Degree show

We visited the Fine Art and Cartoon degree shows at Staffordshire University today, and I have to say that I was very impressed. I think they were probably the best I’ve seen in years. I haven’t included any images because of copyright. In the Fine Art section there was a lot more figurative work and portraiture than I’ve seen in years. There was also a lot of diversity which was great. In the Cartoon section there were a lot of fun ideas and comic strips. I chatted to some of the students there and they were very helpful explaining what they do.

I realised as I went round that the work is relevant to my illustration course. I really enjoyed the day.

Cat in a box

What would Shrödinger say about my cat in a box? Curled up, unaware of the conundrum? What is the thought experiment? If I can remember it rightly…. A cat is in a sealed box, no one can see what is happening with it. Also in the box is a poison is in a sealed canister which can only be released by the radioactive decay of a chemical reaction, releasing an electron. You can’t tell when or if it will be released. The cat is therefore maybe alive or dead, but you don’t know until you open the box….

It’s a weird way of explaining quantum mechanics, but I don’t understand it very well!

Zoom talk on Nepal

We just attended a Zoom talk on Nepal. Our friend went walking there in 2006 to raise funds for eye surgery for the residents of Nepal. The talk included beautiful photos of the mountains including the Anapurna range. They were close to the eighth highest mountain in the world. The scale of the mountains is incredible. The villages in the valleys are tiny in comparison.

Through wonderful photography of the landscape and the Nepalese people my friend gave us such an informative talk about the country. He also included the music of the people with sweet, calm songs. A very pleasant couple of hours with many friends attending.

Beautiful brickwork

I don’t know much about bricks, except that they are fired clay. But I do like to see them when they are used decoratively. The way they are laid is called the ‘bond’ where it depends whether they are laid horizontally across the surface of the wall, or with the short end showing on the face of the wall and the length turned 90° so that the brick is across into the layer behind or allows the wall to turn the corner at the edge of the building.

As you can see from this photo, different coloured bricks are often used to make patterns and shapes in the brickwork or are used to frame tiled areas of text stating when the building was built.

I also know that brick sizes changed over time. That they were smaller in the past and hand made. Then molds were made and the brick sizes became standardised. I don’t know all the history of that sorry.

Cloudy evening

Clouds tonight, tiny specs of cloud and long mares tails. About 8pm tonight. The colours were beautiful and gentle. I think these clouds come before rain, so it might be thundering tomorrow.

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At about six o’clock I saw this out of the landing window. A similar sort of cloud but without the whispy bits.

Looking up at clouds is fascinating. If you are interested you could look up the cloud appreciation society. There is a Facebook page about it.

My nose….?

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My hubby just said (I misheard) can you look up my nose. What he actually asked was could I look up minnows.

Why? He bought a few for the pond and he wanted to know how big they get as they are only about two centimeters.

It’s amazing what you can find on line. I looked u Chinese minnows. They can grow to four centimeters long. They are bread to have some bright colours and they live on insect larvae and fish food for ponds. As we have midge or gnat larvae growing in the pond I hope they will be happy. They are living with a few goldfish and some ramshorns snails. They seem happy.

Using up sprouts

I had a bag of sprouts in the fridge, they needed using up. What to do? I took a mixture of leftovers and cooked something ‘not bad but interesting’ according to my hubby.

First I used up half a small onion. I chopped it up and cooked it in a small amount of butter and olive oil. I added some garlic granuals, dried chives, and dried basil.

I then added sprouts that I had cut the base off, took off the outer leaves and then cut them into quarters. I added some water to the mixture up to the level of the sprouts in the pan and let it gently simmer.

I cut up two large tomatoes that were getting wrinkly and were just past their best before date.

I carried on simmering it to soften the vegetables.

While I was doing this I put on a small amount of penne pasta in some boiling water. I cooked that until it was Al dente (still slightly firm)

As the sprouts were softening I added half a jar of tomato pasta sauce that I’d saved from last night.

If you want to leave it there you can. That would be a vegetarian option. But I had some mini frankfurters to use up, so I cut them into small pieces and added them to the mix. Once they had heated through I tasted the food. It was quite ‘sprouty’ so I took a small piece of cheddar cheese, about a thumb sized piece for each of us and melted it into the mixture. I added a little salt to taste and then drained the pasta and added it to the mix.

Cooking time, about twenty minutes in total.

Don’t know the cost, but not much.

Ingredients

Half a small onion.                              About two big handfuls of sprouts.    Two large tomatoes.                              Half a jar of tomato pasta sauce.              A handful of mini frankfurters.               A small amount of mild cheddar cheese.                                                           A couple of handfuls of pasta.

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Interesting times

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We live in difficult times,

In a bubble where nothing can touch us,

In a dream world of Internet lies,

In a world where one touch can kill us,

 

Yes we live in interesting times.

 

We live where a cold can be fatal,

Where a virus is writing our fate,

In a world where borders can’t save us,

We must act before it’s too late.

 

Don’t think the world is over,

We must fight till the end is right here,

No one knows what resolve will save us.

But we live in interesting times.

What do you see?

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There was a programme on the radio this morning called ‘the light scientific’. I only caught the end of it but it was interesting, they discussion was about human perception. The scientist had been responsible for the gold/white dress or black/blue dress controversy that went viral a few years ago. She explained that when the image was released she had no idea what a massive argument it would cause between people. Her team had taken a black and blue dress but photographed it under a mixture of yellow and pale blue lighting. When the viewer looked at it their brains subtracted the lighting in different ways, and their perceptions were distorted or changed. As she acknowledged some of the different perception could have been due to the quality of the displays people were viewing it on. So they tried the real dress and carefully lit it. People were then allowed to view in real life. Amazingly they saw one or the other versions. The explanation is that we all perceive colours differently. My red could be your orange. Add to that some people are colourblind. Makes for an interesting world.

So what us my image. It’s an edited view of a window on the new twenty pound note. Not a figure in a funny hat (which is what I see).