The Big Lie still a favourite Authoritarian Tactic

There was, it would seem, no prospect of Gu Kailai submissively playing her part in the show trial which took place in Beijing last week. Previously, the regime would simply have held the trial in secret and announced the results to its gullible public. But appearances now matter even to those currently holding the reins within the dictatorship. So they had to put on at least a token “one day” trial to make it look like something resembling justice was being delivered. When the star of the show refuses to co-operate, however, it’s necessary to recruit an understudy.
Frankly, in the context of a totalitarian regime, which China still is, even though it has dramatically loosened up since Mao’s day, it’s not even a particularly extreme behaviour. What IS bizarre, though, is that they made so little effort to cover up their subterfuge. Given that the point was to show her confession and docile acceptance of the punishment on Television, surely they could have found a better match and surely, even with the poor match they did find, a decent stage make-up artist could have made the actress look at least close enough to suppress giggles of disbelief!

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News Just In: Sometimes the Photograph is Real!

Utterly convinced this could not be a real image.

Couldn’t prove it but the logic didn’t scan. Even if they were sextuplets, woss the chances of them all settling down simultaneously for a photograph???

but, holy shit, this page – and the abc news video on it look pretty convincing…
They musta been drugged…

3.14159265358979323846264338327950288419716939937510582097494459230781640628620899862803482534211706798214808651328230664709384460955058223172535940812848111

I’m more fascinated by the fact that they’ve made this information marketable than by the information itself…

Y Viva Espana

Finally finished sorting the wheat from the chaff on the Spanish photo front. Here’s a taster. I’m well aware they’re not professional quality photographs but I’m well impressed with what you can get from £250 quidsworth of point and shoot camera. This is an entirely unforced endorsement for the Sony Cybershot HX9V which must be worth a lifetime supply of their successors. Even if they don’t agree my terms, I’ll still rave about it. It’s the fourth bit of technology I’ve come across in the last few years which has actually exceeded my expectations.

Never mind that bollocks, take a look at these (click any of the images to get larger versions):

For starters, this is my first ever proper lake reflection shot – just half an hour north of Malaga Airport…

Spent Xmas Day spent crawling all over the Alhambra, seen here with the Generalife and snowcapped Sierra Nevadas in the distance…

inside one of tha Alhambra Palaces (Carlos V). This might look impressive but in fact the overall impression you get from the later Christian architecture – which is clearly an attempt to show they can match or exceed their Islamic predecessors – is that it’s either cheap and shoddy by comparison; or ludicrously overdone and completely divorced from the Nazarene’s humble ethos. Islamic architecture comes across as much more consistent with Islamic philosophy.

And it’s not like Islam cannot do complexity. Check out this bit of a ceiling in the Nasrid Palace… (zoom in on the large version to see the real detail)

and this next ceiling (in a room named after the family of over 30 who were slaughtered in it several centuries ago) is so complex, it cannot be captured in a single photograph. You need the sequence of three to give some idea of what’s going on (zoom these as well):



Another reflection shot…

and I’m rather pleased with this hand held night time shot capturing Venus and the crescent Moon setting over the Alhambra…

the sheer quality and detail captured in the landscape shots stunned me. I really love this camera!

We took a day trip to Cordoba to see the Mesquita. It started as a Visigoth Church in the 3rd century CE, became a Moslem palace with water gardens and Mosque, then, in the 13 century, the Christians re-possessed it and added some of the most ornate overgilded architecture you’ll find anywhere in the world. You reach it by crossing the Roman Bridge…


a pointless but, nevertheless, rather impressive archway at the far end of the bridge…

what the Mesquita is most famous for is it’s 860 columns. Here are a few of them. If you zoom this one I think you can see 14 “layers” back down the central row…

Finally we went to Mijas for the last full day, so we’d be close to the airport…

Adios Amigos

If anyone wants to see the full collection (self running slideshow 184mb), 183 (out of over 2,000) images I considered good enough to keep and share. You can download it from here.

I retain copyright of course, but you are free to use any of them provided they are properly attributed back to me and if you make any money out them, I won’t object to a slice. You can make your own mind up about what they’re worth…

Lumus PD-18-2 video screen glasses could lay messages or GPS over your field of vision | Mail Online

What’s fascinating about this? Apart from the supercool technology of course.

No mention anywhere else. Youda thought this would be big news on the likes of wired or the reg. or slashdot. Not a dicky bird. I call bullshit. or commercial hype. Which is a shame, ‘cos I could really use a display like this…

In fact, I’m trying to invent one as we speak. I’ll let you know if and when I get somewhere…

Lumus PD-18-2 video screen glasses could lay messages or GPS over your field of vision | Mail Online.

JON BALKE & AMINA ALAOUI – THULATHIYAT (edit) – YouTube

this is where we were for Christmas.

Here’s one of my own photos to prove it. The music’s not bad either…

Ganja-Spear | Girls or Bud

ddamn! I can almost smell that!

Ganja-Spear | Girls or Bud.