Sunday, December 30, 2012

Sex Tourism

Canary Wharf tube station has an interesting advert for Expedia, a travel website. It shows airline baggage tags for Sun Valley (Idaho, USA), Seattle (Washington, USA), Seno (Laos) and Sembach (Germany).


I am not saying I would go to Sembach just for the sake of the baggage tag, but if I had to choose between Sembach and another destination, all other things being equal, I would probably opt for Sembach. “Sex tourism”, Anasua called it.

Friday, December 21, 2012

London, 3:38 pm

This photo, shot on Mudchute Farm, is a few days old, but with the bare branches and early sunset, it seemed appropriate for a midwinter post. It is ironic (though by no means unpleasant) that the walk to my local supermarket takes me through a farm.

Happy solstice, everyone.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Law Firm Toilet Humour

In moot court competitions at college, the court clerk would hold up sheets of paper saying 5 MINUTES LEFT or 1 MINUTE LEFT in large bold letters, so that the speaker would know how much time they had. One time, after our college hosted a moot court competition, someone (perhaps the same miscreant who was behind the Mystery of the Locked Loos) pasted these sheets at eye level on the inside of the loo doors in our hostel. I thought it was a sobering reminder not only of our limited time in the loo (there were 6 loos on our floor and 48 boys, all of whom wanted to use the toilet at the same time, i.e. 5 minutes before class, which meant that no one could occupy the toilet for more than a few minutes without attracting copious abuse), but also of our finite lives in this mortal coil.

Today in the office toilet I saw another witty use of stickers meant for other purposes. CONFIDENTIAL WASTE stickers are not hard to come by in a law firm, and someone had had the bright idea of sticking one at a strategic spot on the toilet wall.

Monday, December 10, 2012

London, 1:45 pm

You have seen a hundred other photographs of this view, but it is still a classic: looking west along the Thames from Waterloo Bridge. The London Eye is on the left bank; Big Ben and the Houses of Parliament are on the right. The afternoon light these days in London is unusually golden.


I think I now have enough posts with titles of the form [City], [Time] to justify a new label.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Scrabble Proverbs

A recent post on Tommyjournal linked to a wonderful collection of Go proverbs. Here are my top 10 from that list:
There are possible things, impossible things, and things that happen. Sometimes things happen that were impossible.
The axe’s handle rots while the mind lives to the rhythm of the stones.
5 lines for extension in front of shimari.
It is difficult to know exactly what you are doing.
Proverbs do not apply to White.
Strange things happen at the one-two points.
Never try to cut bamboo joints.
In the corner, five stones in a row on the third line are alive.
If you have one stone on the third line, add another, then abandon both of them.
You can hide nothing on the goban.

I have never played Go, but of late I have been playing a lot of Scrabble, and between moves I came up with some Scrabble proverbs.
There are words, and there are spaces between words.
Seven tiles sit side by side, meditating on possibilities.
Be wary at family games, but remember that your reputation is not worth more than 50 points.
If at first you don’t succeed, try, try, try again. Then flip the board over (as if by mistake).
There is only one g in crzjgrdwldiwdc. (Douglas Adams, The Restaurant at the End of the Universe)
Aspire for the seven-letter word, but make friends with the TWL98 two-letter word list. Played rightly, UT (syllable used in the fixed system of solmization for the note C) can be worth more than QUIXOTIC.
Ecstasy is a seven-letter word.
Here the word, there the meaning. (Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations)
In the bag, all letters are worth nothing and everything.
Let no one see your rack.

If you can come up with any others, please leave a comment. Just to get you thinking, here is the board from last night’s Scrabble game.


And before anyone objects to SEXT (L-13), I hasten to clarify that it means the fourth of the seven canonical hours of the divine office, or the prayers prescribed for it.