Quote of the Day
”Asking a working writer what he thinks about critics is like asking a lamp-post how it feels about dogs.
- Christopher Hampton, playwright.
Jim and Helen’s Window
The window in their house, which they turned into the wonderful Kettle’s yard gallery in Cambridge.
Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news
Handel: As steals the morn (L’Allegro, HWV 55) Amanda Forsythe and Thomas Cooley, Voices of Music 4K
Home with a drone
This morning’s Observer column:
Here’s the scenario. It’s 3.30pm and you’re away from home. A burglar breaks in by forcing the french window in the living room. Shortly afterwards, two things happen. A small drone sitting unobtrusively in its housing-cum-charging-station whirs into life, and your smartphone beeps. The drone leaves its housing and begins a flight through the house on an inspection path that you have programmed into it, streaming live, high-definition video to your phone as it goes. The burglar sees and hears the drone, grasps what’s happening and flees.
Fiction? Not at all. It’s just Amazon’s latest gizmo – announced at its autumn hardware event on 24 September. It came with a nice video to illustrate the above scenario – though it featured an implausibly nervous burglar who, upon seeing the drone, fled as though he had seen a ghost. But other, less dramatic uses for the drone were suggested. It would be useful, for example, if you arrived at your non-remote workplace (remember them?) and wondered if you’d left the kitchen window open. This viewer wondered about equally mundane questions: how would the device deal with his cats, which regularly roam the house seeking surfaces that are forbidden to them when he’s physically present; how does the drone deal with closed internal doors – or indeed with the interior of any normal dwelling? Advertisements for so-called “smart” homes invariably feature the interiors of sterile, open-plan dwellings that no sane adult would wish to inhabit…
The Proper Function of Government
I haven’t watched the Yes Minister series for years and years. And then stumbled accidentally on this and marvelled once more at the masterful, cynical insight of the script. Take a few minutes to watch it. It’s worth it.
My irreverent WhatsApp feed continues to delight.
This blog is also available as a daily email. If you think this might suit you better, why not subscribe? One email a day, delivered to your inbox at 7am UK time. It’s free, and there’s a one-click unsubscribe if your decide that your inbox is full enough already!