Sunday, March 14, 2010

Brian Cox and Alan Turing.

Erith Mural  962

On Monday afternoon I was on the train from London to Plumstead, on my daily Dad visit; the train stopped at Greenwich and a tall, skinny and somewhat dishevelled individual boarded. His expression was glazed, and his pupils were the size of saucers - I think one could charitably say that he was somewhat pharmaceutically inconvenienced. He sat down opposite me and appeared to go into a trance. As he seemed to pose no threat, I continued to read my copy of the Times. When the train reached Charlton, the said individual came round with a start and suddenly asked me "Could you let me know when we get to Greenwich?" To which I responded "That's where you got on!" He got up and dashed off the train in great consternation. Definitely a citizen of Planet Zanussi.

The photo above is a bit of a scoop; I took it earlier this afternoon, and it shows the newly installed refurbished mural that used to reside on the side of the old Erith Swimming Pool. It was removed and put into storage when the pool was demolished, and this week it was installed on the open space next to Blockbuster in the Erith Riverside Centre. You can see some more shots of it on my Flickr site here. The highly stylised mural depicts events from the history if the riverside town, including the launch of the doomed warship, the Mary Rose. Incidentally, Alexander Selkirk, the real life inspiration for the fictional character Robinson Crusoe came ashore at Erith on his return from being shipwrecked.

I notice from the adverts posted on the side of many double decker buses, that the video game Final Fantasy XIII has been released. Just one small observation, how can there have been any Final Fantasy games after the original? It was after all termed "final". How can you have twelve more "finals" after the first? Am I missing something here?

I am pleased to see that a campaign has been started to get the 2012 Olympics dedicated to Alan Turing, who in addition to being an astonishing World War II shortening cryptanalyst and the father of modern computing, was a very promising Olympic standard marathon runner. 2012 would have been his 100th birthday, had he not taken his own life at the age of 41 after being hounded by the authorities for being gay. I am no fan of the Olympics, and even less so that they are being hosted locally, but if wider public recognition of one of our lesser known national heroes is the result, then I am somewhat mollified. Below is a photo I took of a statue of Turing which is on display at Bletchley Park, where he headed Hut 8, breaking German wartime Naval ciphers. He famously used to cycle around the grounds wearing his gas mask, which filtered out pollen, as he suffered greatly from hay fever.

Alan Turing in slate

I see that there has been much coverage in the press about dangerous "weapon" dogs in the last week.  Erith seems to have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to threatening canines; I think there must be some kind of local bye law making it illegal to own a dog that is not a Dobermann, Staffie or Pit Bull cross. I am not a dog fan anyway, but the preponderance of menacing dogs locally is something that continues to worry me. It seems that the local scrotes like to look as hard as possible by owning a dog that approaches their own bone headed ugliness and propensity for aggression.

I see that Professor Brian Cox (see the video clip above) seems to appearing on virtually every science related programme the BBC transmits at present. I used to know him via a mutual friend. I don't know what he is like now; he was a really nice bloke but a truly terrible cook; I once ate a lasagne he made where he had used four tablespoons of garlic puree, rather than four teaspoons. It tasted OK, but stank out the house for days afterwards.

I see that the News Shopper have been giving extensive coverage to the story I mentioned recently in respect of the micro chipping of local waste bins, in order to track what Bexley residents dispose of  - you can read all about it by clicking here. I avoid all such draconian surveillance by bypassing the whole shabby system and taking my daily waste around the corner to Morrison's for recycling. It only adds a couple of minutes to my journey to the station each morning, and means I don't have to leave a wheelie bin in my front garden.

One would have thought that the weather would have started to become more clement now that the evenings are starting to get lighter, but nothing of the sort thus far; it is still wintry and I cannot see an end to it at present. Roll on the proper start to Spring.

This week and it is another Joe Bonamassa track - this time a live version of "Sloe Gin" filmed at the North Sea Blues Festival back in 2007. See what you think and leave a comment below.

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