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Showing posts from November, 2016

Broadband, memories of a weekend, a flame fairy and why we shouldn't worry.

Broadband.  What is it? We take it for granted. We think we sort of know what it is. Do we? A ... broad ... band ... ? Broad as in wide? As in encompassing a wide range of frequencies. The frequencies of multiple messages that, because the band is indeed wide, can be transmitted simultaneously. Or not. When it fails, picture a band that's so broad it frays and curls in on itself at the edges; rolling itself up into a tight constipated tube that no information - even information backing up like logs behind a beaver dam - is ever going to burst through.  Broadband at its most basic is simply electrons bumping into each other. It inhabits the earth and the air in a variety of forms, a broadband spectrum of electron collisions, if you like. In my imagined spectrum, there's SS broadband - the slow, stuttering but mostly working variety.  This is almost but not quite as bad as FaFFF broadband - the type that falters after faultless fast functioning. Worst, however, by a mile - or s…

New York state of mind

My goodness, jet lag does funny things to your head. One minute you're functioning fine: you can hold a conversation; remember people's names; have a pretty good idea what time it is, even correctly guess the day; begin to understand the enormity of the political landscape in the country you are visiting; read a book, and (almost) manage to navigate without causing a major fall-out. The next (and it can literally be the next) minute you are unable to decide what to wear and realise you have been staring blankly at the suitcase for ten minutes; you have no idea if you told your host a particular anecdote earlier; you stand in front of a written description of a painting at a gallery and realise that on the third reading you have still failed to process any of the words, and you come over all my goodness using words that you normally only observe spoken by the very young. 
And you start taking photographs of buildings and pavements and paintings and wonder if that's normal.…