Gulls.The UK's NERC (Natural Environment Research Council) asked for suggestions on what to name a big research ship soon to be under construction. Boaty McBoatface got the most votes, with other suggestions including What Iceberg, Big Shipinnit, and Science!!! .
No dice said the powers that be, leading to headlines like "British officials unlikely to name new polar vessel Boaty McBoatface".
This is as good a time as any to note that H.M.S. Pinafore is an anagram of namer of ship.
J-trees, last summer.This pic got me wondering whether animals ever taunt their own shadows. Well, they do. Movies about newspapers often include scenes that show presses running. Absence of Malice (1981) opens with shots of newspaper production, and the climax of Spotlight (2015) is the press run—committing to print the product of months of work.
I watched a couple documentaries recently that dealt with the Federal Reserve System and both included shots of money being printed.
The power of such scenes doesn't just come from how presses are massive, impressive (pardon the pun) subjects to photograph. It's also about the act of realization: word made flesh.
I realize that the affection I have for the medium of print comes partly from the fact that it's how things were done when I was young but I think there's more to it. We all like to see and touch and smell things.
Or even chew. A once‑friend's bookshelf had several volumes with scars from where his pet rabbit had gnawed on the binding. "My rabbit really liked this linear algebra textbook," he'd say.
If newspapers go all electronic at some point, movies about them will suffer. File transfers at server farms do not make for striking images.
Cloud shadow.I had occasion to drive through Mojave this week. There is no driving through Mojave without seeing airplanes and freight trains. There is no seeing freight trains without seeing graffiti on rail cars.