There is a fun old saying — “You’re One in a Million” — that is meant to convey a specialness using data-driven facts. What I find most interesting in the million specialness is how absolutely non-special you are depending where you happen to live in the world.
For example, in my hometown of Lincoln, Nebraska — with a population of 160,000 while I was growing up — I was super-extra-crispy special, because it would take 6.25 times my city’s population to make me unique one time in a million tries.
In New York City, the story is different. There are currently 8.3 million people in The Big City — and that means my specialness is drained in the larger lake from my small pond pool of the Midwest.
Instead of being “One in a Million” in NYC, I’m now, actually, eight in 8.3 million — and that’s a pretty sobering number.
One internet meme that is taking flight on social media is the handcrafted glory of a grocery list Michelangelo created in the 16th century for his illiterate servant to use while shopping.
“Because the servant he was sending to market was illiterate,” writes the Oregonian‘s Steve Duin in a review of a Seattle Art Museum show, “Michelangelo illustrated the shopping lists — a herring, tortelli, two fennel soups, four anchovies and ‘a small quarter of a rough wine’ — with rushed (and all the more exquisite for it) caricatures in pen and ink.” As we can see, the true Renaissance Man didn’t just pursue a variety of interests, but applied his mastery equally to tasks exceptional and mundane. Which, of course, renders the mundane exceptional.
I have had to move away from my old house, I have children of my own to protect from the unfriendly dogs and the foxes.
I do sneak back from time to time — and thought I would update you on some of the changes in the growing family of Alentejo cats .
I had heard rumours about new kittens and thought I would go and investigate. My first couple of return visits I saw nothing but the usual crowd I knew all growing up well. Little Squeak is no longer frail and tiny. He is growing up into a fine specimen of a cat and his sister Bubbles is blossoming too as is the aloof Nimbus.
Here is Mr B. One of the naughtiest cat I have ever met!
In the comments stream for — Cracking the Fiery Core: We Are Not What We Have — I said this, that has, ever since, had me thinking about the unfolding of such future events:
I think the next wave push is going to be “Limitless Lifecasting” — where you just stream video of your life all day and all night long. You’re online 24 hours a day. Google Glass will be the first step into the bloody morass. Re-winding will be the new Re-tweeting and Re-blogging.
With the revelation this week that Google Glass, Part II is set to debut soon — along with the news that current Glass users now able to invite three of their most gullible friends to shell out $1,500.00USD to share in the pioneer experience of getting punched in the face — our new, shiftless “re-” future is officially embedded among us.
The quickest way to lose any social argument is to hide behind claiming the wellbeing of your children is at risk while not standing in front of them and offering them direct protection. If you’re truly concerned about the welfare of your offspring, instantly act on their behalf, and don’t slog into the courts to beg a remedy to a simple matter of privacy that could be solved simply by drawing the curtains.
There’s an old saying in the Deaf Community when it comes to watching other people’s Sign Language conversations from across the room — “eyes for for?” — meaning “my eyes are for watching, and if you don’t want to be watched, then move out of my line of sight. Make your own privacy.”
Today, we could say the same thing about a camera in situ — “photos for for?”
There’s a big hoo-hah here in New York City over the right of a family to demand privacy in their floor-to-ceiling windowed apartment — even though they leave the curtains open — so anyone, and everyone, can see directly into their living space.
One neighbor, Arne Svenson, found the patterns of the family’s windows intriguing and took a series of images of them as part of his “The Neighbors” photography series. Here’s an example from his fascinating collection:
The center of Vienna is a grand place. It has large pedestrian areas, it is clean and tidy, plenty of provision for litter and reasonable public seating. They have some problems with pigeons but not as much as I expected. They did have one problem for us and that was lack of directions. You would get one direction and then nothing!
This is a visual journey of our walkabout — to get the best from Vienna as a sightseer — you have to look up!
Looking back at St Stephen’s Cathedral:
We were on a mission — not from God like Jake and Elwood in the Blues Brothers — more like hell given the number of twists and turns the week took, but more of that later. Our mission was to see Robbie Williams in concert in Vienna. Tickets for the concert here were about 50% cheaper than in the UK, so we decided we would take a break and incorporate the concert into the itinerary.
Once we had our precious tickets, we then proceeded to work out the most acceptable way for us to travel. Acceptable to us includes the following criteria — cost, opportunity to see new places, have new adventures, explore new and different cultures, make the most of opportunities, tasting new food and wines, hotels with bath and shower, the opportunity to learn, and most importantly for me, a means of travel which allows me to photograph.
We chose to travel using the motorway network — mainly for speed and our lack of geographical knowledge.