Filed under silence

The Dawn of Computing

The Dawn of Computing

This is the first recognisably modern computer, the Small-Scale Experimental Machine the SSEM, or Baby, the first to be able to store data plus operate an electronic memory. Built in Manchester, began running June 1948. This is what the zeroes and ones looked like. The first sighting of binary code. This is where the coding … Continue reading

French Bells

In Alain Corbin’s Village Bells Sound and Meaning in the Nineteenth Century French Countryside, the records are far from silent regarding bells for a wide range of uses, such as helping people to navigate in the forests, especially when there was snow, of coastal villages ringing bells to help sailors or to lure them into … Continue reading

When Big is Good

Big business is generally seen as a bad thing for the environment, but with modern media campaigns, they can be more amenable to change NAD practice’s than small groups or individuals. Conservationist Rhett Butler,of Mongabay.com website which tracks slash & burn clearance  claims the battle to save rainforests is being won. The global giants that … Continue reading

Lost Rivers

Lost Rivers

In the Ryan Gosling movie, Drive, there is a scene where Gosling drives his neighbour and her son along a long concreted culvert, the remains of a river, in LA to reach a paradise,a place of wonder, which is what the river once was. This is the fate of many of our urban rivers – … Continue reading

The Quiet World

When W H Hudson was staying in Cornwall, he was befriended – albeit begrudgingly by the house’s dog; here he explains why his life and that of dogs do not work together. “The purely parasitic or degenerate pet dog moves me to compassion, but the natural vigorous outdoor dog I fear  ande avoid becasue we are … Continue reading

Saudi Science

A conservative cleric in Saudi Arabia is claiming that it is dangerous for women to drive cars. Not for the usual reasons of them being too frail to turn the wheels, or likely to suddenly start painting their fingernails when doing a hand brake turn, but because it harms their ovaries and risks them bearing … Continue reading

Animals and Insults

Animals and Insults

I am still kicking around this idea of how kids especially in British cities – don’t know  where their food comes from, ie animals. And I’m also thinking about how much of our language includes animal metaphors and similes. There are a ton of insults that are based on animals, like scaredy cat, cowardly lion … Continue reading

Conjugating Absence

Conjugating Absence

I have just read a review of a new book on the victims of the Soviet Gulags, in which they conjectured as to why these horrors are so much less known than those of the Jewish Holocaust. The author suggested it was perhaps due to the size of the crimes, but I don’t buy that, … Continue reading

Urban Parks, Urban Myths

Urban Parks, Urban Myths

I have just walked through a park at night. Consider the equation, a mantra repeatedly chanted to us from childhood by adults who know. A woman + alone + darkness = things that go bump/scary monsters/criminals = DO NO EVER DO THIS. I passed a woman walking in the opposite direction. We smiled like conspirators. … Continue reading