Saturday, December 29, 2012

New Years Eve

Drawn with Isabella White

Cityscape - News Years Eve - click for full image

Evening

Sometimes the stars do no open up in the sky.
It is the earth which shines like a starry firmament.

Juan Ramon Jimenez

Magic Night

Citscape 7 - Magic Night - click to download full version

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Oceans under threat

As temperatures rise and the carbon balance in the oceans change all of life in the oceans are under threat. I certainly didn't know that in one litre bottle of sea water there are 4 billion viruses and the viruses are useful in that they work to reduce the amount of carbon in the water. Whilst most of the living things in the sea are under threat jellyfish are one of the few that actually thrive on change and as we pollute the ocean mass swarms of jellyfish can arrive killing everything in their path.

I have been readin 'Ocean of life' by Callum Roberts and it makes sober reading. We are still reaking havoc to the oceans. After the Deepwater Horizon oil spil when they examined the risk assessments they found references to dangers to walruses and sea lions (!) It looks like they simply copied the risk assessments from oil rigs in the Artctic.

I had not realised the fragile balance that we have to cope with in the ocean and the risks that we are facing, this is certainly a worthwhile read.

Friday, December 07, 2012

Gogol

Happy is the man who after a long journey full of indignities and troubles arrives at home to kisses, he should be happy to have such a refuge. Gogol uses this idea to introduce his approach to literature. There is a universal approach to literature that thrills the old man and the 16 year old girls alike. This type of writer transcends wretched reality and flies like an eagle.

But what about the young man who goes on his travels and has no wife to return to, his sole pleasures are the 'lofty ecstatic laughter of working men'. This is the sort of writer who takes all that we see in front of our noses and presents it back to us as 'a pearl of creation'. This is how Gogol describes himself. He writes at length of how this type of writing is doomed to be misunderstood and criticised.

Happy is the traveller

You can read the text in the above document, it is not easy to read but considering this is as close to revolutionary as it gets (!) I think it is worth the effort.

Bureaucracy

"It is clear, in any event, that in any kind of organisation there is a constant pressure to escape from reality. This tendency corresponds to what popular sentiment calls 'bureaucratic tendencies'. Centralisation is one of the ways to achieve it; completely impersonal rules are another. Both permit escape from otherwise necessary adjustments." (From M. Crozier 'The Vicious Circle of Bureaucracy' 1963.)

Certainly a good way to think about bureaucracy.