Saturday, March 05, 2016

Japan! Rocks!

I may have mentioned this from time to time.

This is a shrine, in a cave in Fujiyama.

You can go down the caves.

And see ice.

There are also lumps of two hundred and something year old rock lying around.

Exploding drones.

This is not an original thought.

I found myself lying in bed, thinking about malicious minds controlling drones, packed woith explosives, sending them to an arena.

Drones with guns attached.

Or, less chillingly, drones with cameras, peeking in windows.  Private moments posted online by strangers.

I read an article in the Guardian about crashed drones around a prison, being used to deliver drugs and mobiles.

We're at the point now where folk can use these things to anonymously transport goods, and anonymously record in places where one would hitherto have had an expectation of privacy.

It's only a matter of times before they are used for something serious.

Of course, they already are being used for war, but I'm not talking about those. That's a whole other nightmare.

There's no simple solution. Ban commercial sale? Compulsory registration? Good luck with that. Criminals won't have much trouble bypassing such controls.  Green lasers are illegal in Sweden, yet I've personally seen them in a action; in fact, been attacked with one.  Teenagers have used them on bus and tram drivers.  Though controls might limit abuse to canny criminals, and the more technologically aware prankster.

Physical impediments? Anti drone technology?  Drone police?  Sounds tricky.  Sounds like something that could turn into 1984.

But doing nothing essentially invites disaster.

Drones might save Amazon some money, but they have potentially very large consequences for all of us.

Saturday, March 15, 2014


Way too early.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

The starving hoards of...

The internet can be a bountiful place.

A few years ago, I discovered American radio episodes of The Saint
from the 1950s,
available for free download.  I've been listening to them lately, and they're interesting.

Besides being entertaining, they're like time capsules.  Most obviously, they reflect the social attitudes of the time; the men are unapologetical womanisers, for example.  The drinking, the casual violence... well, it is fiction.

But most interesting for me is the messages at the end.

At the end of most episodes, the starring actor, usually Vincent Price, will give voice to a social message.

One of these is an appeal for money to send food packages to undernourished families in Europe.

How quickly we forget. 

Sunday, December 08, 2013

By Shinto!

As I used to say a lot in my childhood, with no idea what it meant.  War comics were still very popular when I was growing up.

Lucy lead us to a lot of shrines when were in Japan. Some were massive.  Some contained museums.  Several were hundreds of years old.  We saw shrines with hundreds of Tori gates,

one had Tori gates out a sea...

But this one was a bit different.

It was mentioned in Lucy's guide book, tucked away on a back street in Tokyo.  So small that it took us a while to realise that this is what we were searching for.


In Japan, even the manhole covers are cool.

I should have taken photographs of more of these.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

A couple of thoughts.

Sometimes, one has probably hair-brained ideas that one lacks an effective forum for. If one happens to be me, they end up here. I saw a documentary on T.V. a few years ago called "Änglar med skit på vingarna." ("Angels with shit on their wings"; it's in Norwegian).

It is about how eagles are killed by wind turbines along the Norwegian coast; they can't see them.

And I wondered why they don't surround them with a thin wire mesh. Not enough to block the wind, enough to block the birds.

And I have read and listened to a lot of criticism about hydroelectric power.

They wipe of fish; on one major river in Sweden, less than 0.1% of some species survive the journey through the four power stations along it's course.

Plus, rotting vegetation that is a result of flooding caused by the dams can create serious levels of carbon emissions, depending on location; in Brazil, it can take decades for the dams to create enough power to make up for the damage they cause.

Plus, they are made less effective by rivers freezing in the Winter, when power is needed the most.

And I though, why not build smaller turbines, micro-turbines, again with meshing, along the bed of the river? They'd be relatively difficult to maintain, what with silting, but, no dead fish, year round power, no need for dams.

As I said, probably hair-brained. But i don't know who to send them to in order to be ridiculed publicly. So you get to read them. Lucky you! :p

Friday, October 23, 2009

I see one big problem with Google Wave as it stands; who do I communicate with?

(My having to publish this here illustrates the problem. I can share this with precisely one person on Google Wave, as things stand).

When I'm using email, I can communicate with anyone who has an email address, on any platform, as long as I know that address. With Google Wave, they must have a Google account.

With a blog, I can publish, and anyone with a H.T.M.L.-capable device and an internet connection can read my blog, and reply. Blogs often become conversations. With Google Wave, I can only communicate with other Google Wave users.

Google Wave needs to be available to people who don't have an account.

Googe Wave needs to have a general publication option.

Of course, it has definite pluses. Being able to have a conversation involving several people, where one can see what is happening live, but doesn't necessarily have to be online for the whole conversation to keep it alive; what a godsend. Especially once it goes mobile.

So; this is an exciting idea, but it needs to be more open.