Life

Lots of stuff on politics, food, photography, technology, movies, music and other things of interest (but not necessarily in that order). All of them viewed from a vantage point in the Highlands of Scotland.

 


The Zoo Quest Expeditions

I am about half-way through reading David Attenborough's book on his Zoo Quest Expeditions during the 1950s, and I am thoroughly enjoying it. Unlike his Life series books this one concentrates on the human adventures, and David's in particular, though the animals are still the focus of everyone's activities. Those activities included filming the wildlife and capturing animals to bring back to London Zoo. This latter activity is completely frowned upon today, which Mr. Attenborough admits in the opening section of the book, but sixty years ago attitudes were quite different.

The complexity of simplicity

Instinctively you would  think that the lower the number of elements in an activity, the lower the complexity. Not necessarily so. It is often the case that an activity with just three, four or five elements can be fiendishly complex. I'll call this the Complexity of Simplicity.

Burns, thou art a diamant skellum

While researching the archaic and current usage of the words: thou, thee, thine, thy and ye, I was diverted into an equally fascinating tangent to do with 18th century ad-hoc engravings by Robert Burns.

Memories

How does memory work? I really don't know. It seems logical that you remember the important events in your life: your child's first spoken word, scoring the winning goal, that time I left my car keys in a foreign country. You probably remember these events because you make an effort to do so. Memories will be reinforced by constant re-telling of the events by you or by friends & family. However, even for those important events it is possible for memories to be wrong. Two people can have a shared experience and yet their respective memories of the sequence of events can differ. That can be a heady mix at this time of year, just add the stress brought on by all the preparations and some Christmas spirits and voilà: a barney.

The least theatrical entrance ever?

Usually (concert) gigs belong to that form of show business where the core part of the audience pleasure is provided by some musical diversions but the spectacle forms part of the overall package. An exemplar of this approach are Queen concerts which were (and probably still are) musical entertainments of the highest order but defintely set out to be great spectacles too, which they always achieved.

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