – but make sure you let my pictures win 🙂

Ugly word, ugly actions

A photographer was arrested for taking photographs in Kent – and apparently also for being tallish in a public place (according the Register, although this bit of the story may be apocryphal). Well, being tallish seems safer than looking a bit Brazilian.

Medway Eyes has links to several magazines and newspapers that discuss this infuriating story. (Eg, Henry Porter in the Guardian.)

The wrongness of this incident is self-evident. (For instance, let’s start with the misuse of anti-terror laws to harass people or with the de facto imposition of a requirement to show ID…..)

However, I’m getting soooo tired about banging on about the loss of civil liberties that I won’t bother here. Please take it as read.

Instead, I’m just going to whine about the word “de-arrested” According to Amateur Photography:

A spokesman for Kent Police confirmed this morning: ‘We can confirm that on Wednesday 8 July, at approximately 12.30pm, a man was arrested on Military Road, Chatham. After a short period of time the man was dearrested and no further action will be taken.’

“Dearrested”. It’s not a word.

I’m all for making up words on spec but surely any inventions should add something to the English language, not just make speech uglier, to no purpose.

What’s wrong with “freed”? Maybe “freed” was rejected because it carries a subliminal association with the concept of “freedom,” whereas “dearrested” just reminds you of “arrest.”

There’s a subtle suggestion that the condition of being arrested is the default state, with “dearrest” (sic, not “dearest”, please try to keep up) being the anomaly.

Obviously, being “dearrested” is infinitely preferable to being arrested. But, then, who’d have thought – ten years ago – that using your own camera in a public shopping street could lead to you getting arrested in the first place?

On 9th July, the Metropolitan Police issued guidelines to its police officers to point out that taking photographs was not a crime, but apparently the Home Office was not altogether behind that seemingly innocuous message. And it certainly doesn’t seem to have filtered through to the Medway towns.

In any case, if taking photographs is somehow a crime, how can anyone square that with the ubiquity of CCTV in Britain? There must be scarcely more than ten feet of public space that isn’t being photographed on a 24-hour -a-day basis. The Register pointed out a truly amazing statistic:

As if to underline Britain’s status as the West’s most monitored society, the BBC’s Freedom of Information requests showed that authorities on the Shetland Islands have more CCTV cameras than the San Francisco Police Department.

A miracle for E-Bay

A piece of toast has miraculously appeared on a wikipedia image of Jesus.

miraculous appearnce of toast

miraculous appearnce of toast

Fantastic HDR

(0718) ÜÇH?SAR (Cappadocia) Turkey

(0718) ÜÇH?SAR (Cappadocia) Turkey,
originally uploaded by Joanot.


Cappadocia is an amazing area of Turkey, with stunning tufa formations that people have carved homes into for thousands of years.

Something good

Did you know that cloudspotting was a proper hobby, with a club you can join and everything?

Like trainspotting or twitching. But more random, more generally accessible and with fewer names for categories to learn.

I found this out from this morning’s BBC Breakfast Show. Sadly, half the UK must have found it out at the same time, because the server on the Cloud Appreciation Society has been intermittently incapable of serving up content all day, due to what it calls “incapacity problems”.

If you are either very lucky or patient enough to wait a few days, the site gallery has some stunning pictures.

Home

Well I am home now and a bit jet lagged. Given the circumstances I think this is a suitable picture:

Hillsborough Lake

The beautiful relaxing green water at the lake in Hillsborough Forest Park. I dread to think what made the water green though…

Path Home

Well, this is pretty much the end of my holiday and all going well, I should be flying back tonight. Such a shame. Still, there is always next year.

With this in mind, this picture seemed quite appropriate:

Path to the beach

This was taken walking home from the beach in North Devon.

Rhuddlan Castle

One of the impressive fortresses dotting North Wales:

Rhuddlan Castle

This castle is owned by Cadw but seems to have few visitors, which is a shame as it is fascinating. The diversion of the river and building of a tidal moat are interesting enough in themselves, but the structure of the castle is remarkably intact.

April evening

April evening

April evening,
originally uploaded by Amymillerphotos.

This is stunning.

This is yet another amazing picture on Flickr. There is little point in writing about it, because its beauty speaks for itself.

Please log into your flickr accounts now and say hi to the person who managed to capture this beauty.

Un mercoledi da tigrotti

I am a sucker for high contrast black and white. Too often BW images get uploaded to flickr when they are actually tones of grey. This can look good in its place, but for me at least, black and white wins out every time.

This is a great example of the contrast working well. In colour, if you didnt know the people, this may well be a bland image. In black and white it screams dramatic.