Thursday 13 October, 2022

Miss Potter’s view

The view from one of the first-floor rooms in Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s cottage in the Lake District. It’s an nteresting house.

Quote of the Day

”Applause is a receipt, not a bill.”

  • Artur Schnabel, explaining why he never did encores.

Musical alternative to the morning’s radio news

Ladysmith Black Mambazo | Homeless Live


Long Read of the Day

The internet is already over

This long piece by Sam Kriss is quite something. His style reminds me of Hunter S. Thompson, so fasten your seatbelt. Here’s a sample to get you in the mood.

You will not survive is not only a frightening idea. The things I hope for are doomed, and everything I try to create will be a failure, but so will everything I despise. These days, it repeats itself whenever I see something that’s trying its hardest to make me angry and upset. There’s a whole class of these objects: they’re never particularly interesting or important; they just exist to jab you into thinking that the world is going in a particular direction, away from wherever you are. One-Third Of Newborn Infants Now Describe Themselves As Polyamorous—Here’s Why That’s A Good Thing. Should I get upset about this? Should I be concerned? Why bother? It will not survive. Meet The Edgy Influencers Making Holocaust Denial Hip Again. Are we in trouble? Maybe, but even trouble is ending…

I enjoyed it. But then I always enjoyed Hunter’s journalism.

Remembering Bruno Latour

Tuesday’s piece about him prompted a few people to ask “Yes, but what was he like? in person” One answer is provided by this video of his Inside lecture/performance that he did in New York in 2018. It’s just under an hour long, so you need to make an appointment with it.

Sciences Po, where he had a Chair (and was a dean for years) has a nice tribute to him on its website.

My commonplace booklet

‘The Owner of This iPhone Was in a Severe Car Crash’— or Just on a Roller Coaster

If, like me, you have an Apple Watch then, if you have a fall or are in a serious car crash, the watch will call emergency services if you don’t display signs of life or activity immediately after the event. Which is undoubtedly a good thing. But what if you’re one of those masochists who like going on heart-stopping funfair rides? The Wall Street Journal has an interesting story about a woman who did just that.

On a sunny September Sunday, Sara White and her family headed to Kings Island amusement park outside Cincinnati.

The 39-year-old dentist zipped her two-day-old iPhone 14 Pro securely in her fanny-pack (‘bum’ for British readers), buckled into the Mystic Timbers roller coaster and enjoyed getting hoisted 109 feet in the air and whipped around at over 50 mph.

Afterward, she looked down at her phone. The lock screen was lined with missed calls and voice mails from an emergency dispatcher asking if she was OK.

During the ride, Apple’s new car-crash detection triggered and automatically dialled 911. The call to the Warren County Communications Center featured an automated voice message from Ms. White’s iPhone: “The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone.”

The message is repeated seven times during the call. As the phone made the call and played the automated message, it also picked up background audio from the scene—in this case cheers, music and other amusement-park sounds.

According to the 911 report, a team was sent to the ride but didn’t locate an emergency. When Ms. White realized what happened—ironically, when in line for the bumper cars—she called back the number to tell them she was OK.

Thanks to Charles Arthur for spotting it.

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